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Emerson Naylor


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Hi! Thank you so much for viewing my profile. I ultimately imagine myself being a writer. Since I was a child, I would rather have opened a book and made up the story than actually read the words on the page. I've been avidly working on stories I hope to publish in the coming years. With this, I also dream of inspiring others to feel comfortable to freely write. I hope to continue forth a space for stories, original and true ones, written for all ages to discuss the meaning of and so on. Though it's a challenging career to place money on its success. I intend to put forth great effort in saving, learning, and growing to ease the difficulties. I will begin doing this with my college education at the University of Kansas, where I plan to double major in Linguistics and Journalism. I plan to study and write abroad in countries all over the world. I love to travel and be involved in different cultures and lifestyles. I am also a Type 1 Diabetic. Diabetes continues to challenge me every day and though sometimes it's hard, it helps me be health conscience and organized with my medication. And I don't plan to let it stop me from achieving my dreams. I finally want to say I am a passionate worker, a lover of my town and the community that surrounds me and I strive to continue to prove my love by volunteering at my school, and future college. I intend to share what I've learned in the trials of life through writing and I appreciate you for listening.


Olathe Northwest High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
    • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General
    • English Language and Literature, General
    • Journalism
    • Psychology, General
    • Mathematics and Statistics, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Creative Writing

    • Dream career goals:

      To write fictional stories to teach to impact everyone worldwide.

    • Serving Assistant

      Austins Bar & Grill
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Curbside To-Go

      Austins Bar & Grill
      2021 – Present3 years


    Artistic Gymnastics

    2012 – 20164 years


    • 2x NAC Level 5 Champion


    2010 – 20166 years


    • 1st Place 2016 Winning Team


    2012 – 20164 years


    • Sportsmanship


    2008 – 202214 years


    • 6x NDA National Champion and Grand Champion


    2009 – 20156 years


    • Sportsmanship


    • Botany/Plant Biology

      ONW Horticulture Program — Researcher
      2022 – Present


    • Middle School Theatre Program

      Choreographer of "Into The Woods"
      2018 – 2018
    • ONW Photography Course

      2020 – 2022
    • Individual Hobby

      2022 – Present
    • Individual Hobby

      2011 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Perception Dance Co — Assisted Classes
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      ONW Blood Drive — Donated Blood
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      ONW Innovative Dance Program — Videographer
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      ONW Innovative Dance Program — Score sheet runner
      2021 – 2021

    Future Interests





    District 27-A2 Lions Diabetes Awareness Scholarship
    I've always been an anxious child, and as for many, this feeling truly intensified through middle school and early high school. I had anxieties about school, homework, work, friends, and classes. But, for some reason being a Type 1 Diabetic seemed to amount to all those difficulties. This was my experience in short, diabetes affected my life, but I made a pact with myself that it would only ever affect me, and that it would be no one else's problem. But this was okay because even before diagnosis, I was smart. I'm a strict rule follower and people pleaser to the core, so doing exactly as instructed is essential for me morally. But, my outlook on myself grew just within this past year and formulated a healthier, more confident person through new experiences. Working a real job has helped me immensely. Though sometimes it royally sucks, answering the phone and having so many senior citizens yell at you over a bunch of bar food. I’ve become much more content with what I consider the “out of range” blood sugars. It's a stressful job, at least for me. So I used to be so bothered by the highest blood sugars, going above 250 seemed to be life or death. But I learned that that will happen, as mistakes will happen while working. This taught me something though, as cliche as it is, nothing and no one is perfect. No student, sister, daughter, employee, diabetic, or human of any kind is. I will never be 100% in range or even 90%. This idea has made me a better human, more carefree, and less anxious. It has made me listen more clearly to those whom I care about, instead of worrying so much about a number on a screen. Since I've gotten and adapted to the Tandem pump to give doses and such, this has also helped greatly in my journey to truly living. Anxieties are hard to fully get rid of, but it's helpful to turn my mind off from being diabetic. And with each passing day, I improve just a little more in this aspect. Being so uptight about everything is good in some cases, but it drags on because it's impossible to fit each little part of my being into a slot in my brain to worry about. And diabetes always used the most space in my constantly moving brain. But, as a senior now, I'm content with change. These difficult moments don't define me as a bad person, or a bad diabetic at all. Diabetes is a part of my life that I will carry to every destination in life, middle school, high school, work, and now college. Learning to be okay, to find moments to breathe in what can seem wrong to an overachiever like I am will affect the future person I become. I want to continue to write fictional stories and articles on subjects of passion to me, and when writing, mistakes are probably half of the work. I will write with confidence, and go back to sentences I don't enjoy, or ones that feel inadequate, reflect on them, but fix them. As I would with blood sugars, insulin injections, and more. If a cure for Type 1 Diabetes was created tomorrow, I don't think I would take it. Because I'd probably still be filled with the anxieties middle school me had about stuff that didn't matter, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
    Alicea Sperstad Rural Writer Scholarship
    Recently, I found this song entitled “Maybe Man” by a band named AJR. Upon listening to this song, I had a wonderful revelation that helped define the significance of writing. In it, it outlines the feeling of wishing to be something else, like stone, or your pet, because there would be all these aspects of life you would gain. These exciting features would change the way a human feels. But, there would be obvious drawbacks, as the song states, “But if I were my dog, I wouldn't live long. I'm sure gonna miss her when she's gone.” So, as I journey through my life, unsure of who I am, but often sure of who I wish I was. I've found that writing is important because it taught me that though I’m still unsure who I am or who I wish to become, I can act on these hopes to define who I am and help others. When I write, I elaborate heavily, as I know many do. Mainly because my life is rather tasteless. It is void of anything truly worth filling the page of action or philosophy-type literature to impact readers. This can make writing challenging, as I worry I'll suffer in this regard. Even though others claim I have time to figure this out, I fear the time I know won't come. The day I wake up and say “I am this” or “This is me” is just out of reach. So, to combat this. My mother told me to write my elaborate stories, listen to my favorite songs, and morph into others if it means I know I'm not this, or I don't feel like that. So, I did. I wrote fictional stories, and essays where the topic meant absolutely nothing to me, and read books filled with literature I didn't care for. And when I finally started narrowing my wide list of options, a world full of opportunities to what I liked at least a little. I finally got somewhere with my writing. I would write stories about living in a little suburb in Kansas, and how I felt invisible and uncomfortable in every social aspect. I don't make friends easily, and find myself most comfortable in my bedroom on my laptop, clicking away non-stop on the keys until my figures are numb. I hope no girl growing up feels the same, and if they did, to know they were not alone. It started small, I wrote this same story in slightly different renditions for a year. Then something happened, that maybe I didn't need to be someone specific or portray who I was. My writing isn't about me, and it never should be. I've found that in the years I wished I had some type of label, that reading is often to fill a void or teach a lesson the reader is lacking. So, I listen to that AJR song and it makes so much sense now. You can be you, reading to gain that information. And I will be the rest, I will fill the void for the people who need it. As I could never find someone to fill it for me when I grew up. So, this is what writing will do. I will write to help others, and maybe I'm still unsure or could be labeled as a “maybe man.” But maybe, who I am is who I can offer support. The smallest bit of hope in the form of words, can define who someone was when it couldn't for me. And this, to me, is why writing is important.
    Good People, Cool Things Scholarship
    I've always been naturally creative. I love doing paint-by-numbers or doing those little bead bracelets from kits I find on Amazon. Those are niche crafts that are good to pass the time. But, those are short-lived joys that will definitely give me long-term back problems. So instead, as of recently I've indulged more in writing, specifically fictional. I’ve always liked creating completely fantasy stories as I've found it can easily become a much-needed distraction in the bustle of student life. If allowed, I would spend every waking moment writing. And maybe a few minutes with my dog and family too I guess. I want to write books, and articles as my dream would be to make it into “The Atlantic” one day. All this to say, writing is the key that unlocks the past, present, and future to be one conjoined entity. It's one that bridged us with our ancestors, and will bridge us with our future grandchild and the false realities we've created. These effects of writing are what have made our world as up-to-date, as knowledge, and conscious as it is. Though, continuing to share stories of lives lived on the other side of the world, or even ones in my hometown. Gives people the greater opportunity to learn, to gain an education that doesn't cost them much of anything. This is how my creative avenue would benefit the world, by sharing the experiences I've had to benefit younger generations. But, to relate to other's powerful voices through their own writing. Words are stories that you couldn't hear without them, it's the universal language to make people happy, sad, angry, and advocate for their beliefs. As Nathaniel Hawthorne stated, "Words—so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become, in the hands of one who knows how to combine them!" Words become magic when held in the wizardry of a powerful being, such as an author with a story to tell, This is what I hope to do, and though I have lots of improvements to make. The best way to improve is to start writing, so 24 hours of uninterrupted time for it seems perfect! With a free 24 hours granted to me all for delving into writing an interesting story. I would walk to my local coffee shop called Pour Coffeehouse. This is where am most creative, most free in what I'm doing. I have a warm cinnamon roll next to me sitting on a barstool looking out the window, where there's currently construction, but it would normally be a pretty setting sun with trees and fields of grass in my view. I find my best writing in a comfortable environment, with few distractions with soft music playing just to myself. It's a break from regular life, and where I feel my most calm and at peace that words simply spill from my fingers. I couldn't have finished, in a timely manner at least, this essay without the serene environment that keeps me in touch with my stories, the topic, and my life experience at my fingertips. Including a bonus, the coffee shop has super comfy barstools, so no back problems for me!
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    In elementary school, in each quarter of the year, our teachers would choose one student from their class to receive the “Distinguished Tiger” award. This was a very prestigious award, at least as much as an elementary school award goes. You got your name announced and all kinds of praises said about you in front of the whole school and you got to sit in a special chair with a tiger print balloon on it. This I remember very clearly because I was nominated for three years in a row, from 3rd to 5th grade. This award may seem insignificant. A small part of what one would hope was a life full of other exciting and honorable achievements. And this is all true, but when I started writing this essay I knew I would mention this award as the most important one for me because I was heavily praised, celebrated, and rewarded beyond what other awards have offered me. But, this was not my defining successful moment. Because now as a soon-to-be college student. I realize the best successes come from the small goals, waking up, going to school, and even writing this essay. All this is to outline and shape the bigger successes that are soon to come. I’ve always been a well-performing student, but I don't often get much recognition because I'm not overly outstanding or worthy of medals and certificates as other students are. This is completely fine with me, it's understandable to not honor every even slightly successful student in their journey through education. So, to remind one that they are worthy of honoring even if others may forget, I've found it’s best to define success in one's accomplishments. Because success is nowhere the same for every person, and for me, I find it best to understand my strengths and weaknesses to inspire myself to reach for those small successes, no matter how challenging they may be. And no matter how little praise you get in the process. Every single week I have written some kind of scholarship essay for college, on certain weeks I've even managed to develop two essays. This to me is success. Even if those essays don't win or no one even reads them. It’s a small part of attempting to win one day. Has anyone done something once and won? Wrote one essay or played one game and became the best? Not likely, so my goal of an essay a week was a small, achievable thing I put in place for myself. As hard as it is not to flaunt this information to people, whether win or lose. “Success” isn’t that others pat you on the back or cheer your name in praise. But, it's rather your perspective on completing or doing something you enjoy. Getting through another essay is a success to me, even though one may consider that a rather small, or even incredibly large feat. Whatever the case, I’ve found to be a “successful” person or student isn't to make others aware that you are. But more importantly, to make “success” an attainable concept for yourself. And when necessary, reward yourself with a small treat or break from the path towards each person's “success.” Like me, I’m currently enjoying a cinnamon roll in the coffee house I'm writing this in. As my reward for taking the time and effort to do this small, personal goal. An opportunity such as this would benefit my family financially. But would greatly benefit me in reaching the destination of success. Like that “Distinguished Tiger” award, I received all those years ago. The recognition for winning would remind me my work, as well as my small moments of “success” truly amounted to something greater than me. By making those goals to have all those writing sessions, and have all those small, personal wins and celebratory cinnamon rolls. That they would amount to a true “success,” one noticed and appreciated by others just like me. Who achieved the same small goals that will one day, connect to that bigger dream.
    Mental Health Empowerment Scholarship
    Improving one’s mental health will always be a constant battle. As it is for me and many others. For me though, being a high school student in a good place mentally would endlessly benefit me and my education moving forward. But, I often find it hard to simply reassure myself of happiness, whether that’s writing my worries down or talking it out. I find empowerment as a student through more individual activities. Such as going for coffee, studying outside my house in a new place, or meeting an old friend or family member I have yet to catch up with. All this to say, it has improved the person I am mentally throughout the years. Taking the chance to do something I wouldn't ever do due to fear or anxiety or the awkwardness of isolation has improved me as a person beyond words. Being in a good place mentally improves a multitude of areas like productivity, learning ability, patience, and cognitive skills. Having the capacity to center yourself on studies, while being capable of moving past a rough headspace and gaining significant education is why finding beneficial mental health practices is so important. Though understandably, this is much easier said than done. High school can be a complex place full of some of the easiest and some of the hardest classes and life experiences I have yet to have. Simply put, I started struggling with balancing the rigorous schedule I’d placed on my shoulders in my junior year. I was overwhelmed with high-level classes, and inevitably ended up in a bad place mentally. At the time, I didn't have good avenues to vent these issues so I could improve. So, as a way to refresh my brain and find a task I was actually excited to do each week. I started convincing my close friend to go with me to the coffee shop right by our high school. As she struggled in math, I'd help sometimes. I struggled with just needing someone to talk to, and she was there to help too. This went on and has been a thing for nearly a year now. We always sit with our pastries and find the conversation to drift to the things we've struggled with recently. Classes that bother us, people we don't like, and so on and so forth. And not only her, but I've started to bring other kids I met at school, at one point I had nearly six girls all crowded around the small coffee shop table discussing our struggles like we were grown women. Because of this, I've started to advocate further for mental health struggles with the students at my school. I realize there are so many students just like me, who need an escape and a quick vent with someone who understands to some level, their struggles. I've gone to the coffee shop at least once a week since the start of my junior year. And I've brought about sixteen different seniors whom I wanted to talk to, even simply get to know a bit with me during those trips. Being more openly aware and able to advocate for others, having their back when you know they are suffering is an indescribable feeling. It makes me feel so connected to people I don't even talk to all that often. Mental health is so scary, a horrifying topic for so many that seems almost pointless to get into with pretty much anyone. But, I've found when in the comfort of coffee and sweets, we feel more open to one another.
    Jorian Kuran Harris (Shugg) Helping Heart Foundation Scholarship
    I want to write. To be a writer, journalist or author of some type that shares significant stories for generations to come. I'm aware that this is a rather ambiguous task, a goal with no true end in sight. But, that has not and won't stop me from trying anyways. A scholarship such as this one would help so much in my future education, and alleviate the stress of bills and distant loans that will plague myself and my parents. Though I’m undoubtedly passionate about my love of English, this scholarship would allow more funds to be placed on dream classes such as creative writing or web design and coding-specific courses. With a career of fictionally focused literature ahead of me. I have become goal-oriented in my improvement. Since the start of my senior year, I have written at least one essay for a scholarship for my college education. Scholarships of all types help my brain digest new and diverse topics, ones that force me to think outside the box. I write these essays in the comfort of the little coffee shop close to my high school, with a warm cinnamon roll next to me and faint pop music drowning out the sounds of the clicking keyboard. It's all an essential part of my progress in my writing. Blocking out the mental challenges that come with the task, and rather enjoying the progression and mistakes along the way. In the first few months of my freshman year, the year of COVID-19. I suffered a different challenge. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This came very suddenly as I had gotten pretty sick and now this was the person that I was. It's hard, entering high school when things were already detrimental and now I had this too. I remember eating lunch alone, as COVID prevented us from sitting around others, and I would have to give insulin shots. It was an everyday habit that made me nearly consider skipping lunch and sitting in the library due to embarrassment. But, the only reason I didn't, is because after those dreadful shots, I would continue writing my story. The “story” I would be writing would vary, somedays I would write one short story. I believe at one point I had nearly thirty-six pages full of words and spelling mistakes. Either way, that insulin shot wasn't the big, scary monster I thought of it to be, because once I did it I pulled out my computer and dove into my little world of words. I did not only overcome this new part of my life through writing, but the support from my family, friends and furry friends at home helped me as well. But, though getting over the hump of a new life task, a change that is forever stuck to you can be deliberating. Distractions, like writing and reading, were what genuinely changed me. With all this said, I would love to be a writer. To show students like me, who are upset and embarrassed about themselves, that there’s an avenue. A free and magical world that can be brought to the tips of their fingertips with a pencil and paper. That adversity, hard-ships, and even just a simple getaway can be achieved through one's imagination. Though it may not work for all, it's what to offer future generations as advice. So, I hope to take my long stories that developed in those embarrassing lunch periods and turn them into more than a distraction. A true, frivolous, and exciting career.
    McClendon Leadership Award
    Leadership is such a broad, overarching term that encompasses those who stand up for their beliefs and who guide others to do the right or even the wrong thing. Leaders are what move people without a force, whether silent or not. I am a leader, as crazy as it is to admit that to myself, truly we all are. Leaders are often noticed as the “first” entity to do something, say something, believe something, act on it, and so on. It's a long-running list of the first or the “fathers” of their craft. The one I can most clearly remember from my current AP Psychology class is Whilhem Wundt, or “The Father of Psychology.” He was the leader in starting the deep studying that happens within the psychology field. As many others did in thousands of other fields of life. But for me, I find leadership most important in my high school, my life as a student in a small town, and with my family. Every quarter of each semester, we have to take the bar exam that asks basic questions about the student's personalities, likes, dislikes, opinions, and other factors. Each time, I clearly remember getting the question, “Do you feel you exude great leadership in your life?” This question as it is asked so often, always stumps me. Because, I know I am a leader, even if a silent leader is better of a description I still know it's a valid role in society. But would others think so? I'm not so sure. This makes the term that much more of a challenge to pinpoint the individuals who do possess such leadership and those who don't. There's obvious bias, as one could house more leadership and guiding traits when around those they love or know well, and hide those traits in more social settings. That's what I do at least. So, with all this said. I would argue being a leader stems from the moral goodness in someone. Not just that they can speak confidently in a group, or only among close friends. But, that they indulge in tasks they hold severe passion in. That they hold their heads proud in their choices, not always having to voice others to follow. Often leading is best done by example, as there are hundreds of inspirational figures in my own life who have taught me this. In society, people have roles that play into how the world works. We need loud, proud, and determined voices but we also need silent, focused, understanding, and calm voices that balance one another out. The role of leading is what creates such voices and dynamic people, and this is why being a leader, and the role of leadership among our society is crucial to our existence. Nothing would ever be achieved without voices, without people wanting to unite others. Those are just the simple basics behind a leader, and it goes further beyond that. Leadership is getting others together, change is caused by leaders. By one voice, loud or quiet, that starts a wave of others speaking up. It's almost mind-boggling to think of how many “firsts” there had to be to be where we are as a society. The first doctor, the first astronaut, the first poet, husband, wife, child, librarian, president, baker, fisher, architect, and so on. These positions came because they were leaders in their fields. They had their voice and their dream and they moved others to follow them. As so many incredible leaders continue to do today.
    Nasser Seconi Scholarship Fund
    I loved soccer but I didn't love running. But, luckily I gathered this discipline that I still utilize today. Though I wasn't an incredible player, my coach, shoutout to him and his passion to make me enjoy soccer as much as possible, would have us all run three laps around the field at the ripe age of seven. Though you may think “You were seven you probably loved just running around!” That would be a no. I was never a runner which is likely the main reason I wasn't put up front to score goals for the team. So, even though I would endlessly complain and sometimes pull the “my stomach hurts” card. He made me run those three dreaded laps. I despised running those three laps for the four years I played for that coach and our “Crazy Socks” soccer team. Upon leaving, I made a rather extraordinary discovery. I have become a runner, a jogger more rather, but I love going out to run in the mornings or after school if applicable. I would argue that this, though it may seem odd, is my biggest achievement and takeaway from the sport of soccer. I wouldn't be invested in running and reaching such a frivolous goal of running a certain amount each morning without having to push through those three stupid laps. I would be lying if I said growing up through all kinds of sports shaped me to be a perfect, selfless, and all-around athletic person. Because, I would easily say the worst part of my soccer experience, would be losing. Niche, I’m aware. But when I was young, I didn't understand the concept of personal growth or such a thing as success even in loss. As I sit writing this, being now eighteen years old, I realize that there are so many layers to considering one a loser. So my worst experience was losing though at the time I didn't even quite know what that meant. I believe I was nowhere near a loser cause I gave it my best. A loser gives up, doesn't try, and disappoints their teammates. So, my worst experience being what dragged me away from such a dynamic sport, wasn't even worth anger in the first place. Losses happen, and little eight-year-old me should have shaken it off and got over it, but we all have regrets I guess. Obviously, a young child playing sports is bound to have some problems. No one likes to lose and often times the importance of the game is lost on those little kids, including younger me. But through my experiences in my years as a crazy sock player, I learned the discipline of activity, or running more, and found a rhythm that allowed me to enjoy it. I also learned the importance of loss, even if it didn't truly dawn on me till years later, It helped me understand that work ethic, passion, and teamwork will only further increase winning chances, but not guarantee them. I would finally like to add this scholarship would support me in too many ways to list, but it would also support my family, including my older brother. Who helped foster my love for soccer by playing for so many years as I grew up. Maybe this scholarship would support all the money my parents gave up so I could stand in goal, or tell my coach that my stomach hurt, when it really didn't, numerous times a practice.
    Kalia D. Davis Memorial Scholarship
    In short, I think I'm a good person with good morals. I have passion for what I love to do and hopefulness for my future. Though I have faults and bad qualities that plague me when asked about myself. I find it just as valuable to share mistakes and missteps as humans while not blocking the good from being revealed. I've found it's best to learn from those flaws in character and admit to them as it outlines to a greater extent, who I am. I’ve spent many years doing several different sports that didn't become anything more than a side hobby. But, I was a dancer for nearly sixteen years, going to nationals in Orlando twice and winning Grand National Champions once. But, I ended up quitting just this past year. And though that may not be something everyone needs to know about me, it's a big part of my life and the person I am now. I quit because I suffered from health issues related to my diabetes. I believe I am a fighter through these struggles, but a part of me realized I wasn't cut out for it. That seems harsh as it was my life for so long, but I, unfortunately, gave up on that dream, as sad as it may be. But, that difficult time in my life doesn't overshadow what came after quitting. Since then, I've enjoyed writing, quite a lot actually which makes writing essays such a fun task for me. I've delved into some incredible novels I never would have before. Older, more classic novels by William Faulkner and a variety of other authors who deeply interest me. I’ve also gone to not just one, but several football games at my high school. I’ve never been that girl, who is involved or goes to the games until this year. Though we currently have zero wins, I find the surrounding community and the number of people who show up for the silly Friday Night Lights event to be fascinating. I’m not as outgoing as many students showcase at those games or after them, but even simply going is a massive improvement for me. I am a high school senior and will be attending the University of Kansas next fall. I currently plan to double major in Journalism and Linguistics with hopes to improve my writing, literature, and English-specific coursework. I’ve written at least a dozen scholarship-related essays so far since my junior year. I always tell my parents that I've written a new essay, and they read every single one, as they'll definitely read this one too. I’m so happy to have completed another one, getting the smallest step closer to possibly winning. And even though the chances are small, the scholarship would be a gift for me but more so for my parents. Who have given and continue to provide for me endlessly in my life. Allowing the chance to alleviate the cost of living, schooling, and all college endeavors would absolutely change their lives. Even recently becoming a Finalist for another scholarship sent them into temporary shock. I love my parents and their naturally giving nature and I hope one day, with one scholarship. I get to return the long overdue favor.
    Harriett Russell Carr Memorial Scholarship
    As silly as it may seem, excellence is an incredibly attainable thing for every single person to achieve. Because, to be excellent or overachieving in one aspect of your life, you just have to simply believe you are excellent. This is what works best for me anyway. I'm not incredibly talented at many things. Even writing, which is my favorite pastime, isn't astounding at all. But the excellence behind that is I enjoy doing it and believe in what I write about. To exemplify this to others is more of a challenge but not one that doesn't follow the same guidelines, so much of getting yourself or someone to be “excellent” in their field is convincing them of such an achievement. The saying “believe and you're halfway there,” though cliche, is incredibly true. So it's hard to say that I exemplify excellence, and perfection and am overall the picture-perfect person to look to as a role model. When I’m not excellent in every action or intention throughout my day-to-day life. But I believe I do exemplify excellence through my spirit of growth. I believe I can achieve anything when I set my mind to something and not allowing the faults towards excellence to turn me away from it. I can very easily achieve excellence when I push through mistakes and challenges that plague such a deliberating task. My “spirit of excellence” is likely best seen in my academic achievements, not that there is a bountiful amount but rather pushing through hard classes or tests with grades I was proud of. I remember fairly recently when I wrote a narrative essay for my AP Literature class. My teacher, though incredibly nice, was a scary guy to have read your essay. Mainly because I didn't know if he was going to love it or tell me to completely start over. After having read the essay he commented it was “one of the better essays he had read.” Which had me talking about that little achievement nonstop for the rest of the school day. Though it's a small glimmer of excellence, I felt uplifted and proud that my writing had been simply praised by my peers surrounding me. It was a moment that my spirit, or more my writing, exemplified excellence not only in my mentality but in my work. It's small instances of greatness that forage the path to true excellence, but believing you can get there is the only way to truly achieve it. I've always enjoyed being involved in the community hear in Olathe. I feel there’s a very close-knit group of people passionate about the land and community that make it seem beneficial. For example, the job I work at often holds a fundraiser and there will be hundreds of people waiting for the baked goods they are selling. Their donations benefit our schools and sports teams, and though those work nights are often long and brutal, I love watching the community come together for a simple cause. Instances like the bake sales are the core reasons I find the rejoicing of the community of all ages is significant in keeping people happy as well as inspired to be involved in events around.
    Scholarship Institute’s Annual Women’s Leadership Scholarship
    Yes. Upon leaving that studio within the last year I was shocked to hear how many believed the influence I had on the next generation. Our yearly banquet confirmed such suspicion when I won the “Most Dedicated and Passionate Dancer” among the older girls. No. I didn't win the “Best Leader” or dancer with “Fearlessly Leadership.” But, when discussing such an odd award later in the car with my mom. She reminded me of the plethora of voters who thought and actively chose me as the most dedicated among the others. That meant there was some kind of influence that I, with very few words spoken, had affected those dancers. Younger and older. Our production dance was where tensions always ran high, as I understood to some severe level the significance of this to the teachers and final-year seniors who surrounded me. I remember one specific day we had burpees because of the overwhelming amount of chatter that took place at the rehearsal. I went home furious that people talked and ignored the passion many of the girls felt for our silly little production. And I cared, anytime I have something that is important to me I feel I prove this by my actions, discipline, and power to listen. Not my loud or obnoxiously violent voice that could be heard throughout. And though that is a crucial part of leading a team to a victory. That wasn’t the voice that I possessed, an almost foreign concept to me. In that painful six-hour production rehearsal, those tiny, devil-like dancers couldn't stop their chatter and got the whole room to do one hundred burpees as punishment. My very valid anger and frustration affected them, maybe it was even the angered look that was plastered on my face that showed I was dedicated. I've always had a naturally angry resting face. Because of all this, that award makes me smile. Remembering the cheers of those other dancers who put aside their proven dedication to celebrate my silent one. I was grateful to be understood in a sense, and that I had some type of leadership-like impact on the small dancers who would eventually grow up to be just like those drama-loving teenage dancers. In the future, though I verbally won’t share or input my two cents as those dramatic girls surely will in their future jobs. My leadership role is slightly less noticeable, but arguably more valuable to the next generation of “me's" who are searching for a way to influence. I'll involve my presence and my mindset in whatever task I find important for me. I will be an example for those who may be unsure, similar to how I was when I was a little dancer. And will righteously follow the lead of the more vocal members of my group, while also not changing my own self-worth, beliefs, and personality to fit among them. But, even with my self-esteem slightly increased due to being voted the most dedicated dancer, I won't devolve into an overdramatic teenager. At least, I hope I won't anyway.
    Skin Grip Diabetes Scholarship
    A Man Helping Women Helping Women Scholarship
    I am a senior in high school resonating in a little suburb in Kansas. And though I often feel distant from a world of empowerment and achievement being in such an “insignificant” part of this country filled with dreams. I'm excited to continue my passions as soon as I enter college and share how I plan to empower myself and others through my love for writing and journalism in this essay. I will be 18 in five days, which seems very surreal as I still am unsure as to how I should influence the youth through my interests, and make a positive impact on girls worldwide. But, I've found in recent years that my love for literature has grown. I am fascinated by current and historical literature including poems, short stories, and novels by women. I am fascinated by this mainly because I feel it is odd that these women have not been brought up in my education sooner. Women including Sylvia Plath, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and many others seem incredibly important to the development of literature and even more so the empowerment of women in the early 1900s. With this, I’ve chosen to focus my time more recently delving into the literature these women offered during times of war and discrimination of their kind. The reason it feels important to share this is because it has honed my interest in falling in the footsteps of these women. I dream of empowering not only women but also society through the literature I write as I grow. It's a bit daunting imagining my dream job being on my own work being liked and shared amongst people. Rather than the basic schooling route many take. Though it's a challenge, I feel willing to follow as many women I look up to have in the past. One of my main fears in this, though positive I can handle any difficulty, comes from how I grew up. I am a girl who takes honors classes and works at my local neighborhood restaurant. I'm rather uninteresting, having lived a fairly normal life. I am a Type 1 diabetic but beyond that, a story I have offered from my life experience would be overall uninteresting to the public. I'm imaginative to a great extent to make up for this, which I feel is dishonest as many women have a strong and much more significant story to tell than mine. I know I have many years ahead of me to gain more knowledge, and context on my place as a woman in the English and Journalism field. But currently, I have doubts about this. But, I'm incredibly lucky because I have some amazing examples. Women who face challenges in their everyday lives I know came from a similar place as I have. I am empowered in my life and feel that as I grow I will develop more education but also life skills that further define me and my place in this world, and my future impact on women everywhere.
    Windward Spirit Scholarship
    Within the “Ode To Millenials-Gen Z” text, there is a very frightening and almost indescribably large task being discussed. Thus, that the prior generation caused damage similar to that of a World War. And that said catastrophic damage is now to be dealt with many years ahead by a generation of young kids and teenagers who didn’t cause it. Though the times are different, there are similar features of the two generational shifts. The previous “The Greatest Generation” to what our generation is doing now. Fear, manipulation, greed and ignorance plagued the older generations leaving the younger, more spry and out of the box thinkers to tackle any task. And now it’s paved the way for what I believe is “The Greatest Generation 2.0.” Many of the Gen-Z generation are watching events of catastrophy being put into place similar to those of the 1930s-1940s. And because of this, a movement is happening amongst the younger generation to fight a failing economy, the brute of student loans, poverty, and so much more. And they do all this without question. Without a doubt of their small yet strong voices. But why do we do this? As a nearly 18 year old high school girl. It’s incredibly common to hear issues in the government that affect women, minorities or our future children. Yet I’ve always found myself very disconnected to being a savior of a dying world. As analyzed in “Ode To Millinails-Gen Z.” I feel many around me support the idea of accepting such a call of duty. Whereas I often feel lost in how I’m meant to support. What is someone not even able to vote supposed to do on government issues? As I grow though, this concept of “Don’t worry, we’ll deal with it,” makes more sense. We as teenagers have an unknowningly high pressure placed upon our shoulders from the moment we’re born. We are depended on to be the people of the future. The future doctors, scientist, inventors, writers, presidents, and parents to the following generation. Those who have lived, who have put in their work and retired feel the future is abysmal to themselves. It has no effect on them and therefore it feels unnecessary to advocate for anything. This is not the case for the younger generation, as a life filled with hope is ahead for those promising few. This hope is further being jeopardized by the folks too old or too unaware to seem to care. This ode eloquently describes the process of growing and its constant debate upon life altering decisions. The older one gets the less it seems this is common knowledge. And unfortunately, every generation goes through the challenge of changing it for oneself's future. We, as Gen-Z, have chosen to take decisions jeopardizing our future head-on. But not placing direct blame on the Millennials as it’s an understandably difficult time for everyone. But, as we grow we continue to forage pillars of hope, unity and excellence amoung each other that can better the world for the next generation.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    Throughout the classic novel As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Addie Bundren, the narrator at this time, uses very vague language that Faulkner uses purposefully to portray a feeling of uncertainty and uncomfortableness in her role in life. Addie feels she has no word for the job of life she has now committed to in order to benefit those around her, including her cruel and selfish husband, Anse. The author utilizes multiple accounts of flashbacks toward the birth of her children and her growing up to infer certain things about her slow demise into depression and eventually an early death. He also uses the power of language and its ways of misinterpretation to portray Addie’s dislike towards the words she uses to describe aspects of her motherhood that feel disingenuous or false in her eyes. “So I took Anse. And when I knew that I had Cash, I knew that living was terrible and that this was the answer to it. That was when I learned that words are no good; that words don't fit even what they are trying to say. When he was born I knew that motherhood was invented by someone who had a word for it because the ones that had the children didn't care whether there was a word for it or not. I knew that fear was invented by someone who had never had the fear; pride, who never had the pride. I knew that it had been, not that they had dirty noses, but that we had had to use one another by words like spiders dangling by their mouths from a beam, swinging and twisting and never touching, and that only through the blows of the switch could my blood and their blood flow as one stream. I knew that it had been, but that it had never been violated until Cash came. Not even by Anse in the nights.” - As I Lay Dying By William Faulkner Addie Bundren is the main guiding point throughout this novel though she spends most of it dead. In this specific passage, she reflects after her passing on the misuse of her life as a subservient wife to a husband and family who cared very little for her. Giving birth to her first son, Cash, is when she sees her life turn for the worse and fall into a depression. The flashback to this point allows the reader to understand the traits behind her children and their cold, selfish attitude in previous points of the story that make her feel this way. Looking back to knowing life would be “terrible” upon moving forward shows her truly being sucked into a life of service toward her husband, who loved the children and thought of it as a “gift” deserved by him. Addie uses the idea of “having a word for it” in many senses to emphasize her feeling of void. Upon reflection of her life after death, she realizes people who invented these words didn't actually experience them but imagined them from an outward perspective. As likely her husband Anse would consider her life after giving birth as “motherhood,” whereas Addie feels the experience is nearly void of a word as it's just simply met to fill space. There is no significance to “motherhood” so the word in turn means nothing to her. This flashback further places importance on the message behind the novel and Addie’s reasoning behind her wanting to be buried amongst her parents in Jefferson, Mississippi, as she finds the connections to her husband and children to be abysmal. To display a greater understanding of the effects that motherhood had on her. Addie uses the phrase of having been “violated” by her eldest son and husband. She once believed her peace and solitude were taken from her before having children. Faulkner uses this to portray how frustrated Addie feels having her freedom as a woman taken to now be referred to strictly as a mother to those around her. He also uses the emphasis on language by making Addie unable to articulate her thoughts and opinions to a formal statement, thinking versus saying said words, to be or not to be, and so on are concepts challenged often throughout this novel that Faulkner plays with especially when designing Addie’s character. The void of using specific terms gives way to the almost inability to form the feeling of motherhood or the life of a wife in the country making Addie a stand-alone narrative and emphasizing Faulkner's attention to the importance of language especially in the time of writing this. Faulkner purposely uses Addie’s perspective as regretful, rage-filled, and depressed to drive home her feeling of being unheard and misunderstood in her pursuit of defining language. Thus, words have to be used to one another but these were often void of meaning or defined in the same way, as Addie feels language isn't accurately portraying what she thinks. The perspective of Addie Bundren only encompasses one chapter in the entirety of the novel. But her perspective is by far the most philosophical and significant in narrowing in on Faulkner's intention when writing the novel. Certain characters are much more inclined to their language and intelligence when emphasizing their thoughts of those around them, while others struggle with communication and the grieving of their mother. Faulkner attempts many successful themes among the group but his greatest in furthering the reader's understanding of his meaning when writing was the importance of learning through flashbacks and past events. His also vague, yet powerful language shows the character's confusion in the power of thinking versus saying.
    Writer for Life Scholarship
    As a child I've always loved to write and make up completely fictional stories. And since sophomore year I've felt a severe passion toward creative writing and being an author one day. Now, I’m focusing a lot on my english and literature development and though there are many challenges involved with writing and doing it well enough to be successful, I have new found goals and wondrous examples of novels that I believe will elevate my dreams and form them into my reality. My focus in recent years has geared more towards writing, specifically creative and fictional. But with this, I've found there are internal battles that are important to note when being creative in writing. One’s I realized my favorite authors and story-tellers had to address themselves when they wrote their novels. So, to foster my own writing I've found its best to reflect on my own life problems or passions to illustrate for the interested readers of the world. Since I live in Kansas, in the depths of the bustling suburbs that offer little interesting landmarks or features. It seems near impossible to find anything worth of value in my life that would entice a reader. I’ve lived a rather happy, loving life with people whom make me incredibly grateful that nothing horrible worth writing about has happened. But because of this, I feared for a long time that I had nothing of significance to write about because my life has been majorly bland compared to other lifestyles. But, as a priority in the growth of my writing, I'm working towards being comfortable writing simply about me. How I feel and what I think. And I've found so much more joy comes from writing when I forget what others would believe of my work, or even what they would perceive of myself and instead focus on how it makes me feel. Beyond my personal goals, I have other authors who went through what I've gone through to look towards. And their successful careers and stories they’ve shared with me to develop such goals. The novel that really moved my life's trajectory towards fictional writing was a rather old, interesting novel called “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. I read it during a unit of books with largely historical influence on fiction, or “classic” novels to be more precise. Though I wasn’t excited to read this book, it’s stuck with me so much through recent years and has been a driving force for my writing development. The book is intricate, sharing details of a wealthy families children’s individual lives as they lose their money. The book is sectioned into four different children all going through unique experiences. I would highly recommend this as a novel for society to indulge because of the high level use of literary devices, word choice and character development that makes it such a wonderful and thought provoking read. The honesty and realism that Faulkner provides in this novel is unparalleled to other authors and he keeps this consistent in his other novels as well. People should read this not only because of the wonderful elements of literature, but also for the story. Though its events are mostly fictional, Faulkner emphasizes the challenges of life living in the 1920s as when the book was published. To this day it’s still a heart-wrenching and thought provoking novel that’s held to incredible standards almost a hundred years later. I would finally like to add that, with many incredible books, it took Faulkner nearly decades to find any type of success with his novels. They mostly went unread for years after publication. This continues to remind me that there is always hope with literature. A good writer can write a story that holds true centuries later, and a narrative that is effective, deep and passion filled will find its fans along the way.
    Our Destiny Our Future Scholarship
    By positively impacting others, as simple as I can put it. I’ve found as I’ve grown I’ve always been enthralled in stories, of autobiographies of real people discussing defining moments in their lives to impact those who listen. These stories are meant to support those who have been through similar or prepare them for the future. This is how I would make the greatest impact, sharing and developing honest stories for the younger generations to encourage them for their life ahead of them. And beyond that, to keep communities and cultures connected through the power of literature. Since I was a child I’ve wanted to be a writer. Still to this day there are so many specific details as to what that means exactly, like what I plan to write about. Whether it be fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, or mystery. And though these details haven’t been fully worked out, I do know for certain that I want what I write to be important. To be a significant piece of literature that not only helps people but impacts their way of living. As so many books I’ve read have done for me time and time again. Even if this means I don’t specifically get my own written stories shared, the importance comes from those whose voices need to be heard the most. Someone who has experienced something so personal yet likely so common that it would benefits millions who cared to read their story. As I continue my schooling, I have absolutely no doubt I will create a safe, supportive space for people including myself to tell stories of their lives to impact readers and adventurers world-wide. Though this is a bold goal, and slightly uncertain path. I plan to continue forth my writing. I’ve recently been given a subscription to The Atlantic magazine. Where I’ll get to read some of the strongest and most literary pieces of art in the present day. I’ll keep up to date on world news, art and popular artists whom are making a difference currently. And will follow in their line of success to continue their improvement in my own way. Though I have many years of schooling, developing and planning left to full proof my impact on this world. I don’t intend to let my young age or any other challenging factors deter me from my love for writing and what I believe its positive impact will bring to this world. And once society gets the chance to hear stories they need to hear and to experience something so groundbreaking just by simply reading words on page. It will affect them. Changing the trajectory of their lives through the power of community, understanding, and furthermore, of love. The power of words, hopefully my own words and those I believe in, will impact the world for many years to come.
    Barbie Dream House Scholarship
    The Barbie Dream House in my own dream world, would be pristinely located in a nicely decorated, landscaped, and carefully curated place with happiness and joy visibly radiating from its inhabitants. Just as it is in the movie and show! I think a quiet neighborhood in California or Florida, where other neighbors live close with their manicured lawns and beautifully colored houses would suit well for my dream house. The lawn would be massive with fresh cut grass, palm trees strewn about with pretty pink and red begonia flowers in bunches next to them. The drive way would be covered in sleek tile that has a pink design leading to the main front door. The exterior would be big with a lot of windows and a large balcony coming from the second floor. It would be mostly white with some unique pink accents to keep the style of Barbie! The interior would be incredibly spacious, with plenty of room left for my dog and her bed and toys. Everything would be simplistic with pops of color on the rugs, pillows and curtains. There would be plenty of greenery and natural light to keep fresh plants growing inside the house. Then, there would be a main spiral staircase that takes visitors up to the bedrooms where there would a massive walk-in closet with beautiful clothes and shoes. There would also be a game room for board games and movie nights close to the bedroom. The balcony looks out onto the large lawn and three car drive way next to the house. As well as the stunning view of the landscape and beach in the distance!
    Big Picture Scholarship
    Something about me is that I truly adore media including movies, TV, podcasts, YouTube videos and any significant entertainment platform. The problem is that I get over obsessive about the shows and movies I watch. I constantly think about them, talk about them and it often distracts me. So I don’t have a long, thorough list of deep, philosophical movies to choose from. But, one movie I always return back to is “Blended,” an Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie. This one doesn’t cause an obsessive nature cause it’s not incredibly depressing but instead makes me feel warm inside. Makes my heart swell with happiness and that is why it has impacted me so much, no matter how silly it is. The movie came out in 2014, meaning I was only 9 years old when I saw it. I went to see it with my Nonnie and Papa and my cousin Chloe, who is 3 years older than me. It wasn’t uncommon at this time for us to see mature movies like this. We had seen Pitch Perfect dozens of times in the theatre when it came out and this movie was no different. I remember laughing so hard I was close to tears when watching “Blended” for the first time. We all laughed and made jokes the whole movie and it was such an unforgettable experience. The story is exactly as the title infers, about a blended family who join on a vacation in Africa. Full of some hilarious scenes but also ones that made me a bit emotional. Though it’s stupid, I could heavily relate to a lot of the things the children were going through. And can relate even more so now. The themes of growing up, puberty and being embarrassed about such topics around family was something I completely understood. The movie felt incredibly validating and still fosters this feeling almost 10 years later. “Blended” is a comedy of course, and I could whole heartedly admit to having watched it probably 100 times since that fateful 1st time I did in the summer of 2014. I watch it when I’m sad, and need something to distract me for a little while. And when I need something playing in the background while I clean my room or work on my computer. I know the jokes like the back of my hand but I never get tired of hearing them. So, the reason I believe this movie is the most impactful is because I still, as an almost 18 year old women, need such a silly comedy to feel comfortable. To feel heard and to even shed a tear sometimes. It’s relatable and that feeling makes it endlessly more important. The ending gives me hope for a future filled with love. Even at my age where that seems so foreign and scary. It’s a feel good comedy that cures my sadness at any age it seems. It’s such a personal movie, and though it likely ranks way lower than other, more serious films to some. I find it’s impact continues to affect me daily as I yearn for the joy, happiness, and emotion the movie gives me.
    Dounya Discala Scholarship
    Many years ago, during 7th grade I was given the opportunity to be involved in our schools first ever musical as the choreographer. This middle school had just opened, with a beautiful theatre, new equipment, theatre director and excitement was evident in the students. I was close with the director, who was kind, funny lady whom loved theatre more than anything. Though I was not that fond of acting or singing, the chance to actually choreograph for our middle school musical “Into The Woods Jr” was such an honor to be asked to do so. But, with this incredible experience came challenges and ones that taught me the importance of standing up for myself and persevering through difficult situations. I was honored to be the choreographer and was excited to share my love for dance within this new program. Because of the excitement surrounding the grand opening of our school, another high school girl was invited to be involved in the choreography process. She was a sophomore and though I was younger, I felt we got along decently well. She was confident and was involved in theatre much more than I was. Which made me believe she would be of use to choreographing the musical because she knew how to act and sing better than I ever would. But, I felt that though she was kind, she didn’t see me as any more of an accessory to the musical. That maybe I was good dancer, but that I didn’t quite understand what was best for the students in the musical or the dance numbers. Though in a way she was right. I had never acted or knew how to sing, but I was determined to continue my involvement. To combat this difficulty, I skipped my own dance lessons to be at rehearsal every night. I choreographed, taught the students, then tweaked things again and again until I felt comfortable with the progress of the show. I continued to collaborate with my choreography partner, asserting when I felt the decisions I was making were correct but allowing her to have some say when I could tell she knew better. At certain times, I would watch her re-do or change something when I wasn’t paying attention. Though it would hurt my ego, I wasn’t going to allow myself to simply sit and watch this show be created without my involvement. And even though I knew very well it may not have been her intent to not include me. It was obvious she felt more in control cause she was older and had more theatre experience. It was something I understood very well but it credited me no less. I expressed on multiple occasions on how I wanted to learn and be critiqued when giving choreography but it would soon turn into me watching while she took full control. Though I loved it, I learned that maybe I was in over my head thinking I could independently be in charge and fully create, teach and develop choreography on my own. But, also learned that it’s okay to not know 100% of every detail, but that doesn’t bar someone from being able to learn. I believe traits like hard work, creativity, passion and kindness will get you much farther than being older and therefore “more experienced” than someone. Giving up was simply not an option for me and I’m glad I came out with having learned a lesson.
    David Foster Memorial Scholarship
    As a student passionate about English, and one who excelled most in this subject. Naturally, I gravitate towards that course, but my junior year AP Language and Composition class was a major challenge for me. The reason is my teacher, Dr. Fouquet. Though it was heavy work, I learned more in that class than any other I've ever been in and I have him to thank for that. Dr. Fouquet is a sort of wizard-looking man and he had a beard he often discussed that he curled and trimmed constantly. He called us “ninjas,” and considered our continuous progress in his class as “ninja training.” These are some unique features that made the class entertaining but beyond that, it was the impactful lessons and ways of sharing information that stuck with me the most. We wrote in his class more than any other English class I had taken. Though I love writing, Dr. Fouquet further enhanced my argumentative, synthesis and rhetorical writing skills to prepare for the coming AP exam. His influence on these areas stemmed from his deep love for teaching and influencing his students. Even kids who did not enjoy English would chuckle at his jokes or weird lessons. And you could tell he took a considerable amount of time planning and developing long, yet interesting lessons filled with hands-on elements, writing, watching documentaries and reading to other students. I left that class each day thinking about the lesson we had. I often would text my friends how Dr. Fouquet was acting a bit crazy that day or that the essay we were supposed to write was too challenging. But, I felt excited to tackle the obstacle using the tactics I had learned. Dr. Fouquet never turned down a question I had, no matter how stupid and he always used the most interesting analogies to further my understanding and that took me far in my improvement that year. Above being a great teacher, he was a caring person. He voiced his passion for the earth, ecosystems and improvement in our quality of life. Though it was English, he felt it was just as important to discuss life issues. To show us things happening in the world, and he did so by letting us watch different documentaries. We focused on one about the effects of social media, where we took those lessons and applied them to our argumentative pieces on the importance of technology in schools. This helped me feel more connected to the prompt as it was something I understood and could connect to the documentary and my own life. But we watched many documentaries as Dr. Fouquet shared his love for them, saying he would watch one and recommend we watch it too. Over this past summer, I have watched five different documentaries; all over unique topics but it keeps me feeling connected to the world and my education as Dr. Fouquet intended for us. I’ve gotten much better about writing consistently since taking his class, and he felt it would deeply improve the lessons he taught throughout the last year. I hope to continue to be more focused on my community and the world, as Dr. Fouquet taught us to be. And will continue to practice his lessons, and his care-free livelihood as I enter my senior year and throughout my college career.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    The dream version of myself would be to be a fictional writer and be able to share the lessons I've learned through the novels I write.
    Barbara Cain Literary Scholarship
    I gravitate towards books with a very severe but realistic nature. Something that is interesting but is a true story that tugs at my heartstrings. Much of these stories stem from traumatic experiences in auto biographies or more so, tragic stories from historical fiction novels. All of this to say, I've always felt stronger connections to stories that I know are true, or based around a true event. To me, it forces a more empathetic and further understanding of the circumstances because it's from an honest source. A story based around true events greatly increases what I believe is learned from that story, and changes one's outlook on life and their passions moving forward. These lessons are mainly sourced from books including “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner, “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Calahan, and “Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys. Though there's millions I could mention as life changing and reflective novels, these three specifically benefit best in this essay. What connects these books is, as discussed before, the reality of them all. Though each are widely different, there’s a deep yet honest value that each brings to intentionally move the reader. Almost purposefully creating an uncomfortableness that stays with the reader and consciously makes them remember that story. This feeling is a huge part of what I've learned from these books and why it's such a valiant lesson. The lesson being to acknowledge the bad, and read the story that is terrible even more so because you know it's true. It makes one more aware of illnesses, like the one portrayed in Susannah Cahalan’s, “Brain on Fire.” And of historical events and real lives impacted by them like it's described in “Salt to the Sea.” I've learned the importance of hearing these stories to further be aware of their content happening in the real world, in real time very close to our own lives, makes us closer connected. It impacted me enough to feel more inclined to get involved with my community, school, and health. Taking what I've learned I feel I see the world in a newer, more open way. These novels depicted horrendous but true events that plagued these people's lives and I realize I'm incredibly lucky to have been given the life I have. I'm able to read about such things and benefit from that lesson instead of having experienced it for the first time, which is the whole significance of historical fiction and autobiographies. Because of these books, my goals center more around being proud of where I am and minimizing my complaining. To further prioritize my health and fitness and be blessed I'm able to walk, run, eat and pay for medication to keep myself able and alive. Books like these have proven this isn't the case for everyone and I've learned and put in motion goals to continue to understand this. True novels have shaped so much of my beliefs, ideals and actions. I'm more considerate of those struggling, and feel a bigger pursuit to be grateful I am alive to learn the lessons that people learned. It's one of the many reasons I love reading and diving into fascinating novels.
    Learner Math Lover Scholarship
    Much of my junior year was spent focussed solely on my College Algebra class. I would leave that class each day having little to no idea what I was doing, feeling usually defeated. But so much of what I love about math is that I've always found an undoubtable willingness to pull through the unknown and find the correct answer, or even close to it. We took five tests throughout that year and two finals. Before each test I would spend every waking moment going over the review guide. Texting other friends to see if they understood this or that question and endlessly visiting my teacher, Mr. Bridgers, who was surely tired of my questions by the end of the year. But through all of this, I truly loved the challenge. I would start the review almost fully clueless. Having to ask questions over every problem or circle and plan to come back to it later. This was annoying of course, but over time I figured it out. And it was that grueling process that made it such an enjoyable class. No, it is never, almost every easy but there was an indescribable amount of reward when I would finally, after constant work, figure it out. I love math and probably always will because it isn't easy. I'm not great at it but if I was that wouldn't make the tests feel as rewarding, or the constant but thorough reviews as worth it. Additionally, math is always the course that grows my relationship with my closest friends. It's those long hours of checking, re-checking and doing the same problem for hours at a coffee shop on a Wednesday night. Where we would laugh and cheer over the success of a correct answer, or even completing the right step towards it. And we would be so proud even if we didn't achieve much at the end of the night because we worked hard. These reasons encompass only a tiny fraction, or 4.35% specifically, of why math means so much to me. And why I adore that class so dearly. As its continuous but exciting process of growth, self improvement, and rewarding nature makes it such a significant part of my life.
    Book Lovers Scholarship
    There are numerous pieces that spring to mind though one I believe that has stuck with me time and time is The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. The main reason the world would greatly benefit from experiencing this story is the reality of it. I read this book in my sophomore year of high school as part of a historical fiction course. And though I felt at this time I was a confident reader who loved dark and serious books that made me reflect, this book was very different. As I read there were many points I would have to stop or step away. I often felt uncomfortable or uneasy at the subject matter presented in the story. It's based around a child growing up in Afghanistan, who lives with servants who are considered less than himself and it surrounds his relationship with their servant's son. Many times this servant child, Hassan, is harassed or at one point sexually assaulted for his affiliation and relationship with Amir, the richer and therefore more worthy child of the two. The scenes would make it difficult to push through and this is why I believe it is one of the most important books to spread world wide. Not only is it wonderful storytelling, character development, plot line and vocabulary that makes it such a beneficial book to be read by all. But, it deserves to be discussed no matter how difficult the subject matter. I remember trying to discuss this story with three other girls who also read it and struggled to lay into the significance of the book. We would sort of beat around the bush per say, never opening up about the severity of the situation because we couldn't admit that such a thing happened. And continues to now. Having others read, analyze and further discuss this story opens the door for more to understand or even simply be aware these things are happening. We often get blindsided because it's not something happening to us, but Khaled Hossieni perfectly depicts a very real scenario that will benefit so many others in the same predicament by reaching out. Advocating for such issues on a larger scale makes it more known and pushes more action towards ending violence, racism, discrimination, misogyny and endlessly more by fighting the uncomfortable and stomaching the difficult, so we can improve the lives of millions. Algebra Scholarship
    Initially, I was not a math lover. Though I was interestingly good at the subject, following after my grandfather, I didn't really enjoy the math course. I remember being elected for my honors math class when I entered middle school. It was something I had never anticipated and I felt so honored though math wasn't my favorite class. And it's since that class that I've learned to love math. The satisfactory elements and the joyous feelings I have when I’m correct or even close to it is insurmountable compared to my other courses. And that leads me to write my reasons for loving that course and its continued significance in today's society. Math is important for many different reasons. Some more obscure than you may imagine. The main, crucial reason math has benefitted me so much is in my job. I’m only 17 years old but even at my restaurant job, math has changed my way of thinking. This way of thinking originally was cluelessness as my job surrounds takeout orders. People will place them online so I can see if they tip anything, and without even realizing it, over time I started to add up their tips. I calculate mentally if it's a 20% tip. I do this for pretty much the whole shift as it normally boosts my mood if it's a good tip. Though it's silly, it's simple reasons as to money that would be nothing without the use of math. Further beyond money, math is an element used more than anyone can truly imagine. Science uses math in research, calculations, averages, percentages, weight, size, and shape. You name it and it's probably majorly affected by the math and calculations involved. There's endless tasks involved with the course of math and that is why it is a life changing yet never ending evolutionary process. With all its significance in almost every life path, it's impossible to deny its pursuit in middle and high schoolers. Each math class I have taken in the past four years has been challenging. I'd be lying if I said they weren't. But I'm lucky that I go to a school that fosters my continuously growing love for math and supports me in difficult times. And I love math because of the continued growth. I will go through days of severe confusion. Or worry that lasts for every other class. But I'll be working on that worksheet that gave me such anxiety and I’ll figure it out. Have a rare glimpse of genius and feel overjoyed at overcoming the task. This happens often but it's always the coolest thing to know that I'm unsure now. But practice and deeper thought will bring me to the answer I was hoping for. I can only ever describe this joy through a test I took in this past year. Through College Algebra I had one of my most challenging tests yet. I practiced day in and day out. Doing every problem on the review guide probably four times till I felt ready. And I got a 98%. Which was the highest grade in the class. This is still an unforgettable day. Students older than me congratulated me and I got to share with my parents the success I had on a difficult test. I was so proud of myself and that is where my love has stemmed from. Math has been challenging but it's something I’ve pushed through and overcome. And the reward was uplifting and life changing.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    Every single person I have ever met has in some way struggled. Specifically in this generation where social media and technological advancements make it much easier to see or hear difficult things. Through my own experience, I've always felt I struggled with depression. But sometimes I would be okay. Only occasionally feeling odd, or unusual but that was enough for me to know that something was wrong. Though I told no one, not my parents or friends even if I knew this same feeling affected them too. Going through high school through Covid-19 only made life harder and I truly hated being in my house. Which is odd as school was never fun but I couldn't handle being home all day. Much of this hatred stems from isolation, which made me realize I don't like being lonely as many do. This created what the last year or so of what my life has become. Because of this unknown feeling, I needed goals to change my way of life. I created a new goal of getting out everyday. It didn't matter what I did or who I was with, as long as I was out doing something, I was a bit better. Oftentimes depression made it a challenge to accept the sweltering heat and go out anyway but I pushed through time and time again. This goal, of getting outside specifically, I did with one of my closest friends. Who struggles similar to me on a daily basis. We work together and that often caused issues as she wouldn't want to go, or tell me she wasn't feeling well or it was stressful to go to work. I felt similar but couldn't ever admit it, like it was admitting weakness though I knew she felt the same way. This caused us to go weeks without seeing each other. We would keep in touch, but depression and sleep deprivation really affected us both this summer. But neither of us had the guts to admit that to each other. My excuse would be I did this yesterday, or I had school stuff to get done and she would say the same but we both knew we were just sitting in our rooms, worrying. This caused our relationship to be put on hold, as we both had things to work through. To forget this difficult time, I took walks where I would listen to music, often trekking the same route through my neighborhood to calm myself. I would worry about school or how little I had got done that week that I had planned on doing. It continued for most of the summer this way. My mental health causes me to push people away by my own will, through my laziness and choice of ignorance. Though I felt sad, stressed and overwhelmed about a handful of things. One specifically was this pie I was meant to get. My mom got a giftcard to a delicious pie place fifteen minutes from our house and had wanted to go pick out a pie with me. This had actually excited me, allowing me to plan times that were best to go because their hours were minimal. We probably spent a month planning this little event, but it never happened. Every time it would get interrupted by work, or sleepiness that plagued us. I wasn't ever terribly mad that we couldn’t go because I understood we were busy, though my mom constantly talked about going the next chance we got. I think this made me realize something I hadn't before. I had always been one to worry that things aren't getting done, but now my own mother, who is calm and organized in every sense of the word, was freaking out over getting a pie. I guess I was being dumb thinking this was purely a me thing, over anxious and stressed about small, insignificant things. But it's so common for all of us. Teachers, coworkers, my parents, even my dog. Mental health so greatly hurts us that sometimes we forget others feel it too. I may be too quick to judge sometimes as I feel others are losing their minds over small things. But I know I'm just as guilty. It's a universal experience. One that is impossible to avoid as it adds greater challenges on your back. This stupid situation changed my world view, knowing millions have probably had something very similar happen to them too. Making them than reflect and almost laugh at such an obvious realization. The world is full of hate, stress, sadness, worry and fatigue that doesn't seem to end. But, a big part of helping resolve that is being understanding of the hard days. The ones where you don't want to go to work though you have too. Or the days where you don't want to walk around the neighborhood, but know you'll do it tomorrow. No ones perfectly consistent, because we all feel a bit of sadness. We wouldn't be people if we didn't. In these ways, mental health has given me some of the greatest and most difficult times. My relationships have warped but with a further understanding of one another and the world itself. My goals and aspirations have changed but only to lead a better life, to keep myself healthy and functioning. And I'm thankful I’m able to learn, and write about what I've learned today.