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Eric Collins

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Bio

Goals have been very important to me. Ever since I dropped out of high school, I knew I needed goals. First was to get my GED, which I did, next was my Certificate in Human Services, then moving on to my Associate in Criminal Justice and I started my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a Concentration on Homeland Security which I currently put that on hold but I am working on Crime Scene Technician Certificate. I want to use both my academic knowledge and real-life experiences to tie my Human Services degree and my Criminal Justice degrees together to help within the Homeland Security Field, mostly targeting a career in DEA, FBI, or CIA. I am the first in my family to obtain at least one college degree and I am here showing that I can have three.

Education

Purdue University Global

Associate's degree program
2023 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Criminology
  • Minors:
    • Criminology

Purdue University Global

Associate's degree program
2020 - 2021
  • Majors:
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General

Purdue University Global

Associate's degree program
2019 - 2020
  • Majors:
    • Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Homeland Secuirty

    • Dream career goals:

      DEA or FBI agent

    • Supervisor/Manager

      All work experience
      2012 – Present12 years
    • Sales

      Sears
      2012 – 2012

    Sports

    Boxing

    Intramural
    2010 – 20155 years

    Awards

    • State Championship final

    Research

    • Criminology

      Purdue University Global — Researcher
      2019 – Present

    Arts

    • Freelance

      Drawing
      2010 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      It Gets Better - FD — Youth Ambassador
      2010 – 2014
    • Volunteering

      Beacon of Hope Mens Shelter — Volunteer/Group Leader
      2014 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Stand and Yell Community Impact Scholarship
    While in high school, I noticed that my community was struggling with mental health issues and suicide rates were alarmingly high amongst young teens. So, in high school, I created a group. I called it; S.P.E.A.K. and it stood for Students Providing Effective Advice for Kids. We would meet weekly and this was a space where students could come and be themselves. We provided help to students who were struggling not only with mental health concerns or issues but also helped with school work and family relations. We would have a counselor that would come and sit in with our meetings in case anyone wanted someone with more experience and resources to talk to. Along with this, we would learn about coping skills such as how to cope with stress, fights, stress, anxiety, and more. We would also address suicide and suicide attempts with resources such as the suicide hotline, how to get in touch with counselors, and more. We would hold discussions where if anyone wanted to talk about what they were currently going through with the group they could, otherwise I had a team of leaders that we all could sit down individually to talk to. Along with this, I was also a Student Ambassador with a community anti-bullying and anti-suicide group called It Gets Better - FD. We would hold rallies within the community to promote awareness and curb or stop bullying within our community. They would also hold small groups within the school to talk about bullying and suicide awareness. They would offer resources to students that were available within their community that they might not have known. The experience that I had within these volunteer groups pushed me to go into law enforcement. I currently have two degrees, Human Services Certificate in Child and Family Services and my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, and working towards my Bachelor's in Criminal Justice. While being a cop, I could take a lot of my knowledge from volunteering within these groups to help the community. Having this knowledge can help me address and calm down someone that is going through a mental crisis at the time without making the situation worse than it could be. Having this knowledge can make a big impact on the community and a positive one at that. I believe that all police officers should have this knowledge and skills.
    Greg Lockwood Scholarship
    I am currently getting my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. I have my Associate's degree in criminal justice along with having Human Services certificate in Child and Family Services. With this, I want to be able to make a change by helping those that are struggling with addiction. I identify as a homosexual male and have battled addiction myself. I am going on 7 years sober but I know there are many within the LGBTQ community that suffer from addiction. I want to be in criminal justice to help them before they go into the system, and prevent them from going down a path with addiction where it causes them to not be able to turn around. Being able to talk to those that are battling addiction from my own personal experience can go further than talking to them from a book. Being able to explain how I overcame my addiction and the steps that I used that helped me the most, can really help some people especially if they do not know where to start with getting the help that they are needing. Being able to help people realize that they are not alone in their battle helps tremendously because some people believe that nobody cares about addicts. I want to change the stigma on how people look at addicts and recovering addicts. There need to be more people willing to talk about it instead of just sweeping it under the rug and looking the other way. Being able to talk about it openly is something that I wish I can change especially being a police officer because being in law enforcement you are going to encounter numerous of people that are battling addiction. As long as the person has not broke any laws, law enforcement officers should be able to help them with their addiction if they are looking for help such as finding a rehab facility to take them to, referring them to some services and following up with them. I get that officers have a lot to do but this would help their own community and make them feel good about themselves by being able to make an impact in someones life. Sometimes someone just needs a role model or someone there for them and what better way to accomplish this then having someone that is sworn to serve and protect to be by your side while you are going through the roughest part of your life.
    Trudgers Fund
    I struggled with addiction at a very young age. Going down the wrong path starting at age 16 is not ideal for anyone. Starting at age 16, I abused prescription painkillers and alcohol. My life was in shambles and I didn't care. I wasn't constantly abusing it and just want the high. I started failing at school. I lost custody of my child to his mother and my best friend committed suicide. I ended up dropping out of high school with only 11 credits left. I always had to have my next fix and I didn't care who I was hurting or what I was doing to my own body. I went down a deep hole of depression and most times I could not even bring myself out of it. The only way that I was able to get out of the depression was to have the feeling I got from the pills and alcohol. Come my 21st birthday, I overdosed and nearly died. The next day, I cold turkey cut out my addiction and have been clean ever since. I got my GED and continued on with my education. I got my Human Services Certificate in Child and Family Services, my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice and now working towards my Bachelor's in Criminal Justice. I want to be able to help anyone who is struggling with addiction or educate them before they get into addiction. Having someone who has dealt with it and has overcome it goes a long way in helping those that are battling it. It makes it easier for addicts to open up to former addicts because they know that they have been through it all and that they won't be judged for currently being in addiction. I want to educate those by experience, not by a textbook. I believe everyone can change. I got custody of my child back and have bettered my life. I have an amazing fiance now and a great start with my education. I am hoping to be within law enforcement so I can truly make that difference within my community and hopefully an even larger area as well. I aspire to make a difference in peoples' lives because I have been down that road where I believe that nobody cares for me and that I am alone but in all reality, there are people there to help you, you just have to find them and reach out and want the help.
    Bold Mentor Scholarship
    Being a mentor can have a different meaning for many different people. I look at being a mentor as leading by example. I'm that I can have a lasting impression on people by being able to be the one who is helping those to get on the right path and stay on that path. Showing them that life does have obstacles but you can overcome them and that you are not alone. I'm hoping people seeing me coming from a bad childhood, no high school diploma, and overcoming the obstacles that I have and where I'm at today will give them hope and show them that anything is possible. Being a mentor to me is making an impact in an individual's life that nobody else has. Most don't have someone in their life and they are looking for someone who is there for them and shows that they care about that person as an individual and cares about that person's future, if you can be a mentor by example with stuff that you have overcome, I honestly think that is the greatest way of showing someone that you can overcome anything.
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    Numerous people have been through addiction. Most people look at addiction as a choice rather than a disease, but I can confirm first hand it is in fact a disease. I was in active addiction to pain medication and alcohol from the time I was 16 to the time I was 21. It was a constant battle to try to go through a day without it, my body needed it at the time. Working and going to school was something that I couldn't do unless I was using the addiction and most times it interfered with it every day. Once I turned 21, I had an accidental overdose and almost died. The next day, I quit cold turkey and have been clean since and I am turning 28 in August. Every day is a battle to stay sober and clean. But I am glad to say that today I hold two college degrees and I am working on my Bachelor's and working towards becoming a drug addiction counselor so others can see that it is possible and addicts do recover.
    Bold Nature Matters Scholarship
    Nature is the calm and relaxation that we all need in our lives. Whenever I need a break from studies, work, or the stresses of life, I go to nature. Whether this is going on walks in the woods or just going outside and looking at the stars at night and smelling the fresh air, nature is all around us and it is beautiful. Nature is calming. Nature is there for a reason, most people think it is just something that has to be there. Being one with your mind and nature and being aware of the nature around you, will help both your mental and physical health. Whenever I am feeling down or struggling with issues, I leave the house and submerge myself in nature. Nature is natural healing and most people don't think of it that way, without nature, where would we be at? We have so many plants within nature that help us along with wildlife and water. Sitting in nature just listening to a creek running can take away your problems, even if it is only for a little bit and that is a benefit that most people take for granted, but I am sure one that does not.
    Bold Study Strategies Scholarship
    I always make a list of what I need to do study-wise. These lists are either on my phone with alerts or on my laptop main screen. I have set times that I study for each class. Most times, it is me reading the assigned reading for the class, making sure I am going through and answering any questions that they may have within the chapter or chapters. Next, I go and do my quiz for the unit, which these quizzes are timed and are used as open book. We can take these quizzes multiple times, so the first time I will do it without notes or book. Then I review what I missed and look up the right answers and move on to the next attempt which usually has different questions. The final grade of the last quiz is the one that you get. After this, I make time for my discussion board postings for class. These are interactive with classmates and must have 1 main post and 2 replies on 2 seperate days. These are amazing and make for good educational debates so I participate more than 2 replies in those. Lastly, I work on any and all assignments which I can usually do within 2 or 3 hours depending on my study habits for those classes. I say the way I do my studying is amazing because I graduated with my Associates of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology with Cum Laude Honors.
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    Currently, I have numerous goals set for myself and my future. First, I am wanting to complete my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security which I should complete within the next year. I am trying to get into an ExcelTrack program so I can complete it sooner and cheaper and move on to my Masters in Criminal Justice. I am wanting to teach at my University, which is Purdue University Global. While doing that, I either want to be a drug counselor helpign those suffering from addiction and prevention from going into the criminal justice system and I want to get into the Homeland Security field, which I'm not 100% sure where at within it but somewhere in it where I can be best of use with my knowledge and skills.I see myself in 10 years teaching at Purdue University Global and in a department of Homeland Security such as DEA or ATF, something along those lines, which I would be able to do both. Help protect the future generations and help teach that future generation is my big end goal.
    Bold Wise Words Scholarship
    Nobody is perfect and the only perfect person to ever walk the earth was nailed to a cross. This spoke volumes to me hearing this at a young age. You can always try to be perfect but nobody is ever completely perfect. If we were all perfect, we wouldn't be on earth. My grandma always told me this and she was told by her mom and it seems to have gone down generations. This is true, try to be the best version of perfect that you can be for yourself because your version might be different than someone else and they might think you are doing wrong but in your life, you are doing everything right that you need to. No matter where you go in life, someone is going to be judging every move you make and every decision that you have, but it is your life and as long as you are making the choices and the best choices for your life then that is true all that matters. The only perfect person that has ever walked the earth, knows what you have to do and what you have to decide to have your version of a perfect life so you need not give anybody an explanation for your choices or actions because it is not theirs, to begin with.
    College Showdown Scholarship
    Isaac Yunhu Lee Memorial Arts Scholarship
    I drew this piece while I was in high school. It was intended for my then-boyfriend and he got it as a tattoo. He wanted something meaningful with his last name on it. He committed suicide when I was 16, so then it became a memorial tattoo that I have tattooed on me today. This drawing represented the people that had passed on before him and that was the reasoning behind him wanting something drawn up. I was really into drawing up tattoos at the time and he wanted me to draw something up as I and him were together and he wanted it to have more meaning than just being a tattoo. To this day, after having it tattooed on me, it means so much more than a memorial to Cole, it is a symbol of the life that he lived. It inspired me to get it tattooed on me so that he could physically be with me every day. It's in memory of him now but we never thought that it would have to be that. Drawing this up when he was wanting the idea for the tattoo, it took me months to get it right because he was wanting something perfect and I wanted it to symbolize the love that I had for him at the time along with the compassion that I had for all of the people that he had lost before. This drawing took a lot of time because of the detail that is included in the wings and within the cross. It memorializes both him and the loved ones that he lost before his death as well. This drawing took a lot of emotion for me to complete and I had to redraw it after he passed to be able to get it tattooed on me and that caused me to put more emotion into it and changed it up to what the picture attached shows like today.
    Artists and Writers in the Community Scholarship
    Growing up, I was always told that I wasn't going to amount to anything. I came from a home where I grew up poor and in poverty. My mother had numerous mental health issues and lived off of the government. Nobody expected me to make anything of myself until I started showing numerous interests in art. I had attended numerous art shows at our local mall where the local artists would showcase their artwork. I was always shocked at how amazing the artwork looked. I would always take a notepad with me and jot down what I learned from each piece and numerous different techniques that were used within the drawing and paintings. This helped me on countless occasions because I could see how different artists would use techniques and tricks with their paintings and drawings, which could further help me with my artwork. My favorite teacher in high school had a huge impact on my life. I never liked high school, so for a teacher to have an impact on my life meant the world to me. It was my art teacher, Mrs.Zoselous, who pushed me to my creative limits, and I am forever grateful to her for that. I never believed in my artistic abilities and she was the very first one to get behind me and push me. She is the one who taught me to draw and paint with emotion. I was going through numerous mental health issues at the time. She taught me to be able to release my emotions in my drawings and paintings, instead of bottling them up like I had been doing for so many years. She is the one who made high school bearable for me. There are many different ways that art can help communities. Most times, there are numerous art events in most communities across the United States. Art helps the community to be able to stand out from the rest. It is always for every community to be different than the rest. It also allows the community to support their local artists who otherwise might go unnoticed. In my community, we have most of the local artists do mural drawings around town. Whether it's on buildings or under bridges, the community comes together and helps to showcase the local artists and their talents. This makes the artists known so then that way everyone knows who the one is that drew it and how talented they are. This shows the artists so much support from the community, which has been increasing and more and more murals are popping up around town such as grain silos being painted, side of a fish store with an aquatic theme, and a valley painted on pillars underneath a bridge. In my first drawing in high school, I received a failing grade for it. I spent so much time drawing and put so much effort into it, and when I received it back with my grade, I instantly broke down and had tears in my eyes. My teacher held me back after class and explained to me why I got the grade I did. I got the grade because I went too far outside of the instructions for the drawings. She said she had to grade it that way because the instructions were not followed, but she assured me that it wasn't because the drawing wasn't good, she said it was outstanding and she was amazed at how much time, effort, and detail that I had put into it. She has nominated my drawing for the student art show that spring, and I ended up winning the student art show I won $500 to spend on art supplies of my choosing and the school won money for the art program as well. The fact that one single small drawing changed my entire life, is what is amazing about art. I am including a picture of that exact drawing that changed my life. It's a memory piece for a good friend that committed suicide and I had used that drawing and got it tattooed on myself.
    Veterans Next Generation Scholarship
    Being born into a Military family isn't for everyone, the family that you are a part of is something that has been built on structure, discipline, honor, and respect. My Great Grandfather and my Grandfather were in World War 1 and 2. My dad was Military Police. My Grandfather was military police, needless to say, growing up, even though my grandfathers weren't in my life, I could still feel the structure that they had built for their future generations. This had instilled numerous lessons and a sense of respect down the family line. Knowing that the men in my life before me and my father all served this country, was something I was proud of. I tried to enlist into the Army, but since I had a torn ACL, I wasn't able to join. I learned lessons from my dad about honor, dignity, and respect. He told me when I wasn't able to join, he said son "Just because you can't serve in the Army, doesn't mean you can't serve this great country of ours", I can still hear him saying that today, even though he is no longer with us. I took every piece of my father's advice to heart. My grandmother kept numerous pictures and stories of my Grandfathers, it had inspired me beyond words. I took what my dad had said to and put it into action. Of course, it took me a while to figure everything out. But I enrolled in college. I got my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, after that I continued with my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice and completed that in January 2022. I enrolled immediately in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration on Homeland Security. I want to work with homeland security in a division such as the DEA, ATF, or the FBI. I can make the men in my life before me proud by continuing with their legacy and serving this country as they did, just in a different way. Everything that I do, I do it with respect, honor, and courage. I do everything the way that my father would and I would hope that my father is up there looking down on me and is smiling knowing that I am working towards being able to serve and protect the same way that he did. Being the child and grandchild of a military vet has made me mentally and physically strong and I couldn't be more proud and happy with how far I have come with the strength from my family before me.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    I have had numerous experiences with mental health issues, not only personally but within relationships too. I grew up with my mother who was always paranoid, never wanted to leave the house, and was always moody. I didn't understand then, that she was suffering from mental health illnesses. I have dealt with a lot of mental health illnesses. I suffer from ADHD, dyslexia, bipolar, depression, PTSD, and night terrors. This has caused me numerous issues. I dropped out of school due to my mental health issues. It caused numerous setbacks for me in my life, along with numerous suicide attempts and me self-medicating to cope with it all. It caused me to go into active addiction. While being in addiction and my mental health state, I was always in abusive relationships that I thought were good for me but looking back on it now, I can see that they were not healthy for me. Once I was sober from my addictions, I could see what I was suffering from and reached out to get help, from a professional and legal medication prescription. Since being able to realize what was going on with me, I have had a better life and have a better future for myself. I currently hold two college degrees. My first is my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my second is my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. I am currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. The school has been extremely hard, especially with ADHD and dyslexia. Having trouble concentrating has set me behind in some of my classes and it takes me a while to catch up. With my dyslexia, it makes it hard when I am writing essays and papers because I always confuse stuff and write it backward or the wrong way, so the time it takes me to write an essay or a paper doubles because I have to write it slow and always go back over it numerous times to make sure it is right. Currently, my fiance suffers from numerous mental health issues. I have to deal with that every day with him. He has had these issues all of his life and has had numerous inpatient hospital visits due to his mental health, along with numerous suicide attempts. We work every day to help him deal with his issues and he is getting better every day, with learning how to cope with new skills and new treatments. This along with therapy and medications help him the most. He is also in college and almost done with his certificate degree, as this proves that even while having mental health issues, you can still achieve your goals and dreams. At the end of this month, I will be starting my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This is where I can help people the most. I can counsel patients with my experiences with both mental health illnesses and drug addictions. This is where I need to be at the current time in my life and this is where I can make the biggest impact in people's lives.
    Paige's Promise Scholarship
    From the age of 16 to 21, I was in active addiction. I was addicted to alcohol and prescription pain medication. For 5 long years, I was using those substances to self-medicate, I lost my boyfriend to suicide which caused me to go down a very dark and lonely road. Once I was on that road, it took a long time before it was light enough for me to see a way off of it. Shortly before I turned 21, my son, my heart and soul, was killed in a car accident. During the month after, it was all a blur, there wasn't a moment that I wasn't drunk or high off of the pain medications. Until the day after I turned 21 when I almost lost my life to an overdose. The next day, I quit my addictions cold turkey and started my road of recovery. I currently have two degrees now and am almost 7 years sober. I have my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. Currently pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. My end educational goal is my Masters's in Criminal Justice. At the end of this month, I will be starting my career. This is the point where I am so proud of the strength that I had to be in recovery, I will be starting as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This will be at a women's residential treatment facility where most women are either going through withdrawals from active addiction or those that are in or just started their recovery. Women's children are also allowed to reside with them there, especially if the women are working on getting their children back from the state after losing them due to their addictions. I love telling my story, not that I am looking for sympathy, but to encourage people to find their inner strength, even if they think they don't have it. I want people to look at me and be like he had the strength to get through everything and to be in recovery for 7 years, so I can do this. I have always believed that a good counselor teaches and supports their patients through their own life experience because the patients can connect with their counselor on a more even level and the patient can feel comfortable and feel like they won't be judged or looked down upon. I'm hoping I can make an impact on numerous lives while being a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, but even if I only can get a few people to realize their true inner strength and can help them get to recovery and to stay in recovery, then I will have done what I need to do and I will keep doing it that way because we do recover.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    I think the biggest thing that needs to happen to help people who struggle with mental health illnesses is to stop letting the illness describe them. There is so much negativity with this and they use the person's issues to define them. No medical or mental health issue defines someone as a person and they are not less of a person because they have a mental health condition. Most times, this is why people don't reach out for help when they are suffering from a mental health episode because they are afraid of the judgments that they would receive. It's no different than going to a doctor for a cold because that cold does not define who you are as a person and neither do mental health illnesses. I suffer from ADHD, dyslexia, PTSD, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety, and night terrors, but this does not describe nor define me. What defines me is that I'm someone strong enough to battle my mental health issues and complete two college degrees and is working on his bachelor's and working towards the end goal of a master's. Once the stigma around mental health is gone, and when more people understand why mental health illnesses are caused and what is causing them, then, and only then will it help more people to want the help because then they are not being defined by their illness.
    Hobbies Matter
    Over the years I have found numerous hobbies that have interested me from yard work, painting houses, building furniture out of wood, assembling model cars, and more. But my favorite hobby out of all of the ones that I have is drawing. I suffer from numerous mental health illnesses. I have ADHD, dyslexia, manic depression, bipolar, PTSD, and night terrors. Whenever I get worked up over something, I grab a pencil and paper and just start drawing. Drawing has become a release for me. There have been so many times that I have had so many feelings bottled up and had no safe release for them until I found how much drawing can help. Being able to draw, even if you're not good at it, helps you release all of your emotions safely. There are so many ways that you can have emotions in drawings. Usually, if I am having a bad night with night terrors due to PTSD, I will draw what I saw in the dream. It helps me to be able to get the image out of my head and help me to understand that it was just a dream and nothing more, it shows me that the dream is not just like it isn't on the paper. This is a therapeutic way of dealing with my mental health issues and it has helped me far more than any therapy or counseling ever will. When I can't concentrate on schooling, I will take a break and start drawing, and the moment that I bring out my sketch pad and my pens, I can fully concentrate on the drawing. After I have completed drawing, I feel free and relaxed, it is almost as if a ton of weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Over the years having the hobby of drawing has saved my life numerous times from suicidal thoughts and it has also helped my partner to understand what mental health issues I am currently battling at that specific point and time.
    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Recovery to mean means strength and honesty. Being in recovery takes a lot. You have to have the strength to keep pushing and to push away the cravings of the addictions. First, you have to be honest with yourself to get help and get into recovery, then you must be honest when you need help while recovering because relapses do happen and those thoughts do come. Having the strength to know what enough is enough and honesty to be able to admit you have a problem is where it all begins to get better. Follow the honesty and your strength, you have to dig deep to find the strength to go through withdrawals and to start the recovery process, but your life and your future depend on your strength in the recovery.
    Matthews Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
    For most of my life I have had adversity within it. There are numerous battles that I have faced both mentally, physically, and emotionally. The biggest battle that I faced was that of active addiction and my volunteer work at a local homeless shelter is what pushed me to get sober. I was inactive addiction from the time I was 16 to 21. I was extremely depressed due to the suicide of my boyfriend and the harassment and bullying I endured after admitting my sexuality in high school. I had been volunteering at a local homeless shelter since I was 14. This homeless shelter is an all-men's shelter. Most of the residents of this shelter are Veterans and those that suffer from mental health issues and drug addictions. Being able to volunteer there was a blessing because I got to meet some amazing guys who are now a part of my family. Meeting with and listening to stories about what some of these guys had been through such as the Veterans who came back from war with PTSD and had nothing until they went to the shelter or the guys that are active drug addicts and will do anything to get their next high. Numerous times, I heard stories that made me stop and think that my life really isn't that bad and that my battles seem so small compared to what they have endured and they are still here fighting today. Once I became sober, I continued my education by enrolling in Purdue University Global. I now have two degrees behind me, which are; Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. I am currently working towards my Bachelor's in Criminal Justice with a concentration on Homeland Security. At the end of this month, I will be starting my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I am continuing to learn of good ways to keep going strong in my recovery. I want to be the one that current addicts turn to for support because they know that I went through it and that I am still here fighting today. I want to teach those in addiction from my experiences and stories and I believe that makes a good counselor, as they are more willing to open up and trust you, knowing that you know exactly where they are coming from and what they experienced. This is so much more effective than preaching or lecturing from a book. I hope to continue my education after my bachelor's and obtain my Master and move on to teach at Purdue University Global along with being the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
    Mikey Taylor Memorial Scholarship
    I have suffered from numerous mental health issues for as long as I can remember, I am only 27 but I have been through a lot and I am here today saying that I have either learned to live with them or have them under control. Growing up I never quite knew what I was suffering from or what was going on with me. I always had problems with school such as paying attention, finishing homework, passing classes and even wanting to go to school. When I was 16 I began to self-medicate and those issues went away. I was inactive addiction and my choices were alcohol and prescription pain medications. I suffered from deep depression and bipolar during that time and dropped out of high school due to that and bullying due to my sexuality. I got sober when I turned 21 because of an accidental overdose of my addictions and I quit cold turkey the next day and have been sober for almost 7 years now. Once I was done self-medicating, I could see what my mental health issues were. I was suffering from ADHD and dyslexia, which explained a lot of the issues that I had during my school years. I was also suffering from PTSD and night terrors due to prior sexual abuse. Now that I am being medicated with the right medication and prescription medication, I have a whole new outlook on life. Even with dyslexia and ADHD, I have already completed two college degrees. It hasn't been easy but I can say that I have done it. First, I have my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and the next one was my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. I am currently working towards my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. After I finish that, I want to move on to my Masters's degree and after completing that, I want to teach at Purdue University Global, where I have received all of my degrees. Currently, I am waiting to start my career at the end of this month. I will be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, at an all-women's residential treatment facility. This is where I can help the most especially since I have been through addiction and I am still in recovery. Also, I have been through mental health illnesses and still fight them every day. I believe that now I know what illnesses I have and the proper way of treating them my relationships have gotten stronger with friends, family, and my partner. It's been a blessing in disguise having these but I wouldn't be where I am at today if I didn't have them. Just because you have a mental health illness does not mean it defines you, and I am living proof of that.
    William M. DeSantis Sr. Scholarship
    In my short time on this earth, I have learned numerous life lessons within 27 years. From never taking anyone for granted to always telling someone you love them because you never know if they will be here tomorrow. The biggest life lesson that I learned is to never doubt how strong you can be. This was especially tested when I was in active addiction. It took a near-death experience for me to want to get sober, which after a close call with an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription pain medicine, I cold turkey quit the next day and have been sober for almost 7 years now. Having to go through withdrawals and starting recovery alone, I had no other option than to be strong. Some days I thought that it was going to kill me but I reached deep down in my soul and found strength that I never knew I had. Being able to get sober and go through recovery on my own, showed me that I have a good amount of strength. And doing so, encouraged me to go back to school and to work on preventing people from having to go through what I had to go through. Seeing my strength, made me believe that I can overcome anything that is set in front of me. Being able to overcome this, made me a better person because now I have a better outlook on life and have a bright future. Currently, I hold two college degrees, first is my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, and secondly my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. I am currently working on my Bachelor's in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. At the end of the month, I am starting my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This will be at a women's substance abuse facility. This will help me to be able to help people who are going through addiction as I did. I have always believed that a good counselor is someone who teaches and listens from personal experience and life stories, not one that lectures or preaches from a book. This will better help the person you are counseling because they will know that you understand where they are coming from because you have been there yourself and they know that you are not going to think less of them or be judgemental. Being strong will come into play being a counselor as well because I will have to listen to stories about someone worse times in their life and their children live's because a lot of these women have lost their kids to the state or they are getting them back and the kids are residing with them at the facility. Knowing my strength will help me teach others how to find their inner strength that they don't even know that they have.
    Tyde Memorial Scholarship
    Obtaining this scholarship will help me continue in my educational career. Currently, I am working towards my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice concentrating on Homeland Security while I already have obtained my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. Once I complete my Bachelor's Degree, I am going to continue with my Master's in Criminal Justice. Being awarded this scholarship would lighten the financial load I will be having to pay to finish my educational career out of pocket. By being able to be awarded this scholarship, it will help me complete the second biggest goal that I have ever set for myself. My first goal was to quit my addiction to alcohol and prescription pain medication and to be sober, which I will be sober for 7 years this year, and my second goal was to be the first within my family to obtain a college degree and now I am working on number three and wanting to get number four after my Bachelor's. At the end of this month, I am going to be starting my career. I will be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. It will be for an all-women's residential treatment facility where they are either in active addiction and going through detox or they are inactive recovery. I will be supporting them through the transition of active use and recovery. Most have lost their children to the State due to their addiction and some have gotten them back and their children are residing with them at the facility. This is where I will be using my knowledge of both Human Services and Criminal Justice to help those that are going through and battling the same issues that I have overcome. Being able to complete my degrees will help me to better help those within my community. I have always wanted to help people. And I believe that being a good counselor advises previous life experiences and life stories so then the person you are helping doesn't feel like you are lecturing or preaching to them from a book. I believe that people can learn from my story, I don't tell my story for sympathy because my story made me the man that I am today, I tell it so people can learn from my mistakes and not go down the same road that I have traveled down and the road that I refuse to ever go down again.
    Lo Easton's “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship
    1. I deserve this scholarship only because I deserve to have everything handed to me. Kind of like a silver spoon baby. 2. Academic goals are something of fantasy and only fools believe in the fantasy of having a good academic career. 3. I have not overcome any sustainable obstacles, I have just walked around them.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    Up until 2019 I did not see education being a part of my life, I thought I was only going to have my GED and that was going to be it. In 2019, after a lot of volunteer work with homeless shelters, dealing with people who had mental illnesses and suffered from addiction like I did until I got sober, I realized that I needed to do something about it. In 2019, I enrolled in college. I obtained my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services. After that in 2020, I decided to switch studies and started my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, which I completed in January 2022. Now, I am enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. After completing my certificate, I realized that I needed an education in criminal justice as well. These two career paths go hand in hand. Whether it be those suffering from mental health illnesses, drug addiction, domestic abuse, and so on, they all go hand in hand with criminal justice. This is something that I wanted to do because I wanted the knowledge within Human Services and Criminal Justice to be able to help people in my community. I want to be able to provide education and support to people who are involved with both human services such as child services and the criminal justice system. I believe I can be a good resource for people due to my past experiences. I am waiting to start my career at the end of the month as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This will be at a women's residential treatment facility. Where the women are either currently inactive addiction or are in recovery and need support for the ups and downs of recovery. It can be more beneficial because I believe that a good counselor can help from past experiences and can relate to their patient. I believe that this is better because patients don't want to feel like they are being lectured or preached to by a book. It will make the patient feel more comfortable to ask for help or willing to work through issues with you because they don't see you as judgemental, they see you as a support system. By being their support system, I could help them avoid being wrapped up in the criminal justice system or relapsing back into drug abuse. I believe I can bring some change. Maybe not to the world, but I am determined to help bring some change to my community and the way that people are treated just because of their past mistakes and past addictions.
    Larry Darnell Green Scholarship
    A single-parent household is a struggle. People don't see what happens to the children in a single-parent household. I grew up in poverty. We didn't have money, we lived off of the government every month. My mother suffered from mental health issues and took it out on mainly me as a child. Growing up, I didn't care about my education. I was always not passing a class and having issues doing work and homework and had no help and I didn't realize until I was an adult that I was suffering from ADHD and dyslexia. This explained a lot to me looking back on what was going on in my school years. Once I was an adult and was able to stay sober and in recovery, I was able to medicate with prescriptions instead of abusing prescription pain medications and alcohol. This made me realize that I had the potential to be something bigger than I was and something better than what I was shown growing up. Coming from poverty and drug addiction, being able to say that I made it is something that I am extremely proud of, I'm not where I want to be in life, but I am sure glad that I am not where I was at. Currently, I hold two college degrees. My first degree is a Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my second degree is my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, I finished my certificate in 2020 and went straight to my Associates which I finished in January 2022. Now I am currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. Right now, I am waiting to start my new career at the end of the month. I will be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This will be at a woman's residential treatment facility. These women are currently in active addiction or recovery. Some have lost their children to the state and working to get them back or they are single mothers and have their children staying there with them. I can help them by educating them from personal experience instead of preaching from a book. I believe the best counselor is someone who can relate with their patient from experience within active addiction and the ups and downs of recovery. This is where I can give back to the community using my degrees to help prevent relapses and prevent them from becoming criminals. This is where I can make the biggest impact within my community.
    Mary P. Perlea Scholarship Fund
    Growing up, I grew up in poverty. My mother didn't complete middle school and my father didn't complete high school. My mother suffered from mental illnesses that she would take out on me and my siblings. All through growing up and in my teenage years, I suffered from numerous mental health issues and learning disabilities that I did not know I had until I was an adult. When I turned 16, I started abusing alcohol and prescription pain medication. I was inactive addiction all through high school and came out as bisexual in my junior year of high school. I was already suffering from mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, and bipolar. I was subjected to discrimination from both students and teachers, so I dropped out with only needing 11 credits to graduate. While in addiction, I was able to complete my GED. After this, I only bounced around from job to job, never wanted to work, always just wanted to fix my addiction cravings. Once I turned 21, I had a near-death experience due to an accidental overdose with alcohol and prescription pain medications. The next day, I quit cold turkey and I am going on 7 years sober this year. I currently have two degrees, first my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, and my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. Currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with Concentration in Homeland Security. At the end of the month, I will be starting my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor at a women's residential treatment facility. This is somewhere I can put my education and personal experiences to use and help those that people have turned their backs to and do not want to help. This is somewhere you can show addicts that people do care and not everyone is judgemental. This is where I can help women to start trusting a male again if they were a victim of domestic abuse. I believe being a good counselor is someone who can relate to a patient from past experiences instead of preaching and lecturing to them from a book. I believe patients would be more willing to listen and learn if they are not being preached to rather just learning from someone who has made it through addiction and recovery. Support system through the ups and downs of recovery is an essential key to staying sober.
    Bold Future of Education Scholarship
    The biggest thing that comes to mind for me when thinking about what would make education better for future generations is free college. College is expensive and continues to rise. It sets so many students in debt as soon as they become an adult. The average college student has over $30,000 in debt. Throughout our first twelve years of schooling, they had prepared us for college. We are told to continue with our education to get degrees to get the good-paying jobs or careers that we want. What I think should be taught before we graduate high school is how much college costs. We're not prepared enough to understand how much college education costs. If you are not a student that can obtain college scholarships in high school or have the funds within the family to go to college, then you are looking at going into debt, I believe if college was free for all, we could eliminate the debt that students are put into. If we were to have free college, we would see college graduation rates skyrocket. We would be seeing more people in a career that they will stay in rather than jobs where people bounce around and have no financial security. Having this access would help those that are born and raised in poverty a chance at having a better future than what they originally thought would happen with their life. By achieving this, the rich don't get richer and the poor can survive by obtaining a degree where they can earn a living that is representative of their skills and knowledge. This is something that has needed to happen for many years but also won't happen anytime soon unless more people are on board with it and support it, to support the future generations of college students. Those students that couldn't afford college could have been President of The United States if they had access to either affordable college or free college.
    JoLynn Blanton Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up education wasn't important to me. I suffered from numerous mental health issues throughout high school and when I was 16 I started abusing alcohol and prescription pain medication. Once I was out of my addiction at 21 and have been sober since I realized that it wasn't education that I wasn't interested in, it was the issues I suffering from causing me to think that. I suffer from ADHD and dyslexia, among depression, bipolar, and PTSD. Once I had this under control I was ready to learn more. Going to college and getting my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, opened my eyes, and I wanted to take my knowledge and help those people who are suffering through the same things that I did. So after I obtained my certificate, I enrolled in my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, which I finished in January of 2022, and then I started my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. Being able to tie the fields of human services and criminal justice together is something that I was aiming for and after getting my associate's degree, I see that I can do this. My education so far has made me look at the world differently and see that if we prevent people from becoming victims of addictions, domestic violence, and more, we can prevent them from becoming criminals. This is something that I only wished that I could be able to do and now I can do this. All thanks to me going through those exact circumstances myself. At the end of the month, I am entering my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This is a women's residential treatment facility. This is one place where I can help women through recovery. And not just recovery from substance abuse. This is where I can take my education and life experiences to help them be able to trust a male again after a domestic abuse situation. This is something that my education has prepared me for and had opened my eyes to see that more prevention and education are needed to be able to help people not become victims. This is something that can be ongoing and will always be evolving because of changing times but the statement is true that prevention needs to happen so we can decrease the number of people becoming addicts and people becoming victims of domestic abuse, both me and women.
    Grandmaster Nam K Hyong Scholarship
    I have overcome numerous obstacles in my life. I dropped out of high school my junior year with only lacking 11 credits of completing my high school diploma. I was suffering from nermous mental health issues and discrimination due to my sexuality. During this time, I was in active addiction, abusing alcohol and prescription pain medication. After I dropped out, a few months later, I enrolled in my local Community College to obtain my GED. I was able to obtain my GED within a month after starting the classes. I continued on in active addiction, which was causing me to not be able to hold down a job or to even want to work. During my addiction I lost numerous friends and family members. I was involved in abusive relationships that I thought was love due to the fact that I couldn't see clearly enough due to my addiction. I had even lost custody of my son that I had at the age of 14, due to me allowing addiction to overtake my life. After I turned 21, I had a near death experience with an accidental overdose of alcohol and pain medication. The next day I quit cold turkey and I am coming up on 7 years of being sober. During the transition of active addiction to soberity, I learned exactly how strong I really am. I had hit rock bottom and was completely alone. My addiction had started at the age of 16 due to my boyfriend committing suicide. At first, it was a fun night celebrating the life of my boyfriend. Then it turned into an excuse to be able to cope. It was an excuse to numb the pain and try to forgot what had actually happened. And before I had my near death experience, I lost my son in a car accident, he was only 7 years old. I was so mad at life, God, his mother, everyone, I was completely alone in life now and had no reason to keep on. That was my thinking while I was slowly killing myself with my addiction. The field of study that I am focusing the most on is Criminal Justice. Firstly, I got my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, after that I obtained my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice in January of 2022, and currently enrolled in the Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with concentration in Homeland Security. I wish to incorporate my knowledge of human services and criminal justice to help those that are addicts, abusers, and more, before they get wrapped up in the criminal justice system. I want to be able to prevent adicts from committing crimes and want to be able to be support for families before abusive behaviors start. I am wanting to help families before issues involving human services and criminal justice happen. Education and prevention is something that is needed in both areas. Especially those that are predisposed to becoming an addict or becoming an abuser. This would cut back on the amount of domestic abuses and the amount of addicts that are causing so much hurt and pain within families and relationships. I'm currently waiting to start my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This will be at a womans residential facility, where they live. it is funded by Medicaid and the women can stay for up to 90 days. Most women are there with their children. This will be a good place to start with what I am wanting to change in the world, because these women have hit rock bottom with addiction, loosing children to the State, and most are victims of domestic abuse. Working as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor, I can start somewhere in a place where I can educate people on the battles of addiction and the ups and downs of recovery. By being a male counselor, the women who have suffered domestic abuse can learn to be able to talk to and trust another male again. I believe I will make a good counselor, especially by way of educating and teaching from personal experiences and life events that happened to me. I do not believe that a counselor should preach from a book as patients can relate better to the personal experiences of their counselor. By doing this, those you are counseling will know that you are not judgemental and that you are not trying to act like they are better than them. I am driven to help as many people as I can. This is something that I have always wanted to do in life. I wanted to be the voice of the voiceless, especially those that are too afraid to speak up or for those who can't. I am determined to complete my Bachelor's Degree with the same GPA as my other two which is between 3.6-3.7 and then I want to continue on with my master's degree. I want to get my Master's degree and start teaching at my University along with being a drug counselor. I know that I will be able to as long as I stay strong and focused.
    Jameela Jamil x I Weigh Scholarship
    Ever since I was a teenager, I have always put other people ahead of me. I've made sure that other people are taken care of before myself. When I was 14, I started volunteering at my local homeless shelter. This is an all men's shelter where most of the residents are Veterans and those that suffer from mental health disabilities. Most of these men do not have any family that they can rely on. These men have hit rock bottom either due to mental health illness, drug addiction, or no income. I've always been one that wanted to help people and this was the place that I needed to be. Numerous of these guys, just like almost every human being, want to know that someone cares about them. Most of these men are thinking that their lives are over and that this is where they are going to live for the rest of their life because they have no resources, no family, and have given up hope. I enjoyed seeing these men every day. Some of the guys are the nicest guys that you can ever meet. They just needed to know someone is there for them. Every day, I would sit with these men and drink coffee and have cookies and listen to life stories from them. Some of them would give good advice about situations that they had been in and some of the men didn't even realize that they were giving good advice that could very well help people get through issues or situations. Some of the guys were leery of talking so I would break the ice with them by playing cards or one of their favorite board games. I got to a point where I considered all the men at the shelter my family. Along with giving them company and someone to lean on, I would also help the men with numerous different things. One of the biggest things that I would help them with would be to help those get their GED if they were wanting to pursue it. I would help with study guides and prepare them for their tests. I would also help them with applications for assistance such as disability, VA pensions, housing applications, food assistance, and much more. I would also eat with them after I served them their meals. This made them feel like I was an equal and I wasn't just someone who was preaching to them. I would socialize with them and also tell them my story and what I have been through in my short amount of time while being alive. Helping these guys made me realize that the stuff that I go through seems so small compared to what some of these men have been through and it was an inspiration to me as they are still alive and fighting through all these issues. I realized that if they could do, so could I.
    Ace Spencer Rubin Scholarship
    When people look at me they don't believe that I have both a mental and physical disability. Physical disabilities aren't always seen and the same with mental health disabilities. I suffer from numerous chronic pain issues caused by numerous broken ribs due to domestic assaults. I also suffer from a torn ACL that can not be repaired. I am in constant pain from these two issues every day, but I try my best to continue with life. I suffer from internal issues such as IBS and further issues regarding stomach, eating, and more. This causes issues such as being out in public for a long period or even working a job where it can interfere because of numerous bathroom breaks and more. I have suffered numerous concussions from abuse which has caused me to have consistent headaches that affect my vision, memory, thoughts, train of thought, and relationship connections. Even though I suffer from this, I have high hopes for a bright future. I got my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services with a 3.6 GPA and I graduated with my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice with a 3.7 GPA. Disabilities do not define a person, what the person can accomplish with the disabilities is what can define that person. Overcoming the odds of both my mental health and physical disabilities has always been a goal of mine and I am currently overcoming the odds and the perception of those who are disabled only live off of the government. I work jobs that I can do with my disabilities. I am currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security, which I won't have enough financial aid to complete so I will have out-of-pocket expenses for the degree, and this is where the scholarship would help me complete my dreams. Hopefully, at the end of the month, I will be putting my degrees to good use as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I want to help others that suffer from the same disabilities, especially those that don't think they can achieve their dreams. I want to be proof that you can have a bright future and complete degrees even though you might think your disabilities could stop you. Only thing is that the disabilities can slow you down on your path and that is when you must find ways to overcome those disabilities and ways to work around them to be able to achieve your dreams and goals. Every person is afforded the right of being able to achieve their goals, the disabled are included in that as well.
    Pro-Life Advocates Scholarship
    I am a firm believer that every one human being is on earth for a reason. Not one single person does not have a purpose on earth, we all have different purposes and that is what makes every life unique. Being a Criminal Justice major has helped me learn and see how the justice system looks at life and that of the unborn life. I do not agree with how they classify a baby as not a human until it takes a breath outside of the womb. Learning about this and how they treat an unborn child made me sick to my stomach. I have watched Law and Order SVU and have heard it referenced in the show but learning about it in a class made it even much worse. I believe that even though the unborn child has not taken a breath, it is still a human. When women are pregnant, they do everything that they can to provide for the baby in the womb. The mother eats the right food for the baby so the baby can grow and develop, the same way the mother would feed the baby outside of the womb. The mother goes to the doctor for checkups to make sure the baby is healthy and on track, the same way a child would go to the doctor for checkups once they are born. Everything that is done for a child outside of the womb is the same that would happen with the baby in the womb, so how can the baby not be considered a human? Also, if you do not want the baby that you had, there are numerous different options. Some so many families want to have children but can't. A lot of women can't have children due to medical issues such as infertility, previous cancer diagnosis, or other medical issues. Sometimes, their husbands or boyfriends are the ones that are infertile due to low semen counts or whatever that medical condition can be. These couples that suffer from medical conditions would do anything to be able to adopt a baby and give them a loving home and family. Also, some families want children but can't such as couples that are of the same sex. These couples have to jump through numerous hoops to be able to adopt a child, so if they weren't in it to give a child an amazing home full of love and prosperity, they wouldn't go through those hoops to be able to adopt an unwanted child. This proves that an unborn child should have rights and dignity, they should not be aborted or just referred to as a fetus, because it is a living human being. I try to teach about pro-life to those that educationally are for abortion with the college knowledge and examples.
    Bold Joy Scholarship
    Joy to me means that when you lay your head down at night and before you go to sleep, you can smile because you know that everything that you did that day made a positive impact on someone's life and that you should be someone that you cared for. I have always been a person that wants to help people. If I see someone that is suffering whether it be they are looking sad and down or if they are having a bad day, I am usually the first to ask them what is wrong or try to jump in and make their day better, even if it is just for a few minutes. I believe that the gesture of showing someone that you care can bring great happiness to not only you but to the person that you are willing to go out of your way to help. People in the world need to know that there is someone out there that cares about them. No matter what your life situation is, if you're a drug addict, I am there to help and listen. You are the richest person in the world and you're having a bad day, I am there to listen. Compassion, I believe goes a long way and I would rather have 50 people reach out to me for advice or a shoulder to cry on, than those 50 people going through life thinking that someone doesn't care and that they are alone. Nobody should ever have to feel alone or that they have nobody to turn to because I get joy in being that person that people can count on.
    Bold Loving Others Scholarship
    Throughout my life, I had never really had anyone who was consistently there for me, no matter if it was for something good or if I was going through something bad, I always had to go through it alone. Once I was a teenager, I made sure that everyone in my life knew that they could depend on me. Now, all my friends and family know that I am there for people, no matter what. I am always willing to listen if someone is having any issues and always willing to help with advice if they need it. People who are asked what type of person I usually say he will give the shirt off his back for anyone in need, especially if he doesn't have a lot himself. I believe that showing people that you care make a complete difference in their life and it is a good difference. Sometimes that person who is having the worst day ever just needs to know that someone will listen to them and that someone does in fact care about them. Listening and being there for someone can go a long way, and it doesn't cost you anything besides a little bit of your time. And that little bit of time that you are spending with someone, could be the time where a person changes their outlook on life. I believe that we are all here for a reason and I believe that my reason is to help people and that is what I am doing and going to continue to do.
    Bold Motivation Scholarship
    In my life, I have had to have stuff motivate me. Mostly, I have always wanted to be a better me than I am. Growing up, I didn't have family support or structure, so I always had to motivate myself to get to where I am at today. I had to motivate myself to break my addiction and to get sober. Doing so was making it so my future would be better and that I would have the best opportunities that I could to be the best me that I can be. I have always wanted a better life than what I had growing up and I am doing whatever I can to make sure that the life I am living right now is the best. I have motivated myself to go to college. I wanted a higher education instead of just my GED to help myself be a better me. So as of right now, I have my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice and am currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration on Homeland Security. And to make me the best that I can be, I want to give back to the community of which I am a part. So at the end of the month, I will be starting my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor at a local substance abuse facility.
    Bold Best Skills Scholarship
    I believe that I have numerous skills that I can use no matter the situation. I think the skill that I have mastered to be the best is the skill of listening. I always listen with an open mind and an open heart. You can learn so much about the people around you just by listening to what they have to say. You can hear emotions when people are talking and if you are listening to the way that you are supposed to, then you can feel that emotion. No matter what skill you have, you can always improve on it. I am constantly improving on my listening skills because to be a good student, boss, employee, and more, you must be able to have the ability to listen to whatever is being said to you, whether you like what you are hearing or not. You have to listen with respect and curiosity. Being able to listen while giving eye contact and absorbing what that person is saying is one of the biggest parts of listening that I have improved upon.
    Robert Lee, Sr. and Bernice Williams Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up, I always hid who I was. I identify as a bisexual male but I am attracted to men more than women, and I have had to deal with my fair share of adversity in my small town. When I came out in high school, I was subject to a lot of discrimination, as I was the only male open about my sexuality at my high school. I was discriminated against by both students and teachers there. It was getting so bad that it affected my mental health. It eventually lead me to drop out of high school only needing 11 credits to have my high school diploma. After dropping out in April of 2014, I enrolled at my local college to get my GED in July 2014 and received my GED in August of 2014. During this time, I was inactive addiction and was still able to complete my GED. I was an active addict for 5 years, age 16 when I started and stopped at age 21 when I had an accidental overdose on alcohol and prescription pain medications. The next day, I quit my addictions cold turkey and I am going on 7 years sober this year. In 2019, I enrolled to get my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, which I completed. Then I continued with my education at Purdue Global University with my Associates in Criminal Justice which I completed in January 2022 and now enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree Program with Concentration on Homeland Security, finishing in 2025 but had credits transfer, so looking at the end of 2023 - early 2024. I am going to be starting my career at the end of the month as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, which is the biggest way I plan on giving back to my community. I want to be able to show people from life experiences, that you can stumble down the wrong path in life, fall face first and can come back and be an extremely better person with a positive outlook on life. I have always believed that a good counselor helps and teaches from life experiences not a lecture from a book. I want people to see I overcame the odds with my sexuality and all of my addictions and mental health issues to be a successful member of society, and that I had proved those that doubted me wrong.
    Bold Books Scholarship
    The book I will be talking about and that is my favorite is called; Tweak by Nic Sheff. This is a true story about growing up on methamphetamines. This book does a good showing of how teenagers can turn to drug usage This book hits home to me because I started abusing alcohol and prescription pain medications. This shows how a teenager's insecurities can lead them down a path of drug addiction, especially when it is one that you would think that yourself or your child would never go down. This book does an amazing job at showing the struggles with trying to get through recovery and becoming clean from your addiction. This book also shows how flashbacks and PTSD from previous events can cloud your head and make it so you are more susceptible to becoming an addict. It is written first hand by the author on his experiences. Which makes this book even more relatable knowing that this is based on facts and it is not fiction. If I were able to read this book when I was younger, I believe that this book would have been able to help me through my addiction. It would also have helped me see a lot of stuff that I needed to work through instead of self-medicating and could have possibly helped me realize that I was needing to get clean and sooner than what I did. I think that this book is a good learning experience and that high school students should be able to read this in school.
    Bold Music Scholarship
    During my life, there have been numerous songs that I have used to get through tough times. There are so many songs out there that has a deep meaning and that can make you sit back and think about life. The song that speaks the most to me is titled, "You Found Me" by The Fray. This song really hits home for those that are currently in recovery. This song speaks to so many volumes for those who are in recovery. One of the lines is, "All my days spent by the telephone, that never rang and all I needed was a call that never came." This hit home, because I worked my way through my addiction alone, always waiting for a family member to call me and check up on me and that call never came. Nobody knew how bad I was suffering because they didn't pick up the phone for that call that i desperately needed. Another part is " Lost and Insecure, you found me, you found me. Lying on the floor, suurrounded, surrounded, why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?" The first time I heard this song, I was 5 months into my sobriety, and I broke down. Because this is exactly how it was when I had my accidental overdose on alcohol and prescription pain medicine. This song really captures the pain that is involved within addiction and it makes you realize what you are truly going through during that dark time. I am glad this song was made as it helped me a tremendous amount.
    Bold Happiness Scholarship
    There are numerous things in life that makes me happy and my versions of things that make me happy are probably completely different than what someone else would. Many things make me happy including me being alive today, my family, my sobriety, and so much more. But there is only one thing that makes me truly happy. Helping people. This might sound silly to some people, but when I help someone, it makes me truly happy. My reasoning behind this is because all throughtout my teenage years and most of my adult life, I never had anyone there for me. I never had anyone helping me through my addiction from the time I was 16 until 21 when I got clean on my own and i'm coming up on 7 years sober this year. I love telling my story. I have been through numerous obstacles that some people would never dream of going through, my biggest one was that of my addiction. I tell my story not to get sympathy, but to inspire people. I want people to see that no matter how hard life can get, you can make it through it. I want people to know that I am there for them to help them with anything, no matter how big or how small, I will be there for them. If my story inspires one person to get help, to stay clean, to give up that criminal life, that is something that gives me happiness that nothing else in the world can give to me.
    Bold Wisdom Scholarship
    Addiction is a disease and we do recover. Not many people believe that addiction is a disease. Once you live with it or have to help a loved one through it, only then will you truly see that addiction is indeed a disease. I am a recovering addict. I was in active addiction for five years, abusing alcohol and prescription pain medications, to self-medicate. Once I almost lost my life by overdose, the next day I quit cold turkey and started my journey in recovery. So yes, addicts do recover. I started my educational career wanting to make a change in peoples lives. I wanted people to see that addicts and recovering addicts are people to and they are not below sober people. I received my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. Currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with Concentration in Homeland Security. Within my associates degree I heard how law enforcement refers to addicts and prostitutes and it made me furious and sick at the same time. Law enfrocment refers to them as NHI which stands for "No Human Involved." This is something that I want to change, I want people to understand and see that addicts can recover and we can become someone that helps prevent people from becoming addicts or becoming criminals because of their addictions. This is what i'm striving to do and I want people to understand that addicts do recover.
    Bold Legacy Scholarship
    Legacy has many different meanings to so many people. The legacy that I want to leave behind is that no matter what life threw at him, he was strong and made it through and made a difference in others' lives. I have been through things in my 27 years of life that most people would never even have to worry about. I lost my son when he was only seven years old in a car crash. I have been abused both mentally and physically, molested and raped, homeless and alone. But the biggest thing in my life that has proved to me that I am as strong as I can be and made it through it, was my battle with addiction. I was inactive addiction from 16 years old to 21 years old, abusing alcohol and prescription pain medication. I went on a downward spiral after my boyfriend committed suicide. I had a near-death experience when I was 21 and almost overdosed on my addictions. The next day, I cold turkey quit and started my journey of recovery. That shows me that I am as strong as I can be and that I can get through anything that is put in front of me. Having the strength to say no and to keep saying now is tough, but I found my strength outside of a pill bottle and an alcohol bottle. I have two college degrees and working on my third now. At the end of the month, I will be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, where I can share my story and legacy to empower others to find the strength to overcome addiction.
    Bold Know Yourself Scholarship
    This quote by Diamond for Demi summarizes me finding something valuable about myself, "One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery." From the age of 16 to 21, I was in active addiction. I was addicted to and abused alcohol and prescription pain medications. I wholeheartedly believe that addiction is a disease because it does kill. I had a near-death experience when I was 21 when I almost overdosed on alcohol and pain medications. That was the wake-up call that I needed to find my strength and realize I was worth recovering. The next day, I cold turkey quit alcohol and the pain medications. Finding my strength and my inner worth was one of the hardest things that I had to ever do. This was due to me self-medicating due to mental health illnesses and feeling like I was not worth anything in life. Every day is a battle in recovery, but I have my strength and that is what has kept me sober for 7 years. Now, I have my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice and I am enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration on Homeland Security. At the end of the month, I will be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, where I can help people find their inner strength and have them learn they are worth recovery. Helping as a counselor is better from life experience rather than lectures from a book.
    Bold Helping Others Scholarship
    Growing up, my Grandmother had always told me; "Those that listen are the ones who grow the most." This is extremely true. Those who can listen to others and absorb what that person is telling, you can learn so much about that person and possibly be able to see life or the circumstances from a different point of view. I have always been one that is willing to listen to anyone and everyone, no matter the issues, and no matter how big or how small it is. I have struggled in my life, and I wish that there was someone there for me that would have listened, and I do not want anyone to ever have to go through life feeling like they have nobody that will listen to them. It doesn't cost you anything besides some time out of your day to listen, so why doesn't everyone do it? With this, I have my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, and working on my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. These are the careers where you are needed to listen the most to learn everything you can about a person. At the end of the month, I will be starting my career as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, which is where I belong to be able to listen and help those who need it.
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    We have always heard people say that addiction is a disease. Most don't understand how much of a disease it is until either yourself or a loved one is wrapped up in the addiction. At the age of 16, when I was supposed to be enjoying high school sports, getting my driver's license, and working on grades, I was dealing with numerous issues that prevented me from all of that. At 16, my boyfriend committed suicide, he was 18. This leads me to go down a path that I should have never gone down. I started abusing alcohol and prescription pain medications. I could not function daily without drinking and having pills throughout the day. This caused me so much loss and pain in my life looking back now. I eventually dropped out of high school and couldn't hold down a job. During my addiction, I was able to obtain my GED and that was my only real accomplishment. Once I was 21, I had a near-death experience with an almost overdose of the pain medications and alcohol, the next day I went cold turkey off of both and have been sober ever since. I am coming up on seven years clean. After getting and staying clean, I earned my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, I obtained my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, and I am currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. I am currently waiting to start work as a Certified Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor. I am living proof that addiction is a disease but that disease does not control who you are and the disease can be fought, it's a hard battle, but it can be done.
    Charles R. Ullman & Associates Educational Support Scholarship
    No matter where you are in the world you need a sense of family. This sense needs to be outside of your biological family. I look at my community at least, as being my larger family. Communities are important for people because they provide you with so many positive vibes in your life. The first that stands out in my head is that communities provide you with a sense of safety. In my community, we all look out for each other. No matter what is going on, you know that there is someone within the community that is supporting you in whatever you may be doing or going through. The community also provides you with the feeling of being a part of something. Communities provide you with the sense of feeling that you belong somewhere within your city and state because some people don't have the feeling of belonging somewhere in life. There are numerous different ways that I have helped my community in my life so far. Firstly, I love volunteering. At a young age, I started volunteering at our local homeless shelter. This is an all men's shelter where the residents are mainly Veterans with nowhere to go and those males that are suffering from mental health issues. Once I had been volunteering there for a while, I branched out to the all-women's shelter and started volunteering there as well. While volunteering, I would help them with applying for benefits so they can receive food assistance, disability, pensions, housing, and so much more. I would also do activities with them such as playing cards, games, helping with bible studies, GED preparation, and attending church with them. Doing this was rewarding to me personally just to see the look on their face when they see that someone does care about them, and sometimes that is all that they need to know is that someone is there for them and that cares about them. While volunteering, I have seen numerous people from all walks of life. One of the biggest things that I saw, was that of people suffering from drug addiction, as I was too, and trying to get my life on the right track. I have been sober for almost seven years. So once I was sober, I reflected on what I had seen within my community and a lot of people that I knew. I enrolled in college, first getting my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services, then I wanted to pursue my education further to be able to help people. Continuing, I didn't want to keep going further in Human Services, I decided to go into Criminal Justice because I believe that both Human Services and Criminal Justice go hand in hand. I wanted to learn criminal justice to prevent those that are suffering from addiction before they got wrapped up in the criminal justice system. So, I pursued my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, which I completed in January 2022. After completing my Associate's and learning the basics of criminal justice and seeing that Human Services does tie into it, I enrolled for my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Homeland Security. My expected graduation date for my Bachelor's Degree is December 2025, but I had 95 credits transferred from my Certificate and my Associate's Degree. When I was close to graduating with my Associates in Criminal Justice, I applied to and interviewed for a Drug Abuse Counselor. They are going to be hiring me, which I couldn't ask for anything better than to help those that are currently suffering from drug addiction and trying to stay in recovery. Once I am working, I will be a Certified Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor, which would be the greatest way for me to help those within my community through my career. I have always believed that a good counselor is someone that speaks from life experiences and stories, rather than lecturing and preaching from a book.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    Mental health illnesses affect far more people than we believe that it does. I suffer from mental health illnesses myself. I suffer from dyslexia and ADHD most prominently. I also have issues of PTSD, depression, PTSD, and night terrors. My fiance has a long history of mental health illness with numerous hospital inpatients due to suicide attempts and suicidal ideations. I have had to learn how to talk with my fiance to a point where I am not pushing him too much but I am also getting him to talk about his feelings. Mental health is a touchy subject. Getting someone to talk to is important but sometimes getting someone to talk about feelings or stuff that has happened to them, could cause their mental health to get worse and could cause them to try committing suicide. I have learned that firsthand with my fiance. I most recently have made a breakthrough with my fiance and he has opened up to me about stuff that he's needed to for years. Now he is pursuing a degree in website design. I told him to go outside of his comfort zone and to learn something new that he did not know about. He has felt amazing about himself with having the motivation to do a degree and he has been proud of himself for almost completing the certificate program. My outlook on mental health illnesses, especially since I suffer from conditions myself, is that you may have a illness but that illness doesn't control you or define you. What you do with your life and what plans that you have for your future is what defines you.
    BJB Scholarship
    Community means to me that it is a family. I look at my community in which I live to be a bigger family. We are all living here and trying to survive. We live next to each other, we have get togethers with each other, some children play with others children. We lift each other up when tragedy happens. We are there for each other when crimes are committed. We look out for each other and keep an eye on each other, this is why I believe that a community is like a family, only on a larger scale. I give back to the community by my volunteer work. I volunteer at two homeless shelters in town. One is a mans only shelter, where most residents are Veterans and those that suffer from mental health illnesses. The second is an all womans shelter, mainly those suffering from drug addiction and domestic abuse. At both, I serve them their meals, play cards and games with them. Help them with bible study and attend church with them. These are the groups of people that are in my community that need the most help from people. This is something that is easy to give and that is to show them that someone within the community cares about them and their well being. Its simple things like this that shows the community and those within the community that you care about the people and the community as a whole and that is something great. I currently have my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and in January 2022 I obtained my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. I am currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice concentrating on Homeland Security. I am a recovering addict, I have been sober for almost 7 years. I abused prescription pain medication and alcohol from the age of 16 to the time I was 21, where I had a death scare from an almost overdose with pain medications. The next day, I quit cold turkey and have been clean ever since. I am currently waiting to start my new career at the end of this month as a Certified Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor at a residential treatment facility. I am excited to be able to help those that have suffered through addiction. And not only that, to be able to help those suffering from mental health illnesses as I suffer from dyslexia, ADHD, depression, PTSD, and bipolar. With my criminal justice degrees I can help them and hopefully prevent them from possibly getting involved with the criminal justice system. I have always believed that a good counselor teaches and helps from personal experience and life stories rather than preaching or lecturing from a book. I find it is easier to talk to someone that has been through the same and has made it through. It helps those that are suffering to see there is a way out of it.
    Shine Your Light College Scholarship
    Life has its ups and downs, but those ups and downs do not control you or your future. Firstly, I am a recovering addict. I was in active addiction from the age of 16 to 21, abusing prescription pain medications and alcohol. I suffered from severe depression, ADHD, dyslexia, along with bipolar and suicidal ideations. When I was 21, I had a near death overdose from my drug addiction and the next day, I quit cold turkey and have been sober ever since. Once I got my GED and was sober, I needed something good in my life. I finally was able to realize I was suffering from dyslexia and ADHD and never noticed in teenage years due to self-medicating. Knowing what was wrong with me it was easier for me to be able to fix the issues that I was suffering from. Once I was stable, I started thinking about my future and how I wanted to help people. I enrolled into college. I obtained my certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services. Continuing on, I got my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and finished that January 2022. Now I am pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with concentration on Homeland Security. Many people have asked me why I did not consider going further with my human services education and went to criminal justice. I see it as human services and criminal justice go hand in hand. Within my criminal justice degrees, I have learned numerous valuable assets within the human services field as well. I believe that both of thses careers tie in to one another because most people that commit crimes and go into the criminal justice system are those that are suffering from mental health illnesses and can't get the proper treatment and care that they deserve and need. I believe that I can make a difference within the field of criminal justice along with human services because I understand and have knowledge of both sides and I can effectively help those that are suffering from mental health illnesses and are within the criminal justice system or close to committing crimes. I believe that with my experience of being an addict in the past, that I can serve as a good Substance Abuse counselor and to be able to help them with their mental health issues dealing with addiction and preventing them from possibly committing crimes to get themselves wrapped up in the criminal justice system.
    New Year, New Opportunity Scholarship
    My life is not who I am, my legacy speaks for myself. I am a recovering addict, been clean for 7 years. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice concentrating on Homeland Security. I already have my certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. I am currently waiting to start my career at the end of the month as a Certified Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor. I want to give back to those that are struggling the same way that I struggled through the disease of addiction.
    Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
    When I was 16, I started abusing alcohol and prescription pain medication. This had caused me to go into a downward spiril, wehre I ended up dropping out of high school. One thing that I did do was be able to get my GED right after dropping out. I continued on in active addiction trying to be in the workforce, which I could never keep a job or wanting to work. When I turned 21, I almost overdosed due to my addiction. This was an eye opening experience and the next day, was my last day in active addiction. I stopped cold turkey. This year, will be 7 years clean and sober. Now my life is what I want it to be and I have an amazing outlook and future for myself. I already have two college degrees, one is a Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services and my second is my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. Now, I am working on my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice concentrating on Homeland Security. I am going to be starting my work the end of this month as a Certified Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor. I am wanting to help people that are struggling the same way that I did. I am hoping that being able to be a counselor for people that can speak to them from experience and life stories rather than being a counselor that will preach and lecture from a book. I believe that it is easier to admit that you have that issue and that your needing the help, its easier to open up to someone that has lived through it and can help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. My life has a meaning after addiction. Not many people can say that they defeated the disease of addiction and that it has not came back to them. A lot of people do relapse, and I'm not saying that it isn't there for me, as the urges are. But my life is so much better now and I have way too much to loose. As one day, I want to be working for the Department of Homeland Security in either the DEA, ATF, or the FBI. I have big goals and high hopes for myself and I am so proud of where I am at and where I am going to be.
    Bold Learning and Changing Scholarship
    From the time I was 16 until I was 21, I was an active drug addict, and what I learned about myself in recovery was something significant in my life. While in addiction, I always had self insecurities and always wanted to give up on life. Once I had a near death experience due to my addiction, that is when I decided to get clean and I am still clean today. Learning to love yourself no matter what is something that has always stuck with me. You are here for a reason and you have a purpose. This is something that had stuck with me the moment that I decided to get clean and this was told me to by a recovering addict. Being able to love yourself is something that you have to learn. And you continue to grow on that with everyday of your life because there can things that happen that can make you doubt yourself and your self love.
    Bold Impact Matters Scholarship
    The biggest way that I have learned to leave a positive impact on the world is to be a best me that I can be. This has been something that I have worked on for years. I am clean and sober for 7 years. I have two college degrees and working on my third. I am going to be a Certified Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor. This is how I am going to be leaving an impact on the world. I am going to be taking my life experiences including what it was like in active addiction, what recovery looked and felt like and how I was able to do it on my own and why I did it on my own. I believe that people learn the best when they are hearing it from someone who had went through the exact same and that it is better to learn from someone with those experiences rather than a lecture from a book.
    Bold Dream Big Scholarship
    If this question would have been asked to me seven years ago, I would have said still being an addict and being homeless. Today, that outlook is so much better. After I became sober, I started wanting better for my future. I got my GED and got into the workforce. Now, I have my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice concentrating on Homeland Security. Now my dream life looks drastically different than what it did 7 years ago. My dream life is me completing my bachelor's degree and working within the field that I want to be apart of. This would be me working within the Homeland Security within an agency like DEA, ATF, or the FBI. My future shows me that I am going to be helping those that really need the help, the same way that I needed the help seven years ago. I want to use my struggles in life that I have had to help those that are struggling the same way that I was.
    Bold Patience Matters Scholarship
    Having patience is something that you can learn. You have to learn how to be patient at a young age and that is something that most people are taught, but others aren't. Being patient is important to me because I understand that not everything happens in life right when you want it to. Sometimes in life there are set backs and stuff that takes you off of the path that you want to go down. Just because this happens does not mean that you have to stop and give up. This is where you have to be patient and take the time to get back on that path. Everything in life happens for a reason, I learned that a young age. So if it doesn't happen over night, it doesn't mean that it isn't going to happen, it just means that you need to have patience for it and then everything that is supposed to happen will fall into place for you.
    Bold Science Matters Scholarship
    With me being a student within criminal justice, already having my Associates degree and working on my Bachelors within criminal justice, I believe that the scientific discovery of DNA is my favorite. Technology has advanced and so has science. Being able to process DNA in criminal justice to find offenders has interested me since I started learning about criminal justice. This has made police work easier as before DNA could be processed and analyzed, working to arrest and offender or finding a killer was harder than what it is today. Given this, officers are able to close out year long cold cases with the simple testing of DNA. Law enforcement are also able to track down offenders with DNA just by running it to see if there is someone else within the system that has some of the same DNA that would be a relative of the one that law enforcement are looking for. Along with this, DNA has been helpful with people trying to find family members and looking for their family history. This is where ancestory and 23 and Me have become popular, all because science has advanced to be able to test and run DNA.
    Bold Great Books Scholarship
    The book I will be talking about and that is my favorite is called; Tweak by Nic Sheff. This is a true story about growing up on methamphetamines. This book does a good showing of how teenagers can turn to drug usage This book really hits home to me because I started abusing alcohol and prescription pain medications. This shows how a teenagers insecurities can lead them down a path of drug addiction, especially when it is one that you would think that yourself or your child would never go down. This book does an amazing job at showing the struggles with trying to get through recovery and becoming clean from your addiction. This book also shows how flashbacks and PTSD from previous events can cloud your head and make it so you are more susceptible to becoming an addict. It is written in first hand from the author on his experiences. Which makes this book even more relateable knowing that this is based on true facts and it is not fiction. If I were able to read this book when I was younger, I believe that this book would of been able to help me through my addiction. It would also have helped me see a lot of stuff that I needed to work through instead of self-medicating and could of possibly helped me realize that I was needing to get clean and sooner than what I did. I think that this book is a good learning experience and that high school students should be able to read this in school.
    Bold Investing Scholarship
    Up until recently, I had never focused or even thought about looking into investing. One of my close friends from high school had shown me his investing through Robinhood and showed how little he had to invest to come out on top. So I started looking into investing. One of the biggest tips that I read and took to heart. Invest small and invest smartly. You must be able to watch and look at the investing, to be able to see some trends and see which ones are worth investing into. Seeing them going up every day is something that you need to pay attention to because you don't want to invest in something that is continuously going down or one that could eventually crash. If you can follow along with the stocks that you want to invest in you can learn a lot about and look for investing patterns so you can be able to invest with confidence and secuirty.
    Trudgers Fund
    Addiction is a disease that plagues numerous families around the world. Including me, as I have suffered from addiction. At the age of 16, I lost my boyfriend to suicide. Once that happened my life started taking a downward spiral. I started abusing alcohol and Hydrocodone pills combined. This went on for years due to me suffering from the loss of my boyfriend, my son losing his life, and being with someone who physically and mentally abused me. I dropped out of high school due to all of this. I was 18 and only needed eleven more credits to graduate with a high school diploma. After this, I was with my abusive boyfriend, who continued to abuse me and I continued to abuse alcohol and pain medication. I was able to enroll for my GED and I obtained it within a month. Further on, I got into the workforce and due to my addictions, I couldn't keep a job or even want one while in addiction. Once I turned 21 and almost had an overdose on some pills that I thought were hydrocodone and they weren't. I cold turkey cut myself off of both and have been clean six years going on seven. My life has been so much better since I got sober. I have my Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Services which I obtained in 2020. I also have my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice which I completed in January 2022 and I am currently enrolled in my Bachelor's in Criminal Justice Degree with Concentration in Homeland Security. I had no future outlook for myself while I was in addiction. Going cold turkey from my addictions was horrible. I thought I was close to dying going through it but I got through it and I am so glad that I did. I am currently waiting to start my job being a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I will be helping women that are suffering from addiction. It is a residential facility where they live up to 90 days and participate in counseling and other programs to help them in their recovery. This is a huge step for me, moving towards my future within criminal justice. I believe that human services dealing with addictions goes hand in hand with criminal justice. Because if someone is dealing with mental health issues they are more likely to become criminals or have a criminal history. Working with those with addictions can make it so that they don't end up in the criminal justice system. I am so glad that I am able to share my story with those suffering from addiction becuase I have awlays believed that a good counselor is someone who speaks from experience and life stories, then it is to preach to someone from a book.
    Bold Love Yourself Scholarship
    There are many things about myself that I love. It is extremely hard for me to pick just one thing, but the biggest thing that I love about myself is how strong I am. Growinng up, I had a rough child hood. My father wasn't in my life, my mother suffered from mental health issues. At the age of 12, my mother kicked me out and told me to commit suicide. I lived with my grandma until I was 18. I have been subjected to homelessness, abuse both mentally and physically, molestation, rape, and more. I dropped out of high school because of dealing with mental health issues, my sexuality, and learning disabilites. Learning disabilites made it extremely hard to complete school and I never knew that I had ADHD and dyslexia. Once I was an adult, I found out I had both ADHD and dyslexia, which explained numerous of my issues in schooling. Since then, I have obtained my GED, a certificate in Human Services, my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and I am now working on my Bachelors in Criminal Justice. This explains and shows how strong I am. It is not something that I am proud of with my history but it has shown how strong I am and how I can overcome everything that is set before me.
    Bold Influence Scholarship
    If I were a highly influential figure, I would stand for equality. Equality is something that has been fought for, for many years. Going from the rights of African Americans, to women's rights, to rights of those within the LGBTQIA community. Equality is something that everyone has the right to. Everyone must be treated equal. Not one person is better than the other and nobody should have to live life being treated worse than someone else just because of who they identify as. I have always had the thinking that who you love, who you want to grow old with, who you want to spend your life with, shouldn't have an impact on who you are as a person, as an employee, or as a human being. Equality is something that will be fought for many years to come, sometimes there will be wins and their will be loses, one thing that is for sure, there will be people standing up for equality for all.
    Bold Equality Scholarship
    Equality in my mind is for everyone. Given that times have changed and numerous more people are being treated equal and diversity is more and more acceptable. I identify as a homosexual male. Equality to all is extremely big within my life because it is something that is near and dear to my heart. i have been an activist for all those that identify other than heterosexual, because those that don't identify as heterosexual are the ones that are subjected to more issues of not being treated equal. I have signed petitions to support laws being changed so everyone has the same equal rights. I have went to Washington D.C. for protests and marches to show my support in the fight. I was in Washington D.C. when same sex marriage was legalized. This is something that needs to be seen, because we all deserve to be treated equal no matter who we are and what we identify as.
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    I have numerous long term goals that I have set and that I will reach. Firstly, I have finished two college degrees so far, Certificate in Human Services focusing on Child and Family Safety and my second is my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. Now, I am working on my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with concentration on Homeland Security. My goals for academics is to finish my bachelors degree. I eventually want to be working in the Homeland Security career field. I am leaning towards a division within Homeland Security such as DEA, ATF, or FBI. Im not quite sure on which positions within those that I would want to work in but I know I can be an asset in any position within those careers given my experience and my knowledge of criminal justice and my knowledge in human services. All of my degrees are going to make it so I can progress in any field that I chose to become apart of.
    Bold Independence Scholarship
    Being independent has different meanings for numerous different people. Being independent is being able to take care of yourself and to be on your own. Ever since I was little I was always independent. I have been independent and have always wanted to do things for myself. That is what being independent means to me. Not having to rely on people to do things for you, whether you can do it or you fail, its a learning experience. Being independent is learning from your mistakes and changing it for the future. It is all about learning. This has had an impact on me because it has made me the man that I am today. I may have fallen a few times along the way while being independent but it has shown me exactly how strong I am and how far I can go if I continue to be independent and having an open mind on learning if I fail while being independent.
    Bold Great Minds Scholarship
    We all have someone in history that we admire, most of us all have the same person but many have different reasons as to why we admire them. The biggest person that stands out in my mind as someone I admire is Martin Luther King Jr. My reasoning for how much I admire him is that he always stood up for what he believed in. Back in his day, you didn't really see that many people who were wanting to stand up for what they believed in, for various reasons not many stood up for what they believed in. I admire him because I try to be like that. I really like to stand up for what I believe in. I love being able to show how much passion that I have for stuff that I believe in such as equal rights for all being one. Everyone deserves the same rights. I stand up for that because that is something that I hold dear to my heart and so did Martin Luther King Jr.
    Bold Longevity Scholarship
    You only have one life, so why not take care of the one that you currently have? I believe that you need to listen to your body. One of the biggest ways that you can live a long and healthy life is listening to what your body is telling you. Your body knows what is good for it and what isn't. If you are doing something that is putting strain on your body such as alcoholism, your body is going to be telling you that it is not good for you. Being able to identify that what you are putting into your body isn't good for your body, then you should listen to your body and make those adjustments, whether it be a change in diet or staying sober from drugs and alcohol. Because of this, your body knows best and if you listen to your body then you are going to be able to live that long and healthy life that you are wanting.
    Bold Financial Literacy Scholarship
    Any and all personal finance advice is critical, especially to those that are just starting out their lives and don't really understand how the financial world works. The biggest lesson I have learned is that if you have a credit card, you must remember to make your payments. It might seem small and not that big of a deal. But being able to make those payments on time and even early has a huge impact. Even being able to pay off the debt on the credit card without carrying a balance is something that will set you up for a good financial future. Making these payments and being on time and not spending more than what you have will set it up so you will have really good credit and will never have to worry about your credit score being too low for that house mortgage or that car loan that you are trying to get, and at that time these small little pieces of advice will seem really important.
    Bold Mentor Scholarship
    During high school and after, I have always been a mentor to those that have been going through hard times such as mental health issues, bullying, and family issues. During the times of being a mentor, I have always wanted those that I am mentoring to see that I am someone who will always be there for them, even if I am no longer their mentor. I want them to see that you can make it through anything that life throws at you and can come out even stronger. I want those to see that you can be predisposed to anything in life such as mental health issues and learning disabilities and that they can go on to become whatever they set their mind to. I want them to know that there is someone that they can reach out to for help, whether it be help with schooling, advice, or just someone that they can lean on. I think those can be the biggest options to be able to help people because doing those simple things, shows the person you are mentoring that they are not alone.
    Bold Optimist Scholarship
    Growing up, I had a hard life with an outlook to the future that looked just as hard, born and raised in poverty. I have always wanted better for myself. I didn't have much when I was a child and a child to two parents who didn't finish middle school. I have always wanted to do better for myself and wanted to be a better person than what I am. I am always wanting to help people so that is what I have focused on. I have always wanted to be the one in the family that is the only one that has a college degree, and as of now I have two and working on my third one now. Being optimistic has taught me that I can do anything that I can set my mind to. I had to be optimisitic to over come the odds of what I was predisposed to at an early age and I am overcoming those odds everyday, fighting both my mental health issues and my learning disabilities to get to where I want to be in life and that is working in law enforcement with my degrees and having my human services degree there to make sure I better help those that I want to.
    Bold Community Activist Scholarship
    My community is rather small, only around 26,000 people live in my community. The community has numerous issues that we all try to come together to help with. Throughout my high school years, I started a group in high school to help other students. It was called Students Providing Effective Advice for Kids (SPEAK) which helped students that were being either bullied or are having problems with mental health issues. Providing them a safe place to be able to come and be themselves so then they could reach out to adults and other students that they know can help and that they wouldn't have a judgemental actions taken against them. During that time, I also was participating in a community group, It Gets Better - FD, which focused on the same as my high school group only on a larger scale. I was youth ambassador and helped with group discussions and different events, empowering the community with knowledge and resources that would be able to help them with whatever they may be going through at that particular time.
    Bold Self-Care Scholarship
    Practicing self-care is really important, no matter who you are or where you are at in life. When I think of self-care, I think of relaxation. Personally, I love to draw and find it relaxing. So whenever I am getting stressed or something happens in life, I tend to grab paper and pencil and start drawing. Drawing is a release of emotions that you can easily do to help not bottle emotions inside. Doing so, you can show many of those emotions within your drawings. This is a safe way to release emotions and not have to worry about bottling them inside of you. Self-care can be anything that is positive in your life that helps you. With drawing, it has become a staple in my life and has helped me through numerous trying times where I was depressed and stressed. Drawing has become an important part of my life and it will always be an important part of my life.
    Bold Caring for Seniors Scholarship
    In my eyes, none of us would be here if it weren't for the elderly that is within our community. Looking at this question, I can't help but to talk about my grandmother. She raised me from the time I was 12 to 18. Once her health started deteroriating, that was when I could step in and show her the same amount of love and compassion that she had showed me growing up. After experiencing that with my grandmother, I started volunteering at my local mens shelter, where most men are seniors that are Veterans of war or they are disabled. I love to sit and talk with them about their life experiences. Most of the time, they just want to know that someone is there for them and that someone cares about them. I will help them with day to day activities, help serve them their meals, play cards and other games with them, as well as help them with bible study and attend church with them. Its small little acts of kindness like this that helps improve the lives of the elderly, especially so they know that they are not alone in the final years of their lives.
    Bold Growth Mindset Scholarship
    I keep a growth mindset by simply knowing that life could be worse than it is right now. I look to find the positives in every situation, whether it is good or bad. If you are taking for granted the good in life, then you are constantly focusing on the negatively that is invovled in your life. Constant dwelling on negativity or the bad aspects, will cause you to not be able to grow as a person which then you will not be able to see any improvement in your life whether that be educational growth, career growth, personal growth, and so on. You have to be appreciative of the life that you currently have to be able to move forward and to grow. Growth starts within yourself, if you are afraid of growth or afraid of what life is, you have to look outside of your comfort zone and see that life is actually good with only small inconvient road bumps along the way.
    Bold Art Matters Scholarship
    The art piece that has always inspired me and has always been something that makes me think is that of, "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh. Reasoning for this is because I believe it is telling us that life is beautifu;. No matter where you are at in the world you can take five minutes out of your night and look up at the stars. The stars reveal to us that the world is not such a bad place and even in the darkest of times, we can shine just as bright as the stars do in the sky. I have always thought this and it is showing that you need to sit back sometimes and look at the world around you because stuff could be much harder than it currently is and that not everything has to have an explanation in life, just look at the stars and you'll know that there is hope for a better day tomorrow.
    Bold Art Scholarship
    The art piece that has always inspired me and has always been something that makes me think is that of, "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh. Reasoning for this is because I believe it is telling us that life is beautifu;. No matter where you are at in the world you can take five minutes out of your night and look up at the stars. The stars reveal to us that the world is not such a bad place and even in the darkest of times, we can shine just as bright as the stars do in the sky. I have always thought this and it is showing that you need to sit back sometimes and look at the world around you because stuff could be much harder than it currently is and that not everything has to have an explanation in life, just look at the stars and you'll know that there is hope for a better day tomorrow.
    Bold Deep Thinking Scholarship
    I think one of the biggest issues that is facing the world right now is that of poverty and how people can't even afford to live. Part of this is due to the fact of how expensive it is for people to go to college. All of this ties in together because you are to get a college education to be able to get a good job so you will have the means to be able to provide for yourself. But most of the time, you can't even get a degree in the field that you went to school for. So you are going in debt by getting a college degree and not getting a job within that degree field. In the world, it needs to come to a realization that college education needs to be free. Too many colleges charge way too much in tuition and if someone is wanting a college education then they will pursue it, its not something that everyone does, so this would cut out having to provide it for everyone, just providing it for the ones who are wanting to go to college.
    Bold Be You Scholarship
    I always stay true to myself because at a young age, I learned numerous things about myself. I had a child at the age of 14. I realized what my actual sexuality was after having my son. I hid my sexualty up untl the time that I turned 18 and I was so ashamed of myself for not being true to myself or being honest with everyone around me, let alone myself. Ever since, I have made it known to myself that I am going to always be true to myself no matter what, I am who I am and nothing is ever going to change that, no hate, no discrimination, and no hurtful words will ever make it so I will not be true to myself. I really hope that I am showing this to the people around me and that I am being a role model for those that are younger and struggling with it or even those that are older and see that no matter what you, you need to be true to yourself.
    Bold Memories Scholarship
    Growing up, I really didn't have numerous good memories. My mom had kicked me out when I was 12 years old. I had to go live with my elderly grandmother. At the time, I thought it was the worst thing that could have ever happened to me, but looking back from the time I turned 18 and even now, that I was completely wrong. My grandma raised me with respect, she treated me like an adult even though I was only 12. She taught me a tremedous amount of respect, and to always have respect for your elders. She instilled the fact that nobody is beneath you and that you must help at any chance you get, even if you do not have a lot yourself. I carry that on with me today, that I am always there and willing and able to help people, even if I don't have much myself, I tend to give more to people than what I do to myself, that is something that has shaped me into the person that I am today.
    Bold Friendship Matters Scholarship
    Friendship means to me that they are more like family then they are friends. I have had one friend for over 23 years, we were 4 when we became friends and are still friends today. I consider him to be a brother not a friend. Friends are always there for you, through the good and the bad. They don't take sides and they are always a phone call away. Friends are always someone you can turn to when times get tough and they never look the other way. Friendships are something that can go through hard times and you come out with a stronger bond then ever before. Just because you are friends does not mean that you talk every day, but the days you do need to talk then you are there or they are there for you. Friendships are forever when the bond is there and whether the bond can be created and sustained throughout life.
    Bold Passion Scholarship
    It has taken me a long time to realize what I am passionate about in life. I knew for awhile that I watned to help people but I never knew how I could best help people. My life went downhill when I was 21, when I was suffering from addiction and abuse. I turned my life around and have been six years clean. I realized I wanted to help people that couldn't help themselves or did not want to. So I persued a certificate in Human Services Focusing on Child and Family Services, I got my certificate and realized I could do more good and help more people having a degree in criminal justice, so I enrolled to and completed my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and currently enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree with concentration in Homeland Security. I am currently waiting to start my first job in my career as a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor, which is where I can help people who need it the most.
    Bold Listening Scholarship
    Listening means to me is that you are giving that person 100% of your attention. You take in everything that they say without interrupting, judging, or condeming. I do this daily, as my fiance suffers from mental health issues, and there are days that I just have to listen to what is going on in my fiances head at the time. I started listening more closely to people in high school, when I started suffering from depression and suicidial ideations, and realized that I didn't have anyone there to listen to me. My sophmore year of high school, I started an anti-bullying, anti-suicde awareness group. The Group was called S.P.E.A.K, short for Students Providing Effective Advice for Kids. Which was a non-discriminating, welcoming, non-judgemental group. I beleive that my listening skills got even better when I was able to help my peers through hard times, especially hard times that I had already gone through. This is coming in good use now too as I am waiting to start my first job in my career as a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    Ever since I have been young, I was taught to help anyone in anyway that I can. My grandma raised me and taught me to always give the shirt off of my back to people. So I followed through with that when I was a teenager. I reached out to our local homeless shelter. It is an all mens shelter, housing mainly those who are Veterans that are homeless or those that are suffering from mental health illnesses and are having troubles keeping or getting house. I am still volunteering there today. I would sit and play cards with the guys, serve them their meals, help them with bible studies and even help them apply for benefits if they needed. By helping with this shelter, I eventually started to help with the local womans shelter as well, helping with the same activites. Then, the mens shelter opened a thrift store to sell used and gently used items, with all profits going to the shelter to help provide for the residents. I volunteer there two days a week. I have and always will give the shirt off my back to those who are struggling with hard times or have fallen and need some help getting back up.
    Bold Simple Pleasures Scholarship
    Everything in my life makes me happy. I like to relax when things start getting stressful. Before I decided to go to college for Human Services and Criminal Justice I was wanting to become a tattoo artist. I can draw really good. Whenever I get stressed or have too much going on, I sit on my four seasons porch with relaxing music and just draw. This is a simple pleasure of mine that doesn't cost me anything but also helps release stress and anxiety that I am going through. Most times I draw whatever I am feeling currently at the moment because that is the best way to help your self like a happy and stress free life, is to be able to release those emotions in a safe and healthy way. This makes me happy because I can unwind after a hard day or a stressful day and not have to worry about being in a bad mood and to not uninetentionally take my stress and anxiety out on anyone who doesn't have an idea of what is going on.
    Bold Make Your Mark Scholarship
    All of my life, I have wanted to leave a legacy behind of people knowing me for having a big heart and being extremely caring. To do this, I want to be a change in the world, I know not the whole world, but if I atleast make an impact in my community, then that is good enough for me. I got my certificate in Human Services Focusing on Child and Family Services because I grew up in a volitile home. I want to be the one to be there to help the children who are too afraid to speak up or for the victims of domestic violence who are scared of their significant other. Along with that, I can combine with my Associates in Criminal Justice and my Bachelors in Criminal Justice with Concentration on Homeland Security, that I am currently working on now, and I can use these degrees to get a job that I can reach numerous more people and help more people than what I could just with my degree in human services. This is where I can make an impact in lives that are needing someone to be there to help them through rough times and to be the one that can speak for those that can't. This is the impact that I hope I leave behind for future generations to see.
    Bold Giving Scholarship
    Giving back is important to me because I was raised by my elderly grandmother. She taught me to never want more than I need and she raised me to be humble and kind. I never wanted as a child, I didn't have everything I wanted but I was happy, healthy, and humble. Now, ever since I was a teenager, I have always been giving back to those that are less fortunate than myself. When I was 13, I started volunteering at our local homeless shelter. They provide housing for homeless men, mostly those that are Veterans and those with mental health illnesses. I have suffered through mental health issues and I have always wanted to help those to come away from the darkness that mental health can have over you. I would participate with the individuals in group discussions. Hearing their stories and sharing my own story helped to encourage numerous of the residents. I would take in food for meals that my grandma would cook for them and I would also cook with them and for them. I would take numerous calls throughout the night of guys reaching out for help. This is how I have gave back and I am still continuing to volunteer there to this day.
    Bold Climate Changemakers Scholarship
    Until I got into my early 20's I never really paid much attention to the impact on the climate. Once I got old enough, I have seen the consequences of our generation and how it is affecting the climate. Once I was in my 20's I started taking steps to ensure that I am not contributing to what is going on with the impact on climate. Firstly, ever since I was 18, I have not owned a car. That is way less gas emissions that are going into the air. I live in a small enough town that I can walk everywhere and get what I need, even to work. Going even further, I recycle everything that I can. Our recycling every week is overloaded, way more than what our garbage can is. This makes a dent but if more people were to do it this way we would be able to a change in how it would decrease the impact on our climate.
    Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship
    Growing up, I had several setbacks. Numerous ones that I was born into, at an early age I was diagnosed with ADHD, which caused numerous issues with and going to school. Later in life, I was able to understand and get a diagnosis of dyslexia, which also made my school years hard and I had no idea why. These issues progressed in high school with onset mental health issues such as depression, I dropped out my junior year of high school with only 11 credits left to be able to have my high school diploma. I got motivated after that and in June 2014 I started to get my GED and I received that in August 2014. In 2019, I enrolled with Purdue University Global in the certificate program of Human Services focusing on Child and Family Safety and received my Certificate in early 2020 once done I wanted to get my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice which I enrolled into and completed January 2022. Furthering my education, I am now enrolled in my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Focusing on Homeland Security. I am the first in my family to receive a college degree, let alone working on my third. I have overcome learning disabilities and personal mental health issues, to better my future.
    Bold Financial Freedom Scholarship
    I have received numerous financial tips to help me with my future. The biggest thing that I have learned is that to never borrow more than you need. This is especially true when you are a college student and the student loan debt can add up. Being a college student, it is hard to not borrow more than you need. Most students need student loan refund checks to pay bills and survive, the biggest thing I learned by being a student and getting student loan refunds is to be smart with the money and don't go buy items that you do not need. Use it responsibly and only on items that you need. Anything that is left over should go on to your student loans especially if they are adding interest on the loans. This has helped me as I have saved some of my student loan refunds to cover the current interest that is being added to my student loan balance. I try not to borrow more than what I need. And if it is more than what I am needing for my schooling and personal needs, I put it into my savings account incase I run out of financial aid and need it to help cover expenses for a term or if I were to need something for a future class such as supplies. The financial aid office has been extremely helpful and they always provide good advice on the proper ways to hand student loan checks and their student loan refunds.