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Gabriella Whisler

3035

Bold Points

5x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

Hello and thank you for taking the time to check out my Bold profile! am a seventeen-year-old senior currently based in Portland, OR, and graduating in 2023. I am dual enrolled in my high school and a local community college, and in multiple AP classes. A big matter of importance to me is activism. I identify as lgbtq+ and have participated in advocacy work with lgbtq+ teens. I've also been lucky to be able to work to destigmatize mental health issues in teens with organizations such as Give us the floor. Working with kids is my long-time passion. I currently work part-time in a childcare program and doing various babysitting gigs. When I'm not working I still like to keep busy. I'm a jack-of-all-trades kind of person, and I'm constantly picking up new hobbies. I am a master at sewing, specifically embroidery. I plan to enter local fair competitions this summer with my work. I also love to read and write, a passion I've picked up again after a struggle to get back into it since I was an avid bookworm as a kid, and struggles with mental illness made it hard to do. In the future I know I want to continue to work with kids. I plan to study special education and teach for a few years, before going back to school for a master's and then a doctorate, in education or speech language pathology. I currently attend Pacific University as a freshman undergraduate studying education, disability studies and communication sciences and disorders.

Education

Pacific University

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Special Education and Teaching
  • Minors:
    • Communication Disorders Sciences and Services

Milwaukie Academy Of The Arts

High School
2019 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Special Education and Teaching
    • Biopsychology
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Communication Disorders Sciences and Services
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 1100
      SAT
    • 1190
      PSAT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      Education

    • Dream career goals:

      Special education or speech path

    • Student aftercare employee

      Early learning center at Pacific University
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Summer program lead

      North Clackamas Parks and recreation
      2023 – 2023
    • Private Nanny

      Private employer
      2020 – 20211 year
    • Infant to third grade teacher

      CUCC
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Assistant enrichment provider

      NCSD Care
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Coaching childrens gym

    Intramural
    2021 – 20232 years

    Research

    • Child Development and Behaviours studies

      College board — Solo Researcher
      2022 – Present

    Arts

    • Thespian Troupe 75#

      Theatre
      Hoodie, Head over heels, Alice in Wonderland, Tournament of the Plays.
      2019 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Horticulture Club — Club president
      2022 – Present
    • Public Service (Politics)

      Milwaukie city council campaign — Digital outreach
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Give us the floor — Group coordinator
      2021 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Heroes in High School 2023 Resilience Scholarship
    I have always known that I was different from my peers. I was very anxious from a very young age and while other parents struggled from keeping their kids from running in to the street my parents couldn't even get me on an escalator because I was scared that some how I would fly off. Nobody thought there was any need for concern however. I was a dream student. I was quiet and studious, I would finish my work early and sit with my head in a book. I never got in trouble for talking in class or acting out. The only time I ever got in trouble was the first week of kindergarten, when I absolutely refused to play four square. (True story!) I managed to fly off of the radar of so many adults around me. Being a so called gifted kid caught up with me when I reached middle school. I struggled through sixth grade. The change in my routine threw me for a loop and my anxiety started to get worse. I wouldn't turn in assignments in fear that they weren't perfect. I made it through that and thankfully sixth grade wasn't the end of my school career. I finally got a diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder and depression in seventh grade. I'd love to say that I took that and from there on I was able to get the help I need, however a heroes journey is never over that easily. I let myself go a little bit, too young and too scared to advocate for myself. However I made it I don't know what it was my freshman year. Maybe I got tired of being a pushover. Maybe I was sick of anxiety and just decided to pretend it wasn't there but I did it. I advocated for myself and I was the only freshman in AP level courses. I was so proud of myself for doing what I needed to even though it was terrifying. Then came one of the lowest points in my life. The covid 19 pandemic. To be perfectly candid I thought that I wasn't gonna make it past that point. I did though. I made it through the darkest point because I used every experience that I've had so far to keep moving. I took on a hummingbird mentality and just kept moving until I made it through. Unfortunately after covid I had to relearn it all over again after being stuck in my house for about a year. Thankfully a couple of first graders were kind enough to teach me. I got a job the summer of my sophomore year where I was a teacher assistant in a summer program. I worked closely with a couple of kiddos with disabilities, and I was amazed by how early they had learned that the person who was their biggest advocate was themself. Even at such a young age they knew what they needed and weren't afraid to ask for it. However that didn't mean people always listened. They needed me to get past my own fears and insecurities to speak up for them. If I didn't it wasn't just me that would suffer anymore, it was a bunch of tiny people. Through learning to advocate for them I became my own hero. My dad has always said "You can do hard things". I always groaned and rolled my eyes in true teenage fashion, but he was right. Hard doesn't mean impossible. Something I tell myself and the kids that I work with everyday. My hope is that through growing I can become more than the hero of my own story, and a hero to the children I will work with throughout my life.
    Douglass M. Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
    Scholarships played a major part in my college process this far. If it weren't for the financial aid I recieved from my school I would never have been able to commit. I am thankful for every scholarship opportunity that comes my way. There is still a gap in tuition that I am working hard to be able to pay. My highschool experience has been anything but normal or easy. The covid 19 pandemic had a major impact on my schooling. I was struggling with a new diagnosis of ADHD and school going online was a huge obstacle for me. I had just learned how to be a highschool student and then I had to relearn how to effectively make it through online school. I learned to advocate and stick up for myself and it was not an easy process. During that time my family was now facing new struggles as well. I had multiple at risk family members and we were basically stuck at home for months on end, living off of one income. My stay at home dad was planning to go back to work before everything happened but he still has not been able to now. Unfortunately we also came in to a lot of unexpected medical bills between hospital stays and therapy appointments for multiple family members Another important part of my experience has been work. I've worked full time every summer since I was fifteen and weekdays after school as well. Being able to have financial independence is valuable to me, I want to be able to take as much of my own expenses on for my family. On top of everything my family still struggles with the financial burden of my dads student loan payments. I have seen first hand how difficult it's been for him to have those and not be able to pay them off. I don't want that for me or my future family. I know I will have to take on loans in my name but my hope is that I will be able to only take on a small manageable amount that I can pay off by working. With my education I am excited to finally be able to pursue my passion. I plan to major in education with a focus on Special Education, and then continue on to an occupational therapy grad program. I love working with children, and helping them thrive as they grow up. I appreciate the opportunity to apply for this scholarship, thank you.
    Will Johnson Scholarship
    I have struggled a lot with considering my ADHD diagnosis as a learning disability diagnosis. I had a idea in my head of what a learning disabilities looked like and it didn't include me. I had peers who consistently got F's and D's no matter how much they were trying. I had friends with dyslexia who had to have seperate classes from their peers just to learn how to read and write, so surely I wasn't that bad off. Through getting a 504 plan, I have realised how much I truly did struggle throughout school. I had poor grades, and organization, and time management skills. A few accomodations seriously changed my experience in school. My experience with ADHD has taught me the importance of perseverance and self-advocacy. I have learned to seek out the resources and support I need to succeed academically and personally. Through my own struggles, I have gained a deep empathy for others who face similar challenges, and I am committed to using my experiences to help others with ADHD. It really opened my eyes when I started working with kids with various physical disabilities, and learning disabilities, including ADHD like I have. I saw so much of myself in them that I didn't realise as a kid wasn't normal. When I realized that I would do anything for these kids in a heartbeat, I knew I needed to give myself the same grace and support. Going to college and seeking higher education is so important to me because I'm excited to further the career I have in working with kids. It's been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I honestly didn't think I'd be able to go to college with my transcript, and I would have to postpone. Fortunately I made it in to my dream college, Pacific University, where I plan to study special education and occupational therapy. I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to apply for this scholarship and gain the financial support needed to pursue my higher education goals, and I believe I am a good candidate for this scholarship because I not only have a learning disability but I plan to work with kids who do. I am commited to use my college education to help kids who are like me, hopefully not end up struggling so much later on in their education like I am now.
    Lieba’s Legacy Scholarship
    I grew up as a student with the gifted label. While gifted children are often seen as exceptional due to their advanced cognitive abilities, they may still struggle in various areas. Here are some reasons why gifted children may struggle: Social and Emotional Challenges: Gifted children may experience social and emotional challenges that can lead to anxiety, depression, and difficulty with relationships. They may feel isolated or misunderstood by their peers and may struggle to find like-minded individuals to connect with. Additionally, they may face pressure to excel academically or may experience perfectionism that can lead to stress and burnout. Boredom and Understimulation: Gifted children may become bored or disengaged in traditional classroom settings if the material is not challenging enough. They may lose interest in the subject matter, become distracted, or act out. This can lead to academic underachievement, as well as frustration and a lack of fulfillment. High Expectations: Gifted children may face high expectations from parents, teachers, and themselves, which can lead to stress and anxiety. They may feel pressure to perform at a high level consistently, which can lead to burnout or feelings of inadequacy. Sensory Processing Challenges: Gifted children may also experience sensory processing challenges that can impact their ability to focus, learn, and socialize. They may be highly sensitive to certain stimuli, such as sounds, textures, or smells, which can be overwhelming and distracting. Executive Functioning Difficulties: Gifted children may also struggle with executive functioning skills, such as planning, organizing, and time management. While they may have advanced cognitive abilities, they may have difficulty with these skills, which can impact their ability to complete tasks efficiently or manage their workload effectively. Overall, while gifted children may have advanced cognitive abilities, they are not immune to challenges. Addressing these challenges through interventions such as therapy or specialized educational programs can help them overcome these obstacles and reach their full potential.Occupational therapy which is what i want to do with my life, can help gifted children in a variety of ways by focusing on developing their social, emotional, and cognitive skills, as well as addressing any sensory or physical challenges they may face. Here are some ways in which occupational therapy can support gifted children: Addressing Sensory Processing Challenges: Gifted children may experience sensory processing challenges that can impact their ability to focus, learn, and socialize. Occupational therapy can help identify and address these challenges through sensory integration therapy, which can include activities like swinging, jumping, and playing with tactile materials to help regulate their sensory input. Developing Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Occupational therapy can also help gifted children develop their fine and gross motor skills, which can impact their ability to participate in activities like writing, playing sports, or playing a musical instrument. Occupational therapists can provide targeted interventions to improve hand-eye coordination, balance, and strength. Supporting Social-Emotional Development: Gifted children may struggle with social-emotional challenges such as anxiety, perfectionism, and difficulty managing their emotions. Occupational therapy can help by providing strategies for managing anxiety, improving self-regulation, and building social skills such as empathy, communication, and teamwork. Improving Executive Functioning: Gifted children may have exceptional cognitive abilities, but may struggle with executive functioning skills such as planning, organizing, and time management. Occupational therapy can provide strategies to help with these skills, such as breaking down tasks into manageable steps and practicing organization techniques. Enhancing Creativity: Gifted children may benefit from occupational therapy interventions that encourage and enhance their creativity, such as art therapy, play therapy, or mindfulness-based practices. These interventions can help gifted children express themselves and build self-confidence, while also promoting relaxation and stress reduction. Overall, occupational therapy can be a valuable tool for supporting gifted children in their development and helping them overcome any challenges they may face. By addressing sensory, motor, social-emotional, and cognitive needs, occupational therapy can help gifted children thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    Anger and sadness, although often thought of as purely negative emotions, are also often driving forces in my life. Oftentimes the thing that pushes me the most towards public service roles is my own negative experiences. For example, when I was a child my family used to go to church. I was involved in Sunday school where ever we went and although not everywhere was the same, so much of it was a toxic environment for a little girl. My parent's struggled with religious trauma after several horrible incidents in churches we went to. Around a year and a half ago I was offered a job as a Sunday school teacher at a local church. At first, I wasn't going to take it, I didn't want to risk being in that environment. I looked a little more into the church and it seemed like a nice place, that was full of love rather than hate. I also noticed how much work they do for the community and I was impressed. I decided that instead of hiding from my past my whole life, I could use those negative experiences to give little kids who don't have much choice in going to church, a more positive experience. That decision was one of the best I've ever made. Another opportunity I was given came from the organization Give Us The Floor. The group pairs older teenage mentors with younger preteens and teenagers who are struggling in a variety of areas, such as identity struggles, mental health, school, etc. We were put into a group chat on some form of social media and the youth leader (me) would start conversations and facilitate check-ins weekly with the group. I loved the opportunity because I know how helpful something of that sort may have been when I was younger. I got to hear so many different stories from teenagers around the nation, and offer guidance and support as someone who was recently that age. It infuriates me how much mental health is stigmatized, especially among teenagers. Sometimes you just can't talk to an adult about it, and when you're in middle school you don't have the chance (or the confidence) to just start a conversation with someone who's 16-18, even if it's something you want. I worked with Give us the floor for two years and if I had the time I would still be doing so. Overall I am thankful for the feelings of anger and sadness when I see things that don't sit right with me. Those feelings suck for a second but they leave me with the inspiration to do something about it. If I had never needed help I don't know that I would have the same drive to create change in my community.
    Richard Neumann Scholarship
    As someone who has worked a lot with disabled people, and as someone who is disabled, I have seen firsthand the challenges the disabled community faces when it comes to transportation. Many individuals with disabilities do not have access to reliable and affordable transportation, which can limit their independence and hinder their ability to participate fully in their communities. To address this problem, I have come up with basic ideas for an accessible transportation service that would provide safe, reliable, and affordable transportation for individuals with disabilities. The first step in creating this service would of course be to acquire the necessary resources and funding. This would include vehicles that are equipped with wheelchair ramps or lifts, as well as trained and certified drivers who are experienced in working with individuals with disabilities. The service would also require a central location for dispatching and coordinating transportation requests. It would be a bonus of the drivers and dispatchers and other job positions prioritized people with disabilities, creating more jobs in a workplace designed to be accesible. To ensure that the service is accessible to all individuals with disabilities, regardless of their financial situation, it would be important to offer a sliding scale fee system based on income. This would allow individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford transportation to access the service and maintain their independence. It's unfair how expensive being disabled is and I wouldn't want this system to be even more proof of that. In addition to providing transportation services, the service could also offer other resources and support for individuals with disabilities. This could include information and referral services for other community resources, assistance with applying for government benefits, and opportunities for socialization and community involvement. To ensure that the service is meeting the needs of the community, it would be important to gather feedback and input from individuals with disabilities and their families. Regular surveys and focus groups could be conducted to gather information on areas for improvement and to ensure that the service is meeting the needs of the community. Overall, creating an accessible transportation service for individuals with disabilities would be an important step in addressing a critical need in the community. With the necessary resources and funding, this service could make a significant impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities, providing them with the transportation and support they need to live independently and participate fully in their communities.
    Dylan's Journey Memorial Scholarship
    I have struggled a lot with considering my ADHD diagnosis as a learning disability diagnosis (even though it is). I had a certain idea in my head of what a learning disabilities looked like and it didn't include me. I had peers who consistently got F's and D's no matter how much they were trying. I had friends with dyslexia who had to have seperate classes from their peers just to learn how to read and write, so surely I wasn't that bad off. Through getting a 504 plan, I have realised how much I truly did struggle throughout school. I had poor grades, and organization, and time management skills. A few accomodations seriously changed my experience in school. My experience with ADHD has taught me the importance of perseverance and self-advocacy. I have learned to seek out the resources and support I need to succeed academically and personally. Through my own struggles, I have gained a deep empathy for others who face similar challenges, and I am committed to using my experiences to help others with ADHD. It really opened my eyes when I started working with kids with various physical disabilities, and learning disabilities, including ADHD like I have. I saw so much of myself in them that I didn't realise as a kid wasn't normal. When I realized that I would do anything for these kids in a heartbeat, I knew I needed to give myself the same grace and support. Going to college and seeking higher education is so important to me because I'm excited to further the career I have in working with kids. It's been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I honestly didn't think I'd be able to go to college with my transcript, and I would have to postpone. Fortunately I made it in to my dream college, Pacific University, where I plan to study special education and occupational therapy. I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to apply for this scholarship and gain the financial support needed to pursue my higher education goals, and I believe I am a good candidate for this scholarship because I not only have a learning disability but I plan to work with kids who do. I am commited to use my college education to help kids who are like me, hopefully not end up struggling so much later on in their education like I am now.
    Maverick Grill and Saloon Scholarship
    As an aspiring college student, I believe that I possess multiple unique attributes that set me apart from my peers. One of my most distinctive qualities is my passion for giving back to my community. Growing up, I witnessed firsthand the positive impact that community service had on the people around me since my mother worked at a boys and girls club. I watched her have an impact on so many kids lives as a job. It inspired me to pursue community service work, and I have since dedicated countless hours to various service projects. My commitment to service stems also from my belief that it takes a village. Whether it's volunteering at a local food bank, participating in a charity event, or mentoring younger students, I have found that giving back to the community is both rewarding and fulfilling. Not only does it allow me to make a positive difference in the lives of others, but it also teaches me valuable life lessons such as humility, empathy, and the importance of teamwork. In addition to my passion for community service, I possess several other unique attributes that I believe make me a strong candidate for this scholarship. For one, I am a highly motivated and disciplined individual. I have always been driven to succeed, whether it's in academics, work, or other pursuits. I believe that this drive and determination will help me to excel in college and beyond. Another attribute that sets me apart is my creativity and innovation. I enjoy thinking outside of the box and coming up with new and innovative solutions to problems. This skill has served me well in various academic and extracurricular activities, and I believe it will continue to be an asset in my future endeavors. Lastly, I am a strong believer in the power of teamwork. I used to hate working with other people but in the context of community service I have learned that working collaboratively with others can often lead to greater success than working alone. I am always willing to lend a helping hand and collaborate with others to achieve a common goal. In conclusion, I believe that my passion for community service, motivation and discipline, creativity and innovation, and belief in the power of teamwork make me a unique and valuable candidate for this scholarship. I am committed to using this scholarship to further my education and continue giving back to my community. Thank you for considering my application.