For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Grace K

1685

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

Hi! My name is Grace and I am currently a high school senior who is planning to graduate in June 2022. My hobbies include dancing, doing puzzles, playing video games, reading, and playing with my pets. I participate in unified varsity sports such as tennis and bocce, and I am a member of my school's Academic Team Club, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, National BETA Club, and Student Academic Leadership Team (SALT) Club. I absolutely love languages, and while I learn Spanish in school, I also self-study Korean and Japanese. I hope to major in Japanese and possibly minor in Korean in college and pursue a career in translation. I have received the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy in both Spanish and Korean. I recently was accepted to the University of Maryland as a Japanese Language and Literature major.

Education

University of Maryland-College Park

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
  • Minors:
    • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other

Smithsburg High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
    • Southeast Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
    • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Foreign Language

    • Dream career goals:

      Translator

    • I worked as an ice cream scooper. I took and filled orders, ran the register, made food and drinks, restocked empty items, interacted with customers, and kept a clean workspace.

      Misty Meadow Farm Creamery
      2018 – 20202 years

    Sports

    Bocce

    Varsity
    2022 – 2022

    Awards

    • My team won a gold medal in our division at our county tournament.

    Dancing

    Club
    2007 – 202013 years

    Tennis

    Varsity
    2021 – 2021

    Awards

    • 3rd Place in our devision at the State Competition

    Arts

    • Smithsburg Band

      Music
      We played a Fall, Winter, and Spring concert, as well as an annual county festival. We marched in 2-3 parades each year and did field shows at all the home football games.
      2013 – 2021
    • My Dance Studio

      Dance
      I had a yearly recital.
      2007 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      My Dance Studio — I was a teacher helper for a class of younger dancers. I got the class ready, cleaned, demonstrated steps, choreographed, and took over the class when needed.
      2013 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Smithsburg Steam and Craft Show — I worked with my dad to keep the branding fire hot, supply cedar planks, brand the annual design into the planks, and sell the planks to local community members.
      2018 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Ringgold Ruritan — I volunteered as a worker. I helped set up, tear down, run the event, help customers, take and fill orders, calculate change, and keep a clean workspace.
      2010 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Maverick Grill and Saloon Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by languages. My profound interest in foreign languages sparked when I began watching TV shows and films in various languages. I found that I was often more engrossed in the unfamiliar sounds and writing systems I was observing than I was in the actual content of the media. My history with language learning began in middle school, as I started learning Spanish in sixth grade. From there, in contrast to many of my peers who complained about the foreign language requirements for graduation, I excitedly continued to take Spanish classes all throughout middle and high school, ultimately receiving the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish in Fall 2019, an Award for Excellence in Spanish from the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 2020, and a score of 4 on the Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture exam in Spring 2022. However, I have also carried my passion for language learning outside of the classroom, self-studying Korean beginning in April 2020. Despite my lack of formal Korean language education, I received the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy in Korean in February 2022. At my high school, I became a spectacle as I was known as the girl who studies languages and would often be approached by those curious about any foreign language. Rather than getting discouraged by this ostracising classification, I embraced it, happily responding to my peers about their questions and going on long rants about different languages and linguistic structures that fascinated me. When I decided that I wanted to major in language, I received mixed reactions from those around me. Many of the adults in my life questioned what I could do with such an odd degree, and even online I was met with constant rhetoric that classified my anticipated major as "useless". However, instead of doubting my passion for language, I took these negative reactions as fuel to drive me to prove those people wrong and fully devote myself to my language studies. In addition to currently pursuing a degree in Japanese and a minor in Korean Studies, I hope to self-study other languages such as Spanish, Thai, and Mandarin Chinese so I can expand my linguistic capabilities and have a positive impact on a variety of individuals throughout the world, ultimately working as a professional translator. I will strive to be the best student I can be in order to achieve my future goals and utilize my education to the fullest. During the upcoming Fall 2023 semester, I will be participating in the Korean Language House Cluster Program at the University of Maryland, which requires me to utilize only my target language to communicate while inside the residence hall, as well as participate in weekly activities with a mentor and native speakers. As I grew up watching my father devote himself to serving the community through his employment in the fire department, I feel passionately about helping others and have participated in several capacities of community service over my life. Whether it be volunteering at my local Ruritan Club multiple times a year, leading groups of young dancers at my local dance studio, or bringing people and cultures together through the art of translation, community service will always be a prominent part of my life. I want my passion for language learning to be the base for my future career so I can utilize my devotion to such a unique subject to help those around me and give back to those living in my community who are confined behind a language barrier.
    Valiyah Young Scholarship
    My name is Grace Kittel, and I am currently a first-year student enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Japanese with a minor in Korean Studies. As a student on the Dean’s List with a 3.86 GPA and 60 cumulative credits as a freshman, I feel confident that the Valiyah Young Scholarship will allow me to support the continuation of my education and breed success in my future. My profound interest in language sparked when I began watching TV shows and films in foreign languages. I found that I was often more engrossed in the unfamiliar sounds and writing systems I was observing than I was in the actual content of the media. My history with language learning began in middle school, as I started learning Spanish in sixth grade. From there, I continued to take Spanish classes all throughout middle and high school, ultimately receiving the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish in Fall 2019, an Award for Excellence in Spanish from the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 2020, and a score of 4 on the Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture exam in Spring 2022. However, I have also carried my passion for language learning outside of the classroom, self-studying Korean beginning in April 2020. Despite my lack of formal Korean language education, I received the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy in Korean in February 2022. Furthermore, I have extended my language studies to my college career, taking both Japanese and Korean language courses each semester. In addition to pursuing a degree in Japanese and a minor in Korean Studies, I hope to self-study other languages such as Spanish, Thai, and Mandarin Chinese so I can expand my linguistic capabilities and have a positive impact on a variety of individuals throughout the world, ultimately working as a professional translator. I will strive to be the best student I can be in order to achieve my future goals and utilize my education to the fullest. During the upcoming Fall 2023 semester, I will be participating in the Korean Language House Cluster Program at the University of Maryland, which requires me to utilize only my target language to communicate while inside the residence hall, as well as participate in weekly activities with a mentor and native speakers. Outside of my academic accomplishments, I have participated in a variety of extracurricular activities as well. In high school, I was not only a member of the National Honor Society, but I was also the President of the Spanish National Honor Society during my senior year. Similarly, I was a member of my high school marching band for four years, playing both the flute and piccolo, and increasingly taking on unofficial leadership roles and guiding my peers as I grew older. I began dancing at age three, eventually volunteering as a “teacher-helper” and acting as a role model and instructor for a class of young dancers from age eight to sixteen. As I grew up watching my father devote himself to serving the community through his employment in the fire department, I feel passionately about helping others and have participated in several capacities of community service over my life. Whether it be volunteering at my local Ruritan Club multiple times a year, leading groups of young learners in vacation bible school, or bringing people and cultures together through the art of translation, community service will always be a prominent part of my life.
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    Last Spring I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a young woman who excels academically, obtaining my diagnosis was a grueling process, and I remember feeling utterly defeated after doctor appointments. However, I persisted and made myself heard. During the pandemic, I learned more about ADHD and realized that I exhibited several symptoms. However, when I brought up my concerns to my psychiatrist, she quickly dismissed me and explained that I was only experiencing anxiety. Although I restricted myself from voicing any disagreement in my first appointment, I quickly began standing up for myself when my psychiatrist continued to invalidate me. During one appointment I told her that I was suffering from bad mental health issues due to the ADHD symptoms I was experiencing, and I was met with an explanation that since my grades were good, whatever I was doing must have been working just fine. After mentally exhausting visits with the psychiatrist and a mental breakdown, I begged my mom to take me to an ADHD specialist. Having recognized the intensity of my struggles, my mom scheduled an appointment for me. I completed cognitive tests that showed that I had ADHD. The specialist validated my concerns, and told me that since my IQ was high, I was able to obtain good grades, but only because I was forcing every ounce of my energy into school. Because of my perseverance, I was able to both obtain a diagnosis and be prescribed medication for my ADHD, and my life changed dramatically. I was finally able to focus on schoolwork, complete my homework in a timely manner, and follow along during lectures. While obtaining my ADHD diagnosis was an arduous process, I am thankful that I fought for myself and got the support I needed.
    Community Service is Key Scholarship
    From the time I was eight years old until I was nearly 16 and Covid prevented me from doing so, I volunteered as a teacher helper at my local dance studio. My studio’s owner implemented a teacher helper program to offer a leadership opportunity to students who wanted to help others learn. I remember having a helper ever since my first year of dance at three years old. I looked up to my helpers and always aspired to dance as well as them. As such, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher helper as soon as I could. I took on my first class when I was only eight years old. I helped with a conjoined ballet and tap class for five and six-year-olds. I remember being very nervous when I began, feeling pressure to provide my dancers with the same helper experience I had when I was their age. To me, teacher helpers had always been a source of inspiration, an older sister to confide in, and a supporter of me and my dancing. I knew I wanted to be the same kind of helper for my little girls, so despite my anxieties, I was determined to be a good leader. As a teacher helper at such a young age, my responsibilities started off small. I had a weekly chore that I completed after my class finished, I would play and pause the music while we practiced, I demonstrated steps for my students, I helped guide them through different activities, and at our year-end recital, I was responsible for keeping track of my group and making sure they were ready for their performance. However, as I began to grow older, my leadership responsibilities began to grow. When I was 11 years old, I helped with two Saturday dance classes: a ballet and tap class and an acrobatics class. I began starting every class while my teacher was talking to parents, I took over instruction if needed, and I helped students perform acrobatic tricks safely. My leadership began to blossom as I started needing less and less reassurance from my teacher and started to rely on my own confidence and abilities to be a helper. Within the next few years, I was a full leader all on my own. During my final two years as a helper, I taught a Jazz II class of young girls between the ages of eight and thirteen. I was confident enough to begin class without a second glance at the teacher. I knew the process and I knew how to interact with my girls as their friend and mentor. My teacher even began having me choreograph a short combination for my class. I decided on music, timing, and steps on my own and then taught it to my girls and made any adjustments if something wasn’t working. I truly felt like a leader for my students and I felt proud when I saw them make progress. Being a leader for classes of young dancers was an exhilarating and incredibly educational experience that I will never forget. I am thankful that my dance teachers allowed me to learn how to become a leader from such a young age and provided me with a comfortable environment in which to develop the leadership skills that I will continue to use in my future. Being a leader is never about being the most powerful person in the room, but rather, it’s about being the most encouraging, the most inspiring, the most compassionate, and most importantly, the one who is most ready to learn from others.
    Bold Encouraging Others Scholarship
    My friends mean the world to me, they help me when I am struggling, they make me feel better when I am sad, and they recognize and congratulate me on my accomplishments. I love and appreciate my friends, and as such, I try my best to encourage them when they are struggling. I am able to pick up concepts faster than the average person, so I often help tutor my friends in academic subjects. However, at times I notice my friends becoming frustrated with their work and discouraged in their abilities. In such situations, I do my best to encourage them. When I hear my friends doubting themselves and degrading their intelligence because they are struggling with problems, I make sure to set the record straight. I reassure them that they are smart and that their intelligence hasn’t changed simply because they are having difficulties. I follow a process in which I go over the problem with them by both guiding them to the correct answer and helping them recover their confidence in their academics. I encourage them in a way that allows them to see their own abilities and feel better about continuing to further problems. I try my best to encourage my friends in their academics because I know how frustrating and demoralizing it can be to get stuck on a subject and begin to question your entire intelligence. School causes a great deal of stress and pressure to perform well, so I make an effort to help show my friends that they are doing well and to encourage them to continue to work hard and keep their motivation in the future.
    Bold Fuel Your Life Scholarship
    The fuel in my life comes from my best friend, Gillian. I met Gillian in middle school but wasn’t able to get close to her until our freshman year of high school. She and I have now become inseparable, and even hope to live together in the future. Gillian is a lively, bubbly, and goofy girl. She’s incredibly intelligent and is always seeking to learn more and educate herself further in different subjects. Gillian is one of the strongest people I know and she has overcome so many hardships throughout her life. She is my biggest inspiration, my biggest supporter, and my closest friend. Gillian is a hard-working and determined student who constantly pushes herself to be better and do more. I have seen her on several accounts studying long hours and devoting intense efforts towards school projects. Gillian inspires me to work harder in my own academics and is one of my biggest motivators when I am struggling to continue my work. Gillian encourages me and congratulates me on my accomplishments and progress. She knows how to lift me back up when I have fallen into despair, yet still manages to validate my emotions and help me feel comfortable in my own feelings. I am able to share my interests with Gillian without any fear of criticism, and even when she does not have the same interest as me, she shares my excitement and tries to learn more about the thing that is bringing me joy. My best friend fuels my life without even trying. Her natural attitude and inviting personality bring me comfort and give me the courage to strive for more in my life, even when I am struggling. My best friend means the world to me because she's the fuel that keeps my world spinning.
    Bold Nature Matters Scholarship
    Nothing is more beautiful than the masterpieces created by the natural world. No matter where one resides, there will be a plethora of natural beauty that can be admired. To me, the gorgeous work of nature is what I love about it so much. Last year, my family and I took a trip to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. We ventured to several outlooks showing the lake from different altitudes and perspectives. Seeing the glimmer of the sunlight on the navy blue water that complimented the deep reds and greens of the surrounding woods was captivating. I remember driving to a peak over the lake and walking to the edge of what seemed like the whole world. I could see past the lake for miles upon miles, watching as the gentle clouds in the light blue sky cast slight shadows over the fields and communities below. I remember feeling as though I was a bird flying over the scenery and feeling the stronger winds pass over my body. Such a simple trip to a popular lake made me feel interconnected with nature like never before. As I admire more and more aspects of nature in everyday life, I am reminded to appreciate it with care. I make sure to never litter, and I advise others against committing such disservices towards the environment. I try my best to do my part to take care of the environment and look for more sustainable products. The environment is a powerful and magnificent entity. It is both enticing and terrifying in its beauty and abilities. I love nature for its complexity and its invigorating energy, and I appreciate it by doing my best to take care of it.
    Next Young Leaders Program Scholarship
    From the time I was eight years old until I was nearly 16 and Covid prevented me from doing so, I volunteered as a teacher helper at my local dance studio. My studio’s owner implemented a teacher helper program to offer a leadership opportunity to students who wanted to help others learn. I remember having a helper ever since my first year of dance at three years old. I looked up to my helpers and always aspired to dance as well as them. As such, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher helper as soon as I could. I took on my first class when I was only eight years old. I helped with a conjoined ballet and tap class for five and six-year-olds. I remember being very nervous when I began, feeling pressure to provide my dancers with the same helper experience I had when I was their age. To me, teacher helpers had always been a source of inspiration, an older sister to confide in, and a supporter of me and my dancing. I knew I wanted to be the same kind of helper for my little girls, so despite my anxieties, I was determined to be a good leader. As a teacher helper at such a young age, my responsibilities started off small. I had a weekly chore that I completed after my class finished, I would play and pause the music while we practiced, I demonstrated steps for my students, I helped guide them through different activities, and at our year-end recital, I was responsible for keeping track of my group and making sure they were ready for their performance. However, as I began to grow older, my leadership responsibilities began to grow. When I was 11 years old, I helped with two Saturday dance classes: a ballet and tap class and an acrobatics class. I began starting every class while my teacher was talking to parents, I took over instruction if needed, and I helped students perform acrobatic tricks safely. My leadership began to blossom as I started needing less and less reassurance from my teacher and started to rely on my own confidence and abilities to be a helper. Within the next few years, I was a full leader all on my own. During my final two years as a helper, I taught a Jazz II class of young girls between the ages of eight and thirteen. I was confident enough to begin class without a second glance at the teacher. I knew the process and I knew how to interact with my girls as their friend and mentor. My teacher even began having me choreograph a short combination for my class. I decided on music, timing, and steps on my own and then taught it to my girls and made any adjustments if something wasn’t working. I truly felt like a leader for my students and I felt proud when I saw them make progress. Being a leader for classes of young dancers was an exhilarating and incredibly educational experience that I will never forget. I am thankful that my dance teachers allowed me to learn how to become a leader from such a young age and provided me with a comfortable environment in which to develop the leadership skills that I will continue to use in my future. Being a leader is never about being the most powerful person in the room, but rather, it’s about being the most encouraging, the most inspiring, the most compassionate, and most importantly, the one who is most ready to learn from others.
    Bold Relaxation Scholarship
    I began struggling with mental health illnesses in seventh grade. Since then, I have been on a long journey of understanding my mental health and learning how I can better take care of myself. I am an introvert at heart and as such, I best relax when I am in my room by myself. When I am anxious, depressed, or simply overwhelmed with daily life, I typically turn to my self-care routine. I turn off any bright lights in my room and instead exist in a purple and orange mix of color coming from my LED lights. From there, I begin an activity that brings me comfort, whether it be reading, watching a show or youtube video, building a puzzle, or even just listening to music. Oftentimes, I return to a specific content creator, episode of a show, or song that is special to me. I seek out content that feels familiar and inviting to me so I can focus on the comforting feeling it brings me instead of my outside stressors. For my mental health, in particular, I follow similar procedures. I have a journal that I write in when my thoughts are running too rampant and I need an escape. I write two pages on top of each other in order to both showcase the frantic and chaotic environment of my brain as well as protect my inner feelings from being read by anyone else. Similarly, I listen to music that not only validates my emotions and my struggles but also uplifts and empowers me to feel okay again. I try to allow myself to simply breathe without weight when I relax. I ignore outside stimuli and rather focus on myself and what I can do for my own well-being.
    Bold Speak Your Mind Scholarship
    I suffer from general anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. As such, I typically do my best to fit into the crowd and avoid bringing attention to myself. However, I have learned how to stand up for myself despite my struggles and ignore my fears in order to advocate for myself and others. As a politically far-left female living in rural America, I often conflict with others in political discussions. I remember having a long debate with my father one night regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. Despite my anxiety, I stood my ground and explicitly stated my educated opinions on topics such as marriage, representation in media, and pride month. When I think of that night, I can remember my entire body shaking heavily for the two hours we conversed, even causing my voice to shake at times. Nevertheless, I refused to back down from my stance nor provide my father with any emotional weakness that could be used to degrade my argument. I experience intense physiological symptoms of anxiety anytime I must engage in a confrontation or argument with others, but I don’t let my anxiety overpower me. I won’t let myself be walked over, nor will I stay silent when others are having trouble standing up for themselves. My voice will be heard by others, regardless of their position of power or their perceived superiority. I know my worth and I refuse to let others silence me. Speaking my mind can be very difficult for me because of my anxiety. My heart races and my entire body shakes uncontrollably, yet I push away my fear and I try to ignore my physiological symptoms in order to advocate for myself and my thoughts. I may struggle, but I will always stay committed to speaking my mind.
    Bold Equality Scholarship
    Equality is the stepping stone from which diversity leaps. When equality is enacted, diversity can thrive and people of all races, gender identities, sexualities, and cultures can support each other in community. I am a white female. As a white person, I have learned to recognize and understand the extent of the privilege I experience due to my skin color, and I dedicate effort to educating myself on the struggles of people of color and other minority groups. Educating myself is not something to be praised; it should be the standard. All people must devote time to learning and understanding discrimination against others beyond the definition of believing one race, sexuality, or gender identity to be superior to another. Discrimination runs through the very base of society, it develops through history, and it continues to maintain its grasp on minority groups. To support diversity and equality, I strive to be an advocate for minority groups and use my social media platforms to educate others. I learn from the voices of people of color who share their experiences and help me to gain a perspective I could never experience firsthand. In the coming semester, I will be taking a college course titled Race and Ethnic Relations. I signed up for the class after having an incredible experience in my AP Human Geography class that made me want to expand my knowledge on the history behind racism and how history continues to influence society today. I am excited to educate myself further in diversity and equality, and I hope my education will help me to further support minorities. Equality and diversity are two of the most essential qualities for a society to have. We must all work to educate ourselves and to support equality and diversity in all aspects of life.
    Bold Creativity Scholarship
    Creativity’s versatility and adaptability allow it to implement itself in just about any activity. Throughout my life, I have utilized creativity both in the arts and in academics. However, I have recently found a new way to employ my creativity through one of my dearest hobbies: building puzzles. This year, I began building puzzles regularly. I have always enjoyed brain teasers, and have fallen in love with the entertaining and challenging aspects of building puzzles. I currently have three 2000 piece puzzles that I have completed several times, and I’m always excited to build them again. I can spend hours on end putting pieces together and completing new sections. I employ creativity when I build my puzzles. I enjoy the challenge I can make for myself by building puzzles in different orders, upside down, and even by each individual ring. Being able to create a large image from simple cardboard pieces that fit together is exhilarating to me. I love analyzing the pieces, identifying the different sections of the picture, and learning just how complex pictures actually are. Puzzles may be considered a children’s toy, but to me, they’re something I go to when I am struggling. They calm my mind and extinguish my outside stressors. When I build puzzles my mind stops running, it changes its dramatic course to a much calmer one, one that is worried about a final piece that appears to be missing. Puzzles are a source of enjoyment for me and they have become a large part of my life because of the happiness they bring me and the creativity they allow me to practice.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    I have grown up being enticed by foreign languages. As a young adolescent, I began teaching myself complex languages such as Korean and Japanese. I have taken seven years of Spanish classes in middle and high school. Learning languages and broadening my communication abilities has always been a major part of my life, and I want to continue to pursue such passions in my future career. When I applied to college this past fall, I decided on my major: Japanese Language and Literature. I studied the language on my own a bit in the past, but I desire a classroom experience. I want to succeed in my language studies and work to obtain a job in translation. As a white adolescent living in rural America, I have been restricted in my interactions with people from other cultures. However, in learning languages and working as a translator, I aspire to broaden my world and help others. I dream of being someone who makes people of different cultures and languages feel comfortable communicating with each other, someone who helps make media and products from one culture accessible to those in another, and someone who advocates the importance of learning different languages. One of my biggest dreams of utilizing my language skills revolves around the nation of North Korea. I have educated myself heavily in the daily lives and harsh conditions of those living in the country, especially those who suffer in prison camps. I hope that I can use my knowledge of Korean to help those who manage to escape North Korea, as well as translate important information about the country to spread awareness of the misery of its citizens. I dream that my future career in language provides me with the ability to help others, regardless of communication barriers between cultures.
    Bold Study Strategies Scholarship
    As I have progressed in my academic career, I have learned how to study successfully and personalize my study strategies in order to work efficiently. The biggest strategy I employ is making my notes and study guides pretty. I keep my notes very consistent and create rules and procedures for creating them. I always use highlighters and other colorful pens to label the sections and bring attention to the important topics. I use graph paper rather than lined because I feel that it allows for more creativity. In adding this artistic quality to my notes, I not only have more fun while taking notes, but I am also more inclined to review and study my notes after taking them. Similarly, I try to obtain aesthetic study materials and resources. I buy journals that motivate me to use them. I buy pens and pencils that both work well and make me feel more studious. I buy textbooks and workbooks that have intriguing themes and beautiful layouts. I try my best to provide myself with resources that will motivate me to study them just by simply looking at them. In order to encourage myself to be consistent in my studying schedule, I typically enact a rewards system for myself. If I study for an hour, complete an assignment, or submit an application, I allow myself to build my puzzle, read, play on my phone, or engage in another leisure activity for 20 to 30 minutes. I continue this cycle of studying and relaxing to help regenerate myself and provide my brain with a bit of a break in between assignments. The study strategies I apply in my life consist of those I have adjusted to best fit me, and through them, I have been able to achieve great academic success.
    Bold Motivation Scholarship
    For most people, motivation can come from a person, a goal, or even a simple idea. For me, however, my motivation comes from those who work harder than I think I do. When I was in middle school, I began listening to k-pop. I explored the culture and expectations of the young idols and the trainees working to achieve their dreams. I watched documentaries and read stories about trainees who slept for only four to five hours a day, spending over 12 hours of their time practicing dancing, singing, stage presence, and preparing themselves for auditions. Although I know that restricting one’s sleep to such an extreme extent is not healthy, the determination of the people I was learning about inspired me to work harder myself. I recognized that the trainees and idols I was watching were pushing themselves to the limits every single day, and it made me want to push myself in a similar way. I wanted to study harder, clean around the house more, do more community service, and complete more goals. Even today, when I find myself struggling to complete homework assignments or study for tests, I watch documentaries about the harsh schedules of k-pop trainees and idols. While I know that I should not push myself the same way they are, I still find motivation in their hard work. They put their passion for singing, dancing, and performing into everything they do and they embody the effort I want to put into my own passions. It may be ironic that I am motivated by others’ determination, but to me, their persistence helps me realize my own potential and encourages me to take the necessary steps to reach it.
    Bold Best Skills Scholarship
    I have always been enticed by languages. As such, I have been studying Spanish, Korean, and Japanese. I began studying Spanish during my first year of middle school, and have continued my studies to this day. Once I entered high school, I decided I wanted to challenge myself to learn more, so I began studying Korean and Japanese. I am fascinated by the different writing systems, grammatical structures, vocabulary, and pronunciation of languages, and I find joy in studying language. Since I have been studying Spanish in school for nearly seven years and have even taught myself Korean and Japanese for about three years on and off, I consider language learning to be my best skill. Unlike many of my classmates, I have been able to progress rather quickly in my language studies. I have a passion for learning languages, and it is clear that my passion has contributed to my ability to comprehend the foreign languages I am studying. While I consider language learning to be my best skill, I still recognize that I can improve my skill. In order to do so, I make an effort to find new ways to study. I have tried many styles of notes, different textbooks, workbooks, lesson styles, and practice methods. When I find myself experiencing burnout with regard to my language studies, I make sure to experiment with my learning. I try to keep my studies fun and exciting for my brain to complete. Language learning is a difficult process, but I love it and I am successful at it. I have an ability to make sense of even the most challenging aspects of language and I work to improve my skill of language learning by experimenting with new methods of studying.
    Bold Happiness Scholarship
    Happiness can come from anything in life. Whether it be a television program, a book, a song, friends, family, pets, or hobbies, everyone has something that they find happiness in. For me, my happiness comes from puzzles. This year, I began building puzzles regularly. I have always enjoyed brain teasers, and have fallen in love with the entertaining and challenging aspects of building puzzles. I currently have three 2000 piece puzzles that I have completed several times, and I’m always excited to build them again. I can spend hours on end putting pieces together and completing new sections. I enjoy the challenge I can make for myself by building puzzles in different orders, upside down, and even by each individual ring. Being able to create a large image from simple cardboard pieces that fit together is exhilarating to me. I love analyzing the pieces, identifying the different sections of the picture, and learning just how complex pictures actually are. Puzzles may be considered a children’s toy, but to me, they’re something I go to when I am struggling. They calm my mind and extinguish my outside stressors. When I build puzzles my mind stops running, it changes its dramatic course to a much calmer one, one that is worried about a final piece that appears to be missing. Puzzles are a source of enjoyment for me and they have become a large part of my life because of the happiness they bring me. My hobby may be unconventional for someone my age, but it truly brings me joy, and I will continue to build more complex puzzles and challenge myself by completing them in different ways in order to keep experiencing such happiness.
    Bold Wisdom Scholarship
    Kindness and compassion should not only be given to those who you deem worthy. If I could send one message to every person in the world, that would be it. In society, those of lower status or less fortune tend to be judged harsher and treated poorer. The poor, the homeless, those who struggle from addiction or mental illness, sex workers, and even those who do not fit the beauty standards are commonly victims of rude treatment by others. Yet, how are they less worthy of kindness? Because they’re struggling? Because they’re less fortunate than you? Because you don’t find them appealing? Regardless of personal feelings, every human is worthy of kindness from others. I understand that some humans are evil people, but the nature of a person should not be assumed based on their social status. Stereotypes run rampant in culture, and unfortunately, they increase the poor treatment of those who are viewed as less desirable. No one should ever consciously decide to treat someone less kindly because of their opinion of them. It genuinely confuses me that those who are struggling the most are looked down upon the most by others. Those who are the most vulnerable should theoretically be given the most compassion by others, as they are less fortunate and experiencing more turmoil. Yet society reacts oppositely. I truly believe that all people should be given kindness and compassion regardless of the assumptions that could be made based on their appearance or social status. It is unproductive to cause further hurt to people who are already struggling. If one genuinely wants to make a difference in the world, one should act as an example and demonstrate the importance of treating others with kindness and compassion.
    Bold Books Scholarship
    I recently finished the novel Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Glatz. The book follows the chilling true story of Jack Gruener’s fight to survive 10 different concentration camps during the Holocaust. Glatz worked with Jack (formerly Yanek) and his wife Ruth, another Holocaust survivor, to explain the true horrors and tortures faced by the victims of the Nazi party. When the Nazis invade his country, it was not long before 10-year-old Yanek’s home became part of a ghetto for Jews. After two years of avoiding shipment to a camp, Yanek’s family slowly begins to disappear. Eventually, Yanek is the sole remaining member and is captured and sent to his first concentration camp. Over the next four years, Yanek endured torturous forced labor, beatings, humiliation, death marches, tattooing, and starvation in ten different concentration camps, including Birkenau and Auschwitz. He watched his friends die, he watched SS Officers beat prisoners to death, he watched Nazi leaders kill Jews right beside him. Yanek was rescued in 1945 by American soldiers. He was 16. Yanek’s story is terrifying, and it illuminates the cruelty and disgusting capabilities of man. However, as emotionally daunting as his experience may be to read, it is necessary to hear. Reading Prisoner B-3087 inspired me. It pushed me to dive further into the history of the Holocaust and uncover the hidden atrocities of the Nazi party. Yanek’s story encouraged me to do my own research on antisemitism and learn how to better support the Jewish community. Prisoner B-3087 showcased the importance of studying history and addressing the impact of past atrocities rather than avoiding the events that are painful to remember, and I will forever be impacted by it.
    Bold Helping Others Scholarship
    I have been lucky enough in my life to succeed academically. I often can understand concepts and work through practice problems faster than my classmates. As such, I commonly act as a tutor for my friends and help them become more confident in their schoolwork. This year, I am enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus. I enjoy math quite a bit, as solving the equations and working through long difficult problems is exciting to me. However, many of my classmates feel frustrated with math as they struggle to understand the concepts. Along with often being called over to others' desks during work time in class to be asked questions or to show my paper to another so they can see where they misstepped when solving, I help my friends by writing math notes for them. I have four close friends in my calculus class, and all of them have described having difficulty taking notes on their own. I decided to make an effort to help them by copying my math notes for them and explaining any sections with which they have been having trouble. My friends have repeatedly thanked me for doing such, and have happily told me my notes helped them understand the concepts better. When a test comes up, I also make it a priority to offer my time to my friends to help them feel prepared. I have gone to the library after school twice with some of my friends to review units and have even made up study guides and answer sheets for them. I know that some people would argue I am doing too much, but to me, using my own intelligence and abilities to assist my classmates in becoming more comfortable in their studies is my favorite way to help others.
    Bold Music Scholarship
    “Soldier, Poet, King” is an enchanting song by The Oh Hellos. The song carries a soft, inviting melody through parallel verses that describe different enemies one may face. While the repetitive nature may lead some to believe the song is simplistic, I believe its simplicity is exactly what makes it so enticing. The lyrics tell the story of a soldier who fights with a sword, a poet who fights with his words, and a ruler who fights with his power, all of whom come one by one to overrule the listener. Each verse follows the same structure and features light vocalizations weaved throughout each line. “Soldier, Poet, King” is versatile in meaning, with three simple themes of physicality, verbiage, and emotion. Because of its simplicity, the song can be interpreted to fit practically any situation. “Soldier, Poet, King” inspires me in its versatility. I listen to it when I am sad and unmotivated, as the soldier becomes my strength, the poet becomes my intelligence, and the ruler becomes my determination, all showcasing how successful I can become if I put my mind to it. The song’s enlightening aura lifts my spirits and fills me with peace and inspiration. I listen to the song when I am happy, as each enemy becomes a new motivation to grow and work harder to beat. I can feel energy rise in my chest and I often imagine myself dancing to the joyful notes in a playful field of flowers. To me, the song emits a feeling of pure tranquility and resilience. Its uplifting melody gives me the strength to overcome my struggles, and produces a spirit that is inspiring, empowering, and exhilarating. I find comfort in the song “Soldier, Poet, King”, and I frequently turn to it when I am in need of inspiration.
    Bold Art Scholarship
    “Girl and Kite” by Hangmoon is a piece of digital art depicting a young girl watching as her kite flies freely over the sea. Although the art may appear simple in its concept, I believe that it is an inspiring piece of artwork and represents the wonderment in life. The girl in Hangmoon’s art is small in nature, likely only aging around five or six years. She is portrayed in a simple white dress and wears her hair in a low ponytail. She faces towards the ocean, overlooking a gorgeous setting of sparkling water, pink and white clouds, and a fading blue sky. The girl focuses her attention on a small kite flying in the sky above the sea, the string of which is unreachable, as it sails farther into the world. To me, the artwork feels safe; a nostalgic reminder of childhood and innocence while also showcasing the possibilities of the world and the importance of goals. I feel as though I can exchange myself with the young girl in the piece. It helps me remember the confidence of a child, feeling as though you could conquer the world as long as you tried hard enough. When I analyze this art piece, I see the ocean as life: its possibilities, its vastness, its beauty. I believe the kite represents the potential of the girl, the ultimate goal in her life that she strives to reach. Despite its simplicity, “Girl and Kite” exudes an aura of opportunity and the preciousness of life. It inspires me to remember my past self, work hard towards my future goals, and recognize that the best is yet to come for me. The art piece motivates me to see the beauty of the world and the possibilities in life just like the young girl does.
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    Last Spring I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a young woman who excels academically, obtaining my diagnosis was a grueling process, and I remember feeling utterly defeated after doctor appointments. However, I persevered to make myself heard. During the pandemic, I learned more about ADHD and realized that I exhibited several symptoms. However, when I brought up my concerns to my psychiatrist, she quickly dismissed me and explained that I was only experiencing anxiety. Although I restricted myself from voicing any disagreement in my first appointment, I quickly began standing up for myself when my psychiatrist continued to invalidate me. During one appointment I told her that I was suffering from bad mental health issues due to the ADHD symptoms I was experiencing, and I was met with an explanation that since my grades were good, whatever I was doing must have been working just fine. After mentally exhausting visits with the psychiatrist and a mental breakdown, I begged my mom to take me to an ADHD specialist. Having recognized the intensity of my struggles, my mom scheduled an appointment for me. I completed cognitive tests that showed that I had ADHD. The specialist validated my concerns, and told me that since my IQ was high, I was able to obtain good grades, but only because I was forcing every ounce of my energy into school. Because of my perseverance, I was able to both obtain a diagnosis and be prescribed medication for my ADHD, and my life changed dramatically. I was finally able to focus on schoolwork, complete my homework in a timely manner, and follow along during lectures. While obtaining my ADHD diagnosis was an arduous process, I am thankful that I fought for myself and got the support I needed.
    Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship
    Last Spring I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Obtaining my diagnosis was a difficult process, and I remember feeling defeated regularly after doctor visits. However, I refused to give up and pushed my doctors to listen to me, which resulted in me getting help. During my first doctor's appointment regarding ADHD, I was repeatedly told that I only had anxiety and that my good grades negated any issues I had. I told my doctor that I was struggling with my mental health due to ADHD symptoms and I was met with an explanation that because my grades were good, whatever I was doing must have been working fine. I shut down and began crying out of frustration; no one listened to me, took my struggles seriously, or cared about my mental state. All they cared about was that I was able to obtain an A on a report card. After mentally exhausting visits with the psychologist, I begged my mom to take me to an ADHD specialist to get tested. During a mental breakdown, she recognized the extent of my struggles and scheduled an appointment for me. I completed cognitive tests and the results showed I had ADHD. The specialist told me that since my IQ was high, I was able to obtain good grades, but only because I was forcing every ounce of my energy into school. When I received my diagnosis and was prescribed medicine, my academic life began to change. I was finally able to focus on my schoolwork for several hours at a time. I could complete my homework faster, study easier, and follow along with school lectures better. While obtaining my ADHD diagnosis was a grueling process, I am thankful that I fought for myself and got the support I needed.
    Bold Listening Scholarship
    Listening to others can be both the most difficult and the most important thing humans do for each other. Sometimes we must listen to words that may be painful for us to hear, while other times the only thing we need is to be listened to by others. Actively listening, showing the speaker you care about their message through both silent and vocal signals, is much more powerful than it seems. As a neurodivergent individual, I often actively listen to others through unconventional methods. Although I can sometimes struggle to make eye contact with others, I make a point to showcase that my attention has nevertheless been given to the speaker by nodding along, showing an emotional reaction to their stories, and providing advice, insight, or connections to my life experiences when needed. To me, listening does not always mean staying silent, just as it does not always mean hearing the words that are being spoken. When someone truly hears me, they’ve not only understood the language I’ve used, but they’ve also understood the message and the emotion behind it. When someone listens to me, they acknowledge my perspective, and they relay any advice or support they may have. Listening is not simply hearing, it is not simply understanding language, it is much more. Listening to someone when they are struggling can mean the difference of a world. When a psychiatrist finally listened to me, after experiencing several emotionally traumatic doctor’s visits with those who would strictly hear me, I felt my world become lighter and I finally felt validated and safe in my concerns. I have experienced firsthand how actively listening to those around you can make a difference. To me, listening means truly hearing someone’s words, and putting effort towards understanding their perspective.
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    The goals I find myself setting in my life often overlap. For example, I want to maintain my good grades so I can pursue a career in language so I can do what I love. In my academic life, I want to maintain good grades; in my career, I want to pursue languages; in my personal life, I want to find happiness in my work. Throughout my academic career, I have pushed myself to obtain good grades. I seek academic validation and I dedicate a grand portion of my free time to school and studying. As such, my current academic goal is to persevere through the last semester of high school and maintain both my grades and my determination. I want to keep myself from falling victim to the “it doesn’t matter anymore” mindset and continue to work hard in school. Another substantial goal in my life revolves around college: I want to be accepted into my top school and major. I have tried my hardest throughout my adolescence to fulfill my academic potential, and I want to continue to strive to do so in my college schooling. The largest goal in my life, and subsequently the most difficult to achieve, is simply to find happiness in my future career. One of my biggest fears is being stuck in a job that doesn’t bring me any joy, and I will do everything in my power to avoid such an ending. I want to do what I love and feel as though I am helping others and making an impact in their lives. Although I may not be able to complete some of my goals until decades into the future, they will always be in my mind, and I will always strive to fulfill them.
    Bold Passion Scholarship
    Language is an essential fundamental component of culture, identity, and thought. To me, foreign languages have always been fascinating, and they are truly my passion in life. When I entered middle school, I couldn’t wait to become enrolled in the novice Spanish class. I wanted to learn how the language differed from my own, how the culture was represented through the words that were used, and how I could open myself up to another world of communication. Spanish became my favorite class to attend, and I was always excited to learn more and enhance my skills. I knew I wanted to continue my Spanish education in school, yet at the same time, part of me felt unfulfilled. I began to watch television shows in a variety of Asian and European languages. When I listened to the languages being spoken, I yearned to understand more than just a few simple repeated words or phrases. I wanted to emulate the sounds, learn the writing system, and analyze the grammatical structures. When I found that I rewarded more attention to trying to understand the language and appreciate its intricacies than on the content of the show, I realized my passion for language and decided that I needed a language experience outside of school. In April 2020, I began learning Korean. Despite lacking a teacher, I found my own ways to study the language. I studied Korean vigorously; remaining excitingly immersed in the language as time passed. Hour after hour I would learn new vocabulary and grammatical structures, practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening to native Korean speech. Even as I progress in my Spanish and Korean studies, I feel inspired to learn another language. Languages are overwhelmingly captivating to me, and my passion for them is the foundation of my future.
    Bold Simple Pleasures Scholarship
    Extravagance is often projected as the key to happiness, yet simple pleasures overtake most of the joy in our lives. Ironically, the experiences and events that are the most mundane are often also the most pleasurable. I have had the same best friend since the second year of high school. Her name is Gillian and I have never met a more kind, goofy, or incredible person. She and I are practically twins in our personality and we have a bond that nothing could break. Gillian and I have practices that are special to our friendship alone, and I find that those are the simple pleasures in my life. Whenever Gillian is bored, she often texts me and asks to play a ‘game’. We work together to create a game that we can play over text messages, such as finishing the sentence, would you rather, and other simple messaging games with our own twist added on to them. Although these texting games are mundane and almost never come to a proper end, I always find myself sitting up with sudden excitement when Gillian asks me to play one with her. These games have become even more important to me during the Covid pandemic. Gillian and I often don’t see each other for months on end and it can be difficult to talk to each other without an in-person connection. The games we play have been a way to combat that disconnection, a way to discuss our interests and recent experiences without needing to have a formal conversation about them. The games Gillian and I create together may literally just be simple text messages, but to me, they’re a piece of my life that is special and unique to my friendship, they are a simple pleasure in my life.
    Bold Giving Scholarship
    The act of giving, whatever the gift may be, is impactful. Giving someone something as simple as a few dollars, a pair of warm gloves, or a hand-made present can make a world of difference. To me, giving is most important to do for those who cannot give back. I strive to give back to those in our society who are the most vulnerable: animals. Since I was young, there have always been several stray cats roaming my neighborhood. A few months ago, a young stray all-white cat showed up at my house. He was incredibly friendly and even seemed comfortable around my dog. He yearned to come inside, but my family knew we couldn’t take him in and risk dangerous fights between him and our male cat. However, I was determined to show him he was loved and that he deserved support. I began by giving him a simple cardboard box with a towel in the bottom of it and felt pleased I saw him relaxing in it. I bought him food and water bowls, a small toy, and even a flea collar. He gained some healthy weight and often showed his appreciation for his gifts through loving head rubs. He was soon given a name as well: Ghost. Through the next few months, Ghost would routinely visit our house every morning and evening for food. We gave him a cooler with a blanket and straw for insulation as winter approached, and we took him to the vet to get the necessary shots. Ghost is a new member of my family, and I continue to adapt my displays of affection for his boundaries and restrictions. He may not be the typical recipient of giving, but to me, he is just as deserving as anyone.