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Ryan Gracey

1265

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

Bio

I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. My goals include starting my own retail nursery business where I will specialize in all the fun, weird, wacky, and unusual ways to use plants in one’s home and garden. My focus will be on educating people about how you don’t need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden. It all starts with knowing your environment, your goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to start a garden education program with local elementary schools and junior high and high school students to get kids excited about working outside in the garden and showing them all of the benefits it has on a person’s mind, body, and soul. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it.

Education

Oregon State University

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Applied Horticulture and Horticultural Business Services

San Francisco State University

Bachelor's degree program
2008 - 2010
  • Majors:
    • Radio, Television, and Digital Communication

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Environmental Horticulture

    • Dream career goals:

      Company Founder

    • 2013 – Present11 years

    Sports

    Baseball

    Varsity
    1988 – 200012 years

    Awards

    • MVP

    Research

    • Applied Horticulture and Horticultural Business Services

      Goodland Organics — Greenhouse Manager
      2016 – 2017

    Arts

    • Ghost Galley

      Music
      SuperBloodWolfMoon
      2019 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Humane Society — Volunteer
      2014 – 2015

    Future Interests

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Recovery is like training for a marathon, except, there is no race and there is no finish line. It takes hard work and perseverance and continual training. The first step is realizing that you want to run this marathon of recovery. The next step is preparing for it. This step is difficult but absolutely necessary. This is where you build your toolbox and your community and network of support. Without these the marathon would be near impossible. Once you've taken the step of finding and building your support network you must train every day. Using the tools in your toolbox you learn how to overcome obstacles and keep your eye on the prize. Working daily can be difficult, and some days you might not want to get out there and do it, but it is the only way to succeed. Recovery is a life long journey. Some days are easier than others. As long as you can remember what you are running for and maintain that support group you can achieve your goals.
    Michael Valdivia Scholarship
    I have struggled with mental health issues for most of my life. I have been in and out of treatment and on several different medications. It was all trial and error and an effort finding the help I needed. It took me years to build up the courage to admit I needed help and even longer to find the right doctor. There are two major issues that I ran into which prevented me from seeking medical assistance and getting the assistance I needed. The first issue is the stigma surrounding mental health. I was always considered a strong minded, confident individual who had no problem socializing or finding a job. I was able to hide my anxiety and depression well enough that no one knew I was actually struggling mentally. Society paints a picture of men having to be strong and dealing with any issues by themselves. I had trouble admitting I needed help and even more trouble reaching out because of this societal stigma. Once I did admit I needed help, trying to find it is where I ran into the second roadblock. It is very difficult to find mental health professionals unless you have the money and time and resources available. Most mental health professionals are not covered by insurance, and neither are most medications. Also, the professionals that do accept your health insurance are often so busy that they will not accept new patients. I found both of these to be the most difficult aspects of finding help. One practical solution would be to have insurance cover more mental health issues and have more doctors accept that insurance. Also, mental health should be recognized as a legitimate health issue and treated as such. Building acceptance and awareness around mental health will benefit us all, especially those in need. Being able to find proper treatment and with ongoing help I am able to go back to school to pursue my dreams. With my BS in Horticulture, I hope to be able to give back to the community and world at large. I have two main goals. One is I want to start my own business where I use reclaimed materials or reuse found objects or thrown out treasures to create planter beds, terrariums, and garden art. The second is I want to start my own horticulture program working with kids K-12 and teaching them the value of gardening and how much fun it can be. I would like to work with local schools and develop a curriculum that can eventually lead to college credits for high school kids. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    I have struggled with mental health issues for most of my life. I have been in and out of treatment and on several different medications. It was all trial and error and an effort finding the help I needed. It took me years to build up the courage to admit I needed help and even longer to find the right doctor. There are two major issues that I ran into which prevented me from seeking medical assistance and getting the assistance I needed. The first issue is the stigma surrounding mental health. I was always considered a strong minded, confident individual who had no problem socializing or finding a job. I was able to hide my disability well enough that no one knew I was actually struggling mentally. Society paints a picture of men having to be strong and dealing with any issues by themselves. I had trouble admitting I needed help and even more trouble reaching out because of this societal stigma. Once I did admit I needed help, trying to find it is where I ran into the second road block. It is very difficult to find mental health professionals unless you have the money and time and resources available. Most mental health professionals are not covered by insurance and neither are most medications. Also, the professionals that do accept your health insurance are often so busy that they will not accept new patients. I found both of these to be the most difficult aspects of finding help. One practical solution would be to have insurance cover more mental health issues and have more doctors accept that insurance. Also, mental health should be recognized as a legitimate health issue and treated as such. Building acceptance and awareness around mental health will benefit us all, especially those in need.
    Trudgers Fund
    A few months ago I would not have been here applying for this scholarship and going back to school. Alcoholism runs in my family. My grandpa had it. My great grandpa had it. Unfortunately, I got the gene as well. I believed that I could handle it as it rarely affected my life, so I thought. I was a high functioning alcoholic. After 15 years of heavy drinking but still being able to hold down a job and live a relatively normal life, my body began to tell me enough is enough. It became such a debilitating habit that it was all I could think about, not because I liked being drunk anymore but because my body was unable to function without it. First thing in the morning I would need to have a drink. If I could make it until lunch I'd have another couple drinks. Then I'd count the hours until I could go home and drink more. It was a terrible existence. I did not want to admit that I had a problem but it was becoming so obvious to my friends, family, and coworkers that I did. It was getting harder and harder to hide it and to live through it. Finally, I took the first step and admitted to myself that I had a problem and needed help. I reached out to my family and friends for support and luckily was accepted with open arms. That was the first step. The next step was more difficult because I had to actually take action to turn my life around. I took time off of work and found a facility that would accept me. I had to ask my parents for financial help to pay rent while I was away. I lived in residential treatment for a month with no access to my phone or the internet. This was immensely helpful with my recovery. With hard work I persevered and made it through the program. I then went to daily meetings in an intensive outpatient program. I was back living at home and having to manage my day to day life sober. Even though alcohol was just a few minutes drive away I now had the tools and dedication to say no and stay sober. I have now maintained my sobriety for four months and counting. During this time I decided to go back to school for what I love, which is horticulture. I have a renewed interest in gardening and have been able to work outside in my own home garden on a daily basis. I am starting to get back to work and have many plans for my future now. I'm working on starting my own business which never would have been possible before. My life has purpose and meaning again. I now am on a path to obtaining my Bachelor of Science and turning my life around. I can finally be the person that I have always wanted to be. With my BS in Horticulture I hope to be able to give back to the community and world at large. I want to start my own horticulture program working with kids K-12 and teaching them the value of gardening and how much fun it can be. I would like to work with local schools and develop a curriculum that can eventually lead to college credits for high school kids. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it.
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    A few months ago I would not have been here applying for this scholarship and going back to school. Alcoholism runs in my family. My grandpa had it. My great grandpa had it. Unfortunately, I got the gene as well. I believed that I could handle it as it rarely affected my life, so I thought. I was a high functioning alcoholic. After 15 years of heavy drinking but still being able to hold down a job and live a relatively normal life, my body began to tell me enough is enough. I did not want to admit that I had a problem but it was becoming obvious to my friends, family, and coworkers that I did. It was getting harder and harder to hide it and to live through it. Finally, I took the first step and admitted to myself that I had a problem and needed help. I reached out to my family and friends for support and luckily was accepted with open arms. That was the first step. The next step was more difficult because I had to actually take action to turn my life around. I took time off of work and found a facility that would accept me. I had to ask my parents for financial help to pay rent while I was away. With hard work and dedication I persevered and made it through the program. I have now maintained my sobriety for four months and counting. During this time I decided to go back to school for what I love, which is horticulture. I now am on a path to obtaining my Bachelor of Science and turning my life around. I can finally be the person that I have always wanted to be. That is how I persevered through a difficult situation.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    A Bold Career Goals scholarship will allow me to follow my passions and give me the resources to achieve my goals. I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. My goals include starting my own retail nursery business where I will specialize in all the fun, weird, wacky, and unusual ways to use plants in one’s home and garden. My focus will be on educating people about how you don’t need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden. It all starts with knowing your environment, your goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to start a garden education program with local elementary schools and junior high and high school students to get kids excited about working outside in the garden and showing them all of the benefits it has on a person’s mind, body, and soul. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it.
    Bold Success Scholarship
    A Bold Succes scholarship will allow me to follow my passions and give me the resources to achieve my goals. I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. My goals include starting my own retail nursery business where I will specialize in all the fun, weird, wacky, and unusual ways to use plants in one’s home and garden. My focus will be on educating people about how you don’t need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden. It all starts with knowing your environment, your goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to start a garden education program with local elementary schools and junior high and high school students to get kids excited about working outside in the garden and showing them all of the benefits it has on a person’s mind, body, and soul. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it.
    Bold Best Skills Scholarship
    I am a man of many talents, but my main talent is being a musician. Musicianship has always run in my family. That is proven because I am related to the late great Franz Schubert. However, that talent for me was a practiced and hard-earned one. At the age of six my mother made me take piano lessons. I never liked them when I was growing up. Every Wednesday after school my sister and I would go to Ms. Buntsen’s house from 4-6pm. My favorite part was when my sister was practicing because that meant that I didn’t have to. Later in life though, I grew to appreciate what piano taught me. I learned how to read music and perform in front of others. It gave me confidence and taught me the value of hard work and how practice can help you achieve your goals. Today I play guitar, piano, trumpet, drums, and went to school for recording. I write all my own original music and take pride and joy in doing so. I practice every day and have fun playing alone or with others. I play in a couple of bands, and we practice weekly and play shows about once a month. This keeps me writing and recording and using my talents every day. None of this would have been possible without my mom strongly encouraging me to take piano lessons and hone my skills
    Bold Talent Scholarship
    I am a man of many talents, but my main talent is being a musician. Musicianship has always run in my family. That is proven because I am related to the late great Franz Schubert. However, that talent for me was a practiced and hard-earned one. At the age of six my mother made me take piano lessons. I never liked them when I was growing up. Every Wednesday after school my sister and I would go to Ms. Buntsen’s house from 4-6pm. My favorite part was when my sister was practicing because that meant that I didn’t have to. Later in life though, I grew to appreciate what piano taught me. I learned how to read music and perform in front of others. It gave me confidence and taught me the value of hard work and how practice can help you achieve your goals. Today I play guitar, piano, trumpet, drums, and went to school for recording. I write all my own original music and take pride and joy in doing so. I practice every day and have fun playing alone or with others. I play in a couple of bands, and we practice weekly and play shows about once a month. This keeps me writing and recording and using my talents every day. None of this would have been possible without my mom strongly encouraging me to take piano lessons and hone my skills.
    Beaming Health Autism Post-Secondary Scholarship
    My vision of the future is one of beauty, contentment, knowledge, and exploration. I find myself at a turning point in my life. I am going back to school after over a decade of trying to “figure it out”. I have overcome many obstacles including addiction, loss of loved ones, and depression. I can see clearly now the rain is gone. As cliché as that may sound, it is very true. Through hard work and determination, I can now envision a very bright future ahead of me. I have found my passion working with plants and it has allowed me to bloom into the human I am today. There is beauty all around us if you know where to look. Stop and smell the roses. Watch the sunset with a loved one. Read a book. Take a deep breath and just be happy in the moment. These are all things I have learned to love and appreciate. My vision for the future is one where I thrive and am able to give back to my fellow man, woman, child, animal, plant, and everything else. This scholarship will allow me to follow my passions and give me the resources to achieve my goals. I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. My goals include starting my own retail nursery business where I will specialize in all the fun, weird, wacky, and unusual ways to use plants in one’s home and garden. My focus will be on educating people about how you don’t need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden. It all starts with knowing your environment, your goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to start a garden education program with local elementary schools and junior high and high school students to get kids excited about working outside in the garden and showing them all of the benefits it has on a person’s mind, body, and soul. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it. My vision is not just for my future, but for the future of all those around me. I want to spread the love, knowledge, appreciation, and excitement that I feel to all those willing to listen. I want to share my experiences and my achievements to help inspire everyone. With the help of this scholarship, and my continued education and support at Oregon State University, I hope to achieve these goals and many more. I will leave you with this quote that I find inspiring. “Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature” (Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience). Thank you for your time and I wish you all well. Happy planting.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    My vision of the future is one of beauty, contentment, knowledge, and exploration. I find myself at a turning point in my life. I am going back to school after over a decade of trying to “figure it out”. I have overcome many obstacles including addiction, loss of loved ones, and depression. I can see clearly now the rain is gone. As cliché as that may sound, it is very true. Through hard work and determination, I can now envision a very bright future ahead of me. I have found my passion working with plants and it has allowed me to bloom into the human I am today. There is beauty all around us if you know where to look. Stop and smell the roses. Watch the sunset with a loved one. Read a book. Take a deep breath and just be happy in the moment. These are all things I have learned to love and appreciate. My vision for the future is one where I thrive and am able to give back to my fellow man, woman, child, animal, plant, and everything else. An I Am Third scholarship will allow me to follow my passions and give me the resources to achieve my goals. I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. My goals include starting my own retail nursery business where I will specialize in all the fun, weird, wacky, and unusual ways to use plants in one’s home and garden. My focus will be on educating people about how you don’t need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden. It all starts with knowing your environment, your goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to start a garden education program with local elementary schools and junior high and high school students to get kids excited about working outside in the garden and showing them all of the benefits it has on a person’s mind, body, and soul. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it. My vision is not just for my future, but for the future of all those around me. I want to spread the love, knowledge, appreciation, and excitement that I feel to all those willing to listen. I want to share my experiences and my achievements to help inspire everyone. With the help of this scholarship, and my continued education and support at Oregon State University, I hope to achieve these goals and many more. I will leave you with this quote that I find inspiring. “Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature” (Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience). Thank you for your time and I wish you all well. Happy planting.
    Bold Make Your Mark Scholarship
    I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. My goals include starting my own retail nursery business where I will specialize in all the fun, weird, wacky, and unusual ways to use plants in one’s home and garden. My focus will be on educating people about how you don’t need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden. It all starts with knowing your environment, your goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to start a garden education program with local elementary schools and junior high and high school students to get kids excited about working outside in the garden and showing them all of the benefits it has on a person’s mind, body, and soul. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it. My vision is not just for my future, but for the future of all those around me. I want to spread the love, knowledge, appreciation, and excitement that I feel to all those willing to listen. I want to share my experiences and my achievements to help inspire everyone. With the help of this scholarship, and my continued education and support at Oregon State University, I hope to achieve these goals and many more. I will leave you with this quote that I find inspiring. “Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature” (Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience). Thank you for your time and I wish you all well. Happy planting.
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    A Bold Driven scholarship will allow me to follow my passions and give me the resources to achieve my goals. I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University. My goals include starting my own retail nursery business where I will specialize in all the fun, weird, wacky, and unusual ways to use plants in one’s home and garden. My focus will be on educating people about how you don’t need a green thumb to have a beautiful garden. It all starts with knowing your environment, your goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. I would also like to start a garden education program with local elementary schools and junior high and high school students to get kids excited about working outside in the garden and showing them all of the benefits it has on a person’s mind, body, and soul. I truly believe connecting with nature can have an extremely positive impact on a person’s life and overall well-being. Digging in the dirt can be very cathartic and I think we all should do it.
    Bold Giving Scholarship
    Giving back means helping your community the best way you know how and are able to. It means putting others first and helping those in need. Giving back is not just a monetary value but a physical and emotional one as well. Helping your elderly neighbor take out her garbage cans or listening to a stranger’s problems while you both wait for the bus can be ways to give back. When a person decides to act for the greater good of their community and is selfless in his/her actions that is the best way to give back. Every Thanksgiving I volunteer at the local Vets Hall and help people in need by serving a turkey dinner. I usually am unable to contribute monetarily but I am able to give my time and service. Over the years I have given free seminars to the public on the benefits of composting and how it can help impact our environment positively. I have worked with school children in the gardens and taught them the importance of soil nutrients for plants and how they help the vegetables grow big and strong. Being able to help and teach each other without expecting or wanting anything in return is giving back. We all live in this world together and we all need to help each other however we can. Even the little things can make a difference in someone’s life. A Bold Giving scholarship will allow me to follow my passions and give me the resources to achieve my goals. I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    Acts of service mean helping your community the best way you know how and are able to. It means putting others first and helping those in need. Acts of service are not just a monetary value but a physical and emotional one as well. Helping your elderly neighbor take out her garbage cans or listening to a stranger’s problems while you both wait for the bus can be acts of service. When a person decides to act for the greater good of their community and is selfless in his/her actions that is the best way to give back. Every Thanksgiving I volunteer at the local Vets Hall and help people in need by serving a turkey dinner. I usually am unable to contribute monetarily but I am able to give my time and service. Over the years I have given free seminars to the public on the benefits of composting and how it can help impact our environment positively. I have worked with school children in the gardens and taught them the importance of soil nutrients for plants and how they help the vegetables grow big and strong. Being able to help and teach each other without expecting or wanting anything in return is what acts of service are all about. We all live in this world together and we all need to help each other however we can. Even the little things can make a difference in someone’s life. A Bold Acts of Service scholarship will allow me to follow my passions and give me the resources to achieve my goals. I will be working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture at Oregon State University.
    Bold Listening Scholarship
    Listening is more than just hearing what is said. It is understanding and comprehending that ideas and thoughts are being presented. When one actively listens, they tune out background noise and cluttered thoughts and engage with the speaker. Asking questions or repeating back what you have heard is a beneficial way to let the speaker know that you are actively listening. This does not mean that you need to provide a response, commentary, or assessment, but it lets the speaker know that you are aware of the content being provided. I like to make eye contact and respond with simple heads nods or gestures that give visual feedback to the speaker. It shows that I am present and actually listening, not just hearing what is being said. Actively listening allows the person speaking to be fully immersed in what they are saying because they know that you are focused on what they are talking about. Always wait your turn to respond as well. This also lets the speaker know that you are not just waiting to speak but are actively listening and absorbing the material being presented.
    Bold Dream Big Scholarship
    Imagine, ten years from now, in a house on a hill, beautiful and bright, I wake up as the sun rises over the gorgeous Santa Ynez Mountains. I slowly rise out of bed and stretch as my dog tries to jump on the bed and lick my face. He too is waking up to greet another wonderful day full of excitement and wonder. I put on my robe and stroll towards the kitchen where my coffee is waiting for me, hot and ready. I open the back door and saunter out onto the terrace that overlooks the golden valley below and the sun kissed cobalt blue waters of the pacific. I sit in my Adirondack chair admiring the scene in front of me with my dog by my side. We are ready to take on another day. Our beautiful house provides us with the serene environment we need to for a perfect start to a perfect day. Once breakfast has been made in the large sunny kitchen I take a nice refreshing shower in the gorgeous master bathroom. Now that my stomach is full and body is clean it’s time to get to work. I start by answering some emails in the living room that overlooks the majestic oaks of Santa Barbara. After that is completed, I move on to working in the spectacular garden for the rest of the day. At the end of the day I relax with a glass of red wine from a nearby vineyard and enjoy the warmth of the fireplace as I unwind. Maybe a little piano playing is in store? Who knows what the evening has to offer. Another amazing day is in the books as I drift off to sleep in my king sized bed with my dog by my side.
    Hobbies Matter
    One of my favorite hobbies is disc golf, or frisbee golf (although people who play it don't call it that). There are many reasons why I love disc golf. It is an amazing sport that, like regular golf, gets you outside and allows you to enjoy nature. Disc golf, however, is truly in nature as most courses are set in public parks or natural settings such as forests or mountains. When I lived in Flagstaff, AZ there were courses that took you through dense wooded forests only to open up to large sprawling fields. In the summertime, the local ski resort even had a course set up where you could play on actual ski runs across the mountain. Through 18 holes (most of the time) one gets to walk through multiple types of terrain and test their skills trying to get their disc in the basket in as few shots as possible. Another great reason that I love disc golf is that I get to bring my dog along and let him run wild as I play a round. Most courses are dog friendly which we both really enjoy. This gets my dog the much needed exercise he deserves without having to be constrained to a leash. He truly gets to be free while I get to experience the freedom of nature myself. Disc golf also is a game of skill but can be played virtually anywhere by almost anyone. My dad used to play on the beach in Santa Monica, CA tossing frisbees at the fire pits that lined the shore. I have a basket myself and can take it with me to a park or play in my backyard. One can even just use the discs to play catch like a regular ol' frisbee. It's also a great sport for all ages, genders, and skill levels. Plus, most courses are free to play and do not require a membership like regular golf often does. Disc golf is a wonderful sport for everyone to enjoy. If you love nature and getting a little exercise without having to strain yourself too much, then disc golf is for you. If you have a dog companion to bring along, even better. I urge everyone to try it at least once. I'm sure there's a course nearby. Get out there, throw some discs, enjoy nature, and have some fun.
    Pettable Pet Lovers Scholarship Fund