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Gracie Solomon


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With a deep passion for life and embracing creativity, I believe there are great heights we are all able to reach. Through finding my own path in life, I hope to help others find theirs as well. I am known to rarely turn down opportunities to help others or try something new. I believe experiences and relationships are the fuel for life itself. From joining youth activism groups, to my capstone project implementing a new video-based way for students to browse class options, I try to always give back to my community. I am a competitive Irish dancer, as well as a Track and Field athlete. I play viola for the school orchestra, sing in chamber choir, and am a self taught guitarist outside of school. Rather than dedicating my life to one path, I've chosen to tend to as many paths as I'm able to, as I allow my curiosity for life to drive me. My dream career would be one in the film industry. I plan to major in film in the fall of 2024 and explore all aspects of this craft. As with any passion I've pursued in the past, I have so much gratitude for the people who have made it possible for me, and throughout life I will aim to pass every ounce of this support on to others. College will be a chapter in my life where I hope to learn immensely, and craft my abilities for future navigation of the world.


Essex High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Film/Video and Photographic Arts
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Motion Pictures and Film

    • Dream career goals:

      Produce Films - Preferably Music Videos

    • Intern

      Big Heavy World
      2023 – 2023
    • Barback/Food Runner

      OnTap Bar and Grill
      2022 – Present2 years



    2015 - Present9 years


    • Open Champion (Highest Competitive Level)


    2012 - 202210 years


    • Second Degree Black Belt

    Track & Field

    2018 - Present6 years


    • Academy of Visual/Performing Arts

      2021 – Present
    • EHS Chamber Choir

      2023 – Present
    • School Orchestra

      2015 – Present
    • Trez Films Music Video Production Camp

      2017 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      EHS Standards LabPeer Tutor
      2023 – 2024
    • Volunteering

      The Growing Peace ProjectYouth Activist
      2019 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Villari’s Shaolin Kempo KarateInstructor
      2018 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Taylor G Shoulin FoundationBoard of directors
      2018 – 2020

    Future Interests




    Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
    I traced the floral pattern of my pink quilted comforter and tried to tune out the sounds of my parents’ discontentment wafting under the crack of my closed door. My innocent heart ached with spiraling thoughts of my parents separating, leaving my home, and my life forever changing. Despite my desire to block it out, I couldn’t help but listen closely. I wanted to understand: How my mom felt; How my dad felt; Why? Between these listening sessions and discussions with each parent, I eventually became quite the expert. I always felt vastly important in the relationship between my parents. I was the glue, the rope, the tape, the staple, even; whatever material could have held them together, it was me. I remember my dad coming into my room after the spew of frustration had settled, the way he always did, to apologize that I had to hear. I never felt resentment towards either of them for this. In fact, my curiosity and compassion almost wanted to thank them for letting me hear. If I could understand what they were fighting about, I could surely help them fix it. While this is certainly not the ideal position for a kid to be in- and I deeply appreciate my dad’s efforts to always keep me out of it- I learned a lot from these moments. I learned about people. I learned about relationships. I learned that sometimes the best way to fix a situation is to find peace in letting it go. When the day finally came in May of 2022- when my parents told me they had decided to get a divorce- a tinge of relief escaped through my exhale. While the years of being in the middle of it all were not quite over, I had finally been laid off from my job as mediator. I began looking forward to what would come next. Sometimes the things we’re most afraid of become only snippets on a timeline. Another one of these snippets occurred when I was 15. My friend who was preparing for her college departure in the coming months had given me a ride home from dance class. Before pulling the latch to the door of her well loved SUV, I asked something along the lines of, “How are you excited to leave home? I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do it.” Her simple response stuck with me, “You’ll be ready. Don’t worry.” I thought, how could that much possibly change in just 3 years? But here I am, more than excited at the thought of pursuing the next steps of my education in one of the biggest cities in America. The same way the little girl tracing the pink floral stitches of her quilted comforter in fear of the future became at peace with the same future in discussion, the girl terrified of leaving the boundaries of her hometown has become the girl excitingly pursuing education in her passion hundreds of miles away from home. All of this has taught me a profound lesson: That the future doesn’t exist until it becomes the present. I now know to always trust the magic of time, never to fear it.
    Brian Tahair Life of Gratitude Memorial Scholarship
    One year at summer camp, a counselor told me something profound that had stuck with her. A stranger had approached her while traveling in Europe and said a few simple words, "Relationships and Experiences. That's it." This message touched me. It felt like the forever foggy meaning of life had just been revealed like the wipe of a mirror after a hot shower. The way that this stranger impacted her, had allowed her to impact me, which has allowed me to impact others- maybe even the person reading this essay now. This is the way I believe individuals can create positive change. I feel strongly that love is central to everything in the world. It is what humans search for, and it is something every human is capable of giving. Applying the inter-continental ripple effect that my counselor proved to me, I believe that every person has the ability to spread love across the world. A compliment to someone passing by, a caring discussion with a friend, a gift to a stranger, support to someone in need, or any touch of kindness, has the capacity to expand far beyond your reach. This mindset of small acts impacting society as a whole can provide the sense of unity that the world is in need of. Through middle school, I participated in Anti Defamation Leauge workshops, an activism retreat with a local non-profit, I was on the board of directors for the teen-led non-profit at my karate dojo, and all the while had the freedom to volunteer as often as I was able- which I loved. I look forward to returning to more organized community service in college. With commitments like track, work, homework, and dance requiring more of my time through high school, I haven't been able to volunteer as often as I would've liked. But I've found my own ways to leave impacts on my community. I love to bring joy through performance. Dance, orchestra, and choir have all given me countless opportunities to share my artistic passions with the community. But what is most important to me is the outlook that every interaction, no matter how tiny, is an opportunity to spread love. When a person is upset, feeling down, or even being rude, I know that these are the times when kindness can have the most impact. Simple gestures like prompting conversation, offering a snack, or even a simple smile, can truly resonate with someone. Like Brian, I know that anything is possible. On a drive home with my dad around age 10, I remember telling him, "I think we can do anything we want to as long as someone helps show us how." He likely heard a cheesy statement and brushed it off with some sort of "Sure, sweetie!" But to this day, I don't think he understood the world I felt I had unlocked through that statement. With a little guidance from relationships combined with enough experience, I believe that humans can do anything. Through every ounce of love that's spread, I know I am capable of creating a better world; And I hope to always inspire others to feel the same.
    Aspiring Musician Scholarship
    In my 17 years of musical exploration, I have discovered that life itself is a form of art. As humans, we've developed an art form for each of our 5 senses. The art of sight is visuals, such as painting or sculpture; The art of taste is food; The art of scent is aromatherapy; The art of touch is dance; And the art of sound is music. Each of the components making us human go hand in hand with a form of art. At age nine, I hand-built a ukulele with my Grandpa. We worked on it every day after school and it became the first instrument I learned to play on my own. This established early on that music was a way to form deeply meaningful connections with others, even through generational gaps. Soon after, I started playing viola in the school orchestra, where I began learning how sounds can come together to produce an even more beautiful sound. A few years later I decided to learn a few songs on the guitar. This branch of my musical life became the greatest form of expression I had discovered. I began connecting my deepest emotions to the sounds I was able to produce. It became a way to let go. And now, many years later I am the first chair viola player in our orchestra, and guitar is still an outlet that has always been there for me. I even joined a band several months ago, which expanded my musical horizons immensely; As playing with a self-sufficient group is something I hadn't ever experienced. My curiosity for exploring music has never ended, and I don't believe it ever will. Singing has presented a bit of a musical barrier for me, as it’s an area I’ve struggled to find confidence in. But going into senior year, I decided to audition for the chamber choir as a way to overcome my self-doubt. I passed the audition and joined for my senior year. And as with every other musical aspect of my life, I am beyond excited to act on my curiosities and continue to grow. Because it was the first art form I truly connected with, music was my gateway to exploring art as a universal language. I learned, from both creating and listening, that people in all areas of the globe use music to express themselves. Some feelings are simply too intense or unexplainable to be properly embraced by words. When emotion becomes flowing noise, released into the world as beauty, it no longer lingers in a seemingly forever stagnant state. No matter who you are or where you're from your emotions and needs must be addressed. Spoken language is the most common way of communicating these things, but I've come to realize that music can serve the same purpose. The only difference between these languages is that one doesn't need to be translated. As time has passed and I've been exposed to more of the beauties of life, I have noticed that this universal relationship is the same for all forms of art. Paintings and dances from different areas of the world can reflect unique cultures while sharing similar emotions. Despite taste and smell being the less developed art forms, cultural dishes and scents from around the world all take part in how people experience life. Through my exploration of music, I've come to understand that any interaction with our 5 senses can be perceived as art. And as our senses are what allow us to experience life, music has helped me reach the understanding that life itself is art.