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Grayson Conti

1875

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

Bio

My name is Grayson Conti and I use he / they pronouns. I am a senior at West Anchorage High School and I aspire to be a doctor focusing on emergency medicine. My dream is to be able to look at someone on the worst day of their life and say, "I'm going to help you work through this." I am very excited to continue my education in college. My hobbies include reading, watching movies, skiing, hiking, biking, skateboarding, and baking. I also love spending time with my cats and hanging out with my little sister. One of the things that I am most passionate about is my photography. I am very proud of the work that I make and have even won awards for some of my pictures. I have also been part of several local art shows in my city. I am also an avid rock climber, focusing on bouldering and sport climbing. I have been climbing for six years, five of which, I have been part of a team of kids my age who love the sport as much as I do. I hope to be able to continue climbing in the future.

Education

West High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Majors of interest:

    • Medicine
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
    • Biology, General
    • Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology
    • Marine Sciences
    • Health/Medical Preparatory Programs
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Doctor in Emergency Medicine

    • Swim Coach

      Swim America
      2019 – 20201 year
    • Busser

      Ginger
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Karate

    Intramural
    2016 – 20204 years

    Rock Climbing

    Club
    2016 – Present8 years

    Research

    • Biology, General

      USGS — student
      2020 – Present

    Arts

    • Photography
      https://sites.google.com/view/chesstakesphotos/home
      2017 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Mask Mission AK — I hand sewed a bunch of masks for distribution
      2020 – 2021
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    I want to become a doctor, focusing on emergency medicine. This past year, I have been in the doctor's office more often than at friend's houses. Over the summer, I was in a skateboarding accident and had to go to the Emergency Room for almost five hours. Since then, I have been in and out of various specialists offices getting X-rays and blood drawn and MRI's and a variety of other tests to accommodate for my lasting injuries. Even though this has been an extremely difficult year, it helped cement in my mind that really the only thing that I want to do with my life is to help others. My dream is to be able to look at someone on the worst day of their life and say, "I'm going to help you work through this." During my undergrad, I plan to pursue a biomedical degree through a pre-med track. Even though it will be difficult, I know that if I work hard, I will be ready to realize my dreams at medical school. I know what I want and am willing to go the distance to get it. I want to see more trans people in medicine. I want to be able to give people the opportunity to be treated by a professional who intimately understands the discomfort that they go through. I want to be able to help people with their physical injuries, but I also want people to know that trans people are allowed to have lives and careers and families. Trans people should know that they deserve to be happy. I am comforted by the fact that even though I don't know exactly how I am going to get there yet, I have a goal to fight for and a direction to move in.
    Bold Fuel Your Life Scholarship
    I want to become a doctor, focusing on emergency medicine. This past year, I have been in the doctor's office more often than at friend's houses. Over the summer, I was in a skateboarding accident and had to go to the Emergency Room for almost five hours. Since then, I have been in and out of various specialists offices getting X-rays and blood drawn and MRI's and a variety of other tests to accommodate for my lasting injuries. Even though this has been an extremely difficult year, it helped cement in my mind that really the only thing that I want to do with my life is to help others. My dream is to be able to look at someone on what might be the worst day of their life and say, "I am going to help you work through this." I want to work in the emergency room because when I had to spend hours in the ER, the kindness of the doctors and nurses around me made my stay so much easier. I want to be able to help others the way that they helped me when I was enduring extreme pain and terrified. They were unbelievably accommodating and I did not feel the fear that I was expecting when they explained all of my injuries and how to care for them. I actually felt comforted in the emergency room, because of the doctors who helped me. I want to be able to comfort people like that too. Thinking about these goals gives me something to work towards and something to fight for. It comforts me to have a direction to move in and to understand what I want from my future, even if I do not know exactly how I am going to get there yet.
    Bold Relaxation Scholarship
    I have had issues in the past where I worked myself to the bone, burning the candle at both ends for weeks, or even months, and ended up having a breakdown, a panic attack, or both. When this happens, I have to take at least a day off of school and work and focus completely on getting myself back on track. I put away my to-do lists and planners, hide my backpack, and shut down my computer. To relax, I go on a long walk through the neighborhood and sit on the beach for a little bit. I listen to my favorite music and take a long, hot shower or a bath. I make myself comfort food like quesadillas, pasta, or carrots with dip. While I eat, I watch some of my favorite movies ("The Newsies", "It: Chapter 1", or "Spirited Away") or shows ("Sherlock" BBC, "Young Royals", or "Haikyuu!") with a blanket and a cup of tea. I snuggle with my cats and talk with my mom about all of the house projects that she wants to do. Over the years, I have realized that this sort of system is not sustainable. I am very proud of my tenacity and determination, but I realize that they can be hindering when trying to take care of mental health. I often struggle with thoughts that I should just push through my problems instead of taking a moment to myself and trying again later. I have been focusing on taking shorter breaks more often instead of having to stop everything for several days every month or so. I have stopped working as many hours at my part time job during the school year and have been limiting my homework time every night. I have never felt calmer and more in control.
    Bold Simple Pleasures Scholarship
    One of my simple pleasures is a good cup of tea and a blanket. My favorite kinds of tea are chamomile, licorice, or mint. It has been snowing almost nonstop for the past week and half where I live and it continues to dump down fresh powder as I am writing this. In my opinion, the best kind of relaxation can come from a hot cup of tea and several blankets piled up next to a window to watch the snow. Additional comfort can be found in music, a podcast, a movie or show, a book, or company. Bonus points if there are cats involved. My life is full of stress. I am taking eight classes, most of which are higher level opportunities. I am the president of the Photography Club at my high school and am taking a lot of time to organize a show for our members. I am working on scholarship applications almost nonstop and doing work for various organizations such as Spirit of Youth and StoryWorks Alaska. I am also currently recovering from a rock climbing injury on crutches and in a brace. Long story short, I often need to force myself to take some time to myself and actually relax. Almost nothing works better than a hot cup of my favorite tea and some of the above mentioned comfort items. I say almost because if I had the physical ability to, rock climbing would be my most relaxing activity. There is truly nothing greater than working my body to exhaustion doing something that I love. Maybe except capturing the perfect moment on my camera . . . (I have a lot of passions, ok?)
    Lo Easton's “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship
    1. I'm trans. I'm neurodivergent. I struggle with my mental health. Life is hard enough already, I really don't want to add paying for college to this list of things that make my daily life more difficult. I love being trans, I love being neurodivergent, and I know that I am going to love going to college. However, I want this process to be as simple and as stress free as possible so that I can focus on working hard to achieve my goals. 2. I want to study hard so that I can become a doctor and pay for all the schooling I am going to have to go through. 3. Last week, my family ordered dinner from our favorite Italian restaurant but there was a mistake with the order and the breadsticks didn't have cheese on them!! Naturally, this was a catastrophe and needed to be remedied immediately. We tried to call the restaurant to see if we could order some fresh ones, but they were closed! In a true act of bravery, I dug some mozzarella out of the back of the fridge and melted it over to breadsticks. They weren't great, but it was better than plain bread.
    Bold New Beginnings TikTok Scholarship
    Grow Your Own Produce Sustainability Scholarship
    Growing up in Alaska, my family has always had a garden. We always plant strawberries, raspberries, snap peas, carrots, tomatoes, and flowers. We also have a crab apple tree that flowers every other year and gives us hundreds of sweet, tart apples, perfect for making applesauce. These past three years though, my dad has gotten really into it and my sister and I have been helping him take care of the garden. The biggest struggles we have here in Anchorage is the temperature variation. Fairbanks and Palmer are known for their fresh produce and farms because being in the interior of the state, they get hot summers and cold winters. In Anchorage, our temperature range is less extreme. Summers are usually high 60's to low 70's on a good day and winters are 5 degrees below zero to 25 degrees above. Recently, we have been having warmer summers with longer growing seasons due to climate change. The summer of 2019 was almost too hot to grow anything and the air was so full of wildfire smoke that at times, it was dangerous to be outside. That year, we planted our usual vegetables and fruits, but the heat made it hard to keep them watered. We went out of town to go subsistence fishing for a couple of days and when we got back, many of our plants were dried out and brown even though our neighbor came by and watered them. The strawberry patch enjoyed the excessive heat, but we didn't get much of a crop that year. The summer of 2020 was perfect. It was hot without being stifling and our garden absolutely flourished. We ended up with over five gallons of beautiful carrots, several gallons of raspberries, about a gallon of strawberries, a couple of nice sized cucumbers and squash, lots of tomatoes and snap peas, and even a few cherries and blueberries! Last summer was unfortunately cold. The temperature stayed in the fifties and sixties, with a few days in the seventies in July and August. We still planted all of our crops as usual and though every plant survived the cold, they didn't produce much fruit. Even the plants that we kept in the greenhouse didn't do as well. It was probably a combination of the cold and the fact that we were out of town a couple of times that we didn't get much in the way of homegrown food. Though we live in the middle of the biggest city in Alaska (albeit it's not even 400k people), our garden is a huge part of our lives. It's not large enough to live off of, but there is something very special about eating salad and desert made from fruit and vegetables that you worked hard to grow. Not t mention all the red and pink salmon and flounder we catch on the Kenai River every year. This coming summer, I am hoping for warm temperatures and a plentiful crop as a nice send off while on my way to college!
    Deborah's Grace Scholarship
    On a beautifully hot day in June, I crashed my skateboard. After hours in the Emergency Room, I went home with three staples, severe road rash, and a fractured scapula. The entire time, I did not cry. My injuries hurt, but they weren’t excruciating and I knew that if I cried, I would receive even more pity from my parents than I already was. I didn’t cry until a nurse was sent to get a sling. I knew that wearing the sling would be hard. I wouldn’t be able to write legibly or eat without spilling. I wouldn’t be able to relax properly. But the thought that broke me was the realization that I wouldn’t be able to go rock climbing for a long time. Waiting for the nurse to return, I sobbed into my mom’s shirt until the fabric soaked through. When the nurse returned, I took a deep breath, was fitted with the sling, and driven home. I sat in the shower and attempted to wash with one hand and still keep my staples dry, all of my scrapes burning, and dirty red water swirling down the drain. I knew that when I finally did get back in the gym, I wouldn’t be as strong as I was before or able to climb as hard as I wanted to for a long time. As the months passed, my orthopedic doctor told me that I could continue my hiatus through the school year and go to a physical therapist instead, but that it wasn’t necessary. The second he said that, I knew that nothing could keep me out of the gym any longer than I was forced to. Working through this injury was arduous and forced me to spend my summer not working or enjoying the outdoors in ways that I wanted to. However, I learned a lot, both about myself and how I can grow from challenging experiences. Wearing the sling severely restricted my range of motion and there were many things in my daily life that I could not do. My mom buckled my seatbelt for me and my sister helped me tie my shoes. I hated having to rely on people around me for simple things that I could no longer do by myself. As a very independent person, I was forced to relinquish the control I usually hold so tightly. When my shoes weren’t tied exactly how I liked, I learned to accept it. And as I walked around, I eventually didn’t even notice that they weren’t perfect. Recovering from an injury at climbing was a different, but just as difficult, experience. I was now healed enough that I could do most things in my everyday life, however, I still couldn't climb at my full capacity. Watching my teammates improve and be able to climb whatever they wanted while I was stuck in recovery was incredibly frustrating. I had to understand that if I went too hard at the beginning, I could reset all the progress I had made. This taught me that as important as it is to challenge myself, it’s also necessary to go slowly and rest often. These two lessons that I learned - to ask for help when I need it and to not push myself when I need a break - have been extremely beneficial at school as well. They have allowed me to balance my work evenly and prevent burnout before it happens. I imagine that these newly honed skills will translate well to a college setting where my workload will be more intense.
    Bold Hobbies Scholarship
    I've been a rock climber for over six years now. In my hometown, we have a beautiful gym that was just remodeled and so many wonderful staff members. The Alaska Rock Gym has been my home away from home for all of my most stressful years. I joined the junior recreational climbing team when I was in 7th grade and immediately fell in love. As I got older, I moved to the senior recreational team and made friends that I will never forget. The Rock Gym provides me with such a community and so many happy memories that it physically pains me to think of leaving it. I have been climbing with the same coaches for all of my middle and high school career and they have been some of the greatest adult influences in my life. They work together to provide all of us with the best after school climbing experience and tailor the workouts so that everyone has the chance to participate, regardless of skill level or physical abilities. And they always make an effort to get to know each and every one of the ten to fifteen kids in class. When I broke my shoulder blade over the summer, they helped me through the healing process and forced me to take it easy even when I didn't want to. Needless to say, whenever I realize that my brain needs a break from thinking and my mental health needs a booster, I head to the Rock Gym to pop in my earbuds and boulder until my arms feel like they're going to fall off. Discovering my love for rock climbing saved me from the darkness of my own mind, provided me an outlet for all of my frustrations, and allowed me to relax in my own skin.
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    On a beautifully hot day in June, I crashed my skateboard and after hours in the Emergency Room, I went home with three staples in my head, severe road rash along my entire right side, and a fractured scapula. The entire time, I did not cry. My injuries hurt, but they weren’t excruciating and I knew that if I cried, I would receive even more pity from my parents than I already was. I didn’t cry until a nurse was sent to get a sling for my broken shoulder. I knew that wearing the sling would be hard. I wouldn’t be able to write legibly or eat without spilling. I wouldn’t be able to relax properly. Waiting for the nurse to return, I sobbed into my mom’s shirt until the fabric soaked through. Working through this injury was arduous and frustrating, however, I learned a lot, both about myself and how I can grow from challenging experiences. I also gained so much from pushing through and working hard to heal instead of wallowing in my misery. I allowed myself to feel my emotions, but very rarely did I let them overwhelm me. Wearing the sling severely restricted my range of motion and there were many things in my daily life that I could not do. My mom buckled my seatbelt for me and my sister helped me tie my shoes. I hated having to rely on people around me for simple things that I could no longer do by myself. As a very independent person, I was forced to relinquish the control I usually hold so tightly. When my shoes weren’t tied exactly how I liked, I learned to accept it. And as I walked around, I eventually didn’t even notice that they weren’t perfect.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    I want to become a doctor, focusing on emergency medicine. This past year, I have been in the doctor's office more often than at friend's houses. Over the summer, I was in a skateboarding accident and had to go to the Emergency Room for almost five hours. Since then, I have been in and out of various specialists offices getting X-rays and blood drawn and MRI's and a variety of other tests to accommodate for my lasting injuries. Even though this has been an extremely difficult year, it helped cement in my mind that really the only thing that I want to do with my life is to help others. My dream is to be able to look at someone on the worst day of their life and say, "I'm going to help you work through this." In five years, I hope to be on my way to medical school and in ten years I want to be in the middle of my residency. I know that if I work hard I can do it and I know that I can help people. Though I am very excited to begin walking down the pathway of my dream, I know that becoming a doctor is a very expensive dream. The idea of paying for college worries me but I know that all the effort and all the money that I put into it will go towards bettering my community.
    Terry Crews "Creative Courage" Scholarship
    The main element that I like about photography is that it can tell any story that the viewer wants to see. When I make a photo, I like when I can see a story attached to it. Sometimes I don't always see it right away, sometimes I make the picture for aesthetics and then realize in post that there's a story there. The photograph that I am submitting is from the Swan Lake fires on the Kenai Peninsula, a few hours from my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. The Swan Lake fires devastated the area. And though wildfires are actually good for the environment a lot of the times, providing space for new growth and regeneration, the Swan Lake fire was more destructive than beneficial. It lasted several months and burned almost two hundred thousand acres of land. During the summer of 2019, temperatures all over Alaska skyrocketed and broke many records across the state. This heat, not only dried out the brush, but created a better living environment for spruce beetles that leave behind entire forests of dead wood. These events led to perfect conditions for a wildfire to quickly spiral out of control. My image shows both an artistic and realistic interpretation of this event. My vision and my artistic dreams for the future are to showcase change through my work. I want people to notice that change is happening all around them. I want to photograph social and political change, environmental change, and emotional change. I want my work to represent how fluidity is an inevitable part of life.
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    On a beautifully hot day in June, I crashed my skateboard and after hours in the Emergency Room, I went home with three staples in my head, severe road rash along my entire right side, and a fractured scapula. The entire time, I did not cry. My injuries hurt, but they weren’t excruciating and I knew that if I cried, I would receive even more pity from my parents than I already was. I didn’t cry until a nurse was sent to get a sling for my broken shoulder. I knew that wearing the sling would be hard. I wouldn’t be able to write legibly or eat without spilling. I wouldn’t be able to relax properly. Waiting for the nurse to return, I sobbed into my mom’s shirt until the fabric soaked through. Working through this injury was arduous and frustrating, however, I learned a lot, both about myself and how I can grow from challenging experiences. Wearing the sling severely restricted my range of motion and there were many things in my daily life that I could not do. My mom buckled my seatbelt for me and my sister helped me tie my shoes. I hated having to rely on people around me for simple things that I could no longer do by myself. As a very independent person, I was forced to relinquish the control I usually hold so tightly. When my shoes weren’t tied exactly how I liked, I learned to accept it. And as I walked around, I eventually didn’t even notice that they weren’t perfect. This lesson that I learned - to ask for help when I need it - has been beneficial at school as well. It has allowed me to prevent burnout before it happens and maintain a healthy work life balance.
    Bold Relaxation Scholarship
    I've been a rock climber for over six years now. In my hometown, we have a beautiful gym that was just remodeled and so many wonderful staff members. The Alaska Rock Gym has been my home away from home for all of my most stressful years. I joined the junior recreational climbing team when I was in 7th grade and immediately fell in love. As I got older, I moved to the senior recreational team and made friends that I will never forget. The Rock Gym provides me with such a community and so many happy memories that it physically pains me to think of leaving it. I have been climbing with the same coaches for all of my middle and high school career and they have been some of the greatest adult influences in my life. They work together to provide all of us with the best after school climbing experience and tailor the workouts so that everyone has the chance to participate, regardless of skill level or physical abilities. And they always make an effort to get to know each and every one of the ten to fifteen kids in class. When I broke my shoulder blade over the summer, they helped me through the healing process and forced my to take it easy even when I didn't want to. Needless to say, whenever I realize that my brain needs a break from thinking and my mental health needs a booster, I head to the Rock Gym to pop in my earbuds and boulder until my arms feel like they're going to fall off. Discovering my love for rock climbing saved me from the darkness of my own mind, provided me an outlet for all of my frustrations, and allowed me to relax in my own skin.