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Haidynn Cordell

1135

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hi! I am an 18 y/o with extreme ambitions to make the animals and environment of our world a better place. I have strived for this due to having to overcome years of adversity and seeing the fragility of life all around me. My end goal is to prioritize and help the health of our marine life and exotic animals by becoming an Aquatic/exotic veterinarian. I also have a big dream of starting a nonprofit drug rehabilitation center dedicated to my dad. I love wrestling and the arts!

Education

Flower Mound High School

High School
2022 - 2024
  • GPA:
    3.5

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Majors of interest:

    • Animal Sciences
    • Marine Sciences
    • Veterinary/Animal Health Technologies/Technicians
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Veterinary

    • Dream career goals:

    • Runner

      Moviehouse and Eatery cineopolis
      2023 – Present1 year

    Sports

    Wrestling

    Junior Varsity
    2022 – Present2 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Dallas Feed The Homeless — Cook
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Men’s Dallas Rehabilitation Center — Cook
      2022 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Dimon A. Williams Memorial Scholarship
    I grew up in a single grandparent home because of drug addicted parents so my educational journey was shaped by that. My academic performance, emotional well being and overall development. From a young age I was raised by my grandmother as my parents were addicted. She provided stability and love but I felt deprived and abandoned. This emotional turmoil would often spill over into my academic life and I would struggle to focus in school and fully engage in my studies. Education became a sanctuary and a battlefield. On one hand school provided structure, routine and normalcy. Teachers and counselors became sources of stability and encouragement and offered me support beyond the academic curriculum. On the other hand the stress, emotional baggage and confusion from home would seep into my academic performance. I would struggle to focus on assignments or participate in class discussions, feeling overwhelmed by personal struggles that my peers couldn’t relate to. I felt ashamed. And the financial strain of raising a child on a limited income meant more stress and shame for a young child. Things that many of my peers took for granted such as summer camps or educational trips were just out of reach. Socially growing up in this situation could be isolating. It’s hard to explain to classmates why your parents aren’t at school events or why you live with your grandparents or why you’re wearing your brother’s old clothes. This sense of difference would lead to shame and isolation and impact self esteem and social interactions crucial for development. But amidst all this adversity resilience grew. The challenges I faced planted a determination to succeed against the odds. Education became not just a means of learning but a way to escape the cycle of addiction and poverty. My grandmother’s unwavering belief in the power of education became a guiding light and motivated me to strive for academic excellence. Navigating the education system as a child from a troubled home also exposed the systemic issues. Schools often don’t support students like me enough, lack of resources to address emotional needs or provide individualized academic support. The gap between educational policy and the reality of students lives outside school grew wider and many children from troubled homes were at a disadvantage. Each small win, whether a passing grade or a teacher’s words of encouragement would reinforce my belief in myself. In summary growing up in a single grandparent home because of drug addicted parents shaped my educational journey. It presented unique challenges that affected my academic performance, emotional well being and social development. But it also instilled in me resilience and a deep appreciation for the power of education to overcome adversity. My experiences highlights the need for support systems within schools and communities to support children like me to reach their full potential.
    Schmid Memorial Scholarship
    In the tapestry of my life, the threads of mental health and parental addiction have woven together inextricably, each forming different forever affects on my mind. From the day I was born, I have been tossed around from family member to family member, dragged around to my parents favorite crack houses, and used as a tool to lie on their behalf. Children of addicts are 45% to 79% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This statistic has been shoved in my face since the day I was able to form my own thoughts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told “Don’t turn out like your mom”, or “Don’t be like your Dad”. That made statements like “You sound like your dad right now”, and “You look just like you Mom” feel like an absolute stab in the heart. Everyone in my life has always spent their time with me trying to mold me into anything other than my parents. There are always eyes darted towards the back of my head making sure I don’t slip up. So of course when I slipped into a depressive state, alarms went blaring. I spent the majority of my time from 2019 to 2022 in and out of different treatments and mental hospitals for failed attempts and self harm. In 2022, through lots of different medication switches, a school change, ridiculous eating disorder clinics, and countless hours of therapy and psychiatry sessions, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, April 1st of 2022, I found my Dad unconscious and blue on our bathroom floor. After losing my dad, I knew all of the work I had done could not go to waste. I continued therapy, taking my meds, and strived through school. I refuse to be defined by the struggles of my parents or the scars they left upon my soul. I am a survivor, a warrior who has emerged from the crucible of adversity with newfound purpose and resilience. My struggles have made me who I am, and I would not be nearly as resilient or dedicated as I am today without them. This is why I chose to talk about them today. I have learned to navigate the complexities of my mind with grace and compassion, embracing the journey. And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I walk it with a heart full of hope and a spirit that knows no bounds. The road ahead will be difficult, but my dream of becoming an aquatic veterinarian keeps me going. However, in order to be an aquatic veterinarian, I not only have to pay undergrad tuition, but also a minimum of four years in vet school. I have no financial support and a scholarship like this would really lift a weight off of my shoulders. I would be able to focus on my school rather than worrying about paying the next tuition bill.
    Kayla Nicole Monk Memorial Scholarship
    Ever since I was a kid, I found sanctuary in animals. My parents were abusive drug addicts, and dragged me around people as such. Unfortunately, this need to me not believing in people. I hated being around others, and found safety in animals. The moment I knew I wanted to make a difference in the animal world was when my pit bull, Roscoe, was taken from me. He was a big sweet baby who had been through unfortunate circumstances, just like myself. He struggled with trusting others because of what he had been through, and acted out of fear. Sounds like someone I know. Somehow, we had an understanding of each other and he learned to trust me almost immediately. I would spend my afternoons laying with him in the sun, looking at clouds trying to point them out as objects and animals like he could understand me. The loyalty of a dog is unmatched. I’m not sure if my dad was jealous, or if he just needed another living thing to take his anger out on, but he would hit Roscoe. Sometimes he would start to go for me, but Roscoe would step in-front like he was my war shield, ready for battle. He never attacked my dad, just took the heat. Once my dad left, there wasn’t really anything to shield me from. My grandpa lived with us, and he didn’t really like Roscoe either. He would smack him if he got in the way, or scream in his face for existing. I knew it wasn’t fair for Roscoe, but I didn’t expect what happened next. I think Roscoe knew I was safe, at least I like to think so, so he attempted to run away. His journey was cut very short. All Roscoe had ever known besides my love was abuse from all other humans he met. When he jumped the fence, the neighbors were out playing. They tried to stop Roscoe and restrain him, so Roscoe bit one of the kids. In consequence, they threatened to call animal control if we didn’t take him to the pound. I figured this meant we would stop leaving him outside all day in the heat as an “outside dog” and take him in. I thought he would finally get to know what air conditioning was like, he would be able to feel where I slept every night. But this was not the case. I came back from school one day, and I went out to the back to look at clouds with Roscoe like I always did. He was not there, nor was his house. He was gone. They had taken him to the pound. My sanctuary was gone. Roscoe was one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced. I am forever grateful for the loyalty and love he taught me that all animals have the capability of doing. Roscoe showed me what my true calling in life is, and I have not let anything stop me from being able to reach that goal, the goal of rehabilitating and being able to re-connect abused animals to the possible love of humans.
    Kalia D. Davis Memorial Scholarship
    In the tapestry of my life, the threads of mental health and parental addiction have woven together inextricably, each forming different forever affects on my mind. From the day I was born, I have been tossed around from family member to family member, dragged around to my parents favorite crack houses, and used as a tool to lie on their behalf. Children of addicts are 45% to 79% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This statistic has been shoved in my face since the day I was able to form my own thoughts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told “Don’t turn out like your mom”, or “Don’t be like your Dad”. That made statements like “You sound like your dad right now”, and “You look just like you Mom” feel like an absolute stab in the heart. Everyone in my life has always spent their time with me trying to mold me into anything other than my parents. There are always eyes darted towards the back of my head making sure I don’t slip up. So of course when I slipped into a depressive state, alarms went blaring. I spent the majority of my time from 2019 to 2022 in and out of different treatments and mental hospitals for failed attempts and self harm. In 2022, through lots of different medication switches, a school change, ridiculous eating disorder clinics, and countless hours of therapy and psychiatry sessions, I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, April 1st of 2022, I found my Dad unconscious and blue on our bathroom floor. After losing my dad, I knew all of the work I had done could not go to waste. I continued therapy, taking my meds, and strived through school. Though the shadows of the past may remain, I refuse to be defined by the struggles of my parents or the scars they left upon my soul. I am a survivor, a warrior who has emerged from the crucible of adversity with newfound purpose and resilience. My struggles have made me who I am, and I would not be nearly as resilient or dedicated as I am today without them. This is why I chose to talk about them today. Through introspection and self-discovery, I have learned to navigate the complexities of my own mind with grace and compassion, embracing the journey with open arms and a steadfast resolve. And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I walk it with a heart full of hope and a spirit that knows no bounds. The road ahead will be difficult, but my dream of becoming an aquatic veterinarian, and breaking the stigma of addicts' children are failures, keeps me going. I want to make a difference in the world. However, in order to be an aquatic veterinarian, I not only have to pay undergrad tuition, but also a minimum of four years in vet school. I have very little to no support and a scholarship like this would really lift a weight off of my shoulders. I would be able to focus on my school and ambitions rather than laying awake at night worrying about paying the next tuition bill.
    David Foster Memorial Scholarship
    In my Junior year, I walked into my AP English 3 classroom to find it adorned with music posters, cat photos, and a comforting ambiance. Ms. Gregory, with her strikingly orange hair and folksy attire, initially struck fear into my heart. Rumors painted her as the toughest English grader, notorious for drowning students in assignments and leaving little room for a social life. However, my fears were quickly dispelled. Instead of a grueling workload, I found myself immersed in a semester filled with laughter, stimulating Socratic seminars, and Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Junior year proved to be one of the most challenging periods of my life. The passing of my father during the second semester of my sophomore year had already tested my resilience, but transitioning to a new school, in a new city, and adapting to a new living situation amplified those challenges. It was during this turbulent time that Ms. Gregory's classroom became my sanctuary—a safe haven where I could find solace and camaraderie amidst the chaos. Her unwavering support and the welcoming atmosphere she cultivated played a pivotal role in helping me navigate through the uncertainties of my junior year. Recognizing the profound impact Ms. Gregory had on me, it was an easy decision to request to be her teacher's aide during my senior year when an open period appeared in my schedule. Graciously, she accepted, and throughout the year, her guidance and encouragement proved invaluable as I faced numerous obstacles. Whether it was academic struggles or personal hardships, Ms. Gregory was there, offering wisdom, empathy, and a steady hand to guide me through. Going through a torrent of life's storms can make anyone feel like they're navigating a tempest in a teapot. Picture me, caught in the whirlwind of being kicked out, losing both grandparents, watching my beloved pet cross the rainbow bridge, and to top it off, having to bid farewell to my faithful four-wheeled companion. It was like a comedy of errors, but without the laugh track. She wasn't just a beacon of wisdom; she was a walking, talking counseling center with a penchant for tiktok jokes. Amidst the chaos, she became my rock, my confidant, and my personal stand-up comedian. As I mourned the loss of my grandparents, Ms.Gregory didn't shy away from the uncomfortable. She shared stories of her own losses, proving that even the darkest nights eventually give way to dawn. When my bearded dragon, Circe, shuffled off to pet heaven, Ms.Gregory was there with tissues and tales of her own dearly departed pets(which were only cats). Through it all, Ms. Gregory showed me that life's calamities are just pit stops on the highway of existence. With a listening ear, incredible humor, and a wealth of wisdom, she guided me through the storm, proving that even in the darkest of times, there's always a silver lining – even if it's hidden behind a thick layer of clouds.
    Jonathan Tang Memorial Scholarship
    In the tapestry of my life, the threads of mental health and parental addiction have woven together inextricably, each forming different forever affects on my mind. From the day I was born, I have been tossed around from family member to family member, dragged around to my parents favorite crack houses, and used as a tool to lie on their behalf. Children of addicts are 45% to 79% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This statistic has been shoved in my face since the day I was able to form my own thoughts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told “Don’t turn out like your mom”, or “Don’t be like your Dad”. That made statements like “You sound like your dad right now”, and “You look just like you Mom” feel like an absolute stab in the heart. Everyone in my life has always spent their time with me trying to mold me into anything other than my parents. There are always eyes darted towards the back of my head making sure I don’t slip up. So of course when I slipped into a depressive state, alarms went blaring. I spent the majority of my time from 2019 to 2022 in and out of different treatments and mental hospitals for failed attempts and self harm. In 2022, through lots of different medication switches, a school change, ridiculous eating disorder clinics, and countless hours of therapy and psychiatry sessions, I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, April 1st of 2022, I found my Dad unconscious and blue on our bathroom floor. After losing my dad, I knew all of the work I had done could not go to waste. I continued therapy, taking my meds, and strived through school. Though the shadows of the past may remain, I refuse to be defined by the struggles of my parents or the scars they left upon my soul. I am a survivor, a warrior who has emerged from the crucible of adversity with newfound purpose and resilience. Through introspection and self-discovery, I have learned to navigate the complexities of my own mind with grace and compassion, embracing the journey with open arms and a steadfast resolve. And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I walk it with a heart full of hope and a spirit that knows no bounds.
    ADHDAdvisor's Mental Health Advocate Scholarship
    Volunteering at drug rehabilitation centers and homeless events holds personal significance for me. Growing up with parents battling addiction, I witnessed the devastating effects firsthand. After my father's overdose in 2022, I started taking initiative to volunteer for drug rehabilitation centers and homelessness events. Whether it’s cooking, offering a listening ear, or helping with basic needs, volunteering has become such an important part of my life. Volunteering allows me to channel my grief into something positive, providing compassion and assistance to individuals who need it. Working at drug rehabilitation centers, I've seen the power of support networks and treatment programs. Every small gesture can make a significant difference in someone's life. Through volunteering, I honor my father's memory by helping others navigate the path to recovery and stability. It's a way for me to turn personal pain into purpose, fostering empathy and understanding in the face of adversity. In these moments of service, I find healing and hope, knowing that my efforts contribute to a brighter future for individuals and families affected by addiction and homelessness. Throughout this journey, my biggest goal is to start my own nonprofit support network/treatment program. I know this is a very big task, but I have had a plan set for a long time. I am majoring in pre-veterinary medicine with the plan of Aquatic Veterinary medicine. This way I can do what I love, and help suffering animals, while gaining the money able to start a genuine and successful drug rehabilitation treatment program. Starting a program as such does not take just dedication, collaboration, and a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals struggling with addiction. It also unfortunately, takes the ability to dig deep into your pockets. Attainting a location, supplies, visibility, etc. costs a lot. That is why I want to start my career first. While it may take a while to open up a rehabilitation center, aquatic veterinary medicine plays a crucial role in giving back to the community and is deeply rooted in care and compassion for aquatic animals. Aquatic veterinary medicine is a field driven by love and dedication to the well-being of aquatic animals and the health of our planet's oceans, rivers, and lakes. Through expertise, compassion, and commitment to service, aquatic veterinarians make a positive impact on the community and contribute to the greater good of our world's aquatic ecosystems.
    Mental Health Importance Scholarship
    Growing up with drug-addicted parents can have a profound impact on a child's mental health, often leading to conditions like PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). This experience has shaped my understanding of the importance of mental health and the significance of finding healthy coping mechanisms. For me, one such mechanism has been my love for animals, which has played a crucial role in maintaining my mental well-being, and creating my dreams for the future. Living with parents struggling with addiction is a constant battle with uncertainty, fear, and instability. The chaos of addiction creates an environment marked by neglect, emotional abuse, and sometimes even physical danger. Witnessing the erratic behavior associated with substance abuse leaves lasting scars on a child's psyche, leading to symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and avoidance behaviors. These experiences taught me early on that mental health is not something to be taken for granted; it is fragile and must be nurtured and protected. Amidst the turmoil of my childhood, animals became my sanctuary. Their unconditional love and non-judgmental presence provided solace in times of distress. Whether it was cuddling with my ESA dog Jessie after a particularly traumatic episode, finding peace in the fragility and calmness of my bearded dragon Circe, or boosting my adrenaline through my always active and energetic guinea pigs Dale and Mr.Jingles, animals offered me a sense of security and comfort that was lacking in my human relationships. Research has shown that interactions with animals can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and for me, this was undoubtedly true. Caring for animals also instilled in me a sense of responsibility and purpose. Amidst the chaos of addiction, I found stability in the routine of feeding, grooming, cleaning, and exercising my pets. Their dependence on me gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and reminded me that I was capable of providing love and care, despite the dysfunction surrounding me. This sense of efficacy was crucial in rebuilding my self-esteem and resilience in the face of adversity. Furthermore, my love for animals taught me valuable lessons about empathy, compassion, and connection. Animals have a unique ability to sense and respond to human emotions, often providing comfort and support without the need for words. Through caring for animals, I learned the importance of nurturing relationships based on trust, respect, and mutual understanding – qualities that were often lacking in my familial environment. As I journeyed through adolescence and into adulthood, my bond with animals remained a constant source of strength and stability. Whether it was volunteering at an animal shelter, horseback riding, or simply spending time with my own pets, I found refuge in the company of animals. They served as loyal companions, confidants, and sources of joy amidst life's challenges. In conclusion, growing up with drug-addicted parents has underscored the importance of mental health in my life. Through the tumultuous experiences of my childhood, I have come to understand the fragility of mental well-being and the necessity of finding healthy coping mechanisms. My love for animals has been instrumental in maintaining my mental health, providing me with comfort, purpose, and a sense of connection. As I continue on my journey, I am grateful for the unwavering support and companionship that animals have provided me, reminding me that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope and healing to be found.
    For the Love of Pinot Memorial Scholarship and Dr. Rocky J. Deutsch Tribute
    Ever since I was a kid, I found sanctuary in animals. My parents were abusive drug addicts, and dragged me around people as such. Unfortunately, this need to me not believing in people. I hated being around others, and found safety in animals. The moment I knew I wanted to make a difference in the animal world was when my pit bull, Roscoe, was taken from me. He was a big sweet baby who had been through unfortunate circumstances, just like myself. He struggled with trusting others because of what he had been through, and acted out of fear. Sounds like someone I know. Somehow, we had an understanding of each other and he learned to trust me almost immediately. I would spend my afternoons laying with him in the sun, looking at clouds trying to point them out as objects and animals like he could understand me. The loyalty of a dog is unmatched. I’m not sure if my dad was jealous, or if he just needed another living thing to take his anger out on, but he would hit Roscoe. Sometimes he would start to go for me, but Roscoe would step in-front like he was my war shield, ready for battle. He never attacked my dad, just took the heat. Once my dad left, there wasn’t really anything to shield me from. My grandpa lived with us, and he didn’t really like Roscoe either. He would smack him if he got in the way, or scream in his face for existing. I knew it wasn’t fair for Roscoe, but I didn’t expect what happened next. I think Roscoe knew I was safe, at least I like to think so, so he attempted to run away. His journey was cut very short. All Roscoe had ever known besides my love was abuse from all other humans he met. When he jumped the fence, the neighbors were out playing. They tried to stop Roscoe and restrain him, so Roscoe bit one of the kids. In consequence, they threatened to call animal control if we didn’t take him to the pound. I figured this meant we would stop leaving him outside all day in the heat as an “outside dog” and take him in. I thought he would finally get to know what air conditioning was like, he would be able to feel where I slept every night. But this was not the case. I came back from school one day, and I went out to the back to look at clouds with Roscoe like I always did. He was not there, nor was his house. He was gone. They had taken him to the pound. My sanctuary was gone. Roscoe was one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced. I am forever grateful for the loyalty and love he taught me that all animals have the capability of doing. Roscoe showed me what my true calling in life is, and I have not let anything stop me from being able to reach that goal, the goal of rehabilitating and being able to re-connect abused animals to the possible love of humans.
    Janie Mae "Loving You to Wholeness" Scholarship
    Volunteering at drug rehabilitation centers and homeless events holds personal significance for me. Growing up with both parents battling addiction, I witnessed the devastating effects firsthand. After my father's Fentanyl overdose in 2022, I started taking initiative to volunteer for men’s drug rehabilitation centers and homelessness events. Whether it’s cooking, offering a listening ear, or helping with basic needs, volunteering has become such an important part of my life. Volunteering allows me to channel my grief into something positive, providing compassion and assistance to individuals who need it the most. Working at drug rehabilitation centers, I've seen the power of support networks and treatment programs, both big and small. Every small gesture can make a significant difference in someone's life. Through volunteering, I honor my father's memory by helping others navigate the path to recovery and stability. It's a way for me to turn personal pain into purpose, fostering empathy and understanding in the face of adversity. In these moments of service, I find healing and hope, knowing that my efforts contribute to a brighter future for individuals and families affected by addiction and homelessness. Throughout this journey, my biggest goal is to start my own nonprofit support network/treatment program. I know this is a very big task, but I have had a plan set for a long time. I am majoring in pre-veterinary medicine with the plan of Aquatic Veterinary medicine. This way I can do what I love, and help suffering animals, while gaining the money able to start a genuine and successful drug rehabilitation treatment program. Starting a program as such does not take just dedication, collaboration, and a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals struggling with addiction. It also unfortunately, takes the ability to dig deep into your pockets. Attainting a location, supplies, visibility, etc. costs a lot. That is why I want to start my career first. While it may take a while to open up a rehabilitation center, aquatic veterinary medicine plays a crucial role in giving back to the community and is deeply rooted in care and compassion for aquatic animals. Aquatic veterinary medicine is a field driven by love and dedication to the well-being of aquatic animals and the health of our planet's oceans, rivers, and lakes. Through expertise, compassion, and commitment to service, aquatic veterinarians make an extremely positive impact on the community and contribute to the greater good of our world's aquatic ecosystems.
    Pet Pals Pack Compassion Award
    Ever since I was a kid, I found sanctuary in animals. My parents were abusive drug addicts, and dragged me around people as such. Unfortunately, this need to me not believing in people. I hated being around others, and found safety in animals. The moment I knew I wanted to make a difference in the animal world was when my pit bull, Roscoe, was taken from me. He was a big sweet baby who had been through unfortunate circumstances, just like myself. He struggled with trusting others because of what he had been through, and acted out of fear. Sounds like someone I know. Somehow, we had an understanding of each other and he learned to trust me almost immediately. I would spend my afternoons laying with him in the sun, looking at clouds trying to point them out as objects and animals like he could understand me. The loyalty of a dog is unmatched. I’m not sure if my dad was jealous, or if he just needed another living thing to take his anger out on, but he would hit Roscoe. Sometimes he would start to go for me, but Roscoe would step in-front like he was my war shield, ready for battle. He never attacked my dad, just took the heat. Once my dad left, there wasn’t really anything to shield me from. My grandpa lived with us, and he didn’t really like Roscoe either. He would smack him if he got in the way, or scream in his face for existing. I knew it wasn’t fair for Roscoe, but I didn’t expect what happened next. I think Roscoe knew I was safe, at least I like to think so, so he attempted to run away. His journey was cut very short. All Roscoe had ever known besides my love was abuse from all other humans he met. When he jumped the fence, the neighbors were out playing. They tried to stop Roscoe and restrain him, so Roscoe bit one of the kids. In consequence, they threatened to call animal control if we didn’t take him to the pound. I figured this meant we would stop leaving him outside all day in the heat as an “outside dog” and take him in. I thought he would finally get to know what air conditioning was like, he would be able to feel where I slept every night. But this was not the case. I came back from school one day, and I went out to the back to look at clouds with Roscoe like I always did. He was not there, nor was his house. He was gone. They had taken him to the pound. My sanctuary was gone. Roscoe was one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced. I am forever grateful for the loyalty and love he taught me that all animals have the capability of doing. Roscoe showed me what my true calling in life is, and I have not let anything stop me from being able to reach that goal, the goal of rehabilitating and being able to re-connect abused animals to the possible love of humans.
    Rev. Ethel K. Grinkley Memorial Scholarship
    Volunteering at drug rehabilitation centers and homeless events holds personal significance for me. Growing up with both parents battling addiction, I witnessed the devastating effects firsthand. After my father's Fentanyl overdose in 2022, I started taking initiative to volunteer for men’s drug rehabilitation centers and homelessness events. Whether it’s cooking, offering a listening ear, or helping with basic needs, volunteering has become such an important part of my life. Volunteering allows me to channel my grief into something positive, providing compassion and assistance to individuals who need it the most. Working at drug rehabilitation centers, I've seen the power of support networks and treatment programs, both big and small. Every small gesture can make a significant difference in someone's life. Through volunteering, I honor my father's memory by helping others navigate the path to recovery and stability. It's a way for me to turn personal pain into purpose, fostering empathy and understanding in the face of adversity. In these moments of service, I find healing and hope, knowing that my efforts contribute to a brighter future for individuals and families affected by addiction and homelessness. Throughout this journey, my biggest goal is to start my own nonprofit support network/treatment program. I know this is a very big task, but I have had a plan set for a long time. I am majoring in pre-veterinary medicine with the plan of Aquatic Veterinary medicine. This way I can do what I love, and help suffering animals, while gaining the money able to start a genuine and successful drug rehabilitation treatment program. Starting a program as such does not take just dedication, collaboration, and a commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals struggling with addiction. It also unfortunately, takes the ability to dig deep into your pockets. Attainting a location, supplies, visibility, etc. costs a lot. That is why I want to start my career first. While it may take a while to open up a rehabilitation center, aquatic veterinary medicine plays a crucial role in giving back to the community and is deeply rooted in care and compassion for aquatic animals. Aquatic veterinary medicine is a field driven by love and dedication to the well-being of aquatic animals and the health of our planet's oceans, rivers, and lakes. Through expertise, compassion, and commitment to service, aquatic veterinarians make an extremely positive impact on the community and contribute to the greater good of our world's aquatic ecosystems.
    Crawley Kids Scholarship
    Volunteering at drug rehabilitation centers and homeless events holds personal significance for me. Growing up with both parents battling addiction, I witnessed the devastating effects firsthand. After my father's Fentanyl overdose in 2022, I started taking initiative to volunteer for men’s drug rehabilitation centers and homelessness events. Whether it’s cooking or offering a listening ear, volunteering has become such an important part of my life. Volunteering allows me to channel my grief into something positive, providing compassion and assistance to individuals who need it the most. Working at drug rehabilitation centers, I've seen the power of support networks and treatment programs, both big and small. Every small gesture can make a significant difference in someone's life. Through volunteering, I honor my father's memory by helping others navigate the path to recovery and stability. It's a way for me to turn personal pain into purpose, fostering empathy and understanding in the face of adversity. In these moments of service, I find healing and hope, knowing that my efforts contribute to a brighter future for individuals and families affected by addiction and homelessness. My biggest goal throughout this whole process is to be able to start my own support network one day.
    Mental Health Empowerment Scholarship
    Childhood trauma of abuse and addiction affects a person's life forever. In the tapestry of my life, the threads of mental health and parental addiction have woven together inextricably, each forming different forever affects on my mind. From the day I was born, I have been tossed around from family member to family member, dragged around to my parents favorite crack houses, and used as a tool to lie on their behalf. Children of addicts are 45% to 79% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This statistic has been shoved in my face since the day I was able to form my own thoughts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told “Don’t turn out like your mom”, or “Don’t be like your Dad”. That made statements like “You sound like your dad right now”, and “You look just like you Mom” feel like an absolute stab in the heart. Everyone in my life has always spent their time with me trying to mold me into anything other than my parents. There are always eyes darted towards the back of my head making sure I don’t slip up. So of course when I slipped into a depressive state, alarms went blaring. I spent the majority of my time from 2019 to 2022 in and out of different treatments and mental hospitals for failed attempts and self harm. In 2022, through lots of different medication switches, a school change, ridiculous eating disorder clinics, and countless hours of therapy and psychiatry sessions, I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, April 1st of 2022, I found my Dad unconscious and blue on our bathroom floor. After losing my dad, I knew all of the work I had done could not go to waste. I continued therapy, taking my meds, and strived through school. I advocate through my friends constantly letting them know there is always someone there for them. I volunteer at dg rehabilitation centers and events for the homeless to try and help those in situations that were similar to mine in the past. Though the shadows of the past may remain, I refuse to be defined by the struggles of my parents or the scars they left upon my soul. I am a survivor, a warrior who has emerged from the crucible of adversity with newfound purpose and resilience. Through introspection and self-discovery, I have learned to navigate the complexities of my own mind with grace and compassion, embracing the journey with open arms and a steadfast resolve. And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I walk it with a heart full of hope and a spirit that knows no bounds.
    Mikey Taylor Memorial Scholarship
    In the tapestry of my life, the threads of mental health and parental addiction have woven together inextricably, each forming different forever affects on my mind. From the day I was born, I have been tossed around from family member to family member, dragged around to my parents favorite crack houses, and used as a tool to lie on their behalf. Children of addicts are 45% to 79% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This statistic has been shoved in my face since the day I was able to form my own thoughts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told “Don’t turn out like your mom”, or “Don’t be like your Dad”. That made statements like “You sound like your dad right now”, and “You look just like you Mom” feel like an absolute stab in the heart. Everyone in my life has always spent their time with me trying to mold me into anything other than my parents. There are always eyes darted towards the back of my head making sure I don’t slip up. So of course when I slipped into a depressive state, alarms went blaring. I spent the majority of my time from 2019 to 2022 in and out of different treatments and mental hospitals for failed attempts and self harm. In 2022, through lots of different medication switches, a school change, ridiculous eating disorder clinics, and countless hours of therapy and psychiatry sessions, I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, April 1st of 2022, I found my Dad unconscious and blue on our bathroom floor. After losing my dad, I knew all of the work I had done could not go to waste. I continued therapy, took my medications, and strived in school. Though the shadows of the past may remain, I refuse to be defined by the struggles of my parents or the scars they left upon my soul. I am a survivor, a warrior who has emerged from the crucible of adversity with newfound purpose and resilience. Through introspection and self-discovery, I have learned to navigate the complexities of my own mind with grace and compassion, embracing the journey with open arms and a steadfast resolve. And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I walk it with a heart full of hope and a spirit that knows no bounds. Throughout my journey, I found sanctuary in animals. Unfortunately in my situation, being around the type of people my parents hung out with led to me not believing in people. I hated being around others and found safety in animals. He was a big sweet baby who had been through unfortunate circumstances, just like myself. He struggled with trusting others because of what he had been through. Somehow, we had an understanding of each other and he learned to trust me almost immediately. The loyalty of a dog is unmatched. I am forever grateful for the loyalty and love he taught me that all animals have the capability of doing. Roscoe showed me what my true calling in life is, and I have not let anything stop me from being able to reach that goal, the goal of rehabilitating and being able to re-connect abused animals to the possible love of humans.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    In the tapestry of my life, the threads of mental health and parental addiction have woven together inextricably, each forming different forever affects on my mind. From the day I was born, I have been tossed around from family member to family member, dragged around to my parents favorite crack houses, and used as a tool to lie on their behalf. Children of addicts are 45% to 79% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This statistic has been shoved in my face since the day I was able to form my own thoughts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told “Don’t turn out like your mom”, or “Don’t be like your Dad”. That made statements like “You sound like your dad right now”, and “You look just like you Mom” feel like an absolute stab in the heart. Everyone in my life has always spent their time with me trying to mold me into anything other than my parents. There are always eyes darted towards the back of my head making sure I don’t slip up. So of course when I slipped into a depressive state, alarms went blaring. I spent the majority of my time from 2019 to 2022 in and out of different treatments and mental hospitals for failed attempts and self harm. In 2022, through lots of different medication switches, a school change, ridiculous eating disorder clinics, and countless hours of therapy and psychiatry sessions, I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, April 1st of 2022, I found my Dad unconscious and blue on our bathroom floor. After losing my dad, I knew all of the work I had done could not go to waste. I continued therapy, Though the shadows of the past may remain, I refuse to be defined by the struggles of my parents or the scars they left upon my soul. I am a survivor, a warrior who has emerged from the crucible of adversity with newfound purpose and resilience. Through introspection and self-discovery, I have learned to navigate the complexities of my own mind with grace and compassion, embracing the journey with open arms and a steadfast resolve. And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I walk it with a heart full of hope and a spirit that knows no bounds. Throughout my journey, I found sanctuary in animals. Unfortunately in my situation, being around the type of people my parents hung out with led to me not believing in people. I hated being around others and found safety in animals. The moment I knew I wanted to make a difference in the animal world was when my pit bull, Roscoe, was taken from me. He was a big sweet baby who had been through unfortunate circumstances, just like myself. He struggled with trusting others because of what he had been through, and acted out of fear. Sounds like someone I know. Somehow, we had an understanding of each other and he learned to trust me almost immediately. I would spend my afternoons laying with him in the sun, looking at clouds trying to point them out as objects and animals like he could understand me. The loyalty of a dog is unmatched. I’m not sure if my dad was jealous, or if he just needed another living thing to take his anger out on, but he would hit Roscoe. Sometimes he would start to go for me, but Roscoe would step in-front like he was my war shield, ready for battle. He never attacked my dad, just took the heat. Once my dad left, there wasn’t really anything to shield me from. My grandpa lived with us, and he didn’t really like Roscoe either. He would smack him if he got in the way, or scream in his face for existing. I knew it wasn’t fair for Roscoe, but I didn’t expect what happened next. I think Roscoe knew I was safe, at least I like to think so, so he attempted to run away. His journey was cut very short. All Roscoe had ever known besides my love was abuse from all other humans he met. When he jumped the fence, the neighbors were out playing. They tried to stop Roscoe and restrain him, so Roscoe bit one of the kids. In consequence, they threatened to call animal control if we didn’t take him to the pound. I figured this meant we would stop leaving him outside all day in the heat as an “outside dog” and take him in. I thought he would finally get to know what air conditioning was like, he would be able to feel where I slept every night. But this was not the case. I came back from school one day, and I went out to the back to look at clouds with Roscoe like I always did. He was not there, nor was his house. He was gone. They had taken him to the pound. My sanctuary was gone. Roscoe was one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced. I am forever grateful for the loyalty and love he taught me that all animals have the capability of doing. Roscoe showed me what my true calling in life is, and I have not let anything stop me from being able to reach that goal, the goal of rehabilitating and being able to re-connect abused animals to the possible love of humans.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    In the tapestry of my life, the threads of mental health and parental addiction have woven together inextricably, each forming different forever affects on my mind. From the day I was born, I have been tossed around from family member to family member, dragged around to my parents favorite crack houses, and used as a tool to lie on their behalf. Children of addicts are 45% to 79% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol compared to the general population. This statistic has been shoved in my face since the day I was able to form my own thoughts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told “Don’t turn out like your mom”, or “Don’t be like your Dad”. That made statements like “You sound like your dad right now”, and “You look just like you Mom” feel like an absolute stab in the heart. Everyone in my life has always spent their time with me trying to mold me into anything other than my parents. There are always eyes darted towards the back of my head making sure I don’t slip up. So of course when I slipped into a depressive state, alarms went blaring. I spent the majority of my time from 2019 to 2022 in and out of different treatments and mental hospitals for failed attempts and self harm. In 2022, through lots of different medication switches, a school change, ridiculous eating disorder clinics, and countless hours of therapy and psychiatry sessions, I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But then, April 1st of 2022, I found my Dad unconscious and blue on our bathroom floor. After losing my dad, I knew all of the work I had done could not go to waste. I continued therapy, Though the shadows of the past may remain, I refuse to be defined by the struggles of my parents or the scars they left upon my soul. I am a survivor, a warrior who has emerged from the crucible of adversity with newfound purpose and resilience. Through introspection and self-discovery, I have learned to navigate the complexities of my own mind with grace and compassion, embracing the journey with open arms and a steadfast resolve. And though the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, I walk it with a heart full of hope and a spirit that knows no bounds.
    Inguz Memorial Scholarship
    My favorite animal absolutely has to be the Siberian Tiger. Before my dad died, he was fascinated by tigers and lions, and when he looked at them you could see the mesmerization in his face as his eyes lit up and his smile went from ear to ear. I think that is the best way to describe how I feel when I see the beautiful Siberian tiger. Ever since I was a kid, I found sanctuary in animals. My parents were abusive drug addicts, and dragged me around people as such. Unfortunately, this need to me not believing in people. I hated being around others, and found safety in animals. The moment I knew I wanted to make a difference in the animal world was when my pit bull, Roscoe, was taken from me. He was a big sweet baby who had been through unfortunate circumstances, just like myself. He struggled with trusting others because of what he had been through, and acted out of fear. Sounds like someone I know. Somehow, we had an understanding of each other and he learned to trust me almost immediately. I would spend my afternoons laying with him in the sun, looking at clouds trying to point them out as objects and animals like he could understand me. The loyalty of a dog is unmatched. I’m not sure if my dad was jealous, or if he just needed another living thing to take his anger out on, but he would hit Roscoe. Sometimes he would start to go for me, but Roscoe would step in-front like he was my war shield, ready for battle. He never attacked my dad, just took the heat. Once my dad left, there wasn’t really anything to shield me from. My grandpa lived with us, and he didn’t really like Roscoe either. He would smack him if he got in the way, or scream in his face for existing. I knew it wasn’t fair for Roscoe, but I didn’t expect what happened next. I think Roscoe knew I was safe, at least I like to think so, so he attempted to run away. His journey was cut very short. All Roscoe had ever known besides my love was abuse from all other humans he met. When he jumped the fence, the neighbors were out playing. They tried to stop Roscoe and restrain him, so Roscoe bit one of the kids. In consequence, they threatened to call animal control if we didn’t take him to the pound. I figured this meant we would stop leaving him outside all day in the heat as an “outside dog” and take him in. I thought he would finally get to know what air conditioning was like, he would be able to feel where I slept every night. But this was not the case. I came back from school one day, and I went out to the back to look at clouds with Roscoe like I always did. He was not there, nor was his house. He was gone. They had taken him to the pound. My sanctuary was gone. Roscoe was one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced. I am forever grateful for the loyalty and love he taught me that all animals have the capability of doing. Roscoe showed me what my true calling in life is, and I have not let anything stop me from being able to reach that goal, the goal of rehabilitating and being able to re-connect abused animals to the possible love of humans.
    Keep Her Dream Alive Scholarship
    Winner
    Ever since I was a kid, I found sanctuary in animals. My parents were abusive drug addicts, and dragged me around people as such. Unfortunately, this need to me not believing in people. I hated being around others, and found safety in animals. The moment I knew I wanted to make a difference in the animal world was when my pit bull, Roscoe, was taken from me. He was a big sweet baby who had been through unfortunate circumstances, just like myself. He struggled with trusting others because of what he had been through, and acted out of fear. Sounds like someone I know. Somehow, we had an understanding of each other and he learned to trust me almost immediately. I would spend my afternoons laying with him in the sun, looking at clouds trying to point them out as objects and animals like he could understand me. The loyalty of a dog is unmatched. I’m not sure if my dad was jealous, or if he just needed another living thing to take his anger out on, but he would hit Roscoe. Sometimes he would start to go for me, but Roscoe would step in-front like he was my war shield, ready for battle. He never attacked my dad, just took the heat. Once my dad left, there wasn’t really anything to shield me from. My grandpa lived with us, and he didn’t really like Roscoe either. He would smack him if he got in the way, or scream in his face for existing. I knew it wasn’t fair for Roscoe, but I didn’t expect what happened next. I think Roscoe knew I was safe, at least I like to think so, so he attempted to run away. His journey was cut very short. All Roscoe had ever known besides my love was abuse from all other humans he met. When he jumped the fence, the neighbors were out playing. They tried to stop Roscoe and restrain him, so Roscoe bit one of the kids. In consequence, they threatened to call animal control if we didn’t take him to the pound. I figured this meant we would stop leaving him outside all day in the heat as an “outside dog” and take him in. I thought he would finally get to know what air conditioning was like, he would be able to feel where I slept every night. But this was not the case. I came back from school one day, and I went out to the back to look at clouds with Roscoe like I always did. He was not there, nor was his house. He was gone. They had taken him to the pound. My sanctuary was gone. Roscoe was one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced. I am forever grateful for the loyalty and love he taught me that all animals have the capability of doing. Roscoe showed me what my true calling in life is, and I have not let anything stop me from being able to reach that goal, the goal of rehabilitating and being able to re-connect abused animals to the possible love of humans.
    Texas Students in STEM Scholarship
    My whole life, money has had such a big impact. Getting to enjoy life as a kid was heavily impacted by my families drug abuse and lack of education needed for a good job. In most cases, the relationship between money and happiness is nuanced, particularly for first-generation college students. First-generation college students frequently encounter financial hurdles that can significantly impact their happiness. Many come from low-income backgrounds, such as myself, where financial instability is a daily reality. In addition to financial constraints, first-generation students often face societal pressures related to money and success. Cultural expectations and social norms may emphasize material wealth as a marker of achievement, fostering a sense of inadequacy among those who lack affluent backgrounds. The pressure to excel academically and secure lucrative careers can exacerbate feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. I know personally, grades and success have always been an overbearing weight on my shoulders. This has come not just from pressure, but also the pure fear of having to live a life like my parents, or creating a life like that for my children. While financial constraints and societal pressures may pose significant challenges, the pursuit of higher education offers opportunities for personal and academic growth that transcend material wealth. Despite the challenges we may face, many first-generation college students remain resilient and determined to achieve their goals, such as myself. My dream to impact marine sciences and discover the deep ocean is unmatched to any other feeling. There are so many opportunities with discovering that most people have no idea about. The thought of being able to be apart of something so big and impactful makes me more excited than anything else. Who doesn’t want to be recognized as a scientist? Unfortunately, the burden of tuition fees, textbooks, housing costs, and other academic expenses can create immense stress and anxiety and limit my choices on where to even attend school in the first place. Being limited to my own scarce recourses for financial need will force myself and many other students in the same situation to juggle multiple jobs or take out loans, amplifying our worries about future debt. The constant struggle to pay tuition bills or pay for a book can overshadow moments of joy and accomplishment. Receiving scholarships as such, allow STEM students like myself to focus more on our research and groundbreaking discoveries rather than whether we will be able to afford to attend next semester or not.