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Jason Carroll

7130

Bold Points

59x

Nominee

18x

Finalist

8x

Winner

Bio

Competitiveness, respect, forgiveness, and blue hair are features you find with me. I thought I would continue two more years of high school while taking college classes, but the state informed me otherwise. Apparently I was required to graduate early. It’s hard not feeling punished for working hard. However, as an athlete I adapt to changes in trajectory when preparing for a play. I just worked harder at finding a college to take a 16 year old goalkeeper. My mom and I recently moved out of our home for domestic violence reasons. My finances are not known yet, but I'm not giving up my dreams. I am applying for scholarships any time I am given an opportunity. Investing in me, won’t leave you disappointed. I have determination to make my destination, even when rerouted. What do I want to achieve? I want to play soccer during college, especially with this season in life being short. There’s a brief period when playing sports is an option. I am supposed to be a starting goalkeeper next year which should be a good time! I started college welding classes in high school and plan to get my certification. My major is going to be statistics. I am good at math. My dyslexia doesn’t phase math. I even help the guys on my team. Thank you in advance for your consideration and supporting many of us at these toll booths, trying to reach our destinations!

Education

Louisburg College

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematics and Statistics, Other
    • Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians
    • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
    • Environmental/Natural Resources Management and Policy
    • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Minors:
    • Education, General
    • Mathematics and Statistics, Other
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other

Vance-Granville Community College

Trade School
2021 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Engineering/Engineering-Related Technologies/Technicians, Other

Granville Academy

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Mathematics and Statistics, Other
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness
    • Biological and Physical Sciences
    • History
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Sports

    • Dream career goals:

      statistic analyst, Senior engineer, sports analyst, soccer player

    • Volunteer

      Miracle League of Franklin County
      2017 – 20203 years
    • Volunteer

      SGAA
      2020 – Present4 years
    • Mentor and field maintenance

      South Granville Athletic Association
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Field Attendant

      Butner Athletic Parks
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Taking care of two children and helping them with sports

      Home Childcare
      2020 – 2020

    Sports

    clay shooting

    Club
    2021 – 2021

    Soccer

    Varsity
    2020 – Present4 years

    Awards

    • captain, nominated keeper of the conference
    • Heisman scholarship winner of my school

    Golf

    Varsity
    2020 – Present4 years

    Awards

    • made regionals

    Research

    • classes at museums

      Present

    Arts

    • Kids Unlimited

      Acting
      I have been extras in a few movies and in a capri sun commercial
      2010 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Operation Cherrybend — We assist with all activites and become friends with the wounded veterans. We keep in touch with each other to prevent the 22 veterans a day who commit suicide.
      2019 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Miracle League Of Franklin County — Buddy-assistant for special needs children
      2015 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Nintendo Super Fan Scholarship
    “You are going to lose again!” I hear my older brother saying in a mocking tone. He was always winning. Being 5 years older than me, and having a dexterity advantage along with experience, I found myself at 7 years old being frustrated yet longing to be included when playing Nintendo with my older siblings that only came to visit once in a while. Well, just then one of the AI players hit him with a turtle shell and I got a star catapulting me to the lead. I won!!! I finally won! Of course, my brother would try to negate my win with the excuse that the AI cheated. Unlike Call of Duty or the other games I could play with my brother, Mario Kart was the one I had a chance of winning in. It is a game for all ages and yet still has some part strategy, some part skill, and some part luck. These variables are what make it truly a game that anyone can enjoy. My grandparents, who are technologically challenged, were even able to play this game with me. These are memories that my generation cherishes much like that of my parents’ generation reminiscing about their parents playing catch with them in their childhood. Our family enjoyed this game so much, we made Christmas ornaments with the Mario Kart characters in their cars. We also had a surprise birthday party for my brother (yes, that brother) when he turned 20. We all dressed up as Mario Kart characters and went to a go-cart track to race. I dressed up as Yoshi, who is also the character that I rock the most. My brother was Mario, of course. One sister was toad, and one was Peach. My parents were Luigi, and Waluigi. My brother’s girlfriend was Wamario. Anyone who has seen the video we have edited with “Rainbow Road'' playing in the background has been impressed and inspired. It became more than a game for me, it became priceless memories with my family that I will have forever.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    Growing up with lower self-worth, I felt I must always perform better, so it's difficult reflecting on what my greatest achievement would be. Others mention achievements of mine such as graduating high school early, how I give back to the community by volunteering, or how I persevered in academics during my dad’s alcoholic rants. I was pretty proud of saving money to buy my first car for attending college classes while in high school. However, my greatest achievement might be being developed right now as I'm learning to show forgiveness and grace to myself and others. With this strife-filled year freshman year in college, I had grown bitter and angry at my father and myself. Forgiving us both for being imperfect and not living up to my expectations is what I would say is my greatest achievement. I was extremely hard on myself when getting to Louisburg College. I had to adjust to being on the bench, being a 16-year-old soccer player. I was the youngest player and not the leader that I'd been accustomed to being. I hated every mistake. Soccer has always been where I excelled. This is where my efforts were praised by my teammates and coaches. I felt like a failure and started doubting myself. My mom and I moved out of my only known home a month into my freshman year. Although needed, it emotionally crush me. My dad is an alcoholic and the situations at home were getting worse. I didn't perform at my personal best in academics or athletics. I was so angry with my dad for not thinking that we were worth being sober for. In 2020, another friend of my father’s had gone down the sobriety route for his family. My dad would say how proud he was that this friend made those choices for his family. Meanwhile, all I could hear in my heart was that the other guy's kids meant more to him than I meant to my dad. I had an exam the day after we fled our home. I did not have all of my things. I wasn't prepared. I remember just tearing up the whole exam and being unable to take it. I struggled in soccer practices. It was difficult for me because I was trying to prove myself, and all I was proving was that I didn’t belong. I was very hard on myself about it. It took a while to get out of self-pity. It took me a while to forgive myself for not performing my best. I'm still striving, and I'm still difficult on myself at times. When I catch myself being particularly demanding, to the point of hating parts of me, I have decided to actively forgive myself for being human. I know that sounds easy, but growing up in my house being perfect was safe and being less-than-perfect meant chaos. I realize now that I did not cause many of the things that I thought I did and that I could not cure my dad. Working on myself emotionally and mentally is one of my greatest achievements, but I still have quite a way to go. Forgiving my dad for not being perfect is also one of the most difficult and rewarding things I have ever done. I don’t have to carry around that anger. I don’t have to be mad and spiral into self-pity or self-blame. My dad has been in a program and has been sober for several months now. I'm so proud of him. He also still has a long way to go, and I can forgive him when his old habits of treating me flare up. I can also walk away and not engage. The difference with the interactions while sober is that he can see more clearly and can now apologize. A simple apology, lets me know that his blowup was not because I was less than perfect. It was a vicious cycle that by choosing to forgive my dad I can help break. I choose to show grace for his imperfections (not accepting wrong behavior) which in turn helps him to stay his course on his self-recovery. I hope to be able to use this skill of showing others grace and forgiveness in my classes and on the field. I’m hoping it will make me a better person and a more rounded individual. I know it will lead to opportunities to share my strength and hope with others that are also suffering.
    Corrick Family First-Gen Scholarship
    I have always been advanced in math, but I always found it boring and kind of disliked it in comparison to my science classes when I was in grade school. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college, that the right professor tapped into my mathematical brain in a way that made me realize that I absolutely love math. It was probably only boring because it came easier for me, and it was much review for half of the year rather than learning new and exciting things. Now that I am challenged again in math, I can see math everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE! I am a sports fanatic and a goalkeeper for my college soccer team. The area of the goal covered is increased in a mathematical equation as I step toward the striker coming at me. Also, the statistics of this player using the right or left foot, or the player’s previous goals in the past going to the top or bottom of the net, factored in with percentage of efficiency are all going through my mind in a flash of a second when I am playing my position. Part of it, most people would call instinct, but I know my instinct is also based on my nature of factoring in statistics. In a world where there is so much talk about different realities identified, I find comfort in the math of the world which is consistent, predictable, and rationally explained. Social norms change in history and now, but math remains the same. That is, until you mix the numbers with verbal graph parameters. This is where people mix facts with motives and make the math look misleading. I find it fascinating that in most situations adjusting a graph can back up your argument either way you are inclined. Realizing that those parameters are sometimes tricky causes me to question most graphs proposed in media or books with an agenda to prove something. Those parameters are not the black-and-white math numbers that we, mathematicians, love and appreciate. A person skilled with numbers can manipulate the numbers. This is why it is so vital that we use our super math powers for good. Personally, I enjoy statistics and economics the most. I think my enjoyment of it has to do with my professors, but I have always been drawn to it before I knew what statistics were. It probably started with the pattern of starburst flavors and went onto the probability of getting a red skittle. Thus, my math journey was on its way from candy to career.
    Learner.com Algebra Scholarship
    I have always been advanced in math, but I always found it boring and kind of disliked it in comparison to my science classes when I was in grade school. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college, that the right professor tapped into my mathematical brain in a way that made me realize that I absolutely love math. It was probably only boring because it came easier for me, and it was much review for half of the year rather than learning new and exciting things. Now that I am challenged again in math, I can see math everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE! I am a sports fanatic and a goalkeeper for my college soccer team. The area of the goal covered is increased in a mathematical equation as I step toward the striker coming at me. Also, the statistics of this player using the right or left foot, or the player’s previous goals in the past going to the top or bottom of the net, factored in with percentage of efficiency are all going through my mind in a flash of a second when I am playing my position. Part of it, most people would call instinct, but I know my instinct is also based on my nature of factoring in statistics. In a world where there is so much talk about different realities identified, I find comfort in the math of the world which is consistent, predictable, and rationally explained. Social norms change in history and now, but math remains the same. That is, until you mix the numbers with verbal graph parameters. This is where people mix facts with motives and make the math look misleading. I find it fascinating that in most situations adjusting a graph can back up your argument either way you are inclined. Realizing that those parameters are sometimes tricky causes me to question most graphs proposed in media or books with an agenda to prove something. Those parameters are not the black-and-white math numbers that we, mathematicians, love and appreciate. A person skilled with numbers can manipulate the numbers. This is why it is so vital that we use our super math powers for good. Personally, I enjoy statistics and economics the most. I think my enjoyment of it has to do with my professors, but I have always been drawn to it before I knew what statistics were. It probably started with the pattern of starburst flavors and went onto the probability of getting a red skittle. Thus, my math journey was on its way from candy to career.
    Sports Lover Scholarship
    My love of sports has been one of the attributes in the nucleus of my life. It has been a teacher, a motivator, an escape, a friend, and a love to me. Even my volunteer work has been to help teach kids with special needs or difficulties how to play sports. My first job was maintaining the local field where I played soccer. Over this summer I have been volunteering my time with the high school I graduated from, helping the coach train the new goalkeeper that replaced me. Growing up as an academically advanced kid, the soccer field is where I felt the most normal. No one knew my grades or thought of me as a nerd while I was playing. Soccer, like math, is sort of a universal language. I was invited to play in the Hispanic league, due to my paternal heritage. Still, I do not speak Spanish since I was mostly raised by my mom while my dad was working out of town often. I did not need to be fluent in Spanish because I understood the language of soccer. It was in this league that I was able to experience cultural and language barriers being broken by the love of sports. I believe this feeling was the exact reason that the Olympics were born. No matter what the country's cultural or religious views are, everyone seems to be able to admire someone who had dedication, commitment, and skill development at the level of competing sports. In life, and shown through sports, people strive to do their best and respect a worthy opponent. My family is extremely competitive. We were each able to personally sort out our weaknesses and strengths due to this character trait. We don’t all win at the same thing. We all learned to value our strengths and each other. We never let anyone win. I know others thought it seemed harsh when my mom would make me keep my correct score at putt-putt at the age of 4, while she obliterated me. My mom would explain that it had 2 purposes. One reason was that she was teaching me to count, but the main reason was that she knew I would beat her one day, and I needed to know that when I did, I wasn’t “given” the win, I had earned it! Now, I dominate her in golf, and she is proud. When I started playing soccer in high school, a senior told me the last goalkeeper was better than me and didn’t get the opportunity to play in college. He was saying no one from our small school ever gets scouted for college. At first, I was hurt, then a little angry. I didn’t know the determination of the last guy, but I knew that I was not going to let bad vibes stop me from chasing my dreams. I don’t need to let others’ limitations become my own. Even though I was made to graduate at 16, I still contacted all the colleges in my area and tried out for them. One took a chance on me. I am going to follow my dreams of playing soccer as far as they will go. I am also pursuing a degree in statistics and sports management. I love watching sports information and have become good at predictions based on statistics. There is no doubt about it, sports will always be a huge part of my life. People always encourage you to get a career doing something that you love, so my path will not stray far from sports.
    Learner Math Lover Scholarship
    I have always been advanced in math, but I always found it boring and kind of disliked in comparison to my science classes. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college, when the right professor tapped into my mathematical brain in a way that made me realize that I absolutely love math. It was probably only boring because it came easier for me. Now I am challenged again, and I can see math everywhere, and I do mean everywhere! I am a sports fanatic, and a goalkeeper for my college soccer team. The area of the goal covered is increased in a mathematical equation as I step toward the striker coming at me. Also, the statistics of this player using the right or left foot, or the player’s previous goals in the past going to the top or bottom of the net, factored in with percentage of efficiency are all going through my mind in a flash of a second when I am playing my position. Part of it, most people would call instinct, but I know my instinct is also based on my own factoring statistics. In a world where there is so much talk about different realities identified, I find comfort in the math of the world which is consistent, predictable, and rationally explained. Social norms change in history and now, but math remains the same. That is, until you mix the numbers with verbal graph parameters. Here is where people mix facts with motive. I find it fascinating that adjusting a graph can back up your argument either way you are inclined, in most situations. Realizing that those parameters are sometimes tricky causes me to question most graphs proposed in media or books with an agenda to prove something. Those parameters are not the black and white math numbers. A person good with numbers can manipulate the numbers so we must use our super math powers for good. Personally I really enjoy statistics and economics the most. I think my enjoyment of it has to do with my professors, but I have always been drawn to it before I knew what statistics were. It probably started with the pattern of starburst flavors and went onto the probability of getting a red skittle. Thus, my math journey was on its way from candy to career!
    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Through my recovery program, I am learning that recovery means progress, not perfection. This is very difficult for me because for so long I was thinking that perfection could save me and when I fell short is when life became unmanageable. I have also learned that recovery is also not just for the addict but for the family as well. We cannot rush amends, or control others feelings. Everyone is on their own path of recovery and is recovering at the speed meant for them. Patience with ourselves and others is key when recovering. We are not perfect and neither is anyone else. When we expect too much of others or ourselves, we create resentments of poison for our recovery.
    Coleman for Patriots Scholarship
    In the past, I’ve always been involved with charities that involved children. Specifically, I worked with special needs children to help them play sports. I have visited the children’s hospital with kids around my age - kids that just wanted to play and connect with someone without remembering how sick they are. I branched out last year and volunteered with an organization called Operation Cherrybend. I had no idea how much I would be impacted by a hero with a common name, Dennis. Having come from a family of military service, I was no stranger to the obstacles that come from PTSD. Twenty-two veterans fall victim to suicide each day. Operation Cherrybend tries to bring these veterans into a better mental state by providing opportunities for them to feel like themselves again. I spent over a week on-site with these wounded warriors. We participated in activities like hunting, concerts, skydiving, and cookouts. We also conduct weekly Zoom meetings to stay connected with veterans. It was captivating hearing these wounded veterans speaking about their experiences fighting overseas for our country. I was moved when they started talking about how lonely they feel when they get back, even while surrounded by loved ones. They feel out of place like they don’t fit in anymore. Oddly, I could relate, because most teens go through times feeling this exact way. The basic need for human connections is transcendent. It is non-discriminatory. You feel this need whether you’re a kid, or a tough war hero. Needing to connect rises above ethnicity, culture, social class, and sexual orientation. By facilitating an environment where people feel free to open up, we can make these important connections to others. I realized what I found playing soccer, these soldiers were found with this organization. They found belonging. I realized these organizations are vital for mental health, the way soccer is for me. I was feeling a bit awkward, but then one of those human connections happened. We were shooting clays and Dennis started teasing that he didn’t want to go after me. I had never shot a gun before, but I was pretty good at it! Dennis is a soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan. He has physical pain from the nerve endings on his nubs. However, his sense of humor went unscathed when that explosion took his legs. He says it was the most successful diet he’d ever been on. He lost 80 pounds in less than 8 seconds. I don’t know what he was like just after this happened to him, but the man I know is confident. He seems taller than most in a room full of people, even without his legs. He has a huge heart. I truly believe him when he says he would have taken that explosion over again rather than one of his brothers stepping on it. He has a purpose in his life to helping others’ mental states because he has the advantage of saying “I know how you feel.” He is genuine and brave. I was impacted by Dennis’s perseverance and drive. He chose to be active and let his injury and differences be a light for others. I was impressed by his sense of humor and confidence. I realized these were all choices of character that one can make, not based on ability. You can be a victim or you can turn it into a strength to help others. I went there to help them, but they may have helped me more.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    I will be wiser and able to adapt and overcome, in order to help others and myself.
    Derk Golden Memorial Scholarship
    The picture on this scholarship drew my attention immediately. It looked like my grandfather who was the MVP in the Marines for football. We have his trophy and an oddly similar photo. He was a huge supporter of me. He actually was the first person to trash-talk me, which was a funny story since I didn’t understand his sarcasm at 5. He was teaching me pool, and told me I might as well go inside and sit down because I wasn't going to get another turn. I did what he said with tears, and my dad asked me what was wrong. My grandfather felt horrible. With Granddaddy Jim gone, it is a treasured memory. I love watching and analyzing football. I realized my love for math and statistics through sports and especially football. However, the sport I play and am passionate about is the other “futbol.” I was captain of my soccer team in high school at 15 years old. My height, academics, and leadership skills did not reveal my young age. Even my blue hair was a tactical mental move for my position in soccer. I am a goalkeeper. If you know I am good, I will be in your head before you ever even try to score. Other schools may not know my name, but they couldn’t forget my hair. I ended up being made to graduate at 16. I thought my athletic dreams were crushed. I only had 2 covid stained years of high school stats to try to be recruited to college. I had already been told that no one from our poor county gets scholarships for soccer. Still, I went to every coach in the area. I found Louisburg College would give me an opportunity. This is a private school, costing more than my family going through bankruptcy counted on. It turns out that I can commute, cutting costs. This also keeps me in the position to help my other grandpa, Pop-Pop, with my grandma who has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There is hardly a video of me playing where she isn’t heard cheering for me in the background. I still needed help with funds since I was having to do this 2 years earlier than my plan. I reached out to my principal and was given avenues to apply for scholarships. I have been determined to apply for all I qualify for. Lack of determination will not be the reason my chase for my dreams comes to an end. Sports have been a great help to my mental health. They have given me coaches to get me through some rough times with my alcoholic father. It has given me courage and determination. It has also taught me about teamwork and leadership. I have learned to forgive myself and others for mistakes and to recognize the reality of shortcomings and change what I can instead of fixating on what I cannot. I believe sports help you to be well-rounded. I played in a Spanish league where I am the only Latin-x who was not taught Spanish. Still, soccer is a universal language. I volunteered with special needs children to play baseball, where I learned that you don’t have to let your limits define or separate you. Sports teach so much more than how to score. It teaches me how to live.
    Sunshine Legall Scholarship
    Being a part of a community is more than just being a part of your location. In our digital age, your community reaches further than realized. This is why Ralph Waldo Emmerson’s words are important. “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions, for they become habits, watch your habits for they become your character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” You never know who is impacted and it might even be your own future. My community has always been there for me. I love having grown up in rural, Granville County. It'll be with me wherever life takes me. Although I do like our trees and sunsets, it's the people that make a difference. Every person counts. You never know how far one pebble’s ripples will reach when skipping a rock on the water. Positive efforts in a community work the same way. You don’t know how far they will go or who will benefit from them. My English teacher, had me read a book called, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. We did a project of five people we thought impacted our lives. In my project, a lady by the name of Meg Strong is pictured. Even though I've told her, I still doubt she fully understands her impact on my life. She ran the SGAA soccer league. It is a volunteer position that requires time and patience. Had I not been introduced to soccer, I believe I would have stayed lost. It gave me a place to feel like I belonged. It gave me a coach to which I could vent about personal issues going on in my life. I learned responsibility for myself and my team. I learned respect, for coaches, referees, teammates, and opposing teams. Without volunteers like Meg, and others, these organizations would not function and reach the next generation. In my project, I was able to tell Meg in heaven that I grew up, became a professional athlete, and started an organization for kids in rural areas that needed to learn these life lessons through sports. In real life, I asked her to escort me for my senior night onto the field for my last home game. She never had any kids of her own, but she has many kids in her wake of influence; I am just one. It was an emotional night and I'm glad I had the chance to show my appreciation for her community service in that special way. I see myself giving back to the community by volunteering as a coach or a referee for these foundational leagues. I can see myself still taking time to help keep our fields clean and nice for the next generation of athletes. There is so much to learn from sports that can help with life skills. It helps with self-control. It helps with teamwork and working together for the win, not just the glory of one person. It teaches you about forgiving the mistakes of others and being forgiven yourself for mistakes. Sports are able to break social barriers. I myself have played soccer in a Spanish league, and was the only Hispanic person who didn’t speak Spanish fluently, having been raised by my mom. I was accepted and respected because I spoke soccer. I can see myself creating and preserving the opportunities I was given for the next generation. Right now, I'm playing soccer for college. I am inspiring the generation after me to dream of going the distance.
    Jose Prado Memorial Scholarship
    My father’s side of the family is Hispanic. My Abuelita moved to Texas from Mexico. Her “Greengo” husband left her to raise 4 sons by herself. The oldest son got a job lying about his age to help financially support the family. All of the boys were involved in sports and the coaches were like fathers to them. She passed away this year, but not before telling me how much like her son I had become; beautiful and athletic. I have a feeling I was her favorite for learning some Spanish to talk with her, and for joining the Spanish soccer league. My willingness to help my family in any way possible is also from this Heritage. We have a stronger family sense than my mother’s Irish side. Many birthday parties were only for the family since that was enough people to overfill the house. I am very close to my cousins on this side of the family as well. I am trying to be a good role model for them to follow their dreams of college and soccer as well. I am the first college athlete in my generation. The only other was my grandfather, the one who had lied about his age, and he dropped out of college when my dad was born. I am striving to be the first one in our family to get a college education. I believe this is the best way that I can help my family’s future. I also attribute my competitiveness and love of soccer to my Hispanic family. We have been told that it is in your blood. Many outside friends do not understand the competitiveness that runs in our family. We even compete in video games to see who can open a Christmas gift. Even if the reward is wearing a Tiara, we want to win! I was told that I would not make it from my small high school to college, playing soccer. This was made even harder when I was made to graduate early. I never thought high academics would hurt my athletic dreams. Still, I did not give up. I found a way. I worked harder and made myself and my family proud. If you know, you know. We don’t quit. I miss my Abuelita and my Grandfather. Tapping into my Hispanic heritage makes me feel that they are still with me. I know they are very proud of my efforts.
    Julia Baucom Children of Families with Parkinson’s Disease Scholarship
    Ginny Biada Memorial Scholarship
    My mom is my biggest supporter, of my educational goals and my dreams. She stayed at home with me when they realized I was not a normal learner at the age of 2. I was already spelling small words, speaking sign language, and adding little numbers by the age of three. Later, we found out that I had a learning disability: dyslexia. My mom decided to continue teaching me at home for fear that I would not achieve my full potential and fall through the cracks without some altered systems in place. I continued to thrive educationally while she schooled me. My dad was on the road often, and my siblings are from another mother. My mom is the only person who was consistent in my life. Due to this, I had severe separation anxiety from her. Everyone else in my life left me for weeks at a time, and she was my only constant guide, my north star as it were. Many would think being homeschooled by my mom, I would have social issues. I’ve never thought that was a fair stigma. My mom also helped me achieve my athletic goals and has been to so many soccer, hockey, basketball and golf practices. She made sure I was active in church and charities. These influences that she helped expose me to, are character building. I can converse with anyone of any age. I am a mentor to my nephews, and one of my best friends is in his 40s. I golf and have candor with men in their 70s. I was the captain of my high school soccer team as a senior at 15. Once in high school, my mom realized I would be needing more education. I attended an online school and played sports at the local high school. This was a great fit for me. However, Covid hit and my mom had to go to work because my dad’s business collapsed. He was at home, and she wasn’t. He became a horrible alcoholic. I believe he was always on the edge. I would have to mute my zoom classes because he was ranting curse words and abusing me emotionally. I got in trouble a few times. He even got physical, but I didn’t want to worry my already stressed mother who was working so hard to keep our bills paid. I didn’t want to be a burden, and my dad made me believe that I deserved to be treated like that. Trying to do college-level calculus online is difficult and worse when your dad thinks his plans are more important than your school. It was a rough year, and soccer was my escape. I finally graduated and found a school that would allow a 16-year-old goalkeeper. I thought things would get better in my home, but they didn’t. One night it got so bad that it was undeniable that my dad was hurting me and my family. My mom pulled together resources, and we left the home I grew up in since I was 2. I have had a rough freshman year. My mom is still my biggest supporter and now I am hers as well. We are making it. They aren’t divorced yet, but we are no longer in harm's way and on a path of healing. My mom getting emotional and mental help has led me to do the same. I am speaking with my counselor at school. My teachers and coaches are amazingly supportive and I no longer feel I need to hide. My mom, however, is my lifeline.
    Jack “Fluxare” Hytner Memorial Scholarship
    The term influencer has been reduced to meaning popularity on social media. I’ve always loved the Spiderman phrase, “with great power comes great responsibility”. They’re talking about superpowers, but we each have superpowers. Those who self-reflect like Jack seemed to be able to do, can see their influence and power faster than most. I’ve been around many kids with these types of superpowers. Before Covid, I used to visit the children’s hospital in my area. We’d go into each kid’s room, although it took all day. Several times we would sit in their room and play video games with them. I’d get their names, and we would even play when I wasn’t visiting. Although some aren’t on this earth anymore, they’ll live on in those that got to know them. Another group of influencers that I have had the pleasure of knowing is children with special needs. We raised money for a local Miracle League field. My mom has been a mascot and I’ve been a “buddy" with some amazing kids. One of our players became the homecoming queen at the local high school. She never let her down’s syndrome stop her from living life to the fullest. Lacey’s positive personality (her superpower) is what led her to influence her high school to look past people’s struggles and see strengths. Many kids look up to me when I’m at work. I work for the athletic field I grew up on. I want to keep it nice for the next generations. I’m known for my blue hair, and for being the only kid from my home recreational league to play soccer in college. I didn’t give up, even though I was sad that my advanced academics led to me leaving my high school captain role early. These kids try to score on “the best goalie ever.” I’m humbled they call me that and never too cool to play with kids looking up to me. It only takes a few seconds and one sentence to make someone’s day. Video gaming and soccer have been escapes for me. They’re where I felt normal. I was too smart in school and hiding my home life. My dad is an alcoholic. I’m working on my mental health and forgiveness. Still, my life was scary. School and soccer were my way of securing a future for myself. Video gaming kept me from dark places in my mind. I’ve great friends from different walks of life that knew me differently because I was unafraid. Sports and games saved my life. I’m a math major. I play Madden, FIFA, and Rocket League the most. I can statistically have a mental advantage because of math. I’m able to visualize the trajectory of equations by relating them to video gaming. Creating these equations may be in my future. I also have taken welding so welding circuit boards is another avenue I may be in the field, or I’m the player in FIFA that got noticed at Louisburg College.
    Adrin Ohaekwe Memorial Scholarship
    Sports have always been a huge part of my life. There I find an outlet and a way to physically and mentally better myself. I would definitely consider it as part of my self-care. Many may not consider chess a sport, but I find it to have many of the same qualities. My family is extremely competitive. How competitive? We play games to see who opens Christmas gifts. We even made easter egg hunting a competition when we got older. At my birthday parties, I never asked for gifts. We would do a $5 buy-in for a chance to split a pot of a double-elimination competition of some kind. It has been corn-hole, ping-pong, and even chess. My first memories of playing chess are with my grandfather. He is the one from Mexico on my father’s side. He and I were very close. He is also my first experience of receiving competitive “trash talk.” While playing pool in the garage he told me that I might as well go in the house and sit down because I wasn’t going to get to shoot again. I was around 4 years old. I cried and went inside because I usually listened to my grandfather and parents. I did not realize he was hinting he was going to “run the table” on me. When he was in the hospital, I would bring our chessboard from his house so that we could play in his room. I won one time against him. Our family is big about not allowing anyone to win out of pity. We want to earn winning. We aren’t complete monsters though, we will let you score if there seems to be an unfair advantage. My grandfather may have let me take one of his pieces if he saw me going for one, and that could have led to my winning the game. He insisted he did not “let” me win. I was the only grandchild that took to playing chess with him. He wasn’t in good health and it was a sport I could do with him. To this day, I believe I am one of the few in my age group in my county that actually knows how to play. I am not fantastic but I enjoy it. Things that you can learn from chess, is that sometimes it is better to be patient and think before making a move. You don’t always have to reveal your intentions. Sometimes you must make the sacrifice to win the game. I am taking courses toward a mathematics and statistics degree. I like calculations and percentages. I believe leaning toward this field is why I enjoyed the game of chess, other than my time with my grandfather. I am unsure of which field I will be using these skills in just yet. I am also pursuing playing soccer as far as I am able. I know it is a long shot, but I am willing to give it my best shot. I see my chess-like abilities coming out when I am in the goal defending from other players. I can see their pieces/players lining up and I am more aware of the move that will be made to try to score/check me. My grandfather may be gone but he left me with lessons learned. When I see a chess piece I can’t help but think of him.
    Olivia Woods Memorial Scholarship
    At the risk of sounding juvenile, “Put Me In The Zoo” by Robert Lopshire is my favorite book and had a huge impact on my life. There are many deeper novels that I have enjoyed in my later years of reading, but nothing quite as impactful as this children’s book when I was quite young. This makes sense because it is in these younger years when you are the most impressionable. My memories from this book will live far longer in my mind than that of any other. Of course, it was influential because of the timing in which it was read to me. This is why reading to kids is so important. The memories of my mom reading this to me while I was doing my breathing treatments at night, or in waiting rooms at the hospital, are memories I will have forever. However, the lesson taught in this book has resonated with me, my entire life. If you are finding it difficult to fit in somewhere in life, maybe you are trying to fit somewhere you don’t belong. When you find who you are, and where you fit, you can have greater happiness other than where you thought you were wanting to fit in. In this book, there’s a creature similar to a bear feeling left out because he is not in the zoo. Throughout the cadence of the book, he tries desperately to convince two kids that he belongs in the zoo like all the other animals. He shows them all the unique things about him that would make him an asset to the zoo. At the end of the book, they tell him that he still does not belong. He was sad for a second, but then the kids said, with how extraordinary he is, he should be in the circus. I never felt like I fit in, and sometimes, I really wanted to. Being advanced in academics sometimes is difficult socially. I related to this animal, desperately trying to fit in with other zoo animals. The moral of the book is that if you’re patient, you’ll find the place where you belong, rather than changing your extraordinary self to fit in somewhere else. Whenever I feel like I’m not quite like others, this book comes to mind. I am content with not fitting in everywhere, because there is a place for me. As I am getting older I am finding myself more and more. I am no longer afraid of standing out but have embraced it. I have peacock blue hair, and that does come with a certain stigma of having a rebellious streak. At work, last summer, a small kid and his mom passed by me emptying trash cans. The boy said, “look, mom, that kid has blue hair!” She responded to him that I obviously wasn’t that smart. I don’t have to let stigmas or opinions define me. I was emptying trash to have money for a vehicle to get me to my college soccer practices and classes. I have blue hair to be recognized easily by recruiters that may not remember my name as easily as my hair color. Not being in massive debt while going to college at 16 and highlighting myself with my hair when I don’t have money for a promotion reel, I feel were smart decisions. This book also kept me from seeing others’ differences and judging them. Instead, I look at others’ differences as strengths. This definitely helps in team sports and team gaming. I am who I am, and I belong where I belong.
    JADED Recovery Scholarship
    I decided to apply to this scholarship whether I win or not because we, the kids in this situation, need to know that we are not alone. When suffering domestic abuse because of a parent’s addiction you feel helpless and alone. You feel like saying anything negative about your parent is disrespectful and hurts your family's reputation. When I was getting in trouble with an online teacher because I wasn’t paying attention, I felt I should explain but I did not want to unmute myself for her to hear my dad ranting at me in his drunken state for the cat box not being clean. I didn’t want people to hear what a lazy, horrible son he thinks I am. I think that we choose to respond, but as a kid, you don’t need to be hard on yourself for being in the situation. I just got old enough to drive. Although I bought the car, it is in my dad’s name and insurance so I cannot feel like I can just leave when he is choosing gin over my family. I also feel the need to protect my sister and my mother. I choose not to let his stinging words chain me, but I don’t want to see my sister suffer more bouts of depression. I will take the abuse because I feel like taking it is how I protect them. We used to make excuses. His job is really hard. He was raised being physically abused by his own father. He had a bad day. Finally, just recently, the three of us decided to get help. We cannot change another person no matter how much we love them. We can only change ourselves, and if we don’t change anything, then nothing will change. We will be stuck in the vicious cycle of living with someone we love and their addictive demons. We aren’t helping him or ourselves by walking on eggshells and anxiously awaiting the next bout of anger. We have chosen not to remain in this situation. A physical injury could mean my soccer season will end when I worked so hard to get here. An emotional injury will mean my relationships and school will suffer. My junior and senior years were extremely difficult. Covid meant that my dad was at home more and we saw more of his addictive behaviors. The three of us have decided to no longer accept the blame he tries putting on us. I am not lazy. I am working hard for my future. My sister is not a bitch, but rather being forced to muster up the strength to survive this situation. We don’t have to take his labels. We don’t have to join his anger. If you don’t like your life, change something. I can’t change my dad, but I can change my reactions to his rants. I can decide to make choices towards my college and independence. I also can choose not to hate him for his addiction. I love him, but I cannot let him make me hate my life. I am hopeful he has seen our newfound resolve and wants to shed the weight of anger and hostility like we are doing. Still, that is his choice, and I have to make choices for myself and my future family.
    Si Se Puede Scholarship
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” is part of the serenity prayer. I am sure that you have heard it many times. Higher education is important to me because it is part of having the courage to change the things I can. It is my path toward peace in my life. I plan on using my education to help other kids believe in themselves again. I have gone through high school in a domestically violent home. I am only now having the courage to even address this issue for what it is instead of making excuses for my alcoholic father. In a time when just growing up and believing in yourself is difficult, I had the added weight of and stress of dealing with abuse and worthlessness. It isn’t much you can do about these situations as a young teenager. However, I knew my path toward independence from this situation would be sports and school. Having a higher education is changing my situation. Soccer has been a safe haven for me. In my volunteering, I have seen children with special needs believe in themselves and the small daily miracles they can achieve. Some of these kids do this by just living another day. I also see kids who come from rough family situations playing on the same fields I used to play on, and currently work part-time maintaining that same athletic park. I have also been involved with working for a non-profit charity called Operation Cherrybend. This is an organization where wounded veterans come to believe in themselves again and assist others in overcoming PTSD to be one less of the 22 veteran suicides, we have in America daily. I have always been in love with learning. Education wasn’t always an escape though. I have many good memories of my dad before he became an alcoholic. I remember reading to him as a preschooler. Learning is fun. Surprising people with how knowledgeable I am, makes me feel good about myself. I poured myself into learning early on because it gave me a sense of worth. I had great teachers that made it more fun and helped me connect with the subjects that I was studying. Unfortunately, I was made to graduate early because of my advanced academics. This did hurt my athletic goals, but I still found a college that was willing to have a 16-year-old on their soccer team. The hurdles in my life have made me stronger and more resilient. At 16, I cannot get my student loans without a cosigner. This is why I have applied to as many scholarships as possible. I will not let a lack of determination get in the way of my dream of higher education and athletic success. Sports have always given me the mental freedom for me to be myself. This is why the Miracle League is special to me. I believe every child should have the opportunity to play sports. My education and experiences in collegiate sports give the kids I work with hopes and dreams. We all have to accept the things that we cannot change. Then we must find the courage to change the things that we can. After all of that, I truly believe, we must use what we learn for the good of the next generation and inspire those around us.
    Single Mother's Education Scholarship
    My mom is the biggest supporter, of my educational goals and of my dreams. She stayed at home with me when they realized I was not a normal learner at the age of 2. I was already spelling small words, speaking sign language, and adding little numbers by the age of three. Later, we found out that I had a learning disability: dyslexia. My mom decided to continue teaching me at home for fear that I would not achieve my full potential and fall through the cracks without some altered systems in place. I continued to thrive educationally while she schooled me. My dad was on the road often, and my siblings are from another mother. My mom is the only person who was consistent in my life. Due to this, I had severe separation anxiety from her. Everyone else in my life left me for weeks at a time, and she was my only constant guide, my north star as it were. Many would think being homeschooled by my mom, I would have social issues. I’ve never thought that was a fair stigma. My mom also helped me achieve my athletic goals and has been to so many soccer, hockey, basketball and golf practices. She made sure I was active in church and charities. These influences that she helped expose me to, are character building. I can converse with anyone of any age. I am a mentor to my nephews, and one of my best friends is in his 40s. I golf and have candor with men in their 70s. I was the captain of my high school soccer team as a senior at 15. Once in high school, my mom realized I would be needing more education. I attended an online school and played sports at the local high school. This was a great fit for me. However, Covid hit and my mom had to go to work because my dad’s business collapsed. He was at home, and she wasn’t. He became a horrible alcoholic. I believe he was always on the edge. I would have to mute my zoom classes because he was ranting curse words and abusing me emotionally. I got in trouble a few times. He even got physical, but I didn’t want to worry my already stressed mother who was working so hard to keep our bills paid. I didn’t want to be a burden, and my dad made me believe that I deserved to be treated like that. Trying to do college-level calculus online is difficult and worse when your dad thinks his plans are more important than your school. It was a rough year, and soccer was my escape. I finally graduated and found a school that would allow a 16-year-old goalkeeper. I thought things would get better in my home, but they didn’t. One night it got so bad that it was undeniable that my dad was hurting me and my family. My mom pulled together resources, and we left the home I grew up in since I was 2. I have had a rough freshman year. My mom is still my biggest supporter and now I am hers as well. We are making it. They aren’t divorced yet, but we are no longer in harm's way and on a path of healing. My mom getting emotional and mental help has led me to do the same. I am speaking with my counselor at school. My teachers and coaches are amazingly supportive and I no longer feel I need to hide. My mom, however, is my lifeline.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    I am the youngest of 4 siblings in a blended family. I have nearly lost my two sisters to mental health illnesses. How could it have come to this and no one has gone to get help? I watched their personalities fade as if they were walking zombies. I love them, and they are so much fun. Something was going on. One sister would not get help because every time she disagreed with her mother, she would say, “you’re bipolar like your dad.” My sister knew her mother hated our dad and that this was an insult. This harmful weaponizing of mental health led to my sister struggling for years. In a psychology class at school, she learned more about mental health and realized that talking to someone may be helpful. We were close and talked it over on our trips to golf tournaments together. She was brave enough to get the help she needed. She didn’t know that this would help me one day. Mental Health has run through my family for a while. My grandparents had bipolar and borderline personality disorders undiagnosed until they were older. This meant that they raised my dad in a series of unhealthy behaviors. My dad became an alcoholic like his parents with manipulative controlling behaviors. He swore he would never “turn into his dad” but he became increasingly verbally and emotionally abusive. Then the physical aspects started taking place. I started feeling so worthless as if no matter what I did I was never going to make him happy or proud. I started having negative thoughts leading to suicidal thoughts. When these thoughts became scary, I knew how brave my sister had been to get help. I sought out my school counselor, my soccer coach, and my mom. My mom and I decided to move out of the house. I did go see a doctor. I am now understanding that my dad’s happiness is not my responsibility. I am learning about boundaries in my life, and in my relationships. I truly believe my dad didn’t get help when he was my age and needed it because of the stigma of mental health in the South. Men are supposed to just “rub some dirt on it.” We are made to feel as if we can’t have feelings or we are considered a “pussy” which my dad told me numerous times. I am sure his dad made him feel that way. I hid how my home life was. I felt like I was betraying my family if I spoke about it. It is still difficult. These essays help me process my past. My dad getting help has freed me to feel like I can talk about these incidents as a learning experience for others instead of shaming myself. My sister getting help, led to me getting help. My mom getting mental health help in creating boundaries and becoming strong enough to move out with me, gave my dad something to think about. He started getting real help. The point is, that one person becoming healthy in a family increases the overall family health. Whereas in my dad’s family, no one admitted they needed help and it led to generations of abuse and dysfunction. Destigmatizing mental health, and talking with professionals is healthy. It should not be seen as weak. In a world where we are promoting tolerance, we should not be judging anyone for trying to better themselves. You don’t know what people are going through in their heads and in their homes.
    Athletics Scholarship
    I’ve always been a goal-oriented person. Maybe it was because every time I heard the word “goal” I’d perk up and listen, thinking it had to do with sports. Either way, I have always set achievable goals for myself and have pushed myself to be the best version of myself possible. Currently, I am pushing to achieve my lifelong dream of playing soccer in college. My family hasn’t done this since my late grandfather and didn’t get to graduate because of starting our family. Soccer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was the only place where I felt like I fit in. Educationally ahead of others my age, my topics of conversation and my sense of humor were an oddity to kids that would’ve been considered peers. Last year, I was invited to play keeper for a Spanish league in Durham, NC. I am of Spanish descent. Without my mother speaking Spanish, I never became fluent. This opportunity helped me see that on the field, soccer is its universal language. Soccer has broken educational, economic, social and ethnic boundaries for me. This is why I’m desperately striving to keep it in my life. I am playing at the collegiate level, and maybe even further than that. I use my skills to give back to society and my community. The recreational league in my community was run by a lady named Meg Strong. Since I’m from a smaller town, there wasn't much funding. She had to wear many hats. She was a coach and coordinator. Had not this selfless woman been in my life, I don’t know what direction my life would’ve taken. Without soccer in my life now, I would feel lost. Other than my faith, it is a helpful compass during dark times. It was a stress reliever when my father’s alcoholism was projected onto me. It is a path to friendships and a teacher of life lessons. Respect, encouragement, forgiveness, leadership, and many more great qualities impacting my life forever, I have learned through sports. This is why I volunteer to help younger kids, and kids with special needs to be able to play sports. When I found out that I had to graduate at the age of 16 because of my academics, I felt my aspirations in soccer crumbling. I cried to Meg and was encouraged to call every local college with a soccer team. Finally, a pricey private school has given me a shot. It is said, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” I will just work harder. In my senior year, I broke my hand. I am the keeper, so this was devastating for my team. We had a shot at conference playoffs, but with me out of goal, that wasn’t likely to happen. As Captain, I still led my team. Senior night was very emotional as I decided to have Meg walk me onto the field for my last high school soccer game. Her dedication helped me and so many others love soccer. She gave us the opportunity to play. Although she has no kids of her own flesh and blood, she has a whole team of kids that she had impacted for good. She always puts others first. My goals are to keep playing soccer and impact my society through sports the way that Coach Meg saved me. I will continue to be very active in my community athletic leagues.
    Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact Scholarship
    I have always felt an exception to social norms. This is a reason I love playing soccer; it was a place in which my excelling wasn't abnormal. At two years old my pediatrician told my mom I was at a high learning level and she needed to think about my education. She got books to school me at home. Soon it became obvious I was dyslexic, so we decided to keep schooling the way I was, and I joined an online high school. During the covid-19 pandemic, many traditional classes incorporated online components. I thrived in online schooling. I believe much of this success can be accredited to online gaming. I started gaming with my family at a young age. My dad, mom, brother, uncles, and cousins game together and complete difficult quests as a team. We had different strengths. Through early experiences, I learned that the people on the microphones were real. My two best friends are a man my parents' age, and a kid my age, that don’t require many physical interactions. We have been gaming together for around 8 years. I would say these are my closest friends. They truly know me with time spent together and deep conversations shared while gaming. I was able to translate the social skills I developed from gaming, into my online school environment in a way that my sister couldn’t. She nearly failed during the pandemic. She didn’t feel comfortable asking her teacher for help or emailing questions. I even took an online summer course with my sister to help her pass. In my classes, I would join the teacher's online forums even if I didn’t have any questions about the class. I wanted to know the teacher and for them to know me. My psychology teacher and I would often discuss movies, and then possibly how they related to psychology. I was very often the only one joining the online zoom meetings for extra help. I didn’t need the help all the time, but I knew this environment was like my online gaming and these were real people, I wanted to put in the time to connect with. We would joke and laugh as I do with my gaming friends. They would ask about my soccer games, and how my college applications were going. My home life was getting rough during this time. The pandemic exacerbated my dad’s alcoholism which was being taken out on me. I was grateful to have the relationships that I had online with my grown-up friend and with my teachers. I had to mute my classes at times so that my dad’s ranting wouldn’t be heard. My English teacher and I have been close since this time. She watched my graduation and I checked in through texts with her periodically. Although others saw a stern teacher, I was able to also see a caring human. Going to college at 16, and being on the soccer team, it is a safe assumption that my real-life social interactions are not struggling due to my gaming interactions. I think the key to this is to not be isolated in either world. You can’t live solely online, and yet you need to know that the people and interactions online are real. This is critical in the digital age. Most wouldn’t say being able to call people without seeing them, hindered social interactions when the telephone was invented. There are more factors to consider with discarding the commonly accepted social norms of civil discourse than just online gaming and interactions. Online gaming is misleading from larger causes for social disruptions.
    Dante Luca Scholarship
    I believe mental health is important in order for one to have a full and free life. I have been living in a devastating cycle of a domestically abusive home for my high school years. It wasn’t until a horrifically bad incident that my mom started getting counseling for her mental health. This is new, and scary, because I have never known another choice of life. However, it is the beginning of a turning point for our family. We supported each other in the difficult decision to move out. Although she may not yet be able to shed the habits and codependent behavior that she has grown accustomed to for the sake of putting others first, I can see that she is changing things about herself mentally in order to have the fortitude and strength to stand up for us verbally and emotionally when the time comes. This is really encouraging and uncomfortable. It is going to take our whole family being courageous. Deciding to get support for her mental wellness was the first courageous step into an unknown for our family. I love my dad. We have some really great moments, and he wasn’t always this unhappy. He was not an alcoholic when I was young. Unfortunately, you cannot make another person do anything in a world of free will. He has to want to get help for his anger issues, drinking addiction, and his own mental wellness. He grew up in a physically abusive home with his own dad, so I would think that he would understand our position a bit more. However, this is also probably something that he has to mentally deal with for himself. If he had taken steps to help his own mental wellness, then maybe we would not even be in this situation for our own family. This is how important mental wellness is. It can affect you years down the road when you least expect it. Getting help for it is seen as a weakness by some because you are admitting that you need someone else, but I have come to realize that admitting this to yourself is actually a strength that takes courage. Too many people do not get the help that they need because they see needing help as a weakness. They are afraid of a label. They make excuses that they don’t have the time. They hide from their own thoughts, feelings, and fears in a false belief that others matter more than they do. Being 16 years old, I did not have many resources for mental wellness. I do play video games. This is more than gaming. I have a mentor who is my parents' age who I trust. He lets me talk about what is going on in my home and in my head. I have a good friend, who I can go to physically to spend the night if I am in need, now that they know my situation. Talking with adults is helpful for mental wellness although it is easier said than done, because you don’t want people to hate or judge someone you love. Taking time to get out frustrations physically in a healthy way is also important to me. I play soccer. I play really hard, and practice harder. I have a coach that I can talk with if needed. I love when I have good moments, because it makes me feel worthwhile and accomplished, which is not how I usually feel at home. (I do have a dog, who loves unconditionally and can’t hear any negative comments said.) Taking time out of your day to enjoy something that makes you feel good about yourself is important for mental wellness. Mental wellness is important for a healthy and happy life. I am realizing that more and more. It is a big step to start putting it into practice, but I am trying. I never thought this would be something that I thought showed bravery and courage until it became a matter of life or death.
    Harry & Mary Sheaffer Scholarship
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” is part of the serenity prayer. I am sure that you have heard it many times. Higher education is important to me because it is part of having courage to change the things I can. It is my path towards peace in my life. I plan on using my education to help other kids believe in themselves again. I have gone through high school in a domestically violent home. I am only now having the courage to even address this issue for what it is instead of making excuses for my alcoholic father. In a time when just growing up and believing in yourself is difficult, I had the added weight of and stress of dealing with abuse and worthlessness. There isn’t much you can do about these situations as a young teenager. However, I knew my path towards independence from this situation would be sports and school. Having a higher education is changing my situation. Soccer has been a safe haven for me. In my volunteering I have seen children with special needs believe in themselves and the small daily miracles they can achieve. Some of these kids do this by just living another day. I also see kids who come from rough family situations playing on the same fields I used to play on, and currently work part-time maintaining that same athletic park. I have also been involved with working for a non-profit charity called Operation Cherrybend. This is an organization where wounded veterans come to believe in themselves again and assist others in overcoming PTSD to be one less of the 22 veteran suicides, we have in America daily. I have always been in love with learning. Education wasn’t always an escape though. I have many good memories of my dad before he became an alcoholic. I remember reading to him as a preschooler. Learning is fun. Surprising people with how knowledgeable I am, makes me feel good about myself. I poured myself into learning early on because it gave me a sense of worth. I had great teachers that made it more fun and helped me connect with the subjects that I was studying. Unfortunately, I was made to graduate early because of my advanced academics. This did hurt my athletic goals, but I still found a college that was willing to have a 16-year-old on their soccer team. The hurdles in my life have made me stronger and resilient. At 16, I cannot get my own student loans without a cosigner. This is why I have applied to as many scholarships as possible. I will not let lack of determination get in the way of my dream of higher education and athletic success. Sports have always given me mental freedom for me to be myself. This is why the Miracle League is special to me. I believe every child should have the opportunity to play sports. My education and experiences in collegiate sports gives the kids I work with hopes and dreams. We all have to accept the things that we cannot change. Then we must find the courage to change the things that we can. After all of that, I truly believe, we must use what we learn for the good of the next generation and inspire those around us.
    Scholarship for Sports Majors
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” is part of the serenity prayer. I am sure that you have heard it many times. Higher education is important to me because it is part of having courage to change the things I can. It is my path towards peace in my life. I plan on using my education to help other kids believe in themselves again. I have gone through high school in a domestically violent home. I am only now having the courage to even address this issue for what it is instead of making excuses for my alcoholic father. In a time when just growing up and believing in yourself is difficult, I had the added weight of and stress of dealing with abuse and worthlessness. There isn’t much you can do about these situations as a young teenager. However, I knew my path towards independence from this situation would be sports and school. Having a higher education is changing my situation. Soccer has been a safe haven for me. In my volunteering I have seen children with special needs believe in themselves and the small daily miracles they can achieve. Some of these kids do this by just living another day. I also see kids who come from rough family situations playing on the same fields I used to play on, and currently work part-time maintaining that same athletic park. I have also been involved with working for a non-profit charity called Operation Cherrybend. This is an organization where wounded veterans come to believe in themselves again and assist others in overcoming PTSD to be one less of the 22 veteran suicides, we have in America daily. I have always been in love with learning. Education wasn’t always an escape. I have many good memories of my dad before he became an alcoholic. I remember reading to him as a preschooler. Learning is fun. Surprising people with how knowledgeable I am, makes me feel good about myself. I poured myself into learning early on because it gave me a sense of worth. I had great teachers that made it more fun and helped me connect with the subjects that I was studying. Unfortunately, I was made to graduate early because of my advanced academics. This did hurt my athletic goals, but I still found a college that was willing to have a 16-year-old on their soccer team. The hurdles in my life have made me stronger and resilient knowing "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." At 16, I cannot get my own student loans without a cosigner. This is why I have applied to as many scholarships as possible. I will not let lack of determination get in the way of my dream of higher education and athletic success. Sports have always given me mental freedom for me to be myself. This is why the Miracle League is special to me. I believe every child should have the opportunity to play sports. My education and experiences in collegiate sports gives the kids I work with hopes and dreams. We all have to accept the things that we cannot change. Then we must find the courage to change the things that we can. After all of that, I truly believe, we must use what we learn for the good of the next generation and inspire those around us.
    John J Costonis Scholarship
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” is part of the serenity prayer. I am sure that you have heard it many times. Higher education is important to me because it is part of having courage to change the things I can. It is my path towards peace in my life. I plan on using my education to help other kids believe in themselves again. I have gone through high school in a domestically violent home. I am only now having the courage to even address this issue for what it is instead of making excuses for my alcoholic father. In a time when just growing up and believing in yourself is difficult, I had the added weight of and stress of dealing with abuse and worthlessness. There isn’t much you can do about these situations as a young teenager. However, I knew my path towards independence from this situation would be sports and school. Having a higher education is changing my situation. Soccer has been a safe haven for me. In my volunteering I have seen children with special needs believe in themselves and the small daily miracles they can achieve. Some of these kids do this by just living another day. I also see kids who come from rough family situations playing on the same fields I used to play on, and currently work part-time maintaining that same athletic park. I have also been involved with working for a non-profit charity called Operation Cherrybend. This is an organization where wounded veterans come to believe in themselves again and assist others in overcoming PTSD to be one less of the 22 veteran suicides, we have in America daily. I have always been in love with learning. Education wasn’t always an escape. I have many good memories of my dad before he became an alcoholic. I remember reading to him as a preschooler. Learning is fun. Surprising people with how knowledgeable I am, makes me feel good about myself. I poured myself into learning early on because it gave me a sense of worth. I had great teachers that made it more fun and helped me connect with the subjects that I was studying. Unfortunately, I was made to graduate early because of my advanced academics. This did hurt my athletic goals, but I still found a college that was willing to have a 16-year-old on their soccer team. The hurdles in my life have made me stronger and resilient. At 16, I cannot get my own student loans without a cosigner. This is why I have applied to as many scholarships as possible. I will not let lack of determination get in the way of my dream of higher education and athletic success. Sports have always given me mental freedom for me to be myself. This is why the Miracle League is special to me. I believe every child should have the opportunity to play sports. My education and experiences in collegiate sports gives the kids I work with hopes and dreams. We all have to accept the things that we cannot change. Then we must find the courage to change the things that we can. After all of that, I truly believe, we must use what we learn for the good of the next generation and inspire those around us.
    Ms. Susy’s Disney Character Scholarship
    I’ve always related to underestimated underdogs. Being the youngest of 4 kids, I felt I was a sidekick in another’s movie. This draws me to interesting sidekicks with big personalities that one might mistake as a main character. These sidekicks are so enjoyed sometimes a sequel is made for their character. This is true of Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove character “Kronk.” It’s difficult picking a favorite Disney character because all are written, voiced, and drawn so well. Having the right voiceover is crucial in making the character come to life. Patrick Warburton does a fantastic job with his recognizable voice. He played the character of Kronk so well, when I hear him in anything else, I think to myself, “It’s Kronk!” Kronk is deceptively intelligent. He remembered all the orders in the kitchen when he replaced the cook. This was humorous because he remembered them, but called them something different. Having dyslexia, this happens to me often. I struggle to read word for word on a page, but remember what a teacher is teaching in my own words. Many don’t realize my intelligence because of my learning disability and appearance cloud opinions. I think Kronk’s muscular appearance and deep voice hide how deep he is mentally and emotionally. Kronk is a great lab partner! He is always bringing that positive energy. This is something I look for in friends and try to bring to my relationships myself. He’s also great at negotiating and compromising. He doesn’t want to miss dessert or coffee, but is willing to forgo dinner. We all could use a reminder to make time for dessert. Kronk loves simple pleasures like cooking. (He should have his own cookbook.) Kronk takes time to enjoy living in the moment. We see this when he throws his hands in the air on the roller coaster to the secret lab with Yzma. We see it again when he jumps rope with Pacha’s kids. His best quality though is that he is empathetic. He is caring for Yzma without expecting much in return. He has internal struggles about doing what is right, and usually ends up choosing the moral thing. He’s all around lovable because he loves everyone, even squirrels. He is the best sidekick anyone can have, and a charming character. We all could use more “Kronk'' in our lives.
    Dog Owner Scholarship
    When I was young, my parents wanted me to grow up with a dog. What better dog is there for a 3-year-old than a lab? Blocker was my yellow lab. My mom would often say we were puppies together. I’m the youngest child of a blended family. My father would be gone for business often, and my siblings would be at their biological mother’s house most of the time. This left me alone with my mom and my dog a lot. Living out in the country I didn’t have neighborhood kids to play with. I was enrolled in sports, so I had friends on the field. However, at home, there was nobody but me and Blocker. He was a friend and a protector. We did everything together. There are even pictures of him protecting me from snowballs that my siblings were hurling at me. Other photos of us hunting easter eggs together in the backyard. There is even a picture of him resting his head on my lap while I was doing homework. I’m sure if he knew algebra, he would have been giving me answers. Being a lab, he liked to play fetch. I would get in our hot tub, and he would bring me a ball. I would throw it and he would find it and bring it back. Sometimes, I would fake him out and pretend to throw it. Sometimes, he would fake me out, and not be interested in fetch at all but jump in the hot tub with me! I practiced hockey on my back deck with a tennis ball and a hockey stick. Blocker loved playing goalkeeper. Don’t worry, I was little, so I didn’t have too much power in my attempts at goal. He was full grown at this time and took up a lot of net. His body wagging would increase when he saw me coming to the deck with that stick and ball. Blocker was every bit as athletic as I was becoming. One of the hardest days of my life was when we had to say goodbye to Blocker. I never knew what life was like without him and I was scared. Even during the end, he was teaching me about love and loss. I recently did a project in English on The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I picked Blocker as one of the five to greet me and tell me what his purpose in my life was. I was a better person because of my time with him. I learned about selflessness and unconditional love. I have his paw print in my room, and on my heart fur-ever. In time, we got another dog. Daisy isn’t just like Blocker. We didn’t grow up together, but she has taught me a lot since we found her. She was flea-bitten and rough looking. Once loved and cared for, she is gorgeous! That is similar to how people are. It is amazing what love can do for someone’s attitude and appearance. The other lesson that I learned from her is that home is where love is. My mom and I left the only home I have known due to domestic violence and alcoholism. I was anxious and so was Daisy. Her nerves affected her stomach. Once she saw my half-sister visit and realized mom and I were there with her she calmed down. With us around she knew she’d be alright. It was scary and new, but we still have love. The rest will work out.
    Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Antonie Bernard Thomas Memorial Scholarship
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” is part of the serenity prayer. I am sure that you have heard it many times. Higher education is important to me because it’s part of having courage to change the things I can. This is my path towards peace. I plan on using education and strong leadership to help other kids believe in themselves again. I have demonstrated resilience and determination by going through high school in a domestically violent home. I am still working on having the courage to address this issue for what it is, instead of making excuses for my alcoholic father. In a time when growing up and believing in yourself is difficult, I had added weight and stress of dealing with abuse and worthlessness. My mom and I moved out my freshman year of college when my dad became uncontrollable. There isn’t much you can do about these situations as a young teenager. However, I know my path towards independence from this situation is sports and education. Having a strong work ethic for higher education is changing my situation. Soccer has been a safe haven for me. I have had good communication with my teachers and school counselor. I am working on restoring my relationship with my dad from a safer environment. I am empathetic with his PTSD and know he still loves me in spite of his personal struggles. This will definitely involve my communication skills. In volunteering at the Miracle League, I’ve seen children with special needs believe in themselves and achieve miracles daily. Some do this, by just living another day. I’m also a role model for those who come from rough family situations. They play on the same fields I played on. I currently work part-time maintaining this same community athletic park. I’ve also been involved with a non-profit charity called Operation Cherrybend. This is an organization where wounded veterans come to believe in themselves again. They assist eachother overcoming PTSD to be one less of the 22 veteran suicides we have in America daily. My family has a history of service, and this charity helped encourage my two oldest siblings to serve in the army. I excelled educationally even with dyslexia. Being educationally advanced hurt my athletic goals, but I still found a college that was willing to have a 16 year old on their soccer team. My first high school game, a senior told me I wasn’t going to get to play soccer in college because the last goalkeeper didn’t and he was better than me. I have worked to make that statement incorrect. The hurdles in my life have made me stronger and resilient. At 16, I cannot get my own student loans without a cosigner. This is why I have applied to as many scholarships as possible. I will not let lack of determination get in the way of my dream of higher education and athletic success. Sports have always given me mental freedom for me to be myself. This is why the Miracle League is special to me. I believe every child should have the opportunity to play sports. My education and experiences in collegiate sports inspires their hopes and dreams. We all have to accept things we cannot change. Then we must find courage to change the things that we can. After all of that, I truly believe, we must use what we learn for the good of the next generation, and inspire those around us.
    John Walker and Christine Horton Education Scholarship
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” is part of the serenity prayer. I am sure that you have heard it many times. Higher education is important to me because it is part of having courage to change the things I can. It is my path towards peace in my life. I plan on using my education to help other kids believe in themselves again. I have gone through high school in a domestically violent home. I am only now having the courage to even address this issue for what it is instead of making excuses for my alcoholic father. In a time when just growing up and believing in yourself is difficult, I had the added weight of and stress of dealing with abuse and worthlessness. There isn’t much you can do about these situations as a young teenager. However, I knew my path towards independence from this situation would be sports and school. Having a higher education is changing my situation. Soccer has been a safe haven for me. In my volunteering I have seen children with special needs believe in themselves and the small daily miracles they can achieve. Some of these kids do this by just living another day. I also see kids who come from rough family situations playing on the same fields I used to play on, and currently work part-time maintaining that same athletic park. I have also been involved with working for a non-profit charity called Operation Cherrybend. This is an organization where wounded veterans come to believe in themselves again, and assist others in overcoming PTSD to be one less of the 22 veteran suicides we have in America daily. I have always been in love with learning. Education wasn’t always an escape. I have many good memories of my dad before he became an alcoholic. I remember reading to him as a preschooler. Learning is fun. Surprising people with how knowledgeable I am, makes me feel good about myself. I poured myself into learning early on because it gave me a sense of worth. I had great teachers that made it more fun, and helped me connect with the subjects that I was studying. Unfortunately I was made to graduate early because of my advanced academics. This did hurt my athletic goals, but I still found a college that was willing to have a 16 year old on their soccer team. The hurdles in my life have made me stronger and resilient. At 16, I cannot get my own student loans without a cosigner. This is why I have applied to as many scholarships as possible. I will not let lack of determination get in the way of my dream of higher education and athletic success. Sports have always given me mental freedom for me to be myself. This is why the Miracle League is special to me. I believe every child should have the opportunity to play sports. My education and experiences in collegiate sports gives the kids I work with hopes and dreams. We all have to accept the things that we cannot change. Then we must find the courage to change the things that we can. After all of that, I truly believe, we must use what we learn for the good of the next generation, and inspire those around us.
    Curtis Holloway Memorial Scholarship
    My mom is my biggest supporter, of my educational goals and of my dreams. She stayed at home with me when they realized I was not a normal learner at the age of 2. I was already spelling small words, speaking sign language, and adding little numbers by the age of three. Later, we found out that I had a learning disability: dyslexia. My mom decided to continue teaching me at home for fear that I would not achieve my full potential and fall through the cracks without some altered systems in place. I continued to thrive educationally while she schooled me. My dad was on the road often, and my siblings are from another mother. My mom is the only person who was consistent in my life. Due to this, I had severe separation anxiety from her. Everyone else in my life left me for weeks at a time, and she was my only constant guide, my north star as it were. Many would think being homeschooled by my mom, I would have social issues. I’ve never thought that was a fair stigma. My mom also helped me achieve my athletic goals, and has been to so many soccer, hockey, basketball and golf practices. She made sure I was active in church and charities. These influences that she helped expose me to, are character building. I can converse with anyone of any age. I am a mentor to my nephews, and one of my best friends is in his 40’s. I golf and have candor with men in their 70’s. I was the captain of my high school soccer team as a senior at 15. Once in high school, my mom realized I would be needing more education. I attended an online school and played sports at the local high school. This was a great fit for me. However, Covid hit, and my mom had to go to work because my dad’s business collapsed. He was at home, and she wasn’t. He became a horrible alcoholic. I believe he was always on the edge. I would have to mute my zoom classes because he was ranting curse words and abusing me emotionally. I got in trouble a few times. He even got physical, but I didn’t want to worry my already stressed mother who was working so hard to keep our bills paid. I didn’t want to be a burden, and my dad made me believe that I deserved to be treated like that. Trying to do college level calculus online is difficult and worse when your dad thinks his plans are more important than your school. It was a rough year, and soccer was my escape. I finally graduated and found a school that would allow a 16-year-old goalkeeper. I thought things would get better in my home, but they didn’t. One night it got so bad that it was undeniable that my dad was hurting me and my family. My mom pulled together resources, and we left the home I grew up in since I was 2. I have had a rough freshman year. My mom is still my biggest supporter and now I am hers as well. We are making it. They aren’t divorced yet, but we are no longer in harm's way and on a path of healing. My mom getting emotional and mental help has led me to do the same. I am speaking with my counselor at school. My teachers and coaches are amazingly supportive, and I no longer feel I need to hide. My mom, however, is my lifeline.
    Your Health Journey Scholarship
    College excites me the most because it is a chance to improve my situation and my life. By investing in my education, I will have more stability in my life and more options for a better future. It is the way that I can be independent and free. I have loved the game of soccer since I was four years old. It has been a huge part of my life. I made team captain in high school and found a school willing to take on a 16-year-old freshman in college. Soccer has taught me lessons in life about teamwork, compassion, respect, perseverance, and peace. It had been an outlet from a domestically abusive, alcoholic home. The physicality of the game is good for my body, and I was able to find self-worth on that field mentally. I am excited to have the opportunity to be playing for Louisburg College, as one of their goalkeepers. I decided just a few weeks ago to “red shirt” which would mean that I would not be eligible to play any conference games. This was a difficult decision for me. It is probably how Simone Biles felt walking away from the sport she loves for her mental health. My trauma from my alcoholic father was crippling me. My mother and I moved during this first semester to my grandparents’ home. I found myself with no printer, not many clothes, and basically living out of my car. When my dad was spiraling because he was losing control and trying to stay sober, I also started spiraling in fear that my mom would move back. With trailblazers like Simone Biles, I am open to taking care of my mental health and soul. I have had to change my view on the importance of mental health to keep a healthy lifestyle. I have been seeing my school counselor, who used to work as an addiction specialist. I had to start being open and willing to share my pain to be healthier. I have also opened up to my coach who has been helping me mentally as well. Coming to college here has been the best thing for me, and I had no idea the ways that it would impact me. I had no idea, how unhealthy I had gotten, and how to climb out of it, but I am learning. It isn't a class here, but I am learning it here in college. Talking with people who care about your academics, and you, as a person, is so good for your soul. It is healthy getting rid of anxiety and stress by accepting things that you cannot change and working on the things that you can. This is crucial for your mind, body, and soul to be healthy. Taking the first steps is the most difficult, but there are guidance counselors and teachers that care, if you are willing to reach out and say, “I need help.” It isn't a weakness to need help. Everyone needs help sometimes. It takes courage to decide to care about your mind, body, and soul enough to ask for it. This is a change that I had to make for a healthier lifestyle.
    Mind, Body, & Soul Scholarship
    College excites me the most because it is a chance to improve my situation and my life. By investing in my education, I will have more stability in my life and more options for a better future. It is the way that I can be independent and free. I have loved the game of soccer since I was four years old. It has been a huge part of my life. I made team captain in high school, and found a school willing to take on a 16 year old freshman in college. Soccer has taught me lessons in life about teamwork, compassion, respect, perseverance, and peace. It had been an outlet from a domestically abusive, alcoholic home. The physicality of the game is good for my body and I was able to find self-worth on that field mentally. I am excited to have the opportunity to be playing for Louisburg College, as one of their goalkeepers. I decided just a few weeks ago to “red shirt” which would mean that I would not be eligible to play any conference games. This was a difficult decision for me. It is probably how Simone Biles felt walking away from the sport she loves for her mental health. My trauma from my alcoholic father was crippling me. My mother and I moved during this first semester to my grandparents’ home. I found myself with no printer, not many clothes, and basically living out of my car. When my dad was spiraling because he was losing control and trying to stay sober, I also started spiraling in fear that my mom would move back. With trailblazers like Simone Biles, I am open to taking care of my mental health and soul. I have been seeing my school counselor, who used to work as an addiction specialist. I have also opened up to my coach who has been helping me mentally as well. Coming to college here has been the best thing for me, and I had no idea the ways that it would impact me. Talking with people who care about your academics, and you, as a person, is so good for your soul. Getting rid of anxiety and stress by accepting things that you cannot change and working on the things that you can is crucial for your mind, body, and soul. Taking the first steps is the most difficult, but there are guidance counselors and teachers that care, if you are willing to reach out and say, “I need help.” It isn't a weakness to need help. Everyone needs help sometimes. It takes courage to decide to care about your mind, body, and soul enough to ask for it.
    Share Your Poetry Scholarship
    Stolen Memories by Jason Weldon Carroll If she only knew what she means to me Without her genes I would not have been here There my whole life; mom of my mom, you see My heart and memory; they hold her dear She can’t know, disease has stolen her mind. Lost are our memories of fun and games Before she was dismissive she was kind She orchestrated all, now forgets names My heart smiles for what was ours before Sad for the loss I feel when she’s around Sunset between beauty and sadness torn, Beautifully somber memories found. Wish she knew how much I love her today But Alzheimers has stolen it away
    Superfood Lover Scholarship
    Being an athlete you want to perform at your best. In order to do this you have to fuel your body with energy and vitamins for growth and recovery. Performing at a high level takes alot out of your body and you must make a conscious effort to put that back into yourself. Whether or not you are a fan of Tom Brady, there is no denying that he plays the game of football at a high level, even in his older years. He has also not had the amounts of injuries and recovers quickly from strenuous games. He has an extreme diet to keep his brain and body functioning at these levels to earn him the “greatest of all time” status. Most do not have the option of being able to play at his age, and yet he is still out-performing people younger than him. This is no doubt due to his commitment to maintaining a healthy body and mind with his diet. I love superfoods because they help get the vitamins you need more naturally to perform at your best mental and physical ability. My favorite super food is actually cayenne pepper. There are so many benefits in this one food! This is mostly because of the capsaicin that gives this pepper its spicy flavor. It is known to aid in digestion and gut health. This is where all of our nutrients from any superfood are absorbed for our body to use. This helps with keeping bad bacteria down and keeping vessels dilated for maximum absorption of what your body is needing. It also can inhibit acid reduction naturally, causing it to be a natural Tums. It is a misconception that this pepper causes ulcers or acid reflux. A strain of bacteria called H. pylori is actually what causes ulcers. Cayenne pepper, in fact, does the opposite. There is also some research that shows it to be favorable in fighting cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends peppers in its dietary recommendations. This may add to the statistics that people who eat spicy foods have a 14% chance of living longer than those who have bland diets. That is not all there is to love about this superfood. Speaking of love, it is good for your heart health as well. The capsaicin in this pepper helps dilate arteries and clear away lipids, making it effective in preventing heart attacks. There have also been some studies done that show it can help lower your blood pressure. Having a healthy heart is important for everyone, but I especially want to keep mine healthy to play sports at the optimal level. Cayenne pepper is rich in nutrients. It is strong in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for cell growth, immune function, brain function, healthy eyesight and skin. Cayenne pepper also has vitamin C,E, B6,K, and manganese. I incorporate this superfood into my diet in many ways. I love a hot sauce that has this as a main ingredient. I put it on pizza, and chicken. I even dip celery into it for a snack. I also use this as a powder and put it on my fish, scrambled eggs, and vegetables. Even when I am eating something not quite so healthy such as Ramen noodles, I will add fresh garlic and cayenne pepper to help with its nutritional value as well as flavor.
    Stand and Yell Community Impact Scholarship
    Don’t count anyone out. People will surprise you with their resolve and determination. This is something that I have had the pleasure of witnessing in all of the volunteer experiences that I have had. I have seen the strength and wisdom of a soldier with no legs. I have seen the smile on a kid’s face who just made a home run walking for the first time at the age of 12 with new braces made uniquely for him. I have felt the hugs from kids who are learning to have confidence from becoming good at a sport. I have seen their victory dances, when they feel like the rest of life is failing. I volunteer with wounded veterans at a place called Operation Cherrybend. We go hunting, clay shooting, camping, and have concerts to raise money for wounded veterans. It is about so much more than money. We develop relationships with the people who have sacrificed for our freedom. Their since of humor and raw determination in the face of the new everyday struggles is humbling. Having a man with one arm and one make a better shot towards the green in golf than you did, is quite an experience. You learn quickly not to underestimate anyone. The Miracle League is a special needs baseball league. I have had the pleasure of helping to get one in my county. We raised money while playing on a dirt field, until we finally built a field in our area. It is a rubberized field with the bases built in for wheelchairs to freely fly around the bases. I have been the mascot for the kids. I have been a buddy who has helped encourage and run younger players around the bases. Chris, a teenager with Down's syndrome, helped train me when I was young. He could tell I was nervous and he didn’t “need” a buddy, but I needed help to feel comfortable as one for the future. He made it so much fun. When you see what the kids born with difficulties can accomplish, you have a paradigm shift of your own life. I helped recruit people to volunteer for this league for themselves, as well as for the players. I grew up playing soccer. I was very different from other kids my age. However, on that soccer field I was equal. It was where I fit in. To this day, I am close with my coach from my childhood. I even had her walk me on the field on my senior night, since she never had children of her own but invested in so many of us athletes in the area. I now work on the field that I grew up playing on. I make sure it is around for the next generation. I volunteer for the try outs and practices. The younger children know my reputation. I am a goalkeeper known as “Blueberry”. I played for the local high school. The kids love getting the chance to try to score on me. I don’t let people win, but I do let them make shots on occasion for confidence building. You should see their victory cheers when they score on Blueberry. I will forever continue in community service on the local recreational leagues because this is where I got the dreams that I have and I want everyone to have a chance to dream. No one should ever be counted out.
    Femi Chebaís Scholarship
    My dream is to be a professional soccer player. Although that is a time sensitive dream, I am working towards it while getting a biology degree.
    Dylan's Journey Memorial Scholarship
    “The book is way better than the movie” is something that you hear many people who have read the books say. However, if this was an absolute truth there would be significantly less movies. I think the preference depends on the individual and that time in their life. Everyone is different and learns differently. Much like each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, but everyone has personal value, books and movies both have their place and value in learning and in life. I have grown up struggling with dyslexia. I genuinely thought that I hated books when I was in grade school. I would have definitely said that movies were better than books when I was younger. My family would watch movies that coincided with what we were learning in school. They were not always factually accurate, but they did help my young mind relate to other time periods and civilizations. I wasn’t just memorizing names and dates, but relating to people from the past. Movies had a way of making you feel the struggles that people go through. Using movies helped me learn while struggling with dyslexia. When traveling long distances my mom put in an audio books. I realized I didn’t hate books at all, I just struggled with the act of reading. Being advanced, I attended an online school for high school. My online English instructors would put links to the audiobooks of the novels required. I was able to understand and get more out of the books than ever before. This is when the books may have become better than the movies for me. There was so much detail. It was an educational marathon instead of a sprint. The relationships and characteristics were described in detail as the author intended and left for my mind to interpret rather than an actor. Being dyslexic was like seeing individual trees but missing the beauty of the forest. While listening to these audiobooks, I was able to see the forest instead of getting stuck on each tree. Here in high school is where books became the art they were intended to be instead of just educational tools. I started realizing that higher education is also for people like me. I grew my strengths, and got tutoring or alternate routes for my weaker points. I am college bound. You cannot compare two different children and ask which is better. They are unique with their own flaws and strengths. Maybe one child is athletic and another is academic. One is not better than another, but rather better at specific skills. Each child is extremely valuable and has a purpose. When looking at my soccer team, you cannot say I am more valuable as a goalkeeper than the forward who makes the points for our team. We have different purposes and different training, but the same goal. We create art on the field as a team. The soccer field became a place of normalcy for me where my dyslexia didn’t interfere. However, I learned on the field that the differences make us whole. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the influence of both books, movies, soccer and my dyslexia. Robert M. Henson said, “There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more.” I am more than my dyslexia just like any of you are more than your weaknesses. Just don’t ask me to repeat a WIFI code, okay?
    Freddie L Brown Sr. Scholarship
    Slater Miller Memorial Fund
    Since I was around four years old, my parents had to search for submarines and sharks as toys for me. I wasn’t interested in the superheroes and trucks that other little boys were playing with. I would spend hours in the bathtub tagging sharks, and saving them. My favorite movie as I got older was, of course, Jaws. Even though I live in North Carolina, I pull for the San Jose Sharks, merely because they were the sharks. My love for marine biology runs deep. Once in high school, I did a project that pulled me into a slightly different direction. Instead of focusing on sharks, I would focus on their environment. In this way I could help more creatures, and my own race. Healthy oceans are important for everyone. There are still many mysteries in the deep. I want to preserve it. The rainforest has many valuable resources, and we killed most of it before realizing how we should treasure it. I don’t want this to happen to the valuable resources in the ocean. During that same project in high school, I realized that having a skill would make me more profitable. This is when I decided on welding, and possibly underwater welding. I started taking the welding classes at my community college once I turned 16. I absolutely love it! It will pair so nicely with the environmental biology degree that I am striving for. This skill will enhance my endeavors in the technology that I want to pursue for the environment. Since 2015 there have been great strides in sea robots. For years scientists have used robots to explore the depths of the ocean where humans cannot go. It is much like the Mars Rover, but for the sea. They can control robots above the water, and send robots with lights, sensors, and tools to bring back samples, take photos, and explore the seabed and the creatures that live in the deeper waters. There is also a machine called the Liquid Robotics Wave Glider SV3. This machine is remarkable and is the first wave powered robot. This robot’s technology allows for long term exploration, monitoring, and assessment of the World’s oceans. This includes the arctic oceans where the temperatures are dangerous for human explorations. The SV3 also uses solar energy to power the onboard computing, communications and sensor payloads. Since this robot needs No fuel and no manpower, there are no emissions or pollution. I am interested in being involved in these missions. In this way I can help make sure the sharks that fascinated me as a kid, are there for the next generations. Plus, clean water is vital for humanity’s future. I may not live to see the lives I am saving, and no one may know my name, but I want my work to matter. I want to make a difference in the generations to come. We, as a species, can learn from the generations before us. I want to leave this world with resources that they can build on for the advancement of humanity. I know my abuelita would be very proud of me graduating high school at 16 years old. She was an animal lover, and passed away this past year. I will possibly be the first in my family to graduate and the only one in my Latin-X family to go into a scientific field along with a trade. Thanks to the inspiration of my high school teachers, I was inspired to continue on in my efforts, all while playing soccer!
    Bold Art Matters Scholarship
    Life Strands. is a monochromatic piece of art by the Chinese-born artist Zhang Chun Hong. The image of the flowing braid is on a scroll of paper nearly 5 feet wide and 38 feet long. Hong used graphite and charcoal to create the details and depths of this piece. There are so many shades of black, gray, and white as the image of the artist's own hair in the braid cascades down the wall and across the floor. This artist is trying to convey the journey of life through the image of hair. To her, hair is a metaphor for life. Hair is a very important characteristic in many cultures. People sometimes find their identity in their hairstyle. Hair is so expressive that people are often stereotyped by their choice of hair style. This hair is larger than life implying that it has a much bigger impact than what normally would meet the eye. It isn’t just a braid, but rather a journey through her life. The hair is dark when she is young and life is more free flowing with some structure. Then it gets tighter and more entangled as she ages. The diagonal lines are getting closer together showing movement through time seeming to go faster. I never thought about life being like hair before, but the more I looked at it, the more I could see the metaphor coming to life. Her culture puts prominence on hair, and in particular women’s hair. I chose this piece because I also find much of my identity is expressed through my own hair. I have even been referred to as “blueberry” in the newspaper because of the chroma of my hair. Having an affinity for hair made me drawn to this piece, and the significance of it for me.
    Bold Science Matters Scholarship
    A kite is flying in the sky on a stormy night, being flown by an eccentric old American, Benjamin Franklin. This is the image we are given as kids for how the discovery of electricity came to be. Although Franklin made the connection to electricity, it was Alessandro Volta who discovered that chemical reactions could produce electricity. From this early discovery many inventors made leaps forward in harnessing the electric power that we have come to take for granted today. No one even thinks about Alessandro when they are seeing the lightning bolt on the battery icon while charging their phones. With the field of science that I am studying in, I cannot take his invention lightly. I am learning the art of using this electricity to weld metals together underneath the water. Obviously, fire is not an option underwater. However, with the correct caution and reverence we can harness electricity to make impossible things possible. So many other scientific discoveries could not have been made possible without the work of Volta.
    Alexis Potts Passion Project Scholarship
    I’ve always been a goal oriented person. Maybe it was because every time I heard the word “goal” I’d perk up and listen, thinking it had to do with sports. Either way, I have always set achievable goals for myself and have pushed myself to be the best version of me possible. Currently I am pushing to achieve my lifelong dream of playing soccer in college. My family hasn’t done it since my late grandfather, and he didn’t get to graduate because of starting our family. Soccer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was the only place where I felt like I fit in. I was always educationally ahead of others my age and it made my topics of conversations, and even my sense of humor an oddity to kids that would’ve been considered peers. Last year, I was invited to play keeper for a Spanish league in Durham, NC. I am of Spanish descent. Without my mother speaking Spanish, I never really became fluent. This opportunity helped me see that on the field, soccer is its own universal language. Soccer has broken educational, economic and ethnic boundaries for me. This is why I’m desperately striving to keep it in my life. I am making plans to play at the collegiate level, and maybe even further than that. When I do, I am going to give back to society and my community. The recreational league in my community was run by a lady named Meg Strong. Since I am from a smaller town, there wasn’t a lot of funding. She had to wear many hats. She was a coach, and a coordinator. Had not this selfless woman not been in my life, I don’t know what direction my life would have had. Without soccer in my life now, I would feel lost. Other than my faith, it is a helpful compass. It is a goal, but it is also a stress reliever during dark times in my family. It has been a path to friendships. Sports have been a teacher of life lessons. I have learned about respect, encouragement, forgiveness, leadership, and so many more great qualities that will impact my life forever. This is why I volunteer to help younger kids, and kids with special needs to be able to play sports. When I found out that I had to graduate at the age of 16 because of my academics, I felt my aspirations in soccer crumbling. I cried to Meg, and was encouraged to call every local college with a soccer team. Finally, a pricey private school has given me a shot. It is said, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” I will just work harder. In my senior year, I broke my hand. I'm the keeper, so this was devastating for my team. We had a shot at the conference play-offs, but not without a keeper. As Captain, I still led and encouraged my team. Senior night was very emotional. I decided to have Meg walk me onto the field for my last high school soccer game. Her dedication helped me and so many others love soccer. She gave us the opportunity to play. Although she has no kids of her own flesh and blood, she has a whole team of kids that she had impacted for good. She always puts others first. My goals are to keep playing soccer, and impact my society through sports the way that Coach Meg saved me. I will continue to be very active in my community athletic leagues.
    Michael J. Burns Military Children Scholarship
    Having a mentor is essential for maturity. Being a mentor is a cherished privilege that I do not take lightly. I was blessed in the mentors that I was born to, and the mentors that I chose. I am honored and careful when mentoring others. I grew up in a family of military veterans. My father, uncles, grandfathers were all in service for our great country in one field or another. My dad’s family are “jarheads.” My sister is currently living in Germany at 20 years old married to a man in the army. It is a strong family dynamic that it seems you understand, or you just don’t. My dad is a harsh man, but he has my back. Love is covered up in layers of discipline, hard work, and odd humor. Our family is one of the most competitive families you could ever meet. We pick on each other’s weaknesses until you have the strength to not let it bother you anymore. However, if anyone else picks on my siblings weaknesses, they’ll be getting a word from me. We never let eachother win. I know that seems harsh, but I believe I am better for it. I am the youngest. My military sister is tiny! She used to pin me, and make me tap during wrestling battles my whole life. The day I beat her was emotional for both of us. She is still respectfully scary, even from Germany! Our family competitiveness is unmatched. We even compete in Killer Instinct to get to open Christmas gifts. My brother wins the tiara most years. Yes, that’s right, it is a glistening tiara; guess we didn’t have a belt or trophy. Our family is also very big in giving back to Veterans. My dad travels to bases to perform for them. Our entire family participates in Operation Cherrybend, where we help wounded veterans on hunts, and clay shooting. My two older siblings have tattoos that match the veterans. I have maintained friendships with these men, and we play video games and do weekly zoom calls. Our mission is to help reduce the number of veterans who commit suicide after returning home. PTSD is serious and we check in with each other. These veterans miss the banter and relationships they had while in the service. I hear some crazy things. Like I said, if you know, then you know what it is like in a military family, if not you’d be shocked. In a way, being around this military banter made me impervious to trash talk on the soccer field. Being taught that I have to earn achievements has made me a great soccer player. At 15, I was my high school team Captain. I had the privilege of mentoring many Freshman whom I earned respect from. Self-control is something cultivated at home, that paid off on the field. I am graduating at 16, and thought my dreams of collegiate soccer were squashed, but through hard work and the art of presence that my father taught, I earned a spot on Louisburg College’s team. Now, I am working for the funds, since my parents are in bankruptcy. My Abuelita would be proud for me to be the first in my family with a degree. I am majoring in environmental biology, but I also want an underwater welding certification to make me more useful in the field. Thanks for the opportunity for me to tell you about my family. This was the most fun essay I have written! Some aspects are tough, but I focus on the fun of my family.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    I am one of the few people who have the privilege of saying that my sister is one of my best friends. One would expect that I learn from an older sister, but they would be shocked to know exactly how much I have learned from her. I have learned the harmful effects of the stigmatization of mental health, and weaponizing someone’s mental health against them. I am the youngest of 4 siblings. Being a half-brother to the other 3, I longed to be close to my siblings yet never felt like their mother made them feel like they indeed had another brother. When my sister made a drastic change for the betterment of her mental health and her future by moving in with us, I was excited. I finally had an opportunity to be close with a sister. I even joined the co-ed golf team just to spend time with her. We would spend time together on the back porch and called it “porch therapy”. It was during these porch therapy sessions that I learned the art of listening and how important listening is. You have to listen to understand rather than listening to reply. She told me how upset she would get when her parents would cut her off, and tell her how to “fix” something without listening to her whole story. It made her feel devalued, as if her thoughts and feelings weren’t an important part of the equation. The more that we took psychology and talked about our classes with each other, we realized that my sister was most likely bipolar. The reason that this took so long for her to consider was because her mom and the siblings on the other side of the family had weaponized the diagnosis. Whenever she would disagree or have an argument with someone in that household they would write her off and say “you’re just being bipolar like your daddy”. They accused her of it so much that the word alone would send a surge of anger throughout her body. I grew up being bullied, so I was never inclined to use people's weaknesses against them. I never called her names or made fun of her mood swings as an attack so she felt comfortable talking with me about her mental health concerns when she started realizing that she may actually be bipolar. I encouraged her to get help if she felt she needed to, and at least talk with a professional about options and possibilities. She has been officially diagnosed and treated. It is nice seeing her thrive again and the freedom that accepting her diagnosis and treatment has brought to her. She doesn’t use it as a crutch but she is understanding herself better. It allows her to develop coping strategies when she feels emotionally unstable. I am happy to have learned so much about listening and the positive influence someone who listens can have. I hope more people realize the harmful effects stigmatizing mental health concerns can cause. It can prevent people from getting the help that they are needing and wanting. My sister could have been helped sooner and had happier, more successful years in high school had the term “bipolar” not been used as a weapon to negate her feelings. Let us all be aware of the dangers of stigmatizing mental health in order to help others.
    Bold Optimist Scholarship
    “Nobody from South Granville gets scholarships for playing soccer” is what I was told when telling other students about my dreams of playing soccer in college. I was a bit hurt and feeling defeated, but then I thought, “Well, I have never played here before.” Just because others may not have made it, doesn’t mean that I can’t. I decided to stay optimistic, and create a plan for myself. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” is a quote on repeat in my mind. I did become team captain. I worked harder than any other on the team. However, I had another set back when the state informed me that I had to graduate at the age of 16. This was going to make it even tougher to get into a college as a soccer player. I physically still have growth plates open. Still, I stuck with my optimism. I called every two year college with a soccer team within commuting distance. I got calls back from two coaches. I went to their schools and practiced with their teams. Louisburg College is willing to let me play even though I am young. However, this is a private college costing more than my parents or I were anticipating. Still, I chose to stay optimistic about the things I could do to make this dream a reality. I have scholarships for my high academic grades, and one for E-sports, but networking with that coach as well. I am applying to many scholarships to bridge the gap. I am still not sure if I am commuting or staying on campus, but I am optimistic that I will be playing soccer in college!
    Youssef University’s College Life Scholarship
    The best financial advice I received is to invest in yourself. In a changing economy, higher education is one thing that tends not to depreciate. Even if you change majors, you have a pool of knowledge to draw from for decisions in your life so that you may cultivate wisdom. Going to college is important to me not only for the degree, but for my opportunity to follow my dreams of playing soccer competitively. I am graduating at 16, and have found a college willing to take me on. This college is a bit of a drive so I used my savings to buy a 2000 Subaru Outback. I needed it to attend the few college classes that I took while in high school. His name is “Dave”. Since Dave is older than I am, I would put the $1000 in the bank for any repairs that Dave might need during my first year at college. He is old, and bound to need maintenance if I am going to get to make it to my classes and practices 40 minutes away. If I had an extra $1000 right now, it would be a “Dave Fund”.
    Bold Community Activist Scholarship
    I live in a small county in North Carolina. There weren’t many resources for kids with special needs in the area. This is when I first became involved with the Miracle League. Families were driving over an hour one way to allow their special needs child to participate in sports. A few families in the neighboring counties created a board to build a field for this league. It was at this time that I became involved. I helped with fundraising to build this special field for these unique kids. The field is made of rubberized material to prevent injury and allow wheelchairs or walkers to easily run the bases. We built a safety fence, because some kids are “runners”. Each kid chooses a song that plays as they approach the batter’s box. We raised money for the sound system and snack shack too! In addition to raising money, I’ve been involved in volunteering as a “Buddy”, which is someone who walks with a teammate, helps with batting, and instructs running. Encouraging with high fives is a must. I have even volunteered to be the mascot when needed. Hitting a ball though that small window of vision was difficult. We have Halloween events for our players, and I have volunteered every year. I would dress up for it, and run the games so that the kids could win candy. We always have a good turn out for these. It has fallen on my birthday before, and I still volunteered, and celebrated my own birthday another day. At Christmas, we have a float in three parades. I have helped to decorate, and have ridden on the float with the players. I love these families and I’m grateful our communities came together to create a safe place for these kids to play sports.
    JoLynn Blanton Memorial Scholarship
    Without education it is as if you are looking though the world through a small keyhole. The more you know and the more you are able to see on the other side of your door, the better you can understand others. Understanding others helps you understand yourself and your place in this seemingly big world. I really enjoy my history classes because I realize that I am learning about real people throughout time, who have been able to transfer knowledge across generations in order to help humanity as a whole to grow. I have learned not only a current world view but a humanity perspective that expands across time. Not only is each individual person important in our world today, but those people who are across time, generations away are also equally important in the broader view of this world. With education, and experiences, fears are calmed. When fear is diluted then hate and aggression are also reduced. By being educated about other people’s societies, religions, and beliefs, we can better understand them. We can better understand the world. You don’t have to agree with every different group of people, but understanding their beliefs more will enlighten you and help your worldview. I am grateful for my English teachers throughout high school that had me read novels that were set in different societies, and different cultures. They were also across different time periods. These novels, although mostly fiction, were able to give me a glimpse into how people of other cultures feel. The more you learn about these, the more you are able to empathize with them. These novels allowed me a deeper understanding of walking in someone else's shoes for a few chapters. Feeling and experiencing things that a middle class American has the privilege of avoiding. I heard about children during World War 2 in “The Book Thief” and “The Hiding Place”. I read about families in the Middle East and their journey to America and back in “The Kite Runner”. I read the “Great Gatsby” and “Fredrick Douglas” which took me through some of America’s past. These and many more, made me have a deeper worldview. Education and wise teachers are an asset in order to enhance your worldview. It is vital for a healthy society to broaden their horizons and realize that there is more to life than their own society, thoughts, and feelings. You would think with social media branching across the world, we would have the ability to have one of the best worldviews so far, but these deep topics taught to me by my teachers are not easily found in the frivolity of social websites. Education is the key to improving a true worldview, and the teachers hold those keys to unlock our hearts and our minds.
    Bold Caring for Seniors Scholarship
    Being very close with my grandparents, I believe in treating elderly people with dignity and respect. When it comes to improving the lives of elderly people there are two things that can be integrated into your everyday life that don’t cost you a thing. These two things are more important to the elderly and to you than you could possibly imagine. Having patience and being a good listener are the two things that everyone can work on to improve the lives of the elderly and even yourself. This world has gotten so fast paced that people have become way too impatient. This leads to people worried about their own speed and often incidentally being rude to elderly people. When you decide to have patience, it really makes their day. I will often hold the door for an elderly person entering the same building that I am. It takes a second to wait for them to get there, but showing that bit of respect goes a long way in making that person feel worth waiting for. Being a good listener is a great way to show anyone that you care. The elderly sometimes don't have as many people to talk to. Showing them that you care about what they are saying, makes them feel worthwhile. It is also a great way to improve your own life, because listening to the wisdom of someone older than you can definitely lead to great things. The elderly people in my community will all tell you what a nice young man I am. This may surprise people, with my untraditional blue hair. However patience and being a good listener means more to them, then my fashion choices.
    Bold Great Books Scholarship
    At the risk of sounding juvenile, “Put Me In The Zoo” by Robert Lopshire is my favorite book. There are many deeper novels that I have enjoyed in my later years of reading, but nothing quite as impactful as this children’s book when I was quite young. My memories from this book will live far longer in my mind than that of any other. Of course, it was influential because of the timing in which it was read to me. This is why reading to kids is so important. However, the lesson in this book has resonated with me, my entire life. In this book there’s a creature similar to a bear feeling left out because he is not in the zoo. Throughout the cadence of the book, he tries desperately to convince two kids that he belongs in the zoo like all the other animals. He shows them all the unique things about him that would make him an asset to the zoo. At the end of the book, they tell him that he still does not belong. He was sad for a second, but then the kids said, with how extraordinary he is, he should be in the circus. I never felt like I fit in, and sometimes, I really wanted to. I related to this animal, desperately trying to fit in with other zoo animals. The moral of the book is that if you’re patient, you’ll find the place where you belong, rather than changing your extraordinary self to fit in somewhere else. Whenever I feel like I’m not quite like others, this book comes to mind. I am content with not fitting in everywhere, because there is a place for me. As I am getting older I am finding myself more and more.
    Bold Creativity Scholarship
    I used to think that creativity applied only to art. I’m seriously horrible at drawing. Afraid of coloring when I was in preschool because my art didn’t look like I had pictured in my mind. I would get so frustrated. My mom would make me enter art contests, and I’d always be anxious. Then she said that I didn’t have to draw to make art. I could be creative with whatever medium I decided. I like paint, and glue. I won an American History art contest by printing out black and white photos from the civil war, and painting the American flag from that year over the collage. I pressed NC flowers throughout the year, glued them in a sunset pattern, and painted a tree over them. That artwork was entered in the state fair art show. I had to come up with creative ways to participate in art without having to draw. Creativity also extends into plays that I use when I’m playing Madden on my playstation. Sometimes it pays off, and sometimes not, but it is always fun when using creativity. I definitely have an appreciation for others’ creativity, even when I feel like I struggle to see my own. Reading others’ writings in my Creative Writing class was always interesting. I enjoy getting to see other people be creative. I have a sister who is always very creative. I ask her for ideas often. I didn’t have any money for a gift for my girlfriend’s birthday. My sister told me I could paint on the conch shell I found while on vacation. She absolutely loved it and it turned out better than I had thought. I painted the Nightmare Before Christmas on it, and then we watched the movie that night. Creativity saved the date!
    Bold Study Strategies Scholarship
    When it comes to academic success, it is all about goals! As in sports,more goals means higher chances of success. It’s important to make your goals something you can stick to, so make them achievable. I set many small goals. SomeI write down and some I just have mentally. Writing them down is a good way to stay committed. It’s also a good way to celebrate success when you have accomplished one of your goals. Small goals make larger goals achievable. If you want to get an A on a test, you can set that as a primary goal, but it is important to make sure that you set smaller goals to achieve it. These can be going over flash cards for 10 minutes before bed each night the week before the test. Review notes on Tues and Thurs in between other classes. It is important to academic success that you don’t overwhelm yourself, so make sure to set goals for mental health too. You need sleep schedules, and routine eating. Making time for physical activities is one way that I get more alert for studying. Having a space for studying is vital. You literally train your brain to sleep in certain conditions, and train it to focus in other conditions. Wonder how that annoying alarm waking others up, doesn’t wake you up? You trained yourself to sleep through it. Don’t try studying in places your body recognizes for other things. Routine is key. Setting goals, taking care of yourself, and having a routine is what I find helps me study effectively. I have been successful with these. However, it is not the key for everyone. We are diverse in many ways. Retaining information requires an individual treatment plan. Don’t give up, adjust it till it works.
    Bold Great Minds Scholarship
    “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.” Theodore Roosevelt said this and many other nuggets of truth. Some funny, and some that are thoughtfully deep. The Man in the Arena is one of the inspirational speeches that he gave that still inspires great athletes today, such as Tom Brady. Along with his candid wisdom he did a lot to help our country, and he was a very interesting man. He was the first president awarded the Nobel Peace prize and helped to keep the peace several times during his presidency. He helped to break up unfair monopolies and “big business” that was hurting our country's economy. His stand on preserving national lands for recreational parks is still being enjoyed to this day! I am sure he was very unpopular to many, but he was honest and unapologetically himself. We need more politicians and men like Theodore Roosevelt today! He was an athlete, and kept his athletic hobbies even while president. He had to give up boxing after a match at the white house where he detached a retina. He went on safari. Even in hunting he had morals. He was once taken on a bear hunt, which turned out to be a bear tied to a tree for him to hunt. It was such poor sportsmanship Roosevelt would not shoot it. Pretty soon the newspapers were showing cartoons of him with a bear, and one man asked if he could make a stuffed bear and call it Teddy’s bear. Pretty soon the teddy bear went world wide, and this was all before Tik-Tok. Who wouldn’t admire the man behind the teddy bear?
    Bold Wise Words Scholarship
    “It takes a great man to be a good listener,” said our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, and he is correct. With social media these days, so many people are focused on what they want to say, and are in the middle of their rebuttal before finishing listening to the other person. Sometimes what someone is saying is more than the words coming out of their mouths. You can see this with kids, all the time. My seven year old cousin said that he didn’t want to dress up for spirit day. Anyone could have left it at that, but knowing him his mom asked why. He was picked on when he dressed as the Grinch for Christmas. So their next call was she made was to me, being someone who has decided to be abnormally, myself. I listened to what he was saying and what he wasn’t. I listened to understand rather than to reply. After fully listening I gave him my best advice for the situation. I let him know it was his choice and he didn’t need to feel pressured into anything. It is difficult standing out sometimes, but I personally would rather be myself. I told him some of my stories at his age being bullied for standing out. I was so proud when the next Dr. Suess day came around, and he decided to be “fox in sox” with a painted face! That is the cousin I know and love! I am so glad his mom really listened, and then gave me the opportunity to listen so that he could find his path again. Listening is one of the best ways that you can show someone that you really care.
    Bold Generosity Matters Scholarship
    For me, generosity is the action of kindness. Although you can be generous with physical things, you can also be generous with your thoughts and words. Pablo Picasso, the famous artist said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift; The purpose of life is to give it away.” A spirit of generosity, and a spirit of kindness go hand in hand. In consequence, happiness is not far behind, because when you fulfill your purpose in life you become content. Kind gestures, and generosity of any kind are healing to a hurting soul in the way that medicine is healing to an infected wound. You don’t know how far an act of generosity will travel. Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” With each act of generosity we are creating these ripples that change the world. You will never know how far they travel. A smile, or a compliment can brighten a day. If these are so powerful, why would we be so stingy with them and not give them out more generously. I try to keep a generous spirit with me wherever I go and in whatever I am doing. It isn’t just one act, it is a characteristic you can develop.
    Shawn’s Mental Health Resources Scholarship
    Living a healthy lifestyle is a good way to maintain a clear mind. I have truly been a believer in quality over quantity throughout my life. Even at a very young age, I knew the difference between the two. I was on a soccer team where I was scoring 5 or more goals a game, and yet I didn’t feel proud of them or the adrenaline rush. I started playing in the older kids’ leagues. No, I wasn’t immediately the star player at 9 against 12 year olds, but I was challenged to be better. The few goals I received those seasons, even if we lost, meant more and were fulfilling. We are not promised tomorrow, so we should make the best of what we have. Some see this as an excuse to live less healthy lifestyles. I see it as a purpose to live the best possible life. You feel better when you exercise and eat healthy. Don’t wait till tomorrow to treat your mind and body well. Had I not kept up my physical activity, there is no way that a college would consider letting a person as young as me on their collegiate soccer team. I kept this physical activity because it was a healthy way to address stress in my life. I’m grateful that my healthy lifestyle led to these opportunities. There’s more than physical health, mental health requires more attention than people realize. Recently it has been brought into the eye of social media, but we all feel the reality of its importance. I cannot stress enough the vitality of talking and listening for mental health. After you have vented all that built up emotion, a sense of relaxation comes over you. Life can be overwhelming, especially while working on educational goals. Just as brushing your teeth daily is worth reducing dental issues, taking time to relieve stress can prevent or reduce mental breakdowns. Unlike oral hygiene, there is not one regimen for everyone. Some people relax with physical activities such as yoga or walking. Others relax by reading books or watching movies. However, part of being human is needing connection to others. Talking and listening are two universal ways to take care of your mental health and get to a more relaxed state. After a long day, I like to relax by playing a video game with some of my close friends. One of these friends is the age of my parents and has a lot of wisdom to offer when needing guidance. The other friend is one my age with similar values and can empathize with me. We all help each other and check on each other throughout life. We listen to understand each other, not just to give a reply. When they say they will pray for me, I know that they will. I also have a sister struggling with mental health issues. She taught me how much listening means. Being the youngest, I didn’t feel I could help her. She informed me, I am her closest sibling and friend simply because I listen. I encourage her to talk to professionals, but until she is ready, I will be her sounding board. To love and listen is a practical way to help others with mental health concerns. It is a key step. Staying active in your spiritual life is a good way to clear your mind, too. It can keep things in perspective. When things get out of perspective they seem far worse than they are. There is a purpose and something you can learn in every season of life.
    Healthy Living Scholarship
    Quality Lifestyle I have truly been a believer in quality over quantity throughout my life. Even at a very young age, I knew the difference between the two. I was on a soccer team where I was scoring 5 or more goals a game, and yet I didn’t feel proud of them or the adrenaline rush that I felt on my very first one. I started playing in the older kids’ leagues. No, I wasn’t immediately the star player at 9 against 12 year olds, but I was challenged to be better. The few goals I received those seasons, even if we didn’t win, meant more for me and were fulfilling. We are not promised tomorrow, so we should make the best of what we have. Some see this as an excuse to live less healthy lifestyles. I see it as a reason to live the best possible. You feel better when you exercise and eat healthy. You will be a more healthy adult, making you a more fun parent. No, we are not promised tomorrow, but that means we should make it the best day possible today. Don’t wait till tomorrow to treat your mind and body well. Physically I did not know that I was conditioning to have a shot at being a 16 year old goalkeeper in college. Had I not kept up my physical activity, there is no way that a college would consider letting a person as young as me on their collegiate soccer team. I am grateful that my healthy lifestyle led to these opportunities. There is more than physical health when we are talking about a healthy lifestyle. Mental health requires more attention than people realize. Recently it has been brought into the eye of the media, but we all feel the reality of the importance of mental health. I cannot stress enough how vital talking and listening can be for mental health. Not to mention, after you have vented all that built up emotion, a sense of relaxation comes over you. Life can be overwhelming, especially while working on educational goals. It’s important to make time for mental health and relaxation. Just as brushing your teeth daily is worth reducing dental issues, taking time to relieve stress can prevent or reduce mental breakdowns. Unlike oral hygiene, there is not one regimen for everyone. Some people relax with physical activities such as yoga or walking. Others relax by reading books or watching movies. However, part of being human is needing connection to others. Talking and listening are two universal ways to take care of your mental health and get to a more relaxed state. After a long day, I like to relax by playing a video game with some of my close friends. One of these friends is the age of my parents and has a lot of wisdom to offer when I am needing guidance. The other friend is one my age who can relate and empathize with me. We all help each other and check on each other throughout life. We listen to understand each other, not just to give a reply. I also have a sister struggling with mental health issues. She taught me how much listening means. Being the youngest, I didn’t feel I could help her. She informed me, I am her closest sibling and friend simply because I listen. I encourage her to talk to professionals other than her doctor as well. Until she is ready, I will be her sounding board. To love and listen is a practical way to help others with mental health concerns. It is a key step. Emotional health is a third aspect of a healthy lifestyle. This one is really difficult because we are not in control of who we are born to. We do not all have the same advantages of emotional health. Most of us are victims of split families with manipulation of emotions from the youngest of ages. Some are exposed to healthy religions and relationships, and some have no guides at all. Our ideas of what love is come from our families, and most are messed up. Finding a balance of loving your family and yet recognizing that they are not perfect is difficult. Forgiving is even harder, but hate is something that hurts the one holding it the most. I am still struggling with this aspect of health, but I know it is important. Having a healthy lifestyle is important for you to be an effective person of quality for society. The more people who are working towards this the healthier our society will be as a whole. Although I know I will probably never attain perfection in all three areas, they are worth striving for. I want a good quality of life, no matter what the quantity ends up being.
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    Having just heard that I was being forced to graduate early, I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I knew I was academically advanced, but I was wanting the full 4 years of high school athletics in order to chase a long shot dream that I have had since I was 4. I want to be a professional soccer player for a few years before settling into my career as an environmental biologist with underwater welding skills. Having any colleges look at taking on a 16 year old goalkeeper, is a bit non pragmatic. Even more challenging, having them look at a younger male with statistics that were completely marred by the pandemic. I barely even had a team. I was so determined to have a team that I conducted my own private sign-up at a table outside of the school while kids were enrolling. I would take anyone possibly interested even if they had not played before, because we didn’t even have enough for a team. I did manage to find enough, and I was named Captain. All these earlier lessons in persistence led to my drive once told I would be required to graduate this year. I didn’t give up, but rather contacted every college soccer team within commuting distance. I received attention from a private college, and started practicing with them in spring. Being a private college, this is more expensive than my parents were expecting. My attitude of persistence, still won’t quit. I am applying for every scholarship possible, while getting a job over the summer. Oddly enough, soccer helped shape the characteristics I need to continue playing. Determination and persistence will not be the cause of my dreams evaporating.
    Bold Nature Matters Scholarship
    Nature is our home, our planet, the source of our way of life. It is so amazing! It can be delicate like the petals of a flower, or harsh like the winds of a tornado. In nature, we find the balance of existence. I’ve always loved the outdoors. My mom would take me to the zoo and on nature hikes. We’d analyze leaves and bugs. She taught me not to be afraid of spiders or snakes but to respect their purpose. I still give them distance though. I started loving sea life the best. I started loving sharks and not fearing them, but rather respecting their place in this world. I felt they were some of the first creatures bullied with digital media. Movies made them out to be monsters, actively hunting and harming humans. There are at least two sides to every story and sharks are unable to share theirs. Becoming older, my love of these creatures and nature started to take shape in my education. I realized that if I were to be a biologist my studies might be more helpful to my cause if they were headed more towards the environmental side. Helping preserve the environment and nature will help everyone out in the long run. I also decided a skill would advance my efforts further. I’ve started towards a welding certification, possibly underwater. This skill accompanied with my degree will preserve the nature I love so much. I love watching summer thunderstorms come in. I take hikes with my sister. When traveling, I look for ways to enjoy nature different from the location that I’m living in. Nature’s beauty is boundless, if you take the time to look. You can even see it, as a flower in a crack of a sidewalk, if you are looking.
    Jameela Jamil x I Weigh Scholarship
    In the past I’ve always been involved with charities that involved children. Specifically, I worked with special needs children in order to help them play sports. I have visited the Children’s hospital with kids that were around my age - kids that just wanted to play and connect with someone without remembering how sick they are. I branched out last year and volunteered with an organization called Operation Cherrybend. I had no idea how much I would be impacted by a hero with a common name, Dennis. Having come from a family of military service, I was no stranger to the obstacles that come from PTSD. Twenty-two veterans fall victim to suicide each day. Operation Cherrybend tries to bring these veterans into a better mental state by providing opportunities for them to feel like themselves again. I spent over a week on site with these wounded warriors. We participated in activities like hunting, concerts, skydiving, and cookouts. We also conduct weekly zoom meetings to stay connected with veterans. It was captivating hearing these wounded veterans speaking about their experiences fighting overseas for our country. I was moved when they started talking about how lonely they feel when they get back, even while surrounded by loved ones. They feel out of place, like they don’t fit in anymore. Oddly, I could relate, because most teens go through times feeling this exact way. The basic need for human connections is transcendent. It is non-discriminatory. You feel this need whether you’re a kid, or a tough war hero. Needing to connect rises above ethnicity, culture, social class, and sexual orientation. By facilitating an environment where people feel free to open up, we are able to make these important connections to others. I realized what I found playing soccer, these soldiers were finding with this organization. They found belonging. I realized these organizations are vital for mental health, the way soccer is for me. I was feeling a bit awkward, but then one of those human connections happened. We were shooting clays and Dennis started teasing that he didn’t want to go after me. I had never shot a gun before, but I was pretty good at it! Dennis is a soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan. He has physical pain from the nerve endings on his nubs. However, his sense of humor went unscathed when that explosion took his legs. He says it was the most successful diet he’d ever been on. He lost 80 pounds in less than 8 seconds. I don’t know what he was like just after this happened to him, but the man I know is confident. He seems taller than most in a room full of people, even without his legs. He has a huge heart. I truly believe him when he says he would have taken that explosion over again rather than one of his brothers stepping on it. He has a purpose in his life to help others’ mental state because he has an advantage of saying “I know how you feel.” He is genuine and brave. I was impacted by Dennis’s perseverance and drive. He chose to be active and let his injury and differences be a light for others. I was impressed at his sense of humor and confidence. I realized these were all choices of character that one can make, not based on ability. You can be a victim or you can turn it into a strength to help others. I went there to help them, but they may have helped me more.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    I cannot stress enough how vital talking and listening can be for mental health. Not to mention, after you have vented all that built up emotion, a sense of relaxation comes over you. Life can be overwhelming, especially while working on educational goals. It’s important to make time for mental health and relaxation. Just as brushing your teeth daily is worth reducing dental issues, taking time to relieve stress can prevent or reduce mental breakdowns. Unlike oral hygiene, there is not one regimen for everyone. Some people relax with physical activities such as yoga or walking. Others relax by reading books or watching movies. However, part of being human is needing connection to others. Talking and listening are two universal ways to take care of your mental health and get to a more relaxed state. After a long day, I like to relax by playing a video game with some of my close friends. One of these friends is the age of my parents and has a lot of wisdom to offer when I am needing guidance. The other friend is one my age who can relate and empathize with me. We all help each other and check on each other throughout life. We listen to understand each other, not just to give a reply. I also have a sister struggling with mental health issues. She taught me how much listening means. Being the youngest, I didn’t feel I could help her. She informed me, I am her closest sibling and friend simply because I listen. I encourage her to talk to professionals other than her doctor as well. Until she is ready, I will be her sounding board. To love and listen is a practical way to help others with mental health concerns. It is a key step.
    Bold Relaxation Scholarship
    I cannot stress enough how vital talking and listening can be for mental health. Not to mention, after you have vented out all that built up emotion, a sense of relaxation comes over you. Life can be overwhelming, especially while working on your educational goals. It is important that you make time for mental health and relaxation. Just as much as brushing your teeth daily is worth reducing dental issues, taking time to relieve stress can prevent or reduce mental breakdowns. Unlike oral hygiene, There is not one regimen for everyone. Some people relax with physical activities such as yoga or walking , others relax by reading a book or watching a movie. However, part of being human is the need for connection to others. Talking and listening are two universal ways to take care of your mental health and get to a more relaxed state. After a long day, I like to relax by playing a video game with some of my close friends. One of these friends is the age of my parents and has a lot of wisdom to offer when I am needing guidance. The other friend is one my age who can relate and empathize with me. We all help each other and check on each other throughout life. We listen to understand each other, not just to give a reply.
    Bold Bravery Scholarship
    I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with the bravest people I have ever met. Next to them, my bravery in miniscule; I can’t lie. When you see a kid who knows they were born different go through daily life with physical, mental, and emotional struggles it is inspiring. It also makes you feel a little inadequate comparing your bravery next to theirs. Sure, I am brave enough to stand up and advocate for them, but it is nothing compared to their everyday bravery in proving doctors wrong just by waking up another day. Another group of brave people I have had the pleasure of working with is wounded veterans. I think I might be terrified of any loud noise after stepping on a bomb that caused me to lose my legs. Yet, these veterans help others like them get through PTSD. They know they can’t save them all from becoming part of the 22 veterans a day that commit suicide, but that doesn’t stop them from caring and trying. They share their experiences and daily pain with others to show them that they are not alone. Sharing things that are that personal is difficult, and it takes a lot of courage and bravery to trust others with your weakness. Not only were these veterans brave when going through battle but they are brave after returning home. In comparison, I’m not sure I qualify to use the same word, “brave”. However, being a 16 year old willing to dive into these issues and help where needed, I have been told is bravery. I am inspired to live with bravery because of these veterans and children that I have had the privilege of volunteering with. If they can be brave and bold, I know I can as well.
    Bold Meaning of Life Scholarship
    I think the meaning of life is love. Love is the reason for everything. To try to live life without love is like trying to live in an atmosphere without oxygen. I’m not just referring to the feeling of being in love, either. Although having a person that you are completely wrapped up with feels great, it isn’t the only or the most common version of love. We were designed to be loved and to love others; to make vital connections with other people. This is why it feels so great to do something out of love for another. Making your mom feel special, or helping a special needs child. Even the smallest act of love, such as a smile to a passing stranger, can have lasting impact. Love isn’t always a wonderful feeling. When love is lost or disappointed there’s seemingly unbearable pain. Love exists in pain and sadness. One way I try to achieve love in life is through giving love. Love has a ripple effect, and travels further than anyone truly realizes. I look for ways to show love to everyone I come across. It may be a smile and salutation, or it may be an act of carrying their chairs to their car after watching their grandkids play soccer. I show my family and my friends how much I love them in my life. I show this through my patience, my understanding, and my actions. One of the best ways to show love is to listen to what someone has to say. Make sure you listen to understand instead of listening to respond. However you choose to show love, it is one of the phenomena where the more you give, the more you have. It doesn’t run dry.
    Bold Hobbies Scholarship
    There are those impressionable moments in life, where your path in life has forever been changed. Meeting your first love or losing your first family member are momentous intersections in life. For me, I was 4 years old and too young to realize that a white ball with black spots would be so influential in my life as my greatest hobby. Being overly smart I didn’t fit in. Sliding cleats on my feet hid my nerdiness. I was now like the others trying to kick the ball into the net. This hobby made me realize there was more to me. I also realized there had to be more to everyone else, too. I learned valuable social skills, like letting insults roll off your shoulders. I learned the value of building up teammates versus tearing them down. I learned to forgive others' mistakes, and I’m still learning to forgive my own. I pushed myself, realizing the harder you work, the “luckier” you seem to get. Luck is just what some attribute success to. Soccer dissolved social and economic barriers. I was invited to play in a Spanish league. Being raised mostly by my mother, I didn’t speak Spanish. However, once the whistle blew, I knew what I was doing. Soccer is its own language. I respected these teammates, and they respected me. It was an enlightening experience. I love the healthy competition of soccer. It takes me to another place, like a book or movie, while giving me energy and physical strength. I’m allowed to explore this athletic and competitive side of myself, when most of the time I’m docile. Soccer shows my depth, and allows for me to express myself. What more could you ask for in a hobby?
    Bold Fuel Your Life Scholarship
    We all have hopes and dreams of doing things before we kick the metaphorical bucket. Some are short term and some are longer. On the long term bucket list, I want to be an underwater welder and work to protect the environment from oil leaks or work on large shark tanks. I want to volunteer with research on sharks, and swim with them. I want to play soccer on the college level. I want to enter in e-sports gaming competitions in Madden. I want to be a great husband one day. I want to stay a grateful person. As far as short term goals that I have already accomplished, the biggest one was being named Captain of the high school soccer team. I am also the starting varsity keeper. I was really short for a long time, being what my parents called a “late bloomer”. It was partially because I always played up in a league higher than my age. I had to work twice as hard to become the keeper in my recreational league. I had to prove myself, since we already had a good keeper. I worked really hard at that, and finally earned my spot. I had goals of becoming close with my siblings. That is difficult because we didn’t live in the same house, but I worked on it. I am happy to say my sister is one of my best friends. This may or may not be considered an achievement, but it was on my list of things I wanted in my life. I can’t wait to see what other things will be in my future. I know as long as I work hard, and keep trying, I will make all these things happen. Above all I hope to stay grounded, and grateful.
    Bold Bucket List Scholarship
    We all have hopes and dreams of doing things before we kick the metaphorical bucket. Some are short term and some are longer. On the long term bucket list, I want to be an underwater welder and work to protect the environment from oil leaks or work on large shark tanks. I want to volunteer with research on sharks, and swim with them. I want to play soccer on the college level. I want to enter in e-sports gaming competitions in Madden. I want to be a great husband one day. I want to stay a grateful person. As far as short term goals that I have already accomplished, the biggest one was being named Captain of the high school soccer team. I am also the starting varsity keeper. I was really short for a long time, being what my parents called a “late bloomer”. It was partially because I always played up in a league higher than my age. I had to work twice as hard to become the keeper in my recreational league. I had to prove myself, since we already had a good keeper. I worked really hard at that, and finally earned my spot. I had goals of becoming close with my siblings. That is difficult because we didn’t live in the same house, but I worked on it. I am happy to say my sister is one of my best friends. This may or may not be considered an achievement, but it was on my list of things I wanted in my life. I can’t wait to see what other things will be in my future. I know as long as I work hard, and keep trying, I will make all these things happen. Above all I hope to stay grounded, and grateful.
    Bold Gratitude Scholarship
    It is not happiness that brings gratitude but gratitude brings happiness. When you have gratitude for everything in your life you can’t help but feel happy. Even in the toughest of times, there is gratitude to be had. The experiences make you who you are and you can learn from them. I am grateful for growth in my life even if it feels difficult at the time. My grandmother is currently struggling with Alzheimer’s. I am sad that this woman who raised me won’t even know that it is me graduating from high school at 16 years old. If she could, I know that she would be so proud. Her blank confused eyes nearly crush me at times. Being someone who strives to live with the attitude of gratitude, I choose to focus on the happy memories that I am not robbed of. I am grateful that I have these. I treasure learning to swim in her small pool, and eating popsicles on sweltering days. Although she may not remember, she is far from forgotten. Keeping an attitude of gratitude has helped me with so many difficult times in my life. Being involved in the charities that I am involved with are influential in maintaining my grateful perception. Seeing the kids with special needs grateful to just have a chance to play baseball is heartwarming. Seeing the grateful attitudes of veterans who have lost abilities due to military service, when we provide opportunities for them to go hunting, is also paradigm shifting. Sometimes, I truly feel I am the one being helped while volunteering for these causes. I learn so much about life and gratitude working with these organizations.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    Ever since I saw the movie Jaws, I was in love with sharks. When I was little, I wanted to be a marine biologist. While other kids played with superheroes and monster trucks, I was playing submarines, sharks, and other sea life. When I got into high school I did a project that made me realize that protecting the environment for my favorite sea creatures would be the move for me. I also decided that having a skill such as underwater welding, would benefit my endeavors and environmental biology. I am already on my way having already taken one community college class of welding before high school graduation. I absolutely love it. My dreams are to work on research equipment in oceanography. I believe that there are many natural resources in our ocean and I want to keep it that way. Who knows, maybe one day I will help find the cure to Alzheimer’s disease in the depths of the seas!
    Bold Empathy Scholarship
    People in life are not given the same advantages or disadvantages. Having empathy requires the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. This is not easy for everybody and it is increasingly difficult in a more selfish society. People who are empathetic tend to be less judgmental. If you know what someone has been through or how they grew up you are less likely to judge the decisions that they make. One way that you can make sure that you are displaying empathy is by making sure that you truly listen. Listening to understand, rather than listening to reply, is one way to develop empathy. It would be difficult to be empathetic to somebody if you do not truly listen to what they are telling you, and not telling you. It is hard to feel emotions with someone if you do not care enough to know what they are going through. I try my best to treat everybody with patience, kindness, and empathy. This is the way that I would like to be treated, therefore it is the way I treat others. I am not nosy, but when I see someone who looks like they’re struggling, I take notice. I try to help by lending an ear or a hand if they would like. I am also empathetic to the fact that they may not want any intervention, and that is ok too. You don’t have to intervene to let someone know that you care. Let’s not let empathy become a lost skill. Look around you, everyone is going through something. Be open.
    A Dog Changed My Life Scholarship
    When I was young, my parents wanted me to grow up with a dog. What better dog is there for a 3 year old than a lab? Blocker, named after Dan Blocker who played “Hoss'' in an old TV show called Bonanza, was my yellow lab. My mom would often say we were puppies together. I am the youngest child of a blended family. My father would be gone for business often, and my siblings would be at their biological mother’s house most of the time. This left me alone with my mom and my dog often. Living out in the country I didn’t have neighborhood kids to play with. I was enrolled in sports, so I had friends on the field, but at home there was nobody but me and Blocker. He was there as my friend and as a protector for my mom. We did everything together. There are even pictures of him protecting me from snowballs that my siblings were hurling at me, and him hunting easter eggs with me in the backyard. There is even a picture of him resting his head on my lap while I would be doing homework. I’m sure if he knew algebra he would have been giving me answers. Being a lab, he liked to play, and fetch. I would get in our hot tub and he would bring me a ball. I would throw it and he would find it and bring it back. Sometimes, I would fake him out and pretend to throw it. Sometimes, he would fake me out, and not be interested in fetch at all but jump in the hot tub with me! I would practice hockey on my back deck. I had a tennis ball and a hockey stick. Blocker loved playing goalkeeper. Don’t worry, I was little so I didn’t have too much power in my attempts at goal. He was full grown at this time, and took up a lot of net. His tail would wag so much when he saw me coming out to the deck with that stick and ball. Blocker was every bit as athletic as I was becoming. One of the hardest days of my life was when we had to say goodbye to Blocker. I had never known what life was like without him and I was scared. Even during the end he was teaching me about love and loss. It is a part of life. I recently did a project in English on The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I picked Blocker as one of the five to greet me and tell me what his purpose in my life was and how I was a better person because of my time with him. I learned about selflessness and unconditional love from him. I have his paw print in my room, and on my heart fur-ever..
    Pet Lover Scholarship
    When I was young, my parents wanted me to grow up with a dog. What better dog is there for a 3 year old than a lab? Blocker, named after Dan Blocker who played “Hoss'' in an old TV show called Bonanza, was my yellow lab. My mom would often say we were puppies together. I am the youngest child of a blended family. My father would be gone for business often, and my siblings would be at their biological mother’s house most of the time. This left me alone with my mom and my dog often. Living out in the country I didn’t have neighborhood kids to play with. I was enrolled in sports, so I had friends on the field, but at home there was nobody but me and Blocker. He was there as my friend and as a protector for my mom. We did everything together. There are even pictures of him protecting me from snowballs that my siblings were hurling at me, and him hunting easter eggs with me in the backyard. There is even a picture of him resting his head on my lap while I would be doing homework. I’m sure if he knew algebra he would have been giving me answers. Being a lab, he liked to play, and fetch. I would get in our hot tub and he would bring me a ball. I would throw it and he would find it and bring it back. Sometimes, I would fake him out and pretend to throw it. Sometimes, he would fake me out, and not be interested in fetch at all but jump in the hot tub with me! I would practice hockey on my back deck. I had a tennis ball and a hockey stick. Blocker loved playing goalkeeper. Don’t worry, I was little so I didn’t have too much power in my attempts at goal. He was full grown at this time, and took up a lot of net. His tail would wag so much when he saw me coming out to the deck with that stick and ball. Blocker was every bit as athletic as I was becoming. One of the hardest days of my life was when we had to say goodbye to Blocker. I had never known what life was like without him and I was scared. Even during the end he was teaching me about love and loss. It is a part of life. I recently did a project in English on The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I picked Blocker as one of the five to greet me and tell me what his purpose in my life was and how I was a better person because of my time with him. I learned about selflessness and unconditional love from him. I have his paw print in my room, and on my heart fur-ever..
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    Honesty is Still The Best Policy When it comes to characteristics that I value in people, I would have to say honesty is my favorite. Not everyone is born with the same advantages or disadvantages. We all have different strengths and weaknesses that we can choose to cultivate or not. Sometimes, based on past experiences and conditioning, being kind or forgiving can be difficult. No matter what circumstances you may have found yourself in, you have the choice to be honest. If you are honest, then the right people suited for you will come into your circle. My dad grew up in a very violent household. There was so much physical and mental abuse, that he wouldn’t know how a normal happy family functions. He grew up hearing his dad tear him down. He saw his mother get physically attacked until he stepped in to take the physical abuse for her. Even with these terrible situations causing emotional scars, he decided to be an honest man. He is always honest about how he is feeling. This gives me the opportunity to really know him, and to take in consideration how he feels even when we disagree. He may be harsh from how he was raised, but he is also very passionate and excited when it comes to good things. It’s rare to find someone who can be honest with themselves. Today it is so easy to play the victim of others actions, rather than diving in deeper to know yourself. I specifically remember a time when I was being bullied. My mom sat back and watched how I handled it, rather than getting involved. My dad was mad and said she should have stepped in. However, she wanted to know what my nature was in this situation so that she could guide me to know myself and have self-control. It wasn’t the first bullying I’d received and it surely wasn’t going to be the last. It was more important that I know myself, so I could choose responses ahead of time. She was always making me reflect on my choices.I cannot control the world but I can control my reactions. Self-control is another great value to have, but you need to be honest with yourself to cultivate that and many other great characteristics within yourself. You can’t fix anything about yourself if you aren’t honest that it needs fixing. “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.” The harsh reality is that we make our own choices and excuses. It is hard to be honest with yourself but valuable. Like Michael Jackson’s song states, if you want to see change you need to start with the man in the mirror. This is why I decided to go with honesty. It’s easier to be honest with others than with myself. I tend to be very hard on myself. I don’t know why I extend more grace and understanding to others than myself. I hope when others look at me, they think I am an honest person. When I say I am going to do something, I hope they feel they can count on me to follow through. There is an old adage that honesty is the best policy. That is still true in my book. Be who you are. Do what you say. Reflect on your own motives. Be one of the few honest people in this world!
    Bold Confidence Matters Scholarship
    Let me tell you a truth about confidence that I learned in an unlikely way. I first met Lacey Wade when I was around seven years old. She was about 10 but because of her genetic Down’s syndrome she looked more my age. I would volunteer at the Miracle League of Franklin County and help her and other kids play baseball. I believe every kid should have the opportunity to play sports. However, she may have been the one helping me by inspiring me and making me a more well-rounded person. When she was in the batters box, you could feel the confidence radiating from her. She did not hit the ball every time. She did not always hit the ball as far as she wanted. Yet even her run was completely confident. In high school, you would think a kid born with obstacles like hers would have a tough time. She did not give in to any such ideas. I learned from Lacey that confidence is a choice. Lacey went on to win homecoming queen of her senior year. Was I surprised? Absolutely not. When a person likes themselves , and has chosen confidence, nobody should put anything past them. When it comes to myself, most people would say I’m a pretty confident guy. I think that I chose earlier on to care about all people “but none TOO much” as Rudyard Kipling said in his poem, “If”. Usually when you have doubts about confidence it is because you are hanging out with people that you are unsure about. To keep my confidence, I think of all the people who genuinely like me. I think of my family, my friends, my mentors, and most of all my God.
    Jacob Daniel Dumas Memorial Scholarship
    Saving the Sea is the Life for Me Most little boys have a fascination with superheroes and toy cars. My mom had to look a little bit harder for my toys. I loved submarines, otters, seals, and, of course, sharks! From these young ages I wanted to do something that involved animals. I loved going to the zoo. Marine biology was particularly appealing. It wasn’t until I did a project in my freshman year of high school that I started thinking about helping the animals and humanity by focusing on preserving and studying their environment. The more science classes and events I attended, the more certain I became. I was staring to get excited about my new interest. It is probably no shock that the Jaws movies are some of my favorite movies. One day, while watching one, I was struck by the underwater welder. He was almost instantly devoured, but before that terrifying encounter, he was doing something amazing. Not many people could do what he was doing, and I was intrigued. Generally, I am drawn by my competitive nature to do things that most people can’t. I realized then, that if I had a skill like that to accompany my degree, I would be a huge asset in the field of environmental biology. Not to mention, that would also increase job security. I am required to graduate from high school at age 16. Although this has put strain on my athletic goals, it has given me a jumpstart on my academic ambitions. I have already taken classes towards my degree. Achieving this, will make me the first in my family to have a bachelor's degree. I have also had the opportunity to attend night classes for welding. I absolutely love it! I am enrolling in more welding classes over the summer as well. I am really looking forward to when I get the opportunity to use this skill for the good of the environment. The rainforest is one of our greatest resources and is the source of many medicinal discoveries. I believe there is so much more waiting to be unlocked and discovered in our waters. It would be shameful if we were to ruin the environment before we had the chance to discover the secret to curing Alzheimer’s or something on that global scale. According to Toby Ord, we are on a precipice. We need to be wise and resourceful for humanity’s future. We need to think if we should as well as if we can. I plan to use my education both in underwater welding and in environmental biology to be a huge asset to help in this global endeavor. I will be able to quickly fix leaking contaminants that could be harmful to the ocean. I might get the opportunity to work in research, and with engineers to develop new equipment for research in the depths of the waters. I can help keep endangered species from dying out before the next generation has the opportunity to see and learn from the ocean's beauty.
    Ben Bonner Memorial Scholarship
    Saving the Sea is the Life for Me Most little boys have a fascination with superheroes and toy cars. My mom had to look a little bit harder for my toys. I loved submarines, otters, seals, and, of course, sharks! From these young ages I wanted to do something that involved animals. I loved going to the zoo. Marine biology was particularly appealing. It wasn’t until I did a project in my freshman year of high school that I started thinking about helping the animals and humanity by focusing on preserving and studying their environment. The more science classes and events I attended, the more certain I became. I was staring to get excited about my new interest. It is probably no shock that the Jaws movies are some of my favorite movies. One day, while watching one, I was struck by the underwater welder. He was almost instantly devoured, but before that terrifying encounter, he was doing something amazing. Not many people could do what he was doing, and I was intrigued. Generally, I am drawn by my competitive nature to do things that most people can’t. I realized then, that if I had a skill like that to accompany my degree, I would be a huge asset in the field of environmental biology. Not to mention, that would also increase job security. I am required to graduate from high school at age 16. Although this has put strain on my athletic goals, it has given me a jumpstart on my academic ambitions. I have already taken classes towards my degree. Achieving this, will make me the first in my family to have a bachelor's degree. I have also had the opportunity to attend night classes for welding. I absolutely love it! I am enrolling in more welding classes over the summer as well. I am really looking forward to when I get the opportunity to use this skill for the good of the environment. The rainforest is one of our greatest resources and is the source of many medicinal discoveries. I believe there is so much more waiting to be unlocked and discovered in our waters. It would be shameful if we were to ruin the environment before we had the chance to discover the secret to curing Alzheimer’s or something on that global scale. According to Toby Ord, we are on a precipice. We need to be wise and resourceful for humanity’s future. We need to think if we should as well as if we can. I plan to use my education both in underwater welding and in environmental biology to be a huge asset to help in this global endeavor. I will be able to quickly fix leaking contaminants that could be harmful to the ocean. I might get the opportunity to work in research, and with engineers to develop new equipment for research in the depths of the waters. I can help keep endangered species from dying out before the next generation has the opportunity to see and learn from the ocean's beauty.
    Lo Easton's “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship
    1. I deserve this scholarship because I have been reincarnated 54 times and I still have not been able to graduate. This time, I was born a little smarter, so it is my chance! Plus, I have watched every episode of Big Bang Theory hoping that through osmosis I would get a higher IQ. 2. There is so much talk about space and finding another planet for living, but I have an even better idea. Instead of traveling out, we should travel in and create cities under the water like atlantis. My environmental biology and underwater welding will be key in making this happen. I am thinking of changing my name to Neptune…. Again, not the planet, but the sea god. 3. I was born with the gift of being able to hear animals talk. Once while on a boat I was thrown overboard. Next thing I knew a shark was next to me. He smelled blood when I scraped the side of the boat. He really wanted to eat me. I convinced him I tasted horrible, but if he would give me a ride to shore, I’d buy him sushi.
    Bold Hope for the Future Scholarship
    When trying to follow my dreams to attend a college that will allow a 16 year old to play soccer, I have been discouraged many times. There is a lot of growth in those two years that many players have as an advantage over me. However, my community and good natured people have rallied around me and encouraged me to not give up. If the Lord can use me in this way, He will make a path. Now, the Lord making a way, does not mean that I can sit at home on the couch playing video games and eating junk. I have to do my part as well. I am working out with several different soccer teams. I am running, and keeping myself fit and active. I am also applying to many different types of scholarships. Applying to scholarships, well over 200, I am encouraged that some of these efforts will pay off. I am even more encouraged at the amount of people in this country who are willing to help out a student who is trying to make something of themselves for the good of their family and community. The sheer amount of people investing in others is one of the things that gives me hope that the future will be better. Sometimes when you are on social media or the news, you can get sucked into thinking that people are all selfish. You can start doubting that there will ever be change for you or anyone else. But, if you see the amount of others out there that are giving a helping hand to the next generation, you may feel differently. Even though I have not received many scholarships yet, I am hopeful. I am feeling the encouragement to chase my dreams, even when the odds are rough. My teachers, principal, coaches, guidance counselors, family and friends have all stayed in my corner even though they don’t have scholarships to give, they have made me believe that I deserve them. They have given me courage to keep trying. One hurdle has been passed. I did find a college that is willing to give this athlete a chance. My body is only 16, but hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. I am going to stand out. With all of this encouragement from my community and all of these strangers willing to invest in the next generation, I can’t help but have hope that the future, mine, and the world’s, will be better.
    Ron Johnston Student Athlete Scholarship
    I’ve always been a goal oriented person. Maybe it was because every time I heard the word “goal” I’d perk up and listen, thinking it had to do with sports. Either way, I have always set achievable goals for myself and have pushed myself to be the best version of me possible. Currently I am pushing to achieve my lifelong dream of playing soccer in college. NMy family hasn’t done it since my late grandfather, and he didn’t get to graduate because of starting our family. Soccer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was the only place where I felt like I fit in. I was always educationally ahead of others my age and it made my topics of conversations, and even my sense of humor an oddity to kids that would’ve been considered peers. Last year, I was invited to play keeper for a Spanish league in Durham, NC. I am of Spanish descent. Without my mother speaking Spanish, I never really became fluent. This opportunity helped me see that on the field, soccer is its own universal language. Soccer has broken educational, economic and ethnic boundaries for me. This is why I’m desperately striving to keep it in my life. I am making plans to play at the collegiate level, and maybe even further than that. When I do, I am going to give back to society and my community. The recreational league in my community was run by a lady named Meg Strong. Since I am from a smaller town, there wasn’t a lot of funding. She had to wear many hats. She was a coach, and a coordinator. Had not this selfless woman not been in my life, I don’t know what direction my life would have had. Without soccer in my life now, I would feel lost. Other than my faith, it is a helpful compass. It is a goal, but it is also a stress reliever during dark times in my family. It has been a path to friendships. Sports have been a teacher of life lessons. I have learned about respect, encouragement, forgiveness, leadership, and so many more great qualities that will impact my life forever. This is why I volunteer to help younger kids, and kids with special needs to be able to play sports. When I found out that I had to graduate at the age of 16 because of my academics, I felt my aspirations in soccer crumbling. I cried to Meg, and was encouraged to call every local college with a soccer team. Finally, a pricey private school has given me a shot. It is said, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” I will just work harder. In my senior year, I broke my hand. I am the keeper, so this was devastating for my team. We had a shot at the conference play-offs, but with me out of goal that wasn’t really likely to happen. As Captain, I still led my team. I still encouraged them. Senior night was very emotional. I decided to have Meg walk me onto the field for my last high school soccer game. Her dedication helped me and so many others love soccer. She gave us the opportunity to play. Although she has no kids of her own flesh and blood, she has a whole team of kids that she had impacted for good. She always puts others first. My goals are to keep playing soccer, and impact my society through sports the way that Coach Meg saved me.
    Bold Talent Scholarship
    When it comes to talents, I have plenty. I find, most people are full of talent they don’t realize. Athletically, I have proven my talent by becoming team captain of my soccer team at age 15. Academically I have proven my talents by keeping a 4.12 weighted GPA while graduating high school at age 16. However, I’m going to tell you about a talent that I have worked hard to develop that didn’t come easily for me. It may not be a talent that most people recognize, but it is extremely important to cultivate. Being The youngest of a large blended family, I often felt unheard. The loudest person usually gets heard, and even then someone is trying to cut them off with something they think is more important. Even when you do have someone waiting for you to finish speaking, they are listening to reply rather than listening to understand you. When the sister and I started getting closer, I realized that her mental health issues were helped a lot by just having someone listen to her. I felt helpless being the little brother without many resources. However, she told me how just sitting outside with her listening helped her feel better. I couldn’t do anything about her boyfriends or biological mother, but just letting her express herself and feel valued enough to be heard, helped. I started using this talent of listening everywhere I could. It helped me while leading my soccer team. Listening isn’t just hearing words people say, but understanding them. Through listening, I found the areas each of my teammates needed encouragement and practice. Developing a talent for listening helped me be the best team captain possible. It’s also making me a better person in a world that needs to be heard.
    Bold Motivation Scholarship
    The great Walt Disney said, “all dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” What keeps me motivated on a daily basis is my faith, family, and role models. These three things put fuel into my tank to keep me going in the right direction, even if it isn’t the easiest direction. I pray to God everyday and know that he hears me. I have kept a pretty close relationship with Him since I was young. Having a moral compass helps in navigating your life, no matter which religion your compass comes from. Without faith, life is like a voyage without a map. Having my faith keeps me motivated that I am headed towards the right direction. My family keeps me motivated in positive and negative ways. They’re encouraging, and there to help me when assistance is needed. Someone will take over my chores if I have to work late, or have a big project I’m working on. They also motivate me in a negative way as well. No one in my family has gotten a 4 year degree. I see them financially struggling and the stress that it puts on our family relationships. I want better for my future family, so I’m motivated to be the first graduate in my family. Lastly, I have several role models, but Tim Tebow is definitely one who stands out. He handled negative social media with such grace. He uses his fame and money for major charities in the United States and around the world. I had the opportunity to volunteer at one of his prom’s for special needs teens called, “Tebow’s Night To Shine Ministry.” No matter what level of status I achieve while following my dreams, I am motivated to give back to my community.
    Bold Joy Scholarship
    Being content is the key part of finding true happiness and joy. Mahatma Ghandi said, “Man’s happiness really lies in Contentment.” Some mistakenly think that being content is never striving for better and settling. I think Tony Gaskins said it best when he said, “ to be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you are thankful for what you have and patient for what is to come.” I have watched siblings and friends sink into depression and lose their joy. One thing that I noticed by observing these sad transformations is that they start to focus on themselves, and that they aren’t feeling happy. Well, I agree with Buddah when he said that happiness is a journey, not a destination. In this journey, if you are focused on yourself and how you feel, it will feel empty. You are more happy when you focus on others. As a kid you think your parents are weird saying stuff, like it is better to give than to receive. However, when you mature you do feel the joy of giving as being stronger than the joy of receiving. If you were to use your thoughts, words, and actions to better someone else's life, you will also be enriching your own. “Happiness is not something ready made; it comes from your own actions” said the Dalai Lama. Even the act of smiling at someone has shown chemical proof of creating happiness. I'm part of a charity organization that helps special needs children playing baseball. When I see these kids being happy just to play a simple game, when they couldn’t in a regular league, it creates a sense of gratitude, and joy that I have the privilege to be a part of. Focusing on others’ joy will indeed enhance your own.
    Bold Helping Others Scholarship
    “Sometimes we need someone to just listen. Not to try to fix anything or offer alternatives, but to just be there… to listen. An ear that listens can be medicine to a heart that hurts.” This quote is from Steve Maraboli, a man on the cutting edge of behavioral science. Although maybe we haven’t all heard his motivational speaking, we know the truth of this. We’ve all been there, needing someone to listen. The youngest of my large family, I often felt inadequate with helping my siblings or family in any way. However, my closest sister went through tough mental health issues, and she would sit outside with me. Just the two of us would talk. I had less emotionally going on at the time, so I mostly listened. Through talking with her, I found out one of the things upsetting her the most about her relationships with others, was the lack of listening. People would cut her off as if her words didn’t matter. It would make her feel unvalued. Many times when you are talking to someone, even a parent, they’ll stop listening because they have something to say back to you. “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply,” is what Steven Covey sayst. I learned while listening to my sister, understanding the reason why she is sharing something is almost as important as what she is saying. My sister knows I don’t always agree with her decisions. Sometimes I have to let her figure out poor choices herself, since I’m just the little brother. However, I really know her, because I care to listen. She feels helped by me, though listening. It’s difficult to feel like someone is helping, if they haven’t made efforts to understand you.
    Bold Loving Others Scholarship
    “Sometimes we need someone to just listen. Not to try to fix anything or offer alternatives, but to just be there… to listen. An ear that listens can be medicine to a heart that hurts.” This quote is from Steve Maraboli, a man on the cutting edge of behavioral science. Although maybe we haven’t all heard his motivational speaking, we know the truth of this. We’ve all been there, needing someone to listen. The youngest of my large family, I often felt inadequate with helping my siblings or family in any way. However, my closest sister went through tough mental health issues, and she would sit outside with me. Just the two of us would talk. I had less emotionally going on at the time, so I mostly listened. Through talking with her, I found out one of the things upsetting her the most about her relationships with others, was the lack of listening. People would cut her off as if her words didn’t matter. It would make her feel unvalued. Many times when you are talking to someone, even a parent, they’ll stop listening because they have something to say back to you. “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply,” is what Steven Covey sayst. I learned while listening to my sister, understanding the reason why she is sharing something is almost as important as what she is saying. My sister knows I don’t always agree with her decisions. Sometimes I have to let her figure out poor choices herself, since I’m just the little brother. However, I really know her, because I care to listen. She feels truly loved by me, though listening. It’s difficult to feel love from someone, if they haven’t made efforts to understand you.
    Bold Know Yourself Scholarship
    I don’t know if I would've ever said I was a confident person. I am the youngest of four kids, and felt like I wasn’t enough most times. They’d tease me that I was a baby and often tell me I couldn’t do things that they were doing. In my Senior year, I was asked during an English assignment, what’s something small that impacted me more than I had thought it would. This led me to learn something about myself. My answer was having long hair as a three year old. I’d told my mom that I wanted long hair like my dad. Boys, at this age, think Dad is the coolest person on Earth. Having long hair this young, made people think I was a girl. I would often get the wrong toy at McDonald’s in my happy meals. However, I learned to let it roll off my shoulders. It wasn’t their fault for thinking this way, because it is a common social stigma. I could cut it if I didn’t like people thinking I was a girl. However, I just realized early on, that sometimes people are just wrong. What they thought didn’t make me a boy or a girl. What they said didn't change much about my day. I like what I like. I don’t have to conform, but I do have to decide to not let people’s thoughts of words affect me too much. “If all men count with you, but none too much” is what Rudyguard Kipling says in his poem “If”. Through this assignment, I learned I’m more confident than I realized. In many aspects of life I’m able to harness this characteristic. Not to completely disregard others thoughts and feelings, but to not let them impact me in a harmful or negative way.
    Bold Legacy Scholarship
    There’s a lady named Meg, that you have never heard of. She headed up soccer leagues in my home community. We practiced on the P.E. fields behind an elementary school or in the outfield of a baseball field. Soccer was new here and we needed a field. Meg helped me with loving the game. I never fit in since I was academically advanced. When young kids are saying their nuggets look like fish or hearts, and you blurt out “United States of America,” you are thought of as weird. But in soccer, I felt like everyone else. When starting to excel, I was cheered. Team sports teach how to grow from loss. They teach diversity, and how being different is a strength when working as a team. As a captain, you learn how to spot people’s strengths and make them stronger. You learn the power of encouragement and the devastation of tearing people down. Soccer has kept me grounded for the crazy ups and downs in life. Even now, looking at colleges at 16 is challenging, but I am working hard to prove myself. “Hard work overcomes talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” I have been told dreaming of playing soccer in college and professionally is unattainable. My legacy will be that I worked as hard as I could without giving up in the face of adversity. My legacy includes being involved in future generations. Inspiring them to have dreams where they can learn the valuable lessons sports offer. Every kid should have that opportunity. I thank Meg Strong for her love of soccer, community and children. Never having children herself, I asked her to be my escort for Senior Night on behalf of all of us she invested in. I’ll invest in others like she invested in me.
    Bold Happiness Scholarship
    Ralph Waldo Emmerson said that “happiness is a perfume that you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” I believe that this is a wise statement because I have found that people who help create happiness for others, tend to be genuinely happy themselves. If you think about Christmas presents, you know there have been certain gifts that you were just thrilled to give to someone because you knew that they weren’t expecting it, and would just love it. One of the surrogate grandfather’s that I have, lost one of his best friends, as is often when you get to that age. He is an old farmer, and doesn’t have a camera or take photos. We had gotten a photo of him and his friend reading newspapers and talking about the weather on the bench in their hay feed store. I had been taking a digital photography class, and this was a perfect environmental portrait. Seeing an old farmer tear up and say, “thank you” numerous times gave me great joy and happiness. One year, my mom made a new year's resolution to surprise my grandma each month with an anonymous gift letting her know that she was loved and appreciated. This caused us to have lots of happiness planning her gifts, and how we were going to give them to her without her knowing. It was fun for me, and it made her happy. Also, It made others around us who found out about our plans happy and inspired. Like Emmerson's perfume analogy, the people in the area are affected by the happiness perfume as well. It spreads.
    Bold Wisdom Scholarship
    The sentence that I would share with the world is not an original sentence. Rather this sentence comes from a very well known philosopher who greatly influenced American forefathers. His political philosophies helped America to become the strong power that it became after breaking away from England. Voltaire was a French enlightened thinker and writer who said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” As a student, I have had great success by asking questions to teachers. I am the youngest in my family and have had more success than my siblings. I think that this is due to the fact that I am willing to ask questions. Unfortunately many students think that by asking questions you are admitting your failure to understand something. It makes them feel inadequate. My siblings, I believe, felt this same way. I, on the other hand, knew that by asking questions, I would understand things better. More importantly, it helped me and my teachers have a better relationship with each other. This led to feeling even more comfortable to ask questions. There is a difference between getting a passing grade in a subject and truly understanding what you are learning and why. I would share this quote so that people would not feel judged for asking questions.
    Charles R. Ullman & Associates Educational Support Scholarship
    Winner
    Being a part of a community is more than just being a part of your location. In our digital age your community can reach much further than you could ever realize. This is why Ralph Waldo Emmerson’s wise words are so important. “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions, for they become habits, watch your habits for they become your character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” You never know who you are impacting and it might even be your own future. My community has always been there for me. I love having grown up in small, rural, Granville County. It will be with me wherever life takes me. It isn’t because of the location, although I do like our trees and sunsets. It is the people that make a difference. Every person counts. You never know how far one pebble’s ripples will reach when skipping a rock on the water. Positive efforts in a community works the same way. You don’t know how far they will go or who will benefit from them. My English teacher, Mr. Moore, had me read a book called, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. Then we had to do a project of the five people we thought we would meet, that impacted our lives. In my project, a lady by the name of Meg Strong is pictured. Even though I have told her, I still doubt that she fully understands her impact on my life, as well as several kids in our community. She ran the SGAA soccer league my whole life. It is a volunteer position that requires a lot of a person. Had I not been introduced to soccer, I believe I would have stayed lost my whole life. It gave me a place to feel like I belonged. It gave me a coach that I could vent to about personal issues going on in my life. I learned about responsibility to myself and my team. I learned about respect, to coaches, referees, teammates, and opposing teams. Without volunteers like Meg, and others, these organizations would not be able to function and reach out to the next generation. In my project, I was able to tell Meg in heaven that I grew up, became a professional athlete, and started an organization for kids in rural areas that needed to learn these life lessons through sports. In real life, I asked her to escort me for my senior night onto the field for my last home game. She never had any kids of her own, but she has many kids in her wake of influence; I am just one. It was definitely an emotional night and I am so glad I had the chance to show my appreciation for her community service in that special way. Being 16, I am just getting started on being able to give back to society. From a young age though, I have been involved in raising money and volunteering for the Miracle League of Franklin County. It is a non-profit organization that allows children with special needs to be able to play baseball. We serve several counties (Franklin, Granville, Vance, etc) since the closest one other than ours is in Wake county, over 40 minutes of driving one way for many families. I help kids bat, and run bases. I would volunteer for their Fall Festival, even on the years that it fell on my birthday. Even my part time job is serving my community. I work for the Town of Butner helping with assessments for sports leagues, and helping take care of the athletic park I was fortunate enough to play on. I remember being excited when the Granville Athletic park was built. Now I am one of the people employed to keep it nice for everyone. Often, kids will come up to me and ask if they can try to score on me. They have heard that the teen with the blue hair, “blueberry” is a really good goalkeeper. I stop most goals, but let one go in from time to time, so they know that no matter who the keeper is, if they keep trying they can score. Confidence is all kids need sometimes. I see myself giving back to the community by volunteering as a coach or a referee for these foundational leagues. I can see me still taking time to help keep our fields clean and nice for the next generation of athletes. I can see myself staying involved in the Miracle League, and maybe starting a similar organization in which kids with special needs can play soccer. There is so much to learn from sports that can help you with life skills. It helps with self-control. It helps with teamwork, and working together for the win, not just the glory of one person. It teaches you about forgiving the mistakes of others, and being forgiven yourself for mistakes. Sports are able to break social barriers. I myself have played soccer in a Spanish league, and was the only person who didn’t speak Spanish. I was accepted and respected because I spoke soccer. I can see myself creating and preserving the opportunities I was given for the next generation.
    Tom LoCasale Developing Character Through Golf Scholarship
    Winner
    There are several lessons that I have learned through golf that are useful in everyday life and in my future. Golf teaches patience, and balance with your mind and your body. Golf has also taught me that overthinking only leads to more problems. Self control over your mind and mood is definitely important. It has also taught me that just because you might make a mistake doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing well. Others make mistakes, too. You can’t tell someone’s skill set by looking at them, either. The old adage of not judging a book by its cover is very true in the game of golf. It is best just to be patient and do your personal best. You will have good games and bad games. The game of golf is very much like life itself. I have also learned a lot about life while golfing. This may not have anything to do with the act of golfing itself. It may be due to whom I practice with. I practice with 2 senior citizens who have grandkids older than me, and with two adults with kids my age. Don’t make the mistake of thinking I win often because I have age on my side. These men have experience and course knowledge on their side. On the course, there is plenty of time for talking between shots. I have gotten to hear so many of these gentleman’s stories. I would say wisdom, but some of it is just hilarious banter. Still, there is something to be said for learning from those who have blazed the trail of life before you. I don’t get any time with my own grandfather these days and it is nice having these goofy golfers in my life. My own grandfather is busy taking care of my grandmother with severe Alzheimer’s, but he had gone with me to a charity golf tournament for father’s day once. The biggest lesson that I have learned through golf is how important preparedness is. Alexander Graham Bell said, “before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” When I went to regionals with my school, I realized how important being prepared truly was. If I had not gotten there a day earlier to play the course like the others had, I would have felt more nervous and would have definitely let that get in the way of my mental game. I also had a good breakfast and went to bed at a good time. Each of these things are important in feeling prepared. Feeling prepared makes you more confident and professional, even though I had never done anything like this before. I didn’t win regionals that year, but I did feel happy with how far I had come in my first season golfing for high school. This year my school doesn’t have a team, and that does make me sad. I still golf with my buddies, and I will take the lessons learned from this experience with me my whole life.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    It has been said that great opportunities are often disguised as small acts of service. The truth is you don’t know how far your acts of service will go. It can be something as small as opening the door for someone, that brightens their day, and maybe encourages someone else around you, to do something nice for someone else that day. Lately, my acts of service have been a bit tougher. They aren’t physically that difficult but emotionally it takes its toll on me. My grandmother has severe Alzheimer’s. I have been having to help watch her in order for my Pop pop to do things that he needs to for his own health such as going to the dentist. It is difficult because she keeps asking where “He” is. I have to calm her down several times. I am the only grandchild that can drive, and one of the few that she remembered. However, now I am not sure that she knows who I am. It is definitely difficult performing acts of service when the person you are performing them for doesn’t have the ability to be grateful. It is hard seeing her this way, but my Pop pop needs to take care of himself. I just think of all the times she showed me acts of kindness, like sewing up my favorite stuffed animal when I was little, or wrapping me a dry towel after getting out of her pool. She provided so many acts of service in her lifetime, that it is only fitting that she is repaid even if she can’t remember. I know it will make me a better person in the long run, and give me skills of patience and perseverance.
    Bold Listening Scholarship
    “It takes a great man to be a good listener,” said our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, and he is correct. With social media these days, so many people are focused on what they want to say, and are in the middle of their rebuttal before finishing listening to the other person. Sometimes what someone is saying is more than the words coming out of their mouths. You can see this with kids, all the time. My seven year old cousin said that he didn’t want to dress up for spirit day. Anyone could have left it at that, but knowing him his mom asked why. He was picked on when he dressed as the Grinch for Christmas. So their next call was to me, being someone who has decided to be abnormally myself. I listened to what he was saying and what he wasn’t. Then I gave him my best advice and let him know it was his choice. It is difficult standing out sometimes, but I would rather be myself. I told him some of my stories at his age. I was so proud when the Dr. Suess day came around and he decided to be “fox in sox” with a painted face! That is the cousin I know. I am so glad his mom really listened, and then gave me the opportunity to listen so that he could find his path again. Listening is one of the best ways that you can show someone that you really care.
    Dog Lover Scholarship
    When I was young, my parents wanted me to grow up with a dog. What better dog is there for a 3 year old than a lab? Blocker, named after Dan Blocker who played “Hoss'' in an old TV show called Bonanza, was my yellow lab. My mom would often say we were puppies together. I am the youngest child of a blended family. My father would be gone for business often, and my siblings would be at their biological mother’s house most of the time. This left me alone with my mom and my dog often. Living out in the country I didn’t have neighborhood kids to play with. I was enrolled in sports, so I had friends on the field, but at home there was nobody but me and Blocker. He was there as my friend and as a protector for my mom. We did everything together. There are even pictures of him protecting me from snowballs that my siblings were hurling at me, and him hunting easter eggs with me in the backyard. There is even a picture of him resting his head on my lap while I would be doing homework. I’m sure if he knew algebra he would have been giving me answers. Being a lab, he liked to play, and fetch. I would get in our hot tub and he would bring me a ball. I would throw it and he would find it and bring it back. Sometimes, I would fake him out and pretend to throw it. Sometimes, he would fake me out, and not be interested in fetch at all but jump in the hot tub with me! I would practice hockey on my back deck. I had a tennis ball and a hockey stick. Blocker loved playing goalkeeper. Don’t worry, I was little so I didn’t have too much power in my attempts at goal. He was full grown at this time, and took up a lot of net. His tail would wag so much when he saw me coming out to the deck with that stick and ball. Blocker was every bit as athletic as I was becoming. One of the hardest days of my life was when we had to say goodbye to Blocker. I had never known what life was like without him and I was scared. Even during the end he was teaching me about love and loss. It is a part of life. I recently did a project in English on The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I picked Blocker as one of the five to greet me and tell me what his purpose in my life was and how I was a better person because of my time with him. I learned about selflessness and unconditional love from him. I have his paw print in my room, and on my heart fur-ever..
    Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
    As the son of a Marine veteran, myself, I was taught early the value of hard, honest work. I am graduating this year at the age of 16. My parents were not financially ready for me to graduate this early with the deficits of Covid on my dad’s job. I am prepared for the work since I have already been taking college online classes. This last semester has been the only semester that I have been able to drive, so I was finally able to start the in-person welding classes I have been driven towards. Educationally, my goals are to be an underwater welder with a biology degree. I am hoping with the skill/degree combination I will be able to work on research for preserving our environment. The oceans and seas are some of our most valuable resources, and I want them to stay that way so that we may be able to continue to make breakthroughs with medications and other humanitarian needs. Another goal that I have is to follow my soccer career as long as I am able. I realize that becoming a professional athlete is always a long shot. However it has been said that hard work beats talent, when talent stops working hard. I have the talent and the determination. I am going to take this road as long as it will go. I have already started practicing with Louisburg college for a few months. Even though I am only 16, this coach has seen my potential and is giving me this opportunity. It is a small school, but I plan to stand out. One of the reasons that this soccer goal is possible for me is because of a kind lady with no children of her own, who started a soccer club in my hometown. I have been in this club since I was 4. She is more than a coach to me. Infact, on my senior night, I had her as my escort for my last home game of the senior season. We both cried. I hope to one day be like her and give back to my community and give the kids a chance to play soccer because you learn so much more than how to kick a ball. If I do achieve any sort of celebrity status for getting to play the game I love, I hope to stay humble like Tim Tebow. I also hope to use my money wisely for charities as he has. I have had the opportunity to serve in some of his ministries. He hosts a nationwide prom event called, Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine. This is a special prom for teens with special needs. Kids with special needs have always been a part of my life, so they have a place in my heart. I hope that if I am blessed with being able to play soccer professionally I will let my inner light shine through to kids who need it, like Tebow has. I am grateful for people like Tebow, and people like you who give teens like me a chance at chasing our dreams. Thank you for investing in the next generation and encouraging others to make a positive impact in the world.
    Bold Self-Care Scholarship
    Many people have different ways of practicing self-care. Not everyone will benefit from the same self care practices as another. It is an important and very personal journey. Still making time for your own self-care is critical. I have heard it said that practicing self-care is not an expense, but rather an investment. I have found this statement to be true. There are many versions of self care. You need physical, mental and emotional self-care. Knowing yourself and your limits is key in when and how you decide what you will do to take care of yourself. Physically, I try to fuel my body for the demanding physical activities I perform as a soccer player. Playing soccer is one of the ways that I physically practice self-care. For my mental and emotional well being, I play games a little each night with a mentor of mine, and my best friend. We listen to each other’s day and give each other a chance to vent. Having good friends for me is definitely important when obtaining my ultimate self care.
    Bold Friendship Matters Scholarship
    There is an old Irish proverb that says that friendship is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have. That is how I truly feel about friendship. In this social media age, people get confused on what a true friend is because we carelessly use the word friends for anyone who follows your account. I can count my real friends on one hand. Yes, I have people that I can play sports with, or I can spend time with, but as far as true friends go, they are rare. A friend to me is someone I can trust. We are happy for each other rather than jealous when good things happen. We listen to each other openly without judgment or interruption. We offer forgiveness, kindness and understanding freely. True friendship doesn’t just happen suddenly. It is a commitment that plays out over time. The friendships we cultivate as teens, are what prepares us for being good spouses and parents one day. For me, developing the art of friendship means being prepared to love those in the life waiting for you.
    Bold Patience Matters Scholarship
    Our 6th president, John Quincy Adams once said, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” Good things are not always easy to attaint. You have to work hard for most things worth having. Because of this truth, it is important to have patience and perseverance. Patience is a quality of character that has to be worked on and practiced. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for people to develop patience in this era. Everything is so instant, and people crave instant gratification more and more. You can get many things instantly on the internet, but you can’t get patience there. Being patient is also important because without good examples in your life, it is nearly impossible to develop. As a team leader, showing patience is important for my team, but it is also important for the type of role model I am encouraged to be.
    Bold Growth Mindset Scholarship
    Bill Parcells once said, “Never let good enough be good enough.” That is a quote that has stuck with me. As an athlete, I always try to work hard. As a younger kid, I was told dreaming to be a professional athlete is a long shot. My own teammates told me at 14 years old, that no one would give me a scholarship for being a soccer player in this part of the state. They said the last goal keeper was good and he didn’t get one. I would come home and vent, and say to myself, “Well, the last goalkeeper wasn’t me!” As I keep working hard, I find ways. I am being made to graduate at 16 because of my academic achievements, so finding a college interested in a 16 year old is difficult. Yet, here I am, working out with a college team 3 days a week, proving myself. Tim Notke said, "Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard.” That is true and I am willing to work hard to grow, academically, athletically, physically, spiritually and emotionally. When you stop working hard for what you want, you stop growing. I will not stop. I will take my failures, and pitfalls, and learn from them. I will work harder next time. That is how I plan to grow.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    I have always been a goal oriented person. Maybe it was because every time I heard the word “goal” I would perk up and listen, thinking it had to do with sports goals. Either way, I have always set achievable goals for myself and have always pushed myself to be the best version of me possible in the time that I am living. Soccer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was the only place where I felt like I fit in for most of my life. I was always educationally ahead of others my age and it made my topics of conversations, and even my punny jokes an oddity to kids that would have usually been considered peers. Last year, I was invited to play keeper for a Spanish league in Durham, NC. I am of Spanish descent, but my mom doesn’t speak spanish so I never really took to it. Either way, I learned that on the field, soccer is it’s own universal language. Soccer has broken educational and ethnic boundaries for me. One of my goals is to keep this going in my life as long as I can. I am making plans to play at the collegiate level, and maybe even further than that. When I do, I am going to pay it back in society by being active in a recreational league in my community. The recreational league in my community was run by a lady named Meg Strong. Since it was a smaller town, there wasn’t a lot of funding. She had to wear many hats. She was a coach, and a coordinator. She was on the board, and an advocate for the soccer league. Had not this woman been in my life, I don’t know what direction that my life would have had. Without soccer in my life now, I would feel lost. It is a goal, but it is also a stress reliever. It has been a path to friendships. Soccer has been a life lesson teacher for me. I have learned about respect, encouragement, forgiveness, leadership, and so many more great qualities that will impact my life forever. I plan on paying back Meg’s kindness by volunteering in a league like hers for kids around my area when I have the opportunities. In my senior year, I broke my hand. I am the keeper, so this was devastating for my team. We had a shot at the conference play-offs, but with me out of goal that wasn’t really likely to happen. As Captain, I still led my team. I still encouraged them. Senior night was very emotional. I decided to have Meg walk me onto the field for my last high school soccer team. Her dedication helped me and so many others love soccer and gave me the opportunity to play. Although she has no kids of her own flesh and blood she has a whole team of kids that she had impacted for good. She always puts others first. My goals are to keep playing soccer, and impact my society through sports the way that Coach Meg saved me.
    Bold Independence Scholarship
    Being independent, it seems, is becoming a more rare virtue, than it used to be. This goes along with a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, “Few are made for independence, it is a privilege of the strong.” Clearly, Nietzche isn’t talking about physical strength but rather an internal and intellectual strength that is harnessed with education. This is one reason that getting scholarships to allow me to further my education and chase my dreams, is so important to me. I am the youngest of 5 children in my split family. I will most likely be the first one in my family to achieve a 4 year degree. My drive to be independent is much stronger than that of the older siblings. They are still living with their parents, and not responsible for all of their bills. I was the only kid in my family to save up over years of summers as a kid, to ensure that I would have enough money to buy a car when I could drive. I did not borrow money. Granted, my Outback isn’t beautiful and it is older than I am. However, I love “Dave” (the name of my car) because I now have the freedom to get a job on the weekends and take welding classes in the evening on weekdays. Other than mode of transportation, education is the most important key to becoming independent. The best investment I can make for my future is my education. I am applying for every scholarship I qualify for in hopes of getting this dream to come true. I long to be independent so that I can help others oneday, as you are now.
    Bold Dream Big Scholarship
    My heart thumps out a rhythm, while teammates laugh and joke just a few yards away. The stands are full of people, ready to see what we can do on the field. There is a mixture of languages since soccer is the language that is universal in this scenario. There is the aroma of freshly painted lines mixed with the scent of dewy grass. My heart keeps beating, as I step out onto the field and my name is called out with the position of keeper. I can hear a section of the stadium cheer. I have been preparing my whole life for this moment to represent my country, my schools, and my family. My hard work and dedication is about to show, whether we win the game or lose. It isn’t about that at all, I am breathing in this moment that I have dreamt about my whole life. When others said, “Have a plan B”. Of course I do have a plan B, but this is plan A. I am a soccer player, in my heart and on this field. There will be other things in my career in the future, but right now, my first language is soccer. Right now I am living my dreams for myself, and for everyone else who helped inspire me to greatness.
    Bold Best Skills Scholarship
    You probably have heard the expression that there is power in a name. Well, my parents probably had no idea that when they gave me the middle name Weldon, that the weld would stand out to me so much. I am pursuing developing a skill for underwater welding. I didn’t always have this aspiration. I wanted to become a marine biologist because I love sea animals, especially sharks. I realized as I got to high school that it might be difficult to ascertain a job in that field, so it would help if I had specific skills to go along with this. While watching Jaws for the fifty-first time, I saw the welder under the water. Yeah, that’s right, the one who gets eaten! I realized then, that it was the perfect skill to go along with my dreams. I am graduating 2 years early from high school this year. I did get a chance this past semester, since I finally have my driver’s license, to take a welding class at the local community college. I absolutely love it! I am doing fantastic in the class. I have a ways to go to get to my dream career, but I am confident that I will achieve these goals. I do think that having a skill is an asset to your community and to society.
    Bold Love Yourself Scholarship
    Something that I have learned to love about myself, that I used to despise is being the youngest kid in my family. I have one older brother and two older sisters. I hated being the “baby” when I was younger. I hated having to go to bed earlier than the others, or not being as fast or strong. However, as I grew up I learned to love being the youngest. I am able to watch and learn from my older siblings successes and failures. I believe that this helped shape me into the successful person that I am becoming. I know that I was always pushing myself to be smarter and to do better in school than they had done. I also pushed myself in sports. I did not give up or change sports whenever the competition was tough, I just trained harder. I was able to observe that if you always take a path of least resistance, you may not get to choose your destination, but the path choices for you. I have chosen and worked for the life that I am wanting. I think a lot of my drive, and determination came with being the youngest kid in my family. I may be the first in my family to graduate with a 4 year degree, but it is a triumph that all of my family have made contributions to whether they were aware of it, or not.
    Trade Scholarship
    You probably have heard the expression that there is power in a name. Well, my parents probably had no idea that when they gave me the middle name Weldon, that the weld would stand out to me so much. I am pursuing a career in underwater welding. I didn’t always have this aspiration. I wanted to become a marine biologist because I love sea animals, especially sharks. I realized as I got to high school that it might be difficult to ascertain a job in that field, so it would help if I had a skill to go along with this. While watching Jaws for the fifty-first time, I saw the welder under the water. Yeah, that’s right, the one who gets eaten! I realized then, that it was the perfect skill to go along with my dreams. There are so many different options to consider when getting a career in welding. I would have the freedom to do less dangerous, and more stable work with degree as I mature. I would be able to work for the pipeline, or weld computer parts together. With this skill you are not cornered into one dream. They can flow and change as your life does. Welding is so much more versatile than people think. However, my goal, as of right now, is to pursue underwater welding, and work with the environment to keep it safe for our future generations. I believe that many cures for diseases are in the wild frontier of the ocean waiting to be discovered. We must make sure that we can keep it as uncontaminated as possible. It is a precious resource. I am graduating 2 years early from high school this year. I did get a chance this past semester, since I finally have my driver’s license, to take a welding class at the local community college. I absolutely love it! I am doing fantastic in the class. I have a ways to go to get to my dream career, but I am confident that I will achieve these goals. I do think that having a skill is an asset to your community and to society.
    Bold Impact Matters Scholarship
    Having any sort of impact on the whole world seems like an overwhelming task. The truth is you are never fully aware of the impact that you are making on people or the world. I have found Mother Teresa’s quote, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples,” to be encouraging when thinking about what sort of positive impact you can have on the world, and others. You don’t have to positively impact the whole world all at once. You just have to make a point to start. You might never see how far the ripples of your actions will go. One way that I concentrate on making a positive impact is to be grateful. It doesn’t really cost you anything to say thank you or even to give someone a compliment, yet it can help so much. With people feeling entitled, and getting so much from their parents without having to work for it, the attitude of gratitude is getting lost. I try to make efforts to let others know what I appreciate about them. In doing so, I have become closer with my teachers and my coaches, as well as my peers. Gratitude has a wide ripple effect!
    Bold Optimist Scholarship
    Most people have a phrase that they can recall their grandparent saying over and over again like a record. Maybe they repeat it because they are getting up there in age, or just maybe, they are repeating it because they want you to recall it easily in the times when you need it most. My pop pop’s phrase is, “This too shall pass.” When things are getting tough, or my plans are being forced to change, the sound of his voice comes flooding into my head like a wave of comfort. I take a deep breath and realize no matter how difficult things seem for me at the time, they won’t always be like this. People have overcome much more than I have. Then there is a voice I hear from my mom saying, “you can only control you”. I think about my reaction and how I can turn it from hectic to positive. I start focusing on what I can control in the situation. When I feel like I am working towards a more positive outcome, then I feel more confident and optimistic in the passing of the difficulty. Yes, recalling wise words from those who have gone before me, is one way to stay optimistic in tough times. It doesn’t always have to be your family. There are wise quotes from people like Maya Angelou, Theodore Roosevelt, and even Dr. Suess, that you can get optimistic attitudes from. Where you get the encouraging wisdom to create an optimistic viewpoint for yourself, isn’t as important as what you will do with it. Optimism creates more optimism.
    Bold Science Matters Scholarship
    A kite is flying in the sky on a stormy night, being flown by an bespectacled eccentric old American, Benjamin Franklin. This is the image we are given as kids for how the discovery of electricity came to be. Although Franklin made the connection to electricity, it was Alessandro Volta who discovered that chemical reactions could produce electricity. From this early discovery many inventors made leaps forward in harnessing the electric power that we have come to take for granted today. No one even thinks about Alessandro when they are seeing the lightning bolt on the battery icon while charging their phones. With the field of science that I am studying in, I cannot take his invention lightly. I am learning the art of using this electricity to weld metals together underneath the water. Obviously, fire is not an option underwater. However, with the correct caution and reverence we can harness electricity to make impossible things possible. So many other scientific discoveries could not have been made possible without the work of Volta.
    Graduate Debt-Free Scholarship
    “You are so lucky!” “You must be so smart!” These are the types of comments that I get when people find out that I am having to graduate high school at age 16. People don’t see all the extra struggles that I am having to face. I had dreams of playing 4 years of high school soccer, making a name for myself and my school. I was going to get tapes and work on scholarships to pursue soccer in college. Now, I am having to find teams that are ok with taking on a 16 year old senior with only COVID statistics. However, being enrolled in high school at age 12, meant that I MUST graduate now. I have found Louisburg College, a junior college with a competitive soccer program that is letting me practice with their team currently. I am hoping to enroll there. I am also going to be on their E-sports team. I am up for the challenge academically. Financially, neither I nor my parents were ready. We had originally been told I could take college classes and stay in high school until I was 18. In fact, I had used the money I saved over the summers to get a 2000 Subaru Outback to be able to get to my college classes and my soccer practices. My dad’s business is struggling due to Covid-19 and my mom had to go back to work full time. I had to wait until I could drive to start my college classes. I have already put some credits towards my degree, and that is going to help me remain out of debt as well. I am adaptable. I thought about looking into student loans, but at age 16, I need a cosigner and my parents are in bankruptcy. I have received academic scholarships, and will be receiving some for athletics. Unfortunately the college that I am practicing with, is not as inexpensive as community colleges. I am applying to every scholarship that I fit into. No one will be able to say I didn’t try or that I didn’t do my part. I work and study hard. I just added this as a goal to achieve as well. The less debt, the better. I have always watched my parents struggle, and I want better for my family. I will do better for my family. This is why I am so committed to getting my degree, and finding a way to pay for it. I have taken financial classes in high school and know the value of investing in your education. It is a smart investment (no pun intended, ok maybe a little) in an economy that is fluctuating. The best investment I can make for my future is my own education. Thank you for also investing in the education of others. It is one way we can make a difference in our world.
    Bold Financial Literacy Scholarship
    Taking a personal finance class in high school is very valuable. I learned a lot more than what I thought I would. With inflation and the rise and fall of economies, it is hard to know exactly how to plan for a financially successful future. Other than understanding the differences between needs and wants, I think the most important lesson that I came across was that in this ever changing world of ups and downs, there are few things that you can invest in without taking risks. One of the things that you can invest in, with little consequence is yourself. Education seems to always pay off when inflation causes everything else to rise in price. Markets crash, and the value of a dollar continues to change, but the value of education is worth investing in. If you invest in your own education you are essentially investing in your future income and ability to acquire a job. God forbid, that we have another Great Depression, but those who were educated were able to start the climb out of their financial woes ahead of those who did not. It is always a good idea to invest in yourself.
    New Year, New Opportunity Scholarship
    Lanky but athletic, I have legs that look like a flamingo, especially when wearing my pink soccer socks. If a peacock was turned into a human, he might look a little like me, since his plumage is the same chroma as my hair, and his confidence is also similar. Beautifully calm and collected in public, but the inner insecurities hidden are the reason for the display of those vibrant feathers. Deceptively smart, with cards hidden, I am perceptive. I’m sensitive and loving although not hugged much as a child. Hello, I am Jason Weldon Carroll.
    Bold Great Minds Scholarship
    “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.” Theodore Roosevelt said this and many other nuggets of truth. Some funny, and some that are thoughtfully deep. The Man in the Arena is one of the inspirational speeches that he gave that still inspires great athletes today, such as Tom Brady. Along with his candid wisdom he did a lot to help our country, and he was a very interesting man. He was the first president awarded the Nobel Peace prize and helped to keep the peace several times during his presidency. He helped to break up unfair monopolies and “big business” that was hurting our country's economy. His stand on preserving national lands for recreational parks is still being enjoyed to this day! I am sure he was very unpopular to many, but he was honest and unapologetically himself. We need more politicians and men like Theodore Roosevelt today! He was an athlete, and kept his athletic hobbies even while president. He had to give up boxing after a match at the white house where he detached a retina. He went on safari. Even in hunting he had morals. He was once taken on a bear hunt, which turned out to be a bear tied to a tree for him to hunt. It was such poor sportsmanship Roosevelt would not shoot it. Pretty soon the newspapers were showing cartoons of him with a bear, and one man asked if he could make a stuffed bear and call it Teddy’s bear. Pretty soon the teddy bear went world wide, and this was all before Tik-Tok. Who wouldn’t admire the man behind the teddy bear?
    Bold Mentor Scholarship
    In the sports world, there is a common discussion over who is the best basketball player of all time. Some think Labron James while others think Michael Jordan. No matter which one you lean towards, there are strong cases for both of them. For me, even though I was too young to watch Jordan in his day, I would choose him to be the greatest of all time. It wasn’t just because of his talent, but his leadership and mentoring of his teammates. Jordan raised the bar for everyone on his team, and helped them to become the best version of themselves as well. So far the people that I have helped mentor, have been mostly teammates, and my little cousins. When mentoring, it is more than being a good example, and setting the bar for myself high. It is about the little accomplishments in life as well. Helping others to raise their own standards and realize the amazing things they can accomplish is the true art of being a mentor. Sometimes, you don’t even know that you are doing this. Everyone’s talents and skills are not the same, so to help someone else be the best version of themselves, requires listening and observing. Here is where I believe Michael Jordan may have had his strongest skill, knowing and growing what others do well. With Covid, I had to recruit many unsure freshmen to soccer, just to have a team. I hope my impact was to show good sportsmanship, and teamwork both on and off the field. As the team Captain, I had to set the bar high, and help them reach their own realistic goals. As they grew, so did their goals. I was very proud of how they started coming together as a team.
    Uniball's Skilled Trades Scholarship
    Have you ever heard the old adage that there is power in a name? I bet my parents had no idea when they named me Jason Weldon, after my grandfather, that I would want welding to be my career. Yet, there is no more perfect middle name for me. I have known what I wanted to do from a very young age. I watched Jaws and immediately knew I wanted to be a marine biologist. I had sharks, seals, whales and scuba divers in the bathtub all the time. When I got to high school at 12, I started to realize the jobs in the field are scarce and it would be more beneficial to have a skill. Watching Jaws yet again, I saw the welder underwater and thought that’s the perfect skill for my field. It is so versatile that I couldn’t go wrong with it. My plan is to be able to use my degree and skill together to help the environment. I would have started taking the welding classes earlier in high school but I didn’t have a ride and was too young to drive. Once I turned 16, I used all I had saved from watching my cousins over the summer to buy an old car to get me to class. I wanted to know if Welding was really all I had built up in my mind. I started 1 class in Jan. I LOVE it! It is relaxing and artful. I am doing well in the class, but have a way to go to get my certificate! It has been a struggle to be academically advanced. I was told this year that I was required to graduate even though I was planning on playing high school soccer 2 more years as my team Captain. I felt like my world crumbled, but after a few tears I rerouted and found a school willing to look at a 16 year old goalkeeper. Now finances are my new hurdle. Covid had really hurt my dad’s career and my parents are in bankruptcy. They were not financially prepared for me to go to college at 16. At this young age, I am not allowed to get student loans without a co-sign. My family does not have good credit. I am applying to every scholarship I can fit, over 150. I haven’t been accepted yet but I will not give up. I am sorry about the loss of your dad. I hope whomever you choose will honor his livelihood. Thanks for your consideration.
    Rita's First-Gen Scholarship
    “Did you know that your son is at a 5 year old’s learning level?!??” is what my mom heard the doctor say to her at my 2 year old wellness visit. My mom started schooling me as the doctor had suggested. I was reading books and doing math before I was 3. I have been advanced as long as I can remember. Everyone says, “good for you” or “you’re going places” but I have encountered so many obstacles that make me feel as if I am being punished for pursuing academics. The soccer field is where I felt normal. I was a teammate and found respect from other peers with my athletic abilities. It is my escape. I was even advanced on the field. I couldn’t wait to play high school sports. However my first year of being the age of a 9th grader, we had a national pandemic that hurt athletics everywhere. By the second year, I had to actively recruit a team in order to play. I became the team Captain at age 15. However, my excitement was short-lived when I was told I would be forced to graduate this year. I was apparently enrolled in high school at 12 and my 4 years would be over. After a moment of tears, I started working on a plan to overcome . What colleges would be interested in a 16 year old athlete? I started looking at two year schools around me. I found a few but the coach that is interested in me is at Louisburg College. Now I have another hurdle. My family nor I were financially ready for my graduation. My parents had to file bankruptcy. My dad’s job tanked during Covid. My parents have horrible credit. I am only 16 and need a cosigner for student loans. My grandparents are going through Alzheimer’s and I don’t want to be a burden on them during their financially and emotionally tough time. I have applied for over 125 scholarships but haven’t received any as of yet. . I will keep applying to do my best to stay out of debt. I will not quit. My graduation at 16 would have been something my grandmother would have been proud of had not Alzheimer’s taken its toll on her. She homeschooled my mom who graduated early and instilled this high value on learning. We have just not been able to afford to have anyone get their degree yet. My biology degree will be the first. I will be an underwater welder with a marine biology degree somehow. I want to help the environment and preserve our sea life resources. I am also making a serious run at being an athlete. Investing in my future will be investing in many other people’s futures as well. As your grandmother knew, education is the beginning of many good things. Short answer questions (200-300 words): (1) What does it mean to you to get a college education? Being the first to get a full college education would mean so much to me. It would mean making my family so very proud, and it would mean a more secure life for my future family. (2) Tell me about a typical day or week in your life outside of school. I get up and empty the dishwasher. Then I read my text of the things that my parents need me to do that day while they are working. Sometimes, it is my day to sit with my grandmother with Alzhimer’s. I do a couple of my online classes. Around 2 I start heading 30 miles away to the college I hope to be attending if I can get funds. I am working out with the soccer team there, and have made progress to be on the E-sports team, too. After practice, I changed into the clothes that I brought for my evening welding class a different 30 miles away. After class, I have to be home by 9. I work on homework, and spend time with the ones I love. I say my prayers, go to bed, and do it all again. (3) Tell me how you feed your curiosity inside and/or outside of school. I like learning new things. I often will talk with older siblings, and family members. You can learn much from listening to others with more experience than you. I often research things that I don’t know just for the sake of knowing.
    Bold Learning and Changing Scholarship
    I remember thinking, “we are the same age!” A wave of emotions swept through me. I remember how badly I felt for him, and for what he was enduring everyday of his life as a normal. I remember how grateful I was to be able to have the ability to run and speak. Those seasons volunteering at the Miracle League of Franklin county really opened up my eyes and my heart. These experiences forever changed how I view hardships. I thought that I was signing up to help some kids who had special needs. I didn’t realize that they would be helping me get a different grasp on gratitude and hardships. These kids, who sometimes were my same age, live with disappointments, and difficulties everyday and they take them in stride better than most. I have seen complaining over body image, or not having the latest phone. Yet, these children, through no fault of their own, are born with much greater difficulties, and tackle them with the best attitudes. Volunteering to help children with disabilities play baseball will change your perspective of hardship, and gratitude. I encourage you to volunteer if you have never done so. It is a great way to realize how full your glass truly is.
    Bold Caring for Seniors Scholarship
    Being very close with my grandparents, I believe in treating elderly people with dignity and respect. When it comes to improving the lives of elderly people there are two things that can be integrated into your everyday life that don’t cost you a thing. These two things are more important to the elderly and to you than you could possibly imagine. Having patience and being a good listener are the two things that everyone can work on to improve the lives of the elderly and even yourself. This world has gotten so fast paced that people have become way too impatient. This leads to people worried about their own speed and often incidentally being rude to elderly people. When you decide to have patience, it really makes their day. I will often hold the door for an elderly person entering the same building that I am. It takes a second to wait for them to get there, but showing that bit of respect goes a long way in making that person feel worth waiting for. Being a good listener is a great way to show anyone that you care. The elderly sometimes don't have as many people to talk to. Showing them that you care about what they are saying, makes them feel worthwhile. It is also a great way to improve your own life, because listening to the wisdom of someone older than you can definitely lead to great things. The elderly people in my community will all tell you what a nice young man I am. This may surprise people, with my untraditional blue hair. However patience and being a good listener means more to them, then my fashion choices.
    Bold Financial Freedom Scholarship
    In a world that’s economy seems to be shaking around often, it is difficult to feel like you have financial security. The best financial advice that I feel I ever received, was to invest in myself. Furthering your education will be a great investment no matter what the economy is doing. You can never go wrong when you are investing money into your future by furthering your education and future work opportunities. Growing up and seeing my parents having to go through bankruptcy, definitely put the fear of being financially irresponsible in my mind. I want to make sure that I don’t have the stresses that my dad has. I am only 16, and being made to graduate early. It is tough seeing my dad worry about my college. I can’t get a loan myself at 16 years old, and my parents’ credit is poor from the bankruptcy. Still, I am determined to try to invest in my education. This is why I am spending hours applying to every scholarship that I can!
    Bold Great Books Scholarship
    I know this is going to sound juvenile, but “Put Me In The Zoo” by Robert Lopshire is my favorite book. There are many other novels that I have enjoyed in my later years of reading, but nothing quite as impactful as this. My memories from this book will live far longer in my mind than that of any other. Of course, it was influential because of the time in life it was read to me. This is why reading to kids is important. However, the lesson in this book has resonated with me, my entire life! In this book there is a creature like a bear that feels left out because he is not in the zoo. Throughout the cadence of the book, he is trying to convince these two kids that he should be in the zoo like all the other animals. He shows them all the unique things about him that he thinks would make him an asset to the zoo. At the end of the book, they tell him that he does not belong. He was sad for a second, but then they said, with how extraordinary he was, he should be in the circus. I never really felt like I fit in, and sometimes, I really wanted to. I felt like this animal, desperately trying to fit in with the other zoo animals. The moral of the book is that if you are patient, you will find the place where you belong, rather than changing your extraordinary self to fit in somewhere else. Whenever I feel like I am not quite like others, this book comes to mind. I am OK with not fitting in everywhere, because there is a place for me. As I am getting older I am finding myself more and more.
    Bold Future of Education Scholarship
    I believe that our society needs a paradigm shift to the things that are essential and that really matter to our growth in a community. As a whole we have turned our back on our teachers, law enforcement, and medical staff. These are all essential to remain a world power. However, they don’t get paid as much as they used to. They aren’t appreciated or respected as much as they used to be. There are less kids dressing up as teachers for career day in elementary school. We need to celebrate teachers more. We all have had a teacher that impacted us for the rest of our lives. For my sister, it was an English teacher who supported her and taught her the invaluable art of writing. For me, it was a math tutor who made me feel like I was smart, and didn’t have to hide it. If we didn’t have these other wise and caring adults in our lives we would be quite lost. Our interactions with them help us come into the person we were meant to be. Becoming a teacher needs to be celebrated for the sacrifice that it is. It needs to be made to be important, not only in our hearts but in our economy in order to get people to aspire to become teachers. Personally, I have heard my own mom talk about how she started in college to be a teacher, but changed majors because of the cost of education and how long she would have been in student debt. My mom would have made a great teacher. She is always teaching somebody something. Teaching is part of her personality, but she did not pursue it because of finances. Teaching also needs to be supported by the community. Too many people blame teachers for incidents at the school, when the reality is that there are too few teachers as it is. Plus they are wearing many more hats than they should. On top of that, I know far too many teens my own age that think that teachers are their enemy, just hoping they fail. I personally know that if I reach out to a teacher and they see me trying, they go above and beyond to help. These students are too afraid to talk to their teachers. I have always been taught to reach out to teachers often to do my part of maintaining a relationship with them. The parents and students should be asking what they can do to help with the school situations rather than place blame on a system that is needing their support. In order to secure better education for the next generations, we need to make sure that there will always be adults there to help guide the next generation. Good teachers need to be cultivated in order to make sure that they will be around for generations to come. Make sure you thank your teacher today!
    Bold Deep Thinking Scholarship
    The biggest problem facing the world right now, is a lack of accountability. Everyone is blaming anything but themselves for things that are happening in their world, and in their own life. There are always outside forces that are acting on and influencing everyone. Everyone is being bullied by someone. If we want to see a difference, we should take Michael Jackson’s advice, and start with the “Man in the Mirror”. It is starting in the home of kids as we are growing up. When kids are in trouble at school for not following the rules of the class, the parents of those kids are upset about the rule and saying that it is stupid. The children are learning at a quick pace that they do not have to take responsibility for their own actions, if they can find someone else to blame it on. Also, it is causing teachers to be less respected. What happens when our youth are being allowed to age at a school, but not truly educated because of the lack of respect to conduct a class? In a similar fashion, teens are on social media and able to say words to strangers without having to be held accountable for the messages that they are sending. There are many anonymous sites that encourage this behavior. If people were held more accountable for their actions and words, then they would not let those evil thoughts fly. Everyone’s path has obstacles. Sometimes, all you can do is change the manner in which you approach that obstacle. Complaining and blaming the obstacle will not get you past it. Take responsibilities for your path. If we all stop blaming others and start helping ourselves and others, our world will be a better place for it.
    Bold Speak Your Mind Scholarship
    Staying committed to speak your mind, has been a roller coaster ride during the social media era. At first, speaking your mind became easier because there were all sorts of new platforms that allowed you to do so. You were also allowed to speak it with a feeling of being anonymous. Now, however, it is more difficult to speak your mind because you have the threats of being unpopular or “canceled” if the right people don’t agree with your statements or opinions. I think one way I stay committed to speaking my mind, is to stop and think. I reflect deeply on what I will be speaking about. I make sure that I am speaking my mind and not others. You can agree with someone, but make sure it is really what you believe and not just what you feel pressured into believing. As an example, we are all raised by parents and taught to agree with them as we grow up, but once you reach a certain age, you need to decide what you believe outside of your parents’ teachings. This goes the same for what your friend’s believe as well. People often believe in speaking their mind, and do so without tact. In order to stay committed to speaking my mind, I often reflect on the reasons for speaking up. If you are speaking your mind for retaliation or revenge, you might give it a second thought. Your approach is every bit as important as what you are saying. If you want to truly be heard, you also have to focus on the manner in which you speak your mind. People have the uncanny ability to see the anger, or the defensiveness before they see your message. Make sure you are speaking an unclouded message.
    Bold Relaxation Scholarship
    When I am feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on in my life, I like to unwind by listening to music. Music has great motivating powers. If you were to think about movies that you watch, the music in the background makes you feel certain emotions. To think, just two notes in Jaws can make you feel so tense. The theme song in Rocky can make you feel motivated. Even UFC fighters come out to the ring with songs that help get them to the mental state they need to be in before fighting. You can see that for each fighter it isn’t the same music. Some fighters use angry upbeat songs to get them hyped, while other fighters use relaxing songs to calm down. These are personal choices based on the fighter’s individual needs. A relaxing melody can help relax you in the same way that those movie scores can help build up tension. For my mental health, I like to just lay on my bed breathing and listening to my favorite relaxing songs. Having those lyrics helps me to stay engaged with the music instead of thinking about my own daily stressors. Because the songs are around 3 minutes in length, I know three or four songs will do the trick. I still need to get up and work, but I take a break to actually relax for those few songs.
    Bold Empathy Scholarship
    I agree with Meryl Streep when she said, “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” It is a gift we should not neglect. You'll find having empathy in your life makes you less angry and stressed when dealing with the world around you. My parents were always training me to have empathy. When I was bullied, they told me most bullies, are themselves, bullied by someone. Can you believe it? My own parents were instructing me to have empathy for the kid that was bullying me. This allowed me to not over-react when someone said or did unexplainable hurtful things. It gave me a paradigm shift, to have empathy for all people, because you never know what someone is going through in their home life. Now that I am a driver, it is easy to have road rage. However, my mom, while teaching me to drive, would invoke empathy to people who were impatient or rude on the road. She reminded me that you don’t know why they are in such a hurry. I realize that most times, it is probably because they grew up entitled and impatient. They think their vehicle on the road is the only one of importance and everyone should drive the way that they do. However, having empathy in thinking they received bad news and are rushing to the hospital makes me less angry when I am being treated inconsiderate by other drivers. You never really know what the person beside you is going through on the inside. Since you have the gift of empathy, you should use it. It is a mind set, and not just a physical action. Practice empathy until it becomes more natural. You may be amazed at how it makes you feel.
    Freddie L Brown Sr. Scholarship
    A DAISY SONNET by JW Carroll Unwanted, unloved, the lowest of low Mangy and grotesque much like a disease Blood from many red bumps and scabs did flow Seems the only ones that loved you were fleas Seeing your need, they look the other way No home for the last pick of the litter Alone and deserted, no place to stay Just wanting food, love, and cozy shelter Sweetness with an eager and humble face She saw my sadness and the pain of loss Whimpering into my heart and her place This tiger striped friend, I happened across. Now she is my Daisy, and I’m her boy Together through life, each other enjoy. This poem is about a dog that I found at a store on vacation. We took her home, and she has been with me a couple years now. I was supposed to write a sonnet in my creative writing class, and I didn't have a love of my life, except this pup. Hope you like it.
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    Setting goals is an important part of a successful life. I set many goals for myself all of the time. They aren’t always big goals, but achievable. In the past I set goals that were pretty hefty and yet, I managed to achieve most of them. When I was little, I wanted to be the Captain of the all star soccer team, and I made that. Then I set the bar for Captain of my high school team, and I made that. These weren’t all that easy. I scheduled extra practice and playing times. I had to out-perform the other keeper and earn the respect of the league in order to be starting keeper at 14 years old for a high school. When you are younger than the rest, you have to work harder to prove you belong. I wanted to be finished with my high school classes when I was 16, and I achieved that. As far as my future goals, I want to play soccer in college. Being that I am graduating earlier than most do, it is a challenge. However I have been in contact with 3 different college coaches and will probably get to achieve this dream and goal. I I want to be an underwater welder with a degree in marine biology. I start my welding classes in a couple weeks. This is a certification outside of college but it is offered at the local community college. I have goals of being the first in my family to have a college degree, and to be fully financially independent. Yes, setting goals is a big part of my life, and will always be. However, once I set one and work really hard, I even surprise myself. I am looking forward to reaching my future goals.
    Bold Encouraging Others Scholarship
    Winner
    Being a light in a darker world, definitely involves encouraging others. Unfortunately too many people are insecure and let it escape their bodies in the form of cruel words of or to others. Words can cut so much deeper than one realizes. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind” said the great poet Rudyard Kipling. Encouraging others requires choosing your words carefully. I am the Captain of my high school soccer team, in a small rural area. With the pandemic, we were uncertain if we would even have enough to be able to have a team. I had to actively recruit players. Some of these players had never played before, and I had to encourage them that they would be able to be helpful to the team, and that they were wanted. Once on the team, I had to encourage everyone that even though we were losing games, we were getting better and having some great moments together on the field. I have a sister that had significant depression. I wasn’t aware at the time, but I learned from listening to her, how to encourage someone. She let me know just how upsetting it was for her to be interrupted, and she would shut down. I learned that to encourage someone, you have to be a good listener as to what their real feelings and fears are. With my team, they were worried that they would be blamed for a bad play. Some people aren’t good team players, and they can scar a person when they are young. Blaming one person doesn’t help a team effort. It tears them apart. Encouraging my team wasn't always easy but it is important for morale. As a sports fan, you can see teams fall apart when they lose encouragement.
    FOS Sports Industry Professional Scholarship
    Singing the ESPN theme song in my crib could have been a foreshadowing of what a sports fanatic I would become. Although waking my parents up super early in the morning to watch the world cup in soccer, might have been the point when it was realized that it was my passion. My godmother always said she knew what sport season we were in, based on what I was carrying. I always had a ball or a stick in my hands. I used to make my lab play goalie while I took shots of tennis balls at the net. Keep in mind, I was only 5 or so, so it wasn’t animal cruelty. If he could talk, he would probably say it was the time of his life. I have fallen in love with playing soccer. I loved hockey but my parents couldn’t afford to keep me in it. I had set goals for myself to be Captain of my high school soccer team. It is a goal I set when I was 10, and achieved at age 15. I lead my conference in saves in goal. My team is very young, and covid his my country community very hard. I had to personally recruit young inexperienced kids to have a hope at a season. Upon first becoming the starting keeper for my school at age 15, I mentioned that I wanted to get a scholarship to play soccer in college. I was laughed at by the seniors, and told that no one from our school gets scholarships for soccer. Our soccer program is pretty pitiful. Still, I worked hard. They didn’t know my resolve. I will make this happen. I am applying to all sorts of scholarships, so that money won’t be a reason that I can’t play in soccer for college. I have been in the paper several times, and on the school billboard at player of the week. My ultimate dream is to play soccer professionally. I am working now on playing in college. I have had some obstacles on the way, such as being told by my state that I have to graduate from high school at 16. I didn’t realize that at 12 years old I had to choose an athletic or an academic path for my life. I thought I could have both. I do feel punished for being smart, because it is making my dreams harder to achieve. However, here I am, applying for scholarships left and right. I won’t give up.
    Bold Legacy Scholarship
    There are so many things that people want to be remembered for. It is difficult to choose, and even if you do choose, there is no guarantee that you will be remembered and honored for what you had in mind. That being said, I think I want to be remembered for patience. This world is crazy busy and many people lose patience with their fellow man. I see it on the road, I see it in my video games, and I see it on my soccer team. You can not make people be pawns in your life. You have to be patient with them as they are finding their way through life, too. Even with the vaccine for Covid-19, you see people losing patience with each other. The people who I respect and admire the most are those that have been patient with me. I have a few great friends and mentors. Each of them have been kind and patient while helping me become a better version of myself. I hope in the future to display this same kind of patience to others and be known for it.
    Bold Wisdom Scholarship
    There are so many great quotes from which I have gained wisdom from many different people. The poem, “If” by Rudyard Kipling is high on that list, so I decided to go with a quote by that poet. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”- Rudyard Kipling. The season for this selection is that I think with today’s social media, people are saying things without thinking of how those words may affect others down the line. People think that because they have a voice and a social media platform that they are free to use it however they want. In fact, in America, they are free to say whatever they want. However, they should realize that words are more influential and can cause effects that they may not have put thought into. If your words are indeed a powerful drug, what type of drug are they? Have you fashioned your words to look like an uplifting drug that takes away pain and makes daily life more bearable? Are you Ibuprofen? Or are you an addictive drug that tears down the body and soul leaving someone spiraling out of control and flirting with death? In times like these, we should be choosing our words carefully. You are never fully aware of the impact that they are making.
    Bold Art Scholarship
    I know this is going to sound a bit cliche but the American Flag is a piece of art that inspires me. I did grow up with a veteran for a dad, so that probably has a lot to do with it. I just don’t think when the first flags were being sewn that they had any idea how inspiring it would be one day. Our country had a long road ahead. It inspires me to be proud of where we come from and even more proud of how far our dedication to freedom has taken us. It is also inspiring to know that past ancestors have bled and died for that one piece of art and what it represents. I have done volunteer work with wounded soldiers and their courage and resolve is unmatched. When I see that piece of art, all of their stories come flooding into mind and heart. When the American flag is flying high and dancing in the wind on a hot summer day, I have happiness in my step. When I see that same piece of art delicately draped over a soldier's coffin, I have a sense of loss. How many pieces of art can bring about so many emotions? Yes, I am very inspired by that patriotic piece of art.
    Bold Generosity Matters Scholarship
    ‘Tis the season for generosity. Everytime you look at a commercial on TV it seems to be a heart wrenching moment of generosity to celebrate the Christmas season. Generosity is giving just because you want to help someone without expecting anything in return. We take my grandmother with Alzhimer’s to lunch at BoJangles every Sunday after church. She needs her routine, and we need to be around people who are aware of her condition. Familiar places and faces help. There have been times when my grandma put BBQ sauce on her salad by mistake. The lady that cleans the tables in this location is always so kind even with our spills, or outbursts. We decided to give her a gift card for Christmas, the season of generosity. I was delighted to be the one to hand it to her and see the look on her face. She wasn’t expecting customers to get her a gift. Generosity is such a joy. This site is full of generous people who are willing to give a gift to some students who want to better themselves. I have been inspired by the generosity on Bold.org even though I have yet to receive any scholarships. I am grateful for the hope and the blessings that others are receiving. One day I hope to be graduated and financially able to show my generosity on this site as well.
    Bold Hope for the Future Scholarship
    Although people are one of the main reasons that hope is lost, they are also what gives me hope that the future will be better. People can always surprise you. Just the fact that there is a website like bold.org gives me hope that my future will be better. I haven’t won a scholarship yet, but I haven’t given up hope. I am still applying and doing what I can to make my dreams come true. I have hope that I will get a good education to have a good job so that my financial stress won’t be as difficult as I have seen my parents go through my whole life. Debt is a real stress factor, and I am hoping to try to minimize that as much as possible while still getting a quality education and pursuing my dreams of playing soccer in college. There are good people out there giving all of us graduating seniors hopes at a brighter future if we just work hard enough. This is one of the great things about America. Also, all those who have been helped, will hopefully be in a position to help others. After seeing this website, I am inspired to help some students out when I am financially well off.
    Deborah's Grace Scholarship
    What would you do if your son was 10 years old, and all of his older siblings (12, 14, and 15) bought each other gifts for Christmas, and no one had bought him one. I was that child. It was only when I handed out my gifts to them, that the thought of having a gift for their little brother even passed through their mind. My 12 year old sister ran upstairs and got some cookies from her stash that I liked, wrapped them, and brought them downstairs. She has a good heart. “Why wouldn’t they have even thought of the little brother,” you might ask. I am a half brother, and their mother hates my dad and his new family including me. She never let them call me, or answered my calls when I wanted to tell them about my first lost tooth, or my soccer goal. I felt like such an outsider. I had to work on not having hard feelings towards them, even if they had mistaken hard feelings towards me. Finally, the younger sister decided to move in with her dad at 15. I was so excited. I decided not to let this opportunity pass me by. Whenever she invited me to do things, I would stop what I was doing to go. I even joined the golf team to be on a team together. We even took a summer class together, in case she needed my help. Now the two of us are closer than any of the siblings. She was worth the wait.
    Terry Crews "Creative Courage" Scholarship
    As a nerdy little kid, I didn’t fit in many places. I couldn’t even go to public school because I was ready for Kindergarten at 2 years old. I was learning to write before I could hold a pencil properly. I hated the way I drew. Art never came out the way it did in my mind. I learned that not all people use creativity the same. On the soccer field, I found my creativity and a place where I fit in. Because of Covid, and being so young, my soccer career was cut short. I did make Captain of my team at 15, because of the respect I gave and received back. I am being forced to graduate at 16, making my soccer college dreams more difficult. I’m still trying in spite of the team telling me that no one from our school ends up getting scholarships for playing soccer. I wrote this poem about my feelings in my creative writing class. It may not be the art you were looking for, but I am trying my best to not let others “define” me. Terri Crews’ quote is inspirational, and falls in line with my poem. Eventually, I will have a biology degree, and become and underwater welder. I am figuring out my path to my end goal. I really want soccer to stay with me as long as it possibly can. It is my heart's home.
    Bold Talent Scholarship
    I am a great soccer keeper. Unfortunately, I had to be because my team was young and didn’t have much time for practice with Covid interrupting the last few seasons. I had over 120 saves in 9 games. Usually stats are not that high, but like I said, my team was young. To keep up my skills as a goalkeeper, I would schedule personal training with a mentor that was a goal keeper as well. We would run keeper specific drills to make my reaction time quicker and more instinctive. 1/8th of a second hesitation can make the difference in a score or a save. I would often come back bruised, because it was like 2 hours of diving constantly. This made me resilient when I had to make several dives per game and sometimes back to back. Another talent that I have is to be able to recognize talent in my competitors and be appreciative of their skills. Some people can’t accept that the other team is skilled too. I appreciate a strong opponent. They make me better. I appreciate good sportsmanship. I always compliment good plays on my own team, or on the opposing team. I practice this talent by introducing myself to the coach and the referees, while thanking them for coming to the game. The more you practice good sportsmanship, the more natural it comes to you. The first time I did this, I was awkward, and now I can’t imagine not speaking to the other team.
    Bold Hobbies Scholarship
    I am a great soccer keeper. Unfortunately, I had to be because my team was young and didn’t have much time for practice with Covid interrupting the last few seasons. I had over 120 saves in 9 games. Usually stats are not that high, but like I said, my team was young. To keep up my skills as a goalkeeper, I would schedule personal training with a mentor that was a goal keeper as well. We would run keeper specific drills to make my reaction time quicker and more instinctive. 1/8th of a second hesitation can make the difference in a score or a save. I would often come back bruised, because it was like 2 hours of diving constantly. This made me resilient when I had to make several dives per game and sometimes back to back. Another talent that I have is to be able to recognize talent in my competitors and be appreciative of their skills. Some people can’t accept that the other team is skilled too. I appreciate a strong opponent. They make me better. I appreciate good sportsmanship. I always compliment good plays on my own team, or on the opposing team. I practice this talent by introducing myself to the coach and the referees, while thanking them for coming to the game. The more you practice good sportsmanship, the more natural it comes to you. The first time I did this, I was awkward, and now I can’t imagine not speaking to the other team.
    Bold Bucket List Scholarship
    We all have hopes and dreams of doing things before we kick the metaphorical bucket. Some are short term and some are longer. On the long term bucket list, I want to be an underwater welder and work to protect the environment from oil leaks or work on large shark tanks. I want to volunteer with research on sharks, and swim with them. I want to play soccer on the college level. I want to enter in e-sports gaming competitions in Madden. I want to be a great husband one day. I want to stay a grateful person. As far as short term goals that I have already accomplished, the biggest one was being named Captain of the high school soccer team. I am also the starting varsity keeper. I was really short for a long time, being what my parents called a “late bloomer”. It was partially because I always played up in a league higher than my age. I had to work twice as hard to become the keeper in my recreational league. I had to prove myself, since we already had a good keeper. I worked really hard at that, and finally earned my spot. I had goals of becoming close with my siblings. That is difficult because we didn’t live in the same house, but I worked on it. I am happy to say that one of my sisters is also one of my best friends. This may or may not be considered an achievement, but it was on my list of things I wanted in my life. I can’t wait to see the things in my future. I know as long as I work hard, and keep trying, I will make all these things happen. Above all I hope to stay grounded, and grateful.
    Bold Creativity Scholarship
    I used to think that creativity applied only to art. I am seriously horrible at drawing. I was afraid of coloring when I was in pre-school because my art didn’t look like I had pictured in my head. I would get so frustrated. My mom would make me enter an art contest, and I would always be anxious about it. Then she told me that I didn’t have to draw to make art. I could be creative with whatever medium I decided to use. I like paint, and glue. I won an American History art contest by printing out black and white photos from the civil war, and painting over the collage of them, the American flag, at the time of the civil war. I pressed NC flowers throughout the year, glued them in a sunset pattern, and painted a tree over them. That was entered into the state fair art show. I had to come up with creative ways to participate in art without having to draw. Creativity also extends into plays that I use when I am playing Madden on playstation. Sometimes it pays off, and sometimes not, but it's always fun to use creativity. I definitely have an appreciation for others’ creativity, even when I feel like I struggle to see my own. Reading other’s writings in my Creative Writing class was always interesting. I enjoy getting to see other people be creative. I have a sister who is creative. I ask her for ideas often. I didn’t have any money for a gift for my girlfriend’s birthday. My sister told me I could paint on the conch shell I found while on vacation and give her that. I painted the Nightmare Before Christmas on it, and then we watched the movie. Creativity saved the date!
    Bold Study Strategies Scholarship
    According to some of the classes I took in high school, people learn best in 20 minute increments. Personally, I use the pomodoro technique. This is where you set a 25 minute timer to work on something. At the end of that timer, you take a break. After 4 different times, you take a longer break. This seems to work well for me because I get distracted and soon I have spent 2 hours a day dreaming or looking up different things on the internet than what I had intended to study. Francesco Cirillo developed this strategy in the late 80’s. I have found it helpful for things other than studying, such as cleaning my room or my drawers. Another important strategy is a simple calendar. A virtual one doesn’t seem to do the trick for me, so I often have a weekly one that I keep main notes on to refer to my digital one for more details on appointments as such. I would right Wyatt’s birthday on my weekly visible calendar and in my digital calendar on my phone would be the time and location and any other important details I may want to know. Being organized is important for studying as well. I like to keep color coordinated, to help with organization. For instance, if World Civilizations is a green looking textbook, I would keep a green folder, and green note cards, and green highlighter for my calendar just for that class. Studying is a very personal thing. The same strategies don’t work for everyone. Sometimes you grow out of strategies that used to work. I am always interested in trying new ones. The studying strategies that currently work for me are keeping a visible calendar, staying organized, and utilizing the pomodoro technique.
    Bold Nature Matters Scholarship
    I come from a family who loves nature. Many of my great family memories are going on hikes to waterfalls, or kayaking on a local lake. My family works at state parks. I applied because of my love for nature, but because my sister worked there, I wasn’t allowed. I want to be an underwater welder. This job would allow me more avenues with my marine biology major. I would be able to help protect the environment and the nature that I love so much. I think my marine biology major was inspired by my love and fascination for sharks and other sea creatures. I want to work with them and make sure that their home and habitats are safe for years to come. If we don't actively try to protect it, we will ruin it. We must learn from the past. President Teddy Roosevelt is one of my favorite presidents because of all that he did to preserve nature for us to enjoy. I can't imagine a world without those beautiful state parks. We all need to be mindful of what it takes to keep nature beautiful for generations to come, just as Roosevelt did. He said, “we have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.”
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    This essay itself is proof of my persistence and determination to get to college. I have taken some college classes while in high school, and I thought I would be able to do that until I was 18, but the state of North Carolina is forcing me to graduate at 16. As Captain, I was just getting my soccer team together, too. Although I am heart broken, and my family wasn’t financially ready for me to try to get to college, I am doing what I can, to make my dreams possible. This is the 59th application I have completed on this site. I have done some on other sites, as well. I have still not gotten any outside help. I have been notified from some of the colleges that accepted my applications that I would get some help for my excellent grades, but that still leaves a balance of way too much. My parents don’t have great credit, and I am only 16, so here I am with persistence, filling out every application I can get my hands on.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    Some Saturday mornings, I volunteer at the Miracle League of Franklin County. This is a special needs baseball league. I remember raising money and doing fundraisers in order to have enough money to build our field. The field is exceptional. It is made of a rubberized material that makes it easy for wheelchairs to go around the bases after hitting. There are three phases in building. Phase 2, the clubhouse, is nearly done, and then we will raise money for the playground that is handicap accessible for phase 3. As I got older and a bit more confident, I became a buddy. This is where I run around the bases with one of the players. I encourage them, and assist them in whatever their needs may require. This gives their parents a chance to watch, and teaches the kids to interact with members outside of their family. I also help with my grandmother, who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s. She won’t remember the kind things I do for her, but I do. Giving isn’t just for the ones who are receiving. It isn’t so you will be remembered. It is for peace in your own soul. I give my time to my younger cousin’s as well. They look up to me, and want to be just like me, so I am helping them through things like learning to lose gracefully or not letting a bully change who you are. Recently he was picked on for dressing up like the grinch on character day. He loves my blue hair, but I let him know I was picked on for that too. I didn’t let it change me and what I like. Giving him confidence is a gift that is worth more than money.
    Bold Giving Scholarship
    “It is better to give than to receive,” is a phrase I heard often in my house, but it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized the truth behind it. When you focus on your own happiness, you won’t find it. However when you focus on making someone else happy, you will often find yourself becoming happier as well. Thankfulness and Giving are two ways in which you can find happiness. It is a blessing to be able to give. Giving isn’t always about money, either. Being this young and not having the means to get a job, I still find that I can give with my time, and attention. On Saturday mornings, I volunteer at the Miracle League of Franklin County. The Miracle League is a special needs baseball league, and our area did not have one until recently. I raised money and doing fundraisers in order to build our field. I help with my grandmother, who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s. She won’t remember the kind things I do for her, but I do. Giving isn’t just for the ones who are receiving. It isn’t so you will be remembered. It is for peace in your own soul. I give my time to my younger cousin’s as well. They look up to me, and want to be just like me, so I am helping them through things like learning to lose gracefully or not letting a bully change who you are. Recently he was picked on for dressing up like the grinch on character day. He loves my blue hair, but I let him know I was picked on for that too. I didn’t let it change me and what I like. Giving him confidence is a gift that is worth more than money.
    Bold Investing Scholarship
    I am a senior in high school who just turned 16. I am having to graduate earlier than expected. Having just received my license, I am in the process of applying for jobs. I had hoped to have a lot more money saved up for college by the time I was 18, but the state told me that I am required to graduate. I am doing everything I can to make college an opportunity for me this year. This is why I am applying to so many colleges. I realize that investing in your future is important. Education is definitely one of the best investments you can do for yourself. During my economics class, education was definitely listed as a great investment. One other investing tip that I took to heart, and plan to participate in whenever I get any income, is that investing in companies is better that keeping only a savings account because money depreciates. After that class, I realized that I do need both. I still need a savings account as well. Without that savings account, I wouldn’t have been able to save up the $2,500 that bought me my first car. It isn’t much, but it is a window to income. I guess you could say that it was an investment in it’s own rite.
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    Having goals is an important part of personal growth. In order to be a successful individual you must set goals for yourself. You may not always reach them, but setting them is extremely important. Originally I had set a goal to have a 2 year degree by the time I was 18, while still staying in high school. I was recently informed by the state that I have to graduate at 16. This is intruding on my soccer goals. However, I am working on adapting and overcoming. Going to college before I was financially ready, will be difficult, but I am applying to scholarships, everywhere I can. I am hoping that I will not be a financial burden on my parents, since they are still going through bankruptcy. I have set goals for myself to go to college, and play soccer. I have set goals to graduate with an unweighted 3.5 and a weighted GPA higher than 4. I have achieved those goals. I had set a goal to be the starting keeper and team captain for my high school soccer team, and I achieved that goal as well. I have experience of being driven and working hard, paying off. That is what I intend to do to get the opportunity to go to college. I just need people to believe in me. I will be an underwater welder one day and help our environment. My goals may change as far as the path that I am taking to get there, but my end goal has not changed in years. I will make it, because I am driven.
    Bold Passion Scholarship
    “You’re a nerd.” “You look like a girl.” “You’re so small.” Then, I run down the field and scored for my team. All those bullying statements were true. However, when I showed that I had athletic skills, the bullying slowed down. On the field, it was the only place where I felt normal. It is where I felt like I belonged. Going through the pandemic, and having sports briefly taken away, I realized the importance of them, on a whole different level. I started realizing that there were kids out there who didn’t know the teamwork and social skills that come with being part of a team. I am passionate about seeing kids get to play sports. I make sure to encourage my little cousins since they look up to me. I also have volunteered and been a part of the Miracle League which is an organization that makes sure every kid gets a chance to play. They are a special needs baseball organization. I have played and helped with those kids and that organization over 10 years. Responsibility, respect, teamwork, and encouragement are some of the valuable skills gathered by kids who get to play team sports. I am really passionate about keeping these opportunities for all kids. I am even thinking of becoming a referee for kids’ leagues as a side job. That is how passionate I am about kids getting to play sports.
    Bold Make Your Mark Scholarship
    My Pop pop always would tell me, “ leave the room the way it was when you got there or better.” I want my impact to be a positive one that leaves anyone who encounters me to be at least a little bit better. I want a marine biology degree with a certificate in underwater welding. This is what I am pursuing along with advancement in soccer. I am hoping to leave my mark on the world by being able to work with a company to help keep society’s way of life, and find ways to not contaminate our largest resource, the ocean. I have a passion for soccer and want all of my teammates, and opposing team members to know me for my hard work, dedication, positive attitude and respect. I have led my small high school soccer team to the sportsmanship award for our conference. I was mentioned for it by name in the paper. I am also starting a positive podcast. Keeping in mind that I want people to have become a little better for having listened. There is enough negative stuff around, that I want to brighten peoples day, even if it is just with a smile.
    Bold Best Skills Scholarship
    Coming from a large family, listening is a skill not perfected. Whenever my dad notices that he has cut one of us off, interrupting the conversation, he does apologize. He says that it is because he is afraid he is going to forget what he was going to say. What he doesn't understand is that even though he apologizes, he has already made the person speaking feel as if their thoughts and feelings do not matter to him. I realized how important the skill of listening is. Listening is so much more that hearing vibrations in the air coming from another person. True listening is something that has to be worked on. It is an act of showing someone that they matter. What they are saying to you is important. A truly good listener, not only focuses on the words used, but on the facial expressions and body language as well. I have adapted good listening skills from my sister. We would sit together and decide not to be on our phones, and to talk about our high and low points of the day. This only took a few minutes at first, but it did teach me to start listening. Then, I found myself knowing more about my sister and getting closer to her. With the two of us feeling like the family wasn’t really listening to us, we realized how important someone listening to you truly is. Actions speak louder than words, and ironically the act of listening speaks volumes. I make time to actively listen to people and notice their body language.
    Bold Listening Scholarship
    Coming from a large family, listening is an art not perfected. Whenever my dad notices that he has cut one of us off, interrupting the conversation, he does apologize. He says that it is because he is afraid he is going to forget what he was going to say. What he doesn't understand is that even though he apologizes, he has already made the person speaking feel as if their thoughts and feelings do not matter to him. He has already shown his motivation is that he believes that his thoughts and feelings are more important to him, than any of ours are. Listening is so much more that hearing vibrations in the air coming from another person. True listening is something that has to be worked on. It is an act of showing someone that they matter. What they are saying to you is important. A truly good listener, not only focuses on the words used, but on the facial expressions and body language as well. I have adapted good listening skills from my sister. We would sit together and decide not to be on our phones, and to talk about our high and low points of the day. This only took a few minutes, but it did teach me to start listening. Then, I found myself knowing more about my sister and getting closer to her. With the two of us feeling like the family wasn’t really listening to us, we realized how important someone listening to you truly is. Actions speak louder than words, and ironically the act of listening speaks volumes.
    Bold Happiness Scholarship
    I think too many people place too much emphasis on feeling happy. Happiness is partly a choice. When you decide to look at things with a grateful heart, then you will notice that you feel happier. I like to think of 3 really great moments in the day before I go to bed. In a way, this is conditioning my brain to think of happy things. It is an exercise that I read about, and it really just seemed to stick. We have all heard the phrase, that it is better to give than to receive. This is because you aren’t focusing on yourself. You don't focus on how your gift made you feel, if you are happy with it, or if you are happy with the person who gave it to you. You are focused on how you made another person feel. When you think mostly of yourself you will have a difficult time finding happiness. If you are struggling with depression, try finding a place to volunteer with others. When you help make a difference in other’s lives, you will no doubt alter your paradigm, and find a road to happiness for yourself.
    Bold Motivation Scholarship
    Life is stressful no matter what your background. There are things that you can control and things that are out of your control. “I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination,” Jimmy Dean said. I am motivated to do what I can to make my life less hectic than the way I grew up. Every time, I see my dad pour a drink to try to relieve his stress, I am motivated to make an easier life for myself. He never finished any school after high school, and my parents have to work very hard to make ends meet. I am extremely motivated to be self sufficient, at an early age. I also want to have a degree and be able to financially support my family and my lifestyle, with as little stress as possible. I can’t do anything about my dad’s drinking, or my parents’ stress, but I can do something about my own future. I can create a more peaceful environment for myself and my future family.
    Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship
    Imagine being 10 years old, and filled with the magic of Christmas. Our family went out shopping, each with the same amount to shop with. I came home, wrapped my gifts for my older brother and older sisters, and anxiously waited till the next day to give them their gifts. The next night, I realized that my brother and sisters had bought each other gifts, but no one had thought of getting one for me. I guess most kids would have cried, but I was used to them not seeing their half-brother as a real brother, although their step-sister who lived with their mom, was included. I grew up in a hostile split family. I'm the only child with my mom, but my dad has 4 kids. I was the youngest and wanted to be accepted by my siblings. However, their mom constantly was planning over my birthdays, plays, baptism, and other important days in my life. When my parents would try to call so I could tell them fun news, like losing my first tooth, their mom wouldn’t answer. It definitely divided the family, and made me feel like an outsider in my own home, often. I knew it wasn’t all my siblings fault even though they were the ones hurting me. They grew up in a house where I didn’t matter. It’s hard to change the way you're conditioned. However, when one of my sister’s decided to move into our house primarily, I decided not to waste the opportunity. If she was sitting outside, I joined her. I even took a summer-school class with her. We became friends and real siblings. With kindness and patience I was able to turnaround one of my strained relationships. Oprah Winfrey said, “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” and I did just that!
    Bold Books Scholarship
    When I was assigned a book to read for class, I was always pessimistic about it. I'd drag my feet, and complain to myself before ever starting. Being dyslexic made reading challenging for me. I actually really enjoy books, but was unaware. The book that inspired me to enjoy books was The Pigman by Paul Zindel. This book was assigned to me at the perfect moment in life. I'm from a split family. I was watching my siblings blame their situations for how life was working out. I found myself doing the same thing. As a teen, you really don’t have control over your life, so it's easy to do. The Pigman had characters my age from different hardships. They befriended an old widowed man. In doing so, they learned about life and friendship. They learned to be compassionate to their parents, and responsible for their actions. They learned that life would be what they made of it, “nothing more and nothing less.” This message makes you responsible for what you do with your life. You can use your dealt hand as a crutch making less of your life, or you can use it as a stepping stone. If you don’t learn from mistakes, yours or others, that is on you. This book was so inspiring to me because of it coming at a crucial time in my life. The message in the book was important, but it was also an important book personally to me. I had thought I didn’t like reading up until this book. I realized that I love the journey that a book can take you on. I just used to have a difficult time with it because of dyslexia. Now I have new strategies that make these opportunities exciting for me.
    Bold Helping Others Scholarship
    Everyone has different ways of helping others. There are so many different ways I help others. I am helpful to my family, my team, and to strangers in different ways. There are two ways of helping I feel are my favorite. Listening and radiating happiness are the ways I can help others best. It seems simple and yet so many people have difficulty with these simple efforts. Being happy isn’t always an easy choice. You can choose to look at the world with a positive perspective. Positive energy creates more positive energy. The same goes for negative energy. It's difficult to help others while swimming in a sea of depression. Simply smiling and acting happy will help others to overcome their sadness and be happier while in your presence. It is almost like beautiful weather affecting people’s moods. Happiness radiates like sunshine. Listening is my other favorite way to help others. In a large family, it isn’t always easy being heard. As the youngest, not many would take time to listen. I realized the times my one sister would listen to my concerns, really made the difference in feeling alone. Her impact, caused me to be a better listener myself. I listened to her and others. If someone is talking to you, it is a gift and should be received with open ears. This sister and I are closer than any others in our large family. All it took was her listening from time to time to develop deeper caring for eachother. Helping others is a key to helping yourself. If you focus on what good you are doing in the world around you, you are more likely to be a happier person. Happiness creates more happiness. However you choose to help other is up to you.
    Bold Know Yourself Scholarship
    There are things about yourself that you don’t really know until you are tested. Everyone would say they were against bullying, but would they physically take a stand when it comes down to protecting someone who was being bullied? I did and I surprised myself. Traveling through a town I didn’t know, I was playing a game of basketball with some locals. I saw this girl crying, straightening a disheveled wig. I asked if she was alright. Three other girls had beaten her and snatched her wig. I was giving generic advice when I saw the three girls heading back with apparent attitudes. I recently have gained height, but I’m thin. No one would describe me as intimidating. I have bright blue hair and wear bright clothing. By appearances, I wasn’t from around here. I headed off the swarm of girls, insisting they needed to go. They accused me of sticking up for a boy who hit women. Apparently, while trying to get his girlfriend's wig back, a boy had scratched one of them. Explaining I wasn’t on any side, I told them it wasn't right to kick a girl who's down. She was clearly crying, and they had angry violent mannerisms. They threatened to smack me in my face. “If that’s what it takes for you to leave that girl alone, go ahead and di it.” I even stood there with my hands interlaced behind my back. She huffed away. The security of the fair nearby came and got all of our stories. Most of us apologized for the inconvenience. The girl who wanted to hit me said she doesn’t apologize. She stormed away and I learned that I was willing to take a slap for a girl I didn’t know to stop the bullying.
    Bold Influence Scholarship
    If I were highly influential in society, I would stand for all kids being able to play sports. Sports have been instrumental in my life. There are kids with needs that hinder from being able to be a part of the athletic community. This is heartbreaking considering sports have taught me respect, responsibility, teamwork, and resilience. I have volunteered and raised money for a special needs baseball team, to ensure that kids with disabilities are able to play. I'm currently the captain of my high school soccer team. I had to learn about respect. In order to get respect, you must give it. I respect referees, coaches, and the differences in other players. Kids need to learn responsibility, and it can be through sports. I had to be at games on time with the appropriate gear. I also had to keep grades high. I learned teamwork from family, but also from playing sports. You don’t tear down your teammates, but instead help them achieve greatness with you. The team skills needed for sports are transferable in daily life. The best thing cultivated during sports is resilience. You won’t always win, but that doesn’t make you a loser. You will get trash talked if you have any potential. The first time I got called names, I was hurt. Mom gave perspective by saying, “Honey, they don’t trash talk the bad players.” I learned to rise above, and let my skills do any talking. I focus my speaking on the field to encourage my team. The leader shouldn’t be the one trash talking. Yes, sports are important. They should be offered to every group of people. Money or ability shouldn’t hinder whether or not you are offered to learn such valuable life skills. Every kid should get a chance to play sports.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    Supporting people suffering from different mental illnesses has always been a part of my family. Oddly, addressing these within our family, was quite a struggle. It is difficult not stigmatizing yourself when it is used to criticize. No one judges you harder than yourself. My half-sister came to me angry, teary eyes. She shared how her mom accused she was “bi-polar” like her dad. Dad isn’t diagnosed bipolar. My sister and dad are emotionally passionate people who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions. Whenever my sister argued with her mom, she’d get accused of a mental illness, such as bipolar. Once after coming back from having been with her mom, she told us about being taken out of school early for a check-up, only to be blindsided when arriving at the psychologist. Hearing her mom wailing in the office my sister felt angry. Her mom had tricked her. Later, my half-sister moved with us. She was manipulated and made to feel like a horrible person for choosing her dad’s house over mom’s. Other siblings wouldn’t talk to her. Her step-dad sent her awful messages calling names. She actually became depressed. She isolated herself, and her grades suffered. Using kinder tactics, my mom suggested that she might need help with depression. Mental wellness sites had helpful questionnaires for self-evaluating. She admitted that she felt it was a criticism or punishment before. I expressed how I thought it might be beneficial. She was going through things outside her control. Having never joked about mental health, nor used it as a criticism, she took my words differently. We enrolled in a class together to help fix her grades. There’s toxicity from our split family, but now she has tools. My big sister, one of my best friends, struggles with mental health.
    Bold Longevity Scholarship
    When it comes to living the best long and healthy life you can, there is no one right answer. This might be why it is so hard to live one. The other reason is because the answer isn’t going to give you immediate satisfaction. Your body might not remember what you ate yesterday. You might not remember you worked out last week since you aren’t sore anymore. However, these things add up. Twenty years from now, your body and mind will show how you were treating it back then. I think slowing down every now and then will help you find balance in your life. I think it is like when your body takes in a deep breath or a yawn because it just needs a little break. When you take time to slow down, it is like that deeply needed deep breath. I also think taking the harder road of exercise and diet to help with conditions like type 2 diabetes, rather than a quick pill, will also help for a longer healthier life. Like most sports and other areas of life, if you put in the work, it shows in the long run. Just remember to take a relaxation break for yourself every now and then.
    Bold Be You Scholarship
    In this age of social media, staying true to yourself is becoming increasingly difficult. There is always some advertisement or post telling you what you like, and what you want. Peer pressure took a break for our parents, because they went home after school and got several hours without having other students influence their thoughts. Also, there were less screens at home, so odds were someone else had dibs on the TV and you had to find something else to do. Taking time alone, to just be with yourself is one way to make sure you are staying true to yourself. Having a journal can help if you are having a difficult time not picking up your phone. Sometimes there are journals with questions in them that can help you meditate and think about who you really are, and what you are becoming. You are an ever changing person. As humans, we grow emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically. We need to take time to see how we are growing and analyze if that is the direction we intended to take. It could be a better direction. The point is, you need to take time for self reflection to stay true to yourself. Take time to get to know yourself through your own eyes instead of others’.
    Better Food, Better World Scholarship
    The pharmaceutical industry is massive these days. There are ads all over with new drugs for new illnesses with a disclaimer a mile long. What if you could prevent most of these with a healthy diet, would you? What if some of our carbon footprints are causing these conditions? If we all pitched in, we can achieve great things for our environment, and in turn us as well. I am driven to become an underwater welder, with a degree in marine biology. Marine biology has been my interest since my first scuba man with sharks, seals, and submarines in the bathtub. I once bought red shower gel just to create a scene with my shark. My favorite movie? Jaws. However, as I became older and more practical, I realized that a degree in marine biology would be more beneficial if I had a skill to accompany it. This is when I started my plan for underwater welding. I could do so much to help marine life and the environment with this combination. I could help make sure pipe lines didn’t contamininate the ocean or our food source. I could work on large tanks at aquariums or museums. It is important to keep our fish and oceans healthy. Fish is a super food that they are studying more. There is no doubt that it is good for you. It helps with brain function. The fats found in fish are particularly good for memory and help to prevent early onset of alzheimer's disease. My grandmother is currently suffering from this all too common disease. Iodine found in fish and seaweed is important for thyroid function. So many of our nutrient resources are relying on a healthy ocean. I want to do my part to help keep it that way. Having come from a family that did not plan on college, your help can help me get to a position to help us all.
    Robert Wechman Mental Health Scholarship
    Supporting people suffering from different mental illnesses has always been a part of my family. Oddly enough, when it came to addressing these within our family it was quite a struggle. Even without stigmatizing others, it was difficult not stigmatizing ourselves. No one judges you harder than yourself. My mom is on the board of a special needs baseball league. My family always volunteered there. I’m comfortable with people having different needs than me. I grew more aware than my peers of others having mental health concerns. As teens, we became involved with our dad’s charitable endeavors. He was a marine, with a heart for veterans suffering from depression and post traumatic stress disorders. We’d go on excursions with wounded veterans. My older siblings have matching tattoos with these amazing individuals. Again, it’s easier to support and de-stigmatize others. One evening my sister came to me angry with tears in her eyes. She shared how her mom kept accusing she was “bi-polar” like her dad. Our dad isn’t diagnosed with this. My sister and my dad are emotionally passionate people who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions. Whenever my sister argued with her mom, she’d get told she had a mental illness, such as bipolar. Shutting down in defeat, she was accused of depression. If she was nervous she was told she had anxiety. Truth was, she was a teenage girl with highs and lows like everyone. This aggressive mock diagnosing that her mother was doing upset her. She asked to move in with us for a summer job, to save for a car. She was told “only if you go to therapy for your issues.” Once after coming back from having been with her mom, she told us about being taken out of school early for a check-up, only to be blindsided when arriving at the psychologist. Hearing her mom wailing in the office my sister felt angry. Her mom had tricked her. Stori was sure they’d already made up their mind about what an awful teenager she was before she walked through the door. She was worried about being diagnosed with something she didn’t feel she had. Later, my sister moved in with us. She was manipulated and made to feel like a horrible person for choosing her dad’s house over her mom’s. Our other siblings wouldn’t talk to her. Her uncle and step-dad sent her awful messages explaining she was selfish. She actually became depressed. She isolated herself, and her grades were suffering. Unlike the tactics used before, my mom suggested that she might be going through depression. Some sites for mental wellness had some questions to get my sister to start self-evaluating. When she was ready, she admitted that she feared going because it was used as a criticism and punishment before. However, she saw life was spiraling. I expressed how I thought it might be good, at least a little while. After all, she was going through things outside her control. Having never joked about mental health, nor used it as a criticism, she took my words differently. She received help. We enrolled in a summer class together to help fix her grades. She became homecoming queen, and enrolled in college. There’s toxicity from our split family, but now she has tools. I have told her how she’s admired. My big sister, and one of my best friends, struggles with mental health. She isn’t alone, and we shouldn’t leave others alone either. She would’ve told the special children, or the veterans, that getting help was admirable, but it was hard to tell herself.
    Bold Joy Scholarship
    Being content is the key part of finding true happiness and joy. Mahatma Ghandi said, “Man’s happiness really lies in Contentment.” Some think that being content is never striving for better and settling for what you have. I think Tony Gaskins said it best when he said, “ to be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you are thankful for what you have and patient for what is to come.” I have watched siblings and friends sink into depression and lose their joy. One thing that I noticed by observing these sad transformations is that they start to focus on themselves, and that they aren’t feeling happy. Well, I agree with Buddah when he said that happiness is a journey, not a destination. In this journey, if you are focused on yourself and how you feel, it will feel empty. You are more happy when you focus on others. As a kid you think your parents are weird saying stuff, like it is better to give than to receive. However, when you mature you do feel the joy of giving as being stronger than the joy of receiving. If you were to use your thoughts, words, and actions to better someone else's life, you will also be enriching your own. “Happiness is not something ready made; it comes from your own actions” said the Dalai Lama. Even the act of smiling at someone has shown chemical proof of creating happiness. I'm part of a charity organization helping special needs children play baseball. When I see these kids being happy to play a simple game, that they couldn’t in a regular league, it creates a sense of gratitude and joy. I'm blessed to be a part of this. Focusing on others’ joy, will enhance your own.
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    Difficult situations are an inevitable part of life. I make a point not to dwell on these situations because they can become toxic. That being said, I don’t forget about difficult situations entirely. If I did then I would never learn the lessons that come from them. Most recently we all had to deal with the difficult situation of Covid-19. It crushed by dad’s business and his identity. His family taught him to turn towards drinking to self-medicate. You can’t help someone who doesn’t admit they need help, no matter how much you love them. He got angry and violent. We started warning each other when he was having a “bad” night. That way we could stay out of the verbal line-of-fire until it passed. We would stay in our rooms, or at a friend’s house. I didn’t have soccer, my normal escape, due to the pandemic. I missed my coaches and friends. My online learning suffered from my home life. AP Calculus was difficult when I didn’t have someone in person to go to for help. Four tutors quit on me, because of how advanced my math was. My mom, who held the house together, was forced to go back to work. She could no longer drive me places. I had to ask random people for rides. I would’ve had my permit, but the pandemic delayed my permit and my driver’s license. This delayed getting a job, which delayed saving money for a car and college. On top of this, I was informed I must graduate high school early. I wanted to keep taking college classes while in high school to play soccer. Instead, I am preserving and making the best efforts I can towards attending college. It isn’t easy, but I’m making as many attempts possible for scholarships.
    Bold Simple Pleasures Scholarship
    Being a growing teenage boy, one of the simple pleasures in life for me is eating something tasty. When you get right down to it, my comfort food is none other than Ramen Noodles! That’s right! Twenty-five cents of comfort and happiness sold in a compact little square at your local grocery store, is one of the best simple pleasures in a young American boy’s life. On a cold winter day, when I have been left all alone in my house, It is hard not to feel alone and hungry. My parents are away working. My three older siblings have moved out. It is just me and the two mutts. They give me a look, and all three of us know, it is time for noodles. The empty pot fills with warm water, as my soul is filled with anticipation. I hear the melodic rolling of the boiling water, and smell spiciness in the air. The noodles soften, and so does my tension. I pour it in a bowl and sit down in my regular spot to eat. For a moment, all is the way it should be. Then, the mystical moment of Ramen passes and the real world of finishing my school work starts. Of course, not before letting the mutts finish off the remaining noodles.
    Bold Loving Others Scholarship
    Being loved and feeling loved are two different things, although they usually go hand in hand. Showing love and making others feel loved can be pretty easy and natural. It's usually easy for a child to feel loved by a parent when they're young. It is usually pretty easy to feel loved in a new romantic relationship, too. But what about when it is difficult to show you love? It may be at those times, that it is the most needed. My grandmother, who helped raise me, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 5 years ago. She is fading away a little at a time. It seems I am saying goodbye, piece by piece. She went through a spell of anger and lashing out. It is difficult to show love in these instances. She would storm out the door and head down the street, in the middle of eating out. I would leave my hot chicken tenders and follow her out. I would walk beside her and just listen. She repeated herself often, but I would always act like it was the first time so that she wouldn’t feel stupid. When I am walking with her, she looks at me, and I believe she feels loved when I show her love in this way. She can’t express herself well. She mentions what a good boy I am. I believe she felt loved by my actions. I'm constantly having to guess, and adjust the ways to show love. Recently, she isn’t sure how to eat food. I order for her and fix her plate before starting my own. These considerations are how I show love. Pop Pop, and I not giving up on her, and persevering, is the real way to show love. No, it isn’t mushy or sweet, but it is real.
    Scholarship Institute Future Leaders Scholarship
    Who is the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan or Lebron James? Being a true sports fan, that is not an easy question to answer. They are both outstanding in talent! I know that people feel strongly both ways, and I could be shooting myself in the foot with this scholarship essay. I just can’t think of leadership without thinking about these two great athletes. I am going to be bold, and say Michael Jordan is the best, and it came down to his leadership skills. Leadership is more than just being the team captain, or the president of a club. Leadership is less of a position and more of an acquired respect and responsibility. As a team captain of my high school soccer team, I had to take initiative to recruit my team. We were in jeopardy of not having enough players. I also offered to run practices when my coach was thinking he’d have to cancel. Being a leader is about making the collective whole greater. I think this is the area where Michael Jordan excelled. All of the players on his team were pushed to their greatest potential as well. All of my teammates knew they could reach out to me at any time with their soccer concerns. People know when they feel respected and cared for, it isn’t something that you can fake. Saying you’re there for them, isn’t the same as being there for them. Leadership is also about taking responsibility. When your team loses, it isn’t just other teammates. If you are the leader, you feel the loss collectively. You want to take action to lead the weaker players into being better. A great leader can do this by example and encouragement rather than using ridicule. My team knew that I did not have a quitting spirit. I played with a bruised tailbone, and injured ribs. I expected them to play hard, and I played harder. I felt responsible for the outcome of the game, and the spirit of my team, whether we won or lost. Having great leaders in your life, helps you to become a great leader yourself. It doesn’t happen all at once. It isn’t something you necessarily know is happening. One day you are respecting leaders in your own life, and then you look around and see others looking towards you the way you looked at yours. Being a leader isn’t always a plan, but to be a great leader, you have to work at it. Lebron and Michael Jordan are both superstars, but I think Michael Jordan stands out a bit more when it comes to leadership. This is one of those times, where you can say, “I wanna be like Mike.”
    Bold Friendship Matters Scholarship
    When it comes to friendship, I believe in quality over quantity. As a kid who did online school my face-to-face social interactions were limited. Many friends, I play video games with since I don’t see them daily at school. This helped me to excel at learning online. My friendships being expressed virtually taught me to connect with teachers and classmates that I never saw. I interacted and realized they were really wanting to help. Some of my best friends are not even my peers. A friend is trustworthy and builds you up to make you a better person. Often friendship is mistaken for the people you see often. To me, friendship is deeper. I am reminded of JFK “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for the country.” Friendship should be viewed more this way. My coach and one sister are true friends to me. We are there for each other. I’ve another friend that I have never met, that I play online games with. He is older than me, but when I have had a rough day, he will listen without judgement, and offer advice, if it is appropriate. Sometimes, just listening is enough. He proves physical presence isn’t what makes a quality friend. I think society, particularly with social media, makes the term “friend” less meaningful. I only have a few friends, but they are true friends. It isn’t always the person you have the longest streak on snapchat with. It isn’t who shows up in your feed the most. It is about who you trust. Who are you willing to alter your plans for, who would be willing to do that for you?
    Bold Self-Care Scholarship
    Self-care is one of the first things that is thrown out when schedules get too busy. Unfortunately this may be when you need to make time for self-care the most. You can get burnt out and exhausted if you don’t make time to take care of yourself. Self-care is different for everyone. It is more than just taking a shower and brushing your teeth. Some people like working out, or putting on make up. Others like nature walks and hiking. I do think sunshine and outdoor activities are really important for mental health and your immune system. There are benefits to getting sunshine, such as getting vitamin D. This helps with fatigue and your immune system. You can avoid time being sick, if you take a little time for yourself in advance. The increase in blood flow is able to help you think more clearly as well. Other than soccer, I personally like taking time to play games with some of my friends. It gets me out of my stress for a brief period of time. Of course I have to be cautious not to get lost in gaming to the point where I am procrastinating the stresses that I need to address. Now I did say that there was more to self-care than showering. However, let us not discredit the value of looking and feeling fresh. Everyone feels more productive when they feel confident. People are more confident on the inside when they put in effort on the outside. Whatever path you have proven to work for you, make sure that you make time for self-care. It is important. Studies have shown that it can lower your chances for anxiety and depression. It can also increase your chances for graduation and success! Self-care is worth the extra time!