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Jenna Powers

1545

Bold Points

5x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am passionate about my possibilities! I have wanted to be an architect since I was eight years old. I love being involved in school activities. I am an active member of my church. I am a high school senior. I will graduate from high school in 2022. I am willing to work hard to achieve my goals. I am willing to share my gifts with others in an attempt to make their lives better and more fulfilled.

Education

Oconee County High School

High School
2018 - 2022
  • GPA:
    3.7

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Pre-Architecture Studies
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Architecture & Planning

    • Dream career goals:

      Principal

    • Front End Service

      Publix
      2017 – 20203 years
    • Unpaid Intern

      Athens Architectural Collaborative
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Lacrosse

    Varsity
    2019 – Present5 years

    Research

    • Historic Preservation and Conservation

      Watson-Brown Foundation — Field Study
      2021 – 2021

    Arts

    • High School- Band Officer

      Marching Band
      2018 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Watson-Brown Foundation — Officer- Grant Evaluator
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Taylor Ibarrondo Memorial Scholarship
    Taylor Ibarrondo's zest for life continues to inspire young adults like me who are preparing to venture out into the world in search of place and purpose. My journey is fortified by a few nonnegotiable values that embody my core beliefs. First, I fill my life with kindness. As I navigate a world that is filled with strife and discord, I aim to fill the places I go with uplifting words and a positive spirit. I try to encourage those around me. Life is hard. We all need each other. Next, I carry the value of stewardship. I am blessed with a measure of talent, and I will do my best to develop that talent for the betterment of myself and my world. Specifically, I aspire to become an architect. I want the work that I create to complement our environment and not compete with it or destroy it. Third, I want to live a life of service to others. The famous quotation of St. Francis of Assisi holds true: "For it is in giving that we receive." This, for me, is the pattern for a fulfilled life and career. My values are important because they reveal who I am. My actions, my words, and my thoughts must always be in line with the intent of my heart in order for me to truly be alive and thrive. I have already begun to apply these core beliefs during my time in high school. They have influenced the friendships I have cultivated and the community engagements I have undertaken. Opportunities that I never would have imagined have come my way because of my allegiance to the mandate of my spirit. For example, I have had the honor of being on a board of directors for a historic preservation group. In this role, I have been in a position to solicit proposals for renovation projects in my area and to provide grant assistance to worthy causes. This is the kind of thing that Taylor would endorse.
    Bold Patience Matters Scholarship
    Patience is important. As I think of it, the old saying, "good things come to those who wait," is quite true. Patience, however, does not mean that we just sit around and wait for good things to happen in our lives. Instead, it means that we need to do all we can each day to reach or dreams without feeling that we need to rush through life without enjoying the journey. In nature, we see that flowers bloom at the right time, following plantings in good soil and proper measures of water and sun. Our lives are much the same. As we make good decisions habitually we should not be surprised that we are rewarded with good things. These things, though, will not come each day or on a predicable schedule. They come over time in their own time. I have a good deal of patience with my life and with my relationships. This trait has served me well thus far. I know people who lack patience, and I do not want to be like them. They are constantly stressed out and beat themselves up for things that are often totally out of their control. My advice to others is that patience is indeed a virtue. We all need to take an inventory of our levels of patience and practice life words and actions that promote a patient countenance. When we do this well, we are gifting ourselves and influencing others for good.
    SkipSchool Scholarship
    I draw inspiration from Maya Lin, who calls herself a “designer” rather than an architect. I relate to her because I, like Lin, am a Chinese American female who is preparing for a career in architecture. Lin, who perhaps is best known for producing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was an undergraduate at the time of its creation. Through her important work, she seeks to draw people’s attention not only to their physical surroundings but to their psychological world as well.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    We have family friends who battle depression. I have seen the pain that these friends are in and the enormous strain their illness places on their families. In some cases, their struggle with mental health has an obvious cause. For others, it is a total mystery as to why they are as they are. With proper medication, our friends cope. I truly feel for them, their spouses, and their children. I know that there are times when these friends act completely normal and happy and that there are other times when their family members have to make excuses for them because they do not feel well enough to accompany them on outings. I know that there are times when these friends are absent or late to work because they lack the motivation to get up or to get out of their houses. I know that there is always present with their families an underlying feeling that their depressed loved ones need to be watched or monitored in ways that would prevent them from harming themselves or from committing suicide. Observing these friends has influenced my beliefs, my relationships, and my career aspirations. I believe that it is crucial to show empathy, not only to those with depression but to their families as well. Some may say that people who are depressed should just snap out of it. I believe that it would so wonderful if that were all they needed to do- to just snap themselves out of the dark places where they reside. I know that their feelings are out of their control and that it takes time and patience and lots of love and support to assist them as they cope with life. Just as there is physical health, there is mental health. Those who carry the burden of depression need to establish relationships with trained professionals who can assist them as they manage their issues. I know that my depressed friends take prescription medicines for their malady because they have told me so. I know that it is important for them to take their medicines as prescribed and not skip or double up on dosages. I believe that it is important to include people with depression. In other words, they should not be excluded as plans are made for life. I believe that my observations of depressed friends inform my relations with others. For example, knowing that there are people I know who have little or no zest for living causes me to be more sensitive to others in the actions of my daily life. Sometimes it is hard to tell what kind of day people around me are having, for some hide their feelings quite well. At other times and with other acquaintances their mood is completely obvious, for they wear their temperament on their faces, in their body language, and in their tone of voice. I want to be the kind of friend who is sensitive to the dispositions of those around me. I want to treat others as I wish to be treated. I do not confuse clinical depression with having a bad day. I know that depression is far more complicated than that. The anxiety that some people have is overwhelming for them. This is why it is so important for us all to learn how to express ourselves directly and appropriately in our attempts at keeping lingering sadness at bay. I believe that my career goal, that of becoming an architect, provides a beautiful illustration of how we must battle the crippling effects of despondency. An architect blends art and math in an attempt to create a meaningful space for life, work, or play. Those with the miserable melancholy of life get stuck somewhere between the concept and completion of an architectural project. They feel that they do not embody the goals of the renderings, or reason that they have no place within its goals. They struggle to imagine how the 3-D architectural model matters or that they somehow can become a beneficiary of its overarching theories. Left on their own, depressed friends find more reasons to feel their inadequacies, so we must remember to remind them of our love and how they are represented in the blueprint of their own lives. All of this underscores the need for me, as an architect, to include the needs and desires of all project stakeholders in my sketches so that they can see themselves and their desires in the finished product. Being on the outside looking in on friends with depression, if we are honest, is a tough role to play. We want to help, and we feel powerless to do so. We must be strong. We must not abandon our friends even though they may give us every reason to run away from their troubles. I count my great mental health as a blessing and pledge to be all that I can be for those I know and love who are not so fortunate.
    Pro-Life Advocates Scholarship
    If my biological mother had lived in the United States, I more than likely would have been aborted. I will explain. I was born in the People’s Republic of China, where abortion is legal but maybe not as accessible for the poor. A huge stigma is placed on an unmarried woman having a baby. All of this, coupled with the one-child, male-preferred policy for families at the time of my birth, spelled a need to conceal rather than to celebrate my arrival into the world. In all probability, I was born to a frightened young woman who was ill-equipped to keep me. While the actual circumstances of my orphan status will probably remain a mystery, I know that my birth mother gave me the very best chance to be cared for at a time when she reasonably could not do it. I wish I could tell her how much I appreciate the chance she gave me for life. Thankfully, I was placed in a caring orphanage where I spent the first year of my life until my forever family from the United States came to bring me home. My start in life strongly influences my thoughts about abortion. Biological parents need to understand that there are people out there who desperately need and desire children in their lives. Aborting children denies the unborn an opportunity to thrive, just as it lessens family chances to open their hearts and homes for love and fulfillment. I also question the medical profession for its view of abortion as an elective procedure. Fetuses cannot speak for themselves. If they could, I rather doubt that they would opt to be terminated. I totally get that many women do not plan for pregnancy and are not in a place in life to raise a child, but this admission does not give women the license to kill. Further, I realize that if fewer abortions occur, more weight is placed on our systems of social care. The cost of life is considerable, regardless of who is responsible for the care of little ones, but the cost of the genocide of our future generation pales in comparison. Each of us should find some cause that brings out the activist in us. This is the issue that elicits my greatest energies for reform. We should use our words about abortion to let others know our feelings. We should use our actions to lobby governmental policies in the direction of life. We must be consistent in our regard for life. The beginning of life and the end of life are not ours to give, for the gift of life is bestowed by God. Actions involving euthanasia or capital punishment, for me, are the same roots as those pertaining to birth. Education is perhaps the most important single thing we can do to deter unwanted pregnancies. Making the right choices, using numerous contraception products, and relying on the directives of faith will lower the instances where a woman would find herself in the arena of thought over terminating a pregnancy.
    Ocho Cares Artistry Scholarship
    I am an aspiring architect. Most architects do not consider themselves artists, but without viewing the profession of architecture from an artistic dimension, much is lost. For example, an architectural rendering is an art piece- pure and simple. It is the manifestation of a dream that has been given expression. Often, an additional step is given to the rendering: the three-dimensional model. In either instance, the product is art. It is something that has been created from an idea or a concept. Being an artist means that you are not satisfied with what you are doing, you are obsessed with why you are doing it. An artist throws all talent in the face of a problem that needs to be solved. An artist, like myself, is driven by the need to construct something that brings much-needed clarity to the world. An artist’s perspective is frequently a little different than the way most people see or think of things. This presents a marvelous opportunity for an artist to reveal new meaning to the mundane, fresh insight to the ordinary, and beautiful originality to the commonplace. The more an artist produces, the more the artist desires to produce. The need to generate is an ongoing part of life. I guess you could say that the artist is fortified by previous projects, inspired by current ones, and rejuvenated by the thought of future goals. My connection to art is that it is a part of my DNA- it is an inextricable part of my being. Ever since I was eight years old, I have known exactly what I was going to do with my professional life. I have never wavered, and I feel so fortunate, for as I prepare to begin my senior year of high school, most of my friends are struggling with what they want to major in for college and what they want to choose as careers. I find a wealth of value in learning about the history of art and how its evolution has at times responded to changes in living and how at other times it has forecast things that were to come in societies. I plan to use my skills to create imaginative places for people to live, work, play, worship, heal, and learn. Doing so will give me an enviable place among others, for I will have shaped the way people think of the spaces they inhabit. Even more, I will have contributed to the important ways that people think about themselves and what they do. Maybe I am overanalyzing this, but I truly believe it to be factual. Art, whether or not we realize it, is a powerful influence on us. It is a mirror that we hold to ourselves. It reveals who we are and the things we find important and nourishing. Patrons of the arts, like you, make it possible for others to blossom in their craft. Thank you for your consideration and your encouragement.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    I am happy to write about what I consider to be my greatest achievement to date. This achievement is not something that I made happen. It was something that happened to me. Because of this achievement, I have always felt like a lottery winner. Let me explain. I was born in China. Shortly after my birth, I was placed in an orphanage where I lived for the first year of my life. Like many females who were born in China in the early part of the new millennium, I was more or less born a crime. At that time, the Chinese people had a one-child policy imposed on them by the government. In Chinese culture, families want to have boys. They feel that girls cease to be in their families after they marry and that boys are theirs always. Lots of girls are born and abandoned. Frequently, females are reported not to survive being born. Because of this strange social experiment, the population of the People’s Republic shifted over time. Now, the government has rescinded the one-child policy. Population norms should level back to normal over time. At the time my forever family went to China to adopt me and bring me home to the United States with full US citizenship, they were told that only 2% of China’s little girls were adopted out of the country. Those who remain in the care of the Chinese state are considered to be of majority age at 15, when they are released from institutional care and expected to make their way into the world on their own without family, job skills, a place to live, or any other advantage that meets basic human need. I often reflect on how different my life is here as compared to what it would have been if I remained there. The experience of my adoption is a thing that I do not remember, yet it teaches me things about myself. It reminds me that good and bad things happen to us as we live our lives. Some things are simply out of our control. As a newborn baby, I had absolutely no say in the matter of its birth. My life got off to a rather rocky start through no fault of my own. I made an exodus from the land of my birth to be a part of a loving family through no merit of my own. My adoption teaches me that each of us has to make the best out of what we have. It does us no good to pine away over things we cannot change. On the other hand, though, it does us nothing but good to work to improve our lives through education, hard work, and good decision making. I consider what my adoption, my greatest achievement, has to do with what I want to achieve in the future. I think of myself as a miracle. The circumstances that brought me together with my parents from a distance of more than eight thousand miles of separation boggles my mind. In response to this unexplainable phenomenon, I try to be the best person I can possibly be. I am about to begin my senior year of high school. A year from now I will be getting ready to leave my home, begin college, and begin my training for my eventual career. I find myself thinking more and more about my future. The time for graduating high school has always seemed like a distant event, but now I suddenly realize that it is a life goal that is now but a few months in front of me. In the future, I hope to become an architect. I plan to use my skills to shape the spaces that people will live, work, play, heal, and worship. I will use my creativity to design people’s wants and needs and to contribute to the quality of their lives. I feel blessed to be called to do this. I feel ready for the challenge. When I was selected to leave the country of my birth, I was marked for something special. I feel this with all of my heart and will never forget the awesome responsibility of gratitude that must accompany me for the rest of my life.
    Mary Jo Huey Scholarship
    I am happy to write about my experiences thus far as an aspiring entrepreneur. I live in a neighborhood that contains about 75 homes. My neighborhood is really self-contained, meaning that a person does not drive through it by accident; there is are two ways in and two ways out. I share this is to underscore the fact that my neighbors all pretty much either know each other or at least recognize each other by sight. As I moved into my teens, I noticed that neighbors seem to be away from home quite a bit for vacations or for business. I also noticed that most of my neighbors had pets. I also found out the going rate for boarding pets at our local veterinary clinics. A business idea was hatched: pet sitting. I am motivated to succeed because of my family members who have always demonstrated for me a good work ethic. My support system is my mother, father, and grandmother. My older sister supports me now from a distance since she is now married with a baby and lives out of state. I am a responsible person. I have never had an issue with any of the pets I have cared for or the families I have served; however, I do not think I could say this if my family did not support me. For example, I keep a written log of names, dates, and times for my sittings. I also record things such as where the families hide their house keys, alarm codes, and more. My family sees these logs because I post them in an obvious place in our home. My mother might say something like, “remember the Watsons’ little dog this afternoon,” or my grandmother might say, “did you take care of the German Shepherd at the Brown’s this morning?” Well, of course, I remembered, and of course I did, but it sure is nice to feel like my family has my back when it comes to me and my entrepreneurial adventure. This causes me to count my blessings and to think deeply about the lessons I have learned on my entrepreneur thus far. I cannot imagine the struggle that people without support structures face. The world must seem like a lonely place for them, and everything that happens in their lives must seem like a steep uphill climb. The successes I have known would not have come my way without the rock-solid foundation of the people who inhabit my home. My family gives me the tools I need to run my business. They trust me. They allow me to do my work in a stress-free environment. They cause me to feel good about my work in that they are always telling me that I am doing a fine job and providing a much-needed service in our community. Once I was sick, and my father filled in for me for three days as he walked a Lab named Simon morning, noon, and night. My family reminds me of the why of my little business venture. Sure, I want and need to make some money, but they help me to keep in mind that what I do means something even more to those who love their pets and sometimes have to be away from them.
    Teen Entrepreneur Scholarship
    I live in a neighborhood that contains about 75 homes. My neighborhood is really self-contained, meaning that a person does not drive through it by accident; there are two ways in and two ways out. The reason that I share this is to underscore the fact that my neighbors all pretty much either know each other or at least recognize each other by sight. As I moved into my teens, I noticed that neighbors seem to be away from home quite a bit for vacations or for business. I also noticed that most of my neighbors had pets. I also found out the going rate for boarding pets at our local veterinary clinics. I business idea was hatched: pet sitting. My support system is my family, which consists of me, my mother, father, and grandmother. My older sister supports me now from a distance since she is now married with a baby and lives out of state. I am a responsible person. I have never had an issue with any of the pets I have cared for or the families I have served; however, I do not think I could say this if my family did not support me. For example, I keep a written log of names, dates, and times for my sittings. I also record things such as where the families hide their house keys, alarm codes, and more. My family sees these logs because I post them in an obvious place in our home. My mother might say something like, “remember the Watson's little dog this afternoon,” or my grandmother might say, “did you take care of the German Shepherd at the Brown’s this morning?” Well, of course, I remembered, and of course, I did, but it sure is nice to feel like my family has my back when it comes to me and my entrepreneurial adventure. This causes me to count my blessings. I cannot imagine the struggle that people without support structures face. The world must seem like a lonely place for them, and everything that happens in their lives must seem like a steep uphill climb. The successes I have known would not have come my way without the rock-solid foundation of the people who inhabit my home. My family gives me the tools I need to run my business. They trust me. They allow me to do my work in a stress-free environment. They cause me to feel good about my work in that they are always telling me that I am doing a fine job and providing a much-needed service in our community. Once I was sick, and my father filled in for me for three days as he walked a Lab named Simon morning, noon, and night. My family reminds me of the why of my little business venture. Sure, I want and need to make some money, but they help me to keep in mind that what I do means something even more to those who love their pets and sometimes have to be away from them.
    Art of Giving Scholarship
    I am learning that there are many hidden costs associated with college attendance. For example, in addition to tuition rates that seem to soar upward each year, there are costs for textbooks and supplies, I have checked it out, and some books that are required for college classes are priced astronomically. Maybe there are occasions when these can be purchased used, but this is not a certainty, and even then the cost is daunting. Also, there are fees for things such as parking, lockers, labs, student activities, and more. A few dollars here and there for these items really add up to a large number each semester. Over the course of a college experience, fees represent many dollars in expected costs. Most of these fees are not optional, and they present a challenge for students like me who are watching all expenditures. Next, there are meal plans. The college I plan to attend requires students to live on campus for their freshman year. Further, the college mandates that students purchase a minimal plan for eating two meals a day in campus dining rooms. The cost for this is almost equal to eating out in restaurants at prices that my family and I have always had to monitor through the years. Additionally, there is the cost of student housing. The college I plan to attend insists that freshmen live on campus. While the rates for the various dorms vary, even the least expensive dorm room carries a high fee that cannot be ignored or escaped. There are more costs with the dorms than just paying the going rate. Once there, there are costs associated with equipping the room with needed accessories that will make it function like a home away from home. Another “hidden” cost is that of transportation. My intended school is 300 miles from my home. Once in a while, I will want to go home for a visit, and at holidays and school breaks, I will more or less have to travel home. This brings up the cost of fuel that is frightening for me even now each time I fill up our family automobile. I will be in the marching band during college, so this means I will have to pay a uniform fee that is accessed by the band for all participants. Not only is there a fee for the uniform, but there are also required fees for uniform cleaning and band tee shirts. My college band is not fully funded, so when we travel to away games, band members have to go out of pocket for some basic expenses such as meals and lodging. My family’s finances are tight. My parents will help me all they can, but I will have to work as I have done in high school to make ends meet in college. I need this scholarship to help lessen the stress of paying my way through school. I know that education is expensive but that ignorance is even more costly.
    Dynamic Edge Women in STEM Scholarship
    The last ten years have witnessed a boom in tech inventions. For example, it is pretty cool to be able to see and hear and talk to someone who is knocking at the front door. Likewise, LED lightbulbs, which use less energy and last much longer than their incandescent counterparts, are simply amazing. My favorite tech invention, though, is something that absolutely mystifies me: the self-driving car. When I ponder all of the technologies and artificial bits of intelligence that combine for the solitary purpose of moving a driverless vehicle around, I just have to shrug my shoulders and scratch my head in disbelief. I have read that companies like Uber are piloting programs with these cars so that even now in select cities drivers are hailing rides that have no physical operator sitting behind the wheel. I am thinking of one of the most obvious benefits that an autonomous vehicle could give to people like me who usually wind up getting to where I need to be on time but often actually arrive a little late because of feeble attempts to find a suitable parking space. With this technology in my car (even if I was driving), I could exit my car at the door of my intended location and simply tell my car to park while I go ahead to my location. Then, when my errand or meeting or whatever is over, I could ask the car to come to pick me up. Wow! I am imagining being busy in the middle of a hard downfall of rain. My car would pick me up at the door and would be dry and happy. Just as the no-driver car will continue to be refined and find its way into the mainstream of American life, so will I be polished through my formal education as I prepare to transition from the cocoon of my high school to the larger stage of life, on my own, so to speak, hundreds of miles away from home in college. I want to contribute to my world as I move through the various stages of my professional training and then also during the years as a practitioner of my craft. I plan to become an architect. As you probably know, Congress has included architecture as a STEM subject, and this will surely attract more people to it. The contributions I will make are exciting to imagine. During my four-year Architectural Studies degree program and in my subsequent two-year Master of Architecture program, I will be called on to work long hours and to use every bit of my creative skill to learn all of the possibilities that architecture holds for making communities more vibrant. Being in a position to create the spaces where people work, live, worship, heal, and play is an awesome prospect. In doing my important work, I will also learn to be a good steward of the environment. Somewhere along the way, I have read that we outline our environment, and then it shapes us. This is so true. As an architect, I will be in a position of great trust. My clients will express their needs and dreams to me in words, and then I will take what they have communicated to me and create pictures of their impressions. Architecture is certainly a career that will give me the opportunity to give back to my community as I develop the built environment with integrity, beauty, and purpose. Thank you for your willingness to help me realize the desire of my heart.
    Rho Brooks Women in STEM Scholarship
    I am a miracle. I was born an orphan in Yangchun, Guangdong, the People’s Republic of China. I lived the first year of my life in an orphanage that accommodated children and nursing home patients. As my first birthday approached, my forever family went to China, adopted me, and brought me home to Athens, Georgia. Sometimes I think about how different my life would have been if I had not been accepted into a loving home. I like school and being involved in school activities. I play trombone in the Band, where I serve as an officer. I especially like Marching Band. Our halftime shows are challenging and fun. I am interested in historic preservation. I serve as an officer in an area Foundation that receives, evaluates, and issues annual grants totaling more than $30,000 for the purpose of taking care of places and things that need to be kept alive for the residents of my multi-county area. I am active in my church. I was all set to go on a mission trip to Cuba when COVID hit. Maybe this can be rescheduled soon. If so, I am in. The trip will allow me to refurbish a church facility, and this fits well in my skill set. Since the age of eight, I have wanted to become an architect. As a little girl, there was no Barbie Doll for me- only LEGOS, and Minecraft has always been my default game online. I am excited about my future in college as I prepare for this important career to which I am called. Architecture is a perfect blend of math and art- subjects I enjoy and in which I excel. Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee is a Christian college that has started a new program in Architecture. I want to be one of the first students to move through that program. The biggest influence on my life is my family. My sister is ten years older than I, so I have always looked up to her. She has always made good choices in her life, so I have found her to be a reliable pattern to emulate. When I was twelve, my grandmother moved in with us. She is my link to the 1930s. Her wisdom is that which can only be gained by the passage of time. She and I have late-night talks. I always learn important life lessons as I listen to her. My parents are truly special to me. I see the sacrifices they make for me, and they never complain. There have been so many times that they have placed their own wants and needs as secondary to mine. I love them and want to live the kind of life that brings honor to them. I am thankful for people like you who are willing to invest in people like me. My need for scholarships is great. This is why I am actively seeking as much assistance as I can muster. I will apply for college six weeks from now. My dreams are real. My commitment is intense. My future is as bright as the stars.
    Caring Chemist Scholarship
    As you probably know, Congress passed a bill a few years ago that designates architecture as a STEM field of study. I have wanted to be an architect since I was eight years old. Some of my favorite things to do are to build things with Legos and to play Minecraft. I like math and science and have always performed well in these subjects in school. To me, architecture is the marriage of mathematical/physics concepts and artistic expression. The preparation for my career as an architect will be thorough and difficult; however, this is the path I feel truly called to follow for my life’s work. As I prepare to begin my senior year of high school, it is hard to believe that the time for my actual career preparation is very close at hand. After the completion of my degree(s), I want to eventually set up my own architectural firm. I want to specialize in residential housing and home renovations/additions. This is not to suggest that I will not be open to designing other projects, but my pull is toward creating spaces for people to live their lives in a sustainable, meaningful way. It is exciting to think about driving down a street and seeing a home that I made possible being enjoyed by individuals and families. Architects make powerful, positive contributions to society. Their impact for good should never be underestimated or overlooked. Before the launch of my career, I am sure that I will need to complete an internship, sit for the national licensing exam, and more. This process will take time and lots of hard work. I am up for it. The route I will take is that of a four-year Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies followed by a two-year Master of Architecture program. My vision as an architect will be to create a signature style- one that makes my work distinctive. I will use the latest technological tools to express my clients’ dreams through my renderings. Architecture has an engineering component to it, so I will build skills so that I can communicate with builders as to the structural needs of my plans. I will understand environmental concerns and know how to address them in my plans. My goals after college graduation focus on staying abreast of contemporary trends and needs in housing. I will do this by ongoing continuing education and collaboration with colleagues in my field. It would be so nice if I could set up a non-profit to accommodate my dream of shaping affordable housing for those who are served by mission teams as they visit poverty-stricken areas. Basically, my plan for achieving my ideas as a future architect centers around my solid dedication to my craft and to those who trust me enough to commission me to help them. Architecture, as a STEM subject, will encourage more people to gravitate toward its study and assist those, like me, an Asian female, to learn to practice its power in society. My future is bright because they are fueled by rich dreams. Thank you for your willingness to consider helping me on my journey.
    Carmen V McMillan Memorial Scholarship
    Winner
    People like Carmen, those whose lives are cut short, inspire us. They show us that the length of days is not a measure of a purposeful life. Carmen's life was full of promise. The magic is that her legacy is being kept alive by those who love her. This scholarship multiplies her desire to serve God through service. I will be starting my senior year of high school this August. My career aspiration is to become an architect. This does not sound like missionary work, but I will explain how it relates. The college that I will attend (upon acceptance) is Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. I already know that Belmont prides itself on sponsoring numerous mission trips during the academic year and over the summer. I have a friend who will be a freshman there for the 2021-2022 school year, and she signed up for a mission trip during her orientation last week. I plan to do the same. My goal is to complete at least one mission opportunity each year while I attend Belmont. My church cooperates with a congregation in Cuba. I was all set to go on a mission there when COVID hit. As soon as restrictions are lifted, I plan to travel and minister there. When I go, I will be helping with Bible school. I also plan to work to refurbish the facility where the church meets for its activities. I cannot wait! Maybe I think of being a missionary a little differently than most. The tendency is to limit the thought of missionary work to those who engage in it full time or to those who complete it on foreign soil. I define missionary work, for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus, as meaningful, intentional service anywhere and at any time. We all have unique gifts that need to be used to fulfill the Great Commission's mandate to "go and tell." As I think of my future career I see chances to use my architectural skills to foster shelter for those who need affordable housing- housing that can be constructed by unskilled short-term missions groups- and spaces that can be used for worship. It occurs to me that this is an unfulfilled need, for the most part, in the world of missionary activity. My contributions in this regard will further the Kingdom as I do my part to build basic needs for the people of God. I avail myself happily to maturing in my faith and architectural skills to a degree that I can personally help with the designs I will create or mentor others who can go in multiple directions at home and abroad to erect structures that will improve life and worship opportunities. It occurs to me that a grand scheme along these lines would be for me to create a non-profit organization that can assemble funding for mission groups that are willing to build. This is an exciting prospect.
    Soo Joo Park Scholarship for Asian American Women
    When I look into a mirror I see a young Asian woman. The rest of the time I just think of myself as a young woman. I suppose that the world sees me as a young Asian woman all of the time. I have no memory of my immigration to the United States because I was only eleven months old at the time. My parents have told the story so many times that I almost think I remember it. We flew from my birth state of Guangdong, the People's Republic of China, to Hong Kong, where we boarded a plane set for Chicago. The tray used for airplane meals was my seat. The city of my birth, Yangchun, is known for its natural beauty. This is why so many films use it as a location for their work. I have not been back to visit, nor do I plan to do so any time soon. Upon arrival in the United States, we were escorted to a special area at O'Hare Airport where we had to wait for Customs officials to check our documentation. After a time that seemed like a long time, my parents were given the green light for us to begin our life together in this grand country. I am in possession of a United States passport, a social security number, and full citizenship. I am a proud Chinese-American. The opportunities that have been mine here would have never, ever been given to me in the People's Republic. Sadly, I do not know how to converse in what would have been my native tongue, Cantonese, but I enjoy attending Asian cultural festivals where I hear it spoken. The particularly love the Autumn Moon Festival, where we send lighted lanterns into the sky in the evening. I also love to see the richly colored outfits that are worn in the artistic folk dances. I am not one of those people who is extremely curious about my home country, but I do take a sense of pride in knowing that China has a rich history and that it is a vital part of my own history. Assimilation into the American way of life has been rather easy for me. I have met other Asian immigrants who have not been so lucky. One thing I have noticed and am happy to note is that Asians who come to America come with a sense of wonder and awe at the freedoms that we have. They (we) also come with an expectation that hard work is the most direct route to the realization of our dreams. Recently, I have become aware that some misguided people are targeting Asian people, like me, for attacks. Near where I live a young man killed eight people, mostly Asian, in a rampage this Spring. It seems that some people who hate blame Asians for the COVID virus pandemic. Of course, this feeling was fueled, if not originated, by our former President of the United States, who repeatedly called COVID the "China virus" in the waning months of his time in office. Fortunately, I have no mental health challenges that stem from my race. My family and I have talked about it, though. This is a time when I should be a little more aware that a very small percentage of people out there will hate me because of what I look like. Such people will think that I have no right to even live here will look for opportunities to bring me harm. There are still people who equate all Asians as being Vietnamese. Some who fought in the Vietnam War hold grudges against the Vietnamese and say and do mean and ugly things to Asian people. I am excited and ready to begin my senior year of high school. Since the age of eight, I have wanted to become an architect. It seems that there are not that many female architects in America, much less Asian ones, yet I feel that this is the correct path for me to follow based on my gifts. Asian Americans represent a growing segment of our population, yet I wonder if Asians in roles of leadership are growing proportionately to that growing number. I will be so fortunate to study architecture in college and to develop my skills. I will create spaces where people work, live, and play. In doing so, I will embrace my Asian heritage and change the world. I am looking into the mirror now. I see a young woman who is full of promise. I see the little girl who did not even have a bed to sleep in during her first year of life. I see a person who has taken advantage of her advantages. I am proud of the person whose reflection is my own.
    Misha Brahmbhatt Help Your Community Scholarship
    I give back to my community as I serve on a local board that accepts, evaluates, and approves grants for area groups to conduct historic preservation projects. This board works through a foundation that has facets in addition to the work that I and the other board members do. I feel that by serving on this board I am giving back to a community that has offered so much to me as I have grown up in it. My board meets monthly. While we make decisions, we are guided by a professional who works full-time in the field of historic preservation. We meet in a restored home of a Civil War General who came from my city and lost his life during that war. I feel that my actions with this group, the Watson-Brown Foundation, impact the lives of others for good. I have served on the board for two years. During this time we have approved about $35,000 a year for several special interest groups in a multi-county area near my home. For example, we have approved money for an educational working farm from the early 19th century. This farm hosts numerous school field trips each year and was in need of several minor refurbishments. In another notable instance, we assisted a group to preserve an old cemetery that included the grave of an early minister/politician from our area. As we did this, we provided interpretive signage and durable fencing. I can easily see myself doing this kind of thing (serving on a board) in my adult life. I learned a lot about the power of philanthropy as my board conducted research on-site at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina a year ago. One-time gifts are great; however, when a person sets up a foundation, the gift keeps on giving over time and "lives" far beyond the lifetime of the donor. How does this kind of thing help me to leave the world a better place than I found it? There are a couple of very good reasons that it resoundingly does. People who invest time, money, energy, talent, and the like in their communities improve the overall quality of life that the community constituents enjoy. When we think of something as being "ours" we take just pride in it and are more protective of it. Almost every village in America has something that makes it unique. Leaders should not assume that things will always be as they are now. Within the context of change, leaders, like I aspire to be, know that some buildings, parks, homes, and monuments will need to be taken care of so that subsequent generations will learn the things that make their hometowns influential. What happens if we do not leave our towns better than when we found them? As things decay, there is a loss much more profound than simple wood rot. when things like this are gone, they are gone forever. There is no getting them back. We must be proactive.
    Next Young Leaders Program Scholarship
    Leaders exhibit numerous strengths and weaknesses. There is no single formula for success; however, there are traits that most leaders have in common. It is easy to give lip service to leadership, and it is another thing to find people who naturally embody them. First, there is integrity. Leaders who embody integrity seek the truth. People need an internal compass. Each of us needs to work with an absolute direction in mind. A byproduct of integrity is honesty. As children, we are taught that two wrongs do not make a right and that honesty is the best policy. Leaders of integrity are reliable. The leader who consistently leads with integrity is the leader who instills a sense of trust in and among those who identify with an organization and give their talent, energy, and intellect to its purposes. Several factors predict honor in a person. Integrity develops in an individual when life is examined carefully from a moral or ethical lens. Just as a parent tries to live a good example for a child, a person trying to live with integrity is wise to consider those who admire them. Self-awareness is a desirable leadership quality. A self-aware leader routinely reflects on personal character, feelings, motives, and desires. Self-Awareness in leadership is realized as a person remains curious about life’s purpose and meaning. Such leaders are willing to see themselves in critical ways. People take possession of self-awareness because they are dedicated to seeing themselves as well as to seeing how others see them. The decision to do this is especially difficult and uncomfortable. Most are absorbed either in analyzing their own feelings and incentives or in worrying too much about what others are saying or thinking about them. There is the leadership characteristic of courage. Being courageous does not mean that there is an absence of fear. Leaders with courage take risks, but these risks are not random actions. Leaders with courage evaluate situations without getting bogged down by minutia. Leaders are not born with courage. Possessing courage frees leaders to lead with purpose. It forges relationships as mutually attainable goals are set and striven for within an organization. It takes the form of sharing power with others and evaluating the promises and the pitfalls that each and every challenge presents. Integrity, self-awareness, and courage are leadership traits that I find to be most essential and indispensable. I do not reason that we are born with these qualities. Such behaviors are important and realized only after intentional thought and deed train them into being. Developed leaders understand the why of things as well as the what and are adept in monitoring plans and contingencies. As I think of the people my age who before too much longer will be taking places of leadership in various sectors of our society, I see a myriad of occasions when integrity, self-awareness, and courage will win the day if we work to improve and refine our leadership skills. I work hard in school and in life to embody these leadership traits. I apply then today as I include integrity in all of my dealings with people and situations. I apply self-awareness as I try to be my best self through ongoing personal introspection. I apply courage as I seek optimum times and places to say and do things that will matter. Beyond high school, these traits will accompany me and assist me in navigating an adult world that finds them to be in short supply.
    Fleming Law College Scholarship
    Like most teens, I have grown up with smartphones and find them normal and natural to use in daily life. I use my phone for a variety of purposes. There are times when I use my phone to make purchases. The technology inherent in smartphones means that I can shop with ease and make consumer choices that would have been unheard of (un-thought of) a generation ago. As I write this I am thinking of all of the jobs that have been created just because businesses have apps that we can download and use for our wants and needs. I justify some of my purchases via my smartphone by saying that I am not using gasoline to travel from store to store. Before COVID, and especially since COVID, I have used my smartphone to complete class obligations at my high school. The pandemic has ushered in another valuable insight as to the smartphone as an educational tool. Most Americans have participated in Zoom conferences, for example, which would not have been thought of so prevalently a couple of years back. I also use my phone to monitor my ongoing grades and assignments. Some people, I included, use smartphones to track fitness goals. For example, I read somewhere that it is good to get in 10,000 steps each day in order to have a better chance of staying fit. I use my phone to keep up with my step count and to take my pulse rate. There are apps, which I do not currently use, that will allow a person to log their food intake and chronicle their exercise routines. These are commendable. I am sure that they help people to make better choices for weight loss or for general health. There are mental exercises that smartphones help with as well. I see this each day as my grandmother, who lives with us, works on coloring pictures on her phone. This kind of brain activity is like a workout for the mind and helps people like my grandmother, who has recovered from a stroke, to practice her thinking. I live my life on the go. My smartphone allows me to stay in contact with my friends through several social media expressions. Communication is vital. This is especially true in 2021 at a time smartphone communications provide a record of what is said and who said it in conversations. This holds true for both personal and professional avenues. My phone also is a tool for navigation. People have to be careful when they are operating a moving vehicle and trying to monitor their smartphones. Obviously, these phones do not drive the cars for us. If we are more preoccupied with what is happening on our phones than what is happening on the road before us, the danger of harm to ourselves, our cars, others, and the property of others is imminent. I am careful to mount my phone in my car so that I never touch it while I am driving. I can conduct hands-free conversations as I drive. It is sad to note that many people have lost their lives and brought about a permanent physical injury just because they were more fixed on their smartphone than on their role as a driver. To summarize, my experience with smartphones has been a positive one. That use is ingrained in me to the point that I cannot imagine life without a mobile phone. When I am behind the wheel, I do not view my phone as a co-pilot; I look at it as a lifeline to the world beyond my immediate reach.
    Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
    Here I am...all 4'11" of me, playing on my high school's varsity girl's lacrosse team this Spring. In this photograph, I have the ball, and I am in the process of taking it all the way downfield to score a goal- a rare feat for a person like me who has the important yet often overlooked role of defense! In lacrosse, playing defense is kind of like being a lineman in football- you are necessary but not always thanked. This is indeed a bold moment in my life and one that I will always remember.
    Mahlagha Jaberi Mental Health Awareness for Immigrants Scholarship
    I have no memory of my immigration to the United States because I was only eleven months old at the time. My parents have told the story so many times that I almost think I remember it. We flew from my birth state of Guangdong, the People's Republic of China, to Hong Kong, where we boarded a plane set for Chicago. The tray used for airplane meals was my seat. Upon arrival at Chicago's O'Hare airport, we were escorted to a special area where we had to wait for Customs officials to check our documentation. After a time that seemed like a long time, my parents were given the green light for us to begin our life together in this grand country. I am in possession of a United States passport, a social security number, and full citizenship. I am a proud Chinese-American. Sadly, I do not know how to converse in what would have been my native tongue, Cantonese, but I enjoy attending Asian cultural festivals where I hear it spoken. The particularly love the Autumn Moon Festival, where we send lighted lanterns into the sky in the evening. I also love to see the richly colored outfits that are worn in the artistic folk dances. I am not one of those people who is extremely curious about my home country, but I do take a sense of pride in knowing that China has a rich history and that it is a vital part of my own history. Recently, I have become aware that some misguided people are targeting Asian people, like me, for attacks. Near where I live a young man killed eight people, mostly Asian, in a rampage this Spring. It seems that some people who hate blame Asians for the COVID virus pandemic. Of course, this feeling was fueled, if not originated, by our former President of the United States, who repeatedly called COVID the "China virus" in the waning months of his time in office. Fortunately, I have no mental health challenges that stem from my race. My family and I have talked about it, though. This is a time when I should be a little more aware that a very small percentage of people out there will hate me because of what I look like. Such people will think that I have no right to even live here will look for opportunities to bring me harm. I am excited and ready to begin my senior year of high school. Since the age of eight, I have wanted to become an architect. It seems that there are not that many female architects in America, much less Asian ones, yet I feel that this is the correct path for me to follow based on my gifts. I will be so fortunate to study architecture in college and to develop my skills. I will create spaces where people work, live, and play. In doing so, I will embrace my Asian heritage and change the world.
    A Sani Life Scholarship
    I am going to frame my comments for this writing prompt by referencing life before COVID and since COVID (I wish I could say post-COVID, but that time is not yet arrived). Pre-COVID, my life was pretty much rolling along. I was finishing up my sophomore year of high school, playing in the Band, playing on the Lacrosse team, and hanging out with friends. Once the pandemic was announced, my world became physically isolated from others. This took a toll on my well-being. It is difficult to quit human interaction cold-turkey. Sure, I still had social media outlets for my expressions and communications, but that alone is a feeble substitute for being able to reach out a touch someone. I, like everyone else in the known world, was introduced to Zoom meetings, so school was able to keep on task to a certain degree. During the 2020-2021 school year I was into Pre-Calculus and Calculus.I enjoyed the experiences I had in school that year, but it was much more real and meaningful when face-to-face instruction was taking place. One thing I learned for sure about myself is that I really need stimulus and interaction with others in real-time to get the most out of my learning. This is not to suggest that I am lazy or unmotivated; it simply means that I bring more energy to my studies when I am surrounded by others who are learning along with me. What will I remember from my pre-COVID year in school? Honestly, I will remember how it felt. Someone once told me that long after I have forgotten specific things that I learn in my high school course work I will remember how it felt to be in those classes. Building a culture for learning and a vibrant community of learners can and does occur in virtual settings; however, the stakeholders in those cases have to be intentional about things like learning relationships and learner accountability to self, instructor, and co-learners. Since COVID I have practiced a high degree of accountability as I have completed daily temperature checks, kept my distance from others, worn masks, and performed frequent handwashing. I have remained healthy even as the three people with whom I live have succumbed to COVID-19. Thankfully, they each pulled out of it OK, but I held a moderate level of anxiety as they became ill and were in the process of recovery. Since middle school, I held down a good, part-time job that I enjoyed. As COVID became real, my parents made the decision that I quit that job, given the fact that I came into close personal contact with lots of people each day. So, in a real, sense, I took a hard hit economically at that time. My loss is nothing though, in comparison to what I read and hear about so many others whose economic lives have been overturned and seemingly beyond immediate repair. I would be lying if I said that the pandemic has not changed me. I find that I crave activities more than ever before. I realize that friendships are precious and need to be nurtured. I learned that life is not forever. When you are my age, 17, it is easy to think of yourself as being invisible. I noted some of this as I watched my father grieve over the COVID loss of his best friend from childhood. I stood by my friends who graduated high school in the Class of 2020 who did not get the chance to have an actual graduation ceremony. My heart just broke for them. Thankfully, things appear to be turning around. As Americans have availed themselves of the COVID vaccine, cases are declining. I am beginning to feel free again to make concrete plans for my future. I will graduate from high school twelve months from now. This should be a wonderful, magical year as I prepare to transition from home to college and all that post-secondary education holds for me. I am grateful for all of the science that has been manufactured to help us all combat COVID and for the sacrifices that so many have made along the way to arrest its further infiltration into our lives. With caution, now seems to be the time to start moving forward again.
    Susy Ruiz Superhero Scholarship
    We are fortunate when someone comes into our lives and causes us to get excited about learning. for me, that person came into my life when I was a high school freshman. Her name was Ms. Sandley, and she taught me Advanced Placement American Government. I would like to say that I made an "A" in that class. I did not. I would like to say that the Social Sciences are my favorite classes. They are not. So, why is Ms. Sandley so special to me, and how did her classroom practices and demeanor make such a positive impact in my life? There are several reasons why she has caused me to want to pursue education beyond high school. For one thing, the way she talked in class caused me to want to read news stories, watch television news, think about political candidates, and more. Never before in my life had I taken any interest or notice of those kinds of things. She was not assigning me these activities, I simply found myself wanting to do them so that I might be able to contribute more to her classroom discussions and to fill in gaps that lingered in my mind after each day of school was over. Another reason is that I felt I had to rise to a certain level because she fully expected me to do so. I found myself being magnetized to her school-day "bonus" period help sessions. There was no mandate for attending these. I could go to her room, or visit one of my more favorite classes, yet I almost always chose to visit her. It is funny now that I think of it. She was never surprised to see me. It was like she knew I would be there. I was like she would have been shocked if I had not attended. A third reason that Ms. Sandley impacted my educational journey is that she was very entertaining. The things she would do and say in class were typically off-beat. They were unexpected. They were off the wall at times. I never knew what she was going to crank out next. I suppose that her zany approach to what could have been a very dry, dull, and boring subject caused me to remember and understand the content better. Lastly, I learned the value of keeping up. The worst thing you could do in Ms. Sandley's class was to get behind. I learned this lesson the hard way in our first semester together. None of my teachers, before or since Ms. Sandley, has ever given me so much work to cover on my own- work that I had to do outside of class. Failure to do this work always meant that my grade would sag. I figured it out quickly (we all did) that she was not going to stop or even slow her pace for those of us who wanted the flow of the class to chill out. I was in Ms. Sandley's last class of her career. She plowed ahead full steam right until the last day of school. I admired that trait in her then. I still do. There is no doubt in my mind that she unlocked some part of my mind and heart that now wants to achieve great things during the remainder of my high school days and even into my college experience. Before Ms. Sandley, I always knew I would be going to college, but I never imagined myself achieving there. Now I do.
    3LAU "Everything" Scholarship
    “From this hour, freedom! Going where I like, my own master...” ― Walt Whitman My everything is freedom. This means, for one thing, that I value my freedom as an American citizen. In this brief essay, however, I am addressing another kind of freedom that represents “everything” to me: personal freedom. The original art that I share as a link to accompany my thought on this reflects my love of freedom and compares it to the polar bear, an animal that I love and admire. Just as polar bears have home ranges, and so do I. Upon receiving the keys to my car, I have had access to the roads around my home. Going places and doing things represents freedom. Polar bears need sea ice to survive. The ice attracts seals, which constitute a chief food source for polar bears. I need challenges in order to find fulfillment. “Sea ice” for me is those things that require effort and ingenuity. I am free to float around on my metaphorical ice platforms as I take on my life with gusto. Most people do not realize that polar bears can swim constantly for up to days at a time. They are making the most of their opportunities as hunters when they do this. I enjoy travel and the independent feeling I get as I move from location to location. My favorite bears are actually black, not white. This is a lesson for me as go about my life’s travels. People, places, and things are not always as they first appear. I need to take the time to get to know the reality of those with whom my journeys intersect. The classification given to the bears is that of marine mammals. Polars are the only bears that are not considered land bears. This means that they are born for the open-ended world of an oceanic ecosystem. I, too, am geared for the freedom of endless possibilities. These bears are threatened all about. Climate change, oil spills, pesticides, and human interaction all lurk before them as potential destructors. Just as I am free to move, and am also free to remain stationary. Polar bears must find a way of life by maneuvering around obstacles. I, too, in freedom, must live by avoiding life’s hazards. These majestic bears can smell their prey for more than half a mile. This means that they most always going in the right direction. As I value freedom, calling it my “everything,” I need to be ever cognizant that my ramblings should have a purpose. Polar bears touch noses as a way of asking to share food. My freedom takes me to others who share my path for both long and short periods of time. I am wise to be respectful of my friends and acquaintances as I go about cherishing my everything- my freedom.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    Change. Sometimes we feel powerless to change things. The phrase “think globally, act locally” has been around for some time now. Essentially, it means that we should take universal concerns and put them into action in the places where we reside. Ostensibly, if we all did this, problems and needs in the world would surely change for the better. Some world sites are fortunate in that they are owned and operated by the state or some society for antiquities. Other places are not so blessed. In those places, concerned citizens have to lend loud and clear voices as they attempt to secure funding for purchasing or at least maintaining historic venues. I want to see a change in the world. Historic or heritage preservation is an important need. The world needs to be vigilant about doing more than it is to protect such sites. In each country on the globe, there are plots of ground and structures that have witnessed historic events that should be remembered. The cold truth is that once the acreage of these locations is developed, they are gone forever. Once buildings are imploded in the name of progress, they exist no more. Our world values new things more than old ones. This is a sad reality and one that needs to change. I want to see a change in my country. Many of the historic sites I want to see refurbished are threatened because bad or ugly things occurred there. An example of this might be a slave-trading station from the antebellum South. Some may argue that the pain of this is such that it should be erased. I disagree. A place such as this needs to be preserved all the more, for I believe it was the philosopher Santayana who famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” It is so sad to see a gas station be erected over a piece of real estate where an important treaty was once signed. All the historic markers in the world on the street side of those properties only guide visitors to the gas station that supplanted the treaty site. I want to see a change in my community. A wonderful thing happened in my community a few years ago. Some slave graves were unearthed next to a building on our college campus. Since the state-owned the land on which the skeletal remains were located, it was relatively easy to call together a group to oversee the research of it all and to formalize a memorial service, gravestones, and interpretive signage nearby. This is but one example of some of the things that need to continue to be realized in my city/county/quadrant of the state. I must hasten to include more protection of the environment as well. My city is home to the most northerly thriving Live Oak in the state. It was in the front yard of a church. When the congregation decided to change its location, groups were afraid that the developers would bulldoze the tree. Protests were launched. The tree survives today. I want to act locally to help make the changes that I have described. I am fortunate to serve as an officer on a historic preservation board. My group represents a philanthropic trust that, through our annual grant receipts, site visits, and deliberations, doles out more than $30,000 for preserving, protecting, and defending historically significant concerns. I am honored to do this and plan to continue doing similar things throughout my lifetime. Change. We are not, I am proud to say, powerless to change things. If we fail to act, things will change but not in good or positive ways. Our intervention is required. We cannot sit idle and still.
    "What Moves You" Scholarship
    The quote that means a lot to me is by Dr. Viktor Frankl, who said: "Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose." This is a special quotation because I know Frankl's story. He was a Jewish prisoner in one of the Nazi death camps during World War II. He lost family members. He lost his career as a psychiatrist. He lost his freedom. But he did not lose his meaning and purpose. In his famous book, "Man's Search for Meaning," he tells how he survived his ordeal in the face of constant persecution, starvation, and isolation. Knowing Frankl's story makes me ashamed to complain after I have had a bad day. It causes me to reflect on just how good my life is compared to the atrocities he and his compatriots endured at that time. Not only did Frankl gain his freedom at the end of the war, but he also went on to rebuild his practice of medicine. He never lost sight of the fact that his life carried extraordinary meaning and that this meaning brought purpose regardless of his circumstances. This quote means a lot to me for a couple of reasons. First, we live at a time when people are focused on themselves to the detriment of others. People are reluctant to take charge of their own lives and want to blame others for what they do not have or cannot do. I wish to live as Frankl did. I do not want to focus on the situations that I find myself in throughout my adult life; I want to cling to my meaning and purpose- things that will carry me through any obstacle. Life events, good, bad, or ugly, should not change who I am as a person. I am not the sum of what happens to me. I am the vessel through which my dreams and aspirations flow. Secondly, this quote resonates with me in that it denies power to adversity. I have observed people who seem stuck in the past. They complain that they could have been this or could have done that if only that certain person or thing had not blocked them. This rationale is unacceptable to me, and Frankl's quote gives me the courage to reject such attitudes. Frankl figured it out. The Nazis could take all of the trappings of love and success away from him, but they could never take his spirit- the thing that made him who he was. I draw comfort and inspiration from this life-altering truth. So, Frankl's revolutionary quotation serves as my mantra and one that will guide me in the time that is now and in the time that lies ahead.
    AMPLIFY Chess Masters Scholarship
    Chess is such an amazing game. Top players take the game to a higher level as their admirers stand in awe of the aptitude they possess for the game. But the game no longer has to be played with human intelligence. Computers now can play against us or play for us, far surpassing the limits of singular human thought. Chess among human beings relies on our ability to judge the merits of various strategies, This means that there are times when seemingly insignificant pieces can make all the difference between victory and defeat. The game, like life, is fascinating, perplexing, frustrating, joyous, and gratifying. I have learned four key things as I have played and enjoyed the game of chess. First, the thing that springs to my mind is that in chess, as in life, a person needs to plan several moves to have the most security. Contingency plans are one of the most important things to have in the game of chess. Without them, you are just making move after move without any overall plan or objective. The correlation of this to real life is obvious. The second lesson that chess has taught me is that I should never be overconfident. What may seem to be a distinct advantage after one move can all fall apart after the next. In life, some people think they are invincible. Without having some semblance of humility, the person in a chess game or the game of life is ripe for disappointment. Life is not all about us. It is also about the moves that others make that impact our lives. Another lesson from chess is a tough one but a good one to acknowledge. We should never make moves that are generated purely by mood or feeling. In life, we should not say or do things when we are extremely angry. Similarly, in chess, we should not, for example, capture an opponent's piece just because that opponent just captured one of ours. Playing chess the right way trains the mind to use percentages in decision-making. As we live we need to live with calm precision rather than through repetitive instances of knee-jerk reactions. Finally, chess speaks loudly to me that a good start often serves as a good predictor of a degree of success. Opening moves are valued from among chess' elite. Knowing when to play a Sicilian Defense as opposed to a King's Gambit, for example, can make or break a game. In life, when we get off to a good start with things everything is better and life is less stressful. As I work to achieve my goals, I hope that I can utilize the things I have learned from chess in the following ways: have a good plan and more than one viable plan, remain cautious even in the face of apparent victory, live as guided by my head instead of by my heart, and open well to get the best results. Specifically, a goal I am working on right now applies to the things that chess has taught me. Right now I am focusing on being more outgoing. People who meet me for the first time sometimes think that I am shy. Really, I am not that way. There are times in chess when a player needs to be assertive. I am concentrating on this as I work on this improvement.
    3Wishes Women’s Empowerment Scholarship
    I am a young woman of color. I have a pronounced financial need as I contemplate college. I have volunteer experience in my community. I have opinions about the empowerment of America's women. Society can effectively empower women, but it will take intentionality and consistent, concerted efforts to do so. Some may argue that women are already empowered. After all, they could point to people such as Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States, and declare with truthfulness that women have a place at the table in most all sectors of our society. I agree, yet a closer inspection of women in leadership reveals that women have not arrived at the place where they need to be. A society is an aggregation of people; therefore, it takes people to form a society and people to change the ways in which a particular society operates and manages its concerns. There are several easy things that we can do that will have a tremendous impact on women in our nation. First, we can support area businesses that are led by females. In doing so, we are saying to them that we endorse their work and that we are cheering them on. Some of us may need to do a little looking around to identify such businesses in the places we call home. Next, we can make the education of females a priority. Sadly, in parts of our world, the biggest wish of little girls is to go to school. In our country, we should encourage girls to go to school and to remain in school. As they do this, they increase their chances for meaningful employment and leadership roles in our workplaces and in our communities. Thirdly, as women's rights issues are debated in our assemblies of elected officials, we need to speak up and speak out about any injustices that we find apparent in our current system of laws. Maybe this means we need to make a sign and join a march. Maybe this means that we need to write a congressman. Maybe this means that we should invite some men to join us. Then, there is the matter of mentorship that should never be negated or overlooked. Women who are magnetized to success need to either be a mentor or be mentored by someone. This produces healthy expectations, strong networks, and helpful friendships that prove to women that they are not alone in their struggles for equality. Lastly, my shortlist of ways in which society can effectively empower women has to include a refresher on the importance of self-esteem. Women and girls are unique in appearance, desires, likes, dislikes, fashion, talents, and more. We need to be swift and sure as we affirm females (young girls especially) in their personhood. The way women see themselves is largely commensurate with how the world will see them. Each of the ideas expressed here is easily done by a culture that is tuned in to the needs of female leaders. Already I am finding that people see me not only as a girl but as a minority girl. I wish I could change this. I cannot make it stop. What I can do, though, is to give voice and action as I challenge typical gender narratives in my transition from high school to college.
    Mirajur Rahman Perseverance Scholarship
    I was born in China and spent the first year of my life in an orphanage there. My forever family adopted me and brought me home to the United States where I have lived ever since. Last week I completed my junior year of high school. I believe that my life has a special purpose, and I want to do all I can to transform my world. Just having the opportunity to come to America and to be loved and accepted has been the great blessing of my life so far. Challenging circumstances have come along for so many people, mine included, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Work schedules have been interrupted, business arrangements have been rearranged, and all the while household bills keep coming. During Covid, out of concern for my safety and wellbeing, my parents asked me to quit my part-time job- a job where I came into close contact with many people each day. This has resulted in a complete loss of my discretionary income and caused the curtailment of several of my ordinary activities. Currently, as the virus threat lessens, I am seeking another after-school job. The financial assistance that I need most, however, is that of money for college. The expenses that college will bring to my family will be extreme. We have what we need in life, but college brings financial pressures that my parents and I together are not prepared to face. In addition to tuition costs, there will be housing and meal plans to pay for, not to mention textbooks and supplies to secure in order to find classroom success. It will take cholarships and grants, both large and small, to combine to meet the monetary challenges that are before me. Since the age of eight, I have wanted to become an architect. As early as I can remember, I was not one of those girls who played with dolls. I played with Legos. Designing structures, modeling them, and sketching them has always brought me joy. The preparation for my chosen career in architecture is rigorous and will take many years to realize. I am looking at completing a four-year undergraduate program for pre-professional architecture and then a two-year master's degree as a professional program. After that, I will need to do a three-year paid internship with an architectural firm before I can take the national board certification exam to become a registered architect in my own right. This is a long, circuitous road and one that I will enjoy. It will be expensive and worth it. it will be necessary in order for me to fulfill my dreams of becoming a practitioner in this field. Any scholarship money that I am fortunate to receive will go directly to my college for the purpose of keeping me enrolled. Thank you for having the vision to assist others to find their way. I thank you for considering my request and my financial need.
    John J. DiPietro COME OUT STRONG Scholarship
    When I was 13, my grandmother moved in with us. She had been widowed about four years, found herself in declining health, and needed to be near her family. Little did I know at that time what a powerful role model she was about to become in my life. Until that time, she lived about 550 miles from me, so I only got to see her only a couple of times a year. The move meant that I would see her each day and share in her life, just as she was would share in mine. I wondered how life was going to be different for her and for me. I call her a role model because she inspires me to be the best person I can be. She does not preach about anything. She does not try to be my parent. She does not judge me. Instead, she listens, cares, and provides answers to life's perplexing questions when I ask them. She is a friend as well as a family member, and one who embodies grace and humility. She has forgotten more than I know! I stand in awe of how she has managed her life. I am unique, so I am not like her exactly, nor should I be; yet, her example as a decent human being is one that I wish to emulate. Some of the most important things I have earned from her link me back to the 1930s and to a time that I could never know about first-hand except by being associated with her. Grandma, and others of her generation, remember events like World War II, the rationing of supplies to help the war effort, and a time before the nuclear age. She provides a storehouse of knowledge for me. The things she has experienced, the things she has done, the life lessons she has learned all provide me with insight and encouragement as I prepare to set out into the world on my own after high school. There are just some things a person can never get from a book or a movie, and the things I get from her are those kinds of things. For example, she understands the value of money and money management. I try to watch my spending habits because that is what she does. Also, Grandma appreciates anything that people give her or do for her. This prompts me to be genuine and consistent in my gratitude for the gifts and services that others provide for me. I apply her life lessons to my own life as a high school student. Maintaining a high work ethic is one such lesson. Another is the living of life without complaint. No matter how hard things are going for me, she helps me to understand that others have it much tougher than I do. There are times when I ask myself what she would say or do or how she would react to a certain situation. As silly as it sounds, I laugh when I do, because it is like she is a kind of arbiter for situations that need to be tweaked. As I prepare to leave home for my college experience, I do so fortified by my grandmother's love and blessing. All best gifts are those that can be enjoyed, shared, and passed along for others to enjoy. I can think of no better way to thank her for the positive influence that she carries in my life than to live the kind of upright life that she has lived. I can imagine being the person in the role that she plays now for me- that of mentor, confidant, and guide. When I get there, I want to become that special person for my own grandchild. I can think of no better legacy to leave than that of being an ardent supporter of my own flesh and blood or to those who have become like family to me. There is no way of knowing how much more time I will have with my grandmother, but one thing is for sure. She will always be with me in spirit. She has inculcated rich values into my life during my teen years and served as life coach par excellence. I can never thank her enough for all she had given me, and by this, I do not mean things. The best I can do is to live in accordance with the qualities that make her so irreplaceable.
    "Your Success" Youssef Scholarship
    I want to continue to pursue higher education beyond high school because it is absolutely necessary to do so. My career goal is to become an architect. This means that I will have to move through a series of prescribed steps in order for my dream to become a reality. First, I will need to move through a four-year undergraduate program in architectural studies. Next, I will need to complete a two-year professional degree in architecture. Then, I will need to engage in a three-year paid internship. All of this has to happen before I can sit for the national certification examination to become a licensed architect. Whew! This is quite a process. Beyond these requirements, I have to say that I want to do all of these things. The learning will be intense. The reality is that the journey cannot be circumvented. This is will take a large chunk of time. It will take lots of money. The investment will be huge yet necessary. I am okay with all of this. My first choice for college is Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where a brand new architectural program has been launched. If accepted, I would be in Belmont's second graduating class. I like the thought of being a part of something new like that. The reality is that the educational track I have chosen will be expensive. This is why I am applying for this worthy scholarship. I am ready to begin my senior year of high school. I am actively engaged in extracurriculars. I play trombone in our marching band. I am one of the band officers. I am a board member of a local historic preservation group. I anticipate being the president of this group for the coming year. Our group does philanthropic work, doling out grants in our area of the state. I am in the Beta Club. I am an active member of my church, where I am set to participate in a mission trip to Cuba once all Coronovirus sanctions have been lifted. During my high school years, I have also served as a Page during our state General Assembly sessions at our capital. As an Asian-American who is a minority student at my school, I understand that sometimes I am very much a minority. There are times when I look around the room and find no other person who looks the way I do. Currently, my passion is that of inclusion. I want to find ways to make sure that every race is represented in all of our school clubs, groups, teams, and events. Inclusion means more than just filling spots with certain kinds of people. Inclusion means that every voice is heard and that every person is valued. In the end, I think that each of us wants to be respected because of who we are and not for what we are. I, and others like me, have much to offer. All we need is a chance to shine. The inclusion of which I speak falls into the category of social justice. I am proud of who I am. I am happy and blessed to be a citizen of this great nation. I wish to do all I can to contribute to society through my profession and through my personal integrity.
    JuJu Foundation Scholarship
    We need inspiration for living our lives. We need to harness the power of an idea in order to have fuel for life's journey. Sadly, many people do not even think of life in these terms. They are not fully alive, for they exist rather than thrive. Those who do find inspiration need to celebrate their discovery, claim it and name it, in order for its catalytic effect to impact others. The thing that drives me is stories of success. When I read or hear about someone who has met heartache and adversity head on it inspires me to do the same. As I think of it, most success stories are essentially the same in that they reveal how a person got from Point A to Point B and how Point B finds them in a much better place. Also, my reflection of these tales reveals the uniqueness of every person and how there is no one quick-fix or a single pathway that takes a person from a place of despair to the glorious destination of wealth, power, prestige, or influence. The United States of America is not perfect by any measure, yet it was, is, and will continue to be the real estate on which dreams are made. I love the stories of people who come here as immigrants without any material things and thrive within a matter of a single generation. This is the promise that the Statue of Liberty gives to all who wish to "breathe free." Stories that chronicle an athlete's rise to success or an artist's climb through musical genius also inspire me to be my very best. These athletes and musicians remind us that if you have talent and manage it in the right way you can have a platform on which to influence the whole world. This is a magical thing that gives me strength. The stories of successful people who were disadvantaged by birth or circumstance also cause me to take notice. These people learn that not only is life not fair, it often does not make any sense. Somehow, through it all, these people find ways to shake away the negative trappings of their lives as they express the meaning and purpose that makes them who they are. I, too, am a story. Each of our lives could be expressed in book form. How is our story going to be read by others? Will it be instructive? Will it challenge? Will it be the kind of thing that causes others to make the world a better place? The answers to these and other questions are complex, yet they will and must be answered. So, just as I draw inspiration from the success stories of others, I need to be keenly aware that there is a point of transfer where my story has an equal potential to inspire.
    "Wise Words" Scholarship
    Jenna Powers The quote that means a lot to me is by Dr. Viktor Frankl, who said: "Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose." This is a special quotation because I know Frankl's story. He was a Jewish prisoner in one of the Nazi death camps during World War II. He lost family members. He lost his career as a psychiatrist. He lost his freedom. But he did not lose his meaning and purpose. In his famous book, "Man's Search for Meaning," he tells how he survived his ordeal in the face of constant persecution, starvation, and isolation. Knowing Frankl's story makes me ashamed to complain after I have had a bad day. It causes me to reflect on just how good my life is compared to the atrocities he and his compatriots endured at that time. Not only did Frankl gain his freedom at the end of the war, but he also went on to rebuild his practice of medicine. He never lost sight of the fact that his life carried extraordinary meaning and that this meaning brought purpose regardless of his circumstances. This quote means a lot to me for a couple of reasons. First, we live at a time when people are focused on themselves to the detriment of others. People are reluctant to take charge of their own lives and want to blame others for what they do not have or cannot do. I wish to live as Frankl did. I do not want to focus on the situations that I find myself in throughout my adult life; I want to cling to my meaning and purpose- things that will carry me through any obstacle. Life events, good, bad, or ugly, should not change who I am as a person. I am not the sum of what happens to me. I am the vessel through which my dreams and aspirations flow. Secondly, this quote resonates with me in that it denies power to adversity. I have observed people who seem stuck in the past. They complain that they could have been this or could have done that if only that certain person or thing had not blocked them. This rationale is unacceptable to me, and Frankl's quote gives me the courage to reject such attitudes. Frankl figured it out. The Nazis could take all of the trappings of love and success away from him, but they could never take his spirit- the thing that made him who he was. I draw comfort and inspiration from this life-altering truth. So, Frankl's revolutionary quotation serves as my mantra and one that will guide me in the time that is now and in the time that lies ahead.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    How has your experience with mental health influenced your beliefs, relationships, and career aspirations? We have family friends who battle depression. I have seen the pain that these friends are in and the enormous strain their illness places on their families. In some cases, their struggle with mental health has an obvious cause. For others, it is a total mystery as to why they are as they are. With proper medication, our friends cope. I truly feel for them, their spouses, and their children. I know that there are times when these friends act completely normal and happy and that there are other times when their family members have to make excuses for them because they do not feel well enough to accompany them on outings. I know that there are times when these friends are absent or late to work because they lack the motivation to get up or to get out of their houses. I know that an underlying feeling always lingers among family members that their depressed loved ones need to be watched or monitored in ways that would prevent them from harming themselves or from committing suicide. Observing these friends has influenced my beliefs, my relationships, and my career aspirations. I believe that it is crucial to show empathy to their families as well as to their afflicted loved ones. Some may say that people who are depressed should just snap out of it. I believe that it would so wonderful if that were all they needed to do- to just snap themselves out of the dark places where they reside. I know that their feelings are out of their control and that it takes time and patience and lots of love and support to assist them as they cope with life. Just as there is physical health, there is mental health. Those who carry the burden of depression need to establish relationships with trained professionals who can assist them as they manage their issues. I know that my depressed friends take prescription medicines for their malady because they have told me so. I know that it is important for them to take their medicines as prescribed and not skip or double up on dosages. I believe that it is important to include people with depression. In other words, they should not be excluded as plans are made for life. I believe that my observations of depressed friends inform my relations with others. For example, knowing that there are people I know who have little or no zest for living causes me to be more sensitive to others in the actions of my daily life. Sometimes it is hard to tell what kind of day people around me are having, for some hide their feelings quite well. At other times and with other acquaintances their mood is completely obvious, for they wear their temperament on their faces, in their body language, and in their tone of voice. I want to be the kind of friend who is sensitive to the dispositions of those around me. I want to treat others as I wish to be treated. I do not confuse clinical depression with having a bad day. I know that depression is far more complicated than that. The anxiety that some people have is overwhelming for them. This is why it is so important for us all to learn how to express ourselves directly and appropriately in our attempts at keeping lingering sadness at bay. I believe that my career goal, that of becoming an architect, provides a beautiful illustration of how we must battle the crippling effects of despondency. An architect blends art and math in an attempt to create a meaningful space for life, work, or play. Those with the miserable melancholy of life get stuck somewhere between the concept and completion of an architectural project. They feel that they do not embody the goals of the architectural renderings. They conclude that they have no place within the goals of those renderings. They struggle to imagine how the 3-D architectural model matters or that they somehow can become a beneficiary of its overarching theories. Left on their own, depressed friends find more reasons to feel their inadequacies, so we must remember to remind them of our love and how they are represented in the blueprint of their own lives. All of this underscores the need for me, as an architect, to include the needs and desires of all project stakeholders in my sketches so that they can see themselves and their desires in the finished product. Being on the outside looking in on friends with depression, if we are honest, is a tough role to play. We want to help, and we feel powerless to do so. We must be strong. We must not abandon our friends even though they may give us every reason to run away from their troubles. I count my great mental health as a blessing and pledge to be all that I can be for those I know and love who are not so fortunate.