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Liberty Koontz

1865

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Finalist

Bio

I one day hope to become either an occupational therapist, specializing in young children with behavioral and cognitive issues, or to become a therapist for troubled teens and children who are struggling with mental health issues. In order to do this, I will need to receive a masters degree in my field along with my undergrad. However, I am paying off my student loans without help and don’t think I’ll be able to afford going to grad school on my own, so I would deeply appreciate any and all scholarship and help opportunities!

Education

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
    • Psychology, General
  • Minors:
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
    • Psychology, General
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
    • Sociology
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      child psychology/therapy

    • Dream career goals:

    • Cashier/New employee trainer

      Food Lion
      2019 – 20212 years
    • Nanny

      Various Families
      2016 – Present8 years
    • Hostess/Waitress

      Chef Santos by Goodfellas
      2018 – Present6 years

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2017 – 20214 years

    Awards

    • Team Captain

    Volleyball

    Varsity
    2019 – 20212 years

    Awards

    • Team Captain

    Research

    • Psychology, General

      SONA — Experimental Subject
      2021 – 2022

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      The Habitat for Humanity — Store Volunteer
      2020 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Your Health Journey Scholarship
    A healthy lifestyle has alway been a major goal in my family and household, however it has become a personal goal for me more recently. I am going into my sophomore year of college, and my first year took a bit of a toll on my mental and physical health. I became much less focused on moving my body and eating foods that would nourish and replenish me while at school, and this summer it has become a goal of mine to redirect this path and maintain a healthy lifestyle even after move in. In order to do this, I have begun making many small changes throughout my summer. A big part of my personal health journey comes with food and I unfortunately have binge eating tendencies, so I have been doing a lot of work both mentally and physically to overcome this. A big thing for me is registering mentally when my body physically needs food rather than just eating because it's on my mind and my brain tells me to. A way I have found to do this is to make sure I am consistently eating three balanced meals a day that way I don't get to the end of the day so hungry and scarf down everything in sight. Since I will be going to school soon, and won't have access as many groceries or utensils a big part of being able to keep up my three meals a day practice will be to weekly plan meals and detailed grocery lists, and commit to creating enough time for myself to prep and cook what I will need for each week. By doing this I plan to save both time and money this year, as well as keeping myself well fed and healthy. Another change I have made to create a healthier lifestyle for myself is moving my body in ways I enjoy. Exercise is extremely important for both my physical and mental health, and I have truly seen a change in myself since I have begun to partake in it regularly. I enjoy lifting weights and light cardio the most, and have found that when I stay true to that routine I am more consistent. I also found a spin class that is offered on my University campus towards the end of last school year, and plan to continue going to that weekly this upcoming year. By giving myself these routines, I not only feel more pulled together and accomplished each week, but I also feel much healthier and energized. I have also implemented the practice of taking the steps whenever it is an option, and parking farther away than I typically would in order to get a few more steps in daily. These slight changes in my lifestyle have all together created a massive and great impact on my life. My health journey has been both mental and physical, and is definitely something I am thankful I partook in and look forward to keeping up on campus throughout this year.
    Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Antonie Bernard Thomas Memorial Scholarship
    Young children, especially those with behavioral and sensory issues not only need but require a strong leader in order to survive day to day life. While in school my main job is a nanny to two young children who fit this description, ages six and seven. Both have sensory issues that can often lead to behavioral problems, and although both go to occupational therapy for an hour each week it is extremely important for me to be able to provide leadership and aid to them while I have the privilege of taking care of them. This job most definitely requires a good bit of leadership, and working with children especially when they have tendencies towards breakdowns and anger issues can be very taxing. However, I truly do enjoy the job and find it very rewarding. I am able to use my leadership skills and resilience to stay on top of most of the issues, and to work with the children and not again them in order to find the root of what is going on and help them to understand better from my point of view. Communication is vital in this practice, and I have had to learn and adapt to their own communication skills in order to make sure they feel comfortable and on my level rather than threatened by me. I think this is important in leadership, because every leader must be strong and authoritative to be respected but must also understand those who are being led in order to lead in the most successful manner. While working with the children I nanny, selfishness is never an option. While it would sometimes be much easier to ignore their breakdowns and cater to what is easiest for me, I refuse to take that route. I believe sitting and listening to them, talking through what they are going through and understanding that their capabilities are not at the same level as mine is much more useful in working with them. While it may seem tedious to others it is important to me that their needs are first and foremost always. I watch these children five days a week, leaving my own classes to go pick them up from school and take them to appointments and practices they may have and then watch them until one of their parents is done with work. Maintaining good grades and staying on top of my schoolwork and social life while also working throughout the week takes a lot of focus and determination as well as a strong work ethic. It has caused me to become a much better planner and become more apt in the area of time management. These children are a great inspiration for me and have helped me to form what I would potentially like to do in the future, become an occupational therapist for young children. I am currently working towards a psychology degree and looking for internships as well as continuing my nannying job for the remainder of my undergrad years. Leadership in this manner is a symbol for what my future career path and life could take, just on a smaller scale while I am still learning and adapting.
    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    During my freshman year of high school my grandmother over dosed on prescription drugs, my junior year of high school I found out an ex boyfriend had relapsed and was dangerously close to over dosing, and my senior year of high school I got news that an old friend had a fatal over dose while at a party. Drugs and substance abuse have been prevalent in my life, especially during my high school years when I was susceptible to peer pressure and struggling with my own mental health issues. While being deeply affected by each of these incidents of friends and loved ones losing their battles to addiction, I found myself falling into my own. While I swore off pills at a young age due to so many around me losing their battles with them, I found myself turning to alcohol and smoking every chance I could to numb my own pain. I become dependent on both, while having to hide this fact from my parents and peers in fear of judgment. By my senior year in high school I had become a shell of who I once was, and had become depressed and lost in my addictions. I have since been able to pull through and leave those substances behind, and am now focused on earning my degree and helping those like me to speak up and get the help they need and deserve instead of turning to deadly substances. To me recovery is a life of freedom.
    Superfood Lover Scholarship
    Superfoods are one of my favorite thing to incorporate into my meals because they give me the energy I require while also tasting great and making me feel accomplished about my eating decisions. Some of my all time favorite super foods are salmon, black beans, quinoa, broccoli and almonds. I work at a Brazilian restaurant during the summer, and we get one meal free each night. I typically get the Brazilian salmon, and it has become one of my all time favorite meals. It also comes with a side of vegetables including broccoli, which makes it a double superfood win. This is a great way for me to stay on top of my diet as well, since most of the dishes at this restaurant are prominently pasta and cheese which can leave me feeling heavy and sluggish for the rest of my shift. I have found that shifts when I get my salmon dish I crave less snacks and sugary drinks for the rest of the night and am able to focus more on working hard than on finding something to eat. One of my favorite lunch dishes that my mom cooks while I am home is a one pot quinoa dish which includes quinoa, black beans, corn, jalapeños, tomatoes and avocado along with a variety of spices. I absolutely love this dish because it is delicious and satisfying without the any heaviness weighing me down after. It contains so many good nutrients, but doesn’t feel like eating a “healthy” meal which is something that I personally love. I also really enjoy it because quinoa can be an iffy addition to any dish, and when not done right can leave you really searching for something more satisfying. This dish does not do that at all, and is also a great vegetarian option if that’s something you’re searching for. While I do love both of those meals, they of course are not accessible to me on a daily basis, however I do still try and incorporate super foods into my diet as often as possible. One of my favorite ways to do this is snacking on almonds, which are a satisfying way to fill me up in between meals during the day. I also try to include vegetables daily, which can include carrots, brussels sprouts and broccoli on any given day. I don’t typically have these as my entire meal, rather as a side with whatever my protein may be but they are always a great addition.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    I have been affected by mental health struggles in my personal life from a very young age, and I truly believe that it has shaped me into who I am today. During my freshman year of high school my grandmother came very close to losing her battle with mental illness and depression. She had struggled with mental health issues for my entire life, and I had known her to be addicted to prescription drugs as a way of coping with her inner issues. This addiction led her to over dose during my freshman year, and be in a coma for weeks. She did survive miraculously, and is alive today although her quality of living is much lower than it should be due to the accident. My grandma was one of my best friends when I was younger, and watching her fade into her addiction and become someone I did not recognize during such an influential time in my growing did affect me deeply. I myself have struggles with mental health issues and depression for much of my life, and felt hopeless at a very young age. I have in the past found myself turning to alcohol, drugs and other forms of distractions that were only making things worse and deepening my mental health wounds. Since my grandmas over dose, I have been given a wake up call and been able to reflect more deeply on the road I had been walking towards. I have since been able to use much healthier coping mechanisms, such as going to therapy, journaling and talking through my emotions to those around me. This has completely turned my life around, and allowed me to see a future for myself again. In this my future has also changed drastically from what I once imagined as a child. I would now love to go into the field of psychology and one day be able to help others that are struggling in ways I once did. I want to be able to reach out and help those who feel like they are drowning, before it is too late. Mental health is such a stigmatized issue in our world today, and I strongly believe that this needs to change. It is an issue that so many suffer with silently, and often those around them are not aware of the severity until it is too late. In the past few years much has been done to make mental health care more accessible and accepted, and it is one of my goals to further this process and make sure that everyone is able to receive the help they may need and be aware that it is out there for them. My experiences with my own mental health and many of those close to me have shown me that it can be easier than you might imagine to hide behind the facade of being O.K and I dream to show those who suffer that it is better to show what is really going on and what you’re really feeling than to suffer silently.