For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Mackenzie Bowman

815

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

My name is Mackenzie, and I hope you're doing well! I have a passion for any creative outlet including art, animation, and storytelling. My greatest desire is to work with horses, especially America's wild mustangs. I was diagnosed with high functioning autism and ADD, but that doesn't stop me from my goals. With tenacity and eagerness I look forward to my future, despite being one of the first in my family to reach so high.

Education

Azle Christian School

High School
2020 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Agricultural Business and Management
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Equine Management

    • Dream career goals:

    • Barn Manager

      Private Horse Stable
      2019 – 20223 years

    Sports

    Rowdy Cheerleading

    Varsity
    2020 – 20222 years

    Horseback Riding

    Club
    2015 – Present9 years

    Powerlifting

    Varsity
    2021 – 20221 year

    Research

    • Physical Sciences, General

      iCAN Homeschool — Researcher and Field
      2018 – 2018
    • Biological/Biosystems Engineering

      Weatherford College Science Club — Leader
      2022 – 2023
    • Research and Experimental Psychology

      iCAN Homeschool — Researcher and Field
      2019 – 2019

    Arts

    • iCAN Homeschool

      Theatre
      I Love Lucy Cheese On Plane Scene, Advertisment for Writing Class
      2019 – 2019
    • Popcorn Players Theatre

      Theatre
      Alice In Wonderland
      2018 – 2018
    • iCAN Homeschool/Scarborough Fair

      Theatre
      Macbeth
      2019 – 2019
    • Art Show of Azle Christian School

      Drawing
      Yellow Horse with Orange Fish parody
      2022 – 2022

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      FOCUS Orange County — Volunteer
      2011 – 2011
    • Volunteering

      Bedford Teen Court — Willful Jury
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Presbyterian Night Shelter — Volunteer
      2017 – 2017
    • Volunteering

      Servolution Network — Student Volunteer
      2020 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Bright Lights Scholarship
    Horses are my passion. I have autism and my special interest has always been equines. Unfortunately, my family has never been able to afford them. As a result, I rarely rode and only worked with them on the ground. These tasks included mucking out stalls and cleaning their coats. While other equestrians see these as meaningless chores, I found great joy in them. It does not feel like work to me even if I am coated in dust and sweat from the stable. My lack of ownership of these animals caused me to be more appreciative of the little things. I want to be a professional groom or stable manager, especially in the higher-end fields of the horse industry. It would be my job to make sure that competition horses are in peak condition before their shows where thousands of dollars are on the line. My job is vital to ensure that both horse and rider perform at their best. Ideally, I would like to live in Europe, which is where the best equestrians display their talent. Perhaps someday I'll be able to own a horse of my own. However, I am restricted by my background and my disability. My hands shake oddly and my voice quivers. Despite my best attempts to be a social butterfly, people still misunderstand my disorder and discriminate against me. I have even been assaulted simply because of my diagnosis. The world of horses is highly competitive and is very similar to the music industry and Hollywood when it comes to new blood and outsiders. This is especially the case since I have never owned a horse. All of this will not stop me from either achieving my goals or working hard. My personal hero is Temple Grandin, who carved a name for herself using her autism as a weapon. Perhaps I can do the same someday, but in the meantime, hard work is what will get me ahead. I do not fear hard work. My entire life will be full of it anyways, so why not strive for my dreams? This scholarship will help me because I am not as wealthy as my equestrian counterparts. Horses are expensive, no doubt about that. The people who grow up with them tend to be children who were raised in an upper-end setting. I have no such abilities to speak of. If I was granted the tools I needed to embrace my education, I would gladly do so. I need to have a certificate program at the very least in order to be recognized. It would increase not only my personal knowledge but my credibility which I lack thanks to being a first-generation equestrian. I am looking forward to my life. Many people have jobs that contain no passion, or even worse, have no passion themselves. I do not see passion as a bad thing. It certainly hurts when we long for a goal that seems impossible. For many of my teen years, I gave up on ever being an equestrian and decided to hunt for other careers instead. I am glad I changed my mind. I only have one life. Even when I sleep I dream of horses. I continue to dream even after I woke up and became more mature and aware of reality. The reality is, my life is always going to be difficult because of my disorder. This has and will not stop me in the slightest. There is little room for failure if I am rejoicing when mucking a stall. I won't be at that level forever.
    Joieful Connections Scholarship
    When I was a baby, I smiled and rarely cried. At first, this pleased my parents, until I was three years old and still wasn't making much noise. After my autism diagnosis, I didn't speak until I was four and a half. I still struggle with communication to this day, but to a much lesser degree. Every day I am reminded of my disorder. I still have not learned how to become accepting of myself. It is a ridiculous doublethink, for I fervently defend every other autistic except myself. That part of my journey is not yet over. I've always loved horses. They are my core passion. Ever since I have understood the very concept of a horse, I've adored them. Although I have never been able to afford one, I will strive to work with these beautiful animals for the rest of my life. They pull me towards them like gravity. I cannot live without them. I feel feverish in my bones if I stay away from them for too long. Horses are truly addictive. Since I have never been able to afford lessons, I am not as good at riding as other people my age. However, I can manage them on the ground better than my peers because of my time spent on the floor instead of the saddle. I want to be a professional groom or stable manager for high-end performance horses. I wouldn't just make the horse or facility clean, I would be ensuring the animal's daily health and appearance for judges and their owners to observe. The very thought fills me with excitement and pride. After receiving higher education, I hope to eventually move to Europe. Where exactly I don't know, but certainly somewhere with horses. Germany and Austria have the best equine facilities, so I hope there. Europe has an amazing talent for these animals. I hope to work and learn from the best of the best. First, before all this, I would spend time in my home state of Texas. There I also hope to absorb valuable information like a sponge. I don't just plan on pure competition. I also hope to help the animals I so greatly love. Horses all around the world are frequently abused and seen only as disposable objects for money or personal gain. My favorite horse breed is the American Mustang, which is frequently sent to slaughter and mistreated by the U.S. Government. I would like to help these horses and any other who is in need. They do not deserve such treatment. There are plenty of programs in Europe that ship horses to that land so that they may have loving homes instead of becoming dog food. That method of animal welfare has been exceedingly effective. I would love to become part of that movement. It may have taken me forever to learn how to speak, but I will use my speech for the benefit of man and beast. Even if I feel great pain from loud noises or shake my arms strangely, I won't stop until I have helped give freedom to the animal that helped give mankind that same power. My brain is unique, and it will help me with preserving the horse on a global scale. It's only the beginning of my journey to do so.
    Lillian's & Ruby's Way Scholarship
    My name is Mackenzie Bowman. Although I am autistic and nervous in day-to-day life, I strive to make my environment comfortable for others. It brings me great joy to see their blank glazed eyes turn into lighthearted smiles. I have always struggled greatly from my disorder, which is why I work hard to help others and their mental state. Horses have always been my greatest passion. Unfortunately, my family has never been able to afford one, let alone myself. I couldn't afford consistent riding lessons either, so I was blessed to be able to work for my neighbors and their mustangs. From the lack of practice, I couldn't ride as well as my peers, but I could certainly do everything that could be done on the ground. I perfected those required skills as much as I could, and it has paid off. I hope to continue working hands-on with equines and eventually running the finest stables. I am certainly not the only autistic individual whose special interest is horses. From my experience, horses are one of the most common hobbies for nurodivergents to latch onto. I've realized that the brain and nervous system of a horse is similar to that of an autistic. We understand them in ways that others can't. Their irrational, almost constant fear is relatable. My heighten anxiety has actually benefited me in this regard. I once got scared at a plastic bag at the same time a herd of horses did, and ran away with them instead of getting trampled. I am able to look at random objects and predict if it will spook them. Whenever I ignore this instinct, I always regret it. Horses have extremely sensitive skin, and so do I. I am able to introduce them to new sensations in a calming manner because I would like to be treated the same. Their wordless communication makes sense. I have studied equine body language all my life and have discovered that they are eerily similar to mankind. They make almost the same facial expressions if you look closely. They smile, laugh, frown, and raise their eyebrows for all the same reasons. Many people only see these creatures as recreational tools for riding, but they are so much more. Studying horses can help us understand the autistic mind. We cannot realistically ignore either. Unfortunately, many do not recognize autistics or horses as having inherent vaule of their own. They only see them as there for their own personal gain. Horses are there to be worked, and autistics are there to be hyperintelligent. It's tragic that so many autistics feel that they must become the smartest in the room, or else no one will tolerate that they are different. It is a harmful stereotype that all high-functioning autistics are geniuses. Most are people of average or low intelligence, just like everyone else. Likewise, horses are only wanted when they ate the best, and are left to starve or to the slaughterhouse when they cannot meet their colossal expectations. Both issues break my heart. When I was young I believed that if I wasn't the smartest in the room, no one would want me. I'm sure many a horse feels the same way that I do about jumping over poles or racing around barrels. By informing the public, I hope to combat both strangely similar issues. Both deserve so much better than how they are treated. Horse abuse is rampant in every equestrian community, and autistics are far more likely to be abused in every way possible. I will do everything in my power to help them.