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Makaylah Williams

7375

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

Bio

I have decided to double major in Social Work and Ethnic & Gender Studies, as I want to reach and help those who are most vulnerable. Specifically, I desire to become a medical social worker and work within a women's hospital. I want to fight for those who are most affected by our medical system, especially BIPOC. Too many women suffer from the institutional racism and misogyny that our country has been built on. I want to fight and become a support system for those who struggle with sexual health issues such as myself. I want to fight against issues that damage and hinder women such as Female Genital Mutilation. I ultimately want to gain my Master's Degree and become educated on different issues so that I can provide the best care for those around me.

Education

Westfield State University

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies, Other
    • Social Work

South Lancaster Academy

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Health, Wellness, and Fitness

    • Dream career goals:

      women's health counselor

    • Cashier and Stocker

      Dollar Tree
      2023 – 2023
    • Student Cashier, Food Server, Food Prep

      Sodexo
      2024 – 2024
    • Food Packaging

      Westfield State University
      2024 – Present7 months
    • Student Note Taker

      Westfield State University Banacos Center
      2022 – 2022
    • Ice cream server

      Dairy Queen (treats)
      2022 – 2022

    Sports

    Cross-Country Running

    Club
    2018 – 2018

    Awards

    • Girl's regional placement

    Arts

    • WSU Gospel Choir

      Music
      No
      2022 – Present
    • Concert Choir

      Music
      no
      2019 – 2020
    • El Voce

      Music
      no
      2019 – 2020

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Student Justice Peer Educators — Student Justice Peer Educator
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Girls on the Run — Cheerleader
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Salvation Army Corps and Comm. — buying, packaging, and donating toiletries to my local Salvation Army Corps and Comm.
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Letters for Destiny — creating tangible and e-cards to various children in hospitals
      2021 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Operation 11 Tyler Schaeffer Memorial Scholarship
    As a young girl, I loved Barbie. Whenever a new movie would come out, my parents would rush out and buy the DVD (and sometimes the doll to match!) and I would become glued to the computer monitor--soaking in all that storyline had for me. A recurrent value that would be found woven throughout the movies was the message that ‘you can be anything’ and that ‘anything is possible when you put your mind to something.’ I didn’t realize growing up that I had inadvertently adopted this ideology within my life. When things get hard, I believe that all I need to do is persevere and everything will work out in the end. What I did not realize as a young girl was that my identity in this life was different from Barbies.’ As a (dark-skinned) Black woman, there will always be systems established in an attempt to keep me in my place. Even if I were to excel in comparison to my peers, I would still never be equally matched to those who physically looked like the doll icon--white. With all of this in mind, I cannot help but still hold on to the magical outlook that Barbie has brought me. Yes, the reality for me is astoundingly different for someone who may be of a different race, ethnicity, and gender than I am. However, I still believe that I can achieve greatness. As a current sophomore attending Westfield State University, I am pursuing both a major in Social Work and Ethnic and Gender Studies. I have decided to double major in these areas simply because I want to help others--namely minority groups. I want to help others recognize their potential in a world that wants nothing more than for them to fail. I want to be employed in feminocentric facilities where I can possibly mentor and guide other women who may also suffer from chronic reproductive disorders. I want to study abroad and make connections with people of various cultures--spreading my knowledge and hopefully making a difference in their lives. I want to believe that “Anything is Possible.” Even for me. Now more than ever as minority history is being erased, divisions amongst people are growing stronger, and laws are being put in place to keep White folks in charge, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am in the correct job occupation. Financially, growing up I could never say that we grew up poor but we did struggle from time to time. My parents both work full time and are able to provide birthday and Christmas gifts but attending college (though heavily encouraged) was and is not something that they could afford on their own. This scholarship would greatly aid in my pursuit of higher education, removing weights from my family’s shoulders, and allowing me not to worry about being able to stay at school but focus on my education fully. This scholarship would help place me closer to the position to help and educate BIPOC women in my community. Thank you for your consideration.
    Joshua A. Vaughn Memorial Scholarship
    As a young girl, I loved Barbie. Whenever a new movie would come out, my parents would rush out and buy the DVD (and sometimes the doll to match!) and I would become glued to the computer monitor--soaking in all that storyline had for me. A recurrent value that would be found woven throughout the movies was the message that ‘you can be anything’ and that ‘anything is possible when you put your mind to something.’ I didn’t realize growing up that I had inadvertently adopted this ideology within my life. When things get hard, I believe that all I need to do is persevere and everything will work out in the end. What I did not realize as a young girl was that my identity in this life was different from Barbies.’ As a (dark-skinned) Black woman, there will always be systems established in an attempt to keep me in my place. Even if I were to excel in comparison to my peers, I would still never be equally matched to those who physically looked like the doll icon--white. With all of this in mind, I cannot help but still hold on to the magical outlook that Barbie has brought me. Yes, the reality for me is astoundingly different for someone who may be of a different race, ethnicity, and gender than I am. However, I still believe that I can achieve greatness. As a current sophomore attending Westfield State University, I am pursuing both a major in Social Work and Ethnic and Gender Studies. I have decided to double major in these areas simply because I want to help others--namely minority groups. I want to help others recognize their potential in a world that wants nothing more than for them to fail. I want to be employed in feminocentric facilities where I can possibly mentor and guide other women who may also suffer from chronic reproductive disorders. I want to study abroad and make connections with people of various cultures--spreading my knowledge and hopefully making a difference in their lives. I want to believe that “Anything is Possible.” Even for me. Now more than ever as minority history is being erased, divisions amongst people are growing stronger, and laws are being put in place to keep White folks in charge, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am in the correct job occupation. Financially, growing up I could never say that we grew up poor but we did struggle from time to time. My parents both work full time and are able to provide birthday and Christmas gifts but attending college (though heavily encouraged) was and is not something that they could afford on their own. This scholarship would greatly aid in my pursuit of higher education, removing weights from my family’s shoulders, and allowing me not to worry about being able to stay at school but focus on my education fully. This scholarship would help place me closer to the position to help and educate BIPOC women in my community. Thank you for your consideration.
    CATALYSTS Scholarship
    During my junior year of high school, I had taken a mandatory elective class known as Careers Class. In this class, our teacher made up a website portfolio filled with research on careers we were interested in. Our final project in that class consisted of interviewing two individuals that were currently employed within that profession. During my elementary years, I decided that I wanted to become a mental health counselor. This decision seemed to become more solidified once I began my own mental health journey and healing. I later realized, however, that though mental health is something I definitely do want to tackle within my profession, I also wanted to be part of dealing with other aspects of life that may make those who are underprivileged more difficult (women’s reproductive help, arranging living situations for those who are without a home, providing resources for individuals suffering from addiction, etc). Hearing this, my teacher introduced me to the profession that is Social Work. I was unaware of what a social worker was and I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to not only a mental health social worker, but also a student who was interning within a clinical setting. Hearing about the flexibility and endless opportunities to work with various clients and situations led me to desire to become a social worker. I am currently a freshman attending Westfield State University with a Social Work major. I also want to major in psychology. I have come to realize that I am especially passionate about helping others due to my own personal experiences and the impact those who have helped me have left. When I was twelve years old, I was admitted to the hospital due to extreme blood loss from a menstrual period. I was very young and did not fully understand the gravity of the situation that I was in. I know now that due to the compassion, understanding, patience, and diligence that the medical workers provided me and my family, I was able to survive. The various doctors that have helped me deal with my various illnesses and conditions have blessed me with the drive to help others. Though I am not interested in becoming a medical doctor or a nurse, I do want to be part of their team. I want to help provide hope and healing to families suffering from situations that are too hard for them to handle on their own. In order to attend the school that I am now, I had to work extremely hard in high school to receive scholarships, as my medical bills have produced a financial burden on my parents. There were periods of time when I had to sacrifice my mental to benefit my physical health (missing out on exams to heal from a week-long migration episode). I have had to rely on God and those he has placed in my life to be where I am today. I know for a fact that if I did not have a strong support system, I would not be alive. By God’s grace, I was able to graduate from my senior class as Salutatorian with a 3.99 GPA, and I was able to receive a great scholarship for school. I don’t want to come off as selfish, but I want to become the support system for those who are in need too, especially those who are most vulnerable within our society. I believe that this scholarship will help me continue my education so that I can become the very best in what I do.
    She Rose in Health Scholarship
    During my junior year of high school, I took a mandatory elective class known as Careers Class. In this class, our teacher made up a website portfolio filled with research on careers we were interested in. Our final project in that class consisted of interviewing two individuals that were currently employed within that profession. During my elementary years, I decided that I wanted to become a mental health counselor. This decision seemed to become more solidified once I began my mental health journey and healing. I later realized, however, that though mental health is something I do want to tackle within my profession, I also wanted to be part of dealing with other aspects of life that may make those who are underprivileged more difficult (women’s reproductive help, arranging living situations for those who are without a home, providing resources for individuals suffering from addiction, etc). Hearing this, my teacher introduced me to the profession that is Social Work. I was unaware of what a social worker was and I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to not only a mental health social worker, but also a student who was interning within a clinical setting. Hearing about the flexibility and endless opportunities to work with various clients and situations led me to desire to become a social worker. I am currently a freshman attending Westfield State University with a Social Work major. I also want to major in psychology. I have come to realize that I am especially passionate about helping others due to my own experiences and the impact those who have helped me have left. When I was twelve years old, I was admitted to the hospital due to extreme blood loss from a menstrual period. I was very young and did not fully understand the gravity of the situation that I was in. I know now that due to the compassion, understanding, patience, and diligence that the medical workers provided my family and me, I was able to survive. The various doctors that have helped me deal with my various illnesses and conditions have blessed me with the drive to help others. Though I am not interested in becoming a medical doctor or a nurse, I do want to be part of their team. I want to help provide hope and healing to families suffering from situations that are too hard for them to handle on their own. To attend the school that I am now, I had to work extremely hard in high school to receive scholarships, as my medical bills have produced a financial burden on my parents. There were periods when I had to sacrifice my mental to benefit my physical health (missing out on exams to heal from a week-long migration episode). I have had to rely on God and those he has placed in my life to be where I am today. I know for a fact that if I did not have a strong support system, I would not be alive. By God’s grace, I was able to graduate from my senior class as Salutatorian with a 3.99 GPA, and I was able to receive a great scholarship for school. I don’t want to come off as selfish, but I want to become the support system for those in need too, especially those most vulnerable within our society. I believe that this scholarship will help me continue my education by providing more financial stability so that I can become the very best in what I do.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    During my junior year of high school, I had taken a mandatory elective class known as Careers Class. In this class, our teacher made up a website portfolio filled with research on careers we were interested in. Our final project in that class consisted of interviewing two individuals that were currently employed within that profession. During my elementary years, I decided that I wanted to become a mental health counselor. This decision seemed to become more solidified once I began my own mental health journey and healing. I later realized, however, that though mental health is something I definitely do want to tackle within my profession, I also wanted to be part of dealing with other aspects of life that may make those who are underprivileged more difficult (women’s reproductive help, arranging living situations for those who are without a home, providing resources for individuals suffering from addiction, etc). Hearing this, my teacher introduced me to the profession that is Social Work. I was unaware of what a social worker was and I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to not only a mental health social worker, but also a student who was interning within a clinical setting. Hearing about the flexibility and endless opportunities to work with various clients and situations led me to desire to become a social worker. I am currently a freshman attending Westfield State University with a Social Work major. I also want to major in psychology. I have come to realize that I am especially passionate about helping others due to my own personal experiences and the impact those who have helped me have left. When I was twelve years old, I was admitted to the hospital due to extreme blood loss from a menstrual period. I was very young and did not fully understand the gravity of the situation that I was in. I know now that due to the compassion, understanding, patience, and diligence that the medical workers provided me and my family, I was able to survive. The various doctors that have helped me deal with my various illnesses and conditions have blessed me with the drive to help others. Though I am not interested in becoming a medical doctor or a nurse, I do want to be part of their team. I want to help provide hope and healing to families suffering from situations that are too hard for them to handle on their own. In order to attend the school that I am now, I had to work extremely hard in high school to receive scholarships, as my medical bills have produced a financial burden on my parents. There were periods of time when I had to sacrifice my mental to benefit my physical health (missing out on exams to heal from a week-long migration episode). I have had to rely on God and those he has placed in my life to be where I am today. I know for a fact that if I did not have a strong support system, I would not be alive. By God’s grace, I was able to graduate from my senior class as Salutatorian with a 3.99 GPA, and I was able to receive a great scholarship for school. I don’t want to come off as selfish, but I want to become the support system for those who are in need too, especially those who are most vulnerable within our society. I believe that this scholarship will help me continue my education so that I can become the very best in what I do.
    Samuel L. Goodman Educational Scholarship
    My name is Makaylah Alisha Williams and I am 18 years old. In high school, I had a course known as Careers Exploratory. In this class, our teacher made up a website portfolio filled with research on careers we were interested in. Our final project in that class consisted of interviewing two individuals that were currently employed within that profession. During my elementary years, I decided that I wanted to become a mental health counselor. This decision seemed to become more solidified once I began my own mental health journey and healing. I later realized, however, that though mental health is something I definitely do want to tackle within my profession, I also wanted to be part of dealing with other aspects of life that may make those who are underprivileged more difficult (women’s reproductive help, arranging living situations for those who are without a home, providing resources for individuals suffering from addiction, etc). Hearing this, my teacher introduced me to the profession that is Social Work. I was unaware of what a social worker was and I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to not only a mental health social worker, but also a student who was interning within a clinical setting. Hearing about the flexibility and endless opportunities to work with various clients and situations led me to desire to become a social worker. I am currently a freshman attending Westfield State University with a Social Work major. I also want to major in psychology. I have come to realize that I am especially passionate about helping others due to my own personal experiences and the impact those who have helped me have left. When I was twelve years old, I was admitted to the hospital due to extreme blood loss from a menstrual period. I was very young and did not fully understand the gravity of the situation that I was in. I know now that due to the compassion, understanding, patience, and diligence that the medical workers provided me and my family, I was able to survive. The various doctors that have helped me deal with my various illnesses and conditions have blessed me with the drive to help others. Though I am not interested in becoming a medical doctor or a nurse, I do want to be part of their team. I want to help provide hope and healing to families suffering from situations that are too hard for them to handle on their own. In order to attend the school that I am now, I had to work extremely hard in high school to receive scholarships, as my medical bills have produced a financial burden on my parents. There were periods of time when I had to sacrifice my mental to benefit my physical health (missing out on exams to heal from a week-long migration episode). I have had to rely on God and those he has placed in my life to be where I am today. I know for a fact that if I did not have a strong support system, I would not be alive. By God’s grace, I was able to graduate from my senior class as Salutatorian with a 3.99 GPA, and I was able to receive a great scholarship for school. I don’t want to come off as selfish, but I want to become the support system for those who are in need too, especially those who are most vulnerable within our society. I believe that this scholarship will help me continue my education so that I can become the very best in what I do.
    Do Good Scholarship
    I have decided to study at university with a major in Social Work, as I want to reach and impact those who need help through the various forms of outreach that social workers take within their day-to-day lives. For many years, I have been interested in the field of psychology and wanted to become a counselor. I had been inspired to do so because of the significant impact that my own counselors and therapists had on my life as I started my mental health journey. As I got older, I became more and more aware of the various forms of injustices that plague our country--especially those that are made towards communities that are most vulnerable (BIPOC, women, disabled folk, the elderly, etc). After experiencing different lemons placed within my life, I decided that my only option was to become determined to make lemonade. Instead of just watching injustices fester, I have decided to enter into a career that will allow me to fervently be part of a constant action to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. That made me decide to become a social worker. I want to specifically become a medical social worker, which means that I would be employed within a clinical setting like a hospital. I want to work in a space that focuses on the sexual and reproductive health of young girls and women--as this is not protected in the United States. I myself have suffered and almost lost my life to reproductive-related complications at a very young age--an age when young girls should not have to worry about their sexual health. Having gone through such agonizing and traumatizing experiences, I know firsthand how important it is to have a strong support group for the client and their family. I believe that I will be able to become an anchor for others as a social worker. I also want to become a social worker because as a Black person, I will be able to act as a voice for my community, especially for black women who deal with medical issues, as we are always overlooked and hold higher mortality rates within medical care compared to those who or not Black due to racism. I know that I have a duty to protect my sisters who are overlooked because we as a Black community have suffered enough. Another reason that I want to enter into this field is that I want to be able to fight back against social issues that especially affect women's health such as Female Genital Mutilation, and spread information on issues that are killing and destroying so many lives that people are not aware of (e.g. Endometriosis, PCOS, Uterine Cancer). I plan to make a positive impact on the world through this career by continuing my education and ultimately achieving my Master's Degree. I will continue to educate myself on tough issues that will allow me to gain awareness and knowledge on how to deal with different situations. I will volunteer and continue to be an activist to fight against social injustices. I plan to become a medical social worker.
    Your Dream Music Scholarship
    Within my family, music is much more than just notes or lyrics being sung. Music holds the ability for spiritual healing. Music provides someone the ability to speak life or death within a situation and should not be taken lightly. What we say matters and I strongly believe this. Though I cannot say that I have a favorite song, “Manifest” by Walt Whitman is one that I found recently and hold dearly to my heart. The lyrics speak of how we must manifest the good things that we are promised in life and how we must think of ourselves in the way that God sees us--as kings and queens and worth all that is good. I personally suffer from extremely low self-esteem due to my struggles with my mental health. I unfortunately was in a state of mind where even my thoughts and dreams would speak down on me or that I did not deserve good things in life. This song helps me remember as a Christian that I am not my illness and that even though it is hard, I must try to speak life into my everyday experiences. This song has helped me decide that I am worthy and deserving. Even if someone may not be of Christian faith or believe in God, I believe that this song is extremely important and holds a message that everyone can benefit from.
    Kerry Kennedy Life Is Good Scholarship
    During my junior year of high school, I had taken a mandatory elective class known as Careers Class. In this class, our teacher made up a website portfolio filled with research on careers we were interested in. Our final project in that class consisted of interviewing two individuals that were currently employed within that profession. During my elementary years, I decided that I wanted to become a mental health counselor. This decision seemed to become more solidified once I began my mental health journey and healing. I later realized, however, that though mental health is something I do want to tackle within my profession, I also wanted to be part of dealing with other aspects of life that may make those who are underprivileged more difficult (women’s reproductive help, arranging living situations for those who are without a home, providing resources for individuals suffering from addiction, etc). Hearing this, my teacher introduced me to the profession that is Social Work. I was unaware of what a social worker was and I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to not only a mental health social worker, but also a student who was interning within a clinical setting. Hearing about the flexibility and endless opportunities to work with various clients and situations led me to desire to become a social worker. I am currently a freshman attending Westfield State University with a Social Work major. I also want to major in psychology. I have come to realize that I am especially passionate about helping others due to my own experiences and the impact those who have helped me have left. When I was twelve years old, I was admitted to the hospital due to extreme blood loss from a menstrual period. I was very young and did not fully understand the gravity of the situation that I was in. I know now that due to the compassion, understanding, patience, and diligence that the medical workers provided me and my family, I was able to survive. The various doctors that have helped me deal with my various illnesses and conditions have blessed me with the drive to help others. Though I am not interested in becoming a medical doctor or a nurse, I do want to be part of their team. I want to help provide hope and healing to families suffering from situations that are too hard for them to handle on their own. To attend the school that I am now, I had to work extremely hard in high school to receive scholarships, as my medical bills have produced a financial burden on my parents. There were periods when I had to sacrifice my mental to benefit my physical health (missing out on exams to heal from a week-long migration episode). I have had to rely on God and those he has placed in my life to be where I am today. I know for a fact that if I did not have a strong support system, I would not be alive. By God’s grace, I was able to graduate from my senior class as Salutatorian with a 3.99 GPA, and I was able to receive a great scholarship for school. I don’t want to come off as selfish, but I want to become the support system for those who are in need too, especially those who are most vulnerable within our society. I believe that this scholarship will help me continue my education so that I can become the very best in what I do.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    Specifically, as not only a Black woman but also someone who suffers from chronic illnesses, I desire to break down some of the stereotypes that plague my community and help provide opportunities that may help those who are suffering as I do. Regarding the country and the world, I really want to bring all that I bring as a prospective social worker to help break down barriers within communities that are most vulnerable (BIPOC, women, elderly, disabled, etc). Though I am a bit busy as a freshman in college, I always want to volunteer for organizations that benefit those who are usually overlooked. I was blessed to be able to volunteer for "Girls on the Run," this past semester. Though I did not know anyone there, it felt nice to cheer on those who were participating in the 5k, working hard in finishing a race that will help encourage young girls around the Western Mass area.
    Femi Chebaís Scholarship
    My goal is to become known as an individual who will give it her all to fight for the social justice of her client. I want to guide, mentor, and benefit individuals. I want to demonstrate the blameless love and grace God has shown me in my life to others.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    One practical solution for helping more people who struggle with mental health is to promote the validity that is found within each person's emotional and mental experiences. A terrible pattern especially found within ethnic minority groups is that mental aches are hidden away from the light of reality. "If no one talks about it, it didn't happen." This is a common phrase spoken from the lips of POC mental illness survivors. Anxiety, depression, and other illnesses are considered to be 'all in the head,' or 'white people problems.' When we remove the validity that is richly found in every individual's experience, we are telling them that their situation does not matter or didn't happen to the extent they are describing. There is no 'right' age for mental illness. Anyone is eligible to have mental illness--children included. It is especially known that whatever is not dealt with initially, will only grow and manifest into something worse. Parents are innately busy and are bombarded with the stresses of life and providing for their children. Many mothers and fathers believe that 'the best parent is one who provides a better life for their children.' While this philosophy is greatly admired, individuals tend to forget that an important aspect of provision includes emotional and mental attention and care. Some parents fail to implement this necessary attention because they don't know how to execute it. As someone who personally suffers from anxiety and depression, having parents who were invested in my mental health aided my recovery and strengthened my trust in them. Unfortunately, everyone is not blessed to have parents who are aware of the importance of mental health. We must take the time to educate our communities on the struggles of mental health and the importance of validity.
    Kenyada Me'Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship
    “Breathe in. Breathe out. Okay, Makaylah. You can do this. It is just a number. It doesn’t define you.” That is what I told myself as I stepped onto the scale in my doctor’s office last year. 2020 was a difficult time for me. Police brutality, BLM protests, and Corona Virus outbreaks were already difficult to process as a 16-year-old just trying to complete her sophomore year of high school. Being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), morbid obesity, and insulin resistance was the ‘icing on the cake.’ When I stepped off of the scale I was speechless. The scale read ‘222 lbs,’ when only about 9 months prior I was ‘190.’ “Your blood pressure levels are elevated and your weight is off the charts. I will refer you to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist,” were the words of my doctor’s counsel during my shock. When I left my appointment, I felt disgusted. I felt like a literal elephant in a room. More than anything, I felt discouraged. My doctor’s response made me feel as though I was a lazy fat girl who did nothing but sit on a couch and eat potato chips. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Every day I would make an effort to exercise and eat healthily. Why couldn’t the scale show that? I wanted to give up. According to Johns Hopkins, one in ten girls have PCOS, a hormonal disorder grounded in bodily confusion. During a menstrual cycle when an egg is not fertilized by sperm, it exits the body in the form of a period. In individuals who suffer from this disorder, the body fails to release a sufficient amount of hormones needed to release the egg. This causes the uterus to form tiny cysts that release high levels of androgens (male hormones). Symptoms of this disorder include elevated levels of testosterone, hair loss or excessive hair growth, difficulty losing weight, insulin resistance, and irregular periods. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured. However, medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms and side effects. When I finally met with my nutritionist and endocrinologist, my eyes were opened. New information and food plans provided me with the hope, ‘that I can lose weight and be healthy.’ I was placed on a low-carb diet, which restricted many of the foods that I used to enjoy. Albeit, no food was worth jeopardizing my health. Having my family’s support throughout my weight loss journey helped me immensely and made me appreciate those around me. By God’s grace, I have lost over 40lbs! This setback (my diagnosis and recovery), made me recognize a deep passion for spreading awareness on women’s illnesses and supporting those who are in recovery. There truly is strength in numbers, and without the support from health professionals, friends, and family, my story may have been different. I work hard in all that I do so that I may be a positive influence on others. I want to show them that hard work and dedication do pay off. Using my personal experience, I would love to mentor young women survivors of reproductive-related illnesses. I believe that having someone who can fully understand your situation can make healing processes easier to deal with.
    Andrew Perez Mental Illness/Suicidal Awareness Education Scholarship
    “Breathe in. Breathe out. Okay, Makaylah. You can do this. It is just a number. It doesn’t define you.” That is what I told myself as I stepped onto the scale in my doctor’s office last year. 2020 was a difficult time for me. Police brutality, BLM protests, and Corona Virus outbreaks were already difficult to process as a 16-year-old just trying to complete her sophomore year of high school. Being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), morbid obesity, and insulin resistance was the ‘icing on the cake.’ When I stepped off of the scale I was speechless. The scale read ‘222 lbs,’ when only about 9 months prior I was ‘190.’ “Your blood pressure levels are elevated and your weight is off the charts. I will refer you to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist,” were the words of my doctor’s counsel during my shock. When I left my appointment, I felt disgusted. I felt like a literal elephant in a room. More than anything, I felt discouraged. My doctor’s response made me feel as though I was a lazy fat girl who did nothing but sit on a couch and eat potato chips. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Every day I would make an effort to exercise and eat healthily. Why couldn’t the scale show that? I wanted to give up. Around the age of twelve, I had been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety, and Depression. A couple of years later, I was also declared to have Trichotillomania. After my doctor's appointment, I had slipped quickly into a deep depression with deep insults towards myself filling my brain. Having received CBT counseling in the past, I knew that I could not stay in the state for too long. So, I got to work. According to Johns Hopkins, one in ten girls have PCOS, a hormonal disorder grounded in bodily confusion. During a menstrual cycle when an egg is not fertilized by sperm, it exits the body in the form of a period. In individuals who suffer from this disorder, the body fails to release a sufficient amount of hormones needed to release the egg. This causes the uterus to form tiny cysts that release high levels of androgens (male hormones). Symptoms of this disorder include elevated levels of testosterone, hair loss or excessive hair growth, difficulty losing weight, insulin resistance, and irregular periods. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured. However, medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms and side effects. When I finally met with my nutritionist and endocrinologist, my eyes were opened. New information and food plans provided me with the hope, ‘that I can lose weight and be healthy.’ I was placed on a low-carb diet, which restricted many of the foods that I used to enjoy. Albeit, no food was worth jeopardizing my health. Having my family’s support throughout my weight loss journey helped me immensely and made me appreciate those around me. By God’s grace, I have lost over 40lbs! This setback (my diagnosis and recovery), made me recognize a deep passion for spreading awareness on women’s illnesses and supporting those who are in recovery. I desire to be there for the sufferers from the begging to the end so that I can support them mentally. There truly is strength in numbers, and without the support from health professionals, friends, and family, my story may have been different. I work hard in all that I do so that I may be a positive influence on others. I want to show them that hard work and dedication do pay off.
    Ruth and Johnnie McCoy Memorial Scholarship
    “Breathe in. Breathe out. Okay, Makaylah. You can do this. It is just a number. It doesn’t define you.” That is what I told myself as I stepped onto the scale in my doctor’s office last year. 2020 was a difficult time for me. Police brutality, BLM protests, and Corona Virus outbreaks were already difficult to process as a 16-year-old just trying to complete her sophomore year of high school. Being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), morbid obesity, and insulin resistance was the ‘icing on the cake.’ When I stepped off of the scale I was speechless. The scale read ‘222 lbs,’ when only about 9 months prior I was ‘190.’ “Your blood pressure levels are elevated and your weight is off the charts. I will refer you to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist,” were the words of my doctor’s counsel during my shock. When I left my appointment, I felt disgusted. I felt like a literal elephant in a room. More than anything, I felt discouraged. My doctor’s response made me feel as though I was a lazy fat girl who did nothing but sit on a couch and eats potato chips. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Every day I would make an effort to exercise and eat healthily. Why couldn’t the scale show that? I wanted to give up. According to Johns Hopkins, one in ten girls have PCOS, a hormonal disorder grounded in bodily confusion. During a menstrual cycle when an egg is not fertilized by sperm, it exits the body in the form of a period. In individuals who suffer from this disorder, the body fails to release a sufficient amount of hormones needed to release the egg. This causes the uterus to form tiny cysts that release high levels of androgens (male hormones). Symptoms of this disorder include elevated levels of testosterone, hair loss or excessive hair growth, difficulty losing weight, insulin resistance, and irregular periods. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured. However, medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms and side effects. When I finally met with my nutritionist and endocrinologist, my eyes were opened. New information and food plans provided me with the hope, ‘that I can lose weight and be healthy.’ I was placed on a low-carb diet, which restricted many of the foods that I used to enjoy. Albeit, no food was worth jeopardizing my health. Having my family’s support throughout my weight loss journey helped me immensely and made me appreciate those around me. By God’s grace, I have lost over 40lbs! This setback (my diagnosis and recovery), made me recognize a deep passion for spreading awareness on women’s illnesses and supporting those who are in recovery. There truly is strength in numbers, and without the support from health professionals, friends, and family, my story may have been different. I work hard in all that I do so that I may be a positive influence on others. I want to attend college so that I can learn how to mentor and help young women who are facing reproductive-related health issues. I want to testify to survivors that anything is possible, and that hard work and dedication do pay off. Work Cited “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).” John Hopkins, 2021, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos#:~:text=Polycystic%20ovary%20syndrome%20(PCOS)%20is,that%20form%20in%20the%20ovaries. Accessed 30 November 2021.
    Robert Lee, Sr. and Bernice Williams Memorial Scholarship
    “Breathe in. Breathe out. Okay, Makaylah. You can do this. It is just a number. It doesn’t define you.” That is what I told myself as I stepped onto the scale in my doctor’s office last year. 2020 was a difficult time for me. Police brutality, BLM protests, and Corona Virus outbreaks were already difficult to process as a 16-year-old just trying to complete her sophomore year of high school. Being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), morbid obesity, and insulin resistance was the ‘icing on the cake.’ When I stepped off of the scale I was speechless. The scale read ‘222 lbs,’ when only about 9 months prior I was ‘190.’ “Your blood pressure levels are elevated and your weight is off the charts. I will refer you to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist,” were the words of my doctor’s counsel during my shock. When I left my appointment, I felt disgusted. I felt like a literal elephant in a room. More than anything, I felt discouraged. My doctor’s response made me feel as though I was a lazy fat girl who did nothing but sit on a couch and eats potato chips. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Every day I would make an effort to exercise and eat healthily. Why couldn’t the scale show that? I wanted to give up. According to Johns Hopkins, one in ten girls have PCOS, a hormonal disorder grounded in bodily confusion. During a menstrual cycle when an egg is not fertilized by sperm, it exits the body in the form of a period. In individuals who suffer from this disorder, the body fails to release a sufficient amount of hormones needed to release the egg. This causes the uterus to form tiny cysts that release high levels of androgens (male hormones). Symptoms of this disorder include elevated levels of testosterone, hair loss or excessive hair growth, difficulty losing weight, insulin resistance, and irregular periods. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured. However, medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms and side effects. When I finally met with my nutritionist and endocrinologist, my eyes were opened. New information and food plans provided me with the hope, ‘that I can lose weight and be healthy.’ I was placed on a low-carb diet, which restricted many of the foods that I used to enjoy. Albeit, no food was worth jeopardizing my health. Having my family’s support throughout my weight loss journey helped me immensely and made me appreciate those around me. By God’s grace, I have lost over 40lbs! This setback (my diagnosis and recovery), made me recognize a deep passion for spreading awareness on women’s illnesses and supporting those who are in recovery. There truly is strength in numbers, and without the support from health professionals, friends, and family, my story may have been different. I work hard in all that I do so that I may be a positive influence on others. I want to show them that hard work and dedication do pay off. Work Cited “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).” John Hopkins, 2021, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos#:~:text=Polycystic%20ovary%20syndrome%20(PCOS)%20is,that%20form%20in%20the%20ovaries. Accessed 30 November 2021.
    Theresa Lord Future Leader Scholarship
    “Breathe in. Breathe out. Okay, Makaylah. You can do this. It is just a number. It doesn’t define you.” That is what I told myself as I stepped onto the scale in my doctor’s office last year. 2020 was a difficult time for me. Police brutality, BLM protests, and Corona Virus outbreaks were already difficult to process as a 16-year-old just trying to complete her sophomore year of high school. Being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), morbid obesity, and insulin resistance was the ‘icing on the cake.’ When I stepped off of the scale I was speechless. The scale read ‘222 lbs,’ when only about 9 months prior I was ‘190.’ “Your blood pressure levels are elevated and your weight is off the charts. I will refer you to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist,” were the words of my doctor’s counsel during my shock. When I left my appointment, I felt disgusted. I felt like a literal elephant in a room. More than anything, I felt discouraged. My doctor’s response made me feel as though I was a lazy fat girl who did nothing but sit on a couch and eats potato chips. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Every day I would make an effort to exercise and eat healthily. Why couldn’t the scale show that? I wanted to give up. According to Johns Hopkins, one in ten girls have PCOS, a hormonal disorder grounded in bodily confusion. During a menstrual cycle when an egg is not fertilized by sperm, it exits the body in the form of a period. In individuals who suffer from this disorder, the body fails to release a sufficient amount of hormones needed to release the egg. This causes the uterus to form tiny cysts that release high levels of androgens (male hormones). Symptoms of this disorder include elevated levels of testosterone, hair loss or excessive hair growth, difficulty losing weight, insulin resistance, and irregular periods. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured. However, medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms and side effects. When I finally met with my nutritionist and endocrinologist, my eyes were opened. New information and food plans provided me with the hope, ‘that I can lose weight and be healthy.’ I was placed on a low-carb diet, which restricted many of the foods that I used to enjoy. Albeit, no food was worth jeopardizing my health. Having my family’s support throughout my weight loss journey helped me immensely and made me appreciate those around me. By God’s grace, I have lost over 40lbs! This setback (my diagnosis and recovery), made me recognize a deep passion for spreading awareness on women’s illnesses and supporting those who are in recovery. There truly is strength in numbers, and without the support from health professionals, friends, and family, my story may have been different. I work hard in all that I do so that I may be a positive influence on others. I want to show them that hard work and dedication do pay off. I desire to earn my Master's degree in Social Work and attend a Historically Black College/University. I will use my degree to minister and counsel young women who are navigating their medical diagnoses. Work Cited “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).” John Hopkins, 2021, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos#:~:text=Polycystic%20ovary%20syndrome%20(PCOS)%20is,that%20form%20in%20the%20ovaries. Accessed 30 November 2021.
    Renee Scholarship
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwmA5oul0ow