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Mandy Davila


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All of my life I have been a dreamer and planner. I have grown up in a large family, with parents and siblings who have always been there for me, encouraging me in all of my pursuits. The main pursuit of mine has always been art. When I graduated high school I was not sure if I was being called into the medical field or the artistic field, but I finally decided to study what I love most, and started my major in Art Illustration at a local college. At first I had wanted to move out of state for college, but then I decided to save money and commute to the local college instead. It is also my dream to save up enough money so that I can travel internationally after college, and study art in Italy if I get the chance! I do not have more of a right than any of the other students here who apply for scholarships, but I do believe that I am deserving of scholarships because I work hard, put my whole character into everything that I do, get good grades, and love seeing what I can do with the life God has given me.


Concordia University-Wisconsin

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Visual and Performing Arts, General
    • Design and Applied Arts
    • Fine and Studio Arts
  • Minors:
    • Philosophy
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

    • Production Manager/Field Worker

      Springdale Farm
      2015 – 20216 years
    • Shipping and Packaging

      Simply Earth
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Art Intern

      InkWorks LLC
      2020 – 20222 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Cristo Por Su Mundo Orphanage — Laborer
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Church Mission Trip — Construction/Demolition
      2018 – 2018
    • Volunteering

      Appalachian Service Project — Construction/Demolition
      2024 – 2024
    Combined Worlds Scholarship
    I believe that one of the most important things that we can do in this world is to step outside of ourselves, and to think about the other people around us. One of the best ways to do this is by being able to experience pieces of others' cultures, in order to realize what ways we are different, and how in many ways we are all the same. When I was in high school, I had the blessing of someone in my church who was from Japan, and was willing to teach me and my friends about the language and the culture. To this day, that has been my favorite class that I have ever taken. My teacher has such a love of Japan, and was very much invested in sharing that love with all of us. Not only did my teacher teach us the grammar and vocabulary of the Japanese language, but he also made us research the provinces of Japan, what some of their cultural past-times were, and he brought us all traditional Japanese food. This was a new experience for me, since in my mind, Japan had always just been a country on a map. After two years, the class came to an end, and our teacher announced that he and his wife were taking their two boys back to go and live in Japan. He invited us to go and visit him anytime. Three years went by, and I found myself at the end of my senior year of high school. I wanted more than anything to be able to truly experience the Japanese culture for myself, and so for my senior trip my mom and I decided to visit my teacher and his family in Japan for two weeks. It was the most amazing experience of my life. Even though I knew quite a bit about the Japanese culture because of my teacher, it was an incredibly eye-opening experience for me to actually be in Japan, eating their food, shopping in their stores, walking their streets. It was so much more beautiful than any picture could describe it, and actually getting to know people there pushed my mind out of he comfort zone of how I usually saw people around me. The Japanese culture is so polite and reserved, in a completely different way than I had ever before experienced. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have been able to branch outside of my own culture, and genuinely experience the culture of another country. It is my dream to be able to go back to Japan someday and stay longer, because I truly fell in love with its language and its people. It has also inspired me to learn more languages, sign language especially, because experiencing someone else's culture is truly life-changing.
    Harvest Achievement Scholarship
    My name is Mandy Davila, and I am an artist studying Illustration at Concordia University. I would love to build up my skills and talents to be able to influence the world around me, and to leave my mark for those who come after me. To me, art is one of the boldest ways to communicate to the people in the world. No matter the country or the language, everyone can understand the message that the artist is trying to convey. No matter where you go, art is there. Whether that might be the branding on the drink you buy, the drawing in your child's favorite book, or the typography that a company uses for their store name, it is always there, influencing our daily lives. I love how art is so versatile - it can be comforting, inspiring, motivating, or saddening - but no matter what, it always has a message. My accountability as an artist comes directly from my parents. I started my artistic career when I was still in grade school. My mother is a watercolor artist, and I was inspired by her to see what I could do with my own set of paints and a brush. I was terrible at first, but she kept encouraging me to let go of comparison, and to simply keep practicing and exploring. She saved every single one of my paintings and drawings, allowing me to later see the artistic journey that I had traveled over the years. My dad is always encouraging me to never think small - that dreams can be as big as you want them to be, and that I am capable of more than I think. This accountability and encouragement has gotten me to take the next steps in furthering my dream. I was scared at first, but my parents supported me in my decision to enroll at the local college near us so that I could start my major in Art Illustration. I am learning so much, and I so blessed to be a part of all my classes, which open up my skills to be so much more that they were before. I want the mark that I leave on the world to inspire other people to chase their dreams just like I am doing, and I want what I do to inspire my own children someday, just like my parents have inspired me over the years to pursue my dreams.
    Reginald Kelley Scholarship
    The career that I feel called to pursue and love is in the artistic field. When I was in middle school, my mother instigated the testing out of my artistic capabilities. She handed me watercolor and acrylic supplies, and told me to experiment. I did – the results were terrible! I laugh now at all of the early art of mine she has saved in boxes over the years. After comparing my first attempts at art with other examples that were more advanced than mine, I was convinced that I was not destined to be an artist, because I would never be good enough. My mother, however, knew that an artist is not born in a minute, but is cultivated over time and practice. She encouraged me to run my own race, and practice for my own artistic journey. She inspired me and taught me the meaning of perseverance and dedication. The next few years of my artistic accomplishments were still pretty rough. It was not until I continued to develop in watercolor that I felt like I really had any talent. I also discovered that I have an eye for drawing true-to-life images, and so have pushed myself to draw everything that I see. My mother herself is an excellent watercolor artist, and continued to give me the tools and confidence that I needed in order to keep pursuing my passion. To date, my best works are those that are done in watercolor and pen, but I also discovered recently through an oil painting class that I have an intense love and interest in how oil paint functions. I would like to keep pursuing that style as well. While I had all of this artistic ambition fermenting inside of me, I was not sure as to what type of job I could get to use as a creative outlet – and still earn a living at the same time! I decided finally on pursuing the career of illustration, because I believe that it gives me the perfect opportunity to paint and draw in my own style, and it gives a very specific joy to others as well. Growing up, my mother blessed us with a full library to peruse, due to her own great love of literature. As a child, I gravitated towards whatever storybooks had the best illustrations. So, when looking at career options, I realized that I would love to do that for a living – illustrate children’s books because I love looking at them so much. I truly believe that a children’s book is lacking if it does not have the perfect illustrations to go with it. It is the pictures that make the child want to read and look at the story over and over again, later becoming a beautiful memory when that child has become an adult. I personally have started my own collection of books, many of which are purely because I loved the illustrations in them when I was little. I hope someday to pass my love of them on to my own children, as my mother has faithfully done for me and my siblings. Currently, I am pursuing my dream and passion by majoring in Illustration at Concordia University WI. I am daily inspired by my professors and fellow students to continue to grow and learn in my artistic style and capabilities. I am so thankful to be able to attend college and keep journeying on towards my goal!
    G.A. Johnston Memorial Scholarship
    I absolutely love painting with watercolors! I started out playing with watercolor when I was 10 years old. I was incredibly inspired by my mother, who also has a passion for watercolor painting, and who put me on the path towards seriously developing my talent. When I started out, I was not confident in my abilities, but to me, watercolor is forgiving and confidence-building. They say that “practice makes perfect” and it turns out it is actually true! The more that I practiced with watercolors, the more that I fell in love with the way that I could make the paint flow on the paper, creating the color blends and textures for my illustrations. My passion lies in whimsical art, delicate and beautiful. I have been called an “egg-shell artist” before, which perfectly describes my style. I rely on the defining lines of deft pen strokes to outline my paintings, and I leave the color and styling up to the watercolor portion of my composition. I love how watercolor can add so many moods to a composition piece, changing the feel of the painting based just on how the paint lands on the paper. Now, nine years later, I have the confidence to pursue my dream of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Art Illustration. I am learning so much about paint, color, and how it all works together to become a piece of art that people cannot help looking at and loving. Out of all the media that I use for my major, watercolor is still my media of choice, and my hope is to someday illustrate children’s books that I would have wanted to read as a child. I am so excited to see what I can do with this major, and to continue thriving in my watercolor journey!
    Book Lovers Scholarship
    If I could have everyone in the world read one book, I would pick that book to be "Ishmael", by E.D.E.N Southworth. This book was recommended to me by my mother when I was 14 years old, and to this day it is still the most inspirational books in my library. "Ishmael" has incredibly impacted my life, and has given me insight as to what kind of person I would like to be in society. "Ishmael" is a book that tells the story of a young man who is born in poverty. His mother died during his childbirth, and he does not know who his father is. He is raised by his well-meaning but strict aunt and uncle. He grows up during a time period where it is shameful to be born out of wedlock, which is what everyone assumes happened. This assumption about him makes the chances of him becoming a respected gentleman and succeeding in life very unlikely. The plot of the book tracks the young man’s climb upward in life, and how this climb is completely dependent upon the choices that he makes. It is through these choices that the reader is inspired to be a better and nobler person in society, because of how much one grows to respect the young man throughout his life in the story. When "Ishmael" was first handed to me, I actually had very little motivation to read it. I was used to reading girlish romance novels, or dystopian fiction stories, and this book seemed very far outside of my comfort zone. However, as soon as I opened up the book and started reading, I was gripped by the story. I became truly invested in the life journey of the main character. I wanted to see how his life turned out, and to become like him in how he dealt with certain situations and trials. It is because of this inspiration and impact that I would recommend "Ishmael" as the one book that everyone should read. I truly believe that it has shaped my character as a person to better society, and the main character continues to serve as my role model to this day. Everyone should have a role model that they can look up to and emulate in life, and "Ishmael" is a book that provides a solid example of just that.