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Macy Hudgins

1475

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Finalist

Bio

My life goal is to pursue a career in what I am passionate about: the young generation. I want to help people understand that writing is more than just an essay. It’s a way of expression. I know that everyone has a story inside of them, but some people need a little direction on how to tell it. I also want to work to improve the education system. By being a member of the State Board of Education, I can make sure that students and staff alike have the resources they need to succeed in the education field. I have such a passion for writing because I am a writer myself. I have grown so much through the guidance of my English teacher and mentor, Mrs. Kerri Harris. She has pushed me to grow and been inspiration when I have none. She showed me just how powerful my words are, and if not for her, I don’t know where I’d be! I want to be somebody’s Mrs. Harris one day

Education

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • English Language and Literature, General
    • Education, General

Tuscaloosa County High School

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Political Science and Government
    • English Language and Literature, General
    • Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies
    • Educational Administration and Supervision
    • Education, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Higher Education

    • Dream career goals:

      Become a high school English teacher, get my doctorate, become a college professor, be a member of the state board of education

    • Advanced Team Member

      Chick-fil-A
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Girls' Flag Football

    Varsity
    2021 – Present3 years

    Awards

    • All-West Alabama Player of the Year 21-22; All-Area Girls' Flag Football Team 21-22

    Basketball

    Varsity
    2020 – Present4 years

    Awards

    • Most Improved 22-23 season

    Research

    • Bible/Biblical Studies

      Freelance — Researcher
      2018 – Present

    Arts

    • Freelanced

      Poetry
      Personal Substack (Macy's Substack). Faith Through My Eyes.
      2020 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      National Honor Society — Member
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Church of the Highlands — Member
      2021 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Middle Eastern Scholarship for Political Science
    When I think of female role models that have overcome gender barriers, there are many that come to mind. Susan B. Anthony and her suffrage movement paved the way for my voice to be heard. Malala Yousafazi continues to battle through intense terrorism so that young girls can get the education they deserve. Ruth Bader Ginsberg served her nation as a judge on the U.S. Supreme Court, a position dominated by men. J.K Rowling authored the Harry Potter series, becoming one of the most successful authors of all time. While all these women have done wonderful things, the most recent one that comes to mind is Caitlin Clark. She has helped to raise the level of awareness around the game of women's basketball. For the first time ever, the WNBA is playing games in sold out arenas. Clark also has weathered a lot of heat from the basketball fanbase, including players in her league. She is know for shooting distance threes that even the men's teams struggle to make. Through breaking record after record after record, she has secured her spot in the history books forever. She has secured a $28 million dollar endorsement with Nike, becoming the female athlete with the biggest shoe deal in history. Beyond her accomplishments in the history books, she has also inspired generations. Many young girls look to Clark as a role model. She has many adoring fans, and she willingly creates space to have time with them. Every autograph she signs for a young fan is a memory that will be cherished forever. Naturally, with her success, there have been many moments when people spoke down to her, or tried to cast her in a bad light. Many people argued against her accomplishments, trying to disprove all her successes. Throughout the duration of these comments, she held her head high. Young girls now look at Caitlin Clark as the standard for work ethic. From a young age, Clark dreamed of getting a basketball scholarship and playing in the WNBA. Her work ethic is what got her to this point. She spent hours in the gym working on her shot, perfecting her game, and it shows when she plays. Her legacy shouts that consistently working hard brings you the results you are hoping for when you begin. She is the greatest of all time. Before Clark entered the scene, women's basketball was not appreciated. The arenas were more empty than they were full, and there was not a lot of excitement. Now that the "Caitlin Clark Effect" has been in action, people of all genders, ages, and races are beginning to look at the game of women's basketball. Before Clark, no one thought that women could shoot like Clark does. No one thought that women's basketball could be exciting. Then Caitlin Clark walked into the room.
    Hilda Ann Stahl Memorial Scholarship
    Storytelling is a tradition dating back to the beginning of time, when the Lord spoke to a formless void, and everything we see today was set in motion. If it has no power to change anything, why keep doing it? Storytelling in itself has shaped the identity of nations and people groups. However, it has also changed the individual, too. Words are a gift, and they do hold incredible power. It is because of this fact alone that I believe my words can change the world. What I choose to let leave my mouth, or my pen, could be the difference between life and death for someone who hears or reads what is stated. I have seen the way that my words can move the hearts of my readers, and I have been on the receiving end, too. Watching someone's face contort as they try to hold back tears from because my poem has touched them is a sight I can never unsee. Storytelling connects us with people society loves to tell us we can never be unified with. But unity is not the absence of difference, it is the choice to look at similarity first. When I pour my heart onto the page, that piece of paper becomes a bridge between me and someone else, allowing them to feel things they may not have felt in a long time. I have been able to see this first hand. I am currently a published poet. My book went live on November 29, 2023. I was only 17. To be so young and have accomplished a big dream of mine still blows me away. But what is even more shocking is the way that readers have reacted to it. I have had many people come up to me and tell me stories of how my poetry resonated with them in a big way. Few things can make me happier than that. Storytelling is about legacy, and any legacy worth remembering changes the world. My accomplishment has only increased my desire to be intentional with my words, because of the weight that they hold. So many people wait to tell their story, but I hope that mine will forever be a work in progress as I learn to overcome difficulty and grow in wisdom and stature. My goal as a poet, and one day, as an author, is to inspire people to pursue their dreams. They are at your fingertips, but you must be willing to look down and take hold. Then, just never let go.
    Jeanne Kramme Fouke Scholarship for Future Teachers
    To become a teacher is to touch a life forever. I have had many teachers that have lived up to this statement, and continue to, even after I exit their classroom. In fifth grade, I had a family tragedy strike. I was at the hospital super late that night only to receive horrible news about a family member, and still had to go to school the next day. I told my teacher everything that happened the next morning, sitting in the rocking chair next to her desk. For the rest of the school year, even into the spring semester, there was not a day she did not check on me or ask me how my relative was doing. She supported me in a big way, stepping into a mother role outside of my home. I am still good friends with her to this day. In eleventh grade, I took a college English taught by a high school teacher through the dual enrollment network. In this class I wrote a descriptive essay about poetry. I author poetry as frequently as possible, but until this teacher believed in me, I did not have the courage to share it. After she read my paper, she asked me to share some of my scribblings with her. She told me how my words moved her, and I had never thought I was capable of doing that. She helped me find outlets to share my poems with the world. Long story short, I dedicated my first poetry book to her. Much of the reason I am pursuing a teaching career comes from stories like these, I just don't have the space to write them all. I have experienced first-hand what can happen when a teacher believes in their students and what they see inside of them. As a future teacher, my first job will be to instruct my students well, but a close second is allowing them space to grow into who I know they can become. Because so many educators have allowed me room to do this very thing, I am open-minded, creative, and intelligent(hopefully). The influence of a teacher simply cannot be understated, and I want to pave the way, not only for students, but also for fellow and rising educators to follow their dreams. Secondly, I am pursing a career as a high school English teacher. So many of my teachers, especially English teachers, have helped me fall in love with the world of literature. There is so much possibility. They teach me how to read, write, and interpret. I take these tools and apply them to daily life as I look to leave a footprint in the world. This is not the story of most. It makes me sad when people tell me things like, "I haven't read a book since the 3rd grade." If only they knew of the worlds waiting for them at their fingertips, this sentence might change. I know there are many factors affecting this, but my hope is to eliminate educational experience from them. Required reading is a wonderful way to make sure students are reading books, but it is not an effective method to keep them reading. Teachers must show them the why behind literature. Becoming a teacher is one of the greatest opportunities to impact the present. I can help my students succeed in the classroom, but ultimately, I will be instructing the next leaders of the nation my workplace is in. The work I will do will outlive me in the way that the world carries on. Put that on a headstone.
    Fred Rabasca Memorial Scholarship
    To become a teacher is to touch a life forever. I have had many teachers that have lived up to this statement, and continue to, even after I exit their classroom. In fifth grade, I had a family tragedy strike. I was at the hospital super late that night only to receive horrible news about a family member, and still had to go to school the next day. I told my teacher everything that happened the next morning, sitting in the rocking chair next to her desk. For the rest of the school year, even into the spring semester, there was not a day she did not check on me or ask me how my relative was doing. She supported me in a big way, stepping into a mother role outside of my home. I am still good friends with her to this day. In eleventh grade, I took a college English taught by a high school teacher through the dual enrollment network. In this class I wrote a descriptive essay about poetry. I author poetry as frequently as possible, but until this teacher believed in me, I did not have the courage to share it. After she read my paper, she asked me to share some of my scribblings with her. She told me how my words moved her, and I had never thought I was capable of doing that. She helped me find outlets to share my poems with the world. Long story short, I dedicated my first poetry book to her. Much of the reason I am pursuing a teaching career comes from stories like these, I just don't have the space to write them all. I have experienced first-hand what can happen when a teacher believes in their students and what they see inside of them. As a future teacher, my first job will be to instruct my students well, but a close second is allowing them space to grow into who I know they can become. Because so many educators have allowed me room to do this very thing, I am open-minded, creative, and intelligent(hopefully). The influence of a teacher simply cannot be understated, and I want to pave the way, not only for students, but also for fellow and rising educators to follow their dreams. Secondly, I am pursing a career as a high school English teacher. So many of my teachers, especially English teachers, have helped me fall in love with the world of literature. There is so much possibility. They teach me how to read, write, and interpret. I take these tools and apply them to daily life as I look to leave a footprint in the world. This is not the story of most. It makes me sad when people tell me things like, "I haven't read a book since the 3rd grade." If only they knew of the worlds waiting for them at their fingertips, this sentence might change. I know there are many factors affecting this, but my hope is to eliminate educational experience from them. Required reading is a wonderful way to make sure students are reading books, but it is not an effective method to keep them reading. Teachers must show them the why behind literature. Becoming a teacher is one of the greatest opportunities to impact the present. I can help my students succeed in the classroom, but ultimately, I will be instructing the next leaders of the nation my workplace is in. The work I will do will outlive me in the way that the world carries on. Put that on a headstone.
    Marie Humphries Memorial Scholarship
    To become a teacher is to touch a life forever. I have had many teachers that have lived up to this statement, and continue to, even after I exit their classroom. In fifth grade, I had a family tragedy strike. I was at the hospital super late that night only to receive horrible news about a family member, and still had to go to school the next day. I told my teacher everything that happened the next morning, sitting in the rocking chair next to her desk. For the rest of the school year, even into the spring semester, there was not a day she did not check on me or ask me how my relative was doing. She supported me in a big way, stepping into a mother role outside of my home. I am still good friends with her to this day. In eleventh grade, I took a college English taught by a high school teacher through the dual enrollment network. In this class I wrote a descriptive essay about poetry. I author poetry as frequently as possible, but until this teacher believed in me, I did not have the courage to share it. After she read my paper, she asked me to share some of my scribblings with her. She told me how my words moved her, and I had never thought I was capable of doing that. She helped me find outlets to share my poems with the world. Long story short, I dedicated my first poetry book to her. Much of the reason I am pursuing a teaching career comes from stories like these, I just don't have the space to write them all. I have experienced first-hand what can happen when a teacher believes in their students and what they see inside of them. As a future teacher, my first job will be to instruct my students well, but a close second is allowing them space to grow into who I know they can become. Because so many educators have allowed me room to do this very thing, I am open-minded, creative, and intelligent(hopefully). The influence of a teacher simply cannot be understated, and I want to pave the way, not only for students, but also for fellow and rising educators to follow their dreams. Secondly, I am pursing a career as a high school English teacher. So many of my teachers, especially English teachers, have helped me fall in love with the world of literature. There is so much possibility. They teach me how to read, write, and interpret. I take these tools and apply them to daily life as I look to leave a footprint in the world. This is not the story of most. It makes me sad when people tell me things like, "I haven't read a book since the 3rd grade." If only they knew of the worlds waiting for them at their fingertips, this sentence might change. I know there are many factors affecting this, but my hope is to eliminate educational experience from them. Required reading is a wonderful way to make sure students are reading books, but it is not an effective method to keep them reading. Teachers must show them the why behind literature. Becoming a teacher is one of the greatest opportunities to impact the present. I can help my students succeed in the classroom, but ultimately, I will be instructing the next leaders of the nation my workplace is in. The work I will do will outlive me in the way that the world carries on. Put that on a headstone.
    Bob Deats Memorial Scholarship for Education
    All great leaders must first be servants. Operating from such places of humility allows people to impact overlooked or formerly unreachable groups with their sphere of influence. To do this effectively, I partner with my church to serve its members and my community. I am a member of the prayer team, and my responsibilities include covering the pastor, covering the congregation, and engaging in one-on-one prayer as needed. I also serve VBS annually, giving me a chance to speak life into the younger generation. This is very special to me. I also take part in a summer leadership internship program that allows me to lead by example, sharing my experiences with high schoolers so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. Together, with my other interns, we work to serve our youth group every Wednesday night in varying capacities. I also take part in an annual serve day project, where our church dispatches into the community to clean up and renovate homes, stuff backpacks for elementary students, and host food drops. When this day rolls around, I go with my mom, because she leads project at local schools who need rejuvenating. I have assisted in the repainting and yard work of four educational institutions in my community. My mom has done a wonderful job showing me what it looks like to care for the educational community. She is an educator herself, and she takes care of 35 schools and 47 counselors all at once. She truly is a servant leader. My 11th grade English teacher Mrs. Harris was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I am a poet, but until Mrs. Harris stepped in, I never had the courage to share. I wrote an essay about what poetry meant to me and she asked if she could see some. When I shared, she told me I needed to let the world hear it. She searched for competitions and outlets of exposure, even helping me to enter a few. Long story short, I dedicated my first poetry book to her. There have been many educators over the years that have influenced me. If I was to tell of them all, I would have a dissertation. A short version will have to do. Mrs. Marchant, my kindergarten teacher, helped me fall in love with reading. Mr. Walker, my first grade teacher, was a great mentor who believed in me. Mrs. Norwood, my 3rd grade teacher, was always a bright face and made learning enjoyable. Mrs. Weeks, my fifth grade teacher, was there for me at the hardest point in my life and checked on me every single day. I’ll stop there. Many of the educators above, even those middle and high school teachers I didn’t have space to list, have helped me fall in love with literature and writing in some way. When something is loved this way, it hurts not to share it with others. Because of the way teachers influenced me, I have decided to become one myself. I am going to be a high school English teacher. I believe literature and writing is a lost art, and I hope to show my students that books really are just mirrors of themselves, and windows into other worlds. I want to reintroduce cursive, if it is not already included in the curriculum. They’ll need it for the rest of their lives. I would do it as a warmup before class. I hope to explore poetry, as it can open doors for healing and expression. Educators have shaped the person I’ve become. Now I carry the torch.
    Alicea Sperstad Rural Writer Scholarship
    I wrote my first college essay on the way that writing has affected my life. It was titled "The First Pen Stroke". I have yet to write a better paper. This question has so many layers, more than an onion, but that is why I write. I write because so many things have layers that must be cherished and explored. I started writing because it helped me process my emotions. It is easier to identify what you are feeling when you can look at it on paper, because the paper always listens, never judging you for your humanity. This in itself is enough for writing to mean something to anyone, but there is another layer. Writing has also built bridges between me and some of my greatest friends and mentors. Sometimes I struggle to explain what goes on in my mind in a way that makes sense for other people. Creative writing allows me to use literary devices to patch up the disconnect between me and the reader. Because of certain relationships that formed because of my words, I have been published in several poetry collections, pushed my limits by entering competitions, and even written a poetry collection myself. The bridges that writing has built have made me stronger and encouraged me to expand on my writing style. My style has gone through three changes this year alone. The best bridges that we build are the ones that inspire growth. The more that I have written, the more I have fallen in love with literature and expression. There is something so gratifying about putting the right words in the perfect order. English has always been my favorite subject in school, but I would always say that I could never teach the same lesson six times a day. That was a year ago. Now I am planning on attending college to get a degree in Secondary Language Arts, which is the fancy version of "high school English teacher". I have fallen so in love with writing that I want to spend the duration of my career teaching kids how to write and how to appreciate literature. I want nothing more than to be a mentor for a student who has a gift with words but also to be a guiding light for the student who struggles in English. I cannot wait to see it play out. To sum it all up, I write because I have a story to tell. That is the question behind every novel I've read, every poem I've written, and every essay I've constructed. It is all about telling a story. Sometimes I know what story I want to tell, but sometimes sit down simply inspired. Writing in nothing more than telling the story of an onion as I peel back its layers and find what is underneath. Sometimes it's gold, sometimes it's dirt, but every single finding matters; that is the story I'll tell.
    Derk Golden Memorial Scholarship
    Before I played sports, I would go to school, and then come home. I had nothing to look forward to after the 3:00 bell would ring to dismiss us to the buses. The highlight of my day was physical education. There was nothing like running around the track or playing football with my classmates. Now that I am involved in high school athletics, I get to experience those same feelings every single school day. Playing two varsity sports is certainly not easy, especially in the area that my school is in. But being with my team every day and sharing so many memories with them certainly makes the process more enjoyable. I no longer have to depend on my love for the sports I play when I am surrounded by people who feel the same way. Varsity girls' flag football was a sport recently created for high schools in the state of Alabama. I had the honor of being on the inaugural team. The first day of practice, it felt like I was right back to playing P.E. football. Those moments when I was younger shaped and prepared me for the day flag football became a sport. Varsity girls' basketball is the most difficult sport of the two that I play. I often find myself competing against girls who are bigger, stronger, and faster than me. Four years of this kind of competition has taught me that basketball is so much more than a physical game. When I outmatch my opponents, it is because of my mental toughness, which the sport has taught me well. My struggles on the court translate into learning experiences and growth opportunities, which have given me a positive outlook on the way I handle messing up. Sports have taught me that excuses are not the proper way to handle mistakes on the field or the court. At the beginning of my high school career, I was a whiney freshman who was playing varsity basketball. It was a difficult transition, but I was all the better because of it. I learned that my excuses distracted me from listening to how my coach was telling me I could improve my performance. Sports have also taught me the value of hard work and extra practice. Hard work is more than just running sprints with everything you have, it also comes into play in the classroom, the workplace, the home, and the nutrition of an athlete. You learn the reward that comes from doing things well, through and through. By putting in extra work, I was able to improve my gameplay in a way other competitors and teammates were not. My diet improved, and so did my performance. I lifted weights in my free time, and I was able to do more. I studied hard in the classroom, and I was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA in high school. Sports taught me that hard work does pay off. Sports have been a huge part of my life since the 7th grade. I have sacrificed countless hours for practice, recovery, and workouts. But I do not regret a single moment. I was able to meet some amazing people and do life with some amazing teammates. We suffered through conditioning together and we cruised through wins together. Sports has played such an important role in my life through the shaping of my character and the maintenance of my body. It has taught me, that above all, together is always better.
    Mental Health Scholarship for Women
    A few years ago, I had a difficult spell in my life. There were a lot of things happening with my family in terms of dealing with loss and taking care of my grandfather. I did not have the chance to spend time with my family during this season. Every individual in the household felt stressed, anxious, and exhausted all the time. I felt lonely and unseen. This took a toll on my mental health and my headspace became very dark. I put on a mask for everyone, including my family. The one person I took it off for did absolutely nothing about it when I told her how severe the situation had become. Instead of getting help from an adult, we would joke about suicide. But I am still here and I am better. During that time, it was difficult to have the motivation to do my schoolwork. I struggled with motivation more than I ever had before. I also chose to withdraw from my family. I stayed in my room and played with my Legos. I should not have done that. All that time alone gave me space to think, plan, and write out an apology letter. The quality of my relationships did not change from the outside, but on the inside, I was drained from having to lie to everyone. That time was dark, but I survived. Now it looks different. When I have too much to do, or I feel like I am looking at a mountain of assignments, that overwhelming feeling sends me into an anxiety attack. I shut down, becoming unable to think straight and focus on the task at hand. This one is much easier to manage. When this happens, I will take a break from schoolwork for a few minutes, sometimes even hours. My brain needs a rest, and I learned the hard way not to deny it what it needs. Then I break down the work I have to do into smaller tasks, usually spanning multiple days if I have that kind of time. This helps me to complete my work and also take care of my mind at the same time. Some other things I do to take care of my mind are reading, writing poetry, and spending time with Jesus. When I read, I read paper books. Because of this, I am taking a break from screens for a little while and focusing on something other than what is required or expected of me. Reading is a great way for my mind to decompress and digest stress. I also will write poetry. When I have strong emotional episodes, like stress and anxiety, I will write them out. Doing this not only frees up space in my mind but also helps the negative words to get out of my system. Poetry itself is like a therapist for me because it only listens. It never tries to encourage me with some cliche statement that I have heard a thousand times before. It gives me room to feel and process my emotions healthily and safely. The last thing I will do is spend time with Jesus. I am a follower of Christ and Jesus helps me through hard times. I can pray, turn on some worship and read the Holy Bible. All of these practices work wonders. They calm my mind and comfort me in whatever hardship I am currently enduring. This one is my favorite of all the methods I use because it is the most effective and I just cannot help loving Jesus.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    The dream version of my future self is a woman who walks in wisdom, confidence, purpose, and security, using her influence to touch the lives of those around her.
    Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship
    One piece of technology that inspires me about how technology makes the world a better place is the camera. Whether it be a film camera or the camera on a cell phone, both can make humans feel things. Sometimes, when my life is difficult, I will scroll through my camera roll and reminisce on good times and laughter shared. I will also turn on my favorite moves, get in comfortable clothes, and have some time for myself. These practices give me hope for tomorrow and strength for today. Producers and directors come together to create an experience for their audience, an opportunity for inspiration, and a gateway for connection. Movies allow the viewer to relate to and sympathize with the characters and their various struggles, offering a small comfort to people wrapped in hardship. Cameras used for photography have the unique ability to take the wonders and beauties of an individual's surroundings and put them on a screen. Cameras can catalog memories and jokes that will carry people through dark times. Sometimes, to dream for the future, we must look at the past to see where life has taken us on a path of growth. Cameras also allowed for shared experiences as well. Some are never fortunate enough to see the wonders of the world in real life. However, through the photography of another individual, they can experience the landmarks, cuisine, and events of all kinds of people groups. It could be through beautiful pictures of a national park or a snapshot of a favorite celebrity's outfit on the red carpet. Technology, like the camera, allows us to expand our horizons and viewpoints right from the living room sofa. It allows us to walk through fire with a fictional character who struggles with the same things that we do. This is one of the greatest blessings that has come from living in a technological generation.
    Windward Spirit Scholarship
    I do believe the Gen-Z has rendezvous with destiny. There is a world that seems to think that we are a lost cause, but things are never what they seem. There is more opportunity than ever before to gain knowledge and serve faithfully. The world is hurting, and I believe that Gen-Z will be the doctor that the globe is looking for. I know that things are incredibly dark right now. The world seems to be falling apart, with riots, wars, and poverty, but things are not always what they seem. It is much easier for the light to shine in the darkness. You don't see someone in a room with all the lights on using a flashlight to find what they are looking for. Flashlights were made for the darkness. Gen-Z is a flashlight. Yes, the is a lot we have to work through, but we have never been more equipped. We have history on our side. It has happened before, and we will be the group that brings the world back together. When young people choose to unify themselves, the rest of the world will follow suit. The world is stumbling around in the dark, tripping over its own feet. President Roosevelt made his statement amid the Great Depression. These were nothing short of trying times. He also understood that when times are trying, that is the time when the strongest are the only ones left flying. Pottery can only be perfected by sitting in a firey kiln. There can only be healing if there is a wound. There can only be a flashlight if there is darkness. Gen-Z is a flashlight.
    Top Watch Newsletter Movie Fanatics Scholarship
    The description for this essay is correct. Movies have a huge impact on our lives. They make us laugh, cry, and feel. Many movies do these things to me, sometimes all at once (those are the best kind). Through the feelings and actions of the characters, not only do I learn about dealing with various conflicts, but I also experience lessons that life has spared me up until this point. Movies are called movies because they are full of moving stories. They touch people, in the same way that music and books do. They open doors and offer escape. If I could only watch one movie for the rest of my life, I would choose 28 Days, which stars Sandra Bullock. Not only is she my favorite actress, but the movie also has an amazing theme of perseverance and change. The movie tells the story of a drug addict and alcoholic who is sent to rehabilitation after she makes a big mistake. At the facility, she struggles against her cravings and is resistant to therapy at first. While staying there, she meets and becomes close with a group of people who are all fighting the same thing. The struggle is real, and the cast does a wonderful job of portraying it on screen. Eventually, she makes it out and is forced to choose if she wants to go back to her old life or stay clean. This movie is a great reminder to me that I am not alone in what I am walking through. There is always someone, or a group of someones, fighting the same battle that I am. It also helps me remember that it is okay to fail in the process of changing. The path of growth is not straight or smooth. It has a lot of curves and roots along the way. Even though this is true, I cannot allow the prospect of pain to scare me into remaining stagnant. Some people will try to come against my desire to change, but like the girl in the movie, I can use what I have learned from my "rehab" to help me rise above the opposition and keep plowing forward. I could watch this movie for the rest of my life because it is inspiring. Though the story is difficult, so is life. 28 Days is a movie with humor, hardships, and heartfelt emotion all in one. This is the combination for a great movie. The best movies are teachers, too. They showcase real-life experiences in a real-life way, offering opportunities for inspiration and change to take root in the lives of the audience. They show the audience that they are just like the movie stars; they are human. It is possible to break free of what you struggle with, and sometimes movies, like 28 Days, are the kickstart we need to begin. That is the greatest escape act of all time.
    Book Lovers Scholarship
    Forgiveness and grace are things that seem to be dwindling in supply as of late. People choose to focus more on flaws and differences than the humanity that causes those things. I think that all 7 billion(ish) people on the planet could use a good reminder that no mistake is too big for reconciling, some just take longer to heal. This is why I would have everyone read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. The book tells the story of a girl who is sold into prostitution at a young age. For years, she is at the mercy of various men and masters, powerless to do anything about it. One day, an upstanding farmer in the community sees her. He decides to rescue her and give her the life she deserves. He goes to incredible lengths, both in his actions and in his character, to show her that she is not what happened to her and that she is more than what her body has to offer. Through the farmer's patience and forgiveness, the girl learns how to love again. She also uses her story to fuel her purpose. She takes her experience and chooses to bring something good from her tragedy. She helped many girls make the same recovery that she did. Yet none of that would have been possible if the farmer had not decided to step up and do something about it. The girl never would have learned how to love again if the farmer had not been patient and kind. The farmer understood that her actions were coming from a place of hurt and abuse, and he extended forgiveness. Most of the time we interact with people, we only see their response to something that happened before our interaction ever began. We see the anger that came from the fight they had with their spouse that morning, but we do not see the fight. We see the stand-offish nature that came from their trust being broken too many times. We do not see the breaking of the trust. There is always more than just my side of the story. This book taught me that though I may not know everything that happened, I can see enough of the response to adjust accordingly. Forgiveness is too scarce, but all we really need is redeeming love.
    Writer for Life Scholarship
    As a writer, I have set a goal to be published before I retire. This is a very broad goal, but I honestly did not believe that it was something I would be able to achieve early in life. I always thought that I would only be a great writer if someone taught me how to do it. That is why I am pursuing a creative writing minor and language arts major in college. Eventually, I realized that a classroom can only teach you how to write well. It cannot tell you how to use your experience to connect with readers. Writing is all about the passion of the writer. Writing is about the way writer conveys and shares struggle and victory. Writing is about the message shared, regardless of the form that message may take. Once I realized this simple principle, I realized my dreams and goals could happen as soon as I was ready to make them happen. So I shifted my goal; it went from before I retire to before I graduate high school. I am happy to say that I currently have a book of poetry in the publishing process. Soon, my writing will be available on Amazon. My message will be displayed for the world to hear. Books are power. They challenge us to shape our convictions, yet simultaneously challenge each one we form. They allow individuality and expression to run wild and free. One of my favorite books is “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It tells the story of a girl who is sold into prostitution when tragedy strikes her family hard. She loses the ability to love, to feel. Yet through the actions of a patient and forgiving man, she is offered a second chance at the life that was stolen from her so mercilessly. This man was the direct opposite of the girl. He was upstanding, gentle, and pure where she was rejected, aloof, and corrupted. This man had a patience that helped her learn how to love again. She is reminded of what it is like to be treated as more than just an object only good for the pleasure it can give. This book made me feel something I had not felt before. This was the first book I cried over. I learned so much about extending grace because I only see the outside of a person. I do not have the luxury of being an omniscient narrator in the story of my life. There is an internal conflict that I will never see unless I choose a different approach than everyone else does. Hurting people do not need fixing, they need someone to listen. Patience is a virtue this book taught me to value. Without it, nothing I ever have will be enough because I will never wait for anything that is good to come along. Instead I will try to do it by myself and mess up the whole process along the way. I highly recommend this book because of the lessons it holds. There is so much meat in this story, from the characters to the settings. Everything is intentional. This book touched me, and that is what words can do. That is why I read. That is why I write; to touch and to be touched.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭11-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Philippians 4:13 is one of the most well-known Bible verses in the world. It is found in every athletes’ Instagram bio, in therapy center, and in hospital rooms. It has become the motto for facing impossible odds, yet it is misinterpreted almost every time it is said. Indeed, this verse is meant to be a source of strength for the weary hearts of the world, but it is not meant to be a source of strength for things not in God’s plan. God always has the best intentions for us, and those intentions do not always line up with our opinion on what they should be. When Paul, the author of Philippians (and most of the New Testament) is writing this, he is writing from prison. He is not asking God to give him strength to overpower every guard in the jailhouse or strength to break the doors of his cell right off the hinges. He is asking God to give him strength to trust God’s plan. He is asking God to give him strength to stay content with where He’s at, even if it was not where he pictured himself being. Paul wanted to be on the streets, where he had a platform to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the jailer and his prisoners needed Jesus, too. Someone had to go and sit in chains so that the people in the prison could be set free of their spiritual chains. God chose Paul. God has a calling for each individual life, as well as a purpose that He created that individual for. It is not always the most comfortable thing. This is why Paul had to ask for strength. Jesus was Paul’s source, and because of this, Paul had a strength that made no sense. God’s plan didn’t include a prison break. It didn’t include flight. It didn’t include excelling at math. God’s plan included supplying what Paul needed when Paul needed it, so that Paul could do what God created him to do. Paul learned to recognize this early on in his faith journey and it helped him stay content with where he was, regardless of his status. He was not responsible for his prosperity, so he did not have to deal with the weight of accruing it. This really applies to my life because it reminds me not to get so caught up in the details that I lose sight of why there are even details in the first place. Paul understood what it meant to truly trust the Lord and His provision. By following Paul’s example, not only will I worry less, but I will endure more. With Jesus as my source, I have direction about which way to go. If God does not supply what I need for something I am pursuing, then I know it is not where He wants me to be. Maybe it is in my future, but it is not in my present, and I am learning to be okay with that. On the other hand, if God is supplying and opening doors, then I know that I am exactly where He wants me to be. With God, I can do all the things that He has created me to do and called me to fulfill. That is my source of unexplainable strength.
    Sacha Curry Warrior Scholarship
    My name is Macy Hudgins. One of my biggest passions is writing. But it wouldn’t be that way if I didn’t have such an awesome 11th grade English teacher. Up until I made it into that class, I was writing, but I wasn’t sharing what I wrote down. I didn’t see a point to it, and I didn’t think that anyone else would actually understand or relate to what I wrote about. My English teacher, Mrs. Harris, would change all of that. We did a lot of writing papers in that class, and my first one was about poetry and what it meant to me. When she read it, she asked if I would share some of my poems with her. So I did. She told me that I was really good at writing and that I needed to do something to share my poetry with the world. She encouraged me and even helped me edit a few of my poems. She pushed me to enter poetry competitions and writing challenges. Because of her, I accepted a writing challenge to write a book of poetry in 21 days. I have dedicated that book to her, as a way of showing my gratitude for the time and effort she poured into me, my gifts, and my dreams. I want nothing more than to be somebody’s Mrs. Harris. I know that students I go to school with right now struggle to believe that what they are good at is important. Most of them have hidden talents no one else knows about. I want to be the voice that tells them that not only do their gifts matter, but they matter, too. Teachers have such an opportunity to impact their students’ lives. They are with them for two hours a day, five days a week. What occurs during this time is just as important as what occurs after it. These kids walk into school coming from situations they can’t control. They may have a difficult home life, or maybe they have to support their entire family off of their part time job. Teachers have such a unique opportunity to not only prepare their students for life after school, but also give them opportunities to show their gifts to the world, just like Mrs. Harris did for me. Teachers are important and there is a severe need. Someone has to step up and be a Mrs. Harris for the students that nobody sees. That. Is. Me.
    Zendaya Superfan Scholarship
    I most admire her acting! She has played and will continue to play many different roles, with each one offering her a chance to expand her view of the world. She is wonderful at engaging the audience through a screen by the portrayal of emotions and use of facial expressions. It has been incredibly amazing to watch her grow and develop as an actress. She started out on Disney channel, which is no small feat. But when she arrived in Hollywood, her acting reached a whole new level. Recently, she has appeared in big name entertainment, such as Dune and Euphoria. Both are very different from each other, which allows her to show just how diverse her acting background actually is. Her various performances inspire me to learn more about different aspects of the world. There is so much more out there, and by being such a wonderful actress, she allows me to see that “more” from my couch. She also allows me to have a deeper understanding of emotions and how to process them. Zendaya is a role model to me. She owns her career and is so consistent with her job. She really is an amazing young woman, and I look forward to seeing more of her movies. And television shows in the future.
    Disney Channel Rewind Scholarship
    Kickin’ it and Lab Rats were always my favorite things to watch. They are both similar to each other in the fact that there is fighting in each. They would be a good pair for this reason. The storyline would be as follows: Kickin’ it got shut down. But Rudy’s passions for karate never died. So he moved locations and started again. Rudy was never aware of the Lab Rats’ presence in his new location, so he didn’t know what to do when Chase went rogue. Rudy’s students did their best to stop him, but by that time, they were so rusty that Chase took them down with ease. So Rudy gathered his students, broken and bruised, and began to train harder than ever. Chase continued to wreak havoc on the city, and many stores were destroyed. Rudy and his students worked hard. They practiced four hours a days four days a week. They wanted to be sure that the next time they encountered Chase, they would be more than ready. About a month after Rudy began this rigorous training, that chance came. Word had somehow gotten to Chase that Rudy was preparing his students for the biggest moment of their lives: a showdown with Chase. This news made Chase furious, so he drove across town and stormed into the dojo. It was empty, except for the weakest student in the bunch. He had come in to the dojo on an off day to get in some extra work. Chase approached him and vaulted him against the wall. The two proceeded to have a quick fight, since the student was easily subdued. But a store owner next door heard all the commotion and called Rudy. Rudy called his students and they made their way to the dojo as quickly as possible. They arrived just in time. Chase was standing over the now unconscious student, preparing to deal the final blow, but Rudy and his students had prepared for this. They did not back down. Instead, they formed a circle around Chase to draw him away from the student and they worked together to defeat Chase. Chase had a trick up his sleeve. He called the other Lab Rats to come to the dojo and help him. The others knew he had gone rouge but Chase was their friend, so they had to help him out. When they arrived, the karate students engaged them. It was wild. Walls were broken, glass was shattered and the mats were strewn with people. It all came down to the teamwork of the students. That was the deciding factor in the fight. They slowly worked together and overwhelmed the Lab Rats. Rudy was given a key to the city for his actions that day, and Chase was taken to the lab to be recalibrated. This episode would be called: Rats in the Dojo
    Kerry Kennedy Life Is Good Scholarship
    Teachers have power. Teachers have power to influence, mentor, and expand the lives of their students. I have had many teachers that have impacted my life. My junior year, my English teacher, Mrs. Harris, impacted me more than anyone else ever had. Because of her, I fell in deeper love with writing and literature. My career choice has become high school English teacher, with a major in secondary language arts and a minor in creative writing. I am passionate about both of these because of the way writing has been a driving force in my life these past few years. I am a poet. If it weren’t for Mrs. Harris, I would’ve quit a long time ago. Sometimes it feels like no one cares about my poetry. But Mrs. Harris constantly encouraged me, and now I’ve got a book of poetry in the publishing process. I want to be this encouragement for the student that feels like no one cares. Not everyone comes into class with sunshine and rainbows at home. As a teacher, I have multiple opportunities to speak life into that situation, to show that student that they are seen, and to build relationships with the kids that I teach. Needless to say, these dreams, passions, and goals have come with a cost. I have taken numerous dual enrollment courses to try and get my major faster. Not only is this coursework harder, but I also have less time to be involved at my high school. It often entails waking up earlier to drive to college campus for morning class and spending my free time studying for tests. I have sports practice after school, so my homework doesn’t get done until after that, when I’m tired and hungry. The college that I am attending is not local. If I was to stay home, I’d be getting paid to go to school. That won’t happen at this university. I sacrificed my choice to go where I needed to be for college. This university has a wonderful creative writing program, so that makes it worth the sacrifice. If I can inspire students to dream in a world that tells them dreams are a waste of time, that makes every single sacrifice, every single struggle, worth it. I want to show students just how capable they actually are. By testing the limits they place on themselves, I can help them develop their gifts and talents and use them to impact the world in their own special way. Teachers have the power to touch lives, so I want to be one that transforms them.