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Melissa Shipley

1315

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

I'm Melissa. I've been in 4H for over six years, showing market goats, sheep, angus and exhibiting many things. Being in this program for so long it has rubbed off on me. I have an extreme drive to be the best I can be at everything I do. My parents have been divorced for six years through the court but separated for around eight. From their harsh divorce I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Many people don't know that I have those illnesses due to how hard I try at things I'm passionate about. I've learned that if I focus on things I love to do, welding and taking care of livestock. It dissipates my stressors. I do my best to help people because I don't want anyone to feel left behind or unloved. My past has given me the drive to get out and work. I started at fourteen when I knew I had to start saving to attempt to make a better life for myself. With this I've shown younger kids that your situation may suck but try and make the best out of it and learn from it. Living the life I lead, I've been a farm hand with angus cattle, worked at a taxidermist, customer service at the local state park and recently a welder fabricator at my current job. I am currently enrolled at Hobart Welding Institute to continue my knowledge in welding and fabrication. I absolutely love it since I get to use my hands and critical thinking to solve real world problems. Everything that has happened to me has given me extreme determination to be the best I can be at everything I do. I have the drive to be myself and not fall into society's grasp of how a person should be.

Education

Havre De Grace High

High School
2019 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Trade School

  • Majors of interest:

    • Precision Metal Working
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      welding

    • Dream career goals:

    • Welder Fabricator

      Total Industrial Group
      2022 – Present2 years

    Sports

    Soccer

    Intramural
    2009 – 20189 years

    Research

    • Natural Resources Conservation and Research

      North Harford High School, Natural Resources division — Take accurate field samples and find similarities to other bodys of water.
      2018 – 2019

    Arts

    • Havre de Grace High

      Drawing
      "Wyoming"
      2019 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      4H — I would pick up trash from the side of the road, help scoop ice cream for Young Farmers,
      2017 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    To carry my passion with me everywhere I go, while I strive to be the best I can be at everything I do.
    Uniball's Skilled Trades Scholarship
    I am currently pursuing welding and fabrication. I’ve noticed it strikes a spark within me, something I haven’t felt in a very long time. Behind my welding hood, all my stressors dissipate. It helps me to be in the moment and to make everything I create to be perfect. With this discipline, I can be the best I can be. I will help to ignite sparks in the youth around me for them to find their true selves. They are our future and need our guidance. I will be able to make a change in our society. Create things that will help to solve real-world issues. From building platforms for major industries such as McCormick spices or blenders for Ingredion. Even working one on one with engineers to build the best type of transport for goods. After my education at Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, I will be returning to my current employer. Total Industrial Group is based out of Middle River Maryland. I will be working there for three years to let myself grow and have a stable income. After staying there for a few years I’m planning on looking into other companies further west. Where I will be able to continue my growth as a person and knowledge as a welder fabricator. Regarding the adversity, I have faced it’s quite difficult to pinpoint one to go into detail about. My parents have been separated for around eight years and divorced for six. But the most recent and prominent concept was being diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. They have been triggered by the trauma of abandonment issues from my mother and father. How my father chose some lady that was going to use and steal from him and my mother was emotionally absent from my life but always there for my brother. In December of 2021, I went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to get mental health help, not from wanting to kill myself but just being at an extreme low and not knowing what to do anymore. I was in outpatient for about a month there. Consistently talking with doctors, psychiatrists and therapists about what is going on in my life as well as mentally. There was a nurse I talked with about what I will be doing after I graduated from high school. I originally wanted to be in the Natural Resources field, but after learning it carries alot of paperwork I realized it is not for me. We discussed other creative jobs there are and suggested the trades. I looked at her like she was crazy. Not that I'm opposed to the trades, I grew up around them but felt as if I was not allowed to take part due to being a girl. After talking she convinced me to dig deeper. I investigated the trades and tried many things, from drywall repair to electrical work, HVAC, and mechanics. It wasn’t until recently that one of my friend's dads offered me a position at his company to be an apprentice welder fabricator. Going to work that first day and getting handed the MIG welder by my boss. This action of his showed me how much faith he has in me, and still does. Behind my welding hood, everything goes away, it helps to calm my ever-racing thoughts and be in the moment to make what I’m doing perfect. This is the first time in a long time that I get up and ready to go every morning and how I know I am starting to get over this challenge in my life.
    Strength in Neurodiversity Scholarship
    Growing up Dyslexic I’ve always felt “less than”. From watching my friends gather and maintain education rather quickly while I’m always a few steps behind. In the third grade I remember having my friends go to a different class than I was in and hearing so many fun stories about what they do. Later on learning it was Project Lead the Way. I tried so hard to get into that club. But as my so called friends stated “I just wasn’t smart enough”. It still does hurt occasionally on how many people looked down upon me because I needed a little bit more help than others. They thought I was stupid since I couldn’t comprehend anything while I read. My teachers most certainly picked up on it and became a little to noticeable to my peers. I remember explicitly when some of my peers would say “I don’t understand why you have special treatment because you can’t spell or understand things.” I would consistently come home crying due to those remarks and how stupid I felt everyday. Witnessing my distress my mother and father constantly read Junie B. Jones, The Magic Tree House and many other books to me. After every few pages we’d talk about what Junie B. did or what happened in the books. This was a lot of fun and helped to build my confidence along with comprehension skills. In middle school and even now I still read words and numbers wrong. Therefore mispronouncing them as well. One fatal word in my dictation is geography…. In seventh grade history class we were popcorn reading. Which is when someone reads and stops after five sentences then someone at random picks up where they left off. It was my turn and I got to the work “geography” I pronounced it as geo-graph-y. The class erupted into laughter, even the teacher. I kept trying to say it correctly. After the fifth time the teacher eventually stopped me and helped me to sound it out — in front of the whole class. Granted these experiences happened a while ago, they still remind me where I started from and why I need to keep going. I know as a fact I think extremely different than my peers. I work with my hands and can see a problem in real time. Thinking about how I can fix it, what it will take to do so and just being extremely creative. With my current job as a welder fabricator, I work with my boss everyday to fix real world issues. We discuss layouts of how things need to be built and what issue is going to be solved. He’s noticed that I think about other issues rather than just the one we’re focusing on. I think about what we could do to solve them all in one go and potential issues. Personally I know that the career of welding and fabrication is the right fit for me. I see everything laid out in my head when people are talking. Regarding measurements, what angles are involved, what will work or won’t work, how to crease things in a certain manner. But when talking with someone that is very intelligent in a different area of study that is more widely accepted such as a math professor, historian or a man in business. It doesn’t click for them regarding creativity and picturing what I’m saying. They look blankly, unaware I am drawing something beautiful in my mind attempting to share.
    Young Women in STEM Scholarship
    I'm Melissa. I've been in 4H for over six years, showing market goats, sheep, angus and exhibiting many things. Being in this program for so long it has rubbed off on me. I have an extreme drive to be the best I can be at everything I do. My parents have been divorced for six years through the court but separated for around eight. Of their harsh divorce I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Many people don't know that I have those illnesses due to how hard I work at things I'm passionate about. I have that deep passion and motivation due to watching my family constantly struggle at every turn. I learned if you do as best you possibly can and be the best version of yourself you will grow as a person and get where you want to be in life. Being in 4H I’ve noticed many youth look up to me and they are my biggest motivators. I see the future of the world in each of those kids. They look up to me with stars in their eyes and I can’t let them down. I’ve been doing everything I can to carve a pathway for them to follow. Setting another example along with their parents on you really can do anything and everything no matter what is going on around you. Knowing that anything is possible in life I would love to be a stepping stone in my local welding industry. To show everyone how capable women are in the trades of Maryland as well as giving hope to young leaders who have so much capability. STEM has so much to it, it’s not just science, technology, engineering and math. It’s a new hope in our world. These four things are the fundamentals of our world and how it works. You can do anything with these four pillars. From genetically engineering new plants that will be resistant to certain diseases to creating a new fuel or chemically bonding spices into food. Even building new structures to solve issues in the industry. That is what truly excites me about STEM; all the possibilities behind it. I know I will be making a positive impact on the world. Maybe not through a job in information technology but through a career in welding. It has so many possibilities to make a change in the world. It follows STEM in many ways how we must use science and engineering to determine what we are building will complete the job how it is supposed to. Using new technologies to help solve our problems. Most importantly using math to our advantage, using it to prove how angles will work correctly and still have structural integrity. The life I've lived in the past eighteen years has been extremely rough. The most recent thing was being diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. They have been triggered by the trauma of abandonment issues from my mother and father. How my father chose some lady that was going to use and steal from him and my mother was emotionally absent from my life but always there for my brother. In December of 2021, I went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to get mental health help, not from wanting to kill myself but just being at an extreme low and not knowing what to do anymore. I was in outpatient for about a month there. Consistently talking with doctors, psychiatrists and therapists about what is going on in my life and head. One of my therapists noticed that I am very creative and have a high intellect. People have said I am smart, but she was the first one I believed. We talked every other day while I was there as check-ins. We talked about the future and what I wanted to do when I graduate. I originally wanted to be in the Natural Resources field, either NRP or field researcher. I realized that that’s a lot of book work and I don’t have the passion for that. We discussed other creative jobs there are and she suggested the trades. I looked at her like she was crazy, not that I'm opposed to the trades, I've always been around them growing up but felt like I was not allowed to take part due to being a girl. She told me I can be anyone I want to be and to not let anyone hold me back. I investigated the trades and tried many things, from drywall repair to electrical work, HVAC, and mechanics. It wasn’t until recently that one of my friend's dads offered me a position at his company to be an apprentice welder fabricator. Going to work that first day and getting handed the MIG machine by my boss showed me how much faith he has in me, and still does. Behind my welding hood, everything goes away, it helps to calm my ever-racing thoughts and be in the moment to make what I’m doing perfect. This is the first time in a long time that I get up and ready to go every morning. What I experienced in December 2021 was hell and I still am fighting through it, but it helped me to find my passion and what helps me to get better. I am ever grateful for that therapist who suggested the trades and my boss who still has extreme hope in me.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    I'm Melissa Shipley. I grew up in a family where everyone has some sort of mental illness. My maternal grandfather Dana suffered from PTSD due to four tours in Vietnam. My maternal grandmother Joyce has extreme anxiety and depression from being raised by her schizophrenic mother who never left home. My father's side is different in some ways. They still have some severe issues with mental health. My father currently suffers from depression and anxiety due to his parents pushing him aside and nothing could ever be good enough for them. His family never talked about how they were feeling, and he still follows that in some ways. He and his older brother Rodney now resort to alcohol to cope. His mother, Linda recently passed away. She suffered from MS which caused severe depression. She felt hopeless and believed she deserved what is happening to her, so she wanted to die. When her parents passed, she said she was an orphan, at seventy years old. I grew up watching her suffer not knowing what to do to make her happy since nothing could. My mother, Allison suffers from severe major depressive disorder and anxiety. She recently told me that when she was my age she did try to harm herself along with attempting to commit suicide. Thankfully my grandfather came in at the right time and she was taken to get her stomach pumped. After growing older it helped me to piece the puzzle together of why she never did much with me. She was so tired from fighting her own battles in her head as well as with my father that she couldn't hold her head high enough for me to not notice. While she fought her fight, she had to help my older brother Alex, fight his. Alex grew up with extreme major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, and OCD. Every day my mother and father had to fight with him to take his medicine. He was convinced that it was going to kill him. After a few years, he eventually got very unstable that he became angry and lashed out. There were a few times when he threatened me with anything he could get his hands on, so I had to lock myself in my room waiting for someone to get home. Regarding the trauma with Alex, there's one that I never will forget. It was Christmas and my maternal grandparents came over. My grandfather and I always had the best times. I'd lightly punch his belly and he'd act like I'm killing him. This night was sitting in his lap and shaking his shoulders like how Tom and Jerry did in the cartoon on occasion. Alex saw me and thought I was strangling him. He took matters into his own hands and strangled me on the couch. Everyone tried to get him off till my father came and grabbed him and slammed him up against the wall. The look in his eyes I never will forget. It was like he wanted to kill me. Due to my family, I currently suffer from recurrent episodes of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I have gone to Johns Hopkins to get help. They told me it is due to the trauma I have been through. From feeling abandoned after my parent’s divorce and cast aside from my family. Recently I have tried to separate myself from them and be the best version of myself. My doctors and I have noticed that I am starting to get better from not being around my stressors and triggers as much.
    Dante Luca Scholarship
    Growing up watching my family struggle at every turn, I made sure to help anyone I could. In elementary school, I remember having a new kid in class he was very sweet but very shy. His name was Eli, I believe. He’d always ask if I had any snacks in my lunch box. I would give him and anyone else that asked food since I knew what it was like to be hungry. I told my mother that Eli didn’t get breakfast and not that much for dinner so I’ve been buying him lunch sometimes and giving him my snacks. I still remember the day he came up to me smiling with two big bags filled with food from the counseling office telling me “I have dinner for a whole week!” his smile was so bright, and I knew I wanted to help others. Ever since then, I’ve always made sure everyone has something to eat. In middle school I would pack double since my brother no longer packed lunches, therefore it wasn’t noticeable. Every day at lunch I’d have people come up to me asking if I had any snacks and I wasn’t going to deny them. Sometimes buying lunches for kids as well. My parents knew what I was doing and they didn’t stop me due to knowing others truly need it more than us. I still am continuing this throughout high school as well as anywhere else I go. This has even spread to my extracurriculars, 4H and competitive air rifle. In Air rifle we meet at the American legion on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I will usually buy food for the little ones that come in. They have the brightest smiles when I tell them they can get whatever they want, and they know I mean it. They compete differently when they’re full, as in they are completely there and not moving around in distress from hunger. In 4H I am a mentor for many younger kids, whether they be 15 or 5 I look after them consistently. Always reminding them that they need to keep going forward and to be the best they can be. No matter what is in your way it is brief and it will pass by. I know many kids look up to me and I will do anything for them to make sure they succeed in life. Parents have come up to me saying how much their child looks up to me and loves me because they know I am here for them and listen. I do all of this because I have been where they are. I know what it feels like for sleep to be dinner, and to wake up wondering if you’re loved or if you’ve been left behind. I just want to make sure that the people I have been around knowing someone is thinking about them. Doing these things for the past ten years or so I know I have impacted so many lives just by watching their reactions. Giving each person new hope when I try to help them in any way possible.
    Marcarelli Community Spirit Scholarship
    I am Melissa Shipley. I come from a small extremely dysfunctional family in Harford and Cecil County of Maryland. Growing up I was one to always be outdoors, playing in the dirt, scootering down the driveway, and doing everything I could to be outside. My parents got divorced when I was young. I had to share a bedroom with my mother at her parent's house for around six years or so. It was not fun. Staying there me realize the luxuries of having my own bed, and privacy. The divorce put me into an anxiety-ridden depression. Both parents used me as a pawn sending lies through my ears about each other. They rarely gave me the love I needed, and it put awful thoughts through my head. How I can’t and never will be loved, I am a failure at everything I do and just reminding myself of how I will never be anyone. In December 2021 I did finally get help from what I was going through. I decided then that I am going to help others by supporting them. Doing small things like saying “good job”, and “I’m proud of you” and just making sure that someone is there and cares for them. I’ve been in 4h for seven years trying to be the best I can be at everything I do. With this, I make sure to do my best to help others as much as I can and always lending a hand. Growing up where I did, I know what it’s like to not have much. 4H gave me the opportunity to give back. I am extremely thankful for that. I do everything I can to help others and make sure they know they’re seen and heard, especially the younger youth. I would love to be remembered as the girl who helped as much as she could. Trying to spread love to others who need it the most. Regarding academics, I would love to go to Hobart Institute of Welding Technology and study fabrication and welding. I’ve been trying immensely hard to learn as much as I can at home and at work in case I can’t afford to go. There I would be able to learn so much more than what is offered in the trade. Able to talk with some of the best welders in the country and get their input on the proper ways to weld. I’ve done extensive research on this school, and I know it is the right fit for me since you learn by doing.
    Cazares Family Trade Scholarship
    The life I've lived in the past eighteen years has been extremely rough. The most recent thing was being diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. They have been triggered by the trauma of abandonment issues from my mother and father. How my father chose some lady that was going to use and steal from him and my mother was emotionally absent from my life but completely there for my brother. In December of 2021, I went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to get mental health help, not from wanting to kill myself but just being at an extreme low and not knowing what to do anymore. I was in outpatient for about a month there. Consistently talking with doctors, psychiatrists and therapists about what is going on in my life and head. One of my therapists noticed that I am very creative and have a high intellect, no one has told me I’m smart and I’ve believed it but I did when she said it. We talked every other day while I was there as check-ins. Talked about the future and what I wanted to do when I grow up and graduated. I originally wanted to be in the Natural Resources field, either NRP or field researcher. I realized that that’s a lot of book work and I don’t have the compassion for that. We discussed other creative jobs there are and she suggested the trades. I looked at her like she was crazy, not that I'm opposed to the trades, I've always been around them growing up but felt like I'm not allowed since I'm a girl. But she told me I can be anyone I want to be and to not let anyone hold me back. I investigated the trades and tried many things, from drywall repair to electrical work, HVAC, and mechanics. It wasn’t until recently that one of my friend's dads offered me a position at his company to be an apprentice welder fabricator. Going to work that first day and got handed the MIG machine by my boss. I could tell he has extreme confidence in me which started my passion. Behind that hood everything goes away, it helps to calm my ever-racing thoughts and be in this moment to make what I’m doing perfect. This is the first time in a long time that I get up and ready to go every morning. What I experienced in December 2021 was hell and I still am fighting through it but it helped me to find my passion and what helps me to get better. I am ever grateful for that therapist who suggested the trades and my boss who still has extreme hope in me.
    Blaine Sandoval Young American Scholarship
    Asking how I've gone above and beyond in my life is a difficult question. Not in the way of I have no means to answer but where do I start? I don't necessarily come from the best background. My parents divorced when I was young, we had food stamps quite a few times, and my father doing many side jobs. Emotionally abused and neglected by manipulative parental figures. As well as having to share a bed with my mother at her parent’s house for over six years. Growing up watching my family struggle at every turn, I made sure to help anyone I could. In elementary school, I remember having a new kid in class he was very sweet but very shy. His name was Eli, I believe. He’d always ask if I had any snacks in my lunch box. I would give him and anyone else that asked food since I knew what it was like to be hungry. I told my mother that Eli didn’t get breakfast and not that much for dinner so I’ve been buying him lunch sometimes and giving him my snacks. I still remember the day he came up to me smiling with two big bags filled with food from the counseling office telling me “I have dinner for a whole week!” his smile was so bright, and I knew I wanted to help others. Ever since then, I’ve always made sure everyone has something to eat. In middle school I would pack double since my brother no longer packed lunches, therefore it wasn’t noticeable. Every day at lunch I’d have people come up to me asking if I had any snacks and I wasn’t going to deny them. Sometimes buying lunches for kids as well. My parents knew what I was doing and they didn’t stop me due to knowing others truly need it more than us. I still am continuing this throughout high school as well as anywhere else I go. This has even spread to my extracurriculars, 4H and competitive air rifle. In Air rifle we meet at the American legion on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I will usually buy food for the little ones that come in. They have the brightest smiles when I tell them they can get whatever they want, and they know I mean it. They compete differently when they’re full, as in they are completely there and not moving around in distress from hunger. In 4H I am a mentor for many younger kids, whether they be 15 or 5 I look after them consistently. Always reminding them that they need to keep going forward and to be the best they can be. No matter what is in your way it is brief and it will pass by. I know many kids look up to me and I will do anything for them to make sure they succeed in life. Parents have come up to me saying how much their child looks up to me and loves me because they know I am here for them and listen. I do all of this because I have been where they are. I know what it feels like for sleep to be dinner, and to wake up wondering if you’re loved or if you’ve been left behind. I just want to make sure that the people I have been around knowing someone is thinking about them. To me that’s most important and how I believe I’ve gone above and beyond in my life so far.
    Sammy Meckley Memorial Scholarship
    I am involved in 4H in Cecil County. Being involved in 4H I can and have helped the community in many ways. I've volunteered to pick up trash on the side of route 272, helped clean barns and have always helped in any way I can. During the county fair, I make sure to set the best example I can for everyone around, especially the younger kids who look up to me. With 4H I've learned to give my all in everything I do. Volunteering as much as I can, working my hardest to help others as well as making sure things get done for the next day so the kids are not disappointed. Over Halloween, I help to "haunt" Kilby Creams' corn maze which brings funds to them as well as our club. I've helped to build demolition derby cars for "Smash for a Cure" where we raise money for breast cancer research. These small things that I've done in the six years that I've been in 4H are just the beginning. I know I have made an impact in my community due to parents coming up to me and telling me that their child looks up to me. Them telling me that means to world to me and melts my heart. After hearing that from a hand full of adults I made sure that their kids felt included in what we were doing, no matter what it was. Such as moving fences for shows; it's usually an adult's job but I got a team of five and we made it work. From giving them the pitchfork to muck out and helping them if they can't quite get it in the barrel. To playing tag and accidentally falling and getting tagged. I always have tried my hardest with them to make sure they feel accepted, loved, cared for and most importantly, known. To me, those kids are our future and most importantly the foundation of our up-and-coming community. So making sure they're included, teaching them things as well as making the not-so-much-fun things fun is extremely important. I know for a fact that if I never have been involved in 4H as my extracurricular I would not be where I am today. Knowing how to take care of livestock, talk publicly, learning how to be myself as well as how to be the best I can be for my club, my community, my country and my world.
    Lynn Welding Next Generation in Welding Scholarship
    My current boyfriend has helped guide me towards welding. He is a welder and somewhat doubted my capabilities. As soon as someone doubts me, I become extremely passionate about what I do and how I can prove them wrong. With him stating his denial I contacted my friends' dad who owns a company who offered me an apprenticeship as a welder-fabricator. Usually, I complete the challenge and move on. But with welding, it took a grip of me and won't let go. It came naturally and is just something that helps wash away everything that's going on in the world. After not even welding for a full month, I have moved through MIG welding and onto TIG. My boss now has me TIG and MIG weld things for customers which include McCormick Spices and TIC Gums. It's mostly structural welding for right now but I will be moving forward into sanitation welding shortly. Welding plays a huge role in society. Without it everything would be falling apart, literally and figuratively! From the cars we drive, to your food and, how we get all of our goods, a welder has helped in some way. From building the platforms people stand on to check quality of goods. The pipes for milk, plumbing and even the pipelines for crude oil. To the containers things are getting sanitized through. A welder has touched that metal. Many people take welders for granted because they don't realize how much we really do for society. I want to help society grow and function as it's intended to.
    Parker Holder Memorial Scholarship
    I would love to learn and be truly proficient in the welding and fabrication trade. With this trade I can work with my hands. See the outcome as I'm putting it together and work side by side with the engineers; talking with them about what will work structurally as well as the assembly process. This trade helps to solve so many problems in today's world. I get to see behind the scenes in today's industrial life and thinking in a new way that I love. I get to create something that will have a beneficial output. Personally, when I first started welding it came naturally. Not many thought I would be as good as I am just starting out, which was not even a full month ago in early November. At my current job I am being trained as a welder fabricator. Being the first women in the shop is different to say the least. Many of the men talk down to me and I want to turn their views into noticing that I am competent. Going to a trade school will help me greatly, giving me more knowledge to use in everyday activities at work. I'll be able to be the best I can be at what I do.
    Smart Service Scholarship
    The trades have always been in my heart. Growing up being surrounded by them, due to my father being an HVAC tech as well as a handyman. I was always taken to any side job he had. From plumbing and electrical to drywall repair. I always had my hands in the project that was getting completed, turning heads as a small eight-year-old girl. I've always loved working with my hands but to me welding and fabrication is where it hit home. I can create anything I put my mind too that will last for generations if it's taken care of correctly. This trade helps to solve so many problems in today's world. I get to work with the engineers who are making the plans, talking to them about what will work structurally. I get to see behind the scenes in today's industrial life. I truly love how I can see what I am doing and creating a beneficial outcome.