For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Michelle Barrow

1015

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

Bio

Hello, my name is Michelle Barrow and I will attend Meredith College in the fall. I am passionate about many things but the most are music (vocal and instrumental performance) and creative writing. My financial situation has never been the best so I took it into my own hands to find ways to fund my education. Since my family members cannot cosign for any loans for me, I have to find my funds through scholarships and grants. Writing is my absolute passion and I will be an English major with a minor in Creative Writing.

Education

Northwest School Of The Arts

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • English Language and Literature, General
    • Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies
    • English Language and Literature/Letters, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Writing and Editing

    • Dream career goals:

      Author

    • Sales Associate

      Plato's Closet
      2024 – Present6 months
    • Sales Associate

      Carowinds
      2022 – 20231 year

    Sports

    Taekwondo

    Junior Varsity
    2014 – 20206 years

    Cheerleading

    Junior Varsity
    2016 – 20204 years

    Research

    • Natural Resources Conservation and Research

      Northwest School of the Arts — Researcher
      2024 – Present

    Arts

    • Northwest School of the Arts

      Music
      Combined concert with UNCC
      2020 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Bank of America Stadium — Food Runner
      2021 – 2023

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Alicea Sperstad Rural Writer Scholarship
    I knew I was meant to tell stories from the moment I was born. Whether through my voice or written word, I knew it was my absolute passion. I've been using my imagination before I even knew what to call it. When I was younger I would ask my mom to write down the stories I would tell so that I could read them back when I was older, that was how much words and writing meant to me. I believe that writing can make people feel things that they had never even considered before. I believe writing to be one of the most overlooked art forms. While some people may simply see words and blocks of text on a page, I see new worlds and ideas that can evoke emotions people didn't even know they had. I write because I want to share all the wild stories that have been living in my brain for far too long. I want the characters that I hold so dearly to my heart to grace other people with their presence. My dream career is to be an author and success is not my main goal, my main goal is for my work to mean something to someone. I write stories because I want to share them. I want people to find the same importance in them that I have found. I believe my art can create a better world because I write so much of myself into all of my work and I feel as if what I have to say is important and meaningful. My greatest wish is for someone to read my work and feel grateful that they did. I want someone to take what I had to say and share it with others because it meant so much to them. I write about topics that I find important, such as what it means to grow up as a black girl in this society and how that can affect someone's upbringing. It breaks my heart when someone finds something I have written to be relatable, however, it makes me happy knowing that they have found something/someone they can relate to and they feel less alone because of my work. I think the use of language is one of the most powerful tools and I do my best to use it to my advantage. I use words to spark wonder because a lot of my pieces drip with nuance and I love writing that can be analyzed, I find that it makes it all the more special. I increase awareness by writing narratives that may not have been explored from a certain point of view. I can create dialogue because the written word is something to be discussed, to be dissected, it is not meant to sit, it is meant to ruminate. I can evoke emotions by writing my raw and true narrative. I write because it is how I feel. My work is a product of my emotions and I find that beautiful. I am passionate about what I do, and writing is what I do best.
    River City Ringers of Omaha Scholarship
    I have been playing musical instruments since I was nine years old starting with a classical guitar. I have always been “musically-inclined”, I play a plethora of instruments such as Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, Ukulele, Piano, Viola, and now handbells. Recently I have picked up handbells and doing so has been one of the most wonderful experiences that I’ve had. I started handbell ringing a couple of months ago as an high school class and I know that it’s an instrument that I want to pursue for a very long time after I graduate. Handbells is an instrument that I have never thought of before and when I found out it was a class offered at Northwest School of the Arts I knew I had to try it out. Doing so I’ve met so many good friends who enjoy ringing as much as I do. The class is very tight-knit, there are only about eleven of us and we all enjoy what we do dearly. It would make me incredibly happy to find a handbell ensemble somewhere while I pursue higher education because just like my other instruments I have no intention of stopping. My absolute favorite piece that we have played in our handbell ensemble is “Prelude on Adeste Fideles” composed by Mitchell Eithun. There were so many fun techniques like the shake, martellato lifts, LVs, Thumb ramps, vibrato, echos, swings. I loved this piece dearly. It was quite hard at first but when you find what you’re doing fun it got easier and easier. However, I do have a silly story from the first time we performed this specific song. It is very important that the table is far enough away from other things because during our performance during one of the swing sections, the top treble bells swung a little to farm back and rammed into a drum set during it. We continued to ring but it was an absolute disaster! I think of the moment whenever I think of Prelude on Adeste Fideles. I think it’s funny looking back, (the drums and the bells were perfectly fine), but it reminded me of how much we all love the instrument. In handbells now we are learning two pieces, one called Air (which I can’t seem to remember the name of) and one called *Ayre* which was composed by one of the people in our handbell class. I love how everyone is so creative and loves music when they’re in the handbell classroom. I hold handbells near and dear to my heart and I hope to continue pursuing the art form.
    Book Lovers Scholarship
    One of the first novels I read when I was twelve years old was White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I am not sure if I should have been reading that when I was a young girl but I am glad I did because it influenced the way I thought things through in a very good way. White Oleander by Janet Fitch deals with many themes such as the complexities of Mother-Daughter relationships, the nature of good and evil, identity and self-discovery, dependency, and loss. The story is raw and complex and emotional and it was one of the most evocative reads I have ever experienced, even when I was younger. It is a story I believe everyone should experience reading at least once. The story follows a young girl named Astrid who is navigating foster care after her Mother is convicted of murder. It makes you ask yourself what is truly important to you. It's compelling, it's real, the prose is absolutely beautiful, and I love everything about this book. Astrid is a compelling character and she is so... real, which I think is the best you can get when it comes to fiction. She is relatable and you really begin to feel for her as the story progresses. The relationship between her and her Mom is so interesting and it keeps you at the edge of your seat as you read it. The themes are so perfectly portrayed through the writing and the characters. I think everyone who can handle this kind of material should read White Oleander, it is one of my absolute favorite novels.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    “Ah how shameless -- the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone, they say, come all their miseries, yes, but they themselves, with their own reckless ways, compound their pains beyond their proper share.” - The Odyssey, Homer. The relationship between mortals and gods is a central theme in Homer's "The Odyssey". This paragraph encapsulates this by illustrating the dynamic between them and highlighting the idea of personal agency in the face of adversity. At first glance, Zeus's complaint over mortals blaming the gods for their miseries may seem like a simple condemnation of human ingratitude. However, looking deeper into the text reveals the complexity and blurriness of the relationship between mortals and gods in Greek mythology. The gods in "The Odyssey" often intervene in the affairs and actions of mortals, shaping their destinies and influencing the course of events. Yet, Zeus suggests that mortals are quick to put all their troubles solely to divine intervention, absolving themselves of any responsibility for their own actions. This is a complex interplay between fate, free will, and divine intervention. Do the humans truly believe they have no part in their struggles? Or because of the influence of the gods, is their free will compromised? Do they have a right to believe they have no part in their hardships? There is no doubt that gods have a hand in the mortal's misery but how much of it is their fault? Will humans ever admit to exacerbating their own miseries? It is morally right if they do without the god's admittance in the matter? The line "From us alone, they say, come all their miseries" reflects the tendency of mortals to view the gods as omnipotent beings who control every aspect of their lives. This belief diminishes accountability for their own choices and behaviors, shifting blame onto external forces beyond their control. It speaks to a broader human likelihood to seek external explanations for misfortune rather than examining one's role in contributing to it. However, Zeus's rebuke does not set the gods free of their culpability in human suffering. Throughout "The Odyssey," the gods often manipulate mortals for their own purposes, testing their virtue or punishing them for perceived offenses. This compound interaction between divine intervention and mortal agency smudges the lines of responsibility, raising questions about free will and fate. Zeus acknowledges that mortals "compound their pains beyond their proper share" through their own reckless actions. This acknowledgment underscores the importance of personal agency and accountability in shaping one's destiny. While the gods may influence the course of events, mortals ultimately have the power to choose their actions and determine their own fates. By engaging in this behavior, mortals inflame their own suffering, exceeding the bounds of what might be considered their "proper share" of misfortune. The theme of personal responsibility in "The Odyssey" extends beyond the relationship between mortals and gods to encompass broader moral and ethical considerations. Throughout the poem, characters face moral dilemmas and must navigate the consequences of their choices. Whether it be Odysseus's prideful boasting that leads to his prolonged journey home or the suitors' reckless disregard for hospitality and propriety, the actions of mortals have consequences that shape their destinies. In conclusion, Zeus's lamentation in "The Odyssey" encapsulates the complex relationship between mortals and gods, highlighting the theme of personal responsibility in the face of adversity. While the gods may influence the course of events, mortals possess agency and must be held accountable for their actions. The paragraph serves as a reminder that blaming external forces for misfortune is ultimately futile, and true empowerment comes from recognizing and embracing one's own agency in shaping one's destiny. While it can be taken at face value---people have a hard time taking responsibilities for the things they have part in---it is not that simple once you look past the surface.
    LGBTQ+ Wellness in Action Scholarship
    My mental health and physical wellness are both things I have struggled with. In my adolescence, I have dealt with physical health problems like various eating disorders and mental health such as depression and anxiety. I have slowly been coming to terms with who I am as a person and working on my health in all aspects of my life are genuinely some of my main priorities. Being a teenager is already hard enough, the pain of growing into a completely new person from childhood to adulthood is awkward and uncomfortable, but to add on taking care of your wellness makes it all the more difficult. Taking care of myself in all ways is one of the most important things to me because I know how hard it is to deal with things that seem out of your control at the time. I have felt depression so heavy in my bones that I felt like it was consuming me. The thought of food and eating overtook everything in my life, to the point where I couldn't focus on school much anymore. Sometimes I felt so incredibly helpless as I tried to deal with the problems that I was facing alone. It feels like you have no one while trying to navigate the world with a body that doesn't seem to function correctly and a mind that is telling you that you will never overcome the hardships that you're facing. I wouldn't wish how I was feeling on anyone, it is not desirable and I hope anyone who does feel that way has someone they can speak to about it. I have spent the majority of my school life trying to find the courage to overcome my mental and physical problems and soon enough I found it in me. I recovered from my eating problems as best I could which made my mental state better. I worked on my mental health with many support systems and found it in me to talk about what was going through my head and work it out. Mental health and physical wellness are extremely important to me because I know how it feels to not have those things. It is awful and a very lonely experience to feel as though your own body and mind have failed you. It is everyone's right to have the space and comfort to have someone to speak about their health with. I know that if I did not have that, I wouldn't be where I am today.
    PRIDE in Education Award
    I've known that I am a lesbian since I was five years old. When I was younger I didn't think much of it. I didn't know it was "wrong" because it just seemed normal since I had known for so long. Until one day in my old church, the pastor was talking about same-sex relationships. I never told anyone about the thoughts I'd been having, and I never really even paid attention in church before. I would swing my Mary Janes against the wooden seats in front of me to see how far I could go without making too much noise. I would stare at the stained glass windows to see how much of the rays of sunlight would turn purple. I would flip to random pages in my children’s bible to look at the little pictures. But that day I was all ears. I didn’t see why it mattered unless someone was hurting another person. He went on and on about how it was fundamentally wrong to be in a romantic relationship with the same gender because it ruined our "traditional family values." I remember this day clearly. It caused an awful bubbly feeling in my gut. After church that day, I asked my mom what the pastor was talking about. She explained that he was referring to something called "gay" people. She told me there was nothing wrong with that and we never went back to that church again. As I got older, I learned about the LGBTQ+ community. Quickly I realized that is where I was the most accepted for who I am. I have never met a community that was so accepting and loving, not just with gender identity and sexuality, I feel welcomed for all of me. I am lucky to have a family that supports me for who I am but the world is not my family. I am glad to have a community that is so welcoming and kind and that has always made me feel like I belong somewhere. I chose the major creative writing because words have always been my strong-suit. I've always loved to tell stories and it is my absolute dream to do what I love for a living. I can convey myself and my feeling through words if you give me some time and a pen. Writing is my absolute passion and I love writing about my own experiences and letting people know that they aren't alone.
    Alexis Mackenzie Memorial Scholarship for the Arts
    I knew I was meant to tell stories from the moment I was born. Whether through my voice or written word, I knew it was my absolute passion. I've been using my imagination before I even knew what to call it. When I was younger I would ask my mom to write down the stories I would tell so that I could read them back when I was older, that was how much words and writing meant to me. I believe that writing can make people feel things that they had never even considered before. I believe writing to be one of the most overlooked art forms. While some people may simply see words and blocks of text on a page, I see new worlds and ideas that can evoke emotions people didn't even know they had. I write because I want to share all the wild stories that have been living in my brain for far too long. I want the characters that I hold so dearly to my heart to grace other people with their presence. My dream career is to be an author and success is not my main goal, my main goal is for my work to mean something to someone. I write stories because I want to share them. I want people to find the same importance in them that I have found. I believe my art can create a better world because I write so much of myself into all of my work and I feel as if what I have to say is important and meaningful. My greatest wish is for someone to read my work and feel grateful that they did. I want someone to take what I had to say and share it with others because it meant so much to them. I write about topics that I find important, such as what it means to grow up as a black girl in this society and how that can affect someone's upbringing. It breaks my heart when someone finds something I have written to be relatable, however, it makes me happy knowing that they have found something/someone they can relate to and they feel less alone because of my work. I think the use of language is one of the most powerful tools and I do my best to use it to my advantage. I use words to spark wonder because a lot of my pieces drip with nuance and I love writing that can be analyzed, I find that it makes it all the more special. I increase awareness by writing narratives that may not have been explored from a certain point of view. I can create dialogue because the written word is something to be discussed, to be dissected, it is not meant to sit, it is meant to ruminate. I can evoke emotions by writing my raw and true narrative. I write because it is how I feel. My work is a product of my emotions and I find that beautiful. I am passionate about what I do, and writing is what I do best.