For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Morgan Davis

2445

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hi! My name is Morgan Davis. I’m African American and currently an upcoming senior at John H. Guyer High School. I’m a three-year varsity volleyball athlete and an honor roll student in the National Honors Society with a 4.6 GPA. I aspire to study Biology on a pre-med track, minoring in Psychology. I hope to become a Psychiatrist to help erase the stigma against seeking mental healthcare in the Black community!

Education

John H Guyer High School

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
    • Psychology, General
    -
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      -

      Sports

      Volleyball

      Club
      2018 - Present6 years

      Volleyball

      Varsity
      2020 - Present4 years

      Awards

      • Wildcat Heart Award

      Arts

      • New Song of the Arts

        Music
        2014 – 2023
      • Harpool Middle School

        Theatre
        The Lion King, Hairspray
        2017 – 2018

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Anioch Christian Fellowshipgiving away old clothes to the less fortunate
        2011 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Anioch Christian FellowshipHelped in the kitchen and passed out food
        2019 – Present

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Outside the Binary: Chineye Emeghara’s STEAM Scholarship
      A major event I consider a turning point in my life was the isolation I experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. I became sad and lonely when the world shut down in 2020. Being an only child and then suddenly becoming separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. Finding the motivation to get up in the morning was difficult when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Lots of people felt the sting of loneliness on lockdown. One of my friends who was already struggling with pre-pandemic mental health issues took a turn for the worse and fell into a deep depression so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed most days and eventually required the help of a therapist and prescription medication. And to compound the problem, some of our mutual friends mocked her depression, telling her just to think happy thoughts and they behaved as though mental illness isn’t a real illness! At that moment, I felt powerless because I couldn’t physically be there to support her through it. However, I realized that it didn’t matter if I was physically there or not, she just needed to feel my support. So I checked in on her daily and we talked on the phone constantly. Whenever her mind drifted towards a dark place, she felt comfortable enough to reach out to me for help. I never expected to feel such an overwhelming sense of pride and importance to be “her person” and make a difference in someone’s life. I’m not implying I replaced her therapist but instead, I became part of her support system. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. Second, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. And finally, and specifically to me, I learned that mental health is where I wanted to dedicate my future career aspirations by becoming a psychiatrist. And in addition to majoring in biology on a pre-med track with a minor in psychology, I would also like to take an African American studies class. During the first semester of my senior year in high school, I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Lisa Pierce Johnson, a remarkable, intelligent, and extremely successful, black, female psychiatrist. From listening in on her sessions, I was able to learn more about the field and how to properly interact with patients. I got to see how sensitive she was to her patients and their struggles. None of her patients had a negative thing to say about her. They would rave about her expertise and how she truly made a difference in each of their lives. Less than 40% of practicing psychiatrists are female and even fewer are black females. I was always intimidated by that statistic. However, Dr Lisa Pierce Johnson is living proof that even though the path is hard, especially for women of color, it’s not impossible. And for that, she’s my biggest inspiration.
      James Lynn Baker II #BeACoffeeBean Scholarship
      A major event I consider a turning point in my life was the isolation I experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. I became despondent and lonely when the world shut down in 2020. Being an only child and then suddenly becoming separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up in the morning when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Lots of people felt the sting of loneliness on lockdown. One of my friends who was already struggling with pre-pandemic mental health issues took a turn for the worse and fell into a deep depression so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed most days and eventually required the help of a therapist and prescription medication. And to compound the problem, some of our mutual friends mocked her depression, telling her to just think happy thoughts and they behaved as though mental illness isn’t a real illness! At that moment, I felt powerless because I couldn’t physically be there to support her through it. However, I realized that it didn’t matter if I was physically there or not, she just needed to feel my support. So I checked in on her daily and we talked on the phone constantly. Whenever her mind drifted towards a dark place, she felt comfortable enough to reach out to me for help. I never expected to feel such an overwhelming sense of pride and importance to be “her person” and make a difference in someone’s life. I’m not implying I replaced her therapist but instead, I became part of her support system. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. Second, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. And finally, and specifically to me, I learned that mental health is where I wanted to dedicate my future career aspirations by becoming a psychiatrist. Ever since I could remember, I’ve wanted to be a doctor, but I never knew what field best suited me and my interests. Through the COVID pandemic, my feelings of isolation, and my friends' struggles with depression, it became clear to me that helping people fight their battles with mental health by becoming a part of their support system would be the most rewarding job in the world.
      Janean D. Watkins Aspiring Healthcare Professionals Scholarship
      Ever since I could remember, I knew that I wanted to be a doctor, but I never knew what field best suited me and my interests. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that everything started clicking into perspective. I consider that period to be a huge turning point in my life. Due to the isolation I experienced during the lockdown, I became despondent and lonely. Being an only child and then suddenly being separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up in the morning when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Many people including some of my closest friends were going through similar struggles. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a huge stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. One of my many goals is to one day help eliminate this stigma against seeking therapy in the black community by becoming a psychiatrist that hopefully people from my community will feel comfortable going to. Secondly, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. More than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness. That percentage is entirely too high and I want to work towards lowering it. And finally, if there’s any good that came from COVID-19, it was helping make mental health counseling more normalized and exposing the grossing demand for psychiatrists. One of my greatest accomplishments was being nominated to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders sponsored by Harvard University. After attending the congress as a delegate, I received the Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence for outstanding academic achievements, leadership potential, and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine. Additionally, this past spring I, among five other girls nominated from my school by my AP teachers and counselor, was invited to attend the Bluebonnet American Legion Auxiliary program to represent my high school based on my demonstrated leadership, citizenship, scholarship, and character. This program’s objective is to educate young women on the duties, privileges, and rights of American citizenship. Finally, I was recently inducted into the National Honors Society after meeting the criteria for the past three years of my high school career. I have every confidence that I will become a successful psychiatrist and dominate this field. However, I require a little extra support to get to my ultimate goal. With this scholarship, I will be able to make good progress in financing my education so that I may one day help people fight their battles with mental health by becoming not simply a psychiatrist, but a part of their support system as well. I can think of nothing more rewarding than that.
      Women in STEM Scholarship
      A major event I consider a turning point in my life was the isolation I experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. I became despondent and lonely when the world shut down in 2020. Being an only child and then suddenly becoming separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up in the morning when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Lots of people felt the sting of loneliness on lockdown. One of my friends who was already struggling with pre-pandemic mental health issues took a turn for the worse and fell into a deep depression so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed most days and eventually required the help of a therapist and prescription medication. And to compound the problem, some of our mutual friends mocked her depression, telling her to just think happy thoughts and they behaved as though mental illness isn’t a real illness! At that moment, I felt powerless because I couldn’t physically be there to support her through it. However, I realized that it didn’t matter if I was physically there or not, she just needed to feel my support. So I checked in on her daily and we talked on the phone constantly. Whenever her mind drifted towards a dark place, she felt comfortable enough to talk to me about it. I never expected to feel such an overwhelming sense of pride and importance to be “her person” and make a difference in someone’s life. I am not implying I replaced her therapist, but instead, I became part of her support system. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. Second, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and, therefore, untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. And finally, and specifically to me, I learned that mental health is where I wanted to dedicate my future career aspirations by becoming a psychiatrist. Ever since I could remember, I’ve wanted to be a doctor, but I never knew what field best suited me and my interests. I want to pursue a career in STEM because of the good I could do for others. Through the COVID pandemic, my feelings of isolation, and my friends' struggles with depression, it became clear to me that helping people fight their battles with mental health by becoming a part of their support system would be the most rewarding job in the world.
      VonDerek Casteel Being There Counts Scholarship
      Winner
      A major event I consider a turning point in my life was the isolation I experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. I became despondent and lonely when the world shut down in 2020. Being an only child and then suddenly becoming separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up in the morning when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Lots of people felt the sting of loneliness on lockdown. One of my friends who was already struggling with pre-pandemic mental health issues took a turn for the worse and fell into a deep depression so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed most days and eventually required the help of a therapist and prescription medication. And to compound the problem, some of our mutual friends mocked her depression, telling her to just think happy thoughts and they behaved as though mental illness isn’t a real illness! At that moment, I felt powerless because I couldn’t physically be there to support her through it. However, I realized that it didn’t matter if I was physically there or not, she just needed to feel my support. So I checked in on her daily and we talked on the phone constantly. Whenever her mind drifted towards a dark place, she felt comfortable enough to reach out to me for help. I never expected to feel such an overwhelming sense of pride and importance to be “her person” and make a difference in someone’s life. I’m not implying I replaced her therapist but instead, I became part of her support system. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. If there were, then maybe more people from my community would feel comfortable enough to seek help because there would be professionals available who have a better understanding of race-related struggles. Second, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. And finally, and specifically to me, I learned that mental health is where I wanted to dedicate my future career aspirations by becoming a psychiatrist. At university, I plan on focusing on obtaining a bachelor’s degree and studying biology on a pre-med track with a minor in psychology. Then after I’ve successfully done that, I will work towards my doctorate in medical school. Ever since I could remember, I knew I was meant to be a doctor. However, through the COVID pandemic, my feelings of isolation, and my friends' struggles with depression, it became clear to me that helping people fight their battles with mental health by becoming a part of their support system would be the most rewarding job in the world. I believe that I deserve this scholarship because I am determined to better the lives of the people who need it.
      Krewe de HOU Scholarship
      A major event I consider a turning point in my life was the isolation I experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. I became despondent and lonely when the world shut down in 2020. Being an only child and then suddenly becoming separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up in the morning when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Lots of people felt the sting of loneliness on lockdown. One of my friends who was already struggling with pre-pandemic mental health issues took a turn for the worse and fell into a deep depression so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed most days and eventually required the help of a therapist and prescription medication. And to compound the problem, some of our mutual friends mocked her depression, telling her to just think happy thoughts and they behaved as though mental illness isn’t a real illness! At that moment, I felt powerless because I couldn’t physically be there to support her through it. However, I realized that it didn’t matter if I was physically there or not, she just needed to feel my support. So I checked in on her daily and we talked on the phone constantly. Whenever her mind drifted towards a dark place, she felt comfortable enough to reach out to me for help. I never expected to feel such an overwhelming sense of pride and importance to be “her person” and make a difference in someone’s life. I’m not implying I replaced her therapist but instead, I became part of her support system. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. If there were, then maybe more people from my community would feel comfortable enough to seek help because there would be professionals available who have a better understanding of race-related struggles. Second, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. And finally, and specifically to me, I learned that mental health is where I wanted to dedicate my future career aspirations by becoming a psychiatrist. At university, I plan on focusing on obtaining a bachelor’s degree and studying biology on a pre-med track with a minor in psychology. Then after I’ve successfully done that, I will work towards my doctorate in medical school. My ambitions are high. Ever since I could remember, I knew I was meant to be a doctor. However, through the COVID pandemic, my feelings of isolation, and my friends' struggles with depression, it became clear to me that helping people fight their battles with mental health by becoming a part of their support system would be the most rewarding job in the world. And I cannot think of a greater way of bettering my community than that.
      Ward Green Scholarship for the Arts & Sciences
      A major event I consider a turning point in my life was the isolation I experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. I became despondent and lonely when the world shut down in 2020. Being an only child and then suddenly becoming separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up in the morning when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Lots of people felt the sting of loneliness on lockdown. One of my friends who was already struggling with pre-pandemic mental health issues took a turn for the worse and fell into a deep depression so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed most days and eventually required the help of a therapist and prescription medication. And to compound the problem, some of our mutual friends mocked her depression, telling her to just think happy thoughts and they behaved as though mental illness isn’t a real illness! At that moment, I felt powerless because I couldn’t physically be there to support her through it. However, I realized that it didn’t matter if I was physically there or not, she just needed to feel my support. So I checked in on her daily and we talked on the phone constantly. Whenever her mind drifted towards a dark place, she felt comfortable enough to reach out to me for help. I never expected to feel such an overwhelming sense of pride and importance to be “her person” and make a difference in someone’s life. I’m not implying I replaced her therapist but instead, I became part of her support system. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. If there were, then maybe more people from my community would feel comfortable enough to seek help because there would be professionals available who have a better understanding of race-related struggles. Second, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. And finally, and specifically to me, I learned that mental health is where I wanted to dedicate my future career aspirations by becoming a psychiatrist. At university, I plan on focusing on obtaining a bachelor’s degree and studying biology on a pre-med track with a minor in psychology. Then after I’ve successfully done that, I will work towards my doctorate in medical school. My ambitions are high. Ever since I could remember, I knew I was meant to be a doctor. However, through the COVID pandemic, my feelings of isolation, and my friends' struggles with depression, it became clear to me that helping people fight their battles with mental health by becoming a part of their support system would be the most rewarding job in the world.
      Jeanie A. Memorial Scholarship
      Throughout the majority of my athletic career as a volleyball player, I’ve always been the “Clutch” or the “Closer”, and then in my junior year of high school, that changed. I wasn’t surprised to make varsity my sophomore year. Coaches always saw that “it” factor in me. But when junior year dawned, not only was I not a starter, but I barely saw the court. Finding myself riding the bench my entire junior year had me doubting myself in ways I never had before. I took private lessons and training sessions to become faster, stronger, and jump higher. Ultimately my teammates were Division 1 committed athletes with height and natural-born athleticism that earned them the playing time I craved. And even though I was happy for them as any good teammate would be, it was hard to ignore that nagging feeling within myself telling me over and over again that I wasn’t good enough. But I was met with two choices. I could either throw in the towel and abandon a sport that had been my lifelong passion, or I could work harder and figure out a way to contribute to my team in any way I could. I chose the second. I applied myself in practice and pushed beyond what I thought possible. Whether I played or not, I cheered my heart out regardless. I didn’t allow my doubt to turn into self-pity and instead, I chose to be a positive influence on my team. When my team faced adversity, I made it my priority to hype up the rest of the bench so that win or lose, my teammates on the court knew they had an entire family at their back. I became the glue. The teammate that people could come to whenever they needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to simply listen. The teammate that would joke and laugh to keep things light in practice so that everyone could play hard and still have a good time. I uplifted spirits. I changed attitudes. And in the end, that rewarded me in ways I didn’t expect. Volleyball has taught me so many valuable lessons that I am forever grateful for. The lesson that will always stay with me is that a setback only defines you if you let it. Deciding to not let it consume you, to not let it become your identity, takes grit and determination, and most importantly resilience- qualities that because of volleyball I now fortunately possess. It’s not realistic to expect life to be easy and you can’t expect to achieve greatness without having obstacles to overcome. Based on my volleyball history, I didn’t foresee being benched my junior year, but it happened and through exhibiting resilience, it was not the end of my story or volleyball career.
      West Family Scholarship
      I want to help erase the stigma of seeking mental health care in the Black community. For as far back as I can remember, seeking mental health care was viewed with extreme distrust by most of my older African-American family members, the generations older than my mom and grandma. I later learned that they lived during a time and experienced or witnessed things that forever shaped their view of mental health. But early on, hearing them speak, I could not understand why the idea of seeking treatment for an issue that was out of your control would be seen as a weakness. Throughout my life, I’d heard things like: “It’s all in your head!” “Therapy is just a scam to take your money!” “Therapy is only for white people with too much money!” “Keep in mind the white medical community used black people as test subjects like in Tuskegee.” Except for the Tuskegee statement, everything else was just an opinion not supported by facts. I also heard things like “We just need to pray it away.” As a Christian this bothers me the most because I’m not saying therapy instead of praying, I’m saying include therapy and mental health care along with a prayer life. I believe in mental health care because I’ve seen firsthand the good it can do for people. I have a high school friend who began therapy and was prescribed anti-anxiety/anti-depression medicines in middle school and she was noticeably better as a result. Currently, I’m shadowing a psychiatrist for personal interest and learning so much about the field that I intend to dedicate my life's work. Firstly, many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to a plethora of potential consequences such as unnecessary disability, unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, and, in the worst cases, suicide. Mental health care is a necessity to ensure you live an overall healthy life, it’s as essential as any other form of health care. I’m not implying every person needs some form of therapy or medication, but my shadowing of a psychiatrist is validating what I believed, that we should all prioritize our mental wellness. My mom sometimes says she takes a “mental health day” from her job… It's her way of taking a day away from her job to destress and therefore aid in her mental well-being. I’ve read that some mental illnesses if ignored can manifest in physical ailments, so the importance of evaluating your mental health should be high, but in my black community, it is still viewed with skepticism and suspicion. I hope to change the narrative about mental healthcare by being a black psychiatrist and aiding all people in need of mental health care, including my community. I remember when I was 5 years old my mom took me to see Princess and the Frog, an animated fairy tale where the princess was African-American. A black princess seemed...normal to me, but my mom (age 43 at the time) had never seen a black princess, and even as an adult she said she was moved by the “normalcy” I expressed compared to the sheer novelty she felt. That’s what I hope to bring to the psychiatrist profession. I hope that when my black patients see me, they feel an unexpected sense of belonging, normalcy, and trust. That my diagnosis and prognosis will be welcomed, embraced, and valued not met with distrust. I intend to volunteer some of my psychiatric services to underserved black communities to provide education about the importance of mental healthcare and hopefully dispel the stigma.
      Fishers of Men-tal Health Scholarship
      A major event I consider a turning point in my life was the isolation I experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. I became despondent and lonely when the world shut down in 2020. Being an only child and then suddenly becoming separated from my friends and disconnected from society was the hardest transition to go through. It was difficult to find the motivation to get up in the morning when I had nothing new and exciting to look forward to. And before I knew it, my “new normal” turned into a mind-numbingly mundane daily routine. But, I realized that the pandemic and the subsequent “shelter in place” order was unprecedented and I wasn’t going through this hardship alone. Lots of people felt the sting of loneliness on lockdown. One of my friends who was already struggling with pre-pandemic mental health issues took a turn for the worse and fell into a deep depression so bad that she couldn’t get out of bed most days and eventually required the help of a therapist and prescription medication. And to compound the problem, some of our mutual friends mocked her depression, telling her to just think happy thoughts and they behaved as though mental illness isn’t a real illness! At that moment, I felt powerless because I couldn’t physically be there to support her through it. However, I realized that it didn’t matter if I was physically there or not, she just needed to feel my support. So I checked in on her daily and we talked on the phone constantly. Whenever her mind drifted towards a dark place, she felt comfortable enough to reach out to me for help. I never expected to feel such an overwhelming sense of pride and importance to be “her person” and make a difference in someone’s life. I’m not implying I replaced her therapist but instead, I became part of her support system. As a result of COVID-19, I have gained a greater understanding of mental health. The first thing to note is that there is a stigma associated with mental illness, which is very prominent in the black medical articles that support that the Black community distrusts the medical system and its professionals. As an African-American girl who interns at a private practice, I can say firsthand that there are not nearly enough of us in this field. Second, I learned that many mental health problems go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. This can lead to self-harm, homelessness, and, in the worst cases, suicide. And finally, and specifically to me, I learned that mental health is where I wanted to dedicate my future career aspirations by becoming a psychiatrist. Ever since I could remember, I’ve wanted to be a doctor, but I never knew what field best suited me and my interests. Through the COVID pandemic, my feelings of isolation, and my friends' struggles with depression, it became clear to me that helping people fight their battles with mental health by becoming a part of their support system would be the most rewarding job in the world.
      SulawithSula
      Throughout most of my athletic career as a volleyball player, I’ve always been the “Clutch” or the “Closer”, and then in my junior year of high school, that changed. I wasn’t surprised to make my varsity team sophomore year. Coaches always saw that “it” factor in me. But when junior year dawned, not only was I not a starter, but I barely saw the court. Finding myself riding the bench my entire junior year had me doubting myself in ways I never had before. I took private lessons and did conditioning to improve my skills. Ultimately my teammates were Division 1 committed athletes with height and natural-born athleticism that earned them the playing time I craved. And even though I was happy for them as any good teammate would be, it was hard to ignore that nagging feeling within myself telling me over and over again that I wasn’t good enough. But I was met with two choices: either throw in the towel and abandon a sport that had been my lifelong passion, or work harder and figure out a way to contribute to my team in any way I could. I chose the second. I applied myself in practice and pushed beyond what I thought possible. Whether I played or not, I cheered my heart out regardless. I didn’t allow my doubt to turn into self-pity and instead, chose to be a positive influence on my team. When my team faced adversity, I made it my priority to hype up the rest of the bench so that win or lose, my teammates on the court knew they had an entire family at their back. I became the glue and apparently, my team and coaches noticed this too. At our end-of-season banquet, I was awarded “The Wildcat Heart Award.” My choice to contribute in any way that I could is something I will never regret. I didn’t choose to be a positive force to earn the award, but receiving the award did validate that my actions were meaningful and impactful, and that is a lesson I will never forget. Volleyball has taught me many lessons that I can apply throughout the rest of my life. It’s taught me how to be a leader on and off the court and how to have grit and determination. Volleyball helped me to understand that hard work and preparation don't guarantee immediate success. It takes perseverance and an ability to make intermediate goals while striving for long-term goals. Success requires a willingness to take chances and a belief that I can apply myself to learn different things. I’ve learned to have a different perspective on losses and realized that I can learn from a loss and apply what I’ve learned to achieve a better outcome in the future. I know that an obstacle can seem on the surface to be a setback, but if I apply myself, that obstacle can be a “setup” for future success. I’ve learned all these things through volleyball and I know that these lessons will help me in college as I face new challenges. I imagine as a college student preparation will be critical to success, but no matter what, I believe in college not everything I attempt will be successful on my first attempt. However, I refuse to allow that to discourage me. I will adjust and approach my obstacles head-on, work harder, and find new resources to support me. Volleyball has taught me this life lesson and I know it will serve me well… pun intended.