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Noor Abu-shalbak

4855

Bold Points

4x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

2x

Winner

Bio

Hey! My name is Noor which means a lot to me because in Arabic, it means the light of heaven. I take that seriously and try to encompass everything light is for other people because most of the time, people need help, and we just don’t see it because it’s hidden, or we’re preoccupied. With that, I try to be the voice for the voiceless, mostly being animals. I have been an animal advocate for a few years now and I plan to continue my efforts for the rest of my life because I know it will not be in vain. I foster puppies and kittens until they are of age or sound health to be adopted into loving homes. I have also been an avid horse lover since birth, and I have helped rehab horses meant for slaughterhouses. I am so grateful to Bold.org and all of the donors who do so much for students. I am a student who relies on scholarships and aid to go to college, so for this organization to do so much to make things easier is so relieving. I am motivated to graduate college without any debt, and I am appreciative of every person who helps me get there. You may question what all of that leads to and honestly, I don’t know either. But, with the help of a scholarship, I can afford to continue my education so that I can make larger contributions to the things I care about, including my future. Thank you.

Education

University of Houston

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2028
  • Majors:
    • Health and Medical Administrative Services
    • Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services
    • Foods, Nutrition, and Related Services
    • Nutrition Sciences
  • Minors:
    • Pharmacology and Toxicology

Lawrence E Elkins H S

High School
2021 - 2024

Amos Alonzo Stagg High School

High School
2020 - 2021

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

    -
  • Transfer schools of interest:

    -
  • Majors of interest:

    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Health/Medical Preparatory Programs
    • Health and Medical Administrative Services
    • Public Health
    -
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medical Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Anesthesiologist

      Sports

      Basketball

      Varsity
      2013 - 202411 years

      Golf

      Club
      2021 - Present3 years

      Equestrian

      Club
      2017 - Present7 years

      Cheerleading

      Varsity
      2017 - Present7 years

      Badminton

      Junior Varsity
      2020 - 20211 year

      Awards

      • mvp

      Research

      • Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services, Other

        Avatar Feedback CommunityParticipant
        2024 – Present
      • Psychology, Other

        Project WaypointParticipant
        2024 – Present
      • Psychology, General

        Elkins High SchoolData Analyzer
        2024 – Present

      Arts

      • Elkins & Worth

        Music
        2017 – Present

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Memory Lane StablesVolunteer
        2018 – 2021
      • Volunteering

        Chicago Ridge Public LibraryVolunteer
        2019 – 2021
      • Volunteering

        Sarah's Pony RidesVolunteer
        2019 – 2021
      • Volunteering

        Houston Humane SocietyFoster
        2023 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Houston SPCAFoster
        2023 – Present
      • Volunteering

        BlicVolunteer
        2023 – 2023

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Entrepreneurship

      Female Musician Scholarship
      Growing up as the middle child of a low-income, first-generation family with five daughters wasn't easy, especially because of our increasing financial difficulties. And while my parents' everlasting resilience always gives me a proud feeling to be their daughter, the most influential person in my life was my grandfather. And my biggest regret is not understanding the depth of what he told me and his experiences until after he passed away in 2020. My grandfather was always one to stand up for his beliefs, even if it meant getting hurt in some way or losing something because not losing himself was more important. Every time I cried, for whatever reason, he was always there to wipe my tears and tell me to "be smiley." At the time, I thought his phrase was rather cringy since it wasn't "cool." Now that phrase is anything but cringy, and it's so dear to me that it's on the personalized stuffed animal my best friend gifted me. When he died, a part of my innocence withered too; I lost a large part of myself, and the pain was unimaginable because he had a large hand in raising me. Whenever he'd go for grocery runs, he'd ask if I wanted to go and I always did, but only after a bit of convincing. I'd race to change to go shopping with him just one more time or to hear a story from his perspective. I mean, he taught me how to tell if fruits and vegetables were ripe, how to be useful with a hammer, gardening, self-defense, and even fun activities like arm-wrestling and patty-cake. Only after he died did I find out that he raised his siblings because his parents died when he was young. So, he single-handedly provided for and educated all of his siblings since he was 17 and worked his way up from dirt. Being darker-skinned, he was already at a disadvantage in life because of racial views, especially around the time he was young, but that didn't stop him. He ended up becoming a successful accountant who worked for a prince who trusted him so much that he wouldn't sign off on a single paper unless my grandfather agreed, which are other qualities I strive to hone like him, loyalty and honesty. However, while he was on vacation with his family, a war broke out in Kuwait to the point where it wasn't safe to return, so they lost practically everything of financial value. He just filled his life with so much beauty because of his mindset, and every person could feel his radiant presence, as bright as his contagious laughter and ability to make anyone smile. My mom told me that he touched so many lives that when he died, people from all over the world of different ages that she never even knew, called her and gave their condolences because he helped them in some way. My name, Noor, means light in Arabic, and I want to encompass that in myself. I want to be that flashlight in the dark for people, just like my grandfather. He embodied success in everything he did, mistakes or not, because he learned from them and worked towards what he set his eyes on. His greatest success was continuous: the happiness of his family and helping others while advancing in his own path. Even though I have a variety of medical problems, including autoimmune, his life gives me the strength to be something more, but to make sure I don't lose sight of it all.
      Jean Ramirez Scholarship
      Survivor's guilt is real, and it's scary. Even though my childhood best friend of 5 years and cousin chose to end her life, which is a heartbreaking thing to think of in itself, my survivor's guilt lives on. Her name was Natalia, but Nat to me. Her private story on social media was called "Nat's Rat Pack," and I thought it was simply the most clever and hilarious thing I'd ever heard of. The worst part of everything is that she is a "was." She's in the past tense. There is no crueler realization of life's difficulties than a situation like this. No one and nothing can prepare you for a loss like this. For Nat, I knew she had suicidal thoughts and we talked about them for months. I tried to convince her to get help from someone more qualified than me, and she always put it off, saying that she felt better by the end of our talks. For months, she criticized every detail of herself that I couldn't help but adore. I typed out my bare thoughts, which ended up amounting to mountains of paragraphs, the size of the ones she'd send as a message at exactly 12 am on my birthday. No one will ever know or understand the pain and guilt I had and still live with because I failed to save her. I felt like I failed to convince her of her worth and value, despite the hours we spent talking daily. I felt like I missed something and that it was my fault. I reached out to a trusted adult who knows both of us decently well and let her know the situation was alright. That's what I believed and really wanted to believe. We were practically sisters, being cousins but also so close that we shared our deepest secrets far into the night. I felt so lucky to have found my lifelong best friend that some can only dream of, and I only had her for 16 years. She was 3 years older than me, and now that I'm nearing the age at which she left my heart with a void, the more I become scared. I am scared that I will be forced to move on from something I believe I'll never recover from, even if I use it as fuel for my success, because I know that is what she would urge me to do. I didn't understand it at the time, but one of the last conversations we had was focused on my future, and the last thing she said to me was, "Make your dreams a reality; don't wait for the right time. The right time is now." I will never forget the confidence she held in that moment, but I should've seen past that and into her puffy eyes. But the only thing I can do now is heed her advice and one of my dreams that she talked about was a long planned one. My goal ever since I started volunteering at a non-profit horse rescue when I was 13 was to single-handedly rescue and rehabilitate a horse from the slaughter pipeline but I never had the funds or the education. Now is my chance and I will name that horse Nat in her honor. Nat will live on through a horse that gets a second chance in life, despite never being undeserving of the first.
      Texas Students in STEM Scholarship
      In college at the University of Houston (UH), I plan to major in nutrition on a pre-med track for my bachelor's and then go on to complete a master's so I can become a certified anesthesiologist assistant and maybe beyond to a doctorate. I gained more than 30 college credits through dual credit and AP classes, so I will be starting college as a sophomore. Because my grandmother went through surgery where the anesthesiologist failed to do their job correctly, she ended up feeling every second of pain while stuck in the confines of her mind. Because of this, I am committed to preventing such mistakes. And as the middle child of a low-income, first-generation family with 5 daughters and a lot of medical problems, including cancer and hypothyroidism, ensuring that treatments and surgeries are affordable for everybody who needs them is essential to me. Seeing my parent's card decline at the store over and over is the most heartbreaking thing, and affording my education is the first step to preventing that from happening again. I won't sit here and pretend that I've dreamed about becoming an anesthesiologist since before I could talk, because I haven't. But my beloved grandmother recently passed away. She underwent surgery, where the anesthesiologist failed to perform their duty correctly. This failure resulted in a horrifying situation where she was not properly numbed before the surgical knife was plunged into her chest. Unable to voice her agony, she could do nothing but endure the excruciating pain in the silent confines of her mind. So, I am committed to doing everything within my power to prevent such a mistake from happening again. As an Arab American, growing up in a country where there are many racist views of me because of certain political events I wasn't even alive for was always difficult. So, I wish to be a forger of my own path despite the setbacks that I won't let define me. I do, however, wish to one day be viewed as an inspiration to girls similar to me in either race or spirit. At 13, I started volunteering at a non-profit horse rescue, where I learned to rehabilitate horses saved from the slaughter pipeline, teaching them to trust the touch of a human again and finding myself in the process. I want the healthcare field and my own morals and values to join forces in creating a better world—a world I can say I am proud of. And my name, Noor, means light in Arabic, and that is what I try to encompass in my life and my character. This will extend to my education and my interactions with patients and the people who have been in my life from the start. Receiving the scholarship would mean making my dream less of an idea and more of a future.
      Margalie Jean-Baptiste Scholarship
      Graduating high school in May gave me an opportunity to reflect on my life choices and, of course, struggles. While going through something hard, it's easy to lose sight of our purpose or somehow forget the depth of what we've gone through after time passes. Growing up as the middle child of a low-income, first-generation Arab family with 5 daughters meant many trials. But looking back and being living proof that I survived makes me proud of myself and my perseverance. Being Arab in a world so racist, I often found it difficult to keep going when my days were filled with murmurs of "terrorist," "bomber," and other unspeakable words. Not only that, but I was practically the poster child of the middle child stereotype. Nonetheless, I refused to drown in my own sorrow. So, I stood my ground and invested any negative energy thrown at me, or even within, into my aspirations. Every part of my identity flourished when I finally decided that other people's opinions should not weigh on me. Just when I started becoming comfortable with myself, my grandmother passed away in early 2023, leaving a void in my once content heart. She practically raised me so trudging through my pain was incredibly difficult. I got my first 3 foster kittens 4 months later to do good for the world when I wasn't feeling that great. And right when I was starting to feel okay again, my long-distance best friend informed me of her stage 3 lung cancer in July 2023 but promised she would kill the cancer. However, her sister called me not even 2 weeks later to inform me that my friend had passed away in her battle. More wounds developed, and the ones I thought healed were reopened. I will admit that I drowned in a sea of tears before the strength she always displayed reached me. Ever since then, I have been involved in many non-profit organizations to focus my energy on something positive. This includes the Houston Food Bank, a horse rescue for rehabilitating horses saved from the slaughter pipeline, the Houston SPCA, and the Houston Humane Society. Doing this has not only done good for people and animals but also for my inner self. And somehow, I maintained a high GPA throughout high school and was an active member of many clubs and national honor societies. While my experiences with adversity have been incredibly difficult to pull out of, I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to serve my community and make a difference in the lives of others. The world needs more kindness and even if someone is going through a lot, we should prevent ourselves from letting our negative energy transfer to those around us. This scholarship would make a life-changing impact in helping me turn my dreams into an actual reality. School is difficult enough without the worry of financial burdens, so any sort of support is crucial to my success and continued efforts in the animal world. I am grateful for my experiences and the people involved in my life who made a difference. Making a better world one step at a time is one of my biggest motivators and I thank you for the opportunity to receive this blessing and potentially help me in that journey.
      Headbang For Science
      Seeing Jose Mangin himself create a charity that is looking to help people exactly like me, my jaw dropped, and I was so excited to finally see something that wasn't only tailored to academic qualifications but also one of the biggest impacts on my life, which is music. But I'm not the only metalhead in my life. When I was 13, I started volunteering at a non-profit horse rescue and one of the horses I personally built a connection with was named Mojo, a beautiful brown gelding. However, he was an old horse, and when he first came to us, he looked as if he'd lost his spirit. And typically, with new rescues, they're very sensitive to loud or sudden noises, so we slowly introduce sounds to them, and one day my phone accidentally played "Carry On" by Falling In Reverse, and I ran to my phone because I thought it would be too loud for him, but it almost looked like he was bopping his head to it. He started lifting his head and his lips, a sign of comfort, and I was thrilled. From there, I started playing heavy metal tracks whenever I was with him, and his condition only improved. Now he is known as Mojo the Metalhead, and it's even written on his stall. As cliche as it sounds, music, specifically heavy metal, is a means to escape from life and all of the problems that come with it. Not only that, but it also helps me enjoy life on a good day too. One time, my friends and I spent a rainy night wearing floral dresses with the windows down in the car and driving around with Slipknot blasting out the windows. We passed through our town center, where many people were walking outside with umbrellas, and we earned sideways glances, likely because it was funny or non-traditional for girls, especially those who love dresses, to like heavy metal. When my grandparents and best friend died, heavy metal saved me time and time again. In my community, I actively volunteer for the Houston Food Bank and foster kittens, puppies, and dogs for the Houston SPCA and the Houston Humane Society. In high school, I was in the National Honor Society (Historian), Science National Honor Society (Treasurer), National English Honor Society, and Rho Kappa. I was in the top 20% of my school, with 659 students in my class. I received an award with the Y.E.S (Youth Expanding Service) program for completing more than 100 community service hours in record time, less than one school year. I also got a cord at graduation for donating blood with the Golf Coast Regional Blood Center and winning the Noble Knight award. Lastly, I was a member of Student Council (President), UNICEF (Historian), and the Red Cross. In college at the University of Houston (UH), I plan to major in nutrition on a pre-med track for my bachelor's and then go on to complete a master's so I can become a certified anesthesiologist assistant and maybe beyond to a doctorate. I gained more than 30 college credits through dual credit and AP classes, so I will be starting college as a sophomore. Because my grandmother went through surgery where the anesthesiologist failed to do their job correctly, she ended up feeling every second of pain while stuck in the confines of her mind. Because of this, I am committed to preventing such mistakes. And as the middle child of a low-income family with 5 daughters and a lot of medical problems, including cancer and hypothyroidism, ensuring that treatments and surgeries are affordable for everybody who needs them is essential to me. Seeing my parent's card decline at the store over and over is the most heartbreaking thing, and affording my education is the first step to preventing that from happening again. Making the world a better place starts within, and then with those who supported us, and of course, blasting heavy metal along the way.
      Sharra Rainbolt Memorial Scholarship
      My grandmother had long won her battle against cancer by the time I was old enough to understand what it was. My dad's parents died when he was a kid, so growing up with my mom's parents living with us in our apartment meant a lot, and I don't know what I would've done if my grandmother died when I was younger or before I was born. While my grandfather taught me physical life skills like being useful with a hammer, self-defense, and how to tell if a fruit was ripe or not, my grandmother is the one who taught me about people and the right mentality. Growing up as the middle child in a family with 5 daughters made it easy to get lost in the mix and turn into the poster child of the "middle child" joke. However, my grandmother always seemed to notice when I was upset or if something was bothering me. She'd brighten my day with a smile that reached her eyes and tickle me or tell me an old story. She defended me to my parents when I did something wrong, like staying up past 8 or eating candy at night, and most importantly, she'd secretly pass me candy too. I don't think I would be the same person if she lost her fight against cancer. After she passed away in 2023, I was heartbroken because she was basically another parent to me, but I'm glad I got to grow up with her influence in my life because it was so beautiful and beneficial. After she died, I asked my mom about the cancer, and she said it was very hard on my grandmother, but she came out of it a stronger person. She persevered so much that it was a secret until we were old enough to understand. However, not only my grandmother had cancer, but my father had thyroid cancer. He was diagnosed when I was a kid, and it was to the point where he had to get his thyroid completely removed in surgery and is permanently on pills to make up for it. Due to the radiation caused by his treatments, my mom, sisters, and I had to live with our relatives for a few months so he could heal and get better. I am glad and proud to say that he beat it. Just this past summer, one of my oldest and dearest friends called me out of the blue, and she explained that she was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I tried to be strong for her but couldn't help the tears fall down my face. We talked about old, fond stories and laughed while crying. I would've immediately rushed to her side to give her a hug had we been in the same state. Even through her humor, I could see her soul draining from her face, likely from the treatments and stress. We ended the call after hours of talking and a promise that she would kill the cancer. After knowing 2 immediate family members that survived cancer, I truly believed she could fight it off. But not even 2 weeks after our initial call, her sister called me to inform me of her death. I don't remember anything from that time but a blur of tears and sobbing that seemed to have no end. Someone I so deeply care about is gone. Cancer stole precious time, money, and the literal life of so many people, including my family and friend. As cliche as it is, life is so short. It's time to live.
      Frederick J. Salone Memorial Basketball Scholarship
      An orange ball swooshing through a big rim attached to an intertwined rope. The concept of basketball seems so silly at first glance but teaches many lessons upon further investigation with a looking glass. I started playing basketball when I was 7. It was one of those situations where a mother wishes for her child's future success, so she puts her kid into a sport. Usually, kids do not enjoy those forced things, but I actually loved basketball. Of course, there were times when I was upset, like when we had to do the warm-ups called "suicides." Another time I felt like wanting to quit was during a 5th grade shooting competition, very early in my sports career. It started during our physical education class, and everybody who did not play basketball outside of school unsurprisingly trickled out because of missed shots. I still remember when my close friend, who started playing basketball a while before me, missed her shot, and I felt bad but also proud that I had made it that far. I felt like I was on top of the world in the final 3, especially when it turned to 2. However, the last person besides me played unfairly, shouting cruel things in my ear, which I thought of as unseemly at the time, but later saw was a regular occurrence in real games. Nevertheless, I missed my final shot and felt crushed. I retreated back to my classroom like every other kid that missed, already disappointed in myself, and then had to endure the straight-forward questioning of kids with no filters. The teacher ordered them to refocus on her lesson, and with their watching eyes away from me, I quietly cried. I will never forget that feeling of failure, especially when the winner waltzed into the classroom, holding the trophy I'd daydreamed of in her hands, and when my eager mother asked how it went. That failure, however, did so much for me. It sprung me to my full potential, giving me motivation and determination to become better and train for hours longer each day. My mentality shifted, and I started to see improvement in both my skill and mindset, going on to win every shooting competition I entered after that year and through high school. My shelves were lined with trophies, tokens of my success, and I became the captain, MVP, and starting point guard, a renowned position, in both my league and school teams every year after 5th grade. I've been trampled, shoved, kicked, stepped on, slapped, and even bitten, showing me just how far people will go to get what they want or when they're angry, but there were many areas for mental growth as well, especially in the situation I outlined. Funny enough, I ended up becoming best friends with the girl I thought I hated in elementary school, and we stay in touch even though I moved from Illinois to Texas in 2021. I continued to play basketball at my new high school but ended up breaking and dislocating my toe, which I am still recovering from, but I became the team's manager so I could still be involved. Basketball may seem 2D at face value, but just like an actual ball, it can be spun in different directions for different perspectives.
      Peter and Nan Liubenov Student Scholarship
      Watching as sweat dripped down my male friend's faces while I simply did easy calculations of food crate weights was an eye-opening experience. It started with one of my friends suggesting we volunteer at the Houston Food Bank, and I, for one, was eager to make a difference in the lives of people who were actually in our city. However, my excitement died quickly. When we arrived, we were given a few options for what section we could focus on during our 4-hour shift, and my guy friends, of course, chose the heavy lifting one to show off their brute strength. I was slightly worried as to how I would fare lifting 50–200-pound packages and donations as I haven't been to the gym in a while, but I was determined to prove I was as useful as the guys, if not more. However, right when I was going to help move a package onto a crate, one of the organizers stopped me and said I could do an easier job. At first, I figured I might just be the only available person to do it, but I looked up and took in my surroundings, noticing that I, in fact, was the only girl there. Once the organizer moved me to the scale and shoved a clipboard into my hands, I quickly realized I was only in that position because of my gender. I didn't know how I should feel—whether I should be offended or think his efforts were considerate. A lot of things in life aren't fair. Most men behave as if they have rights over women, or even just judge women based on their birth gender. While it is scientifically supported that men typically have stronger body foundations than women, I do not think society should set women off as any less useful than men, whether it be in mind or body. So, seeing this claim that I have heard so many women talk about in person was simply surprising. My response to this was to do my job efficiently and quickly and make one of my friends take my place instead. As an Arab American who has never seemed to find her place in this world, I found peace while volunteering at a non-profit stable to rehabilitate horses saved from the slaughter pipeline since I was 13, but even though it was a Caucasian male dominated area of focus, I did not feel disrespected often and continued to do what I loved and grew many connections with the horses for years, so feeling disrespected at a food bank with diversity felt very unordinary. I like to think of myself as at least a decent person for the efforts I make in my community, including rehabilitating the horses and even fostering kittens, puppies, and dogs, which I plan to do on a larger scale in college and beyond. But sometimes, life throws people and situations at you that test your intentions and purpose the most, and those are your character defining moments.
      James T. Godwin Memorial Scholarship
      As an Arab American, many are shocked to find out that a lot of my close relatives are veterans or currently serve in the army. In fact, one of my first cousins is set to leave the United States this coming week in order to serve in the military again. With humidity gliding across my skin and cards I had no idea how to play in hand, my 10-year-old figure struggled to squeeze in the tiny crack of space left by my surrounding elder cousins in a huddled circle. My eldest cousin, around 21 at the time, noticed this and waved me over with a flick of his hand and a warm smile that went to his eyes. Looking down at me in any way but condescending, he explained the game while everybody else, older than me, of course, deemed me a lost cause. He, however, continued nonetheless. For that day and the visits after that, he took me under his wing, teaching me every game, ranging from board games to the Wii, and tricks for each one. Before I knew it, I was winning matches and making a name for myself in our little competitions. Ever since then, I've adored his character and saw him as a hero—my childhood hero of sorts. I remember the first time we went to their apartment after he shaved his head, and I couldn't help but wonder why. He explained it in the best way anyone could to a child, and he still played games with me and included me when no one else would because, as the youngest in the group, of course I was unofficially deemed the most annoying. As the years passed, my family moved out of Illinois and to Texas in 2021 after suffering the loss of my grandfather and in search of better opportunities. Unfortunately, I fell out of touch with a lot of my cousins in Chicago, and most regrettably, my eldest one. He called me about a week ago to congratulate me on my high school graduation, and hearing his familiar jokes and laughter warmed my heart after a few months of medical and financial hardship. I learned of his medical state—that he tore his ACL during training, in a manner that almost permanently damaged his body but has now mostly recovered. Even years later, his strength pulls through his struggles, and he remains an unwavering symbol of exactly what America stands for and I couldn't be more proud to call him my cousin.
      Hulede Collegiate Golf Scholarship
      1. Funny enough, I used to say I hated golf, mostly because I was preoccupied with other things—my biggest passion being animals, especially horses. I have volunteered at a non-profit stable since I was 13, rehabilitating horses saved from the slaughter pipeline and teaching them to trust the touch of a human again. But I won't pretend they didn't also have a hand in shaping me; they taught me to trust myself and to believe in my abilities, and no one will ever know the feeling unless they connect with an animal themselves. But I didn't only spend time with horses, I played basketball since elementary school, competing for multiple schools and leagues for years, and then went on to play badminton competitively as well. But golf very shockingly came into my life and stole my heart, becoming my favorite sport, especially because I dread running and love winning. 2. I am planning to major in nutrition on a pre-med track at the University of Houston so I can hopefully get accepted into an (AA) anesthesiology assistant program for my Master's. Nutrition has always been interesting to me, and I'd love to positively impact the lifestyles of people around me with my knowledge, but it is mainly my focus of study because I will have a backup plan if I do not get into the master's program of my choice or even if I change my mind on what I want to do. And even though I just graduated high school in May 2024, I am starting college with 24 college credits and will be working on 3 more courses over this summer so I can get ahead because I am eager to complete my education. 3. I currently foster kittens, puppies, and dogs so that shelters can house more animals in need. I keep them for different lengths of time and situations, such as until they are old enough to be adopted, until they've recovered from a sickness, or even just to give the adults a break from the stressful shelter environment. To date, I have raised 17 animals since the start of 2023. I plan to continue this through college and hope to expand it as I grow and even create a club of sorts where students like me can foster together with the guidance and support of one another. For the members of the community themselves, working with animals can be a rewarding experience, especially because being around them is scientifically proven to positively alter brain processes. Being able to play golf and do everything else that I love is such a blessing and I'm truly lucky to be able to do it all. 4. As someone who grew up as the middle child of 5 daughters in a low-income family, this scholarship could have a tremendous impact on my financial circumstances and greatly assist me in affording my education and continuing to play golf, as it is a more expensive sport in both dues and equipment. School is already stressful enough, and with the weight of finances lifted from my shoulders, I believe I can soar much higher than I could ever have previously imagined. It would mean so much to my family and me if I could be closer to achieving my goals and, eventually, my dreams.
      Kenyada Me'Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship
      Greed. I would rid the world of greed. In fact, I believe that greed is the cause and root of all evil things and people. And if all, or at least most evil was gone, then the world would certainly be a better place. I do not think that someone could be born with a dreadful desire to do absolutely whatever it takes to get what they want. Or at least I would not want to believe it. Rather, I think greed is something that develops through experience and circumstance. While some hold onto their morals and values to withstand pressures such as money or any payment of sorts, the majority does not. And in no situation do I believe that greed will ever be necessary. If greed did not exist, perhaps climate change would never be a problem. Animals would not have gone extinct, except for dinosaurs, of course. Even the destruction of the very foundation of greed would not have saved them from their sealed fate, whichever of the controversial explanations it may have been. Coral reefs would still be so full of life and color, instead of white and dying. If greed did not exist, maybe racism could find a way to depart from the hearts of many, polishing their once-charred souls. People would give instead of only taking, and there wouldn't be such a huge distinction between the rich and poor. People would be judged more fairly and for the quality of their character instead of the amount of money in their pockets. And maybe people could be more forgiving in a world where many still hold lifelong grudges for the simplest of reasons. However, since I cannot rid the world of greed with the swift hand of a wand, I will start within myself, because what type of person would I be if I talked much and did little? Since I would choose to rid the world of something intangible rather than something I simply disliked, like a person or a fruit, I believe that it can actually be changed, despite the odds. If every person just takes the time to work on themselves and gazes into a mirror to reflect on their flaws and shortcomings rather than simply complain about the state of the world and themselves, then change can be made without simple wishes. Because why limit ourselves to words typed on a screen to just answer a prompt when we can become so much more than that in our reality?
      Sandra West ALS Foundation Scholarship
      Growing up as the middle child of 5 daughters was not easy, especially when I had to watch as my parents' eyes grew in worry each time their card declined at a store. My parents always viewed our financial burdens as something their kids should not know about so we wouldn't have to worry about it, but by the time I was old enough to notice, it was and still is the most truly heartbreaking thing I have ever witnessed. They sacrificed and overcame so much just for me and my future, and now it is up to me to take the opportunity they have worked for into my own hands and leap into the unknown. I like to think I am similar to my father for many reasons, starting with the fact that we both laugh when we're nervous or in terrible situations to laugh in, or that I look like the female version of him, and we both suffer from thyroid problems, with him having cancer and me having hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's. But most importantly, because of his strength in living with ALS. Despite his inner and physical struggles, he works 12- to 32-hour shifts, still somehow barely amounting to any money at all, especially for such a big family. He is such a strong person, and sometimes I truly do not understand how he still has the strength to fight every day, especially having defeated thyroid cancer, but I can do nothing but simply adore him for it. So, when people compare me to him, whether in looks or spirit, I feel nothing but pride. My dad's hard work makes me believe there is something worth living for and fighting for. If he found beauty in a world so filled with greed and hardship, then I can too, and I will live my life and persevere every day until I see it as well. Hearing my parents hushed whispers about us being in debt gives me even more motivation to complete my further education because I need to make them increasingly proud and show them that everything was worth it. No matter how much they already love me, I need to pay them back for their sacrifice, even if I could never truly repay them. Just today, I had a conversation with my parents about my future debt for school, and they told me to follow my dreams despite the financial aspects, and that they would help and support me through it all. This nearly made me fall into a sob. My name, Noor, means light in Arabic, and that is what I try to encompass in my character and relationships with people because I try to be like my dad. Watching him persevere as he goes through soul-wrenching treatments and situations breaks my heart, but it is so inspiring, and I am proud to call him my hero. Truly, the most amazing people are tested with the biggest challenges. But I guess that is what makes someone great—their willingness to stand their ground in situations others might not even fathom experiencing.
      Brinley Heckermann Empowering Spirit Scholarship
      "Don't do it", is what my sisters said to me when I brought up cheerleading tryouts for the first time in 6th grade. They did not mean to hold me back, of course, but rather to save me from the potential sadness of not making the team because it was apparently very competitive and both of them didn't make the team. As someone who performed above average in every subject and fitness test except flexibility growing up, I almost heeded their advice, but the little flame in me just had to try. So, I did. And somehow, I remarkedly succeeded. I was overjoyed with happiness but also pride because I believed in myself even when the odds were against me, even if it was insignificant in some people's eyes because it was only middle school. Cheerleading taught me to take a leap of faith in my abilities, literally. I had to learn to trust myself and others, or people could get seriously hurt. A moment of hesitation is all it takes to mess everything up, so we all had to work together and be steadfast in our decisions. Cheerleading was not just something to go on college applications and brag sheets, but rather a lifelong source of lessons that I may hold dear to my heart for years to come. It is even how I have managed to persevere despite my grandparent's deaths, my sibling's deaths, and financial strain on top of it all. The people I met along the way truly made my life better and supported me in discovering my inner strength and learning to use it through sport and academics. I stepped up to become a leader that my peers could look up to, even though we were all learning together. I organized our practices, gave us opportunities to get to know each other better in a sport that requires connection for success, and did my best to support my peers as they helped me. Cheerleading healed a void in my life that I so desperately wished to be filled, and I will forever cherish my experiences. While I competed in many sports and activities growing up, cheerleading has been the most impactful, in both body and soul.
      Hubert Colangelo Literacy Scholarship
      I won't sit here and pretend that I've dreamed about becoming an anesthesiologist since before I could talk, because I haven't. But my beloved grandmother recently passed away. She underwent surgery, where the anesthesiologist failed to perform their duty correctly. This failure resulted in a horrifying situation where she was not properly numbed before the surgical knife was plunged into her chest. Unable to voice her agony, she could do nothing but endure the excruciating pain in the silent confines of her mind. So, I am committed to doing everything within my power to prevent such a mistake from happening again. As an Arab American, growing up in a country where there are many racist views of me because of certain political events I wasn't even alive for was always difficult. So, I wish to be a forger of my own path despite the setbacks that I won't let define me. I do, however, wish to one day be viewed as an inspiration to girls similar to me in either race or spirit. At 13, I started volunteering at a non-profit horse rescue, where I learned to rehabilitate horses saved from the slaughter pipeline, teaching them to trust the touch of a human again and finding myself in the process. I want the healthcare field and my own morals and values to join forces in creating a better world—a world I can say I am proud of. And my name, Noor, means light in Arabic, and that is what I try to encompass in my life and my character. This will extend to my education and my interactions with patients and the people who have been in my life from the start. Receiving the scholarship would mean making my dream less of an idea and more of a future.
      Let Your Light Shine Scholarship
      To be blatantly honest, it has everything and nothing to do with passion. I won't sit here and pretend that I've dreamed about becoming an anesthesiologist since before I could talk, because I haven't. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be a part of saving lives through surgery in a way that I can handle, and the position is necessary. To further my point, my beloved grandmother, whom I adored all my life, recently passed away. She underwent surgery where, tragically, the anesthesiologist failed to perform their duty correctly. This failure resulted in a horrifying situation where she was not properly numbed before the surgical knife was plunged into her chest. Unable to voice her agony, she could do nothing but endure the excruciating pain in the silent confines of her mind. I understand and believe that mistakes are always going to happen and they're necessary for someone's character to develop, but in the medical field, one mistake can result in a devastating death or pain that makes someone wish death upon themselves, which is debatably worse. So, I am committed to doing everything within my power to prevent such a mistake from happening again. As an Arab American girl, growing up in a country where there are many racist views of me because of certain political events and situations I wasn't even alive for was always incredibly difficult. So, I wish to be a forger of my own path despite the setbacks and views that I won't let define me. I do, however, wish to one day be viewed as an inspiration to girls similar to me in either race or spirit, or perhaps even both. I always felt like I had to do everything and do my absolute best so I've been a part of Student Council since elementary school and joined every honor society I could find in high school. I played basketball for 6 years, badminton for 1, and every other sport simply for fun. For nothing but my own passion, I started volunteering at a non-profit horse rescue at the age of 13, where I learned to rehabilitate horses saved from the slaughter pipeline, teaching them to trust the touch of a human again, and finding myself in the process. I want the healthcare field and my own morals and values to join forces in creating a better world—a world I can say I am proud of. My name, Noor, means light in Arabic, and that is what I try to encompass in my life and my character. This will extend to my education and my interactions with patients and the people who have been in my life from the start. I want to expand my horizons and eventually open a non-profit of my own for horses and eventually conjoin it with medical services like rehabilitating the minds of people from past trauma or medical strain that affects their mental state. Receiving the scholarship would mean making my dream less of an idea and more of a future.
      Morgan Stem Diversity in STEM Scholarship
      To be blatantly honest, it has everything and nothing to do with passion. I won't sit here and pretend that I've dreamed about becoming an anesthesiologist since before I could talk, because I haven't. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be a part of saving lives through surgery in a way that I can handle, and the position is necessary. To further my point, my beloved grandmother, whom I adored all my life, recently passed away. She underwent surgery where, tragically, the anesthesiologist failed to perform their duty correctly. This failure resulted in a horrifying situation where she was not properly numbed before the surgical knife was plunged into her chest. Unable to voice her agony, she could do nothing but endure the excruciating pain in the silent confines of her mind. I understand and believe that mistakes are always going to happen and they're necessary for someone's character to develop, but in the medical field, one mistake can result in a devastating death or pain that makes someone wish death upon themselves, which is debatably worse. So, I am committed to doing everything within my power to prevent such a mistake from happening again. As an Arab American girl, growing up in a country where there are many racist views of me because of certain political events and situations I wasn't even alive for was always incredibly difficult. So, I wish to be a forger of my own path despite the setbacks and views that I won't let define me. I do, however, wish to one day be viewed as an inspiration to girls similar to me in either race or spirit, or perhaps even both. I always felt like I had to do everything and do my absolute best so I've been a part of Student Council since elementary school and joined every honor society I could find in high school. I played basketball for 6 years, badminton for 1, and every other sport simply for fun. For nothing but my own passion, I started volunteering at a non-profit horse rescue at the age of 13, where I learned to rehabilitate horses saved from the slaughter pipeline, teaching them to trust the touch of a human again, and finding myself in the process. I want the healthcare field and my own morals and values to join forces in creating a better world—a world I can say I am proud of. My name, Noor, means light in Arabic, and that is what I try to encompass in my life and my character. This will extend to my education and my interactions with patients and the people who have been in my life from the start. I want to expand my horizons and eventually open a non-profit of my own for horses and eventually conjoin it with medical services like rehabilitating the minds of people from past trauma or medical strain that affects their mental state. Receiving the Morgan Stem Scholarship would mean making my dream less of an idea and more of a future.
      Michael Mattera Jr. Memorial Scholarship
      I won't pretend that I've dreamed about becoming an anesthesiologist since before I could talk, because I haven't. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be a part of saving lives, but there's a different reason. My grandmother underwent surgery where the anesthesiologist failed to perform their duty correctly, resulting in a horrifying situation where she wasn't properly numbed before the surgical knife was plunged into her chest. Unable to voice her agony, she could do nothing but endure the excruciating pain in the silent confines of her mind. I believe that mistakes are going to happen, but in the medical field, one mistake can result in devastating death or pain that makes someone wish death upon themselves, which is debatably worse. So, I'm committed to doing everything to prevent mistakes, especially when my sisters, my childhood best friends, and I planned on opening a clinic together for years. December 27, 2021. Admiring the beautiful night, I answered a call, unaware of the cold chill that would soon haunt my soul. I distinctly remember the world fading away, my mind and body disconnected while my phone slipped out of my shaking hands. I set my eyes on the sky, enraged at how normal the night looked while my world was upended in a blur of headlights and wheels. How could it be that the stars sat in the same spots, the clouds continued to dance in the sky, but everything around me crumbled into darkness? I’ve witnessed a car crash, heard the terrible screeching of cars colliding. But never have I seen someone get ejected from the seat, never felt the pain and unimaginable fear, never lost a friend so permanently. To an unknowing citizen watching the news, she was simply a name, Madison Harrison, but to me, she was my partner in crime, my best friend. Life after Madison was different. Normally, the second I touch a pen, words flow out of my fingers easily, but for some reason, I couldn’t think of a single word. It was like someone had filled my hourglass of time; time didn’t slip through my fingers like it was made of sand, rather, it stuck to my hands like they were incredibly wet. Even though our blood couldn’t be more different, she was my little sister. Knowing that hers spilled uncontrollably as the fire I always admired drained from her eyes left me pale and shaking. My friends and I have a running joke about how I still don’t have a permit and that I would be “a menace on the streets” if I did. It always made me laugh, until I finally realized that maybe the reason I still haven’t put my foot on the gas pedal isn’t because “my parents are too busy to take me," but because I don’t want to be the reason another mother mourns her daughter, or a friend has to cry about her platonic soulmate. After months of healing and realizing that Madison wouldn't want me to be scared and cower, I found myself completing the course for my permit. I made an appointment to get it, and now, months later, I'm a week from getting my license. This strength I've gained contributes to my aspirations and life goals every day. To a stranger, it might seem as if I'm just a late driver, starting in my senior year, but to a select group and, most importantly, to me, it’s a crucial step in a journey of recovery and a show of resilience. Everything is so unknown, and for some reason, it doesn’t scare me anymore.
      Students Impacted by Incarceration Scholarship
      I've always felt like a nuisance to my parents. This is coming from a girl with the most loving parents in the world. Growing up as the middle child of five daughters wasn't easy, especially because of our increasing financial difficulties. And while my parents' everlasting resilience always gives me a proud feeling to be their daughter, the most influential person in my life was my grandfather. And my biggest regret is not understanding the depth of what he told me and his experiences until after he passed away in 2020. My grandfather was always one to stand up for his beliefs, even if it meant getting hurt in some way or losing something because not losing himself was more important. Every time I cried, for whatever reason, he was always there to wipe my tears and tell me to "be smiley". At the time, I thought his phrase was rather cringy since it wasn't "cool." Now that phrase is anything but cringy, and it's so dear to me that it's on the personalized stuffed animal my best friend gifted me. When he died, a part of my innocence withered too; I lost a large part of myself, and the pain was unimaginable because he had a large hand in raising me. Only after he died did I find out that he raised his siblings because his parents died when he was young. So, he single-handedly provided for and educated all of his siblings since he was 17 and worked his way up from dirt. Being darker-skinned, he was already at a disadvantage in life because of racial views, especially around the time he was young, but that didn't stop him. He ended up becoming a successful accountant who worked for a prince who trusted him so much that he wouldn't sign off on a single paper unless my grandfather agreed, which are other qualities I strive to hone like him, loyalty and honesty. However, while he was on vacation with his family, a war broke out in Kuwait to the point where it wasn't safe to return so they lost practically everything of financial value. He just filled his life with so much beauty because of his mindset, and every person could feel his radiant presence, as bright as his contagious laughter and ability to make anyone smile. My mom told me that he touched so many lives that when he died, people from all over the world of different ages that she never even knew, called her and gave their condolences because he helped them in some way. My name, Noor, means light in Arabic and I want to encompass that in myself. I want to be that flashlight in the dark for people, just like my grandfather. Even though I had, and still have a variety of medical problems, from autoimmune to more common things, his life gives me the strength to be something more but to make sure I don't lose sight of it all.
      Dan Leahy Scholarship Fund
      I've always felt like a nuisance to my parents. This is coming from a girl with the most loving parents in the world. Growing up as the middle child of five daughters wasn't easy, especially because of our increasing financial difficulties. And while my parents' everlasting resilience always gives me a proud feeling to be their daughter, the most influential person in my life was my grandfather. And my biggest regret is not understanding the depth of what he told me and his experiences until after he passed away in 2020. My grandfather was always one to stand up for his beliefs, even if it meant getting hurt in some way or losing something because not losing himself was more important which is exactly why I needed to join the Speech and Debate team. Every time I cried, for whatever reason, he was always there to wipe my tears and tell me to "be smiley". At the time, I thought his phrase was rather cringy since it wasn't "cool." Now that phrase is anything but cringy, and it's so dear to me that it's on the personalized stuffed animal my best friend gifted me. When he died, a part of my innocence withered too; I lost a large part of myself, and the pain was unimaginable because he had a large hand in raising me. Whenever he'd go for grocery runs, he'd ask if I wanted to go and I always did, but only after a bit of convincing. I'd race to change to go shopping with him just one more time or to hear a story from his perspective. I mean, he taught me how to tell if fruits and vegetables were ripe, how to be useful with a hammer, gardening, self-defense, and even activities like arm-wrestling. Only after he died did I find out that he raised his siblings because his parents died when he was young. So, he single-handedly provided for and educated all of his siblings since he was 17 and worked his way up from dirt. Being darker-skinned, he was already at a disadvantage in life because of racial views, especially around the time he was young, but that didn't stop him. He ended up becoming a successful accountant who worked for a prince who trusted him so much that he wouldn't sign off on a single paper unless my grandfather agreed, which are other qualities I strive to hone like him, loyalty and honesty. However, while he was on vacation with his family, a war broke out in Kuwait to the point where it wasn't safe to return so they lost practically everything of financial value. He just filled his life with so much beauty because of his mindset, and every person could feel his radiant presence, as bright as his contagious laughter and ability to make anyone smile. My mom told me that he touched so many lives that when he died, people from all over the world of different ages that she never even knew, called her and gave their condolences because he helped them in some way. My name, Noor, means light in Arabic and I want to encompass that in myself. I want to be that flashlight in the dark for people, just like my grandfather. Even though I had, and still have a variety of medical problems, from autoimmune to more common things, his life gives me the strength to be something more but to make sure I don't lose sight of it all.
      Zamora Borose Goodwill Scholarship
      To be blatantly honest, it has everything and nothing to do with passion. I won't sit here and pretend that I've dreamed about becoming an anesthesiologist since before I could talk because I definitely didn't. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be a part of saving lives through surgery in a way that I can handle. But to further my point, my beloved grandmother, whom I had adored all my life, recently passed away. She underwent surgery where, tragically, the anesthesiologist failed to perform their duty correctly. This failure resulted in a horrifying situation where she was not properly numbed before the surgical knife was plunged into her chest. Unable to voice her agony, she could do nothing but endure the excruciating pain in the silent confines of her own mind. I understand and believe that mistakes are always going to happen and they're necessary for someone's character to develop, but in the medical field, one mistake can result in a devastating death or pain that makes someone wish death upon themselves, which is debatably worse. So, I am committed to doing everything within my power to prevent such a mistake from happening again. My true passion, one that I genuinely have had since before I could talk, was animals, horses in particular. Growing up, there were always a few animals in our apartment complex, ours or not. Okay, maybe more than a few. It ranged from ferrets to dogs to even a rabbit. We didn't have a lot of money, and we still don't, especially considering I'm the middle child of five daughters. When I was old enough, I started to volunteer my time to help rehabilitate horses that were saved from the slaughter pipeline, and I was glad to be a part of why they learned to trust the touch of a human again. But I'm not going to act like they didn't also have a major part in shaping me. However, when I moved from Illinois to Texas in 2021, I left behind every being I'd ever known. It became incredibly difficult for me to head out to a stable or afford a pet, especially because, as I got older, I realized how dire our financial situation was and couldn't lay another worrying factor on my parents. So, I started to foster and got my first babies on my birthday in 2023—three adorable kittens that I absolutely fell in love with. To date, I have fostered 17 kittens, puppies, and dogs. I will continue to make efforts like this and hopefully increase them as well, which is only a possibility if I pursue a degree that can help me afford the lifestyle I strive to achieve. And whenever I get emotional concerning animal cruelty, my sister suggests that I have "emotional diarrhea" and as weird as it sounds, I'm glad for it. I'm glad my heart possesses a sensitivity that makes me act for the voiceless because I'm dedicated to making real change. So, not only will I help people through my actual career, but I will use the money I make to help animals in need. Now, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with anesthesiology, and the answer remains what it was in the beginning: everything and nothing. As stereotypical as it sounds, to continue my efforts in the animal world, I need a stable, well-paying job. Anesthesiology isn't an easy career, but I have devoted my education to it, and as you have seen, it's not for a singular, simple reason. Nothing in life ever is.
      Sarah Eber Child Life Scholarship
      December 27, 2021. Admiring the beautiful night, I answered a call, unaware of the cold chill that would soon haunt my soul. I distinctly remember the world fading away, my mind and body disconnected while my phone slipped out of my shaking hands. I set my eyes on the sky, enraged at how normal the night looked while my world was upended in a blur of headlights and wheels. How could it be that the stars sat in the same spots, the clouds continued to dance in the sky, but everything around me crumbled into darkness? I’ve witnessed a car crash, heard the terrible screeching of cars colliding. But never have I seen someone get ejected from the seat, never felt the pain and unimaginable fear, never lost a friend so permanently. To an unknowing citizen watching the news, she was simply a name, Madison Harrison, but to me, she was my partner in crime, my best friend. Life after Madison was different. Normally, the second I touch a pen, words flow out of my fingers easily, but for some reason, I couldn’t think of a single word. It was like someone had filled my hourglass of time; time didn’t slip through my fingers like it was made of sand, rather, it stuck to my hands like they were incredibly wet. Even though our blood couldn’t be more different, she was my little sister. Knowing that hers spilled uncontrollably as the fire I always admired drained from her eyes left me pale and shaking. My friends and I have a running joke about how I still don’t have a permit and that I would be “a menace on the streets” if I did. It always made me laugh, until I finally realized that maybe the reason that I still haven’t put my foot on the gas pedal isn’t because “my parents are too busy to take me," but because I don’t want to be the reason another mother mourns her daughter, or a friend has to cry about her platonic soulmate. After months of healing, letting people help me, and realizing that Madison wouldn't want me to be scared and cower, I found myself completing the course for my permit. I made an appointment to get it, and now, months later, I'm less than a week from getting my license. This strength I've gained contributes to my aspirations and life goals every day. To a stranger, it might seem as if I'm just a late driver, starting in my senior year, but to a select group and, most importantly, to me, it’s a crucial step in a journey of recovery and a show of resilience. Everything is so unknown, and for some reason, it doesn’t scare me anymore.
      Bald Eagle Scholarship
      Winner
      I've always felt like a nuisance to my parents. This is coming from a girl with the most loving parents in the world. Growing up as the middle child of five daughters wasn't easy, especially because of our increasing financial difficulties. And while my parents' everlasting resilience always gives me a proud feeling to be their daughter, the most influential person in my life was my grandfather. And my biggest regret is not understanding the depth of what he told me and his experiences until after he passed away in 2020. My grandfather was always one to stand up for his beliefs, even if it meant getting hurt in some way or losing something because not losing himself was more important. Every time I cried, for whatever reason, he was always there to wipe my tears and tell me to "be smiley". At the time, I thought his phrase was rather cringy since it wasn't "cool." Now that phrase is anything but cringy, and it's so dear to me that it's on the personalized stuffed animal my best friend gifted me. When he died, a part of my innocence withered too; I lost a large part of myself, and the pain was unimaginable because he had a large hand in raising me. Whenever he'd go for grocery runs, he'd ask if I wanted to go and I always did, but only after a bit of convincing. I'd race to change to go shopping with him just one more time or to hear a story from his perspective. I mean, he taught me how to tell if fruits and vegetables were ripe, how to be useful with a hammer, gardening, self-defense, and even fun activities like arm-wrestling and patty-cake. My mom's best friend had kids who weren't so lucky with grandparents, so mine stepped up and taught them skills and gave them core memories. Only after he died did I find out that he raised his siblings because his parents died when he was young. So, he single-handedly provided for and educated all of his siblings since he was 17 and worked his way up from dirt. Being darker-skinned, he was already at a disadvantage in life because of racial views, especially around the time he was young, but that didn't stop him. He ended up becoming a successful accountant who worked for a prince who trusted him so much that he wouldn't sign off on a single paper unless my grandfather agreed, which are other qualities I strive to hone like him, loyalty and honesty. However, while he was on vacation with his family, a war broke out in Kuwait to the point where it wasn't safe to return so they lost practically everything of financial value. He just filled his life with so much beauty because of his mindset, and every person could feel his radiant presence, as bright as his contagious laughter and ability to make anyone smile. My mom told me that he touched so many lives that when he died, people from all over the world of different ages that she never even knew, called her and gave their condolences because he helped them in some way. My name, Noor, means light in Arabic and I want to encompass that in myself. I want to be that flashlight in the dark for people, just like my grandfather. Even though I had, and still have a variety of medical problems, from autoimmune to more common things, his life gives me the strength to be something more but to make sure I don't lose sight of it all.
      “I Matter” Scholarship
      Winner
      I printed something out. While that may sound very uneventful and surface-level, it was so much deeper than a simple request. There's an English teacher in my high school who's notorious for being an intense grader, and that's who my new friend ended up with. My friend always seemed to mention that class in his list of stressors whenever we gave each other a summary of our day, and I felt bad for him. That same teacher never accepted online submissions, even for students without a printer or bad financial circumstances. So, one morning, while my friend was walking me to my 4th-period class, he texted his best friend, who he'd asked to print his essay two days before, and his smile dropped when he got a text back saying that he forgot to print it. I immediately knew I had to bring that smile back, so I stepped up and vowed I would do my best to get it printed. We went our separate ways, but the clock was racing as I formulated a plan while juggling my classwork. I asked my teacher to print it, but his room didn't have a printer. However, he let me go to another teacher's class, but he didn't have a printer either. I didn't want to let my friend down, so I tried another teacher, and they didn't have one. I was running out of options and time until I thought of a teacher who is a living angel, and I practically sprinted to her class that was upstairs and across the school. I remember making eye contact with someone, and I must've looked so stupid, but I had one goal in mind. When I arrived, she happily obliged my request. One thing to note about my friend is that he was a bit academically insecure, which made him anxious about late grades, but I didn't know how deep it was until I checked my email and found that he'd sent it 10 times. I actually counted, and it was 10. After it was printed, I texted him, and he came to pick it up. I ran back down the stairs and to the library where he was waiting, and he sighed in relief. He thanked me countless times and went back to class. The next time he saw me, he thanked me again. At the time, I honestly thought of it as just printing paper to help a friend, but it was more than that to him. Months later, he told me that he was disappointed his friend didn't remember it because he trusted him, and thought he'd prioritize the paper over video games, especially because it would take less than 5 minutes to print. Even though some might think that "it was a small mistake," little things like this, while they may be unintentional, can make someone feel so little and unimportant on a list of things that actually don't matter that much. Like my friend, I didn't have a printer, so I know that if he did it for me, I would've felt the same. I only told him about my whole goose chase after he asked, and he said that it made him feel cared about. This shows that small acts can actually mean something to someone, and perspective is really what matters. One small thing can change someone's view of society, and that truly is a beautiful thing, if used with the right intentions. So yes, I did just print a few pages, but it gave someone mental assurance, and that's more than enough for me.
      Rod Tucci Memorial Scholarship
      To be brutally honest, my journey towards anesthesiology isn't fueled solely by passion. I won't sugarcoat it; I didn't grow up dreaming of becoming the ultimate anesthesiologist, orchestrating surgeries with precision since before I could even utter "anesthesia." No, my aspirations are a tapestry woven from a myriad of experiences, emotions, and a desire to make a tangible difference in the world of medicine. To further my point, my beloved grandmother, whom I adored all my life, recently passed away. She underwent surgery where, tragically, the anesthesiologist failed to perform their duty correctly. This failure resulted in a horrifying situation where she was not properly numbed before the surgical knife was plunged into her chest. Unable to voice her agony, she could do nothing but endure the excruciating pain in the silent confines of her mind. I understand and believe that mistakes are always going to happen and they're necessary for someone's character to develop, but in the medical field, one mistake can result in a devastating death or pain that makes someone wish death upon themselves, which is debatably worse. So, I am committed to doing everything within my power to prevent such a mistake from happening again. But amidst this somber backdrop lies a beacon of light, a passion that has burned within me since before I could even articulate it: my love for animals, particularly horses. Horses aren't just creatures; they're a part of my very being, ingrained in the fabric of my existence like hoofprints in fresh snow. From a young age, I found solace and joy in their presence, from birthday trips to the stables to devouring every horse-related book in sight. My bond with these majestic creatures runs deep, shaping my identity and guiding my aspirations. Despite life's twists and turns, my connection with animals remains unwavering. Even as I left behind familiar faces and equine friends to embark on a new chapter in Texas, my devotion to the animal kingdom only strengthened. Fostering became my lifeline, a way to channel my passion and make a tangible difference in the lives of voiceless creatures. With each fostered kitten or puppy, I felt a sense of purpose, a glimmer of hope that transcended financial constraints and geographical boundaries. So, how does anesthesiology fit into this intricate tapestry of passions and dreams? It's simple yet complex, much like life itself. Anesthesiology isn't just a career choice; it's a means to an end, a stepping stone towards a future where I can make a meaningful impact in both the medical field and the animal welfare community. It's a path paved with challenges and triumphs, fueled by compassion, determination, and a relentless drive to effect real change in the world. In the end, my journey towards anesthesiology isn't defined by a singular motive or reason; it's a culmination of experiences, emotions, and a burning desire to leave the world a little better than I found it. So, as I embark on this challenging yet rewarding path, I do so with a heart full of hope, a mind brimming with ambition, and a steadfast commitment to making a difference – one patient, one animal, one life at a time.
      Fall Favs: A Starbucks Stan Scholarship
      Ah, the quintessential fall-inspired drink from Starbucks—where do I even begin? There's one beverage that holds a special place in my heart, weaving itself seamlessly into the fabric of my own autumn narrative: the iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte. Now, before you roll your eyes and dismiss it as just another seasonal fad, let me assure you: the Pumpkin Spice Latte is more than just a drink; it's a tradition, a ritual, and a source of comfort in the chilly embrace of autumn. Picture this: the leaves are turning shades of amber and gold, the air is crisp with the promise of cooler days ahead, and there I am, standing in line at my local Starbucks, eagerly anticipating that first sip of pumpkin-spiced goodness. As I wrap my hands around the warm cup, inhaling the familiar aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, I'm transported back to memories of autumns past – cozy sweater weather, pumpkin patches, and hayrides through the countryside. The Pumpkin Spice Latte isn't just a drink; it's a time machine, whisking me away to simpler times and cherished moments shared with loved ones. But the magic of the Pumpkin Spice Latte doesn't end there; oh no, it's just the beginning of a seasonal saga that unfolds with each sip. With every flavorful mouthful, I'm reminded of all the little joys that come with fall, from carving jack-o'-lanterns to indulging in homemade apple pies. And as the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, the Pumpkin Spice Latte remains a constant companion, offering warmth and familiarity in a world that's constantly changing. It's a character in my own fall narrative, a symbol of comfort and nostalgia that I eagerly await year after year. And while I wish I could indulge in my cravings for it year-round, I'm glad that it is only available for a certain length of time because having something for a limited amount of time is what makes it special. And I'm not just talking about drinks. So, the next time you find yourself craving a taste of autumn, don't just reach for any old drink; reach for the Pumpkin Spice Latte and let its magic weave itself into your own fall-inspired story. After all, there's nothing quite like sipping on a steaming cup of nostalgia as the leaves crunch beneath your feet and the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air. Cheers to fall, and cheers to the Pumpkin Spice Latte—a drink that's more than just a beverage; it's a beloved tradition that warms the soul and fills the heart with joy.
      Anime Enthusiast Scholarship
      "My Hero Academia," of course. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Really? That's the most basic answer ever." But trust me, there's nothing basic about my undying love for this epic series. It all started when I gave in to my friend's constant badgering with anime recommendations. This show was my first love. First things first, let's address the elephant in the room: the protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, also known as Deku. Now, I could go on for days about why Deku is the epitome of a hero-in-the-making, but let's just say this: the kid's got heart. From his humble beginnings as a quirkless underdog to his meteoric rise as the next symbol of peace, Deku's journey is a rollercoaster of emotions that never fails to tug at my heartstrings. But it's not just about Deku; "My Hero Academia" boasts a sprawling ensemble cast of characters, each with their own quirks (both literally and figuratively) which are powers. From the explosive Bakugo to the gravity defying Uraraka, every hero and villain brings something unique to the table, making for an ensemble that's as diverse as it is dynamic. And let's not forget the teachers of U.A. High School, whose wisdom, wit, and occasional eccentricities add an extra layer of charm to the series. Now, let's talk about the action, because, boy oh boy, does "My Hero Academia" deliver in spades. From epic battles between heroes and villains to heart-pounding showdowns in the UA Sports Festival, every fight scene is a masterclass in animation and choreography. And with each new arc, the stakes get higher, the battles get fiercer, and the feels hit harder than All Might's United States of Smash. But what truly sets "My Hero Academia" apart is its exploration of themes like friendship, perseverance, and what it truly means to be a hero. Sure, there are flashy superpowers and epic fight scenes aplenty, but at its core, the series is a heartfelt tribute to the power of hope and the resilience of the human spirit. Whether it's Deku risking life and limb to save a stranger or All Might standing tall in the face of insurmountable odds, "My Hero Academia" reminds us that heroes come in all shapes and sizes—quirks and all. So, why is "My Hero Academia" my go-to anime for endless rewatches? Because beneath its flashy exterior lies a story that's as relatable as it is inspiring. It's a tale of underdogs overcoming adversity, of friendships forged in the fires of battle, and of dreams that defy the limits of reality. Plus Ultra!
      Spider-Man Showdown Scholarship
      Andrew Garfield is the answer. Every. Single. Time. Cue Spider-Man – the friendly neighborhood web-slinger who's swung his way into our hearts through multiple cinematic incarnations. Now, when it comes to picking the ultimate Spider-Man, there's one name that never fails to sling its way to the top of my list: Andrew Garfield. And trust me, this isn't just a casual fling with a superhero; it's a full-blown love affair. Let's start with the basics: the dude's got style. I mean, have you seen those luscious locks? That perfectly tousled hair practically screams, "I woke up like this, and I'm ready to save the day." And let's not forget those piercing eyes that could rival the intensity of a thousand supervillains' evil schemes. When Andrew Garfield dons the iconic red and blue suit, it's like witnessing a walking, talking masterpiece of superhero fashion. But it's not just about the looks; it's about the personality, baby. Garfield's portrayal of Peter Parker is a delightful blend of awkward charm and quick-witted banter. He's the kind of guy you'd want as your wingman in both crime-fighting escapades and navigating the treacherous waters of high school drama. Whether he's cracking jokes mid-battle or stumbling over his words in front of his crush, Garfield's Peter Parker is as endearing as he is relatable. And let's address the elephant in the room: the infamous "emo Peter" dance scene. Now, some might argue that this moment in "Spider-Man 3" was a misstep, but I beg to differ. Garfield's Peter Parker wouldn't be caught dead doing the funky chicken in a jazz club, and that's precisely why we love him. It's like watching your favorite superhero let loose and embrace his inner dork, and honestly, it's pure cinematic gold. But wait, there's more! Let's talk about chemistry, shall we? Andrew Garfield's on-screen dynamic with Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy is the stuff of rom-com dreams. Their love story isn't just a subplot; it's the heart and soul of the "Amazing Spider-Man" series. From their adorably awkward first date to their heart-wrenching farewell atop the George Washington Bridge, Garfield and Stone's chemistry is so palpable, you can practically feel the sparks flying through the screen. Now, I know what you're thinking: "But what about the action sequences?" Fear not, for Andrew Garfield delivers the goods in spades. Whether he's swinging through the streets of New York City or duking it out with the latest supervillain du jour, Garfield's Spider-Man exudes a sense of agility and grace that's truly mesmerizing to behold. Plus, those slow-motion shots of him dodging bullets? Pure cinematic magic. In conclusion, Andrew Garfield isn't just my favorite Spider-Man; he's THE Spider-Man we didn't know we needed. With his irresistible charm, impeccable comedic timing, and undeniable chemistry with Emma Stone, Garfield's portrayal of the web-slinging hero is nothing short of spectacular. So, the next time you find yourself debating the merits of different Spidey actors, just remember: when it comes to swinging into action, Andrew Garfield takes the cake – and eats it too.
      Netflix and Scholarships!
      When it comes to choosing a favorite Netflix series, the options seem endless, yet for me, the decision is almost too easy. Enter Thailand's very own sensation, "Ready, Set, Love" – a show that not only tops my list but has also become a bonding ritual for my family. Let me take you on a journey through the wild and wonderful world of this unexpected gem. Picture this: It's a regular evening, and family dynamics are slowly resembling a sinking ship. Enter me, the self-proclaimed entertainment guru, armed with the remote and a mission to salvage our dwindling connections. Cue "Ready, Set, Love." As we dove into the first episode, little did we know that we'd be bidding farewell to sleep, courtesy of our newfound obsession. The clock struck 3 a.m., but there we were, immersed in a whirlwind of laughter, a little bit of culture shock, and unexpected empathy for the characters. After we finished our first watch-through of the series, my mother and antisocial eldest sister, who is always somehow "too busy" and typically opposed to shows and movies that are in languages other than English, joined our little re-watch party as well. What makes "Ready, Set, Love" standout isn't just its gripping plot but also its ability to unite us in shared laughter and heartfelt moments. But let's talk substance. Beyond its surface appeal, "Ready, Set, Love" delves into the complexities of human existence, serving up a potent blend of humor, heartache, and social commentary. It really illustrates the fact that every single person has struggles, no matter how rich or poor, ugly or pretty. There are just so many underlying themes and ideas that were put into this show that just make it so beautiful. In a world where the Y chromosome starts to disappear, you watch as Day, the main character, evolves in a journey that only started because of her love and dedication for her little sister, and she ends with so much more than that. The male lead, Son, is a symbol of defiance in the right situations. As he was one of the few males left in their society, he and the other few boys were kept and raised practically the way animals are: on fit schedules and a tight rope. This is his main reason for taking a stand, and he did it with the help of Day, whom he'd known and been separated from as a kid. This show became so much more than just a typical fictional "gameshow" or competition-type story, we watched as it transformed into a rebellion against society's expectations and standards, and I truly respected their efforts. My words cannot do the show justice, so it is simply a must-watch, especially because I have done my best not reveal spoilers. In essence, "Ready, Set, Love" isn't just a show; it's a beacon of hope in a sea of mediocrity, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, love, laughter, and a little bit of rebellion can conquer all. So, if you're looking for a weekend binge that's equal parts heartwarming and thought-provoking, grab your popcorn and join the rollercoaster ride that is "Ready, Set, Love." Trust me; you won't regret it.
      Once Upon a #BookTok Scholarship
      A deception of reality. That's what my perfect bookshelf would be. It would be so mystical that it'd look as though it belonged in the books that my hands glaze over. There would be vines gliding over the light grey wood, bringing actual life to what I wish was real at times. The first book I read based on #BookTok recommendations was a very typical, congratulated but controversial book: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I am one of the incalculable who adore her writing and fell in love with the characters, just as Maas intended. From the way she allows ink to breathe life through words as if the world she created was real, to the way she formulates new ideas, is simply spectacular. It is no surprise that this series was one of the foundations of the #BookTok community and its recommendations. It fluttered its pages, attracting thousands upon thousands, who are now long-term members of BookTok. This truly shows that one person can single-handedly have an impact on an entire industry, which is a life lesson that doesn't even necessarily deal with the contents of what she writes. A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Throne of Glass, both masterfully penned by Maas, are debatably the most popular beginner series for a new genre, Romantasy, which is a mesh of Romance and Fantasy, the best genres of course. While a three-book series, Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, is not well known or heavily advertised, it remains one of my favorite series due to the relatable Middle Eastern cultural references which are rarely seen because of controversy. Not only that, but Hamilton crafted the storyline so well it brought me to tears several times and the main character, Amani, unlike any I've ever read of, actually makes decent decisions with both her heart and her mind. While it is a basic recommendation, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, enamors the reader into a world unlike any other, written or not. One of the main characters, Cardan, goes through what could possibly be my favorite character development out of any series. He brings a certain charm and humor that no other character or author could capture on paper. BookTok, at least the "side" I'm on, allows me to explore other worlds that I never could in reality and lets me imagine possibilities beyond what I think I can become. After all, mindset is half the battle, which can mean everything. And sometimes, I think that authors write, while mostly completely unrealistic, sort of what they went through in life or what they wished they could have achieved. They pour their entire heart and soul into a character and let readers in on the journey.
      Minecraft Forever Fan Scholarship
      Jail cells. I know it sounds bad, but it's not, I swear, depending on the set of eyes and the context. Growing up, my sisters and I had to share one Minecraft account and one computer. Pretty normal, right? So, my eldest sister was the builder, my other sister did... well, I'm not sure what, and I took on very random projects that I usually didn't follow through on because I'm very passionate about many things. Like I mentioned, my oldest sister was the builder of the three of us, so she did what she always did: she built. And so, I did what I always did, I roamed around her new build, a pristine quartz mansion this time. I always seemed to admire her work, whether it was her actual skill or just the hopeful, sweet eyes of my younger self. However, unlike all of the previous times I gallivanted around her creations, I discovered a basement area. My little mind decided to head inside to see what sort of treasures my sister may have placed there. To my surprise, I discovered a jail. One of the 'limitless possibilities' that people brought to the game was a jail cell. For whom may you ask? The innocent villagers. Or not so innocent, actually, with those terrible and unfair trading prices. But I was a young child, likely the age of ten, so this discovery hurt my sensitive heart. I felt sympathy for the villagers, even if they couldn't feel the emotion at all. So, I made sure my sister wasn't around, and I broke them free, maybe even inducing a mini adrenaline rush. That was my proudest moment on the game, and when my sister realized they were gone—at least the ones smart enough to leave, she was shocked. Doing what I thought was right, even in a pixelated game, was the most important thing to me, even when I was young, and that inspires my older self to this day. So, I guess my favorite aspect, even though it isn't a direct part or addition of the game, is that it can bring parts out of you that you might not know existed or hone the parts that were already there.
      Nintendo Super Fan Scholarship
      One of my earliest memories is playing Super Smash Bros Brawl with my cousins and sisters in a room that was way too hot. My family didn't have much growing up and neither did our cousins, whose apartment we'd usually be at when playing Smash Bros, so AC wasn't usually an option there. However, the game always seemed to make us forget our real problems. My cousins and I didn't really get along growing up, but something we always agreed on was playing a good game, and that was always Smash Bros, starting with the first editions and now, Ultimate Edition. We watched the games evolve in front of our eyes, just as my relationship with them did. So, sitting on lawn chairs in a hot apartment room filled with the loud, conversing voices of our parents in the background, popcorn kernels everywhere, and greasy controllers in hand, we played. Sacrifices were made in this game. Now, you may be wondering: How can someone make a sacrifice regarding a video game? There were plenty of ways. First, there was the ratio of controllers to people. We only had six controllers but there were around ten of us. It was a given that the older kids got first dibs, while the younger kids, including me, had to beg for one. So, when one of my cousins sacrificed a precious turn for my nine-year-old self to play a round and prove my skill and myself, a spark flickered in my eyes, and I witnessed what was truly a sacrifice to our kid selves. I decided that I wouldn't let this sacrifice be in vain, so I knew I had to give it my all and win for my cousin, even if it seemed that all the odds were stacked against me. Confidence certainly wasn't an issue for my child self, something I'm still trying to regain and work on. So, I geared up by choosing my signature character, Zelda, and fought as fiercely as I could. I genuinely gave it my all, stabbing every key on the controller as hard and fast as my little fingers could manage. Somehow, I won. I won against the odds, especially because one of my cousins was said to be undefeatable, like he was the final boss. He and his insufferable character, Ganondorf. Since Ganondorf was the antagonist in the Zelda game series, it was like I truly won more than just a simple game. They say that believing yourself is half the battle, and that was proven on this day, especially because I know my skill was definitely not as high as I believed it to be, but because I believed it was, it became enough. Because I believed. Isn't that such a beautiful thing? I felt like I earned respect from my cousins, and I was truly one of them from that day onward.