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Olivia Liguori

1765

Bold Points

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Finalist

Bio

I am a high school senior who will be attending Rollins College next year. I am the editor-in-chief of the Geneva School's "The Post" and have published several pieces for the Geneva School's literary magazine as well. Along with this, I am the first chair in the Geneva School's rhetoric orchestra and play in the chamber orchestra. I have some music teaching experience as well. I hope to continue writing and performing as I enter my college journey.

Education

Rollins College

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Education, General
    • Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language
    • English Language and Literature, General
  • Minors:
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other

The Geneva School

High School
2020 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • English Language and Literature, General
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
    • Romance Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
    • Education, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Writing and Editing

    • Dream career goals:

      Publish

    • Editor in Chief

      The Geneva School's "The Post" and "Asterope"
      2022 – 20242 years
    • Music Teacher

      Oviedo School of Music
      2024 – Present6 months
    • Script Writer and Editor, Chief of Staff, Host

      Wake Up! Productions
      2023 – 20241 year
    • Playwright

      The Master's Academy Junior Thespians
      2020 – 2020
    • Poetry Editor

      The Geneva School's "Asterope"
      2022 – 2022
    • Hostess

      The Hangry Bison
      2023 – Present1 year

    Arts

    • Chamber Orchestra, Rhetoric Orchestra, Avalon School of Music

      Music
      2014 – Present
    • The Geneva School's Merely Players

      Acting
      Hamlet, Around the World in Eight Plays, Les Miserables, As You Like It, A Midsumer Nights Dream, Radium Girls, All's Well that Fits Well, Knights of Comedy
      2020 – 2024

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      The Sharing Center — Clothing and Item Sorter
      2023 – 2024
    • Volunteering

      The Geneva School — French Substitute Teacher
      2024 – 2024
    • Volunteering

      The Geneva School Knights and Ladies — Lady (Student Mentor)
      2023 – 2024
    • Volunteering

      The Geneva School — Tutor
      2020 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Orlando School of Music — Piano Teacher
      2022 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Kerry Kennedy Life Is Good Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. My passion for writing continued, and I found myself with an opportunity to speak with Brian Davis, a local author. After asking a few questions, all I got in return was “The writing field is extremely difficult to get into. Many authors have two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. Trust me, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Davis’ words did not deter me from my dream, but they did help me refine it. I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. I have already taken several steps to prepare for my future career as a teacher. I have spoken with several people in the field and jumped at any opportunity to teach. For example, I tutored for the writing portion of the SAT on Khan Academy’s Schoolhouse World, helping my students work through grammar, literary analysis, and practice tests. By the end of the class, I had received loving words from one of my students, saying, “I have had several SAT tutors, but you are by far my favorite.” As I entered my senior year, opportunities to teach presented themselves before me. This was the year where I was able to teach in a classroom environment. I was a substitute teacher for a highschool French class, working with them as they read stories, memorized poetry, and enacted plays. I stood in front of orchestras, helping children read music and play their instruments. By the end of that year, I was teaching private music lessons and was eventually hired part-time at a private music school. One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. That job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    When most people hear the words “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” their minds jump to someone rocking back and forth in a corner, breathing rapidly as they organize their desks or drawers. They may associate OCD with a desire to clean, scrubbing the floors with Clorox and Lysol. Or they throw out the words “I’m so OCD” as if it were a participation trophy, something that could explain why they feel frustrated with cluttered desks and overflowing rooms. OCD is a term that has turned cheap by the tongues of the masses, but if people truly understood what it was, they would not wish it on their worst enemy. JohnLuca Liguori, my nine year-old brother, is the messiest person I have ever met. He collects paper towel rolls and pieces of tape.. His room is filled with empty boxes and colored pencils as he builds castles and cars from his boundless imagination. And the moment he has finished, he tosses it on the floor before rushing to the next project. Absolutely nothing is thrown away, but nothing is played with either. They just sit on his floor, collecting dust as he builds another castle. Caring for JohnLuca is a lot like walking on a class bridge. All you can see is the dark chasm below, but you still have to trust that you will make it across safely. You have to set your homework aside to make a second or third meal. You have to bite your tongue, knowing that it isn’t his fault that he is terrified of everything around him. If you are lucky, he will accept a cup of ice cream or take a cookie off the counter while he smiles and exclaims that he has “faced his fear.” But JohnLuca is so much more than his OCD and where he shines the brightest is through his music. When he plays piano, his worries disappear, and the loops that once confined him transform simple notes into complex melodies. I have had the pleasure of watching this happen, teaching him what little piano knowledge I know and listening to his meticulous melodies. As a music teacher, I have explored this connection between music and mental health. While there is no complete cure for mental illness, I have seen the power of music soothe the symptoms. I watch as they open up and forget about their worries for a few hours. Music is their escape, and I get to provide it for them.
    Bright Lights Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. As I grew up, I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do for a living. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. As I entered my senior year, opportunities to teach presented themselves before me. This was the year where I was able to teach in a classroom environment. I was a substitute teacher for a highschool French class, working with them as they read stories, memorized poetry, and enacted plays. I stood in front of orchestras, helping children read music and play their instruments. By the end of that year, I was teaching private music lessons and was eventually hired part-time at a private music school. One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. While that job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path, there is still the problem of tuition. I have a few academic scholarships but am still paying thousands of dollars for a few months of school, and I do not make enough money to fully pay for tuition. This scholarship would help me to stay motivated as I persue my dream. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    As a child, I knew that I wanted to work in a creative field. I would write stories or draw pictures, collecting them in a pile of notebooks under my bed. However, the adults in my life did not always encourage my passions. How, they would ask, will that ever make money? It was then that my dream began to shift. I was torn between what I loved and what adults wanted me to do. What did it matter if I wanted to create? Why was my happiness not enough? The line between work and satisfaction is growing thinner, and our mental health is sacrificed in the process. While social platforms such as Etsy and Patreon have made it easier for artists to focus on their work, it has forced our society to reevaluate the purpose of art. If something is not “good” enough to be sold, then it is not worth creating at all. Because of this, art, an activity once for personal fulfillment, has become tarnished by the incessant pressure of hustle-culture. Not only would this scholarship help to fund my education, but it would allow me to transform how the next generation views art. I have worked with youth orchestras and individuals alike, providing them with the guidance they need to feel confident in their craft. By working with these children, they have learned more than how to play an instrument. They develop confidence, discipline, interpersonal skills, creativity, problem solving, and even mathematical reasoning. Even if they do not wish to become professional musicians, all of these skills will greatly help them as they move into the workforce, all as they perform activities out of joy. I have seen student after student become inspired through music, but the one that comes to mind is a young highschool student who I taught a few months ago. He had only been playing violin for three years, but he was eager to learn the piece “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns. I simplified the piece and turned the fifty-paged orchestral score into a duet for two violins, and he met with me once a week to learn the piece. Not only did his playing increase dramatically, but I watched as he became more and more personable, speaking more and growing in confidence. Even after he had finished with his lessons, I would still find him playing the distinct notes of “Danse Macabre.” Through my education, I have the opportunity to learn more about my craft, working with beginners and professionals alike. I would be able to learn what it truly means to play the violin, and as a result, I can pass that knowledge to my students. My high school student chose to end his musical career, but the lessons he learned will still be able to help him. I am teaching the next generation the true value of art to society. I am raising a generation of artists, a generation of problem solvers. Through this, I am changing the world.
    Future Leaders Scholarship
    As a child, I knew that I wanted to work in a creative field. I would write stories or draw pictures, collecting them in a pile of notebooks under my bed. However, the adults in my life did not always encourage my passions. How, they would ask, will that ever make money? It was then that my dream began to shift. I was torn between what I loved and what adults wanted me to do. What did it matter if I wanted to create? Why was my happiness not enough? The line between work and satisfaction is growing thinner, and our mental health is sacrificed in the process. While social platforms such as Etsy and Patreon have made it easier for artists to focus on their work, it has forced our society to reevaluate the purpose of art. If something is not “good” enough to be sold, then it is not worth creating at all. Because of this, art, an activity once for personal fulfillment, has become tarnished by the incessant pressure of hustle-culture. Not only would this scholarship help to fund my education, but it would allow me to transform how the next generation views art. I have worked with youth orchestras and individuals alike, providing them with the guidance they need to feel confident in their craft. By working with these children, they have learned more than how to play an instrument. They develop confidence, discipline, interpersonal skills, creativity, problem solving, and even mathematical reasoning. Even if they do not wish to become professional musicians, all of these skills will greatly help them as they move into the workforce, all as they perform activities out of joy. I have seen student after student become inspired through music, but the one that comes to mind is a young highschool student who I taught a few months ago. He had only been playing violin for three years, but he was eager to learn the piece “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns. I simplified the piece and turned the fifty-paged orchestral score into a duet for two violins, and he met with me once a week to learn the piece. Not only did his playing increase dramatically, but I watched as he became more and more personable, speaking more and growing in confidence. Even after he had finished with his lessons, I would still find him playing the distinct notes of “Danse Macabre.” Through my education, I have the opportunity to learn more about my craft, working with beginners and professionals alike. I would be able to learn what it truly means to play the violin, and as a result, I can pass that knowledge to my students. My high school student chose to end his musical career, but the lessons he learned will still be able to help him. I am teaching the next generation the true value of art to society. I am raising a generation of artists, a generation of problem solvers. Through this, I am changing the world.
    Career Test Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. My passion for writing continued, and I found myself with an opportunity to speak with Brian Davis, a local author. After asking a few questions, all I got in return was “The writing field is extremely difficult to get into. Many authors have two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. Trust me, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Davis’ words did not deter me from my dream, but they did help me refine it. I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. I have already taken several steps to prepare for my future career as a teacher. I have spoken with several people in the field and jumped at any opportunity to teach. For example, I tutored for the writing portion of the SAT on Khan Academy’s Schoolhouse World, helping my students work through grammar, literary analysis, and practice tests. By the end of the class, I had received loving words from one of my students, saying, “I have had several SAT tutors, but you are by far my favorite.” As I entered my senior year, opportunities to teach presented themselves before me. This was the year where I was able to teach in a classroom environment. I was a substitute teacher for a highschool French class, working with them as they read stories, memorized poetry, and enacted plays. I stood in front of orchestras, helping children read music and play their instruments. By the end of that year, I was teaching private music lessons and was eventually hired part-time at a private music school. One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. That job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    Priscilla Shireen Luke Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. My passion for writing continued, and I found myself with an opportunity to speak with Brian Davis, a local author. After asking a few questions, all I got in return was “The writing field is extremely difficult to get into. Many authors have two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. Trust me, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Davis’ words did not deter me from my dream, but they did help me refine it. I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. My desire to be a teacher was about so much more than making money. It was about the powers of connection. Poetry and prose provide a new point of view as we reflect upon society, an outside perspective that we at times desperately need. If I can look at a Classical French poem and see ties to Greek Mythology, religious imagery, and nobility-if I can make note of these connections and draw conclusions about Classical French society- how much more can I understand my own life through literature? What can I learn about society today? Furthermore, what would happen if we raised the next generation to ponder the Great Questions of the past and present? How much better could our future be? One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. That job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    Schmid Memorial Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. As I grew up, I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do for a living. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. As I entered my senior year, opportunities to teach presented themselves before me. This was the year where I was able to teach in a classroom environment. I was a substitute teacher for a highschool French class, working with them as they read stories, memorized poetry, and enacted plays. I stood in front of orchestras, helping children read music and play their instruments. By the end of that year, I was teaching private music lessons and was eventually hired part-time at a private music school. One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. While that job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path, there is still the problem of tuition. I have a few academic scholarships but am still paying thousands of dollars for a few months of school, and I do not make enough money to fully pay for tuition. This scholarship would help me to stay motivated as I persue my dream. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    ADHDAdvisor's Mental Health Advocate Scholarship
    When most people hear the words “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” their minds jump to someone rocking back and forth in a corner, breathing rapidly as they organize their desks or drawers.They throw out the words “I’m so OCD” as if it were a participation trophy, something that could explain why they feel frustrated with cluttered desks and overflowing rooms. OCD is a term that has turned cheap by the tongues of the masses, but if people truly understood what it was, they would not wish it on their worst enemy. JohnLuca Liguori, my nine year-old brother, is the messiest person I have ever met. He collects paper towel rolls and pieces of tape.. His room is filled with empty boxes and colored pencils as he builds castles and cars from his boundless imagination. And the moment he has finished, he tosses it on the floor before rushing to the next project. Absolutely nothing is thrown away, but nothing is played with either. They just sit on his floor, collecting dust as he builds another castle. Caring for JohnLuca is a lot like walking on a class bridge. All you can see is the dark chasm below, but you still have to trust that you will make it across safely. You have to set your homework aside to make a second or third meal. You have to bite your tongue, knowing that it isn’t his fault that he is terrified of everything around him. If you are lucky, he will accept a cup of ice cream or take a cookie off the counter while he smiles and exclaims that he has “faced his fear.” But JohnLuca is so much more than his OCD and where he shines the brightest is through his music. When he plays piano, his worries disappear, and the loops that once confined him transform simple notes into complex melodies. I have had the pleasure of watching this happen, teaching him what little piano knowledge I know and listening to his meticulous melodies. As a music teacher, I have explored this connection between music and mental health. While there is no complete cure for mental illness, I have seen the power of music soothe the symptoms. I watch as they open up and forget about their worries for a few hours. Music is their escape, and I get to provide it for them.
    Hilda Ann Stahl Memorial Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. My passion for writing continued, and I found myself with an opportunity to speak with Brian Davis, a local author. After asking a few questions, all I got in return was “The writing field is extremely difficult to get into. Many authors have two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. Trust me, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Davis’ words did not deter me from my dream, but they did help me refine it. I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. My desire to be a teacher was about so much more than making money. It was about the powers of connection. Poetry and prose provide a new point of view as we reflect upon society, an outside perspective that we at times desperately need. If I can look at a Classical French poem and see ties to Greek Mythology, religious imagery, and nobility-if I can make note of these connections and draw conclusions about Classical French society- how much more can I understand my own life through literature? What can I learn about society today? Furthermore, what would happen if we raised the next generation to ponder the Great Questions of the past and present? How much better could our future be? One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. That job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    Charles B. Brazelton Memorial Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. My passion for writing continued, and I found myself with an opportunity to speak with Brian Davis, a local author. After asking a few questions, all I got in return was “The writing field is extremely difficult to get into. Many authors have two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. Trust me, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Davis’ words did not deter me from my dream, but they did help me refine it. I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. I have already taken several steps to prepare for my future career as a teacher. I have spoken with several people in the field and jumped at any opportunity to teach. For example, I tutored for the writing portion of the SAT on Khan Academy’s Schoolhouse World, helping my students work through grammar, literary analysis, and practice tests. By the end of the class, I had received loving words from one of my students, saying, “I have had several SAT tutors, but you are by far my favorite.” As I entered my senior year, opportunities to teach presented themselves before me. This was the year where I was able to teach in a classroom environment. I was a substitute teacher for a highschool French class, working with them as they read stories, memorized poetry, and enacted plays. I stood in front of orchestras, helping children read music and play their instruments. By the end of that year, I was teaching private music lessons and was eventually hired part-time at a private music school. One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. That job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship
    When most people hear the words “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” their minds jump to someone rocking back and forth in a corner, breathing rapidly as they organize their desks or drawers. They see a row of Skittles perfectly sorted by color or immaculate rooms scrubbed clean by Clorox and Lysol. They throw out the words “I’m so OCD” as if it were a participation trophy, something that could explain why they feel frustrated with cluttered desks and overflowing rooms. OCD is a term that has turned cheap by the tongues of the masses, but if people truly understood what it was, they would not wish it on their worst enemy. JohnLuca Liguori, my nine year-old brother, was diagnosed with OCD about a year ago, and he is the messiest person I have ever met. He collects paper towel rolls and pieces of tape, working for hours to build action figures or cardboard armor. His room is filled with empty boxes and colored pencils as he builds castles and cars from his boundless imagination. And the moment he has finished, he tosses it on the floor before rushing to the next project. Absolutely nothing is thrown away, but nothing is played with either. They just sit on his floor, collecting dust as he builds another castle. You see, OCD is not the need to organize trail mix or to keep your sock drawer in order. It is a medical term that describes how someone’s mind gets stuck in a loop. Anything can set it off. While JohnLuca’s loops are never the same, they always circle around the theme of death. My aunt was hospitalized a few years ago, and my then five year-old brother watched her slowly deteriorate into an empty shell before her passing. This left him paralyzed in fear that the same thing could happen to his own parents. After all, everyone dies. What was stopping his parents from dying overnight? What was stopping them from growing sick and old and infirm and insane? Night after night my mother had to reassure him that she was healthy and young and would not pass away while he slept. Nothing she said could reassure him of this fact, and he spent the next four years in terror. That next year, JohnLuca’s school reformed their health policy. All candy and other sweet treats were strictly prohibited, and students were given lesson after lesson about the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle. I watched as my sweet little brother slowly edged upon an eating disorder. He would cry if he was offered candy, and no amount of pleading would ease his mind. If he did accept a sweet, he would throw on a weighted vest before running ten laps around the house all to “get rid of the sugar.” There were even days where he refused to eat at all, he would spit up crumbs and pass up meals all out of fear of choking. Caring for JohnLuca is a lot like walking on a class bridge. All you can see is the dark chasm below, but you still have to trust that you will make it across safely. You have to set your homework aside to make a second or third meal. You have to bite your tongue when he jumps to conclusion after conclusion, knowing that it isn’t his fault that he is terrified of everything around him. You have to stay up late into the night while your brother goes to bed, knowing that if you try to return to your classwork, he will awake once more and the process will start all over again. You have to hold your breath as you play that maybe, just maybe, he will eat all of his dinner. If you are lucky, he will accept a cup of ice cream or take a cookie off the counter while he smiles and exclaims that he has “faced his fear.” JohnLuca is so much more than his OCD, but that does not change the fact that it is real. That does not change that he will face bettles no child ever should. I am so thankful that I get to fight these battles alongside him, walking with him every step of the way. He truly helps me to see life from a different angle, and there is nothing that I would ever change about him.
    To The Sky Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. My passion for writing continued, and I found myself with an opportunity to speak with Brian Davis, a local author. After asking a few questions, all I got in return was “The writing field is extremely difficult to get into. Many authors have two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. Trust me, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Davis’ words did not deter me from my dream, but they did help me refine it. I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. I have already taken several steps to prepare for my future career as a teacher. I have spoken with several people in the field and jumped at any opportunity to teach. For example, I tutored for the writing portion of the SAT on Khan Academy’s Schoolhouse World, helping my students work through grammar, literary analysis, and practice tests. By the end of the class, I had received loving words from one of my students, saying, “I have had several SAT tutors, but you are by far my favorite.” As I entered my senior year, opportunities to teach presented themselves before me. This was the year where I was able to teach in a classroom environment. I was a substitute teacher for a highschool French class, working with them as they read stories, memorized poetry, and enacted plays. I stood in front of orchestras, helping children read music and play their instruments. By the end of that year, I was teaching private music lessons and was eventually hired part-time at a private music school. One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. That job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    Kiayana's Imagine This Scholarship
    As a child, I knew that I wanted to work in a creative field. I would write stories or draw pictures, collecting them in a pile of notebooks under my bed. However, the adults in my life did not always encourage my passions. How, they would ask, will that ever make money? It was then that my dream began to shift. I was torn between what I loved and what adults wanted me to do. What did it matter if I wanted to create? Why was my happiness not enough? We live in a world where it is becoming easier and easier to make money off of art. Social media has allowed for increased exposure for artists, and online platforms such as Patreon make it possible for artists, writers, and musicians to make a living. However, we have lost the joy of creation in the process. If something is not “good” enough to be sold, then it is not worth creating at all. Because of this, art, an activity once for personal fulfillment, has become tarnished by the incessant pressure of hustle-culture. I have dedicated myself to the battle against hustle-culture for years, especially when it comes to children. I have been playing violin for over a decade, and I am always searching for an opportunity to share my knowledge. I have worked with youth orchestras and individuals alike, providing them with the guidance they need to feel confident in their craft. By working with these children, they have learned more than how to play an instrument. They develop confidence, discipline, interpersonal skills, creativity, problem solving, and even mathematical reasoning. Even if they do not wish to become professional musicians, all of these skills will greatly help them as they move into the workforce, all as they perform activities out of joy. I have seen student after student become inspired through music, but the one that comes to mind is a young highschool student who I taught a few months ago. He had only been playing violin for three years, but he was eager to learn the piece “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns. I simplified the piece and turned the fifty-paged orchestral score into a duet for two violins, and he met with me once a week to learn the piece. Not only did his playing increase dramatically, but I watched as he became more and more personable, speaking more and growing in confidence. Even after he had finished with his lessons, I would still find him playing the distinct notes of “Danse Macabre.” While that student chose to end his musical career, the lessons he learned will still help him long after high school, and he is only one student out of the many I have worked with. Through teaching music, I am teaching the next generation how art is valuable even if it is not sold for profit. I am raising a generation of artists, a generation of problem solvers, and through that, I am changing the world.
    Gussie Lynn Scholarship
    For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to write. Stories would whisper in the back of my mind, and my fingers would itch to write them down. I would be unable to sleep until they were recorded, andI would stay up long into the night until I had pages upon pages of ideas. My passion for writing continued, and I found myself with an opportunity to speak with Brian Davis, a local author. After asking a few questions, all I got in return was “The writing field is extremely difficult to get into. Many authors have two or three other jobs just to make ends meet. Trust me, I’m one of the lucky ones.” Davis’ words did not deter me from my dream, but they did help me refine it. I brainstormed ideas about what I wanted to do. While I did not need to make millions of dollars, I would like to make enough to live on. Most importantly, it needed to be a field where literature, and conversations about literature, were highly encouraged. After I realized that my future career was right in front of me. It had been in front of me for twelve years. I have already taken several steps to prepare for my future career as a teacher. I have spoken with several people in the field and jumped at any opportunity to teach. For example, I tutored for the writing portion of the SAT on Khan Academy’s Schoolhouse World, helping my students work through grammar, literary analysis, and practice tests. By the end of the class, I had received loving words from one of my students, saying, “I have had several SAT tutors, but you are by far my favorite.” As I entered my senior year, opportunities to teach presented themselves before me. This was the year where I was able to teach in a classroom environment. I was a substitute teacher for a highschool French class, working with them as they read stories, memorized poetry, and enacted plays. I stood in front of orchestras, helping children read music and play their instruments. By the end of that year, I was teaching private music lessons and was eventually hired part-time at a private music school. One of my greatest accomplishments was being offered a full-time position at my old highschool. Every student is required to write and present an academic paper of their choosing upon graduation, and I was no exception. I spent that year writing about the universal themes of literature and the search for human flourishing. I spent my afternoons with my teacher mentor, who taught me about what it meant to be a teacher as well as an author. I read book after book and wrote draft after draft until the day came to present my paper. When I had finished, I realized that the head of school had sat through my presentation. He approached me, shook my hand, and offered me a job. I could come back and teach as early as my college graduation. All I had to do was ask. That job offer filled me with the confidence I need to continue on this path. I have kept writing central in my life through mentors, clubs, publications, and writing guilds. My class schedule is filled with English and Literature classes. When I graduate, I will accept the job and focus on writing my book. I can see it now. I hold my pen and stand at the board. The students sit before me. My book is on my desk. Class has begun.
    JT Lampert Scholarship
    As a child, I knew that I wanted to work in a creative field. I would write stories or draw pictures, collecting them in a pile of notebooks under my bed. However, the adults in my life did not always encourage my passions. How, they would ask, will that ever make money? It was then that my dream began to shift. I was torn between what I loved and what adults wanted me to do. What did it matter if I wanted to create? Why was my happiness not enough? We live in a world where it is becoming easier and easier to make money off of art. Social media has allowed for increased exposure for artists, and online platforms such as Patreon make it possible for artists, writers, and musicians to make a living. However, we have lost the joy of creation in the process. If something is not “good” enough to be sold, then it is not worth creating at all. Because of this, art, an activity once for personal fulfillment, has become tarnished by the incessant pressure of hustle-culture. I have dedicated myself to the battle against hustle-culture for years, especially when it comes to children. I have been playing violin for over a decade, and I am always searching for an opportunity to share my knowledge. I have worked with youth orchestras and individuals alike, providing them with the guidance they need to feel confident in their craft. By working with these children, they have learned more than how to play an instrument. They develop confidence, discipline, interpersonal skills, creativity, problem solving, and even mathematical reasoning. Even if they do not wish to become professional musicians, all of these skills will greatly help them as they move into the workforce, all as they perform activities out of joy. I have seen student after student become inspired through music, but the one that comes to mind is a young highschool student who I taught a few months ago. He had only been playing violin for three years, but he was eager to learn the piece “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns. I simplified the piece and turned the fifty-paged orchestral score into a duet for two violins, and he met with me once a week to learn the piece. Not only did his playing increase dramatically, but I watched as he became more and more personable, speaking more and growing in confidence. Even after he had finished with his lessons, I would still find him playing the distinct notes of “Danse Macabre.” While that student chose to end his musical career, the lessons he learned will still help him long after high school, and he is only one student out of the many I have worked with. Through teaching music, I am teaching the next generation how art is valuable even if it is not sold for profit. I am raising a generation of artists, a generation of problem solvers, and through that, I am changing the world.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” ― Madeleine L'Engle When Madeleine L'Engle wrote this quote for her novel "A Wrinkle in Time," she reached out to readers, encouraging them to take control of their lives. This may have worked to make her story engaging, but as a sixth grader living in a hotel, my life did not feel like a sonnet. There was no form to the couch I slept on. There was no freedom to the shame I felt when I showed friends my room. If my life was supposed to be my own, I had difficulty showing it. It has been seven years since I left that hotel for good, but my time there continues to affect me. I embraced the rules and obligations of life, recording everything I could into my planner. My life, down to the fifteen-minute mark, had to be recorded. If not, I would spiral, desperately grasping onto anything to make me feel in control again. My life had been so unpredictable that I was desperate for anything else. This, as you can imagine, was an unrealistic endeavor. My problems spilled over to my friendships, my family, and my schoolwork. If I had a large assignment due, I would stare at the screen, too afraid to begin, and all the while I would disparage as my plan quickly devolved into nothingness. My heart would beat harder and harder at the thought of this setback. My mind would race until I lost myself in the panic. Everything would get done, and I made sure of it, but it came with tears, stress, and broken relationships. Then senior year came. Every year, seniors are required to write a thesis to graduate. My plans had repeatedly failed me, and I knew I did not want to look back on my senior year with disappointment. So I did the one thing that I never thought I could. I set my planner on a shelf and blocked my online planner on my computer. I could still check the lesson plans provided by the school, but that would be it. I could still keep track of my due dates, but I refused to sacrifice my life for a schedule. I was going to write the sonnet of my life. The transition from the extreme to the moderate was not an easy one. My fingers itch as I yearn to fill my day with assignments and to-do lists, and I still check my grades daily. However, I always make a point to balance it all. I walk, write a short story, or stop to watch the sunrise. I remove myself from the screens and the world's demands to check-in. Am I truly living my life, or have I returned to my palace of paper? L'Engle was right when we wrote that life was full of rules and obligations, but she forgot to mention how those rules can take over our lives. The world will never stop providing restrictions, but if we embrace them, we no longer have a sonnet, we have an instruction manual. Because of this, I strive to balance between stability and unpredictability. I watch the sunrise, and for the first time in seven years, I begin to write my sonnet.
    Mental Health Importance Scholarship
    Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” ― Madeleine L'Engle When Madeleine L'Engle wrote this quote for her novel "A Wrinkle in Time," she reached out to readers, encouraging them to take control of their lives. This may have worked to make her story engaging, but as a sixth grader living in a hotel, my life did not feel like a sonnet. There was no form to the couch I slept on. There was no freedom to the shame I felt when I showed friends my room. If my life was supposed to be my own, I had difficulty showing it. It has been seven years since I left that hotel for good, but my time there continues to affect me. I embraced the rules and obligations of life, recording everything I could into my planner. My life, down to the fifteen-minute mark, had to be recorded. If not, I would spiral, desperately grasping onto anything to make me feel in control again. My life had been so unpredictable that I was desperate for anything else. This, as you can imagine, was an unrealistic endeavor. My problems spilled over to my friendships, my family, and my schoolwork. If I had a large assignment due, I would stare at the screen, too afraid to begin, and all the while I would disparage as my plan quickly devolved into nothingness. My heart would beat harder and harder at the thought of this setback. My mind would race until I lost myself in the panic. Everything would get done, and I made sure of it, but it came with tears, stress, and broken relationships. Then senior year came. Every year, seniors are required to write a thesis to graduate. My plans had repeatedly failed me, and I knew I did not want to look back on my senior year with disappointment. So I did the one thing that I never thought I could. I set my planner on a shelf and blocked my online planner on my computer. I could still check the lesson plans provided by the school, but that would be it. I could still keep track of my due dates, but I refused to sacrifice my life for a schedule. I was going to write the sonnet of my life. The transition from the extreme to the moderate was not an easy one. My fingers itch as I yearn to fill my day with assignments and to-do lists, and I still check my grades daily. However, I always make a point to balance it all. I walk, write a short story, or stop to watch the sunrise. I remove myself from the screens and the world's demands to check-in. Am I truly living my life, or have I returned to my palace of paper? L'Engle was right when we wrote that life was full of rules and obligations, but she forgot to mention how those rules can take over our lives. The world will never stop providing restrictions, but if we embrace them, we no longer have a sonnet, we have an instruction manual. Because of this, I strive to balance between stability and unpredictability. I watch the sunrise, and for the first time in seven years, I begin to write my sonnet.
    Mental Health Scholarship for Women
    "Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” ― Madeleine L'Engle When Madeleine L'Engle wrote this quote for her novel "A Wrinkle in Time," she reached out to readers, encouraging them to take control of their lives. This may have worked to make her story engaging, but as a sixth grader living in a hotel, my life did not feel like a sonnet. There was no form to the couch I slept on. There was no freedom to the shame I felt when I showed friends my room. If my life was supposed to be my own, I had difficulty showing it. It has been seven years since I left that hotel for good, but my time there continues to affect me. I embraced the rules and obligations of life, recording everything I could into my planner. My life, down to the fifteen-minute mark, had to be recorded. If not, I would spiral, desperately grasping onto anything to make me feel in control again. My life had been so unpredictable that I was desperate for anything else. This, as you can imagine, was an unrealistic endeavor. My problems spilled over to my friendships, my family, and my schoolwork. If I had a large assignment due, I would stare at the screen, too afraid to begin, and all the while I would disparage as my plan quickly devolved into nothingness. My heart would beat harder and harder at the thought of this setback. My mind would race until I lost myself in the panic. Everything would get done, and I made sure of it, but it came with tears, stress, and broken relationships. Then senior year came. Every year, seniors are required to write a thesis to graduate. My plans had repeatedly failed me, and I knew I did not want to look back on my senior year with disappointment. So I did the one thing that I never thought I could. I set my planner on a shelf and blocked my online planner on my computer. I could still check the lesson plans provided by the school, but that would be it. I could still keep track of my due dates, but I refused to sacrifice my life for a schedule. I was going to write the sonnet of my life. The transition from the extreme to the moderate was not an easy one. My fingers itch as I yearn to fill my day with assignments and to-do lists, and I still check my grades daily. However, I always make a point to balance it all. I walk, write a short story, or stop to watch the sunrise. I remove myself from the screens and the world's demands to check-in. Am I truly living my life, or have I returned to my palace of paper? L'Engle was right when we wrote that life was full of rules and obligations, but she forgot to mention how those rules can take over our lives. The world will never stop providing restrictions, but if we embrace them, we no longer have a sonnet, we have an instruction manual. Because of this, I strive to balance between stability and unpredictability. I watch the sunrise, and for the first time in seven years, I begin to write my sonnet.
    Big Picture Scholarship
    "I think you will like this one," my father told me as we settled into the couch. It was almost certainly past my bedtime, but I didn't care. Watching movies, especially when I was supposed to be sleeping, was how me and my father bonded. As a young entrepreneur in the restaurant industry, time was not something that he had in abundance. Because of this, our movie nights were considered sacred. But I wasn't thinking about any of this as the movie began. All I knew was that my father adored this movie, and he knew that I would enjoy it as well. "Big Fish" is a movie written by John August and directed by Tim Burton. In the film, a young man named William discovers that his father has been diagnosed with cancer and has less than a year to live. The son yearns to get to know his father before it is too late, but every attempt for connection results in frustration. Unlike his son, Edward Bloom lives in stories, and his childhood memories are full of tall tales and engaging narratives. To Edward Bloom, his childhood was larger than life itself, and his son cannot understand it. The movie continues with William searching for the truth about his father by reaching out to Edward's friends and traveling to where he used to live. By the end, William learns that Edward's tall tales are his way of navigating the world. They may not always be factually correct, but they contain more truths than a summary of events. William is finally able to understand his father. Right before Edward dies, he hears his son do the one thing he yearned for his entire life. He hears William tell him a story. I have seen "Big Fish" more often than I can count, but I am amazed every time it appears on screen. I always notice something new each time. I want to become an author after college, and few works of art fully explain the importance of stories in everyday life. "Big Fish" is one of these movies. In one scene, William rifles through hundreds of boxes, yearning for some sense of understanding. In the next, the scene explodes with color and adventure as Edward Bloom narrates yet another tale of his childhood. Fantasy and fact are intertwined in "Big Fish" because fantasy and fact are intertwined in real life. They depend on one another to survive. "Big Fish" is one of those movies that you cannot help but return to. You can't help it. No other movie (at least, no other movie that I have seen) can reveal such complex lessons the more you watch. No other movie can so perfectly depict the power of stories to reveal the truths of everyday life. No other movie can leave you so amazed that all you can do is sit in awe over what you have seen. As I have gotten older, my life has become busier, and the nights spent with my father are few and far between. However, those nights still happen. When it does, we will settle down with blankets and remotes in hand, and "Big Fish" will be the first movie we watch.
    Top Watch Newsletter Movie Fanatics Scholarship
    "I think you will like this one," my father told me as we settled into the couch. It was almost certainly past my bedtime, but I didn't care. Watching movies, especially when I was supposed to be sleeping, was how me and my father bonded. As a young entrepreneur in the restaurant industry, time was not something that he had in abundance. Because of this, our movie nights were considered sacred. But I wasn't thinking about any of this as the movie began. All I knew was that my father adored this movie, and he knew that I would enjoy it as well. "Big Fish" is a movie written by John August and directed by Tim Burton. In the film, a young man named William discovers that his father has been diagnosed with cancer and has less than a year to live. The son yearns to get to know his father before it is too late, but every attempt for connection results in frustration. Unlike his son, Edward Bloom lives in stories, and his childhood memories are full of tall tales and engaging narratives. To Edward Bloom, his childhood was larger than life itself, and his son cannot understand it. The movie continues with William searching for the truth about his father by reaching out to Edward's friends and traveling to where he used to live. By the end, William learns that Edward's tall tales are his way of navigating the world. They may not always be factually correct, but they contain more truths than a summary of events. William is finally able to understand his father. Right before Edward dies, he hears his son do the one thing he yearned for his entire life. He hears William tell him a story. I have seen "Big Fish" more often than I can count, but I am amazed every time it appears on screen. I always notice something new each time. I want to become an author after college, and few works of art fully explain the importance of stories in everyday life. "Big Fish" is one of these movies. In one scene, William rifles through hundreds of boxes, yearning for some sense of understanding. In the next, the scene explodes with color and adventure as Edward Bloom narrates yet another tale of his childhood. Fantasy and fact are intertwined in "Big Fish" because fantasy and fact are intertwined in real life. They depend on one another to survive. "Big Fish" is one of those movies that you cannot help but return to. You can't help it. No other movie (at least, no other movie that I have seen) can reveal such complex lessons the more you watch. No other movie can so perfectly depict the power of stories to reveal the truths of everyday life. No other movie can leave you so amazed that all you can do is sit in awe over what you have seen. As I have gotten older, my life has become busier, and the nights spent with my father are few and far between. However, those nights still happen. When it does, we will settle down with blankets and remotes in hand, and "Big Fish" will be the first movie we watch.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    "'Well then, if I'm a Namer, what does that mean? What does a Namer do?' The wings drew together, the eyes closed, singly, and in groups until all were shut. Small puffs of mist-like smoke rose, and swirled about him. 'When I was memorizing the names of the stars, part of the purpose was to help them each to be particularly the particular star that each one was supposed to be. That's basically a Namer's job. Maybe you're supposed to make earthlings feel more human,'" (L'Engle 88). "A Wind in the Door" by Madeleine L'Engle is a science fiction novel written in 1973. It is the second book in L'Engle's Time Quintet and focuses on themes such as identity, community, and understanding. The novel opens with Meg and her brother Charles Wallace running into Progo, an angel sent to help save Charles Wallace. Their goal is to save the world through Naming every creature inside of it. Madeline L'Engle uses the concept of Naming to highlight how understanding, compassion, and perspective can make the world a better place. L'Engle accomplishes this in three ways: The contrast between Progo and Charles Wallace, Meg Naming Mr. Jenkins, and the distinction between communication and communion The concept of Naming, or understanding all creatures, is a vital component of L'Engle's novel, connecting all life on both a cosmic and microcosmic level. For example, Progo's job is to Name all the stars. When Meg asks him about how many there are, he responds that he does not know. All that matters is that all the stars are known by Name. This is contrasted with Charles Wallace, who has fallen deathly ill because his organelles are yet to be Named. Charles Wallace's condition has the same sense of urgency as Progo's mission. The death of Charles Wallace has the same gravity as if an entire universe faded from existence. L'Engle goes out of her way to emphasize both Charles Wallace's illness and Progo's mission to show how all life is of equal importance. Focusing on just the "big picture" of current affairs and natural disasters is not only impractical, it is dangerous. Progo has every reason to focus on his task of Naming the stars. After all, isn't the life of the universe more important than the life of a singular nine-year-old? However, not only would this mentality lead to the death of Charles Wallace, but it would also result in the death of trillions of organisms as well. Charles Wallace is more than just a child. He is a universe as large and as important as the cosmos. In contrast to this, L'Engle is also warning about focusing simply on what is in front of the readers. At the opening of the novel, Meg is so focused on her younger brother that she is blind to the forces behind Charles Wallace's condition. She cannot even see Progo or understand why Charles Wallace is sick. It takes a confrontation with these outside forces for her to fully understand how the disease within the universe is related to the disease within her brother. Without this understanding, both the world and her brother would be lost. Through the parallels between Progo and Charles Wallace, L'Engle is not only narrating an engaging story, but she is also advising readers on how to view the problems within their lives. There is great evil within the homes, the countries, and the continent of the readers, but exclusively addressing one aspect of the problem only manages the symptoms of a fallen world. It does not cure the disease. L'Engle acknowledges that not one person can cure all aspects of society (Meg's job is to Name humans while Progo's task is to Name the stars. Neither one can do the job of the other) but this understanding of how the "bigger picture" relates to immediate problems allows for the disease itself to be cured, not just the symptoms. Secondly, Madeline L'Engle uses the concept of Naming to highlight compassion through Meg's interaction with Mr. Jenkins. One of the most prominent motifs within "A Wind in the Door" is Meg's interactions with Mr. Jenkins, her high school principal and nemesis. The novel opens with Meg expressing concern for Charles Wallace because he would have Mr. Jenkins as his principal. Mr. Jenkins had repeatedly gone out of his way to belittle and condescend to Meg, and she could only imagine what he would do to Charles Wallace if given the opportunity. It is this hostile relationship between Meg and Mr. Jenkins that lays the groundwork for their transformation. After first interacting with Progo, Meg is tasked with undergoing three trials, each of which will involve Naming. It is then when Meg comes face to face with three Mr. Jenkins. One is openly hostile, one is benevolent, and the third appears to be indifferent. Meg's first task is to Name the correct Mr. Jenkins. If she fails, all will be lost. Meg groans in frustration and begs for any other task. How can she possibly Name someone who had hated her for so long? However, she finally agrees, and after great difficulty, she Names the one whom she has despised for years. To truly Name Mr. Jenkins, Meg has to look past how she has imagined him as well as the way that Mr. Jenkins views himself. The first Mr. Jenkins is rude and antagonistic, insulting Meg and her family. While this may be how Meg believed that Mr. Jenkins would act, she quickly learns that it is not him. The second Mr. Jenkins kind, asks Meg if she is okay and appears to be concerned with her and Charles Wallace. Meg knows that this one is not him, but it is important to note that this is how Mr. Jenkins views himself. He is the principal of Meg's school, guiding children towards the enlightenment that comes with adulthood. Where Meg sees a demon, Mr. Jenkins sees an angel. But the reality is something in between. The true Mr. Jenkins, the one that Meg finally decides to Name, is somewhere in between. He does not insult Meg, but he impatiently checks his watch until it is time to leave. He does not ask about Meg's family, but he appears confused and lost about all that is happening. Mr. Jenkins, Meg comes to realize, is not an angel or a demon. He is a human, just like herself. L'Engle uses this scene to show that understanding requires effort. Just like with everything, there are always three perspectives on a human being. To truly know someone, you must not only look past your own opinions of them, you must look past how they view themself. Similarly, true self-awareness requires an outside perspective. Mr. Jenkins could not Name himself. Even if that was possible, he was trapped by his pride and inflated sense of self-importance. It took Meg to lead him to his truest version of himself. This applies to more than just the story. To achieve a true understanding of themselves, they must have the humility to listen to others. Finally, Madeline L'Engle uses the concept of Naming to distinguish between the two concepts of communication and communion. At the end of the book, Charles Wallace is lying on his deathbed, and Progo, Meg, and her friend Calvin travel into Charles Wallace's mitochondria. However, the world on the minuscule is much different from what they are used to. It is dark, and they quickly find that they cannot move or speak. Meg tries to talk to Calvin but finds herself incapable of speech, even with Calvin right next to her. However, Calvin comes to realize that communication does not exist in this new world. Communion does. To reach Meg, Calvin must direct all of his energy towards understanding her. It requires pure selflessness and compassion, looking back to every moment he spent with her, every aspect of her life that she shared with him until he can see her, truly see her, for who she is. It is from this state of compassion and empathy that Calvin discovers that he can reach her, and it is with this empathy in mind that Calvin and Meg can save Charles Wallace. When Madeline L'Engle wrote this scene, she was doing little to hide her religious beliefs. Communion, the word Calvin uses to understand what is happening at the end of the book, is a common practice within the Christian Church, and it is through this word that L'Engle not only addresses her Christian readers but also reveals what is required to fully understand those around them. For L'Engle, communion was about more than the consumption of bread and wine. It is about being connected to fellow worshipers and the one they worship. It was about community. L'Engle uses the word communion to show that this state of being should go beyond the church. To truly know someone and to recognize their gifts and uniqueness, you must begin with selflessness. You must begin with community. You must begin with communion. That is the first step towards defeating the darkness in the world. When reading "A Wind in the Door" I cannot help but think of T.S. Elliot's "The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock." This is a poem about a man who feels at lost in the world, untethered from himself and the world around him. As close as I may become to understanding himself, he distracts himself with a party, a tangent, or a story. He has accepted the fact that he is Unnamed. "A Wind in the Door" is a refutation of this acceptance. It reaches out to the Prufrocks, the Gatsbys, and the Mr. Jenkins of the world. It calls out to those who have accepted that they will never be understood, that the meaninglessness in the world is much too vast to fathom. "A Wind in the Door" reaches out and whispers, "That is not true." L'Engle used her book to champion empathy through her use of Naming. Time and time again she pushes her characters to truly see each other, to understand how every life matters, to look past their biases and assumptions of others, and to reach out with nothing but pure, selfless intentions. All the while, L'Engle is directing readers to do the same, assuring them that the evil they see in the world can be defeated and that they have the power to change things. They, too, can know every star by Name, and perhaps they can be Named as well.
    David Foster Memorial Scholarship
    "You need to be a teacher." I laughed at Miss Molyneaux's words. "I don't have the patience for that." "Trust me, one day, you'll be sitting right where I am." When I switched schools at the start of my ninth grade year, I was not looking for a second mother figure or the woman who I would look up to for the next few years of my life. I was not looking for a role model, an inspiration, or a transformation of the self. I was looking for an escape. My middle school experience was hard, harder than most. My aunt had fallen to a mysterious illness, and my days were marked by long car rides to Advent Health, decorating a hospital room, and sleeping in hotels when my house was no longer an option. My days were spent in a state of disassociation, feeling out of control of my own life, my thoughts, my existence, and because of that, I ran. I told my parents that I needed a change, any change at all, and I ran headfirst towards any opportunity for escape. That escape was Geneva. It was during that last period of the day when I first met the woman who I would call Madame. My morning had consisted of a surge of new faces, names, and rules, and as I sat down in the middle row of the French classroom, my head spun with the idea of keeping everything together. Every class had the same rules, but there were people who I was expected to know and classrooms I was expected to find. How was I supposed to keep it all together? And then I saw her. Madame Molyneaux strolled into the classroom in a light blue blouse and a gleam in her eye. Instead of standing at the front of the class, she pulled up a chair and sat down with us. "I bet you all have heard the same rules all day. Do you want to learn something?" That was the moment that defined my experience with Madame. Everything about her and her class was fast. She would push us, giving us quizzes almost every day, new vocab words in between classes, and projects to complete the moment we got home. If your head wasn't hurting by the end of the class, then you did not work hard enough that day. Despite this, she still managed to see us for us, giving us all advice when needed and proving comfort when the opportunity arrived. She discovered that I wanted to be a writer, and she became a mentor for me, giving me advice and asking for my opinion on some stories that she was working on. We learn from Madame, but she was always open to learning from us, too. It was the end of last year when Madame truly started helping me with my future. When I got accepted to my first college of choice, she connected me with students who went there. She started mentioning various extracurriculars and clubs I might be interested, and she started to tell me that I should become a teacher. I would laugh it off, but time and time again she would present opportunities to take the lead, to teach others, and learn from them myself. Madame taught me to see the world, to truly see it, and to care and to connect with those around me. "You need to be a teacher." If I can be half as good as she is, then maybe being a teacher doesn't sound like such a bad idea after all.
    Jonas Griffith Scholarship
    Like every child, my world was one of milestones. Losing my last tooth, my last day of elementary school, all of this worked together to make me who I am today. But where many people remember these events with joy, for me, these are memories of anxiety. I grit my teeth, close my eyes, and try to ignore the looming presence of my future. I look at my bedroom walls, the stuffed animals around me, and feel dread as I ponder what is to come. Someday, I will grow up, and all of this will be gone. I was told that I could change the world. I was also told, “Never change,” by my parents as they smiled upon me. These two ideas formed the foundation of my existence, and I knew that both were impossible. While opportunities appeared to be endless for a moment, I knew that I would one day have a job, a family, and my world would be limited by what would benefit them. I was also aware that I was growing up, and no matter how much I tried, I would inevitably be much different from the pigtailed little girl who made her parents proud. I was bound to disappoint them and everyone else who had believed in me. I looked upon this paradox of uncertainty and inevitability and laughed the laugh of a coward. In an attempt to control the uncontrollable, I picked up a pen, ordered a planner, and got to work. I scheduled my days, my months, and over time, I felt a sense of relief. I would still grow up, but I could control what that process would look like. I felt confident in my palace of paper. I felt at ease within my delirium. I whispered these lies to myself every night like prayers on a deathbed. As long as I told myself that they were true, I could fool myself into believing them. However, no palace is perfectly defended, and the unpredictability of life would snatch my pen and rip my plans to shreds. Plans were cancelled, responsibilities were added, and I would be there, heart racing, chest beating, until my pen hit paper once more. Adulthood was coming ever so much closer, and no matter how much I tried to ignore it, I was reminded of what was to come. It was all I could do to keep writing, keep planning, keep achieving, until the world was in order once more. This was how I spent my life. I believed that I could control my future, but whenever I reached a milestone, reality would tear away the illusion. I would face the march of the inevitable, and I would spend the night in anguish. Then I would repeat the cycle once more. Middle school flew by, then highschool, and then it was the summer before senior year. My school takes all highschoolers on a three day retreat, and on the last night, seniors are allowed to stay up and swim. Everyone was laughing and smiling, and so was I. I knew my future was near, but that day I paid it no mind. Then came the waterslide. My parents had volunteered on the retreat, and I convinced them to go down with me. Before we knew it, we were rocketed through the air and thrusted into the water, and as I stood, I couldn’t help but cry. For the first time in years, I realized that my future was just around the corner, that I was no longer the pigtailed little girl that I yearned to be. I was someone else entirely, someone who even I didn’t recognize. I had no choice but to acknowledge this reality. In Thomas C. Forrester’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor, there is a chapter dedicated to baptism. In it, Forrester explains that whenever water is mentioned in literature, it represents transformation, a revival of spirit. As I stood in the water, hugging my mother and crying into her shoulder, I couldn’t help but think that water represented baptism in real life, too. I could no longer ignore the uncertainty of my future, but I could make friends with it. Childhood is fast, wild, and imaginative, and the impact of the water will always be there. But when I plunge into my future, not only will I be okay, but my parents will be there to jump in with me.
    Bald Eagle Scholarship
    Out of all the people who have influenced my life, perhaps the most important one of them has been my father. Every day, he showed me what it was like to be someone of character, how to persevere despite the challenges you may face, how to remain optimistic even when the chances of success are unlikely. Without these lessons, without the advice and comfort that he has given me over the years, I would be much different than the person who I am today. Growing up, my father did not have much. As a child of two Italian immigrants, he understood the value of community and a strong work ethic. He would wake up, work at school, and then head straight to his family's restaurant to help clean tables or wash dishes. He would laugh with customers, make jokes with the staff, and even take a moment to talk to his siblings. Despite this, he never lost his focus. Even his school work was addressed with drive as he sold food to classmates or completed homework as soon as they were assigned. Years later, my grandparents moved my father and his siblings down to Florida, hoping that the Southern state would provide more opportunities than those that could be found in New York. Sure enough, the opportunities came. My father received the Florida Bright Futures scholarship and received a full ride to the University of Central Florida. My father applied for a job at a tech company after graduating and quickly moved up the ranks. It was everything that my grandparents could have hoped for him. However, while my father wore a suit and tie, he yearned to wear an apron. Despite the comfort and stability that Technisource offered, my father had a vision of running a restaurant of his own. He hated having a boss and yearned to follow his calling, and because of this, he turned in his two weeks notice at Technisource and began to brainstorm how to open his first restaurant. Pizzaria Valdiano, the restaurant my father first opened on his own, has been in my family for over twenty years, and its history is deeply engrained into my own. I remember playing with my siblings in the space behind the restaurant, examining the appliances in the back, and sitting on a counter with an espresso in hand. I watched as the wall next to the soda fountain gained award after award, and I smiled in glee as I thought "My father did that." I grew up alongside my father's career, and his next restaurant became my first job. I am the hostess for the Hangry Bison, but more than that, I am a Liguori. As I approach college, I cannot help but think back on all that my father has taught me. Joseph Liguori lives and breathes in the hospitality industry, but more than that, he lives and breathes a wisdom that I am lucky to learn from. Every time he walks me through how to answer the phone or to seat a guest, he is saying "This is how to treat others with respect." Every time he leaves for work before the sun rises, he is saying "This is how you provide for your family." Every time he takes me into the kitchen to teach me how to cook, he is saying this is how you love." But most importantly, when I watch him open a new restaurant, succeeding despite the risks, he is saying, "This is how to take a chance. This is how to follow your dreams. This is how to live."
    Marques D. Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship
    In the summer of my fifth grade, I believed that my life would be perfect. I had visions of my middle school experience: Me making friends and smiling as I walked down the hallway, me taking notes with precision as I answered every question with ease, me living life to the fullest with new responsibilities and no fear of the future. I would soon be attending the sixth grade, a new chapter of life, and I could not wait for it to begin. Then the hurricane hit, and it took my walls, my floors, and my possessions along with my hopes, my dreams, and expectations. My four other family members and I jumped from a foot bedroomed haven to a Residence inn that could barely contain us. I would oftentimes sleep on the couch of the floor, and if I was lucky, the mattress may have some air in it by the time I woke up the next day. However, I was able to find comfort in the one constant in my life: my violin. Once a week, my mother would rescue me from that cramped, confining hotel and would drive me to the Avalon School of Music. It was there where I would receive a fresh breath of air, both physically and metaphorically as my teachers watched me with approval as I practices my scales, my arpeggios, my etudes, and solo pieces. They would calmly correct my intonation and were always patient with me even when I failed to imitate their playing. My teachers didn't know that I feared never being able to return home or that my family hardly had a table to sit at, and even if they did, I know that they wouldn't have treated me any differently. My teachers weren't just there to teach, they were there for me. That is why I love music. It is not just something that I do as a pastime, it is one of the most universal expressions of love. I play not just to improve my skills but to find connection. Music has pushed me in ways that I could never imagine, from teaching me how to be brave when preforming a solo to how to be patient when teaching someone younger than me to how to lead a group of musicians-many of which are much more talented than me. Music has been in every aspect of my life, pushing me to do better and providing invaluable lessons along the way. To this day, I am playing violin more than ever. I finally gathered the courage to join an orchestra, and I am a part of both a chamber group as well as the orchestra provided at my school. I have arranged music for various school projects, gathering up the courage to play in front of my classmates and peers. I even had the privilege to teach a fellow student for a little over a month, and I could not help but shout in glee every time he mastered a new technique. In a way, I am still that little girl, only it is not the hotel that confines me; it is the future, whispering in my ear the horrors of college, my schoolwork, my self-consciousness, but just like that little girl, I have my violin to turn to. As I look towards that same future, I hope to not only play in college but to act as a mentor for younger musicals, all the while continuing to perfect my craft. I have my violin, and with it, I have freedom.