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Riley Peck

1045

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

I plan on going to college to pursue a degree in criminal justice with a concentration in Intelligence Analysis. I want to work with the government in counter-terrorism. I currently volunteer at my local fire station, dance competitively, and work at the YMCA as a childcare worker. I also just finished my CIT training at a Girl Scout camp and plan on going back as a counselor. I keep myself busy and it can be stressful at times but I have people there to support me such as my friends and coaches. I'm excited about college and meeting new people. My intended major has interested me for a while. I hope to help people and do good in my life.

Education

Mount Saint Charles Academy

High School
2021 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Intelligence, Command Control and Information Operations
    • International Relations and National Security Studies
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Intelligence Analyst

    • Dream career goals:

      CIA Agent

    • Childcare worker

      YMCA
      2023 – Present1 year

    Sports

    Dancing

    Intramural
    2008 – Present16 years

    Arts

    • Mount Saint Charles Academy

      Theatre
      Godspell
      2021 – Present
    • Artstry Dance Center

      Dance
      2021 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Pascoag Fire Department — Explorer/volunteer
      2022 – Present
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    I've always struggled with my mental health. I was bullied starting at a young age. I'm not exactly skinny and well, people are mean. No one tells a 7-year-old kid how to deal with depression or anxiety because no one expects a 7-year-old kid to have depression or anxiety. I have a few friends but many left before middle school to go somewhere else. By 8th grade, I had 4 close friends and even then they were still closer to each other than I ever was. Then COVID hit. I was online my last 3 months of 8th grade. I only saw my friends through a screen. I felt lost. My freshman year was in 2020. Half of us were online and it made meeting people very difficult. By now I had lost almost all contact with my middle school friends so I was alone. It impacted me severely. I was extremely depressed. I would break down and have a panic attack in the car every day to school. It got to the point where my mom started just taking me home. I was lucky to have the chance to learn online so that's what I did. My parents were growing concerned. I would shut myself in my room every day. I barely ate and barely wanted to do my work. It was a really bad year for me and was even worse for my mental health. My parents and I decided I should transfer schools. During the summer, I had a choice to make. A little voice inside my head was telling me to stay but the other voice was screaming at me to leave so I left. I transferred my sophomore year to a new school. This new school was where all of my old elementary friends went and yes, they were happy to see me, it was clear that I hadn't talked to them in 7 years. It took time for me to fit in and some people made it very difficult. I eventually found my way and met new people who had become my closest friends. I'm extremely happy where I am but my freshman year is forever in the back of my head. I recently had a really bad month. My mental health feels like it is back where it was in 2020. I lost all interest in things that made me happy. I love art and I lost that. I no longer had the energy or interest. It's really hard to get out of my depressive episode. Something bad just keeps happening. So far the only good thing that has happened is being accepted into my top college. I try to focus on that. I try to find even the slightest good but it's hard right now. I still haven't gotten the help I need. I am medicated but that doesn't work all the time. My friends notice I'm acting different and they are trying to be supportive but they don't understand. I don’t have a big support system and I know my parents try but it hard for all of us. I know my mental health has impacted my family more than I think. I feel responsible to hide my problems. I don’t want to burden my family. I know they care and they try but it’s not perfect. I try to focus on the good things and sometimes it's easy and other times it's more difficult. Hopefully, things will get better but for now, I just need to hold on the the good things.
    Trever David Clark Memorial Scholarship
    I've always struggled with my mental health. I was bullied starting at a young age. I'm not exactly skinny and people bully me for it. No one tells a 7-year-old kid how to deal with depression or anxiety because no one expects a 7-year-old kid to have depression or anxiety. I have a few friends but many left before middle school to go somewhere else. By 8th grade, I had 4 close friends and even then they were still closer to each other than I ever was. Then COVID hit. I was online my last 3 months of 8th grade. I only saw my friends through a screen. I felt lost. My freshman year was in 2020. Half of us were online and it made meeting people very difficult. By now I had lost almost all contact with my middle school friends so I was alone. It impacted me severely. I was extremely depressed. I would break down and have a panic attack in the car every day to school. It got to the point where my mom started just taking me home. I was lucky to have the chance to learn online so that's what I did. My parents were growing concerned. I would shut myself in my room every day. I barely ate and barely wanted to do my work. It was a really bad year for me and was even worse for my mental health. My mom finally decided to get me help even after years of me telling her I needed it. The "help" that I got wasn't at all helpful. There were things that I needed to hide because I would end up in a place I did not want to be. My parents and I decided I should transfer schools. During the summer, I had a choice to make. A little voice inside my head was telling me to stay but the other voice was screaming at me to leave so I left. I transferred my sophomore year to a new school. This new school was where all of my old elementary friends went and yes they were happy to see me, it was clear that I hadn't talked to them in 7 years. It took time for me to fit in and some people made it very difficult. I eventually found my way and met new people who had become my closest friends. I'm extremely happy where I am but my freshman year is forever in the back of my head. I recently had a really bad month. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. My mental health feels like it is back where it was in 2020. It's really hard to get out of my depressive episode. Something bad just keeps happening. So far the only good thing that has happened is being accepted into my top college. I try to focus on that. I try to find even the slightest good but it's hard right now. I still haven't gotten the help I need. The treatments out there just don't work for me and it isn't like there are 500 different treatments. There are about 2. Psych ward or therapy. I am medicated but that doesn't work all the time. My friends notice I'm acting different and they are trying to be supportive but they don't understand. I try to focus on the good things and sometimes it's easy and other times it's more difficult. Hopefully, things will get better but for now, I just need to hold on the the good things.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    "A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over: 'Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That's all right!' He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mocking-bird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his fluty notes out upon the breeze with maddening persistence." -The Awakening by: Kate Chopin Many people connect parrots with repeating back everything you say but what happens when that parrot no longer repeats back? The novel "The Awakening", is a novel about going against the current and creating a new path for yourself. The main character, Edna, quickly realizes that she no longer wants to repeat everything society tells her to. The opening scene is one of the most symbolic scenes in the whole novel since it describes the main character, Edna, as a parrot trapped in a cage and speaks a different language that no one but the mockingbird, Mrs. Reiz, on the other side of the door, can understand. Edna is a parrot. She learned how to repeat everything she was told. She became a mother since that was the only thing that she could be in the late 1800s. She cared for her husband and her children just like every other woman during that time. Edna was surrounded by the “perfect” family. She had a wealthy husband and lovely children but she wasn’t happy. The parrot at the beginning of the novel is caged just like Edna. She feels as if she has no other option than to stay in the life she has been given. Then she stops repeating. She starts realizing, awakening to the fact that she can be her own person. She starts having a love affair with Aruban and gains feelings for Robert. She breaks out of her cage. She breaks out of the stereotypical life of a woman. She breaks out from society. She is a salmon swimming upstream while everyone else swims downstream and past her. She becomes awakened to a new sense of life. A new lifestyle. No more repeating. But only one person understands her. Mrs. Reiz. Mrs. Reiz is the only other person who has broken society’s norms. She is the mockingbird on the other side of the door. The mockingbird can understand the parrot. Edna seems to speak a different language like the parrot at the beginning of the novel. The mockingbird, Mrs. Reiz, understands said language and talks back to her. Mrs. Reiz gives Edna advice throughout the novel. Edna sees Mrs. Reiz as the ideal person she wants to become but can not obtain. Edna’s different language makes it difficult for other people to understand her. Mr. Pontellier finds the parrot annoying and doesn’t understand what it is saying so he leaves. This symbolizes how little Mr. Pontellier knows and understands his wife. He can leave whenever he wants but she can not. She is trapped in a cage like a parrot, watching life pass by. Watching her husband leave whenever he gets tired of being a part of the upper-class society while she doesn’t have that option. Mr. Pontellier can not understand the parrot. Even Edna’s relationships can not understand her. Robert wants her to be his wife which is what Edna is trying to break from. He can not understand the parrot. Adele, Edna’s friend, is the ideal woman in the late 1800s. She is a caring and loving wife and mother. Adele is everything that Edna is not. Even though the two women are close friends, Adele can not understand the parrot. Throughout the novel, Edna “breaks” from her cage and stops repeating what society expects and wants. She becomes her own woman. But in the end, she goes right back to society’s cage. While she did “break” that cage for a while, she can not seem to stay out. She swims too far and drowns. She loses herself while trying to find herself. She goes back to what she knows. She goes back to her cage. Edna is a parrot. There are a lot of things as humans that we do to fit in. In high school, we feel as if we have to hide who we are to fit in and do what everyone else is. Those who don't "fit in" are considered weird or different and they are made fun of. Kate Chopin describes the human mind almost exactly. We try to break from a cage but most of us just end back in it. No matter how hard many people try there is always some sort of force trying to knock you down. Edna loses her life in the end. She goes back to her cage and she dies. Kate Chopin uses "The Awakening" as a lesson for others. Don't let other tell you what to do or you will lose who you are.
    New Kids Can Scholarship
    You don't realize how much other people impact you until you don't have anyone. I was a freshman in 2020, so COVID year, and I struggled to find my place and fit in. My mental health was taking a serious decline so both my parents and I decided that the best decision would be for me to transfer. Transfering is not easy for anyone and I was no different. Yes, I had some friends already at the school I transferred to but I hadn't seen or spoken to these kids in almost 7 years so they had new friends. They all welcomed me but it still felt weird. It was clear that I missed something. Freshman year is extremely important for a high school student. It's where you make friends and start your future and I missed that. I didn't have friends freshman year and everyone needs at least one friend. It was a struggle again to fit in but I did have people that I knew and they did their best to include me. I was very grateful for these people. Eventually, after some drama here and there, I found my place. Some people made it very difficult for me but I had friends that I never would have had freshman year. My friends and I still have drama but everyone has drama. You really can't avoid it. This place is my home. I made new friends who supported me and included me even after being a new student. Being a new student gave me a new perspective on life. I learned to step out of my comfort zone even when it wasn't easy. I learned to be myself and I would find people who understood me and wanted to be around me. I'm grateful for my experience freshman year because I would not be the person I am today without it. Seeing other new kids struggle to fit in, I can relate to that. I will go out of my way to welcome these kids because I know what it is like being the new kid. It's difficult. I never want someone to go through what I did. It was not fun in any way imaginable. I strive to be welcoming to new kids and to support them in every aspect of their high school career. In the summer of 2021, I had a very difficult choice to make. There was a small voice in my head telling me to stay but the louder voice was telling me to leave. Leaving my freshman year of high school is still the best decision I've made so far in my life. Transferring has brought me struggles but has also brought me some of my closest friends. My struggles from freshman year have brought me to where I am today. I have friends who are always there for me. I still wonder how my life would be right now if I didn't transfer. Would I have made friends? Would I have found my place? I guess I will never have the answers to these questions but I don't regret my decision. Both schools have created the person I am today. This experience, the good and the bad, will forever be in my head and memories.