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Serena Dalton

3315

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hello! My name is Serena Dalton and I am an aspiring lawyer! I am currently a junior at Southeastern University majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. I have served as the Chief Justice of the Student Government Association and am currently President of the SEU Debate Team. I am also a member of the Alpha Chi honor society. In my career, I aspire to help people and have many different passions within the realm of civil law. Beyond the legal profession, I am working toward publishing a poetry book one day. I am a published writer in the 2022-23 Southeastern University Poetry Journal as well as the compendium Good Grief: Thoughts on Loss, Joy, & the Art of Writing. In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis, volunteering, attending church, writing poetry, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family!

Education

Southeastern University

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Legal Professions and Studies, Other
  • Minors:
    • Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies

Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods

High School
2021 - 2022

Staley High

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Law
    • Religion/Religious Studies
    • Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 27
      ACT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      Legal Services

    • Dream career goals:

      Attorney, & Author

    • Selling Associate

      Victoria's Secret
      2023 – 2023
    • Campus Ambassador

      Southeastern University
      2023 – 2023
    • Youth Camp Counselor

      Northland Cathedral
      2022 – 2022
    • Youth Pastor’s Intern

      Northland Cathedral
      2020 – 20211 year
    • Tennis Coach

      Freelance
      2020 – 20211 year

    Sports

    College Speech & Debate

    Club
    2022 – Present2 years

    Awards

    • Gold Coast Fall 2022: NPDA Debate Champions, BP Debate Finalists, 3rd Overall BP Speaker, Top Novice BP Speaker
    • Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Championship Tournament 2023: 2nd NPDA Debate, 2nd NPDA Debate Speaker, 3rd BP Debate, 6th BP Speaker, 5th Overall Debate Speaker
    • Gold Coast Spring 2023: BP Debate Champions, 3rd Novice Speaker, 3rd Overall Speaker

    High School Speech & Debate

    Varsity
    2018 – 20224 years

    Awards

    • 2021 National Qualifier in Congresional Debate
    • 3rd in Congress @ Heart of America Districts
    • 1st in Informative Speaking @ Washburn Rural 2020
    • 3rd in Congress @ KC Suburban Conference
    • 4th in Informative Speaking @ KC Suburban Conference
    • 5th in LD Debate @ KC Suburban Conference
    • 7th in Duo Interp. @ KC Suburban Conference
    • 5th in USX @ MSHSAA Districts
    • 2021-2022 Staley Speech & Debate Legacy Award

    Gymnastics

    Club
    2012 – 20131 year

    Dance (Ballet, Tap, Jazz)

    Club
    2007 – 20158 years

    Volleyball

    Intramural
    2017 – 2017

    Awards

    • Undefeated Champions

    Girls Tennis

    Varsity
    2016 – 20215 years

    Awards

    • Attitude Award
    • JV MVP
    • Varsity Letter Award x3
    • 2nd Team All-Conference Doubles
    • 1st Place in B Doubles at Bird-Dog Classic
    • 1st Place in B doubles at the Winnetonka Tournament
    • 2nd Place in B Doubles at the LSR7 Invitational x2

    Arts

    • Middle School Theatre Department

      Acting
      Homework Ate Dog, Game of Tiaras
      2015 – 2017
    • Northland Cathedral Social Media

      Graphic Design
      Some Instagram posts for @nc.students
      2020 – 2021
    • Bondurant Studios/StyleMuse Magazine

      Modeling
      Class of 2022 "Muse Model"
      2021 – 2022
    • Staley Girl's Tennis

      T-Shirt Design
      I designed the 2021 fan shirt
      2021 – 2021
    • Staley Speech & Debate

      T-Shirt Design
      I designed the front of the 2019 team shirt
      2019 – 2019
    • Cinco de Cello (Cello Quintet)

      Music
      Christmas songs for Sunday church service in December 2017, Performance at District & National Fine Arts Festivals
      2017 – 2018
    • Northland Cathedral Youth Choir

      Singing
      Winter Concert, Christmas Caroling @ The Benton House
      2017 – 2017
    • Assemblies of God Fine Arts Festival

      Photography & Mixed Media
      Photograph of bridge at Lake Maurer received a superior rating at the 2021 Assemblies of God National Fine Arts Festival
      2016 – Present
    • Northland Cathedral Youth Worship Band

      Music
      Cellist in the youth worship band
      2016 – 2021
    • Falcon Philharmonia

      Music
      1st in Large Group @ MSHSAA State
      2015 – 2022

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Northland Cathedral — I preached a sermon to the youth and young adults groups on the subject of body image and importance of life.
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Hillcrest Hope — Collect items the center needed during COVID
      2021 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Dream Center Lakeland — I got to play, eat, do crafts, and ride the school bus with the kids on the Saturday before Easter during a celebration event of the resurrection of Christ! I look forward to volunteering more when I return to school in the fall.
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Strings Fest — Set up & clean up, pass out pamphlets, direct students to rehearsal rooms, & play the cello alongside 5th grade Strings students to help them through the music
      2019 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      NHS — Run the Staley NHS Twitter Account to document student success, announce service project information, & send out reminders
      2021 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Staley Boys Tennis — Manager (gets water, feeds balls, collects scores, fills in for absent players during the warm-up, sets up agility equipment for practices, assists Coach with anything else he needs).
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      SEU Chapel — Greeter
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Speed The Light — Raised over $1,000 for STL by hosting an STL birthday party and selling handmade jewelry to raise funds.
      2011 – 2016
    • Volunteering

      Elementary School Strings Tour — Demonstrate the cello at local elementary schools to encourage 4th graders to join their Strings program
      2019 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Green Carpet Days — As a selected co-leader of the Staley Girls' Tennis informational booth, I answered questions of prospective players and handed out flyers and schedules to encourage students to join the team.
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Rose Brooks Center — Collect items the center needed during COVID
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Make-A-Wish — I created and led a Tape-A-Teacher fundraiser at my high school where students could pay $1 for a piece of duct tape to help stick Mr. Anderson to the wall. We ultimately raised $300 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation through this fundraising event!
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Parent Teacher Conferences — I made gift bags for teachers to enjoy at Parent Teacher Conferences
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Speech & Debate — Judging novice speech & debate rounds at the Truman Novice Tournament, Park Hill Novice Tournament, & Staley Novice Tournament x2
      2019 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Staley Speech & Debate — Run the Staley Speech & Debate Twitter account to announce tournament successes & information
      2021 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Staley High School Freshman First Day — Freshman Leader
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Parents Night Out — Check in students, take kids to each station, walk kids to their parents as they come to pick them up, clean up
      2021 – 2021
    • Advocacy

      Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association — Raise awareness via social media about Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, which I happen to suffer from
      2021 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Freshman Mentor Program — Senior mentor to freshman student at Staley High School
      2021 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Staley Tennis — I taught elementary and middle schoolers the fundamentals of tennis at the annual summer camp week.
      2019 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Scraps KC — Bought & wrapped presents for a homeless man with my friends
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      NC Youth Worship Band — Cellist
      2016 – 2021
    • Advocacy

      HowToLife Movement — I was the March 2021 gospel presenter, which entailed preaching a 20 minute sermon on salvation to my peers at my high school
      2020 – 2021
    • Public Service (Politics)

      Northland Cathedral — Package cookies for voters at Northland Cathedral, a polling location for the 2020 presidential election
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Harvesters — Packaging beverages
      2018 – 2018
    • Volunteering

      Heartland Tree Alliance — Planting trees
      2020 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    The words on my phone screen contorted into distant, incoherent shapes as my eyes became glossed with sharp salty tears. My heart tangibly shattered as hopelessness set in. My help may never be enough. Sean was always there. He was a grade below me, we were in youth group together, we attended the same high school, and we weren’t really friends but I was always aware of his existence. In middle school, we happened to find ourselves in a cello quintet but lost touch afterward. During my senior year, we wound up as stand partners in the orchestra where we reconnected through small talk and passing quips. One day, I shared a song on my Instagram story and he swiped up to tell me he liked that song too. We ended up DMing for hours that night about our similar music tastes. We continued texting every night for weeks, discovering a mutual love for writing. As we began exchanging pieces of writing, I noticed how thematically dark each of his was. I asked him about it and at first, he said he was just being creative, but over time he opened up about how he was truly fixated on death and despair. I tried to help him in every way I knew how, and it seemed to be working until one night he had a new piece of writing to share—his suicide note. It was one in the morning on a Wednesday night in the midst of an ice storm. School would be canceled for the rest of the week. Never in my life had I wished for school more. Sean had agreed as a last-ditch effort to come with me to a counselor’s office to discuss his mental health, but I knew every day that passed stuck in the snow was another day I’d be holding my breath hoping he doesn’t change his mind too soon. He claimed he had only written the note ‘just in case,’ but it ate at my soul like I was already losing him in slow motion. A week later, sitting in Mrs. Thomas’s office, Sean miraculously committed to weekly therapy appointments and decided to choose life, despite how hard it seemed. Sean and I are both now pursuing degrees in creative writing, he has a girlfriend and is happily in a much healthier place. This jarring experience of being emotionally hand-in-hand with a peer teetering on the fringes of life and death has left a profound impact on my life regarding the importance of proactivity in nurturing our own and each other’s mental health. Unfortunately, this awareness hasn’t come entirely secondhand. Less than 24 hours before sitting in the tiny office with Sean and Mrs. Thomas, I was sitting in my youth pastor’s office working through an addiction problem only he knew of. Less than 24 hours after sitting in that office, my beloved cat passed away from sudden cancer. My senior year had already been an insurmountable letdown, I didn't make the varsity tennis team, I didn't have many friends, I was spread too thin between my extracurricular involvement, I was coming to terms with the fact I was likely being groomed by a leader at my church, my amazing debate coach unexpectedly took a job at another school inadvertently ruining my senior season, and life was still trying to find its way back to normalcy after the COVID pandemic. Anxiety and depression underscored my high school years and became debilitating the summer after my first year away at college. Passive suicidal ideation and self-harm crept in, but I nipped them in the bud by beginning therapy, and it has tremendously helped keep me grounded in my faith in God, my career aspirations of writing and becoming an attorney, and my loving relationships with my boyfriend, parents, siblings, friends, and roommates. Unabashedly, I have become a vocal advocate through writing, collegiate speech and debate, social media, and conversationally sharing my experiences with others that there is refreshing hope and more life to live, and it is always better to reach out for help than to fight on your own. No one is ever alone in their feelings, someone is always out there to relate, listen, or help. It is also vital to check in on the ones who have checked in on you, even the strongest-seeming individuals are fighting their own battles too. Most importantly, never give up. If you find yourself unable to bear the weight of this world any longer, there is still breath in your lungs because there is a plan and purpose that hasn't come to fruition yet, and while everything seems grim now, it is exciting to grasp the inherent truth that there is something of importance in store for you ahead. God knit you in your mother's womb with intentionality, and He wants to bless you and through you, if you just hold on. If you find yourself tirelessly trying to save someone in your life, remember to take care of yourself too. Your mental health matters as well, so bringing a trusted adult or professional into the situation can not only lighten the heaviness you are experiencing but give you stronger hope on behalf of the one you're caring for. It has been four years now that I've begun wearing a semicolon necklace symbolic of the unwavering truth that there is always another breath to breathe, another step to take, another laugh to share, another hug to feel, another sunrise to watch, and another day worth living for. <3 *Names changed for anonymity
    Trever David Clark Memorial Scholarship
    The words on my phone screen contorted into distant, incoherent shapes as my eyes became glossed with sharp salty tears. My heart tangibly shattered as hopelessness set in. My help may never be enough. Sean was always there. He was a grade below me, we were in youth group together, we attended the same high school, and we weren’t really friends but I was always aware of his existence. In middle school, we happened to find ourselves in a cello quintet but lost touch afterward. During my senior year, we wound up as stand partners in the orchestra where we reconnected through small talk and passing quips. One day, I shared a song on my Instagram story and he swiped up to tell me he liked that song too. We ended up DMing for hours that night about our similar music tastes. We continued texting every night for weeks, discovering a mutual love for writing. As we began exchanging pieces of writing, I noticed how thematically dark each of his was. I asked him about it and at first, he said he was just being creative, but over time he opened up about how he was truly fixated on death and despair. I tried to help him in every way I knew how, and it seemed to be working until one night he had a new piece of writing to share—his suicide note. It was one in the morning on a Wednesday night in the midst of an ice storm. School would be canceled for the rest of the week. Never in my life had I wished for school more. Sean had agreed as a last-ditch effort to come with me to a counselor’s office to discuss his mental health, but I knew every day that passed stuck in the snow was another day I’d be holding my breath hoping he doesn’t change his mind too soon. He claimed he had only written the note ‘just in case,’ but it ate at my soul like I was already losing him in slow motion. A week later, sitting in Mrs. Thomas’s office, Sean miraculously committed to weekly therapy appointments and decided to choose life, despite how hard it seemed. Sean and I are both now pursuing degrees in creative writing, he has a girlfriend and is happily in a much healthier place. This jarring experience of being emotionally hand-in-hand with a peer teetering on the fringes of life and death has left a profound impact on my life regarding the importance of proactivity in nurturing our own and each other’s mental health. Unfortunately, this awareness hasn’t come entirely secondhand. Less than 24 hours before sitting in the tiny office with Sean and Mrs. Thomas, I was sitting in my youth pastor’s office working through an addiction problem only he knew of. Less than 24 hours after sitting in that office, my beloved cat passed away from sudden cancer. Anxiety and depression underscored my high school years and became debilitating the summer after my first year away at college. Passive suicidal ideation and self-harm crept in, but I nipped them in the bud by beginning therapy, and it has tremendously helped keep me grounded in my faith in God, my career goals of writing and becoming an attorney, and loving relationships with my boyfriend, parents, siblings, friends, and roommates. I have become an advocate through writing and sharing my experiences with others that there is refreshing hope and more life to live, and it is always better to reach out for help than to fight alone <3 *Names changed for anonymity
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    Slowly easing out of bed, careful not to wake my husband, I stretch my sore legs from yesterday's tennis match, preparing them for a long day in heels where I'll spend my day representing my clients in court, cheering for my daughter in her 4th-grade talent show, and attending a women's Bible study, all before coming back to bed this evening.
    Pro-Life Advocates Scholarship
    Swaying in a warm embrace, my eldest half-brother and mom shared a loving dance surrounded by friends and family. Alan is often stoically unemotional and he hates being the center of attention. In preparation for the wedding ritual, he and our contrastingly hyper-emotional mother agreed to small talk through their dance and keep the tears inside. Despite his typical nature and efforts, amid their dance, he caught our mother’s eyes, leaned toward her ear, and whispered something just before melting into her as waterfalls streamed down his face and onto her silky pink dress. A salty glaze began to warp my vision as I glanced around the room, no dry eyes in sight. I imagine only a few people in that room had seen him cry before. Curiosity crept inside me a few days later as the commotion calmed, so I asked our mom what he said before breaking down in her arms. She looked at me, getting emotional just thinking of the significance of his words, then sputtered, “Thank you for having me.” My eyes welled up too knowing exactly what those words meant. Our mother was a gifted student, beautiful, intelligent, ambitious, and just beginning her undergraduate studies at nineteen years old when she discovered she was pregnant. As a young unmarried Christian girl, this brought immense shame and detriment to her life. Her parents were disappointed, she lost her friends, dropped out of college, and whimsically married her boyfriend for some sense of stability. With her future dripping down the drain, she considered getting an abortion to sweep the issue under the rug and try to revert back to her original plans. Her faith in Jesus was stronger than that temptation though, so she prayed for guidance as her life was uprooted and chose life for her unborn child. She believed life begins at conception and every life is a blessing and knitted in the womb with purpose by God our Creator. After a decade, she divorced the father of her two children, Alan and Luke. She met my dad, moved from Virginia to Missouri, and got pregnant out of wedlock again, this time with me. Faced with another tough decision, she yet again considered abortion to reduce the challenges of raising an angsty teen and wild child, moving halfway across the country, struggling to make ends meet, and figuring out co-parenting with this man she recently started dating. Luckily, her faith held strong again and I am here today as living proof of her difficult decision to value life at conception. Unfolding into a beautiful narrative of how unplanned babies have shaped our family, my parents married shortly after my conception and have been happily wed for twenty years, Alan and his wife are expecting their first child in October, Luke is living with his best friends and working in logistics for a trucking company, and I am the first traditional college student in our family, pursuing a career in law. My family was woven together due to my mother’s courageous decision to choose life. As a Christian evangelical speaker and president of my university’s debate team, I have spoken to many crowds and have continually shared my story and why it is so crucial to value every life God brings into this world.
    Share Your Poetry Scholarship
    His Forbidden Words Beautiful, That’s what he called me. Pretty, Was how he described me. Attractive, Is how he referred to me. Cute, Is how he flattered me. Perfection, Is what he compared me to. I love you, Rolled sweetly off his tongue. Platonically— of course. Inside jokes, Insider information. Jealous inquisitions, Inappropriate interrogations. Compliments, Connections. Each communicated with Caution, Precision, Ambiguity, Subtlety. He is careful, Not to let Her hear or see, The forbidden words. He’s sneaky like the night, In the brightest daylight. His charm encapsulates me, Despite my knowing better. His affirmations are like an elixir, Concocted with A taste of euphoria, A touch of seduction. A remedy, Perfectly curated To alleviate my every insecurity. Trust grows Rapidly, Like wildfire. Uncontrollable, Untamed. Boundaries erode, Lines blur, As an illicit friendship forms. The scale begins to settle, As the teetering subsides, And the imbalance fades. Somewhere along the line, I came to realize, That I am in Far over my head. Such an understanding begs the question: Is it too good to be true, Or too bad to be false?
    Growing with Gabby Scholarship
    In January, two of my close friends got married. In February, I helped a friend out of severe suicidal ideation and my lifelong pet cat died of cancer. In March, I was a bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding and started going to therapy. In April, I went to my senior prom and found a new friend group. In May, I graduated high school. In June, I had my first kiss, learned to disc golf, and worked a tumultuous week as a youth camp counselor. In July, I made the tough decision to stop going to the church I had spent my entire life attending. In August, I experienced an intimate romance, a breakup, and then moved into college halfway across the country into a suite with 8 girls. In September, I got into a new relationship and shortly thereafter experienced another breakup. In October, I went undefeated in my first college debate tournament. In November, I turned 19 and spent my first Thanksgiving away from home. In December, I came home after four months, reconnected with friends and family, and discovered my uncle is dating my middle school crush’s mom. 2022 was a year full of monumental endings, beginnings, and surprises. Despite the many highs and lows of this year, I have grown substantially. My faith in God deepened, my social anxiety dwindled, my independence bolstered, and most significantly, my self-worth was realized. Starting this year, I was afraid of my own willpower, believing I was undeserving of anything good, and thinking I wouldn’t survive even the slightest blow. It has been revolutionarily empowering persevering through more loss and change than I’ve ever endured. I now recognize my resilience. Introspection and reflection have been vital elements of my self-growth journey. Analyzing my mistakes and missteps taught me valuable life lessons. Through this process, I have learned to receive the grace of God, break out of cycles of self-doubt and shame, move on from unforeseeable changes, and set appropriate boundaries and standards. Both breakups taught me what not to do in future relationships. I used to believe I didn’t deserve true love, but after settling for less than that—twice—I realized my worth. My past mistakes didn’t demolish my value; I wasn’t damaged goods like I once believed. That recognition helped me achieve a place of forgiveness for mistakes I had been holding against myself for years. In a year where everything has seemingly changed, some integral pieces of my life remained steadily the same. My passions for philanthropic endeavors, a future law career, and academic excellence were unwavering. My religiosity was surely challenged, but even amid the church hurt, I maintained my relationship with God. My gastrointestinal health stayed intact which was miraculous considering I have undergone many tests, procedures, diagnoses, medicinal concoctions, and unfavorable symptoms. Lastly, my appreciation for my support system held strong throughout this jarring year. As 2023 approaches, I look forward to continuing my journey of self-growth. I seek to improve my physical and spiritual health by creating consistent nourishing habits. I am no longer meekly afraid and ashamed, instead, I am kicking off the new year disciplined and determined to holistically better myself!
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    Twentieth-century Author Rebecca West once said, “It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” I believe as I transition from high school to college I will be embarking on this journey, completely submitting to my passions. High school was a time of discovery where I uncovered many passions that were buried in the depths of my soul, awaiting their time to shine. College will be a time of equipping myself to fulfill the calling that each of these passions demands. Most profoundly, I am passionate about helping those in need; particularly, victims of heinous human rights violations. For this reason, I will begin pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies next Fall at Southeastern University. My ultimate career goal is to become an attorney who upholds the International Humanitarian Law and prosecutes those who violate it. Additionally, I am passionate about God and spreading the gospel with everything I do. I have already preached on multiple occasions in various venues and have worked as an intern to my youth pastor, all of which have given me insight into my strengths in ministerial leadership. My youth pastor even frequently quips that I am already hired on his future pastoral staff. I would love to join his team one day and serve God through my career efforts, which is why I will be double-majoring next school year, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies which will fulfill my Assemblies of God ordination requirement. From there, my goal would be to become an evangelist or an associate pastor, either of which would coincide with my law career. Overall, I am eager to let passion take the wheel, steering my career in the most impactful direction!
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    Twentieth-century Author Rebecca West once said, “It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” I believe as I transition from high school to college I will be embarking on this journey, completely submitting to my passions. High school was a time of discovery where I uncovered many passions that were buried in the depths of my soul, awaiting their time to shine. College will be a time of equipping myself to fulfill the calling that each of these passions demands. Most profoundly, I am passionate about helping those in need; particularly, victims of heinous human rights violations. For this reason, I will begin pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies next Fall at Southeastern University. My ultimate career goal is to become an attorney who upholds the International Humanitarian Law and prosecutes those who violate it. Additionally, I am passionate about God and spreading the gospel with everything I do. I have already preached on multiple occasions in various venues and have worked as an intern to my youth pastor, all of which have given me insight into my strengths in ministerial leadership. My youth pastor even frequently quips that I am already hired on his future pastoral staff. I would love to join his team one day and serve God through my career efforts, which is why I will be double-majoring next school year, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies which will fulfill my Assemblies of God ordination requirement. From there, my goal would be to become an evangelist or an associate pastor, either of which would coincide with my law career. Overall, I am eager to let passion take the wheel, steering my career in the most impactful direction!
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    Misdiagnoses plagued my childhood, causing constant confusion, pain, and nausea. I was eventually diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) at twelve years old, and with severe lactose intolerance at fourteen years old. I missed out on many important events, school days, and even normal life activities due to my untreated illnesses. I underwent many blood tests, two colonoscopies, an endoscopy, a barium swallow exam, and nearly every variation of allergy testing that exists in the modern medical world. This traumatic underbelly of my childhood is something only a few people know about, but it has impacted my life in many profound ways. I believe this aspect of my childhood has fueled my unrelenting motivation to succeed, knowing the adversity I have overcome to get where I am today. I also believe this part of my life has left me continually grateful for everything I have been able to accomplish since receiving a proper diagnosis. When I was little, I never imagined I would be healthy enough to be a varsity athlete. I never imagined I would be healthy enough to consistently speak in front of people. I never imagined I would be healthy. I am incredibly thankful for being able to overcome this debilitating condition, but my heart still hurts for all who are currently stuck as the little girl I once was, wondering if they will ever be healthy enough to achieve their dreams. As a result, I am in the process of becoming a social media volunteer for the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association (CVSA), the leading nonprofit organization conducting and distributing research on CVS. I hope that this small contribution can provide helpful resources and tips to those who are suffering just as I once did.
    Bold Legacy Scholarship
    L.E.G.A.C.Y. Leadership Effort Gracefulness Attitude Competitiveness Yes We Can! This is what legacy has meant to me for the past four years. Every high school tennis season I have strived to uphold each aspect of our legacy acronym. I have been nominated by my teammates for each award, I have received the Attitude Award, and I have received a coach’s nomination for the Competitive Award. While these accolades are commendable and recognize the hard work I have put in on and off the court, I believe my legacy ought to extend far beyond a little marble plaque and a cheesy acronym. I hope my immediate legacy revolves around my servitude towards my community and my passion for helping others in everything I do. As president of the National Honor Society at Staley High School, I created and led a school-wide “Tape-A-Teacher” fundraiser, which raised $300 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have also been a kid leader at the annual Parent’s Night Out event, planted trees with the Heartland Tree Alliance, collected items for Hillcrest Hope and the Rose Brooks Center, made goodie bags for teachers, decorated Valentine’s Day cards for nursing home residents, and led an informational booth at the annual Haunted Hallways event. Through my church, I have played the cello in the youth worship band for six years, served food and volunteered as a greeter at a women’s dinner, packaged cookies for voters in the 2020 presidential election, and have preached at various events. In my career, I aspire to be a voice of advocacy and justice for human trafficking victims and abused children. I want to be remembered for the legal action I took to protect these vulnerable individuals. “History has its eyes on me,” and it will see a selfless love for helping others.
    Bold Selfless Acts Scholarship
    Serving others with every skill I develop, in every hobby I enjoy, and through every activity I join has been vital to my journey in helping others. Using my passions to serve others has always been an integral part of my life. As a varsity tennis player, not only have I excelled on my high school team, but I have also annually led local elementary and middle schoolers in tennis games and instructional camps. As a dedicated cellist, I have demonstrated the cello at local elementary schools to encourage students to join their Strings program and have devoted six years to leading worship at Northland Cathedral every week. As the captain of the speech and debate team, I have dedicated weekends to judging novice tournaments to give new competitors feedback and assistance. Additionally, my role as the president of the National Honor Society chapter at Staley High School has opened doors for new service opportunities. I created and led a school-wide “Tape-A-Teacher” fundraiser, which raised $300 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have also been a kid leader at the annual Parent’s Night Out event, planted trees with the Heartland Tree Alliance, collected cleaning products for Hillcrest Hope and the Rose Brooks Center, made goody bags for teachers, decorated Valentine’s Day cards for nursing home residents, and led a booth at the annual Haunted Hallways event. Furthermore, through my church, I have had countless opportunities to help others. In addition to my service in the youth worship band, I have served food and volunteered as a greeter at a women’s dinner, packaged cookies for voters in the 2020 presidential election, preached at various events, and have served as an intern to my youth pastor. I love helping others and plan to continue my life of servitude in all my future endeavors!
    Bold Music Scholarship
    During a tornado watch in the dingy old youth camp chapel, I heard Bethel Music’s “Raise a Hallelujah” for the first time. Between gusts of wind, cracks of thunder, and rain leaking through the moldy ‘70s ceiling tiles, my friends and I jumped up and down singing the lyrics “I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm / louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar.” The irony of the literal depiction of the figurative lyrics made the song so powerful in that moment. As a devout Christian, I believe that relying on God’s grace and strength is the best way to achieve victory and longevity in every “storm” I encounter. Every time I listen to “Raise a Hallelujah,” I think of how we passed the time during the storm praising and worshipping God, shifting our focus away from the anxieties surrounding the severe weather. This experience provided clarity and conviction for me to apply this logic to other areas of my life where I get caught up in the worrisome little things opposed to trusting that God will protect me and equip me with everything I need and more. When I hear “Raise a Hallelujah,” I also think of the friends I first sang the song alongside. Unfortunately, they have since abandoned their faith. This song reminds me to pray for them, and to continue to show them love and kindness regardless of the circumstances. As a cellist in my church’s youth worship band, I have also had the opportunity to play this song when leading worship. When I witness others being encouraged by this song, it always encourages me even more. “Raise a Hallelujah” has inspired me as a Christian, friend, musician, and person. If you listen to it, I hope it inspires you too.
    Bold Helping Others Scholarship
    Serving others with every skill I develop, in every hobby I enjoy, and through every activity I join has been vital to my journey in helping others. Using my passions to serve others has always been an integral part of my life. As a varsity tennis player, not only have I excelled on my high school team, but I have also annually led local elementary and middle schoolers in tennis games and instructional camps. As a dedicated cellist, I have demonstrated the cello at local elementary schools to encourage students to join their Strings program and have devoted six years to leading worship at Northland Cathedral every week. As the captain of the speech and debate team, I have dedicated weekends to judging novice tournaments to give new competitors feedback and assistance. Additionally, my role as the president of the National Honor Society chapter at Staley High School has opened doors for new service opportunities. I created and led a school-wide “Tape-A-Teacher” fundraiser, which raised $300 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have also been a kid leader at the annual Parent’s Night Out event, planted trees with the Heartland Tree Alliance, collected cleaning products for Hillcrest Hope and the Rose Brooks Center, made goody bags for teachers, decorated Valentine’s Day cards for nursing home residents, and led a booth at the annual Haunted Hallways event. Furthermore, through my church, I have had countless opportunities to help others. In addition to my service in the youth worship band, I have served food and volunteered as a greeter at a women’s dinner, packaged cookies for voters in the 2020 presidential election, preached at various events, and have served as an intern to my youth pastor. I love helping others and plan to continue my life of servitude in all my future endeavors!
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    Serving others with every skill I develop, in every hobby I enjoy, and through every activity I join has been vital to my journey in helping others. Using my passions to serve others has always been an integral part of my life. As a varsity tennis player, not only have I excelled on my high school team, but I have also annually led local elementary and middle schoolers in tennis games and instructional camps. As a dedicated cellist, I have demonstrated the cello at local elementary schools to encourage students to join their Strings program and have devoted six years to leading worship at Northland Cathedral every week. As the captain of the speech and debate team, I have dedicated weekends to judging novice tournaments to give new competitors feedback and assistance. Additionally, my role as the president of the National Honor Society chapter at Staley High School has opened doors for new service opportunities. I created and led a school-wide “Tape-A-Teacher” fundraiser, which raised $300 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have also been a kid leader at the annual Parent’s Night Out event, planted trees with the Heartland Tree Alliance, collected cleaning products for Hillcrest Hope and the Rose Brooks Center, made goody bags for teachers, decorated Valentine’s Day cards for nursing home residents, and led a booth at the annual Haunted Hallways event. Furthermore, through my church, I have had countless opportunities to help others. In addition to my service in the youth worship band, I have served food and volunteered as a greeter at a women’s dinner, packaged cookies for voters in the 2020 presidential election, preached at various events, and have served as an intern to my youth pastor. I love helping others and plan to continue my life of servitude in all my future endeavors!
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    Twentieth-century Author Rebecca West once said, “It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” I believe as I transition from high school to college I will be embarking on this journey, completely submitting to my passions. High school was a time of discovery where I uncovered many passions that were buried in the depths of my soul, awaiting their time to shine. College will be a time of equipping myself to fulfill the calling that each of these passions demands. Most profoundly, I am passionate about helping those in need; particularly, victims of heinous human rights violations. For this reason, I will begin pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies next Fall at Southeastern University. My ultimate career goal is to become an attorney who upholds the International Humanitarian Law and prosecutes those who violate it. Additionally, I am passionate about God and spreading the gospel with everything I do. I have already preached on multiple occasions in various venues and have worked as an intern to my youth pastor, all of which have given me insight into my strengths in ministerial leadership. My youth pastor even frequently quips that I am already hired on his future pastoral staff. I would love to join his team one day and serve God through my career efforts, which is why I will be double-majoring next school year, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies which will fulfill my Assemblies of God ordination requirement. From there, my goal would be to become an evangelist or an associate pastor, either of which would coincide with my law career. Overall, I am eager to let passion take the wheel, steering my career in the most impactful direction!
    Bold Passion Scholarship
    Twentieth-century Author Rebecca West once said, “It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” I believe as I transition from high school to college I will be embarking on this journey, completely submitting to my passions. High school was a time of discovery where I uncovered many passions that were buried in the depths of my soul, awaiting their time to shine. College will be a time of equipping myself to fulfill the calling that each of these passions demands. Most profoundly, I am passionate about helping those in need; particularly, victims of heinous human rights violations. For this reason, I will begin pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies next Fall at Southeastern University. My ultimate career goal is to become an attorney who upholds the International Humanitarian Law and prosecutes those who violate it. Additionally, I am passionate about God and spreading the gospel with everything I do. I have already preached on multiple occasions in various venues and have worked as an intern to my youth pastor, all of which have given me insight into my strengths in ministerial leadership. My youth pastor even frequently quips that I am already hired on his future pastoral staff. I would love to join his team one day and serve God through my career efforts, which is why I will be double-majoring next school year, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies which will fulfill my Assemblies of God ordination requirement. From there, my goal would be to become an evangelist or an associate pastor, either of which would coincide with my law career. Overall, I am eager to let passion take the wheel, steering my career in the most impactful direction!
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    Twentieth-century Author Rebecca West once said, “It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.” I believe as I transition from high school to college I will be embarking on this journey, completely submitting to my passions. High school was a time of discovery where I uncovered many passions that were buried in the depths of my soul, awaiting their time to shine. College will be a time of equipping myself to fulfill the calling that each of these passions demand. Most profoundly, I am passionate about helping those in need; particularly, victims of heinous human rights violations. For this reason, I will begin pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies next Fall at Southeastern University. My ultimate career goal is to become an attorney who upholds the International Humanitarian Law and prosecutes those who violate it. Additionally, I am passionate about God and spreading the gospel with everything I do. I have already preached on multiple occasions in various venues and have worked as an intern to my youth pastor, all of which has given me insight to my strengths in ministerial leadership. My youth pastor even frequently quips that I am already hired on his future pastoral staff. I would love to join his team one day and serve God through my career efforts, which is why I will be double-majoring next school year, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies which will fulfill my Assemblies of God ordination requirement. From there, my goal would be to become an evangelist or an associate pastor, either of which would coincide with my law career. Overall, I am eager to let passion take the wheel, steering my career in the most impactful direction!
    Pettable Pet Lovers Scholarship
    Don't let the cat out of the bag! Fear not! Smokey looks pretty comfy :)
    Pandemic's Box Scholarship
    Confined to my computer and creativity, my speech and debate career thrived amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Opposed to physically attending tirelessly long weekend tournaments, competitions were conducted online instead. Debate events were held via Zoom, while speech events became asynchronous. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in more events, in less time. I began the 2020-2021 school year as a no-name, non-ranked debater. By the end of the school year, I had conference medals in every event I competed in, had earned fifth place in extemporaneous speaking at the MSHSAA district tournament, and best of all, fulfilled my dream of qualifying for nationals. I became the first student in Staley High School history to compete at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in congressional debate, and the second female student in Staley High School history to ever compete at the national tournament in any event. By August 2021, I was ranked 20th in the Heart of America District and was ranked 23rd in congressional debate in the state of Missouri. I attribute each of these successes entirely to the flexibility of online competition. From the comfort of my bedroom, I flourished into a fierce public speaker!
    AMPLIFY Chess Masters Scholarship
    Winner
    Victory was always more important than a cheesy medal or trophy. As the only girl in my elementary school's chess club, it meant proving that a girl could be just as strategic, analytical, and swift as a boy. It meant leading the way for other female chess players. Being the only girl in the chess club all those years ago laid the groundwork for the life of strong, female leadership I now lead. I have become a varsity tennis player, where I have used my mental strategy than physical skill. I have become a varsity speech and debater, where I have had to think three steps ahead before every word I say. I have become the class of 2022 National Honor Society president at my high school, where I work with my fellow female officers to lead hundreds of students in community service projects in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I have become a seasoned cellist, where I have utilized discipline and focus. I acquired each and every one of these skills through my younger years of rigorous competitive chess. I do not believe I would have achieved these goals had I not gained the invaluable skillset used in every game of chess. As for my future, I will quite easily use the tools chess has taught me. As an attorney, I will have to be analytical and strategic on a constant basis, just like chess. The compromises that occur in settlements will be much like the compromises made in chess when a knight is traded for a bishop. I will begin as a pawn, or an associate, with the hope of completing a successful journey to become a queen, or a judge. Overall, everything I have achieved and have yet to achieve can be broken down into a game of chess and can derive from the fundamental skills grown in every game. It is especially evident how chess played a major role in my confidence as a female leader and in my abilities to strategize and analyze.
    Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
    I absolutely love public speaking. As a speech and debater, I usually discuss topics like increasing the minimum wage, regulation of international usage of militaristic weaponry, or whether voting ought to be mandatory or not. Contrarily, preaching a twenty minute sermon to my peers at my public high school was far out of my comfort zone. However, when a leader from the student-led HowToLife Movement reached out asking me to preach at the event, I accepted the offer. It ended up being the most fulfilling experience I’ve ever had, sharing my faith on such a large stage with my peers.