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Summer Johnson

1915

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Finalist

Bio

Just as Jason Dean, from the Heathers 1988 Film, once said: Greetings and Salutations. My name is Summer Johnson and I am going to pursue a career in film and animation to become a director. In the fall of 2024, I will be a Freshman attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The degree I am going for is called a BFA in Studio. SAIC has interdisciplinary education which allows its students to deal with a variety of different arts and mediums without having to change majors. Due to my career goals, I will be heavily involved with the Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department. Throughout my life, I have always been interested in the arts, especially animation. In my old high school, I got accepted into an Animation and Digital media program called the Digital Media Academy. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend one year before I moved away. When I did move away, I still stayed in contact with one of the members so I could help him with group projects whenever I could. I have also attended many camps where I could learn to develop or apply my skills (like Creator X and ID tech camp).

Education

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2028
  • Majors:
    • Film/Video and Photographic Arts
    • Fine and Studio Arts

Henryetta Hs

High School
2020 - 2024
  • GPA:
    3.7

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Fine and Studio Arts
    • Film/Video and Photographic Arts
    • Graphic Communications
    • Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Motion Pictures and Film

    • Dream career goals:

      Film Director

      Arts

      • OSU-IT Final project for Intro to Film

        Videography
        Film trailer.
        2024 – 2024
      • Digital Media Academy

        Animation
        Storyboard project
        2020 – 2023
      • Beggs Frontier Day

        Drawing
        Charcoal Drawing
        2023 – 2024

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        National Honor Society — My job was to help set up the Winter Formal Dance. I did this by collaborating with fellow members to gather decorations and materials to transform the cafeteria.
        2023 – 2023
      • Volunteering

        National Honor Society — I welcomed people to the Veteran's Day assembly, handed out pamphlets, and explain where to sit. I also instructed my fellow members who was working with me to do the same.
        2023 – 2023
      • Volunteering

        National Honor Society — Donating books for foster children in need of reading material and creating cards for DHS employees who work with these children.
        2023 – 2023

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Politics

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Entrepreneurship

      Curtis Holloway Memorial Scholarship
      I still use the methods from elementary school for basic math. I count with my fingers; I rhyme using songs. Those rhyming methods were taught to me in third grade to learn multiplication. For example, I count the multiplications of sevens in the tune of ‘My Fair Lady.’ I have to use those childish methods to complete a math problem. I used to be ashamed of using old rhymes and my hands to function in school, but my sister encouraged me to use them because they were methods that worked. My sister has to be the person in my life who made the greatest impact on my education. Even since fifth grade, my sister helped me out with homework. Especially math homework. My dad was naturally gifted at math and that made him too impatient to help me through it, so my sister took the role to give me help after school. Before her help, I would be confused and constantly failed at math. With her help, I was no longer ages behind in class. My sister and I both have considered the possibility of me having a learning disability, but our parents are too old-fashioned to even consider that option, so we opt for extra help after school. She has also helped me with other classwork, but I managed fine without her help anyway, so it was never a big focus. My sister was also one of the biggest reasons why I decided to pursue the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Ever since our mom died a few years ago, I have been contemplating what career I should choose. I was juggling different ideas like being a psychologist, an archivist, an artist, or an animator. I didn’t care, all I wanted was a job that I wouldn’t be miserable in. My Mom never even went to college because she couldn’t afford it so she worked an office job almost every hour of the day so we could live comfortable lives. I was looking at art colleges for fun but was captivated by SAIC’s interdisciplinary education. I applied to the school and got accepted a month later with a 13k-a-year scholarship! My father wasn’t impressed, but my sister was always happy about any progress I made so she was excited when I told her that I got accepted. She defends my decision and even makes sure I do what I need to do so I can go to this college. With her encouragement, I even got motivated enough to decide what I wanted to do in the future. I am going to become a Film or Animation Director. My sister helped me out with my past, present, and future schooling. In all honesty, she is the main reason I am not discouraged when thinking about my future. Through tutoring me with math and encouraging my pursuit of my future college, I am grateful for all she has done for me.
      Mental Health Scholarship for Women
      I didn’t know people were supposed to go to the doctor every year until the last year of high school. I thought it was just a ‘rich person thing’ for most of my life so it was a massive surprise when my friends found out the last time, I went to the doctor was a month after I graduated from elementary school. So now I know that going to the doctor is normal, I am no longer petrified to think about scheduling a doctor's appointment to make sure my health is fine. Honestly, I am still nervous when entering the hospital to get a check-up and shots. It’s instinctual to perform in front of others so it’s an automatic reflex to tell my medical doctors that everything is fine when there is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Last time, I forgot to tell them that I needed my bloodwork done because they wanted to get my shots in. This was understandable because many shots were overdue and required immediate attention. I guess some of the anxiety I face also comes from being a lesbian in the South. While I mostly trust the female staff I have interacted with at my hospital, I still have a fear of being discriminated against. I remember once when they tried to get me on birth control ‘just in case I want to sleep with any guys,’ and I didn’t dare to tell them why I didn’t need birth control. The ladies didn’t understand why I didn’t want free birth control, but they did respect my choice and left it alone. The topic of mental health and illness is very stigmatized in my household, I am certain we all have something that could be diagnosed in the DSM-5, but we all seem to ignore it. It doesn’t help that my parents are both old-fashioned and don’t have a good perspective on that topic. They could barely even grasp the importance of physical health, so mental health is practically forbidden. My biological mother had bipolar disorder, so I’ve been cautious about what I feel and do. Under my father’s care, I don’t feel comfortable asking for a therapist or counselor, so I am going to seek mental health resources once I am officially attending college. My school gives some free appointments, so I am planning to write my concerns, so I don’t blank out and tell the professional that I am just fine. Now that I know going to medical professionals is important, I can’t wait or waste any opportunity I have to maintain good health. I have faced the anxiety faced when exploring the new environment of being in the doctor's office, the fear of being a lesbian in the south, and the mental health stigma in my family. Despite my challenges, I am determined to keep up with my physical and mental health to live the best, positive life I can.
      Lemon-Aid Scholarship
      Usually, Oklahoma’s tornados aren’t a huge deal to me. I may be a born and raised Californian, but I have gotten used to all the strange weather since I moved to Henryetta. Last week was a different situation though. Both of my family members were in different states and left me to take care of the house while they were gone. My area was hit with three warnings: a storm warning, a flood warning, and a tornado warning! With this triple threat, I couldn’t help but start shaking like a panicked chihuahua. When one of my friends offered to call me so I wouldn’t be alone, I was deeply grateful and accepted the figurative hand she held out for me to take. Calling someone is a sacred practice to me. Rarely do I ever have the courage to call someone, even when I warn them. The only time that I am ever on the phone with someone is either during a major crisis or when I need to do a school project with them. One of the last times I called someone was the day my mother died, and I desperately needed someone to distract me from the grief. Most people don’t call me first either, so I have become used to being the person who takes the first step on being on the phone with someone. I didn’t think about calling someone on that stormy day. My mind was going through catastrophic loops over every little facet of my life, including my relationships with my friends and family. Since I was a child, I have always felt lonely despite having friends, so I grew up insecure regarding my interpersonal relationships. “Do they even care about me?” I ask myself even though I just spent a conflict-free weekend with my friends at my house. It’s like my brain craves drama or the idea of spending life alone. “They care about me,” I answer back to myself when I saw that text pop up from my phone. It was a small act of kindness, but it meant a lot to me. I spent an hour or two on the phone with my friend as I watched the storm rage outside. We discussed other topics than just the storm; my friend ranted about some new game she got called ‘Fear & Hunger’. When the storm settled down, I was no longer in anguish in my own home. I thanked my friend for the time she spent with me before I went to bed. Throughout the night, I slept without worry or fear about the natural disasters that raged in Oklahoma.
      LGBTQ+ Wellness in Action Scholarship
      I didn’t know people were supposed to go to the doctor every year until the last year of high school. I thought it was just a ‘rich person thing’ for most of my life so it was a massive surprise when my friends found out the last time, I went to the doctor was a month after I graduated from elementary school. So now I know that going to the doctor is normal, I am no longer petrified to think about scheduling a doctor's appointment to make sure my health is fine. Honestly, I am still nervous when entering the hospital to get a check-up and shots. It’s instinctual to perform in front of others so it’s an automatic reflex to tell my medical doctors that everything is fine when there is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Last time, I forgot to tell them that I needed my bloodwork done because they wanted to get my shots in. This was understandable because many shots were overdue and required immediate attention. I guess some of the anxiety I face also comes from being a lesbian in the South. While I mostly trust the female staff I have interacted with at my hospital, I still have a fear of being discriminated against. I remember once when they tried to get me on birth control ‘just in case I want to sleep with any guys,’ and I didn’t dare to tell them why I didn’t need birth control. The ladies didn’t understand why I didn’t want free birth control, but they did respect my choice and left it alone. The topic of mental health and illness is very stigmatized in my household, I am certain we all have something that could be diagnosed in the DSM-5, but we all seem to ignore it. It doesn’t help that my parents are both old-fashioned and don’t have a good perspective on that topic. They could barely even grasp the importance of physical health, so mental health is practically forbidden. My biological mother had bipolar disorder, so I’ve been cautious about what I feel and do. Under my father’s care, I don’t feel comfortable asking for a therapist or counselor, so I am going to seek mental health resources once I am officially attending college. My school gives some free appointments, so I am planning to write my concerns, so I don’t blank out and tell the professional that I am just fine. Now that I know going to medical professionals is important, I can’t wait or waste any opportunity I have to maintain good health. I have faced the anxiety faced when exploring the new environment of being in the doctor's office, the fear of being a lesbian in the south, and the mental health stigma in my family. Despite my challenges, I am determined to keep up with my physical and mental health to live the best, positive life I can.
      Lewis Hollins Memorial Art Scholarship
      Hiding under blankets, lights off, screen brightness up, volume on medium, eyes glued. We watch with intensity as the main character looks up and BAM! The demon screeches as it jumps off the wardrobe and leaps onto the main character! This was my first experience watching a horror film. Ever since the summer my sister put on The Conjuring to a portable DVD watching device, I have found so much enjoyment in any form of scary media. It has become my ultimate passion and motivation in my life. I have picked up so many horror books in my time that my family thinks the world is ending anytime I choose another topic. To me, horror is not just some theme to make someone shiver in their boots. It is a diverse artform that can be molded to educate and entertain the masses. Now it seems like horror can be only used negatively, but I want to change your perception of what horror can do. I know that this genre can be used as a way to bring people together. Imagine all the times people cling to each other at a jump scare and laugh about it later. Imagine all the people who create fun trends centering around redrawing scenes from a movie because they were inspired by the beautiful cinematography. Imagine all the narratives that bring important issues to light and all the stories that make people cry together. Horror can even be more realistic than our high-action superhero movies. We can’t see ourselves in Superman, but we can certainly see parts of ourselves in Sydney Prescot from Scream. These are all ways that horror is a wonderful experience that brings people together for the better. That’s why I want to use my talent and eye for horror to contribute to the community horror creates. I want to be the one who makes people hug each other when the monster lurches at the camera. I want to be the one who encourages people to redraw my artwork in their own style as a community challenge. I want people to see themselves in the characters I create. I often draw or create queer characters/people in horror themes because many of my LGBTQ friends and I relate to things like that. That is why I am applying for this scholarship. I want to be able to do what I dream of accomplishing, which means I need to have the money to attend this school. I don’t wish to burden my family for the choice I made, so I am trying to lessen the stress on them. I am one for going big, so that means going to the top and attending the Art School of the Art Institute of Chicago so I can establish connections with big industry professionals. While network in Chicago, I am going to do internships that can be provided by the college to gain experience as I am studying. These two things will set me up so I can get a job after I graduate and pursue the life I want to have. Then, as I work in the film/animation industry and create projects in the horror industry to give people the representation they both want and need.
      Anime Enthusiast Scholarship
      I’m not sure what my first anime was. Rosario + Vampire, Fruits Basket, Soul Eater, Black Butler, and Princess Tutu were the first few that I remember watching in early elementary school. They were horrible anime for a child’s first anime, but without them my life would have been completely different. Princess Tutu is by far my favorite series that I can watch over and over without getting sick of it. The plot, the music, the design, and the concept are all things that just mold together to rewire my brain every time I watch it. I must admit, Princess Tutu has a dumb name, but it doesn’t stop it from being a beautiful story about fighting against destiny and sacrificing your happy fairytale for the lives of others. It doesn’t emptiness of Madoka Magica’s story, it also starts off making you believe it is a happy anime. As the story grows, you begin to notice that the ending won’t end well for everyone involved. Ahiru, the main character, lives the life of a normal human girl who goes to ballet classes in a fairytale town. The truth is that she is a duck who turned into a human by wearing a pendant. She also has a major crush on her classmate who seems to lack emotion. Spoiler warning: her pendant is a shard of her classmate's heart! She goes on collecting shards throughout the anime and she gives up her humanity to make him feel once more. This was an anime that a kindergarten kid should have never watched, but I am glad I did watch it. I associated myself with Ahiru’s nemesis, Rue, ever since I watched the series. Partially because of her dark hair, partially because of her distant personality and obsession to keep her loved ones close to her. Ignoring that, I wish for anyone to read this grim anime and be capitated with it the same way it captivated me.
      Minecraft Forever Fan Scholarship
      I wasn’t exactly a fan of sandbox games when I was younger, even Minecraft. Sure, I could create whatever I wanted to, but there was no meaning in creating an empty empire alone with no one to share with. That’s why when I got older and decided to play with my friends, I understood the hype of the game. I guess the praise that I got for building got to me. The way my friends and I build are different. My friends tend to build based on videos online, in opposite to them I build straight from my mind. I come to make some mistakes in my process, a predictable error since I do it from scratch. Despite the mistakes, I make new solutions that go with the design of the building. I think that’s why my friends find interest in my creations (whenever they aren’t fighting each other). I don’t use new materials and stick with whatever was up during and before horses were added to Minecraft. My friends tried to get me to use the new materials from the cherry blossom update to not mess with their town aesthetic, so I chose to make a home inside the nearby mountain to do what I wanted to do. I think one of the reasons why I liked being praised for my creations is because I am an artist. An artist’s death isn’t an art block, but the lack of acknowledgment or praise for their artwork. That is why my favorite aspect of the game is not hunting or mining but building in the comfort of my friend’s server.
      Once Upon a #BookTok Scholarship
      Every time I tell someone I hated books as a kid, they are always surprised. Most people in my town view me as an avid reader, reading a new book and finishing it in less than 3 days. The truth is that I never had a good experience with books in elementary school, I would be constantly pushed to read instead of guided towards it. This caused me to be stubborn until sophomore year when I discovered #BookTok while I was scrolling through TikTok. This was what helped me decide to start reading the books that were collecting dust on my shelf. Once I started reading, I got so engrossed in the novel that I would finish it in less than three days. Soon enough I ran out of books and started to use #BookTok for future reading recommendations. From there, I have discovered what types of books I like through trial and error. I had two different sides of #Booktok showing up on my For You Page on TikTok. It seems the app caught wind of my fascination with morbid themes because I often saw videos from the horror novel side of TikTok. Three stories, which I originally found on TikTok, that I believe are must-haves are: Tender is the Flesh, Ace of Spades, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Starting with Tender is the Flesh, this dystopian novel was originally written in Spanish in 2017 but was translated into English in 2020. I have seen both praise and criticism of the novel for its gruesome topics. I view Tender is the Flesh to be a modern version of the classic, 1984, because its setting is in the future from the time it was originally written. It was originally written as a cautionary tale about animal abuse, but it can be used for many other themes. Another book I recommend is a thriller titled Ace of Spades. It switches between the two protagonists: Chiamaka and Devon, who are the only black students in an all-white private high school. The author has official art for the characters, trigger/content warnings, and a playlist for the book if you go on her website. I was never the same after I first read it and I immediately had to take a second reading to see the sickening foreshadowing I missed. My final recommendation is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I have been recommending it for years and I’m glad it’s getting a movie adaptation. The title is almost misleading, making one think it’s about the men she married, but it’s a story about her life being told in seven different sections that are named after her husbands. What caught my eye was the realistic love story of a sapphic couple during the times when homosexuality wasn’t accepted. They weren’t a perfect couple, but that’s what made it special. With these #BookTok recommendations that I have read because of the internet, I found many books and genres that suit my interests. I have come to realize that my ideal bookshelf requires at least one of these themes: complex female characters, LGBTQ2+ characters, mental health/illness, or horror themes. Tender is the Flesh follows horror themes and mental health/illness. Ace of Spades meets all the requirements. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo meets everything except for horror. So, I implore you to check out a popular book recommendation, there is a reason why they all had at least one month of glory. Maybe you’ll find something that changes your entire perception of reading, just like #BookTok did for me.
      Netflix and Scholarships!
      Have you ever watched Carrie? The story where the main character struggles with telekinesis while almost everybody is against her and ends with her becoming a mass murderer when her bullies pour pig blood on her. A Netflix series titled I’m Not Okay With This has an ending scene that draws inspiration from Carrie, but it will subvert every expectation you have if you go into this expecting it to be a modern version of Carrie. Despite I’m Not Okay With This being a discontinued series, it is an incredible show that deserves a lot of praise for all the work people already have put into it! I’m Not Okay with This centers on the protagonist Sydney “Syd” Novak. Syd is a troubled teenager who has problems with keeping her negative attitude and temper in check. A school staff member came up with the solution of keeping a journal as an outlet for her emotions. The only two people she got along with were her brother and her best friend. So, it was almost the end of the world when her best friend Dina started to date a jock named Bradley Lewis. The stress of her wonky social and family life causes violent telekinesis to start manifesting. Throughout the series, Syd struggles with her everyday life as she juggles stabilizing her interpersonal relationships and her developing powers. The topics are explored within this short series in a way that a lot of other shows don’t have. Many mature films depict the action of sex, even if the characters they play are teenagers. While it’s common for teenagers in real life to explore their sexuality, it’s unsettling when actors pretend to be teens having sex. So, it’s a pleasant surprise that this series chose to imply and tell you that the deed happened. Many people dislike the fact that the main character is an edgy teen, but it is good that she is the way she is. Syd is an unreliable narrator/protagonist who struggles with living her everyday life while learning things she didn’t want to know about herself, so it would make sense that she has a dark attitude about everything. Besides, teenagerhood is often gross, uncomfortable, or cringe so it’s unfair to sensor that just to make people like the character. Something very important to me is that the show explores the topic of compulsive heterosexuality in a teenage lesbian. Most shows that depict sapphic characters either don’t tackle the subject of compulsive heterosexuality or don’t make it clear to the audience that it was compulsive heterosexuality. When I first watched this show I was delighted when it showed the active realization that Syd had when she figured out the reason she was never attracted to men. I felt seen and not every show that depicts a lesbian character can do what this show did for me. Overall, everyone should give I’m Not Okay With This a shot. From the homage to Carrie to the discussion of compulsive heterosexuality, this is a great show (especially for younger folk) to watch. It’s not long, but it is worth it to watch every minute they give us. And who knows, maybe if I’m Not Okay With This becomes popular online, Netflix will be willing to renew the series for a second season to continue Sydney’s tale of growing up.
      Big Picture Scholarship
      What happens when a teenager seeks violent revenge against everyone who was involved in the fire that ruined the life of her family? All hell breaks loose in the graduating class as bodies pile onto the bitter winter snow. Liverleaf (2018) is a horror movie adaptation of a manga with the same name. It is a grim, gory story with a bittersweet ending. It highlighted the sensitive subject of bullying and proposed a secret warning to those who don’t take bullying seriously. If I could watch only one movie for the rest of my life, I would choose Liverleaf because of how the story and cinematography rekindled the flame of inspiration and dove straight into my heart. I was exhausted after I finished my portfolio application to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My fingers couldn’t enjoy the movements of a pencil on paper. When I tried to work on something, everything felt like a drag. Due to this, I decided to take a break from art and do other things like scrolling through TikTok. One of the days I was on social media I noticed a trend of artists redrawing a scene from a movie where an arrow is sticking through a camera. I was interested in participating in this trend, but I wanted to watch the movie so I could understand the context of the scene. It took a few days to find a way to watch this foreign movie, but once I did, I immediately got out some popcorn to watch this story. This movie follows a bullied middle school girl. One day, her peers took it too far and decided to set fire to her family. Her parents perished in the fire, but the father managed to save the little sister by acting as a shield against the flame. Even when the protagonist was being supported by two people, it wasn’t enough to heal her wounded spirit. Once she moves in with her grandfather, she decides to enact revenge. The peers who set up the fire dropped like flies as their bodies were left in the snow to rot. The only person she spared was an ex-female friend. In the end, she discovers the only classmate who supported her ended up being a violent monster who equally enjoys both photography and the misery of others. He severely injures the main character when she discovers he took a picture of her dead father in the fire. In a last-minute attempt to destroy the last person who ruined her life, she took a loaded crossbow from the ground and shot him through his camera. At the end of this story, only the spared ex-friend survived. Despite the bitter ending, the movie gave me the right content to bring me back to creating artwork. While I thought of how beautiful the cinematography was, I enjoyingly redrew the camera scene in my style. Each time my pen tapped my tablet, I thought about the little details in the visuals. I will always adore how the vibrant, warm blood spilled contrasted with the pure, cold snow. The gore may have been cheesy at times, but it never took away the glorious parts of the film. Liverleaf is truly a spectacular adaption that deserves to be on everyone’s watchlist. This is my love letter to Liverleaf, my favorite movie of all time. If it were possible, I would watch this movie for the first time again, but alas I will continue to cherish the story I watched in wonder.
      Top Watch Newsletter Movie Fanatics Scholarship
      What happens when a teenager seeks violent revenge against everyone who was involved in the fire that ruined the life of her family? All hell breaks loose in the graduating class as bodies pile onto the bitter winter snow. Liverleaf (2018) is a horror movie adaptation of a manga with the same name. It is a grim, gory story with a bittersweet ending. It highlighted the sensitive subject of bullying and proposed a secret warning to those who don’t take bullying seriously. If I could watch only one movie for the rest of my life, I would choose Liverleaf because of how the story and cinematography rekindled the flame of inspiration and dove straight into my heart. I was exhausted after I finished my portfolio application to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My fingers couldn’t enjoy the movements of a pencil on paper. When I tried to work on something, everything felt like a drag. Due to this, I decided to take a break from art and do other things like scrolling through TikTok. One of the days I was on social media I noticed a trend of artists redrawing a scene from a movie where an arrow is sticking through a camera. I was interested in participating in this trend, but I wanted to watch the movie so I could understand the context of the scene. It took a few days to find a way to watch this foreign movie, but once I did, I immediately got out some popcorn to watch this story. This movie follows a bullied middle school girl. One day, her peers took it too far and decided to set fire to her family. Her parents perished in the fire, but the father managed to save the little sister by acting as a shield against the flame. Even when the protagonist was being supported by two people, it wasn’t enough to heal her wounded spirit. Once she moves in with her grandfather, she decides to enact revenge. The peers who set up the fire dropped like flies as their bodies were left in the snow to rot. The only person she spared was an ex-female friend. In the end, she discovers the only classmate who supported her ended up being a violent monster who equally enjoys both photography and the misery of others. He severely injures the main character when she discovers he took a picture of her dead father in the fire. In a last-minute attempt to destroy the last person who ruined her life, she took a loaded crossbow from the ground and shot him through his camera. At the end of this story, only the spared ex-friend survived. Despite the bitter ending, the movie gave me the right content to bring me back to creating artwork. While I thought of how beautiful the cinematography was, I enjoyingly redrew the camera scene in my style. Each time my pen tapped my tablet, I thought about the little details in the visuals. I will always adore how the vibrant, warm blood spilled contrasted with the pure, cold snow. The gore may have been cheesy at times, but it never took away the glorious parts of the film. Liverleaf is truly a spectacular adaption that deserves to be on everyone’s watchlist. This is my love letter to Liverleaf, my favorite movie of all time. If it were possible, I would watch this movie for the first time again, but alas I will continue to cherish the story I watched in wonder.
      RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
      No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai is one of the most famous classic novels that came out of Japan. It is a semi-autobiographical novel that discusses many real events that happened to the author, but it is told as a story through a character named Ōba Yōzō. No Longer Human is stretched over three major parts which are split into three notebooks to tell the life of the protagonist. Ōba Yōzō has suffered from depression since he was a child and that led him to believe he wasn’t a human being. To shed light on how depression can show itself in the emotions of a child, I will discuss a paragraph where he looks back at his childhood because it demonstrates how his ill perception of himself affected his life. Ōba Yōzō’s depression presents itself in a way that convinces himself that he is not human. Even if he had human parents and siblings, he felt there was something wrong with him that made him different from others. Due to his self-alienation, he developed a fear of humans, and that caused him to be on his best behavior so he wouldn’t anger those around him. Ōba Yōzō played the ‘good and fun kid that never confronts others’ even after he got sexually abused by his family’s staff. The nihilistic attitude towards the world and himself just fueled his depression and helped it develop as he grew up. In the first half of the paragraph, Ōba Yōzō states, “In other words, you might say that I still have no understanding of what makes human beings tick. My apprehension on discovering that my concept of happiness seemed to be completely at variance with that of everyone else was so great as to make me toss sleeplessly and groan night after night in my bed” (Dazai 20). The protagonist explains that he doesn’t understand other people and when he discovers that humans experience happiness differently, he is perplexed. Contrary to popular belief, people with Depression can still feel happy. Depression doesn’t suck all the happiness from the affected person, but it can severely limit the emotion by bringing feelings of hopelessness or cause the person to feel emotionally numb. That is why Ōba Yōzō’s experience with happiness doesn’t align with others, he can feel joy at times, but it is different from what a non-depressed person feels. His happiness may be like a tiny lit match in the void of a vast cave. The thought of how different his form of happiness had kept him up at night because he couldn’t fathom how others ‘tick’. This new concept further pushed the ‘I’m not human’ idea further into his head because he feels like a completely different species from humans. Depression is a disorder that can present itself in a variety of different forms. It can show up as a deep, grieving gloom or it can perform an irritable, raging fire. Ōba Yōzō shows a variety of different symptoms of depression throughout the novel like hopelessness, inerrably, emptiness, worthlessness, loss of interest, sleep disturbances, and suicidal thoughts. In the second half of the paragraph, he states, “It drove me to the brink of lunacy. I wonder if I have actually been happy. People have told me, really more times than I can remember, ever since I was a small boy, how lucky I was, but I have always felt as if I were suffering in hell. It has seemed to me in fact that those who called me lucky were incomparably more fortunate than I” (Dazai 20). The main character believes that other people are luckier than him because he thinks they can feel happiness with certainty. Despite his family being well off while he was a kid, he struggled to feel happiness because of his inner turmoil. He couldn’t even live his childhood in peace or wonder because he was constantly trying to please everyone around him by being an intelligent, trustworthy, and charismatic student. He wanted no trouble, but in turn, he gave himself trouble by emotionally isolating himself from others. He may have been lucky to never worry about hunger, but he was also unlucky to think he couldn’t hunger due to his ‘inhumanity’. The mental illness that persisted through Ōba Yōzō’s life and impacted his self-identity since childhood was discussed through Dazai's novel. The protagonist let others take advantage of him without consequence because he was more afraid of getting in trouble and being hated. All he felt was isolation, fear, and agony growing up even if he was in a mostly stable environment. Ōba Yōzō couldn’t find a way to relate to others on an elementary level because the people around him had different forms of happiness. In short, that was how No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai portrayed childhood depression and how life was perceived through the eyes of someone suffering from this disorder.
      Tim Watabe Memorial Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Brotherhood Bows Scholarship
      My cell phone is pressed against my ear, but I can barely hear the words spoken to me. “Go to the front desk, they can help you,” my father said. My brain replies by saying I am doomed. I have never had a flight so delayed that it went over my connecting flight’s time. This new situation may have been easily solved by walking to the front desk and requesting a ticket change, but I unfortunately was a paranoid minor who couldn’t talk to strangers without becoming a shaking chihuahua. This is my story about how I had to face my social anxiety so I could find a way to get back home. It was the middle of July 2023 when this happened. Before this setback, I spent a week in California to visit my hometown and catch up with my best friend. There were no issues other than the fact it took me a day to even get my luggage and that wasn’t too much of a problem because I had most of my valuables with me. I learned to be better at socializing with strangers because I had to navigate different airports by myself, so I was expecting my trip back was going to be stress-free. I made a huge mistake thinking it was going to go perfectly. 13 minutes after I went through security and got to my gate, I heard an announcement over the speakers. Usually, I would ignore these, but then I heard my plane number being spoken. I felt a cold sweat immediately hit my face when I heard it and realized what it meant. I whipped out my phone faster than lightning to call my dad to explain the horrible news. My flight was so delayed that I wouldn’t be able to make it to my connecting flight to Oklahoma. My father was immediately set on solving my problem. He instructed me to go to the front desk and ask the agent to change the ticket. It took anxiety-riddled me a few minutes, but I did eventually scurry over there. It took even longer to get my tickets changed because both my dad and I were trying to talk to the agent helping me with my case. Luckily, I got my flight changed to the next day. Unluckily, I had to call my friend and ask her mom to pick me up. I am deeply grateful because they asked no questions and went straight in to help me despite the horrible traffic. I explained my situation once I got in the car and they sympathized with what I was going through. I got to spend another day in California and when it came time to head back, the connecting flights were as smooth as melted butter. I learned a very important lesson from this setback; there is no reason to panic whenever your plans are disrupted by misfortune. Make sure to have a support system for people you trust. And remember: as long as you ask directly, your friends, family, and even strangers are more than willing to lend a hand.
      Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Resilient Scholar Award
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      John J Costonis Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Nell’s Will Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Lindsey Vonn ‘GREAT Starts With GRIT’ Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Michael Mattera Jr. Memorial Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Dimon A. Williams Memorial Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Bald Eagle Scholarship
      I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I could tell through the way my peers looked at me whenever they saw that I didn’t look like my parents. Despite my family not telling me, I understood that I did not share their blood. After all, they were over their fifties when I was in Elementary! I have had a lot of people rudely telling me that one of them would die soon because of their age. Little did I know they were right. June 13th, 2021, two weeks after I moved to Oklahoma, my mother passed away from a heart attack nicknamed ‘the widow maker.’ Throughout her life, my mom has always been overstressed. One of the things that constantly wore on her was her job. She was never able to go to college because she wasn’t able to afford it and that kept her from getting a career that would have been better for her health. In her last job, she worked at home, but she worked early in the morning and late into the night. The only time I ever saw her take a break was when she had dinner with the rest of the family. My mom and I were never close, but the feeling that settled in my chest when I was made aware of her passing was indescribable. The year after her death was a mess. My family was just trying our best to get back on our feet. My sister completely dropped out of college; my father joined the local Rotary Club to distract himself from her death. Mom wanted me to finish my schooling online because she frowned on Oklahoma’s education system, but my father had to sign me up at a public high school to save money. The high school wasn’t the best, every part of it was underfunded, but I learned to enjoy it as much as I could. I made many friends, I got good grades, and I even did dual enrollment at a local college so I could get college credits early on! When it came time to seriously consider what I wanted to do in the future, I froze like a deer in the headlights. “To be or not to be,” Hamlet sighs at the back of my head. Do I live and make big bucks as a psychologist, or do I die as a poor artist? Or is it the opposite: Do I live happily at the job I pursue, or do I die like my mother at some job I despise? When I decided to look into colleges and careers, the answer became clear. I could satisfy both the desire to create and the need to earn money. I decided that I would attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and become a Film/Animation Director. During the time I attend college, I will major in film and take internships so I can be successful after I graduate. That’s why this scholarship is important to my journey. Education is expensive, and my dad cannot afford to fund my entire education by himself, so it is on me to find any way I can to fund it. Despite my mom’s passing putting a heavy burden on my household, I learned a lot because it happened. Through her death, I learned to not only build connections with people around me but to also stay true to myself. Through it all, I have to thank her for being the reason why I learned that I can shoot for the stars without falling.
      Nintendo Super Fan Scholarship
      Have you ever played with dolls when you were a kid? Like when you take premade plastic characters and produce elaborate nonsensical stories with them? Well, this concept is what brought me to like multiplayer games in the first place! I didn’t understand the joy of winning a battle when I was in early elementary, so this idea was revolutionary for me. From starting with roleplaying to absolutely annihilating my sister, Super Smash Bros Brawl is my favorite co-op game. My sister and I have been gaming fanatics since we were very young. I don’t remember what her first console or platform was, but I do remember mine being the Nintendo Wii! We had many games on the switch and Super Smash Bros Brawl might have been our first multiplayer game. My sister was very excited to receive this game for Christmas, but I wasn’t a thrilled kindergartener. That feeling didn’t last long because I realized I would use the unlocked characters to roleplay! My favorite character to play was Link with his Dark Link skin on and I rarely used any other characters. My sister got tired of my lack of fighting and me forcing her to play some Shakespeare-like plot every time that game was on. Eventually, I outgrew this phase and went to other games on the Wii. Sometime in 2012, the Wii U came out. I loved that console: I could play both Wii and Wii U games on there! I rarely went back to Super Smash Bros Brawl, it felt too outdated for me, but then a Wii U edition was released onto the console! I instantly got fascinated with Dark Pit, even if he was the exact same at Pit. I adored his fighting abilities, and I learned all his moves just so I could reign superiority over my sister. She had to beg to get my to play another character because I had an unbreakable winning streak when Dark Pit was in my grasp. I bet she hears ‘ELECTROSHOCK’ in her nightmares because of all my glorious wins. Now looking back on elementary memories, I might just pick up the new Super Smash Bros game on the Nintendo Switch. Maybe without using Dark Pit’s B Left/Right Special, I’ll find new ways to give my sister a friendly headache.
      Heather Rylie Memorial Scholarship
      Hiding under blankets, lights off, screen brightness up, volume on medium, eyes glued. We watch with intensity as the main character looks up and BAM! The demon screeches as it jumps off the wardrobe and leaps onto the main character! This was my first experience watching a horror film. Ever since the summer my sister put on The Conjuring to a portable DVD watching device, I have found so much enjoyment in any form of scary media. It has become my ultimate passion and motivation in my life. I have picked up so many horror books in my time that my family thinks the world is ending anytime I choose another topic. To me, horror is not just some theme to make someone shiver in their boots. It is a diverse artform that can be molded to educate and entertain the masses. Now it seems like horror can be only used negatively, but I want to change your perception of what horror can do. I know that this genre can be used as a way to bring people together. Imagine all the times people cling to each other at a jump scare and laugh about it later. Imagine all the people who create fun trends centering around redrawing scenes from a movie because they were inspired by the beautiful cinematography. Imagine all the narratives that bring important issues to light and all the stories that make people cry together. Horror can even be more realistic than our high-action superhero movies. We can’t see ourselves in Superman, but we can certainly see parts of ourselves in Sydney Prescot from Scream. These are all ways that horror is a wonderful experience that brings people together for the better. That’s why I want to use my talent and eye for horror to contribute to the community horror creates. I want to be the one who makes people hug each other when the monster lurches at the camera. I want to be the one who encourages people to redraw my artwork in their own style as a community challenge. I want people to see themselves in the characters I create. That is why I am applying for this scholarship. I want to be able to do what I dream of accomplishing, which means I need to have the money to attend this school. I don’t wish to burden my family for the choice I made, so I am trying to lessen the stress on them. I am one for going big, so that means going to the top and attending the Art School of the Art Institute of Chicago so I can establish connections with big industry professionals. While network in Chicago, I am going to do internships that can be provided by the college to gain experience as I am studying. These two things will set me up so I can get a job after I graduate and pursue the life I want to have. Creating work that impacts and inspires people, just like it did for me!
      Amanda Panda Memorial Scholarship
      Hiding under blankets, lights off, screen brightness up, volume on medium, eyes glued. We watch with intensity as the main character looks up and BAM! The demon screeches as it jumps off the wardrobe and leaps onto the main character! This was my first experience watching a horror film. Ever since the summer my sister put on The Conjuring to a portable DVD watching device, I have found so much enjoyment in any form of scary media. It has become my ultimate passion and motivation in my life. I have picked up so many horror books in my time that my family thinks the world is ending anytime I choose another topic. To me, horror is not just some theme to make a person afraid of the dark or shiver in their boots. It is a diverse artform that can be molded to educate the masses and be artistically captivating to the eyes. Now it seems like horror can be only used negatively, but I want to change others perception of what horror does. Horror can be used as a way to bring people together. Imagine all the times people cling to each other at a jump scare and laugh about it later. Imagine all the people who create fun trends centering around redrawing scenes from a movie because they were inspired by the beautiful cinematography. Imagine all the narratives that bring important issues to light and all the stories that make people cry together. Horror can even be more realistic than our high-action superhero movies. We can’t see ourselves in Superman, but we can certainly see parts of ourselves in Sydney Prescot from Scream. These are all ways that horror is a wonderful experience that brings people together for the better. That’s why I want to use my talent and eye for horror to contribute to the community horror creates. I want to be the one who makes people hug when a monster lurches at the camera. I want to be the one who encourages people to redraw my artwork in their own style as a challenge. I want people to see themselves in the characters I create. That’s why I am going to use everything I learned to do, to make the stories that I know can do all the things I have been talking about wanting to do. Even if my impact ends up small, as long as my messages reaches people and inspires them, all my work is worth it.