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Takai Jones

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Bio

Hey there! I am Takai Jones from Detroit, Michigan, and I am a current sophomore at Xavier University of Louisiana. I'm majoring in psychology with a minor in creative writing. My career aspiration is to become a clinical psychologist to bridge the gap between care for mental health for all, but especially in the Black community. I hope to be a leader in dissolving mental health stigma within my culture.

Education

Xavier University of Louisiana

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, General
  • Minors:
    • Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies

Renaissance High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      clinical psychologist

    • Cashier

      Kroger
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Store Manager

      Razzle Dazzle Nail Supply Store
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Cheerleading

    Intramural
    2010 – 20133 years

    Research

    • Behavioral Sciences

      THINK Lab at Wayne State University — Student
      2021 – 2021

    Arts

    • Renaissance High School Symphonic Orchestra

      Music
      2019 – 2022

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      MAX 2.0 — team member
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      THINK Lab — research assistant
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Biomedical Career Advancement Program — Student
      2021 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    CapCut Meme Master Scholarship
    “Be the Change” Essay Scholarship
    Participating in community service has shown me in a world of negativity there are still people who are willing to put someone else's needs before their own. Recently, I volunteered at a local pet shelter and I just kept thinking to myself, every person who is in here daily has dedicated a part of their day to making an animal's life ten times better than when they first arrived at the shelter. Those types of selfless people are the ones who have restored my faith in humanity and continue to give me a reason to be more selfless as well. Furthermore, as an out-of-state student doing community service in a new environment forces me to create a sense of connection to a place that will be my home for quite some time and I take pride in knowing more about New Orleans to share with others. My expanded perspective also taught me millions of people are facing issues I could never even imagine. As humans, we tend to have awareness only of what is in front of us or what we have experienced, unfortunately, it brings about a side of humanity that is extremely inconsiderate. I believe if more people took advantage of serving in their communities they would see how vastly filled the world is with people we subconsciously ignore and could have been in their same position. Of course, it may be impossible to have every single person partake in community service, but it is not impossible to encourage someone to see beyond what they know. With that being said, my career choice, as a clinical psychologist, could involve suggesting to my patients volunteering opportunities that cater to something they enjoy or apply to their situation. My intention with this would be to guide them in knowing they are not alone in their struggles and when they overcome what they have been through they can go back to those places and be a living testimony that it can get better. Regarding my future ambitions, volunteering has planted a deep motivator to create some sort of foundation of my own in the future. As of now, I have thought of doing a scholarship fund in my hometown of Detroit, Michigan because there are so many students who have great aspirations and should not be tied down because of financial struggles. Also, I want to create a charity that donates to various causes annually and be an investment in community-centered projects. My motto for these types of goals is that I have been blessed with much and when I get the resources to give back there should be no reason to delay doing that. I know what it feels like to seek a helping hand and I want to become the hand someone is seeking in the future. I want to be the face of a foundation that holds a reputation for a real desire to advance the people of my community. At my university, I plan to be a project coordinator for one of our community service sites in the coming semester or school year. This way I can get an idea of what gaining participants looks like, how to be a leader in this type of field, and what it takes to form connections with running facilities. To start the process I am currently taking our leadership course, which will open the doors for me to become a project coordinator. With this course, I will be able to know what it takes to be a leader and how to create transferable skills to be an all-around good team member. Overall, serving in the community has truly changed my perspective of humanity to see the good in others and be empathetic to people's situations. It has planted a seed that will spread roots to anything I do to add to the impact I know community service has. My career and future will display the prioritization of being one with my community whether it is my hometown or a new place and will be felt by every person I interact with. As stated before, my resources will go towards projects that create visible progress that guarantees a better way of life for all involved. Also, I am forever grateful that my university has given me the chance to find a new passion, learn leadership skills, and create goals that will stem from the tools they have instilled within me and will always be a part of my success story for years to come.
    Sherman S. Howard Legacy Foundation Scholarship
    Since starting college, I have had the privilege of being a part of a Christian organization called, Chi Alpha, which has allowed me to be surrounded by like-minded believers and give back to the New Orleans community. We have gone to the local Ronald McDonald charity house to cook dinner for the families residing there and partnered with Giving Hope NOLA to serve at their food pantry. I also have the pleasure of being a part of our worship team to provide a sense of church community to other students. While this may not be my home church, it is the Christ-centered environment that has aided me in growing deeper in becoming a child of God who understands helping others can give more satisfaction than being focused on my own needs. Serving my community has shown me there are people every day facing some sort of struggle that I may not be able to relate to but still understand they deserve tender love and care. Being in the Ronald McDonald house exposed me to the reality of families that have to abruptly change their lives because their children require health services, but knowing there are programs available to provide for their needs is just one of many examples that the Lord shows no one and nothing is out of His sight and every need will be met. As I write this essay, I think back on when I did a community service Saturday event through my university and we went to the hotspots for homeless people within New Orleans to give them food and water. A man we stopped while he was riding his bike came over to get some items and what stuck with me was him saying, "God bless you. Thank you so much." This may seem like a person having manners, but to me, it showed a man that despite his circumstances he is still grateful for whatever he is capable of getting. For someone who is in a more sustainable livelihood, I felt like I should have been the one to say something of that nature, but who am I to have thought where that man was is where he will remain. Interactions like this one leave an impression because they teach me not to be stuck in my own world, but instead see the bigger picture of what is happening every day even if I don't see it. My home church and Chi Alpha have contributed to inspiring me to serve wherever and whenever I can. They also have contributed to teaching me how I can display the character of Christ through my interactions with people I meet when I serve the community. It is important as I mature in my faith to be reminded I am responsible for showing people the love that flows within from being a child of the most high and I pray it is received in a way that is impactful and memorable.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    On July 4, 2021, I decided to write a suicide letter for my family after a mental breakdown the day before and I told myself this would either be a reminder or my last words. Now, this didn't come from one night but many years of negative thoughts causing me to believe no one cared about me or loved me enough for my presence to be important. The struggle with depression weighs you down in an unimaginable way because at times the pain you experience comes solely from internal dialogue fighting its way to overpower any positivity that could make a difference. However, as I write this essay it's evident my story didn't end as abruptly as I once accepted it would. After July 4th, I started to seek a relationship with God because I truly believe I didn't go through with it because of divine protection in the form of my dad being my guardian angel and not wanting his little girl to give up so soon. I started to become grateful for my life and grateful I didn't end my life before trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel. That light gave me the strength to speak life back into a dead situation. In the two years of my recovery, I graduated high school in the top 10% of my class and started college at Xavier University of Louisiana. These are two of many goals I've wanted more than anything, so at times it still shocks me how much my mental struggle had the power to almost make me turn from the path I am destined for. My mom also gave me strength because deep down I couldn't allow myself to let her grieve the passing of her only daughter. I'll never forget when I told her about the letter and how quick she was to shift into fix-it mode because she assumed it must have come from something she was doing, and I had to tell her it wasn't her fault but my own from carrying my problems instead of talking about them. She has been my rock all of my life and I refused to let her suffer wondering why suicide was my answer over anything else. My experience with depression was not easy and coming out victorious was not what I was expecting, but I know I went through the trials and tribulations to share a testimony many don't have the chance to tell themselves. I'm more empathetic to those around me because I was the person who had a smile on their face and then cried themselves to sleep or brought joy to friends while having no hope for happiness. My life is different because now I know how to come out of the darkness and overcome the negative stronghold that use to hold me back.
    Dr. William and Jo Sherwood Family Scholarship
    Most people, including myself, will tell you how going to college has been their lifelong goal for as long as they can remember. However, my reason may be different from a lot of applicants. I grew up being the child who was always academically skilled and never had to worry about making bad grades or having to be the problem student. Now fast forward many years later I am a college freshman coming to the end of my first completed year. Throughout this year, I have struggled with being able to afford college due to being the daughter of a single mother of course, this is not something unique to me, but my mom's determination to give me a chance to attend college has made my experience one that defies all the statistics that may say otherwise. College for me is not another step in my education but another step in proving that it is possible to make a way out of no way. Also, being a native Detroiter, it gives me a sense of joy to know I can do something many of my peers, unfortunately, do not have the chance to consider. My education is and has been one of my most valuable traits because I know with it I gain more than just a degree with my name on it. This scholarship will not only secure my financial stability for the upcoming fall semester but will give me the motivation to know I am heading in the right direction. The possibility of receiving this scholarship takes away some of the stress to meet deadlines that place my college career in the hands of people who have no problem with choosing university policies over giving students a chance to find a solution. I may not be able to sufficiently display my academic ambition through a few words, but I hope it is evident that this scholarship would help me further my goal of keeping college a reality. It will benefit my future in a way that may not be the answering you are expecting. As I have gone through the experience of preparing for college and applying to a multitude of scholarships, I have developed a desire to use my future in the same way you are utilizing your current time of life. I want to become a neuropsychologist and be a pioneer of psychological discoveries. Along with giving back to my community through the form of my own scholarship foundation. College is not for everyone but the select few deserve any and all resources that can make the journey easier for them. So, this scholarship benefits my future because I will gain aid in my educational endeavors and the gracious Sherwoods are an example of what I hope to become because of those endeavors.
    Share Your Poetry Scholarship
    Self-Discovery Your smile is like the sun And your eyes are just as lovely. Look in the mirror to see All of your natural beauty. No one can force you to believe, But you should give it a try. Sometimes it’s hard to try, And the moment ends with the setting sun. Force yourself to believe. The results will be lovely With true beauty, Like the blue sea. Take it all in. You will see Why it was worth a try. Don’t look for beauty In artificial sunlight. The fake kind isn’t as lovely, Or believable. You need to believe In me to see All that is hiding from you, lovely. You took a leap and tried! So full of sunshine! What a beauty. Don’t you love natural beauty? I know you finally believe. Rise again like the sun And you will fully see, It was worth a try And so lovely. Become as lovely As you were before fake beauty. Continue to try. Even though it’s hard to believe. Maybe even sit by the sea And watch the rising sun. Do you see what I believed Was worth a try, or was the beauty Loss to lovely fake sun?
    Lotus Scholarship
    Being the daughter of a single mother has led me to persevere through challenges because I learned early on that there are things I may not be able to experience, however, my mother never wanted my brother and me to know we lacked what others did not. Her courage to put on a brave face while knowing things were not always going to go to plan helped me become ambitious in my own life journey. Most recently, becoming a college student tested my will to have faith that attending university was in the cards for me. At times I struggled with having to realize there was a high chance I would not have been able to attend my current college, but my will to preserve kept me from giving up on my dreams. My mom also aided in the process because she reminded me that worrying about where the finances were going to come from would make me give up before I even started. Now, going into my second semester of freshman year I have no fear this is where I am supposed to be regardless of the circumstances that were expected to cause me to fail. I plan to use my life experience as my motivator to give back to future students who were once in my position. As I continue on my journey, I constantly think about when I will be able to relieve someone’s financial burdens, so they will not have to sacrifice their education for problems they have no control over. One of my main goals is to create a four-year renewable scholarship titled “Jones Scholars” for future graduating seniors from my former high school. I set this as a goal because receiving scholarships was like the light at the end of a dark tunnel and I believe it is my responsibility to bless someone with that same experience. I would also like to possibly extend my reach to investing in community programs that guide students through the college process, such as a local program called Midnight Golf Program that aids hundreds of Detroit students to get towards the finish line of their senior year of high school. While my background is not the most ideal family setup, being from a single-parent household made me into a person who is not afraid to go after whatever I set my mind to. My mom instilled in me what it looks like to overcome setbacks and that is something even the best families have yet to learn. My life experiences had good and bad times, but there is nothing that makes me shameful of where I come from. I am beyond thankful for my upbringing because later down the line I will look back knowing I would have never gotten this far without it and it will be the reason I can give back to someone else.
    Femi Chebaís Scholarship
    My dream for my life is to become a neuropsychologist because I’ve always been curious about the brain and behavior. Also, I want to be able to give back to my mom for all the sacrifices she has made to better my life. Lastly, I want to be able to create a scholarship of my own to provide to the students of my hometown, so that they too can experience multitudes of opportunities.
    R.L. Sexton Memorial Scholarship
    As an African American, the idea of going to therapy is the most unbelievable thing possible in my community. However, I made a necessary change towards the stigma of therapy for good. When my mother mentioned that she wanted our family to go to therapy I was willing to participate for her sake mainly because I knew if my mom was the one to suggest it then it must be needed. I luckily found a therapist I enjoyed and who did not make me feel uncomfortable with sharing my feelings. As I continued in life we, unfortunately, moved to different states which made it difficult to get back into the motions of a routine therapy appointment. This began my dependency on handling my issues and not being willing to ask for help from anyone, not even my own family. Those held-back emotions caused me to view myself with less respect because the mind can be a powerful thing especially when negative thoughts can infiltrate your everyday life. Fast forward to now and I am thankful to say I have found another therapist to guide me through the challenges I can not face on my own. This encounter is my greatest achievement because so many people are willing to fight their battles alone and usually it never works. Therapy is meant to help people and in the Black community, we have yet to come to that understanding. My experience with therapy taught me that it is human to not be okay all of the time and living life as if everything is fine while you are mentally struggling daily is not healthy. I have been able to learn more about what makes me who I am because I am no longer trying to suppress the foundation I was made from. Everyone has their good and their bad but it is up to you to figure out how to make the most of it. With my future career being in the field of psychology I desire to open more doors for the Black community and anyone who has been taught therapy is the enemy to welcome them the opportunity of getting proper guidance. Also, with more POCs in this particular field, it encourages more conversation on how to remove the stigma that continues to reside in so many households unnecessarily. And I believe with those conversations will come action because we live in a time where no one is willing to put up with traditions that are no longer fitting today's society.
    Holistic Health Scholarship
    For the majority of my high school years, I struggled with having a balance between life and academics. However, the pandemic allowed me to understand that outside of school I am a person who has more responsibilities than making sure an assignment is turned in. Specifically, in my junior year, I dealt with the loss of my uncle and nearly lost my brother. I tried to keep a focused mind and only prioritize myself when school was over, but as time went on I came to understand this mindset was hurting me more than helping. This led to my commitment to catering to my personal needs before academics required my attention. Now, in my first year of college, I have made a routine of getting up around 6 am, going to the gym, and nourishing my body before class. I have noticed significant improvements because I care about how I take care of my physical and mental state. Also, if I am not good in those areas, then I would never be able to be a good student in the first place. It took dedication, but I have loved the journey because so many high-achieving students do not allow themselves a chance to breathe without being worried about deadlines. Currently, students at my university have had to do multiple all-nighters just to make sure they do not get behind in their classes. While their reasons for doing so can be valid, proper rest outweighs homework if it means better preparation for the next day. Furthermore, I have begun using a Google Calendar to plan out my weekdays. This has been extremely useful in guaranteeing I know what my weekdays consist of and how to plan extra activities around my free time. I would recommend doing this for people who never feel like there is enough time in the day to do any and everything. Personally, this feeling has been the root of plenty of instances of procrastinating, because I tried to do so much at the end of the day when I could have been using my free time after class to get even more done. And I not only dedicate my free time to work, but I also utilize it to relax, so I am able to devote my full attention to my next class. Overall, finding a balance between life and school has allowed me to be a better person in every aspect of my life. Students must understand that school can be your best friend or worse enemy, but it depends on how you are able to create a separation for your personal life after the school day is done.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    As a victim of the serial criminal "depression," my life never felt like it was my own, and being the one who everyone thought was doing fantastic made it harder to live in a split reality. On one hand, I was showcasing a smart, happy, and funny young girl who had her life already figured out, but on the flip side, I was drowning in the feeling of being the girl who would never be loved and didn't feel like she deserved it either. I went through countless therapy sessions trying to understand what was the root of my being so broken, even though I had a good family life and had no way of blaming the people around me for what I was dealing with. My current therapist helped me to realize that I was allowing a past version of myself to continue living in my present. This version stemmed from the little girl still trying to deal with the passing of her father. This version also helped me to comprehend the famous quote, "your mind is your worse enemy," because losing my father was of course a detrimental time in my life, but my father didn't leave this earth without knowing his daughter, and if he was able to see me today all he would want is for me to be proud of myself. However, I allowed my mind to become my greatest foe, instead of my best companion, and it skewed my perception of myself into something I will never go back to. I was on the verge of suicide when I broke down and told my mom what I was dealing with. It was hard at the moment, but I knew I could not let another night go by with me slowly losing myself. A weight was lifted off of my chest and I no longer had to live with a mask shielding me from being able to share my truth. I am thankful for having the courage to say something because so many young kids commit suicide without anyone knowing what they were fighting mentally. Today, I can fully be a young woman who is intelligent, full of light, and grateful. I can now be around my loved ones and know when they see me they are glad I'm there because my presence is wanted. I can now believe it when I say I am worthy of love from others, and more importantly myself. While I was stuck on the tight leash of depression, it felt like I could barely move, but the freedom of being severed from it felt like life was finally mine to live independently. Also, in this period of my life, I found peace in working on my relationship with God. Truthfully, therapy and God have been the key factors in finding a renewed sense of self. As a psych major, I want to be able to utilize my career as a way to help people in my community who deal with mental issues. The Black community must not continue a cycle of letting our peers fight their battles alone. I desire a change because my mom did not let me and my brother be ignored when it was clear we needed support from a professional. Sometimes all it takes is people to care enough to introduce you to the proper resources for a change to happen. Lastly, there is a need for more African Americans in the mental health field because knowing your therapist looks like you helps with being comfortable telling your story after holding on to it for so long.
    Heather Payne Memorial Scholarship
    Even though this scholarship is geared toward people who have lost a sibling due to suicide, I felt the need to share my story as the sibling who my family nearly lost. I was having a very difficult time being able to express how I felt because it seemed better to keep everything bottled in until there was an innocent person to wrongfully react to because of it. I eventually reached a breaking point on July 4, 2021, when I decided that suicide would be my way of reaching happiness. At the time I was willing to give up my life to not only make myself happy but also release my family from the burden of my being around. I told my mom about what I had silently experienced and she instantly went into fix-it mode. While talking to my mother, aunt, and brother I came to understand that the reason I never said anything was because it was not anyone’s fault but my own. Meaning it was my fault for taking certain situations as attacks when I was actually distorting reality to make myself feel as though everyone was against me. Thankfully, it did not result in a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Considering the prior event that happened during the summer before my senior year, I went into the new school year with a mindset of being grateful I made it to my last year and would finally be able to reach my goal of graduating. I preserved educationally by reminding myself I was once on the verge of not being able to make it another day and that I was someone who could live to tell their testimony of how God can save you even when you had no hope to hold on. Also, my senior year was in-person after an entire year of virtual learning which allowed me to see how much I'm cared for and the impact I have on my friends and classmates. That had an impact on me because I came to see what others saw in me yet I had a hard time accepting to be true. Which included the smart girl who knew all the right answers, the funny girl who could make anyone laugh without trying, and the girl who made everyone proud without knowing she was making a difference in her family’s lineage. The advice I would give to someone who was mentally struggling like me is to always look at the bigger picture because sometimes you get lost in the minor details of life that can throw you off track towards your purpose. Remind yourself why you are still here today and never fall back into old habits that can lead to your demise. And most importantly, the best thing you can do for yourself is to talk about what you are going through because we can not figure everything out on our own no matter how hard we try. Lastly, for those who have experienced the loss of their sibling to suicide, I will give this advice as if I was talking to my brother. Do not feel guilty for what has happened to them because they would never want you to carry the baggage of trying to see how you could have changed their outcome. Do not let this stop you from moving on in life and remember the good times you shared to prevent their death from becoming the only thing you keep as the memory of them. Most importantly, do not grieve by yourself for the sake of not being overwhelmed by grief.
    Rho Brooks Women in STEM Scholarship
    My name is Takai Jones and I will be attending Xavier University of Louisiana with a major in psychology. Currently, my career aspiration is to become a neuropsychologist. Also, I would consider myself a lifelong learner because it is beneficial to constantly gain more knowledge. I try my best to be a positive influence in every aspect so that people will know that any time they need me it will come with much-needed advice or simply an ear to listen. As I continue to grow into a more developed person there is still much to know about myself and I hope with those neverending discoveries come even more opportunities to utilize them for good reason. The biggest influence in my life is my mom because she is the reason I strive to be an ambitious woman who will never settle for any limits. As a single mother of two, my mom took her difficulties as motivation to prevail through hard times and made it a priority to never make us feel as though we lacked in any way. I appreciate a role model such as herself because it made me understand early in life that sometimes you will struggle but the way you overcome it means more than what caused it. My mom might not have been a strict parent in trying to guide me on the path that looked right to her but her impact as a caring mother allowed me to grow as an individual who never takes her guidance for granted. In regards to my career aspirations, my mom encouraged me to do something I would love to avoid having regrets later in life. Even though she did not shape my aspirations based on her careers as a phlebotomist and nail tech, she shaped my aspirations based on her character more than anything else. I want my career as a neuropsychologist to be a way for me to reflect a character of determination. I want every research opportunity to be a chance for me to show the commitment I have to further develop scientific discoveries in the field of psychology. My mom will be the reason I’ll eventually be able to call myself a neuropsychologist and without her influence, I would probably still be trying to figure out where I wanted to go in life. With that being said I thank my mom for being my biggest role model of what dedication looks like and instilling in me the same traits to carry in my own life.
    Bold Bravery Scholarship
    Being brave to me has always looked like being willing to be the one who is not afraid to be themselves no matter what others will say. When I was younger I cared about being like the girls who got the attention of our peers because in my mind it truly meant something. I cared about the way I presented myself for reasons that did not align with a positive perspective of who I am and still becoming. However, I learned that the only attention you should seek comes from within. This mindset allows me to practice bravery and live boldly because I am no longer searching for external reassurance of my worth and I can be comfortable displaying the version of myself who does not seek comparison with someone else. I have learned that everyone wishes for a different something, which is why I refused to continue a cycle led by unhealthy standards that were not meant to fit me. Furthermore, every day I decide to live for myself and strive to be a person who is not tied down to society’s expectations of what is right and wrong. Every day I decide to be grateful for who I am because there is never going to be a replacement who can be me better than ME! And every day I choose to be brave and live boldly to remind the old me who never thought life without comparison is possible that with a positive outlook anything is possible if you want it bad enough.
    Bold Learning and Changing Scholarship
    I have learned that being a perfectionist and having everything figured out is overrated. I say this because I use to be a perfectionist who treated life like a step-by-step guidebook where nothing could go wrong as long as you followed the instructions. However, when I decided to work on my relationship with God it dawned on me that life is not always going to follow the plans you create in your head, and only God could know what is coming next. This understanding gave me comfort because I no longer had to deal with the daily routine of worrying I was doing the “right thing” at every moment. As I continue to grow spiritually I constantly remember to give all unforeseeable worries to God because I know he will take care of them before I can do it myself. Also, for a more general approach to my personal growth, I want my testimony to be a motivator for people who are like me to know it is normal to not know every little detail of everything. Even if those people do not believe in God it is still important to talk to someone when you feel out of control of your life. And the unrealistic demand of being a perfectionist does more harm than good and I have learned it is better to expect the unexpected so that you will never require more from yourself than you are capable of doing.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    As an African American, the idea of going to therapy is the most unbelievable thing possible in my community. However, I made a necessary change towards the stigma of therapy for good. When my mother mentioned that she wanted our family to go to therapy I was willing to participate for her sake mainly because I knew if my mom was the one to suggest it then it must be needed. I luckily found a therapist I enjoyed and who did not make me feel uncomfortable with sharing my feelings. As I continued in life we, unfortunately, moved to different states which made it difficult to get back into the motions of a routine therapy appointment. This began my dependency on handling my issues and not being willing to ask for help from anyone, not even my own family. Those held-back emotions caused me to view myself with less respect because the mind can be a powerful thing especially when negative thoughts can infiltrate your everyday life. Fast forward to now and I am thankful to say I have found another therapist to guide me through the challenges I can not face on my own. This encounter is my greatest achievement because so many people are willing to fight their battles alone and usually it never works. Therapy is meant to help people and in the Black community, we have yet to come to that understanding. My experience with therapy taught me that it is human to not be okay all of the time and living life as if everything is fine while you are mentally struggling daily is not healthy. I have been able to learn more about what makes me who I am because I am no longer trying to suppress the foundation I was made from. Everyone has their good and their bad but it is up to you to figure out how to make the most of it. With my future career being in the field of psychology I desire to open more doors for the Black community and anyone who has been taught therapy is the enemy to welcome them the opportunity of getting proper guidance. Also, with more POCs in this particular field, it encourages more conversation on how to remove the stigma that continues to reside in so many households unnecessarily. And I believe with those conversations will come action because we live in a time where no one is willing to put up with traditions that are no longer fitting today's society.
    Bold Great Books Scholarship
    With access to millions of books, some may find it difficult to have a favorite to pick from. I once was that person until I came across Flowers for Algernon. I read about an intellectually challenged man who was part of a study meant to enhance his intelligence, through this process he developed a relationship with a test rat named Algernon, but what truly stuck with me the most is the detailed account of him slowly progressing back to his original self. This moment in the novel impacted my career choice because it made me realize the benefits that come from studying the brain. I knew psychology would be the field for me due to the complexity of human behaviors, but I never thought about how the brain guides those complexities. Also, the book made me more compassionate toward those who have mental challenges because they don't deserve to be treated as an outcast due to something they have no control over. As I continue to advance in my career goals and character development, I will be reminded of this book. I will have a reason to stay encouraged to become a neuropsychology researcher because I might come across my own Flowers for Algernon scenario, causing me to look for any solutions that will help me aid a study participant. Although the novel is fiction it influenced me to be mindful of how I may create distance between myself and mentally challenged individuals without being thoughtful of their feelings. Ultimately, this novel allows me to work on two connected goals that I never considered to be as important as they are now had I not read Flowers for Algernon, and I will continue to recommend this book in hopes that it will inspire someone else.
    Black Students in STEM Scholarship Fund
    During the summer of my 11th-grade year, I had the opportunity of being a part of a biomedical research program. This program allowed me to get experience in creating a scientific research presentation and connect with like-minded students. I was paired with mentors who renewed my interest in working with the brain and behavior. After the program, I went on the search for a career that could fulfill my passion, and thankfully, I came across neuropsychology. Currently, I am working as a research assistant for those very same mentors who unknowingly lead me toward a path I did not know I needed. As I continue to further my education to become a neuropsychologist my goal includes bringing awareness to mental disabilities that are caused by conditions of the brain. Another goal of mine is to be the first doctor in my family and a title of such significance is worth more than I can imagine. Being a future Xavierite of the illustrious Xavier University of Louisiana makes me proud to be a Black student who wants to do more with their life. The idea of other young people who look like me gives me the motivation to continue the college journey no matter how hard it gets. Also, before deciding on XULA I never realized how beneficial it would be to become an HBCU alum due to the countless connections I will be able to develop over the years. As of now, I have been able to reach out to an alumni chapter in my state and so many resources have been shared in my short time of being a member. Although other colleges may not see HBCUs as notable schools, our reputation speaks for itself through the experience you can only receive by going to an illustrious HBCU.
    Dynamic Edge Women in STEM Scholarship
    Technology has made it possible to live life to the fullest with almost no effort in mind. Of course, hard work goes into every technological invention that people come in contact with but the benefit of knowing someone or better yet something can ensure safety within a home simply by using a cellphone gives people a sense of trust and security. That brings in why the Ring Doorbell is such a valuable invention that has been created in the last ten years. Personally, I've never had the ring doorbell but the countless times someone has said their doorbell prevented a crime or was able to provide help in various situations proves why the Ring Doorbell deserves my recognition. One story that comes to mind is when a man was robbed at gunpoint in North Carolina in 2017 his family was also in the house which adds more fuel to the fire. If a Ring Doorbell was not there to capture this encounter who knows what could have happened in the sense of his family not being able to get justice for what was done to them. The Ring Doorbell has solidified its position in the technology world because it is a necessary advancement from the typical doorbell that truthfully added no value besides knowing someone was at your door. I have always wanted to focus on the most critical part of human development which is the brain because with all the research on brain functions there is still so much more to explore. For instance, in the book and movie titled "Brain on Fire", Susannah Cahalan suffered from a rare autoimmune disease that quite literally attacked her brain making her into a completely different person that no one could figure out with a quick fix. My more specific area of study would be neuropsychology which deals with the relationship between cognition, behavior, and brain functions. I hope to bring awareness to not only the unknown diseases but also give more insight into what we already know. Also, STEM to me has always been one of many ways that advancement has happened because without science (among the other three fields) how could people be informed if there were no scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who are constantly problem solving for the general public. Another goal of mine is to become the doctor that people trust to give them the best treatment. With the current state of our healthcare system, people deserve committed and trustworthy medical workers that will always put them first. Lastly, I want to utilize my future career in ways that not only make me happy but can contribute to every patient's life that I will eventually care for.