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Teresa Meehan

1555

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Finalist

Bio

19 year old First Year at Sarah Lawrence College. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. My interests include leadership and management roles, theater, music, and psychology. I'd love to someday give back to my community through the arts the way that the arts have saved me. I'm also dedicated to mental health wellness and assuring that through my productivity, I am mindful of my wellbeing.

Education

Sarah Lawrence College

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Visual and Performing Arts, General

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Drama/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft
    • Political Science and Government
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Performing Arts

    • Dream career goals:

      Producer

    • Production Office Assistant

      Sarah Lawrence Theater Department
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Assistant Stage Manager

      The NOLA Project
      2022 – 2022
    • Barista

      Sarah Lawrence TeaHaus
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Barista

      PJ's Coffee House
      2022 – 2022
    • Personal/Production Assistant

      YOLO! Productions
      2019 – 2019
    • Executive Assistant

      Ballard Brands
      2020 – 20211 year

    Arts

    • Lusher Charter School

      Theatre
      Lafayette No. 1, Treasure Island, Spongebob the Musical
      2018 – 2022

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Feminist Club — Club Member
      2020 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    I’d like for to people smile when I walk into a room because they’re excited to see me.
    Elijah's Helping Hand Scholarship Award
    My name is Teresa Meehan, and I’m an alcoholic and a drug addict. This is a story of what it was like, what happened and what my life is like now. Being from New Orleans, I was allowed to drink in small amounts for as long as I can remember. Nevertheless, I remember the first time I got drunk. I was 13 and I distinctly remember the sense of ease and comfort I felt. It was like something inside of me had been waiting for my mind to finally slow down and relax. At the time, my anxiety and depression were the worst they’d ever been and I’ve always had a tendency to be a perfectionist and overwork myself. From then on, I chased this feeling every single minute of every single day. I had arrived. When I drank, I could talk to strangers. I finally felt okay with my outwards appearance and no longer hated myself for who I was- a closeted, shy preteen in a Catholic family. It was fun for a while until it wasn’t. Drugs became a part of my story when I was around 14 after my grandfather passed away. I was hooked even more intensely than alcohol. In the meantime, my tolerance was also increasing by the day and I needed more to get to the same level of relief. My behavior changed and I became someone I didn’t recognize. I was a thief and a bully and a liar so I could get what I want and control my life to no end. I had alcohol poisoning and would sleep through school. I destroyed every friendship and relationship I had. I robbed my parents of their peace of mind. I just didn’t know how to stop. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but my physical cravings for a release from my pain were insatiable. Eventually after a suicide attempt, my Mother reached her breaking point. She told me that I could either go to an outpatient program while still living at home or go to an inpatient facility in a mental hospital. I accepted the lesser of both evils and started outpatient treatment. I was finally forced to become accountable for my actions. I suddenly realized how much I excused my behavior because of things that happened in my early childhood. Because I was transfixed on the idea that life has cursed me with mental illness and a broken family, my morals escaped me. After outpatient, I started my journey through the 12 steps with the help of a sponsor and a community of other alcoholics. I remember my Mom telling me the day after my first meeting that it was the first full night of sleep that she’d had in almost 4 years. My 12-step community introduced me to service work. I discovered that by reaching out to another alcoholic or helping someone without the expectation of something in return, I started to feel whole again. When I’m of service, I’m out of my head and my urge to pity myself disappeared. At this point in my life, I’m 19 years old and proud to be 2 years sober. I know however that I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of an unconditionally loving community and a belief in a higher power through altruism and service. I want nothing more than to continue my efforts to be of service in every facet of my life. I have no intention of drinking or using ever again, and that’s a high I’ll never get tired of.
    Maverick Grill and Saloon Scholarship
    All my life, I’ve been a sensitive, emotional person. The opinions of others have always mattered deeply to me and I would frequently twist myself into knots so I could appease the expectations of other people. As I’ve gotten older, some of these tendencies I have grown out of, but it wasn’t without hard work and taking a deep look inside of myself to see where my behavior could be improved. A huge turning point in my quest to better myself happened two years ago. I petitioned my school’s art department to let me fulfill two concentrations at the same time: technical theater and vocal performance. Whether it was that I was flooded with a sense of adolescent self-importance or that a former teacher of mine jokingly told me it was impossible, my hunger for this accomplishment was insatiable. After much deliberation, the department granted me the privilege, as long as I maintained my grades. At the time, I needed that sense of belonging. My mental health was the worst it had ever been: with my parents threatening to separate. If I maintained a shallow version of “success,” I could circumvent my identity crisis and find myself in my achievements, right? There was a reason the board was so hesitant about letting me do two concentrations. I burned out quickly. An important group project in my technical theater class that I was the leader for utterly failed, purely because of my inability to recognize how thinly I was stretching myself out. I had no time for self-care or my emotional well-being. Shortly after this, I was told that my privileges would be revoked since my grades had dipped. I came full circle in less than a year- being given an opportunity no other student had been given and being removed from the program in the same room by all the same people. For longer than I would like to admit, I blamed myself to a maladaptive degree. I still wanted control over my life and I found that control in beating myself up and being negative to everyone around me. However, as I finally accepted that I needed professional help through this, my view of myself changed. For the first time in my life, I embraced the idea of humility. The day I withdrew from the double concentration program, I finally had to accept the fact that it was all over. Fortunately, I stayed in technical theater, which is a decision I will be forever grateful for. I’m even a stage manager for my first musical since the pandemic started and I cherish every second. At this point in my life, I make a conscious effort to budget time to check in with myself, assuring that I don’t get overworked. Most importantly, I can now look myself in the eye and treat myself with compassion. Though I fail, I am not a failure. I hope to continue this pattern of healthy coping mechanisms for stress and heavy workloads. I know the field of work I’d like to go into- theater management- requires me to think quickly on my feet and stay calm in potentially volatile environments. As a stage manager, I help to lead a team full of crew members, designers and artists on a journey through the conceptualization process. Without an emotionally-grounded leader, any team is completely unstable. I believe strongly that even though this path of emotional growth isn’t a tangible goal that was met or an achievement awarded by a panel of people, my mental fortitude and grit are the things I pride myself on the most.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    All my life, I’ve been a sensitive, emotional person. The opinions of others have always mattered deeply to me and I would frequently twist myself into knots so I could appease the expectations of other people. As I’ve gotten older, some of these tendencies I have grown out of, but it wasn’t without hard work and taking a deep look inside of myself to see where my behavior could be improved. A huge turning point in my quest to better myself happened two years ago. I petitioned my school’s art department to let me fulfill two concentrations at the same time: technical theater and vocal performance. Whether it was that I was flooded with a sense of adolescent self-importance or that a former teacher of mine jokingly told me it was impossible, my hunger for this accomplishment was insatiable. After much deliberation, the department granted me the privilege, as long as I maintained my grades. My teachers surrounded me with cautious expressions, telling me how difficult this would be, while I completely ignored them, feeling victorious. At the time, I needed that sense of belonging. My mental health was the worst it had ever been: with my parents threatening to separate. I didn’t know where to channel my anger other than back into myself. If I maintained a shallow version of “success,” I could circumvent my identity crisis and find myself in my achievements, right? There was a reason the board was so hesitant about letting me do two concentrations. I burned out quickly. An important group project in my technical theater class that I was the leader for utterly failed, purely because of my inability to recognize how thinly I was stretching myself out. I had no time for self-care or my emotional well-being. Shortly after this, I was told that my privileges would be revoked since my grades had dipped. Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated. I came full circle in less than a year- being given an opportunity no other student had been given and being removed from the program in the same room by all the same people. Their faces, which once shone with cautious optimism, were now just disappointed. For longer than I would like to admit, I blamed myself to a maladaptive degree. I still wanted control over my life and I found that control in beating myself up and being negative to everyone around me. However, as I finally accepted that I needed professional help through this, my view of myself changed. I realized how awful my time management skills were and the intensity of my control issues. For the first time in my life, I embraced the idea of humility. The day I withdrew from the double concentration program, I finally had to accept the fact that it was all over. Fortunately, I stayed in technical theater, which is a decision I will be forever grateful for. I’m even a stage manager for my first musical since the pandemic started and I cherish every second. At this point in my life, I make a conscious effort to budget time to check in with myself, assuring that I don’t get overworked. Most importantly, I can now look myself in the eye and treat myself with compassion. Though I may fail, I am not a failure. I hope to continue this pattern of healthy coping mechanisms for stress and heavy workloads. I know the field of work I’d like to go into- theater management- requires me to think quickly on my feet and stay calm in potentially volatile environments. As a stage manager, I help to lead a team full of crew members, designers and artists on a journey through the conceptualization process. Without an emotionally-grounded leader, any team is. completely unstable. I believe strongly that even though this path of emotional growth isn’t a tangible goal that was met or an achievement awarded by a panel of people, my mental fortitude and grit are the things I pride myself on the most.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    My name is Teresa Meehan, and I’m an alcoholic and a drug addict. This is a story of what it was like, what happened and what my life is like now. Being from New Orleans, I was allowed to drink in small amounts for as long as I can remember. Nevertheless, I remember the first time I got drunk. I was 13 and I distinctly remember the sense of ease and comfort I felt. It was like something inside of me had been waiting for my mind to finally slow down and relax. At the time, my anxiety and depression were the worst they’d ever been and I’ve always had a tendency to be a perfectionist and overwork myself. From then on, I chased this feeling every single minute of every single day. I had arrived. When I drank, I could talk to strangers. I finally felt okay with my outwards appearance and no longer hated myself for who I was- a closeted, shy preteen in a Catholic family. It was fun for a while until it wasn’t. Drugs became a part of my story when I was around 14 after my grandfather passed away. I was hooked even more intensely than alcohol. In the meantime, my tolerance was also increasing by the day and I needed more to get to the same level of relief. My behavior changed and I became someone I didn’t recognize. I was a thief and a bully and a liar so I could get what I want and control my life to no end. I had alcohol poisoning and would sleep through school. I destroyed every friendship and relationship I had. I robbed my parents of their peace of mind. I just didn’t know how to stop. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but my physical cravings for a release from my pain were insatiable. Eventually after a suicide attempt, my Mother reached her breaking point. She told me that I could either go to an outpatient program while still living at home or go to an inpatient facility in a mental hospital. I accepted the lesser of both evils and started outpatient treatment. I was finally forced to become accountable for my actions. I suddenly realized how much I excused my behavior because of things that happened in my early childhood. Because I was transfixed on the idea that life has cursed me with mental illness and a broken family, my morals escaped me. After outpatient, I started my journey through the 12 steps with the help of a sponsor and a community of other alcoholics. I remember my Mom telling me the day after my first meeting that it was the first full night of sleep that she’d had in almost 4 years. My 12-step community introduced me to service work. I discovered that by reaching out to another alcoholic or helping someone without the expectation of something in return, I started to feel whole again. When I’m of service, I’m out of my head and my urge to pity myself disappeared. At this point in my life, I’m 18 years old and proud to be 18 months sober. I know however that I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of an unconditionally loving community and a belief in a higher power through altruism and service. I want nothing more than to continue my efforts to be of service in every facet of my life. I have no intention of drinking or using ever again, and that’s a high I’ll never get tired of.
    Your Health Journey Scholarship
    My name is Teresa Meehan, and I’m an alcoholic and a drug addict. This is a story of what it was like, what happened and what my life is like now. Being from New Orleans, I was allowed to drink in small amounts for as long as I can remember. Nevertheless, I remember the first time I got drunk. I was 13 and I distinctly remember the sense of ease and comfort I felt. It was like something inside of me had been waiting for my mind to finally slow down and relax. At the time, my anxiety and depression were the worst they’d ever been and I’ve always tended to be a perfectionist and overwork myself. From then on, I chased this feeling every single minute of every single day. I had arrived. When I drank, I could talk to strangers. I finally felt okay with my outward appearance and no longer hated myself for who I was- a closeted, shy preteen in a Catholic family. It was fun for a while until it wasn’t. Drugs became a part of my story when I was around 14 after my grandfather passed away. I was hooked even more intensely than alcohol. In the meantime, my tolerance was also increasing by the day and I needed more to get to the same level of relief. My behavior changed and I became someone I didn’t recognize. I was a thief and a bully and a liar so I could get what I want and control my life to no end. I had alcohol poisoning and would sleep through school. I destroyed every friendship and relationship I had. I robbed my parents of their peace of mind. I just didn’t know how to stop. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but my physical cravings for a release from my pain were insatiable. Eventually, after a suicide attempt, my Mother reached her breaking point. She told me that I could either go to an outpatient program while still living at home or go to an inpatient facility in a mental hospital. I accepted the lesser of both evils and started outpatient treatment. I was finally forced to become accountable for my actions. I suddenly realized how much I excused my behavior because of things that happened in my early childhood. Because I was transfixed on the idea that life has cursed me with mental illness and a broken family, my morals escaped me. After outpatient, I started my journey through the 12 steps with the help of a sponsor and a community of other alcoholics. I remember my Mom telling me the day after my first meeting that it was the first full night of sleep that she’d had in almost 4 years. My 12-step community introduced me to service work. I discovered that by reaching out to another alcoholic or helping someone without the expectation of something in return, I started to feel whole again. When I’m of service, I’m out of my head and my urge to pity myself disappeared. At this point in my life, I’m 18 years old and proud to be 18 months sober. I know however that I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of an unconditionally loving community and a belief in a higher power through altruism and service. I want nothing more than to continue my efforts to be of service in every facet of my life. I have no intention of drinking or using ever again, and that’s a high I’ll never get tired of.
    Pool Family LGBT+ Scholarship
    I feel a unique duty as a lesbian to uphold a status of feminism and female-empowerment at all times. Lesbian erasure is rampant in our society, from political figures being forgotten to important lesbian activists, such as Stormé DeLarverie, who was a biracial drag king and the first person to be arrested at Stonewall, enticing the riot. After all, the toxic masculinity seen in all communities has its innermost roots in misogyny. But lesbians will not be erased, sexualized or exploited. Our love isn't for the male gaze to prey upon and our role in making the lives of LGBTQ+ people globally will not be forgotten. I came out to my Catholic family just under 5 years ago. My parents are remarkably accepting of my identity, despite their religious beliefs, but the rest of my family is split. In fact, one of my first cousins came out to her family this past school year and she was disowned. I want my privilege as a white, able-bodied lesbian with accepting parents to be of use to women like my cousin, who have had their family turn their backs against them. We celebrate pride every year, even with all of the social change that has been granted to the LGBTQ+ community because people would still rather be dead than be themselves. I earnestly want to have a hand in changing that. As a proud lesbian woman, I believe firmly that if I feel comfortable in my school community, knowing that I am grounded financially, I can be more active in school communities and organizations. Sarah Lawerence offers an exciting opportunity to be a part of student-directed and managed performances centered around the LGBTQ+ experience. I truly want to rise from my financial hardships and study things I'm interested in, not just topics that will make me money in the future. I want to have a broader view of the world, and a comfortable financial experience during college would certainly help with that.
    Mental Health Matters Scholarship
    A huge part of being comfortable in a leadership role is being comfortable with the idea of failure. It is inevitable, and the fear of failure will stifle any ounce of fulfillment we get from our everyday lives. When a team has a leader without an unshakeable sense of self-worth and confidence, it simply cannot prosper. A specific experience pertaining to this fear of failure happened two years ago. I petitioned my school’s art department to let me fulfill two concentrations at the same time: technical theater and vocal performance. Whether it was that I was flooded with a sense of adolescent self-importance or that a former teacher of mine jokingly told me it was impossible, my hunger for this accomplishment was insatiable. After much deliberation, the department granted me the privilege, as long as I maintained my grades. My teachers surrounded me with cautious expressions, telling me how difficult this would be, while I completely ignored them, feeling victorious. At the time, I needed that sense of belonging. My mental health was the worst it had ever been: with my parents threatening to separate. I didn’t know where to channel my anger other than back into myself. If I maintained a shallow version of “success,” I could circumvent my identity crisis and find myself in my achievements, right? There was a reason the board was so hesitant about letting me do two concentrations. I burned out quickly. A group project I led failed miserably and I couldn't spend enough time getting to know my group members and truly appreciating their assets as individuals. Shortly after this, I was told that my privileges would be revoked since my grades had dipped. Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated. I came full circle in less than a year- being given an opportunity no other student had been given and being removed from the program in the same room by all the same people. Their faces, which once shone with cautious optimism, were now just disappointed. For longer than I would like to admit, I blamed myself to a maladaptive degree. I still wanted control over my life and I found that control in beating myself up and being negative to everyone around me. However, as I finally accepted that I needed professional help through this, my view of myself changed. I realized how awful my time management skills were and the intensity of my control issues. For the first time in my life, I embraced the idea of humility. The day I withdrew from the double concentration program, I finally had to accept the fact that it was all over. Fortunately, I stayed in technical theater, which is a decision I will be forever grateful for. I’m even a stage manager for my first musical since the pandemic started and I cherish every second. I led a team of performers, artists and managers through a grueling, 9 month rehearsal process and was still able to keep my chin up, persevere, and put my best foot forward for my team. At this point in my life, I make a conscious effort to budget time to check in with myself, assuring that I don’t get overworked. Most importantly, I can now look myself in the eye and treat myself with compassion. Though I may fail, I am not a failure.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    A huge part of being comfortable in a leadership role is being comfortable with the idea of failure. It is inevitable, and the fear of failure will stifle any ounce of fulfillment we get from our everyday lives. When a team has a leader without an unshakeable sense of self-worth and confidence, it simply cannot prosper. All my life, I’ve been a sensitive, emotional person. The opinions of others have always mattered deeply to me and I would frequently twist myself into knots so I could appease the expectations of other people. As I’ve gotten older, some of these tendencies I have grown out of, but it wasn’t without hard work and taking a deep look inside of myself to see where my behavior could be improved. A specific experience pertaining to this fear of failure happened two years ago. I petitioned my school’s art department to let me fulfill two concentrations at the same time: technical theater and vocal performance. Whether it was that I was flooded with a sense of adolescent self-importance or that a former teacher of mine jokingly told me it was impossible, my hunger for this accomplishment was insatiable. After much deliberation, the department granted me the privilege, as long as I maintained my grades. My teachers surrounded me with cautious expressions, telling me how difficult this would be, while I completely ignored them, feeling victorious. At the time, I needed that sense of belonging. My mental health was the worst it had ever been: with my parents threatening to separate. I didn’t know where to channel my anger other than back into myself. If I maintained a shallow version of “success,” I could circumvent my identity crisis and find myself in my achievements, right? There was a reason the board was so hesitant about letting me do two concentrations. I burned out quickly. A group project I led failed miserably and I couldn't spend enough time getting to know my group members and truly appreciating their assets as individuals. Shortly after this, I was told that my privileges would be revoked since my grades had dipped. Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated. I came full circle in less than a year- being given an opportunity no other student had been given and being removed from the program in the same room by all the same people. Their faces, which once shone with cautious optimism, were now just disappointed. For longer than I would like to admit, I blamed myself to a maladaptive degree. I still wanted control over my life and I found that control in beating myself up and being negative to everyone around me. However, as I finally accepted that I needed professional help through this, my view of myself changed. I realized how awful my time management skills were and the intensity of my control issues. For the first time in my life, I embraced the idea of humility. The day I withdrew from the double concentration program, I finally had to accept the fact that it was all over. Fortunately, I stayed in technical theater, which is a decision I will be forever grateful for. I’m even a stage manager for my first musical since the pandemic started and I cherish every second. I led a team of performers, artists and managers through a grueling, 9 month rehearsal process and was still able to keep my chin up, persevere, and put my best foot forward for my team. At this point in my life, I make a conscious effort to budget time to check in with myself, assuring that I don’t get overworked. Most importantly, I can now look myself in the eye and treat myself with compassion. Though I may fail, I am not a failure. I hope to continue this pattern of healthy coping mechanisms to stress and heavy workloads. I know the field of work I’d like to go into- theater management- requires me to think quickly on my feet and stay calm in potentially volatile environments. As a stage manager, I help to lead a team full of crew members, designers and artists on a journey through the conceptualization process. Without an emotionally-grounded leader, any team is. completely unstable. I believe strongly that even though this path of emotional growth isn’t a tangible goal that was met or an achievement awarded by a panel of people, my mental fortitude and grit are the things I pride myself the most for.
    Your Health Journey Scholarship
    All my life, I’ve been a sensitive, emotional person. The opinions of others have always mattered deeply to me and I would frequently twist myself into knots so I could appease the expectations of other people. As I’ve gotten older, some of these tendencies I have grown out of, but it wasn’t without hard work and taking a deep look inside of myself to see where my behavior could be improved. A huge turning point in my quest to better myself happened two years ago. I petitioned my school’s art department to let me fulfill two concentrations at the same time: technical theater and vocal performance. Whether it was that I was flooded with a sense of adolescent self-importance or that a former teacher of mine jokingly told me it was impossible, my hunger for this accomplishment was insatiable. After much deliberation, the department granted me the privilege, as long as I maintained my grades. At the time, I needed that sense of belonging. My mental health was the worst it had ever been: with my parents threatening to separate. I didn’t know where to channel my anger other than back into myself. If I maintained a shallow version of “success,” I could circumvent my identity crisis and find myself in my achievements, right? There was a reason the board was so hesitant about letting me do two concentrations. I burned out quickly. An important group project in my technical theater class that I was the leader for utterly failed, purely because of my inability to recognize how thinly I was stretching myself out. I had no time for self-care or my emotional well-being. Shortly after this, I was told that my privileges would be revoked since my grades had dipped. Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated. For longer than I would like to admit, I blamed myself to a maladaptive degree. I still wanted control over my life and I found that control in beating myself up and being negative to everyone around me. However, as I finally accepted that I needed professional help through this, my view of myself changed. I realized how awful my time management skills were and the intensity of my control issues. For the first time in my life, I embraced the idea of humility. Fortunately, I stayed in technical theater, which is a decision I will be forever grateful for. I’m even a stage manager for my first musical since the pandemic started and I cherish every second. At this point in my life, I make a conscious effort to budget time to check in with myself, assuring that I don’t get overworked. Most importantly, I can now look myself in the eye and treat myself with compassion. Though I may fail, I am not a failure. I hope to continue this pattern of healthy coping mechanisms to stress and heavy workloads. I know the field of work I’d like to go into- theater management- requires me to think quickly on my feet and stay calm in potentially volatile environments. As a stage manager, I help to lead a team full of crew members, designers and artists on a journey through the conceptualization process. Without an emotionally-grounded leader, any team is. completely unstable. I believe strongly that even though this path of emotional growth isn’t a tangible goal that was met or an achievement awarded by a panel of people, my mental fortitude and grit are the things I pride myself the most for.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    All my life, I’ve been a sensitive, emotional person. The opinions of others have always mattered deeply to me and I would frequently twist myself into knots so I could appease the expectations of other people. As I’ve gotten older, some of these tendencies I have grown out of, but it wasn’t without hard work and taking a deep look inside of myself to see where my behavior could be improved. A huge turning point in my quest to better myself happened two years ago. I petitioned my school’s art department to let me fulfill two concentrations at the same time: technical theater and vocal performance. Whether it was that I was flooded with a sense of adolescent self-importance or that a former teacher of mine jokingly told me it was impossible, my hunger for this accomplishment was insatiable. After much deliberation, the department granted me the privilege, as long as I maintained my grades. My teachers surrounded me with cautious expressions, telling me how difficult this would be, while I completely ignored them, feeling victorious. At the time, I needed that sense of belonging. My mental health was the worst it had ever been: with my parents threatening to separate. I didn’t know where to channel my anger other than back into myself. If I maintained a shallow version of “success,” I could circumvent my identity crisis and find myself in my achievements, right? There was a reason the board was so hesitant about letting me do two concentrations. I burned out quickly. An important group project in my technical theater class that I was the leader for utterly failed, purely because of my inability to recognize how thinly I was stretching myself out. I had no time for self-care or my emotional well-being. Shortly after this, I was told that my privileges would be revoked since my grades had dipped. Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated. I came full circle in less than a year- being given an opportunity no other student had been given and being removed from the program in the same room by all the same people. Their faces, which once shone with cautious optimism, were now just disappointed. For longer than I would like to admit, I blamed myself to a maladaptive degree. I still wanted control over my life and I found that control in beating myself up and being negative to everyone around me. However, as I finally accepted that I needed professional help through this, my view of myself changed. I realized how awful my time management skills were and the intensity of my control issues. For the first time in my life, I embraced the idea of humility. The day I withdrew from the double concentration program, I finally had to accept the fact that it was all over. Fortunately, I stayed in technical theater, which is a decision I will be forever grateful for. I’m even a stage manager for my first musical since the pandemic started and I cherish every second. At this point in my life, I make a conscious effort to budget time to check in with myself, assuring that I don’t get overworked. Most importantly, I can now look myself in the eye and treat myself with compassion. Though I may fail, I am not a failure. I hope to continue this pattern of healthy coping mechanisms to stress and heavy workloads. I know the field of work I’d like to go into- theater management- requires me to think quickly on my feet and stay calm in potentially volatile environments. As a stage manager, I help to lead a team full of crew members, designers and artists on a journey through the conceptualization process. Without an emotionally-grounded leader, any team is. completely unstable. I believe strongly that even though this path of emotional growth isn’t a tangible goal that was met or an achievement awarded by a panel of people, my mental fortitude and grit are the things I pride myself the most for.
    Greg Lockwood Scholarship
    I feel a unique duty as a lesbian to uphold a status of feminism and female-empowerment at all times. Lesbian erasure is rampant in our society, from political figures being forgotten to important lesbian activists, such as Stormé DeLarverie, who was a biracial, drag king and the first person to be arrested at Stonewall, enticing the riot. After all, the toxic masculinity seen in all communities has its innermost roots in misogyny. But lesbians will not be erased, sexualized or exploited. Our love isn't for the male gaze to prey upon and our role in making the lives of LGBTQ+ people globally will not be forgotten. I came out to my Catholic family just under 5 years ago. My parents are remarkably accepting of my identity, despite their religious beliefs, but the rest of my family is split. In fact, one of my first cousins came out to her family this past school year and she was disowned. I want my privilege as a white, able-bodied lesbian with accepting parents to be of use to women like my cousin, who have had their family turn their backs against them. We celebrate pride every year, even with all of the social change that has been granted to the LGBTQ+ community because people would still rather be dead than be themselves. I earnestly want to have a hand in changing that.
    Trudgers Fund
    My name is Teresa Meehan, and I’m an alcoholic and a drug addict. This is a story of what it was like, what happened and what my life is like now. Being from New Orleans, I was allowed to drink in small amounts for as long as I can remember. Nevertheless, I remember the first time I got drunk. I was 13 and I distinctly remember the sense of ease and comfort I felt. It was like something inside of me had been waiting for my mind to finally slow down and relax. At the time, my anxiety and depression were the worst they’d ever been and I’ve always had a tendency to be a perfectionist and overwork myself. From then on, I chased this feeling every single minute of every single day. I had arrived. When I drank, I could talk to strangers. I finally felt okay with my outwards appearance and no longer hated myself for who I was- a closeted, shy preteen in a Catholic family. It was fun for a while until it wasn’t. Drugs became a part of my story when I was around 14 after my grandfather passed away. I was hooked even more intensely than alcohol. In the meantime, my tolerance was also increasing by the day and I needed more to get to the same level of relief. My behavior changed and I became someone I didn’t recognize. I was a thief and a bully and a liar so I could get what I want and control my life to no end. I had alcohol poisoning and would sleep through school. I destroyed every friendship and relationship I had. I robbed my parents of their peace of mind. I just didn’t know how to stop. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but my physical cravings for a release from my pain were insatiable. Eventually after a suicide attempt, my Mother reached her breaking point. She told me that I could either go to an outpatient program while still living at home or go to an inpatient facility in a mental hospital. I accepted the lesser of both evils and started outpatient treatment. I was finally forced to become accountable for my actions. I suddenly realized how much I excused my behavior because of things that happened in my early childhood. Because I was transfixed on the idea that life has cursed me with mental illness and a broken family, my morals escaped me. After outpatient, I started my journey through the 12 steps with the help of a sponsor and a community of other alcoholics. I remember my Mom telling me the day after my first meeting that it was the first full night of sleep that she’d had in almost 4 years. My 12-step community introduced me to service work. I discovered that by reaching out to another alcoholic or helping someone without the expectation of something in return, I started to feel whole again. When I’m of service, I’m out of my head and my urge to pity myself disappeared. At this point in my life, I’m 18 years old and proud to be 18 months sober. I know however that I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of an unconditionally loving community and a belief in a higher power through altruism and service. I want nothing more than to continue my efforts to be of service in every facet of my life. I have no intention of drinking or using ever again, and that’s a high I’ll never get tired of.
    Dr. Samuel Attoh Legacy Scholarship
    As I get older, I seem to realize more and more how much my parent’s lives have been defined by “breaking the cycles” that their parents started. My grandfather on my Dad’s side of the family was an alcoholic and so was my grandfather on my Mom’s side of the family. Both of my parents still struggle with the wounds of their past, especially from childhood. Since I’m an only child, I see my parents up close and personal with all of their strengths and their faults. It is not lost on me how much they’ve suffered in their past and how much they have sacrificed to get me to where I am now. Despite using the tempting, easy way out of the life that was predetermined by their parents, my Mother and Father have taken great efforts to better themselves, even in the face of adversity, my Mother especially. When I was struggling with mental illness issues in middle school, my Mom validated my feelings and made sure that I received adequate counseling and medical care to ensure my safety. When my father’s hoarding addiction was outed in all of its extent to my family, it was my Mother who pulled herself up by the bootstraps and put in enormous efforts to keep our family together. To my Father’s credit, he accepted help when he needed it and was open to us emotionally, even when he was full of shame. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I hope to continue my parent’s legacy of breaking cycles of generational trauma, both conscious and unconscious. Because of them, I know of my shortcomings firsthand. I follow in their footsteps in bettering myself, even in the face of huge adversity. I can be a part of the conversation on mental health awareness because my Mother fought to get me the help I needed so early on in my life. For those reasons, I believe truly that my behavior now and in the future will be forever impacted my my parent’s strength and vulnerability. Their legacy is my legacy.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    All my life, I’ve been a sensitive, emotional person. The opinions of others have always mattered deeply to me and I would frequently twist myself into knots so I could appease the expectations of other people. As I’ve gotten older, some of these tendencies I have grown out of, but it wasn’t without hard work and taking a deep look inside of myself to see where my behavior could be improved. A huge turning point in my quest to better myself happened two years ago. I petitioned my school’s art department to let me fulfill two concentrations at the same time: technical theater and vocal performance. Whether it was that I was flooded with a sense of adolescent self-importance or that a former teacher of mine jokingly told me it was impossible, my hunger for this accomplishment was insatiable. After much deliberation, the department granted me the privilege, as long as I maintained my grades. My teachers surrounded me with cautious expressions, telling me how difficult this would be, while I completely ignored them, feeling victorious. At the time, I needed that sense of belonging. My mental health was the worst it had ever been: with my parents threatening to separate. I didn’t know where to channel my anger other than back into myself. If I maintained a shallow version of “success,” I could circumvent my identity crisis and find myself in my achievements, right? There was a reason the board was so hesitant about letting me do two concentrations. I burned out quickly. An important group project in my technical theater class that I was the leader for utterly failed, purely because of my inability to recognize how thinly I was stretching myself out. I had no time for self-care or my emotional well-being. Shortly after this, I was told that my privileges would be revoked since my grades had dipped. Even though I knew it was coming, I was devastated. I came full circle in less than a year- being given an opportunity no other student had been given and being removed from the program in the same room by all the same people. Their faces, which once shone with cautious optimism, were now just disappointed. For longer than I would like to admit, I blamed myself to a maladaptive degree. I still wanted control over my life and I found that control in beating myself up and being negative to everyone around me. However, as I finally accepted that I needed professional help through this, my view of myself changed. I realized how awful my time management skills were and the intensity of my control issues. For the first time in my life, I embraced the idea of humility. The day I withdrew from the double concentration program, I finally had to accept the fact that it was all over. Fortunately, I stayed in technical theater, which is a decision I will be forever grateful for. I’m even a stage manager for my first musical since the pandemic started and I cherish every second. At this point in my life, I make a conscious effort to budget time to check in with myself, assuring that I don’t get overworked. Most importantly, I can now look myself in the eye and treat myself with compassion. Though I may fail, I am not a failure. I hope to continue this pattern of healthy coping mechanisms to stress and heavy workloads. I know the field of work I’d like to go into- theater management- requires me to think quickly on my feet and stay calm in potentially volatile environments. As a stage manager, I help to lead a team full of crew members, designers and artists on a journey through the conceptualization process. Without an emotionally-grounded leader, any team is. completely unstable. I believe strongly that even though this path of emotional growth isn’t a tangible goal that was met or an achievement awarded by a panel of people, my mental fortitude and grit are the things I pride myself the most for.