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Zekiah Strickland


Bold Points






I am a Student with an unwavering passion for game development and gaming entrepreneurship. My life goals are clear: I aspire to be a game developer and a gaming entrepreneur. My journey into the world of gaming has been a lifelong adventure. Video games are more than just a hobby for me; they represent the intersection of art, innovation, and storytelling. I aim to become a game developer, create compelling and innovative games, and eventually establish my own gaming studio. I am a strong candidate due to my unwavering dedication, passion, and clear vision of the impact I want to make in gaming.


Nevada High School

High School
2019 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Software and Media Applications
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Computer Software

    • Dream career goals:

      Developer of software to assist neurodiverse people

    • Mechanic's assistant/clerical worker

      M&W Motor Co.
      2020 – 20233 years


    • Rainbow of challenges

      "Roc-turnal fright night" haunted houses
      2019 – 2023
    • Nevada High School Ceramics

      2023 – Present
    • Nevada High School Choir

      2023 – Present
    • Nevada High School Drama class

      2022 – 2023
    • Nevada High School band

      2017 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Hope Animal Shelter — Organized the Fill the Truck Event and Ran It.
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Elderly lady in my community — Helped my family clean her home and pack her items and move them
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Shover Springs Baptist Church — Donated items, filled bags and delivered them
      2014 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Shover Springs Baptist Church — Help gather, fill, wrap and deliver shoeboxes.
      2014 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Shover Springs Baptist Church — Help gather and donate needed items
      2014 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Shover Springs Baptist Church — Help gather and donate food items
      2014 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Rainbow Of Challenges — participated in haunted house fundraiser 3 years and in the street carnival fundraiser 1 year
      2019 – 2023

    Future Interests




    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up in a family where mental health is a core aspect has deeply influenced my outlook on life and shaped my understanding of resilience and sacrifice. From my earliest memories in Jacksonville, Arkansas, to my current journey as an 18-year-old high school senior, my mother, a compassionate psychiatric nurse has shaped my values, character, and aspirations. Being raised in an environment where mental health awareness was not just a professional duty for my mother, but also a fundamental aspect of our family culture, has instilled in me a profound sense of empathy and a commitment to promoting well-being in myself and others. One of the most impactful experiences concerning mental illness within my family revolves around my uncle, a reserve Navy Seabee who encountered a life-altering moment during a convoy mission in Afghanistan back in 2003. A rocket-propelled grenade detonated near his vehicle, inflicting severe mental and physical injuries that endure to this day. Witnessing his daily struggles with the physical and mental health challenges stemming from that incident, as well as his ongoing battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been both heart-wrenching and inspiring. Despite enduring unimaginable pain, his resilience in the face of adversity stands as a powerful testament to his courage and dedication. His experiences underscore the reality that bodily injuries, such as those sustained in combat or accidents, can have significant implications for mental health. The physical toll of such injuries often goes hand in hand with psychological challenges, as individuals grapple with the adjustment to life-altering changes, feelings of loss, frustration, and a diminished sense of identity. Through my uncle's journey, I have come to understand the importance of addressing mental health alongside physical rehabilitation. His resilience serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the importance of providing support systems for those navigating both physical and mental health challenges. Furthermore, my family's experience has heightened my awareness of the broader societal issues surrounding mental health. Stigma and misconceptions often prevent individuals from seeking help or receiving adequate support. As a result, addressing mental health in our communities requires not only access to resources but also a shift in attitudes and perceptions. As I reflect on my own journey and the impact of mental illness within my family, I am committed to promoting awareness, understanding, and support for those affected. Whether through advocacy, education, or support networks, I believe that we can create a more compassionate and inclusive society where mental health is prioritized and supported. In conclusion, growing up in an environment that emphasized mental health gave me a unique perspective on the intersection of physical injury and mental health. Through my uncle's experiences, I have witnessed the profound impact of resilience, sacrifice, and the importance of holistic approaches to well-being. Moving forward, I am dedicated to raising awareness and fostering a supportive environment where mental health is valued, understood, and prioritized.
    James T. Godwin Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up in a military family has indelibly shaped my identity and provided a unique lens through which I view the world. From my earliest memories at LRAFB in Jacksonville, Arkansas, to my current aspirations as an 18-year-old high school senior, the influence of military service has been a constant presence, shaping my character, values, and ambitions. Among the many inspiring figures in my life, none have left as profound an impact as my uncle, a reserve Navy Seabee whose journey has taught me invaluable lessons about resilience and dedication. My uncle's path to service began long before I was born. However, it was his deployment to Afghanistan in 2003 that marked a pivotal moment in his life, and consequently, mine. Amidst the rugged terrain and perilous missions, fate intervened in the form of a deafening explosion – a rocket-propelled grenade that shattered my uncle's world. The explosion thrust him from his vehicle, inflicting severe injuries that persist to this day. Witnessing his daily struggles with physical and mental health challenges stemming from the incident has been heartbreaking yet inspiring. Despite enduring unimaginable pain, his resilience in adversity stands as a beacon of courage and dedication. The aftermath of that fateful moment left my uncle with scars, both seen and unseen. Physical injuries, while debilitating, paled in comparison to the psychological toll exacted by the trauma of war. Witnessing his daily struggles has been a poignant reminder of the sacrifices borne by those who serve. Yet, amidst the pain and adversity, my uncle's unwavering resolve has served as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human soul. As I stand on the cusp of adulthood, preparing to embark on my own journey, the lessons imparted by my uncle resonate more deeply than ever before. They serve as guiding principles, shaping my values and aspirations. His resilience in the face of adversity has instilled in me a sense of determination, a belief that no obstacle is insurmountable if met with courage and perseverance. The sacrifices made by soldiers like my uncle highlight the true essence of patriotism – a selfless devotion to duty and country. Their willingness to put themselves in harm's way for the greater good exemplifies the noblest ideals of service and sacrifice. Through my uncle's ordeal, I have gained a newfound appreciation for the sacrifices made by every member of the military, often unnoticed by the broader society. It is through their unwavering commitment that the freedoms we cherish are safeguarded. Moreover, his humility has taught me the importance of service – not just to our country, but to humanity as a whole. For true patriotism extends beyond borders, encompassing a commitment to the common good and a recognition of our shared humanity. In conclusion, my uncle's journey as a Navy Seabee has left an indelible mark on my life, imparting lessons of resilience, dedication, and humility. Through his sacrifices, I've gained a deeper understanding of patriotism – one rooted not in grand gestures or empty platitudes, but in the quiet courage of ordinary men and women who serve with honor and integrity. As I embark on my own path, I carry with me the lessons learned from his example, striving to honor his legacy through my own actions and endeavors.
    Johnny Douglas Conner Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up in a military family has been an integral part of my identity, shaping my perspective on life in profound ways. Born in Jacksonville, Arkansas, in 2006, my early years were steeped in the ethos of military service, with my father's time at the Air Force Base in Little Rock setting the stage for a lifetime of lessons in resilience, adaptability, and sacrifice. While my father retired from the Air Force shortly after my birth, his military background continued to permeate our family dynamic. Witnessing his transition to civilian life was a lesson in perseverance, as he pursued higher education and eventually became a power plant operator. His unwavering determination became a guiding light for me, emphasizing the importance of hard work and fortitude in the face of adversity. One poignant memory from my father's service was the uncertainty and anxiety of his deployments. His swift departure to the desert shortly after my parents' marriage left my mother to navigate the challenges of setting up a new home on her own, far from the familiarity of family and friends. For four long months, communication was limited to brief weekly phone calls, adding an extra layer of anxiety to my mother's already burdensome responsibilities. Her unwavering dedication during those difficult times serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by military families on the home front. The impact of military service on my family extends beyond my immediate household. My uncle, a reserve Navy Seabee, exemplifies the sacrifices made by those in uniform. His deployment to Afghanistan in 2003 resulted in life-altering injuries, yet his courage and resilience serve as a testament to the unwavering spirit of military service members. Witnessing his struggles and triumphs deepened my appreciation for the sacrifices made by individuals and their families in service to their country. These experiences have deeply influenced my perspective on sacrifice, perseverance, and the importance of family support. Witnessing the strength and unity displayed by my family instilled within me a profound appreciation for the endurance of military families. It also reinforced the importance of loyalty, communication, and emotional support within relationships, values that continue to guide my interactions with others. Moreover, the values of adaptability and determination inherent in military life have left a lasting impression on me. Growing up in an environment where challenges were met head-on, I learned to embrace adversity as an opportunity for growth rather than a setback. These lessons have equipped me with the confidence and tenacity to face whatever obstacles may arise in my path. In addition to the personal impact of my family's military background, I have witnessed the broader influence of military service on communities and society as a whole. Interacting with diverse groups within military communities fostered a deep sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. These experiences underscored the importance of service to others and the profound impact that individuals can have when they come together for a common cause. As I reflect on the lessons of sacrifice, resilience, and unity imparted by my military upbringing, I am reminded of the profound responsibility we all share to contribute positively to the world around us. The values instilled in me by my family's experiences will continue to guide me as I navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Whether in personal relationships, academic pursuits, or future career endeavors, I am confident that the lessons learned from growing up in a military family will continue to positively influence my life for years to come.
    Team Nolan Scholarship
    In the pursuit of our future goals, we often find ourselves navigating a labyrinth of challenges, each one shaping our journey in unique ways. My aspirations, rooted in a passion for technology and a commitment to overcoming personal obstacles, embody a vision of innovation and social impact that extends far beyond individual achievement. Embarking on my academic journey at Southern Arkansas University (SAU), I am driven by a profound curiosity about the possibilities of technology and its potential to transform lives. My short-term goal revolves around immersing myself in the vibrant ecosystem of computer science at SAU, seizing every opportunity to expand my knowledge and sharpen my skills. From coding clubs to game jams, I am eager to engage in collaborative projects that push the boundaries of innovation. Yet, my journey has not been without its share of adversity. Navigating the intricacies of social communication has been a persistent challenge, exacerbated by my struggles with social anxiety. While I have made significant progress over the years, these challenges continue to shape my interactions and fuel my determination to make a difference. In confronting these obstacles, I have found solace in the power of expression through writing. However, traditional approaches to communication education have often fallen short in addressing the practical aspects of interpersonal interaction. This realization has served as a catalyst for my personal mission: to streamline the journey to effective communication for others facing similar struggles. Drawing from my own experiences grappling with social anxiety, I aspire to develop software tailored for individuals facing any form of social impairment, aiming to enhance their understanding of social interactions. Upon graduation from SAU, I envision leveraging my expertise in computer science to address social communication challenges in innovative ways. My passion for gaming and interactive storytelling serves as the foundation for my approach, as I seek to create immersive experiences that transcend the ordinary gaming landscape. Central to my vision are Visual Novels that immerse players in realistic social scenarios, offering tailored feedback to enhance their understanding of social cues and interactions. By incorporating AI systems versed in diverse cultural norms, I aim to create a learning environment that fosters cross-cultural understanding and empathy. Yet, my goals extend beyond the realm of gaming; they embody a broader commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowerment. Through interactive storytelling, I aspire to contribute to a more connected and understanding world, where individuals facing diverse challenges find support and encouragement. I aim to do this, not only by showing individuals with social impairments how to navigate social interactions, but also by showing those without these impairments how to understand those with social impairments. In essence, my journey is a testament to the transformative power of resilience, empathy, and innovation. By harnessing the potential of technology to address societal challenges, I aim to leave a lasting impact on the lives of those in need. As I continue on this path, I am grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead and the support that fuels my aspirations.
    Donald Mehall Memorial Scholarship
    The transformative power of facing unexpected challenges is evident in my journey of discovering and understanding my best friend's placement on the autism spectrum. This experience not only shattered stereotypes but also deepened our friendship, leading to profound personal growth and a shift in perspective. Like many, I held misconceptions about neurodiversity, shaped by media portrayals that often focused on the social challenges and communication difficulties associated with autism. However, my perception underwent a radical shift during a candid conversation with my friend. As he shared his experiences and unique perspectives, I realized the depth of my ignorance and felt a sense of responsibility to educate myself further. Acceptance quickly became the cornerstone of our friendship. I learned to cherish my friend's distinctive qualities, recognizing that his diagnosis did not define him. Instead, it offered a new lens through which to appreciate his individuality. This revelation was instrumental in fostering a deeper connection based on mutual understanding and respect. Through our friendship, I witnessed firsthand the resilience and determination of neurodiverse individuals. Despite facing societal barriers and misconceptions, my friend thrived, showcasing his talents and abilities in ways that inspired awe and admiration. His journey taught me the importance of creating inclusive environments where everyone, regardless of neurotype, can flourish and reach their full potential. Navigating the intricacies of neurodiversity alongside my friend led me to confront preconceived notions and biases deeply ingrained in societal attitudes. It was a journey of unlearning and relearning, a process that demanded humility and openness to new perspectives. As I delved deeper into understanding autism, I realized that each individual's experience is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to support and acceptance. Our shared experiences highlighted the richness of embracing differences. Through moments of understanding and growth, I learned that diversity enriches our lives and fosters a sense of interconnectedness that transcends societal norms. This realization not only strengthened our bond but also shaped me into a more compassionate, open-minded, and understanding individual. One of the most significant lessons I learned was the importance of patience. Understanding that neurodiverse individuals navigate the world at their own pace taught me to be more empathetic and accommodating. I discovered the value of listening without judgment and offering support when needed, cultivating a sense of compassion that extended beyond our friendship. In retrospect, encountering this challenge was a great cause for my personal growth. It challenged me to confront my biases, expand my understanding of neurodiversity, and cultivate empathy in ways I had not previously imagined. What initially seemed like an obstacle ultimately became an opportunity for profound learning and self-discovery. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter are fundamental to our later success. My journey of discovering and understanding my friend's placement on the autism spectrum taught me the importance of acceptance, patience, and embracing differences. It deepened our friendship, broadened my perspective, and ultimately contributed to my personal growth in ways I will always be grateful for.
    Veterans & Family Scholarship
    Growing up in a military family has indelibly shaped my identity and provided a unique lens through which I view the world. From my earliest memories in Jacksonville, Arkansas, to my current aspirations as an 18-year-old high school senior, the influence of military service has been a constant presence, shaping my character, values, and ambitions. My father's service in the Air Force at the Little Rock Air Force Base has been a foundational pillar of my upbringing. Although he retired shortly after my birth, his military experiences continued to resonate within our family. Witnessing his transition from military to civilian life taught me the virtues of adaptability and perseverance. Despite the challenges of starting anew, he pursued higher education and eventually became a power plant operator, exemplifying the resilience and work ethic that have inspired me throughout my life. One of the most prominent stories from my father's service was his swift deployment shortly after my parents' marriage. My mother faced the daunting task of setting up a new home in an unfamiliar city while navigating the complexities of military life without the support of her family and friends. For four long months, communication was sparse, limited to brief weekly phone calls. Despite the challenges and uncertainties, her strength and unwavering dedication to our family never faltered, serving as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by military families on the home front. My uncle's experience as a reserve Navy Seabee further underscores the sacrifices and challenges that can affect military personnel and their families. His deployment to Afghanistan in 2003 resulted in life-altering injuries. Yet, his courage and resilience serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of military service members. Witnessing his struggles and triumphs has deepened my appreciation for the sacrifices made by those in uniform and their families, fostering within me a profound sense of gratitude and respect. Upon enrolling at Southern Arkansas University (SAU), I plan to immerse myself in their computer science curriculum. I am eager to delve into courses covering coding, algorithms, and the latest technological advancements. My ultimate goal is to develop software designed to assist individuals with social impairments. Inspired by a candid conversation with my best friend, who was placed on the autism spectrum, I aim to create a tool that helps neurodiverse people comprehend the underlying connotations of various social interactions and cues. I am confident that my passion, dedication, and drive will enable me to succeed in achieving my academic and career goals. As I look towards the future, I am grateful for the ways in which my military upbringing has shaped me into the person I am today. The values of resilience, compassion, and service that I've learned from my family's experiences will continue to guide me as I navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Whether in my personal relationships, academic pursuits, or future career endeavors, I am excited to leverage my education and experiences to make a meaningful and positive impact on society.
    Rev. Herman A. Martin Memorial Scholarship
    My name is Zekiah Strickland, and I am an 18-year-old high school senior. I was born in Jacksonville, Arkansas in 2006 when my father was stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base. He retired one year after I was born, and we moved to Southwest Arkansas where he attended college and graduated at age 40, then began his new career as a power plant operator. His flexibility and adaptability have inspired in me a strong work ethic. My mother, a compassionate nurse, instilled in me the value of caring for others, which has played a pivotal role in shaping my understanding of the profound significance of having empathy and showing kindness towards those in need. The varied backgrounds of my parents greatly influenced my upbringing, despite being just a baby when my father retired from his military service, the principles of discipline and dedication were ingrained in me from the start. Throughout my formative years, I discovered solace and passion in the world of music, particularly through my love for the piano and saxophone. Recently, I've started learning to play bass guitar, further enriching my musical repertoire and fueling my creative spirit. I also have a deep-rooted passion for community service, often assisting my church with initiatives like donation drives for the battered women’s shelter and our local food bank. Additionally, I volunteer with Rainbow of Challenges, working to raise funds to support their mentally and physically challenged clients. These experiences have further shaped my understanding of empathy and reinforced my commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Upon enrolling at Southern Arkansas University, my plan is straightforward yet ambitious. I intend to fully engage with their computer science curriculum, as I have always had a fervent passion for problem-solving and an eagerness to navigate the ever-evolving realm of technology. I see this field as the perfect fusion of logic, creativity, and innovation, offering endless possibilities for advancement. I plan on immersing myself in courses covering coding, algorithms, and the latest technological advancements. Beyond the classroom, I aim to participate in extracurricular activities and research projects to broaden my understanding and sharpen my skills in the field. Whether it's joining coding clubs, participating in hackathons, or collaborating with peers on innovative projects, I am eager to seize every opportunity for growth and learning. Ultimately, my goal is to leverage my education and experiences to contribute to make a positive impact on society. Specifically, I intend to develop software designed for individuals with social impairments. I came to this decision when I discovered a few years ago that my best friend was placed on the autism spectrum. My moment of revelation came during a candid conversation with him. As my friend shared his experiences, struggles, and unique perspectives, I was filled with a mix of emotions — surprise, curiosity, and, most significantly, a sense of responsibility. The software I plan to develop will assist neurodiverse people in comprehending the underlying connotations of various interactions and social cues. I am confident that my passion, dedication, and drive will enable me to succeed in achieving my academic and career goals, and I am excited to see where this journey takes me. In pursuing my academic and career goals, I am driven by passion, dedication, and a desire to create meaningful change. I am confident that my journey at SAU will provide me with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities needed to succeed in my endeavors. As I embark on this path, I am excited to see where it takes me and the positive impact I can make on the world.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    An ash I know, | Yggdrasil its name, With water white | is the great tree wet; Thence come the dews | that fall in the dales, Green by Urth's well | does it ever grow Exploring the Cosmic Axis: Understanding Völuspá in Norse Mythology In the vast tapestry of Norse mythology, few symbols are as central and profound as Yggdrasil, the World Tree. In the opening verses of the “Völuspá,” a key poem in the Poetic Edda—an ancient collection of Old Norse poetry—the ancient seeress unveils the majestic image of Yggdrasil, weaving together themes of interconnectedness, cyclical renewal, and the inexorable march of fate. By carefully analyzing this foundational passage, we can unlock the deeper philosophical insights embedded within Ancient Norse cosmology and gain a profound understanding of the human condition. At the heart of the poem lies the description of Yggdrasil as “an ash,” its name echoing through the ages as a whispered secret among gods and mortals alike. This simple yet profound image invites us to contemplate the essence of existence itself. The ash tree, with its sturdy trunk and outstretched branches, becomes a symbol of stability and growth, rooted deeply in the fabric of reality. Here, the ancient poets offer us a vision of the universe as a living, breathing entity, sustained by the primordial forces of nature. Yet, Yggdrasil is more than just a tree; it is a cosmic axis, a bridge that connects the nine realms of Norse mythology. As the seeress declares, "With water white | is the great tree wet," we are transported to the mystical realm of Urth's well, where the waters of fate flow endlessly. Here, beneath the tangled roots of Yggdrasil, lies the source of all life and knowledge, a fount of wisdom that nourishes the tree and sustains the cosmos. The imagery of Yggdrasil's roots reaching deep into the earth, and its branches stretching toward the heavens, evokes a profound sense of interconnectedness. In Norse mythology, the tree serves as a link between worlds, connecting the physical realm of Midgard with the divine realms of Asgard and beyond. This interconnectedness reflects a fundamental truth about the nature of reality: that all things are bound together in a web of relationships, each one influencing and shaping the other in ways both seen and unseen. Moreover, Yggdrasil embodies the concept of cyclical renewal, symbolizing the eternal cycle of death and rebirth that governs all life. As the seeress proclaims, "Thence come the dews | that fall in the dales," we are reminded of the perpetual motion of the cosmos, where old worlds fade into oblivion, only to be born anew in the fires of creation. This cyclical nature of existence speaks to the resilience of life itself, as well as the inevitability of change and transformation. Yet, the most profound aspect of Yggdrasil lies in its connection to fate and destiny. The tree "ever grows," its branches reaching ever upward toward an uncertain future. Here, we confront the paradox of free will versus predestination, as embodied in the concept of wyrd, or fate, in Norse mythology. Like the branches of Yggdrasil, our lives are shaped by our choices, yet ultimately bound by the threads of fate that weave the tapestry of our destinies. In conclusion, the passage from the "Völuspá" offers us a glimpse into the profound mysteries of Ancient Norse mythology, values, and worldview, inviting us to explore the depths of existence itself. Through the symbol of Yggdrasil, we are reminded of the interconnectedness of all things, the cyclical nature of life, and the inexorable march of fate. As we ponder these timeless truths, we are compelled to confront the ultimate questions of human existence: Who are we? Where do we come from? And what is our place in the cosmos?
    Windward Spirit Scholarship
    The "Ode to Millennials-Gen Z" encourages a thoughtful exploration of intergenerational dynamics and the distinct challenges facing today's youth. Set against the historical backdrop of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Greatest Generation," the ode prompts us to consider a shared "rendezvous with destiny" between generations. It adeptly draws parallels between the economic struggles of the Great Depression era and the contemporary issues of underemployment and the burden of student loans. A key highlight is the observed communication gap between older and younger generations, emphasizing the differing preferences in communication styles—reflecting a shift from the letter-writing era to the era of phone calls to today's penchant for texting. The ode’s core theme revolves around the youth's acceptance of challenges. Despite inheriting a world on the brink of disaster, Millennials and Gen Z display a palpable sense of duty and an enthusiastic embrace of life. This optimism hinges on the potential for this generation to emerge as "The Greatest Generation 2.0," addressing global issues like climate change and steering transformative societal change. As the essay progresses, it delves into the tension between generations, capturing the skepticism and criticism directed by the youth toward their predecessors. Their assertion that they are capable of handling and rectifying the problems they've inherited pervades the narrative, presenting an intriguing dynamic of generational evolution. Ultimately, the essay weaves a hopeful narrative, predicting that the inherent politeness and kindness of Millennials/Gen Z may catalyze a transformative generational legacy. The stage is n set for a future marked by resilience, positive change, and the indomitable spirit of a generation ready to redefine destiny on its terms.
    Anime Enthusiast Scholarship
    For many anime enthusiasts, there exists an anime that can be rewatched infinitely without losing its charm. In my case, that anime is the critically acclaimed "Howl's Moving Castle," directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli in 2004. This enchanting film has captivated the hearts and souls of many generations, and I consider it a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences worldwide. At the heart of "Howl's Moving Castle" lies an enthralling story brimming with magic and wonder. The film introduces us to Sophie, a young woman working in a hat shop leading a mundane life. Her life takes an extraordinary turn when she encounters the mysterious and elusive wizard, Howl. After an encounter with the unnamed 'Witch of the Waste,' Sophie is cursed to become a 90-year-old woman. This curse sets her on an unexpected quest for a cure, leading her to a living scarecrow she names "Turnip-Head." He guides her to Howl's titular moving castle—a mechanical, magical fortress that can walk and fly. Many factors make "Howl's Moving Castle" captivating, one being its breathtaking animation and artistry. Studio Ghibli's reputation for attention to detail and hand-drawn animation shines in this film. The lush landscapes, intricate character designs, and mesmerizing magical sequences are breathtaking. Each frame is a work of art that immerses viewers in a beautifully crafted world filled with magic and whimsy. Beyond animation, the film excels in character development. Sophie's transformation from a timid young woman into a strong, compassionate heroine exemplifies this masterful character development. Another example of this film's affinity for character development is Howl, who, despite his initial aloofness, eventually reveals many layers of complexity in his character as his past and vulnerabilities are unveiled. The supporting cast, including Turnip-Head and my favorite character, the fire demon Calcifer, add depth and humor to this narrative. These characters undergo much personal growth throughout the story, making them some of the most beloved and endearing characters in anime history. The film also delves into profound themes like love, identity, and the consequences of war. Its pacifistic message is subtle yet powerful, as it depicts the devastating impact of conflict on individuals and the world around them. Howl's resistance to fighting in the war, aversion to violence, and efforts to heal the wounds of the past serve as a touching reminder of the importance of peace and empathy. Another noteworthy aspect of the film is its rich foreshadowing, which reveals new layers with each viewing. Every time I watch this film, I notice many parts of the story that I had never noticed before, many of which you can only understand upon a rewatch. Watching this film for a second time allows the layers of complexity to unravel. I believe this is the only way to truly understand the true beauty of this masterwork of a film. "Howl's Moving Castle" is a timeless masterpiece, combining powerful messages with breathtaking animation and relatable characters. Its themes of love, acceptance, and peace are as relevant today as ever, cementing it as a gem in the anime world. Whether you're drawn to the magic, adventure, or endearing characters, there's something for everyone in this extraordinary film.
    Harry Potter and the Sorting Hat Scholarship
    If I were to be sorted into a Hogwarts house, I believe that Slytherin would be the best fit for me. Slytherin, as a house, is often misunderstood, but its core values align closely with my own. The most important values of the Slytherin house are ambition and determination, traits that are universally recognized as essential for success. I believe that these qualities define who I am. I have always been driven to achieve my goals and to excel in all aspects of my life, whether it be academics, a career, or personal development. I have a strong desire to succeed and to improve upon every facet of my life. Slytherin also places a strong emphasis on leadership, resourcefulness, and cleverness. These qualities are essential for any path in life that I may choose. The abilities to lead others, make split-second decisions, adapt to new situations, and find creative solutions to problems are all skills that I strive toward. Another strong value in the Slytherin house is strategy. The ability to effectively plan and strategize is a crucial aspect of almost any task. Slytherins are known for their talent in thinking ahead and considering the long-term consequences of their actions. They excel in plotting and scheming, not necessarily for malice, but as a means to attain their own goals. Like Slytherin, I value the wisdom of choosing the best path that will lead to the most favorable outcomes. Although Slytherin is often associated with pure-blood wizardry and discrimination against those who are not pure-blood in the Harry Potter universe, it is important to emphasize that not all Slytherins have these views. I am an advocate for equality and do not believe that anyone should be treated differently for anything that is out of their control. I actively work toward and promote a more just and equitable society. While choosing what Hogwarts house you would be in is an interesting thought experiment, I believe that it is important to acknowledge that grouping based on specific attributes such as these is a practice called tracking, which has been proven to be both ineffective and harmful to students, severely limiting their potential by attempting to predetermine their abilities. So, while it may be interesting to see which group you fit into, one must always remember that a person's worth cannot be determined solely by the house they belong to or the traits they possess. Rather, it is our actions, choices, and the impact we have on the world around us that define us as individuals.