Applicants must be a female high school student residing in the 08055 zip code
Applicants must be pursuing a higher degree of learning (college/trade school).
Applicants must have at least a 2.8 grade point average.
An unofficial copy of transcript must be included.
Application must be completely filled out and emailed with the essay.
Applicant’s name must NOT appear on the essay.
AWARD: $1000 Scholarship
Information for the 2022 scholarship award will be available in the spring of 2022.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF DURING THIS DIFFICULT PANDEMIC
PERIOD THAT YOU WILL CARRY FORWARD THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE?
As I was confined in isolation with my mind as my only companion, I found comfort in the written word. Putting pen to paper while journaling my thoughts allowed me to make sense of
the changing world around me. Although the pandemic has been a difficult time, it has provided me insight into the many struggles we face as a society, bringing me new perspectives that
will forever impact how I live my life, help others, and fight for change.
One of the biggest takeaways that will stay with me long after the pandemic is how precious life is. I realized all the valuable things that I previously took for granted: a hug from my
grandparents, smiles from strangers, or the roar of a crowd under stadium lights. I learned that it is the everyday occurrences such as these that make life beautiful. I am certain that I will
emerge from this pandemic with a revived appreciation for the little things. I ’ve learned the importance of viewing each day as a blessing, and I now understand that this is the mindset I
should have had all along. Not only has this pandemic period altered my attitude
towards everyday life, but it also gave me a new sense of purpose and direction. Through written reflection in my isolation, I realized how interested I was in the medical field. Over the past
year, I understood how central health is to our lives. My eyes were opened to the devastation that sickness brings to families, the economy, and the morale of a community. Throughout high
school, I have been unsure of my career goals due to my wide ranging interests. However, as I passionately journaled my thoughts, it became clear that my future would focus on making a
difference by giving others the gift of good health. Witnessing the wide spread destruction from this pandemic has given me insight into how I will spend the rest of my life; I know I will
always strive to help others and restore the health of a community by working in medicine.
Moreover, this pandemic period caused me to challenge many of my previously held beliefs. I observed the political climate in our country as it became increasingly hostile and divided. I
watched cities break out in protest and saw the fires of oppression and anger rise. I was exposed to the amount of progress that still needs to be achieved in our country. Before
the pandemic, I tended to ignore such political events and conflicts because I did not understand them and frankly did not care to. However, through my pandemic experience, I learned how
important it is that I am socially and politically aware. I continued to write and reflect, and it led me to understand that my voice matters, and to use it is a privilege. I also understand
that making use of that privilege requires that I educate myself, keep an open mind, and continue to engage myself in current events. This stressful pandemic period has certainly presented its challenges, but there have been plentiful silver linings as well.
My personal journey during the pandemic has provided me with a newfound appreciation for the little things in life, a sense of direction and purpose, and a willingness to fight for progress.
Mackenzie Kelleher ~ University of Notre Dame
Alayna Burns ~ Duke University
Sydney Wheeler ~ University of South Carolina & Caroline O'Rorke ~ Penn State
Teressa J. Fircak ~ Rowan University