A Moment of Excellence Scholarship

The 2024 application is closed. Pease return on January 1st, 2025.

2022 Recipient Story

The hospital blankets were cozy. The nurse kept bringing me new ones, fresh out of the warmer. Each time she came back I was still crying, not sobbing in a gaudy manner, but gently letting my fear drizzle down my cheeks. That’s the thing about getting brain surgery at 17, you’re too old to be distracted from the crucial situation, yet too young to experience such tribulation. Of course I was terrified.

“You won’t remember these next ten minutes” the anesthesiologist told me. However, I don’t think I will ever forget them. Everything looked blurry. Not from the anesthesia pumping through my veins, but from the accumulating rain dancing down my face. This wasn’t how I was supposed to enter my battle, frail and uneasy. No. I was never one to wallow in my storms, I was always one to stride through them in hopes of meeting my rainbow on the other side.

Before we left the prep room, I asked the anesthesiologist “Can you play ‘The Rainbow Connection?’”. My favorite song that I’d inherited from my grandmother at a young age. To me, rainbows are faith towards the unknown, hope amidst a storm. She pulled out her phone, turned on the song, and stayed next to me as we wheeled off to the OR. She kept replaying the song until I was asleep. It didn’t matter that I was fighting my brain, that I was trapped in a storm, I was (and will always be) chasing my rainbow.

2023 Recipient Story

Starting in the summer of 2022, I began volunteering with Spark Specialized Services. Sparks is a local organization that provides services for individuals who have developmental disabilities and/or are on the autism spectrum. Through my interactions with the individuals at Sparks, I became inspired to organize a fundraiser to help raise money for them to use for events and outings. The money would also go to paying for group therapy with a level 1 social thinking clinician. I was able to organize this fundraiser in conjunction with a home football game. I created custom t-shirts for the community to buy and wear in support at the game. I reached out to local businesses for donations. All proceeds went directly to Sparks. I invited the members of Sparks to be special VIP guests at the football game and to sit in their own exclusive VIP section in the endzone. This area offered the members a safe space to spread out and not worry about the noise level from the crowd.

I donated my time to this organization because I wanted to make a direct impact on the lives of the clients with the Spark Specialized Services. The fundraiser I planned not only brought them excitement and happiness that night, but it also helped raise money for outings that will continue to bring them joy throughout the year. That way the smiles they had on their faces will last all year, until I am able to plan another fundraiser for them.

2024 Recipient Story

Becoming an Eagle Scout changed my life. Leading my troop to repair worn-out bridges at East Fork State Park was not only challenging but also deeply rewarding. Despite the mud and obstacles, the sight of those bridges sturdy and strong filled me with an immense sense of pride. Leading my troop felt like herding playful cats, teaching me the virtues of patience and the incredible power of teamwork.

One moment, as I struggled with a rebellious wheelbarrow, laughter burst forth, reminding me to find joy in every situation. Scouting didn't just fill my weekends; it profoundly influenced my future. I am determined to fuse my passion for service with a medical career through ROTC, as a way to honor the invaluable opportunities scouting has provided me.

Whether I'm building bridges or facing life's unpredictable twists and turns, the lessons of an Eagle Scout continue to guide me. They remind me to stay prepared, persevere, lead with integrity, and always carry snacks for the journey ahead. These lessons aren't just words—they form the very foundation of who I am and who I aspire to become.