Jamie Frear is one of Mountain View High School’s greatest success stories. She received four scholarships from: Apple Credit Union Education Foundation ($4,000), Jessica Farthing Memorial ($2,750), Erin Peterson Fund ($1,000), and Jaeschke Family Book Scholarship ($400).
“I had always dreamed of becoming a teacher but was unsure if furthering my education after graduation would be financially possible. As I was struggling to provide my daughter’s basic needs, my dream of becoming a teacher began to fade. Fortunately, Mrs. DeBragga wouldn’t let it go. She told me that I was going to college in the fall of 2013. Insisting that money was available, whether in the form of loans, grants, or scholarships, she assured me that we would figure out a plan together. At the awards ceremony in June 2013, I was shocked to receive over $8,000 in scholarships. Words cannot express my gratitude for Mountain View and the scholarship donors for helping me on my journey.” – Jamie Frear
One of Jamie’s most influential teachers was Mrs. Culik, “Jamie was a student of mine for a year before she became my nanny/babysitter. She was a great role model for the other students. She was extremely hardworking, did everything I asked her too with a positive attitude, and was well-liked by her peers. Jamie received the School Board Character Award for all of Fairfax County Public Schools the year she graduated. Jamie has continued to excel in academics. She is now working on her Early Childhood Education Degree at George Mason University, and she did an internship at Mountain View last year.
Cindy wrote her essay about the book Everyday by David Levithan, which tells the story of a soul who wakes up every morning and lives each day in a different person’s body. Cindy says that reading this book made her think about just how differently people experience the world and live their lives. It also made her grateful for her own body, her own life, and the opportunity to make each day count.
Sara wrote her essay about Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which tells the story of Eddie, a man who dies and whose earthly life is then explained to him by five very different people. The first person Eddie meets reveals to him that one thoughtless action he took as a young boy had an unintended but devastating impact on someone else. Reading this story has encouraged Sara to think before she acts and to consider the many possible consequences of her actions.
Evelin wrote about the book Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. One of the two main characters, Alejandro, overcomes great odds to pursue his dream of going to college and changing the course of his life. Evelin can identify with facing great obstacles in pursuit of a dream, but reading about Alejandro’s situation has put her own struggles into perspective and has inspired her to persevere.
Michael wrote about Rey Sanchez’s autobiography entitled My Bloody Life, an account of how his abusive childhood drove him into the Latin Kings gang and cost him his friends, his freedom, and nearly his life. Michael says that this book gave him a glimpse of what might have happened to him, had he given in to the pressures placed on him to join a gang. It also made him thankful for some of his own choices.
Eden wrote about the book Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, comparing it to Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein. Eden was struck by the theme in both books of mankind’s struggle to control and alter nature through science. She also addressed the shared themes of alienation, loneliness, and the desire to conform to society’s ideals.
Maybelle wrote about her experience reading the book of Exodus from the Bible. Learning about how Moses resisted the temptation of temporary pleasures to pursue everlasting glory inspired her to practice similar self-discipline and set similar goals for herself.
Tim Choo wins an award for his essay on John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, the story of two unlikely friends, George and Lennie, who form a sort of family and long for simple independence and peace during the Great Depression. From these two men, Tim learned important lessons about the bonds of friendship, making difficult decisions, and living through tragedy … lessons he intends to keep in mind as he moves on to college.
Karla Bolanos Mejia wins an award for her essay on the book The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir by Gaby Rodriguez and Jenna Glatzer. This nonfiction book is an account of Gaby’s senior high school social experiment to see how she’d be treated when she faked a pregnancy. Karla found she had much in common with Gaby in terms of resisting stereotypical expectations of young Latino women and, in turn, demanding the right to determine her own future and her own definition of success.