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.
The first Family, Love and Respect Scholarship goes to Jose Lopez.
Last summer Jose realized his procrastination, when it came to school, had adversely affected his chance to graduate with his class. He described himself, at that time, as one who didn’t stress over school and just wanted to “take it easy.” Not graduating with his class made him realize that’s not what real life’s about. September found him enrolled in Mountain View. His thoughts as he entered the school for the first time were that he was entering a building filled with people he had no wish to associate with.
It didn’t take him long to recognize how wrong he was. At Mountain View he found a staff and teachers who, in his words, “genuinely cared for me as a person and helped me find my drive to succeed.” He had a government teacher who showed him respect and who Jose deeply respected as well. He earned Honors credit in English and was encourage by his English teacher to continue writing fiction, “the worlds of his own creation.” Jose writes in his scholarship essay he is now ready to “forge my own outcome . . . no matter if good or bad, I’m moving forward with my head held high.” Family, Love and Respect.
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.
Managing multiple priorities is a way of life for NORMA SANCHEZ. A full-time worker outside of school, Norma also managed a full course load at Mountain View and stayed focused to complete her high school diploma. Her English teacher worked with her to complete English 10, 11 and 12 all in one year, an accomplishment that required a lot of dedication. Norma’s ESL teacher describes her as strong and capable. “She has a natural ease working with her peers and is always willing to participate in classroom discussions.” Norma appreciates all the support her teachers gave her to set her on her path and she wishes to go into a career that allows her to give back. Ultimately, she would like to become a psychiatrist to provide treatment for those in need. Her aspirations would please my husband , Wade Jordan, for whom this scholarship is dedicated and named.
KAYLA RICHARDS learned at Mountain View that a helping hand can make a difference in a person’s life. Before Mountain View, Kayla was always on the verge of giving up. But as AP Gary Morris observed, “instead, she made adult decisions to find alternative options to ensure that not only would she complete her high school education, but also do it with class, to the best of her ability.” This type of resilience was evident in the way she tackled her Algebra 2 class. When Mrs. Hoffman asked her to trust that she could learn the material, she gave her trust and her hard work to the learning process. Outside of school, Kayla has had to deal with family medical issues as well her own recovery from a car accident injury. Today as she approaches graduation, Kayla has decided that helping others is her calling. Kayla will use this scholarship to attend NOVA at the Springfield Medical Campus and study Health Information Technology.
For some people, the loss of a loved one causes such pain that they fall apart. ASHLEY LAWRENCE is well acquainted with this kind of pain. After her mother’s death, she witnessed everyone around her falling apart, and she concluded that if she could not change for herself, she needed to at least change for her brother and father. She decided to take control of her life and the found the strength to help her father and brother through a difficult adjustment period. In doing so, Ashley found a sense of purpose for herself. Coming to Mountain View gave Ashley a fresh start and the flexibility to work full-time while finishing her high school degree. Ashley is looking forward to the fall when she will move to Miami to study International Business at Florida International University.
SILVIA CAMPOS PANAMENO began her scholarship essay with this simple statement “Being a parent is not easy, but it is beautiful.” The “not easy” part as Silvia described in her essay, is developing the patience, responsibility and resiliency skills raising a child requires. But the beauty, she explains comes in learning from your child every day, in developing the motivation to do better for her, and in knowing her future is inextricably tied to yours. Silvia plans to use her scholarship to get licensed as a cosmetologist. Her plan is to work as a hair stylist until she can save enough money to continue her education. In college she would like to study to become a medical assistant.
Real life work experiences can lead to real life skills.
MERCEDES GOMEZ realized this through her many hours of restaurant work over the years. In her essay, Mercedes explained that “I had to learn how to work in a fast paced environment, to multitask, and to develop my interpersonal skills.” Working under the pressures of time constraints, and attempting to provide excellent service to dining customers taught Mercedes the art of patience. She learned to anticipate the customer’s needs, to handle difficult situations, and to remain humble. She also commented that working as a team with her co-workers is a valuable skill she acquired. Mercedes plans to pursue computer and business courses at Northern Virginia Community College with the available scholarship funds. Her work experience acquired skills will help her be to be successful in college and beyond.
When ELIZABETH SCARCELLA makes a commitment to serve, she does so whole-heartedly. Five years ago, she started as a religious education teacher for pre-schoolers at Saint John Neumann Church because her mother asked for her help. But even after her mother passed away, she chose to remain in her role and take on additional responsibilities. Last year, she became the head teacher in charge of lesson planning and securing teaching materials. At times she has sacrificed her social life so she could be up early on Sunday morning; but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves working with children. She also shows this type of dedication in the Mountain View community. Elizabeth’s chemistry teacher observed her consistently working with a fellow student on the math calculations needed to get through a challenging unit of study. In her other classes, she also helps foster a cooperative atmosphere of team work. Elizabeth has already been admitted and taken her entrance exams for Northern Virginia Community College. She will begin her studies this fall and we know she will continue to contribute her talents and dedication there. She truly embodies the spirit of a good citizen of her school and her community, making her an outstanding recipient for this scholarship.