We’ve just picked our group of juniors for this year’s scholarship recipients and we are excited to follow their journey as they prepare for college. Enter Arielle, a star-student, dancer, volleyball player and in need of an extra hand.
“This will be part of her story”
Kim, Arielle’s mom
Arielle wants to make a difference.
When Arielle was little she was the type that would give her last cookie to other kids. She was always driven. And always independent. Her mom believed “never do something for a child that they can do for themselves.”
When she was four, Arielle would wake up and make her own breakfast, often losing the battle with the milk jug. Her mother fostered her independence by simply providing her with a smaller jug.
Through the years, as her surroundings have changed, Arielle hasn’t. She still finds deep motivation in helping others: her dream is to become a Physician Scientist, researching cancer cell biology in the work towards a cure. She still has a strong independent drive: she’s graduated from managing milk jugs to managing a schedule of demanding academics, varsity volleyball, extracurricular programs, and assisting kindergarteners in after-school programs. She still shows grit: new to volleyball, Arielle suffered multiple stress fractures in each leg, facing a tough rehabilitation process:
“I spent from September through January of my Freshman year in a full leg cast. I was devastated at the time, but now I am grateful for that experience. I learned two important lessons that will carry me throughout life. The first is to always take time to stop and listen to my body and give it what it needs (food, rest, movement, etc.). The second is to try to stay balanced in the midst of working to achieve my goals in life.”
And yet, despite her drive, talents, character, and humanitarian intentions, Arielle attends a very competitive high school on scholarship and simply doesn’t have the resources like her classmates to secure private academic tutoring, nonetheless test prep or college admissions. As Arielle articulated in her application:
“Despite my strong work ethic and desire to achieve academically, I often feel that I’m left behind without the knowledge and resources to take me to the next level.
In Arielle’s application, we saw a generous heart fused with a furious work ethic. Arielle’s vision of researching cancer biology has already begun through work at Columbia University Cancer Center, where she studies Melanoma and Sarcoma through a highly-selective fellowship traditionally given to post-doctoral applicants.
For us, it was easy to see that Arielle is an exceptional young lady who is already so accomplished at a young age. Stepping in to provide her the support she needs was a clear and simple decision. The scholarship will put Arielle on a trajectory to achieve her lifelong goals, but more so, it gives us great joy to make a difference and provide relief to Arielle’s mother. She has raised a wonderful child, and we were able to make her path a little bit easier. As she wrote to us after we confirmed Arielle’s scholarship:
“I have been feeling guilty and helpless that as her mom, I was not able to match the tremendous effort she is putting in due to my lack of resources. I can not explain the relief this gives us. You will always be a part of her story as someone who saw her potential and offered her a hand-up. Now Arielle has everything she needs to give this college process her very best shot.”
Arielle wants to make a difference. Thanks to your continued support and loyalty, our scholarship fund will help her do just that.