Discus Award Winner
10th Grade, FL
For three years I have been president of the Friendship Circle, a volunteer organization with over 100 high school students that pairs them with special needs children and arranges for them to visit these children weekly. I have been visiting Matthew, who has Fragile X, for five years and have helped him with the social and academic skills he will need in order to live a normal life. In addition, I am in the process of founding a writing program at Richmond Middle School (a D rated school). I also raised enough money to purchase 40 pounds of school supplies to bring to an all girls orphanage in Nicaragua. Finally, I spent 150 hours helping and acting in a play, Holocaust Impact theatre, which spreads the message of acceptance and awareness.
I am enrolled in the IB program at Coral Reef High School and I am the the only sophomore to have ever received the Swarthmore Book Award at my school. I have received a 5 on every AP test I have taken and I have maintained a 4.0 unweighted GPA despite the fact that I have taken the most advanced classes my school offers. I succeeded in having Quill and Scroll Honor Society become a chapter at my school, and have become both the president and founder of this club at Coral Reef. I am the Vice President of the Debate team and will be President next year. I won first, second and third place at the three county wide public forum debate competitions that I attended this year.
I was a full time counselor at VACC Camp, a camp for children who are ventilator dependent. After befriending cognitively normal teenagers with paralysis and a dependency on ventilators I learned not to judge a book by its cover. I went to El Salvador during the summer and worked at a school, assisting special needs children learning to read and write. After instructing at this school I was able to direct $15,000 in donations to help the school purchase needed supplies. This summer, I will be traveling to Nicaragua to do similar work. I have spent endless hours helping my sister, Bezawit, adapt to life in America. She was adopted from Ethiopia when she was five years old, and I have been both her role model and teacher. I am fluent in English and Spanish and can read and write in Hebrew.