2012 - 2013 WyzAnt college scholarship winners

How will you use your education to make an impact on others?

First place winner

Jennifer from Charlotte, NC

College Freshman at CPCC

Quiverfull Freedom

I grew up in an extremely religious home where women were encouraged to refuse an education and degree and have children and be homemakers. I left when I was 20 and have spent two years rounding out my education and working to save money so I can go to college. My parents refuse to support me or offer any assistance, including just signing my FAFSA.

If I were to finish college and get a degree, I would first help my 6 younger siblings (specifically the two girls) to also find a way out and get on their feet and go to school.

Then, I would love to create a safe-house where children of religious homeschooling families can come to improve their lives and future and have hope.
From struggling with poverty, to being unable to get a job without a resume or employment history, and often a substandard education; the children of the Quiverfull movement have extreme challenges to overcome. A home like this would be a safe platform for them to transition into the world without being abandoned to struggle. Many of their parents wish this difficulty for their children, saying it will cause them to return and be content with the party line. I want to create a buffer for the pain parents cause when they shun and disinherit their children for religious reasons.
Because there are more of us every day, and so much pain and heartache.

I know that this is possible and I know that my education and success will pave the way for me to help others.
That is how I want to change the world.

Second place winner

Era from Charlotte, NC

High School Senior at Hopewell High School

From War to Freedom

I was born in Prishtina, Kosovo, one of the geographic flashpoints of the Yugoslav Wars during the 1990s. As a child, I was not aware of why the war was happening, but I dreaded the atmosphere. I remember the war sirens many times interupting outdoor games and having to run inside quickly. Everyday we had to abandon the hopscotched pavement and the endless world of gaming possibilies that a ball brought to us. Soon friends from the neighborhood began to vanish without warning or explanation, and soon thereafter, we too abandoned our home. I began to understand cause and effect. The sirens had caused all of this.

Ball games, scraped knees, and sunburns grew dim and vanished in my neighbors basement where my tightly packed family was now hiding. We were there, with no electricity and a loud silence. The day turned into night, and the night turned into nights. On the sixth day of our hiding, an amplified “empty the house in five minutes” command endowed us with the term “refugee”. Since then we were fortunate to be sent to the United States, leaving behind other Albanian families who did not share the same fate.

Today I am shifting away from my childhood and applying for an American college. Everyday I am blessed and yet unfortunate to know that the bleak days of my past linger and haunt someone else's present. With my college degree in Psychology I hope to aid children in refugee camps with destressing resources. While I also continue to pursue my passion for volleyball, I am a firm believer that simple ball game in the midst of a refugee camp serve as a balm for the horrors that war can unleash.

Third place winner

Brandon from Las Vegas, NV

College Freshman at N/A

Being the tool that gives the miracle of living

I want and need to finish my education in medicine. I was taken out of college when I was a passenger in a car accident and had my neck broken. The accident was bad enough that they said it was a miracle I was alive, and then later that it was a miracle I was not paralyzed from the neck down, as the doctors had anticipated.

Unfortunately, a much worse tragedy was watching my two youngest children suffer with Cystic Fibrosis. A few years ago, my son and best buddy passed away from the disease at six years old. I know that more could have been done to save him. I do not want this type of tragedy to happen to anyone else.

We have to save these innocent children. I have been studying like crazy for many years now on my own, and I have a new medical US patent. I’m currently the president of a local CF foundation. Often nurses, doctors and scientists will refer to me with the title of doctor. Presumably because I am very knowledgeable in medicine, and can have a scientific and medical discussion with those that do have the title of doctor. However, I have not earned that title yet. I need to get back to college and continue my education. Thus, allowing me the ability to officially conduct the research to find better medicine and ultimately a cure for many diseases.

Life is a miracle! We need more people willing and able to be the tool that gives the miracle of living.