Terrance Smith (4th Quarter, 2005)

4th Quarter, 2005
Mesothelioma Memorial Scholarship
Terrance Smith

Terrance will be studying abroad next year in Europe and eventually hopes to start his own business. He grew up in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area.

A Portion of Terrance’s Winning Essay:

Terrance Smith

Getting my college degree means many things to me. It will help me to discover unique and undiscovered opportunities for myself, in addition to giving me the chance to network and learn with great people from all around the country and the world. With my college degree, I hope to make my dreams and aspirations become realities. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to attend college, Columbia in particular. I knew that I wanted a broad educational experience, but I wasn’t sure if I would ever make it to the Ivy League. I didn’t let the admission statistics deter me from achieving my goals. Now I’m here and ready to leap over higher hurdles that may stand between me and my goals.

During my senior year in high school, I interned as a laboratory technician at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Downtown Baltimore. The lab in which I worked was dedicated to advancing the genetic knowledge of those who suffer from Crohn’s Disease, a serious digestive condition that often develops unexpectedly and with no previous family history of the ailment. I remained as a research assistant at Hopkins for 9 months, and all the while I participated in public health seminars and colloquia. Not only did this experience give me a better appreciation for the field of medical research, but it also taught me the value of life. Therefore, after my experience at Hopkins, I have continued to advocate the need for continued patient participation in medical research, organ donation and blood drives.

It is from experiences like this that I feel that people grow and change their own views of practically any possible given situation. I continue to share my experiences with all those whom I may encounter in my daily life. But in addition to the spreading of my own knowledge, I also have made it a point to absorb the knowledge from the experiences of others. This give-and-take form of knowledge is one that is very prevalent in my pursuit of higher education. There is not one day that passes where I don’t learn something new from a professor or have the chance to share a new experience with a fellow student. This is all a major part of the completion of a postsecondary education.

In addition to learning, completing my postsecondary education gives me the opportunity to grow and change. For a while, I have been interested in becoming a doctor. But after arriving at college, I have broadened my career prospects further than the field of medicine. For once, I’m no longer afraid of saying “I don’t know what I will be doing 10 years from now.” For once, I’m actually proud to utter such a remark. I don’t think we should know our entire life’s plan by the time we graduate from high school. After just 2 semesters in college and thinking of all the possible majors I can pursue, clearly defining a career right now just seems out of the question. But I know in due time it will come.

But now, at this point in my college career, all I have on my mind is doing what is necessary to finish successfully. I have the future on my mind, but it doesn’t scare me that I don’t know exactly it will hold for me. Whatever does come my way, I know I will be proud to say that I’m doing something that I love with my life, as it will be my priority to be involved with my immediate and extended communities.

I believe that all must follow their dreams. Even if these dreams aren’t clearly defined, we must do what we love. It is the only way to truly be happy. Thus, I will never let anyone but myself define my limits. It is my attitude, not aptitude, that will determine my altitude in life.

A Mesothelioma Memorial Scholarship will help me meet my educational and professional goals by giving me the chance to fully express myself in the world without feeling the need to choose a career based on compensation alone. All too often I’ve heard stories of graduates choosing careers based on salary due to student loans and other such expenses placed on students in college. This scholarship would give me the opportunity to pursue the things that I love, in hopes of covering the cost of education later on.

Copyright 2009, StraightforwardMedia.com, a StraightForward Media property.

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