Dominik is starting school this fall at the University of Utah with plans to become a teacher. A first-generation college student and historian for Latinos in Action, he believes it is important to have more diversity in the teaching field, and says, “There are not enough teachers of color out there in the world, let alone those who are men.” His counselor described Dominik as a competent student, talented musician, and a quiet leader who completes tasks he is given with fidelity and ingenuity while living a life of service and resilience.
From personal experience, Ainsley understands that mental health goes hand in hand with physical health. “I’ve emerged equipped with tools to effectively live my life to the fullest,” she says. Ainsley is an exceptional scholar, involved student, and a role model to her peers. She plans to apply an interdisciplinary approach to reach her goal of becoming a trauma surgeon. Ainsley has been accepted into the University of Utah Honors College.
After the sudden and tragic loss of her grandma, Sam needed time to grieve, rest and recover before she could make school a priority. With the help of her parents and a school counselor, Sam found her way back. Remarkable, kind, talented, intelligent and competitive are just some of the words her roller derby coach uses to describe ‘Slam I Am’ as she is known in that arena. Sam plans to attend either Utah State University or Cal Poly with a look to the sky and pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Jamarcus used two words to describe himself – determined and dedicated. He made the move from Alabama to Utah to better his chance of going to college and to show his siblings anything is possible. He turned his grades around, joined the football team, and is the Student Body Office Student Advocate. A teacher said that Jamarcus has grit and a booming caring personality. He possesses strong leadership qualities and a quiet confidence that will make for a bright future. Jamarcus is headed to the University of Utah and is the first in his family to go to college.
Kendra’s dream of becoming a dental hygienist begins at Salt Lake Community College. She believes smiles spread positivity and hope, which the world cannot get enough of. Last year she tore her ACL and worked her way back to where she has the opportunity to play on the women’s soccer team at SLCC. A close family friend wrote that Kendra is an incredible source of joy and happiness to others. She faced her challenges and found a way to make herself better and stronger.
Kaylie, with the support of a loving grandmother and Canyons Youth Academy, has overcome many setbacks to graduate from Diamond Ridge High. Struggles in the past do not define who she is today. Kaylie has a 4.0 GPA, healthy relationships, and is building a new life for herself. She is a resilient survivor and dedicated student with an inner strength that is admirable. Kaylie is headed south to Utah Tech University to pursue her love of art and design.
Rising Star Scholarship WinnerHailee’s family situation left her as a primary caregiver to her younger sister. Although this could have caused resentment, she chose to be happy and let compassion guide her way. She plans to use her perseverance and caring nature to continue as she studies to become a social worker. When asked what makes her unique, she indicated, “I want to live my life improving others’ lives. That would make me happy.” Hailee’s school counselor noted she was smart and savvy in her planning her rigorous courses at Hillcrest. She is ambitious and passionate with a unique perspective and maturity level. Hailee has been accepted into the University of Utah Honors College where she will pursue her goal to make her community and this world a better place.
Rising Star Scholarship WinnerGraduating in just three years at the age of 16 speaks to the determination Aspen has to end a cycle of addiction in her family and move toward a better life. The challenges she has overcome have led Aspen to develop a growth mindset – turning negatives into positives. She wants to become a psychology teacher to help others see that no matter what you have been through, the sky is the limit. She wants to influence others just as her teachers have helped her become a better person. Aspen’s counselor described her as academically gifted, goal-oriented and resilient. She is a wonderful example to others. Best of luck to Aspen as she starts this next chapter of her life at Utah Valley University.