Meet the 2023 Scholars

Get to know the hopes, dreams, and talents of this year's winners.

Ellison L.

Undergraduate Recipient

"Write a letter to your younger self during a key moment in your life addressing one or more of the following: words of encouragement, lessons you have learned and/or challenges you have overcome."

Dear Ellie, Freshman year in high school is exciting. Right now, you feel like you’re at your peak. I remember that exhilarating feeling of the very first season of cross country, going from trying a sport you weren’t even sure you could do, to being a top varsity runner. You finally found a support system of teammates and coaches who motivated you. And with it came something else special: confidence in your health, that having a lung disease was merely an obstacle in your physical capabilities. These aspects are much more than a sport, something you’ll learn going forward. You will be incredibly grateful for this in the future. But I want to tell you something that is also important: it’s all going to change, and it’s going to be hard. I know you will be upset to hear that you will never be as fast as you were in ninth grade. For the first time, you had felt like the star of something, valuable to a team and passionate about your accomplishments. But the next years will bring injuries, mental hardship, and doubt. As quickly as you found success within the sport, its sense of belonging will feel as though it disappeared entirely. I’m not telling you this to be discouraging, but to provide you with advice to keep close to your support systems throughout the adversity ahead. Even if it’s hard to believe, you will take a year off of the sport which you love so much. This will be a very difficult decision, and something you’ll doubt continuously. You’ll watch your team move on to success, cheering for them but mourning the loss of the value that you contributed. But I want you to know that it’s worth it. You have to trust that listening to your mind and body is crucial for true success. I just finished my senior year of high school, and I am proud of the three running seasons I returned to this year. In some ways, it’s disappointing to no longer be a top athlete. However, I have found a new strength within myself. Over the highs and lows of my experience as a runner, I am now confident that there’s so much more to it than physical performance. It’s the triumph that comes with consistent training, and it’s the memories that come with pushing yourself not just physically but socially, where you can find belonging in the team more than just the sport itself. You might feel like you’re letting people down by not competing at the same level. But know that by holding yourself to such a high standard that you struggle to control your panic during workouts, or you lay in bed awake and plagued with anxiety for days before each meet, you would be letting yourself down even more. I want you to remember that even if the next two years feel crushing, you will come back stronger than before in the ways that truly matter. Love, Ellie

Ellison L.'s Artwork

Ellison L.'s Achievements

  • Varsity Cross Country Team, 2019, 2020, 2022
  • Varsity Track, Winter: 2019, 2022; Spring: 2023
  • Environment Club, Founder, President, 2021 - 2023
  • National Honor Society (2021 - 2023); Spanish Honor Society (2021 -2023), Vice-President (2022 - 2023); Art Honors Society (2021-2023), Treasurer (2022 - 2023); English Honor Society (2021 - 2023); Science Honor Society (2021 - 2023).
  • Volunteer Advocate, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 2019 - present; Ambassador of the Year, 2020
  • Arnolds Gymnastics Academy, gymnastics coach, 2019 - present
  • Interact Rotary Club (2021 - 2023), President (2022 - 2023)
  • DECA (2019 - 2023), Action Team Member (2022 - 2023)
  • Clinical Trial Participant, Boston Children's Hospital, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 2019 - present
  • Lynn Ministries, community service for the homeless, 2020 - present