Meet the 2023 Scholars

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

Lillian W.

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 Lillian, Challenges are so hard to overcome. However, try and remember that everyone faces them, and you have the choice of how you respond to what is difficult for you at any given time. Right now, things may seem tough. They may even seem unfair. You are struggling with your health, and it is affecting your gymnastics. As you are moving into the harder skills, you are starting to have fears, Fears of falling and getting hurt, That pesky Flyaway on the bars seems to be your enemy right now, and you are coming home from gym practice night after night in tears, discouraged, and wondering whether you should quit or are not good enough. You are the last at your level to get it, and it seemed so easy for everyone else. But let me tell you. You did get it. You completed it at your last meet in NY. It took a few extra swings, but you did it! And you felt like life was amazing. Life will continue to be amazing. You are going to grow up and attend Sacred Heart University. You will be studying education, and crazily still competing in gymnastics. No, you have not managed to break your body yet. Yes, you have had a few more fractures, two concussions, and a back issue. But you handled it all with the grace that you always do. Sometimes, life still gets hard. And there are some things that I want you to remember. You are a fighter. You are the child that no one thought would live beyond their first birthday, who was baptized in the garden at the hospital, and who beat everything thrown at them. You are the little girl whose dreams became reality, and the slightly bigger girl whose caution and perseverance allowed you to achieve things that seemed impossible. These are things that you must always remember, and you will be successful. Keep dreaming, and never stop. Your dreams will become your reality. Keep fighting. You beat a code blue, and amazed doctors at every hospital you went to. Keep the grace that you have, that you show everyone. The world is a kinder place when you are kind, and kindness gets kindness. The caution that you had with your fly away is good. It keeps you grounded, keeps you safe, and allows you to go at your own pace. This is a good thing. The perseverance and never give up attitude is so uniquely you. Never quit trying, never quit dreaming, never quit fighting. You are amazing and special, and you have got this. Love, Lillian 

Lillian W.'s Artwork

Lillian W.'s Achievements

  • Alpha Phi Omega New Member Educator 2023
  • Alpha Phi Omega VP Membership 2023
  • Education Club Treasurer 2023
  • Habitat for Humanity Co-Fundraising Chair 2023
  • Club Gymnastics Co-Fundraising Chair 2023
  • Student Government Class Traditions Chair 2023
  • Student Government Senator 2022-2023
  • Varsity High School Gymnastics Captain 2020-2022
  • High School Environmental Club President 2021-2022
  • Club Cheerleading Member (High School and College) 2020-2023
  • BuildOn Member 2022-2023
  • Kappa Alpha Theta Member 2022-2023
  • Club Gymnastics placed first at States, second at Regionals, and fifth at Nationals 2022
  • Student Ambassador 2023
  • Student Peer Mentor