Meet the 2023 Scholars

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

Mea M.

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 15-year-old Mea, Life has been crazy, isn’t it? It’s 2020 and Covid-19 hit, I remember we thought it would only be a few weeks, but sadly it was 100 times longer and worse than expected. I know you have a lot of emotions right now, you’re scared, worried, sad, depressed, lonely, and all the above. Having cystic fibrosis on top of all of this was a lot to handle as you had to be extra careful not to catch covid. Don’t let this little moment define you. We have accomplished so many goals, overcome so many challenges, and have learned so many lessons. Let's start with our small goals. Right now, we are in our senior year about to graduate. We created new friends and completed that pesky online schoolwork. You also can finally hug your friends again and compete in sports. You can drive and you have your own car. You have also been accepted into college and have a significant other. There’s so much more, so please keep working. I know it's stressful and you are tired, but all of your hard work will pay off soon, I promise. I don’t want to spoil your future, but I’ll tell you about one of our best decisions made. Next year is going to be the toughest yet. You will fail, you will be sick, you will be sad, and you will be lonely. These negative things do not define you, as you have so many positives to live for. It is okay that you feel upset and worried, but please, never give up. If you would have given up all those times before I would not be here and as successful as I am now. You do have a life to live for and your future is prosperous. Anyways, back to my story, next year you are going to make a last-minute decision to sign up for the ACTI Early Learning Program. You did not realize it at the time, but this small decision helped you find your passion for teaching. You will create lasting friendships, learn about yourself and how you work, you’ll learn your limits, and how to be the best possible version of yourself. Please Mea, never give up. You always have something to live for, whether it be your future, your family, your friends, your goals, your significant other, or something as simple as your pets. Lastly, I know you feel that your cystic fibrosis is holding you back and you feel as if you are not normal. Embrace your differences because you are unique. Mea, you are one beautiful soul, and your cystic fibrosis makes you, you. Do not let others talk you down, know your worth. You will always have someone there to support you, and like I said before do not give up. Enjoy life and the little moments. I hope you learned a little something from you in the future. Best regards, Future Mea

Mea M.'s Artwork

Mea M.'s Achievements

  • Girls Cross Country Captain 2022
  • Girls Soccer 2019-2021
  • Track and Field 2020-2023
  • Class of 2023 Treasure 2019-2023
  • National Honors Society 2021-2023
  • National Art Honors Society 2022-2023
  • Foreign Language Club 2019-2023
  • Volunteer Tutoring 2021-2023
  • Marshalls Part-time Employee 2022-2023
  • Volunteer 6th Grade Camp Counselor 2021-2023