“If I can manage to finish those essays and pass all my finals with flying colors, even after splitting my head on the hood of someone’s truck, then I could definitely manage to finish and graduate college. I was more capable than I thought I was.”
Chloe Miller is a Senior at Ketchikan High School and a 2015 Gates Scholarship applicant. Her mentor is Natasha O’Brien.
2015 Reflection on Gates Millennium Scholarship Application Experience
The reason I applied for the Gates Millennium Scholarship is because I thought I had what it takes to go to college. But with both my income and my family’s income, college seemed very far away from me and didn’t seem like a possibility for me. I knew the scholarship itself was going to be challenging and competitive, but I decided to take a chance and apply. I probably wouldn’t have ever been able to do it without the help of my two wonderful counselors, Mr. Bob McClory and Mrs. Natasha O’Brien, recommender Denise Wartes, as well as mentors Tad and Dean Wariner.
The Gates essays themselves were very challenging, especially after I was sent to the emergency room in November after a bad sledding accident. When I was sledding, I ended up hitting someone’s parked truck and took a bad blow to the head. The accident left me with a concussion and ten stitches in the forehead. The hospital had to keep me overnight because shortly after I got a seizure. I wasn’t allowed to go to school for a couple of weeks or do anything that would put too much strain on my head. The accident halted my essay writing to a complete stop.
Essay writing became very frustrating when I returned to school because my brain wasn’t completely recovered. I would need to stop every five minutes because my head would hurt too much. I was very stressed out due to the accident, upcoming school finals that were going to begin in a week, and three weeks of homework that needed to be done by the end of the semester. I almost wanted to quit, but the reassurance and assistance of all my counselors led me through the chaos. They were very patient with me and would help me write and proofread my essays for hours. I don’t think I would have ever have finished the essays without their help.
Finally, after everything, we somehow managed to finish them all in time. I was extremely relieved and I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I couldn’t believe that I was finished. I didn’t even comprehend it when I hit the big submit button. I just stared at the computer screen in disbelief. All I know is that I probably clicked the mouse button with a little too much force. I was actually done. I did it. I knew at that moment that if I can manage to finish those essays and pass all my finals with flying colors, even after splitting my head on the hood of someone’s truck, then I could definitely manage to finish and graduate college. I was more capable than I thought I was.
I was very proud of myself afterwards. I don’t think I ever wrote that many essays. I am very thankful to all the people that helped me. They were all very helpful and supportive of me. Thanks to their help, my dream of being the first one in my family to get a college degree can possibly become a reality.