From: Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, MD
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD: $1,000
My journey exemplifying Herren Project’s ideals reawakens after twelve words, often at the crack of dawn.
“Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, what is the location of your emergency?”
Serving thousands of homes in Maryland, there is hardly a patient who dials 911 with a spotless home arranged for our arrival- EMTs are the quintessential unexpected guest. From extrication out of multi-story buildings to locate alternative ways to splint a dislocation, the mind of a seasoned EMT masters the science of thinking outside of the box to ensure both provider and patient arrive at the hospital safely. The quick-thinking I’ve gained as an EMT is crucial in strengthening my expertise as a patient advocate in contexts of drug abuse, a role where skills such as conflict de-escalation and cooperation are key.
Between epinephrine, glucose, and more- the administration of naloxone is just one of the ways I have learned to support drug-affected members of my community. “Narcan” is one of the most astounding drugs in my book- a quick spray revives a patient from a state of incapacitation to consciousness. Being dispatched to an “injured person” call can mean anything from a car accident to a drug overdose, but the skills I have learned in EMT academy have prepared me for the stressful alcohol-related calls at 4 AM- and armed me with the skills to help calm down those in drug-involved panic. As a volunteer EMT, I align with the Herren Project’s value for free support for those who need it most, and recognize the importance of quick dispatch and support in the context of preventing the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
Past my experiences as an EMT, my principal community interest involves advocating for mental health support for all. From founding and leading my school’s community-support alliance to managing a pen-pal program for quarantined youth, I have learned of my potential as a role model for many of the at-risk communities I work with. Mental health support is itself a form of addiction prevention, as too many people within my community turn to drugs due to no better option. In tandem with the Herren Project’s legacy, learning how to advocate for the mental and physical health of my community is something I plan to dedicate my life to, and my experiences as a peer leader at my school’s mental health awareness club and working with the Signs of Suicide (SOS) organization has armed me with a firm platform for success.
Using my extensive experiences in service, I will have the opportunity to continue strengthening my impact throughout my undergraduate experience and continue creating spaces for struggling individuals who do not have the resources to defend their fight through drug abuse. The tuition costs of Columbia University/Trinity College are daunting, but I want to do everything in my power to save up for this college experience as I am certain that a degree at such an institution will give me an unparalleled foothold in a world where I can make a difference in public safety. The support of a scholarship in recognition of a program focusing on such an intersectional cause would be a privilege to potentially kick-start my undergraduate journey, and I plan to dedicate my life to honoring the Herren Project’s legacy of supporting communities through sensible action.