SCHOLARSHIP ESSAYS :: JBL SCHOLARSHIP

Daniel R. Caton, Jr.
John B. Lynch Scholarship Essay
2009-2010 Academic Year

You will be working as a volunteer, since youíre under eighteen. Those words would frighten many teenagers looking for a summer job, but I surprisingly jumped at this opportunity. Most of my friends had fun, wage earning jobs while I signed on as an intern to Delaware Attorney General, Mr. Beau Biden. As an intern at the Delaware Department of Justice I was directly involved in a community forum aimed at protecting children on the Internet and a prescription medication program for low-income, disabled, and elderly people. I also researched cases to help take dangerous criminals out of our community and worked on a safe investing guide that was featured in the local newspaper, The Wilmington News Journal.

I took an extremely valuable lesson from this experience that I will not soon forget. I learned that true happiness and career fulfillment is not based on money but whether someone feels they are actually making a difference in the lives of others. I also carried out these lessons through my work ethic everyday as I run.

Itís 5:30 a.m. already. It feels as though Iíve just shut my eyes. The screeching alarm pulls me out of a dream and back into reality. I sit up and leave the warm comfort of my bed to begin a new day as I have everyday before. I lace up my running shoes and

Iím off while everyone else is still asleep. Iím on the road, finally.

The road is a challenge. The frigid air rushes into my lungs, feeling as if itís trying to suffocate me. A cold sweat soaks my entire body, making the load even heavier. My mouth becomes so dry it fells as though I havenít had water in days and that I never will again. A thick fog blankets the earth around me, making it strenuous to simply see. I begin to lose feeling in my legs through the countless grueling miles. Everything is telling my body to surrender. But I donít listen.

The road is a teacher. Some people run to simply get some fresh air or take in the scenery around them. But the road has taught me that the best views are from the top of the steepest hills, that nothing feels better than doing something no one else thought you could do. The road taught me that the easy road is not always the best one, but rather the road that Iíve sweated and bled on is the road that will lead me to the greatest success. Every step I take I get farther from home but closer to who I am, closer to realizing the best version of myself.

The road is a friend. Everyday, week after week, month after month, year after year, the road is always there for me. The road guides me. It not only shows me new opportunities and tests but also keeps me on course. The road has nowhere else to be. It has no other commitments or obligations. It is there for me or anyone else with enough courage to challenge him or herself on its scores of hills and turns. Whatever I put into the road, I get out of it. The road is humble; it takes no credit for my achievements. It only asks that I come visit every morning rain or shine, snow or sleet so that I can become the best runner and person I can be.

The road is calm. Its placid atmosphere allows my thoughts to run wild. I realize how lucky I am to be here in life; to have the ability to run on these roads when my greatest concern is making it home before school starts. I am able to think clearly, away from my busy life. I am reassured when I realize that no matter what my new address becomes next year, there will be a road there wanting the same things as the road I knew so well back home. This new road will guide me to new heights and successes I have only seen in my dreams, before they were interrupted by that familiar alarm.

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