SCHOLARSHIP ESSAYS :: JBL SCHOLARSHIP

Andrew Johnstone
John B. Lynch Scholarship Essay
2008-2009 Academic Year

When I put freshman year behind me, I was glad to have dodged the freshman fifteen. Now, with nearly three-quarters of my college experience behind me, I've managed to dodge the five-year plan as well. Though certainly not the last essay I'll ever write, this will likely be the last one I'll be mailing to the John B. Lynch Scholarship Foundation.

I'm relieved to say that very little has changed since I wrote my first application essay. A majority of my friends both here in Syracuse and home in Saranac Lake have changed dreams, majors, and even colleges. For me, the dream I concocted at the now seemingly young age of seventeen has barely changed, even four years and countless experiences later. However, not everything is the same. I've finally left behind a job of nearly six years to pursue work in the magazine industry. I've sacrificed leisure time to become a columnist for a publication here at Syracuse University. I'm running out of hours in a day, always on my feet, and loving every minute of it.

Both academically and personally, I've either maintained or achieved nearly all of my goals. Despite constant reminders that a GPA is meaningless, I try nonetheless to perform at my best. I've applied the same standards to physical well-being as well, trying to fill vacant time on my snowboard or bicycle. Another important area of focus as of late has been developing relationships with faculty whom I look up to, from a geography professor with an environmental focus to a former Apartheid activist and friend of Nelson Mandela. My finest writing guidance has come from a woman who left the New York Times to work here at Syracuse and also happens to be a judge for some writing prize called the Pulitzer, so I try to take her advice seriously. The greatest education doesn't come from a textbook, a fact that has become especially apparent as of late.

Despite everything that has been going on, nothing has excited me more than taking significant steps toward my ultimate dream of National Geographic. I recently took over as a columnist for Jerk Magazine, an edgy student publication here at Syracuse with an estimated readership of over ten thousand students and faculty. The column, appropriately titled Daytripper, requires that I travel to unique places here in New York and paint a picture of whatever it is that makes the location special. My first feature, focused on fishing culture in Pulaski, will be published next week. Also, because space is limited on a two-page spread, I've written supplemental material for the magazine's website, www.jerkmag.net.

Though I'm thrilled to finally have my own byline, I'm even more anxious for this upcoming summer. I applied for an internship at the Adirondack Park's premier magazine, Adirondack Life, and a recent conversation with an editor from the magazine has led me to believe that I ought to start shopping for some casual business clothing. Whether I'm assigned to writing, editing, designing, or fetching coffee, I plan to take full advantage of such an opportunity. I'm already working on freelance writing that I will submit to the editor, and whether or not I do it on the clock, I should have several more bylines by summer's end.

I had actually hoped to work at Adirondack Life following graduation, so it's hard to explain how enthusiastic I am to be heading that way earlier than expected. For my National Geographic dream to be realized, I have to work my way up, and the time is now. Success is all about growth, something I hope to do a lot more of in the near future. I recently sat down to read old columns I had written for my high school newspaper years ago, and though the quality of my writing then was laughable, it was also useful to see how my writing has evolved since. There's little more satisfying than personal gains, whatever their form, and I'll do my best to stay on the path that's best for me. Thanks in part to the growth of the Internet, the magazine industry's future is questionable, as are wages, job security, and so forth. However, I've used those realities to motivate me even more and plan to take my writing and photography to a whole new level, sharing with audiences the experiences and knowledge I hope to encounter.

On a side note, I'd like to once again send my sincerest thanks for the willingness to support me over the years. I could have gone to hundreds of universities that cost much less than Syracuse, easing the financial strain on both myself and my family, yet the experiences I'm having here at Syracuse, and more specifically the Newhouse School, are already opening doors rapidly. In fact, I didn't even seek out the Adirondack Life internship, as editors at the magazine were actively looking for Newhouse students. I'm excited that this may be a sign of things to come, and despite the rapidly rising cost of postsecondary education, the ends justify the means. The funding I've received from your foundation to date has been the difference maker. My debt may be rising, but I feel that the help from your generous organization may be the difference maker when it comes to paying off student loans in just one and a half years. My ultimate goal? To return the favor. That, however, is still years away, but it is yet another motivational tool. For the time being, the most I can offer is a legitimate, heartfelt appreciation for the help I've been given.

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Kevin J. Kelly
John B. Lynch Scholarship Essay
2008-2009 Academic Year

Over the last four years of my college career, I have been instilled with not only academic knowledge, but social knowledge as well. It has been a long process through which my studies and my personal interactions and experiences have helped to mold me into a much more aware and informed person. By being given the opportunity to study abroad last year, I was introduced to cultures and traditions that opened my eyes to the duty I, as a future architect; have to society in order to design affordable and sustainable environments and neighborhoods.

In today’s world, too much attention in the architectural profession is given to the outlandish. The biggest most expensive projects receive the most attention and praise, and because of this, the profession focuses itself on achieving the notice of the public by producing these types of projects. However, after my four years of college and my year in Rome, I have decided that there is too much to be done in terms of revitalizing the old historic neighborhoods in cities and small towns, and creating places where people of all social classes can co-live. There are class distinctions rapidly growing in the United States among the different socio-economic groups. On account of this there are neighborhoods that are divided by monetary income and classified by lower or high income sections. Historic towns such as Georgetown combine housing types in order to create a diverse neighborhood in terms of financial income.

Another goal I want to pursue as a future architect is to design sustainable environments. With energy prices being what they are in today’s world, and natural resources dwindling, more attention needs to be given towards building houses and work places that can run efficiently with a low cost of maintenance. These buildings usually involve a higher initial cost, however the amount of money saved through maintenance costs throughout the building history significantly sets off the initial cost of the building. The results of this are two fold; First materials needed to build and maintain the building are reduced, allowing for these resources to be preserved or used for other more important functions; second the people utilizing these buildings are more efficient and genuinely happier knowing that indirectly they are helping the environment.

In order to put into place these goals I have, this summer I hope to acquire an internship in Boston or Chicago. Both cities are known for “green” or sustainable sites. Both cities also offer a diverse population of age group and financial income, which would give me a precedent to better understand how my future designs will impact other people’s daily lives. By the end of the summer, I hope to go into my last and final year at college more experienced from the experience I will gain this summer in better understanding how to design environments that can genuinely support efficient sustainable neighborhoods.

I continue to be appreciative of your generous gift this past year and your contribution of assisting me in continuing my education so that one day I may succeed in accomplishing this goal.

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Stephen T. Masten, Jr.
John B. Lynch Scholarship Essay
2008-2009 Academic Year

With three years of college almost completed and my goals focused, I am continuing to succeed at Salisbury University and develop plans in Exercise Science for my future.

Learning to live on my own and working hard academically have been two of my primary goals throughout college. I am committed to fitness, work out regularly, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I love sports, and in the fall of 2006 and 2007, I played intramural soccer and I played intramural softball during the 2007 season. I plan to continue playing intramural softball this year in the season of 2008. Being a part of a team helps me fine-tune my communication and interpersonal skills, develop friendships, and keeps me in shape. Another sport, surfing, is one of my favorite past times. It allows me to relax and sort through life’s details. There is only the water and me out there and that is the beauty of surfing. The sport of surfing allows me to understand what it feels like to fail, but also to understand that my success in the sport as well as in life is directly proportional to how much effort I put forth towards success. Each of these athletic activities improves my skills and relates directly to my knowledge of the Exercise Science field.

I still find time to help others, but I no longer participate in as many organized activities as I did in high school. I have continued to work with Boy Scout Troop 102 when I am home in Milford, Delaware. My role as an Eagle Scout and as an Assistant Scoutmaster provides a positive example to the current troop members. Right now, many of the young scouts are not sure what they want to do in the future and need help with rank advancement. That is where I have helped the most. I have come back from college, when I can, to help. Last year, I worked with the Scouts on the Physical Fitness merit badge. As an Exercise Science major at Salisbury University and as a National Strength and Conditioning Association member, I helped them assess their fitness levels and then helped them find ways to improve their overall fitness for this merit badge. This year, I recently came home to help my brother, Jonathan Masten, finish his Eagle Project, and complete his rank of Eagle Scout. Soon, I will be working with him to plan his Eagle Court of Honor.

Academically, I have worked hard in college. I am proud of my recent final grades of an A in Kinesiology that I earned in winter session 2007, and an A in Exercise Physiology during the winter of 2008. Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology are both known as two of the hardest classes required for my major. I have maintained a cumulative GPA over 3.0, and hope my GPA will continue to improve as I take classes more focused on Exercise Science. My GPA in my required major core Exercise Science curriculum is a 3.75, and in January 2008, I was invited to join the Exercise Science Honor Society, Phi Epsilon Kappa. I plan to excel academically through my final year at Salisbury University, bettering my GPA, helping the community, and increasing my knowledge in Exercise Science to help people in the future.

Not only do I work hard academically in school, but I also held multiple part-time jobs in the summer of 2006 and 2007. The last two summers, I worked part-time as a rider at Dewey Beach Bike Taxi and full time as an ocean lifeguard at Sussex Shores in Bethany Beach. I have lined up my job for the summer 2008 as a lifeguard at Sussex Shores, and part time at a pool in Salisbury where I live. Guarding is passion of mine that I enjoy. I would like to find a position in my future profession that would allow me to help others who may also be in need of my service. These jobs provide money to help with general living expenses, and I definitely would like to make a larger contribution to my tuition and living expenses. Maintaining my transportation, a 2001 Chevy S-10, and paying for gas has proved costly. I am even considering working while I am at school, but my parents want me to focus on academics. The car, a job and living on my own at college, have helped me learn the value of time management and of saving money.

My plans for the future after graduation have remained the same this year as last. I plan to attend Salisbury for 4 years, graduate with honors, and attend Chiropractic school to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. A family friend who is a chiropractor continues to mentor me, and I am seriously considering what he points out about this career. I have contacted Palmer Chiropractic, the Chiropractic school I would like to attend after I graduate and have confirmed that the classes I am taking at Salisbury are the ones Palmer expects an applicant to have taken. I have a proven record of accomplishment for success and a plan for the future. For these reasons, I hope to be a candidate for a renewal of the John B. Lynch scholarship.

Just what does the future hold? I enjoy looking into the future, imagining what lies ahead. When I look to the future, I frequently find myself helping others. In the next 5-10 years, I imagine myself as a Doctor of Chiropractics, owning my own practice. Dedication, hard work, and planning will make what I now imagine, reality in my near future. The completion of my post secondary program is the first major step in conquering my goal. During my college experience, I will take classes and complete internships with practicing chiropractors. I have prepared myself for this post secondary program at Salisbury University by taking honors and AP classes at my high school. For my undergraduate degree, I am majoring in Exercise Science. Challenging myself in such a program will only prepare me better for what I plan to achieve after I earn my Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Once I have earned my degree, I will open my own practice to help others who need physical rehabilitation or who seek better physical condition. While recovering from a devastating injury during 2004, I attended a chiropractic practice (and a physical therapy practice) for almost 4 months. During those hours, I saw how chiropractics made a lasting difference in my life and in the lives of others. By bringing together my skills as a Chiropractor and my desire to help others, I will accomplish my goals for a successful future.

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Nora Reilly
John B. Lynch Scholarship Essay
2008-2009 Academic Year

As a musician, I have been fortunate enough to experience a performance atmosphere many times, and each and every performance is different. The music changes from concert to concert, the conductor changes from year to year, and the skill level of the performer improves with the conclusion of each performance season. My participation in the Delaware Youth Orchestra at the Wilmington Music School in Delaware opened many doors for me, for it was this ensemble that persuaded me to pursue a career in music.

The Wilmington Music School was invited to play a gala at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington at the close of my fourth year in the ensemble. The Grand is an incredible venue, and has hosted hundreds of performances ranging from The Delaware Symphony to Lewis Black. To be invited to perform in the Grand Opera House is the chance of a lifetime, and I had spent the weeks leading to the big night behind locked doors, flute and piccolo in hand, putting them down only to eat and sleep.

The Symphony’s signature piece was Procession of the Sardar, the fourth movement of the Caucasian Sketches by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov. The piece starts with a sixteen bar piccolo solo that I had been chosen to play. The notes, technically speaking, are not that difficult; however, when I was told that Sardar would be played at the Grand Opera House the night of the School’s gala, I could think of nothing but worst case scenarios. So many things could go wrong with the solo, but I had my heart set on performing it perfectly at the Grand.

In the hours before we were to take the stage, it felt as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders. My weeks of hard work and practice were about to culminate on a stage before an opera house full of complete strangers. I felt my heart pounding in my chest, and while we filed onto the stage, my legs began to shake. It is normal to get the jitters before any concert or recital, but this was the one time I wished all of my nerves would settle. Eventually, with each deep breath, I was able to calm down enough to successfully play the pieces preceding Sadar.

It was during the closing measure of the second to last piece that the elephants in my stomach decided to introduce themselves. I felt the blood drain from my face, and my arms and shoulders began to tremble as I laid my flute on my lap and placed my piccolo to my lips. The conductor raised his arms, poised and ready to lead the ensemble in the final piece. He gave us a measure free, the bassoon began its steady beat, and I prepared myself for the final seconds before my debut.

The first few measures I played with ease. With the constant beat of the timpani behind me, and the conductor’s baton in my peripheral vision, I was able to concentrate more on filling the room rather than making mistakes. I could still feel my heart pounding from note to note, but the tension subsided as the piece continued. I felt every eye as I worked towards the climax of the solo. My heart rate began to quicken slightly at this point. This one measure, the most important measure of the entire sixteen bars, was also the measure that had given me the most trouble. The most significant and prominent note I was about to play was the one note on that instrument with which I had struggled. The third octave A Natural had a strong tendency to fail me almost each and every time I played it, regardless of my success with the rest of the solo. I fixed my embouchure as well as I could, and went for it, the silence of the audience almost deafening.

My heart sank in my chest when the note cracked, and the ugly, flat harmonic was played instead. After those first sixteen bars, I stopped in rest, counting my measure before my next entrance. I was calm, but disappointed. While the blatantly obvious mistake to me might not have been perceived by my audience, it was still frustrating to me that I could not hit that note. I was relatively proud of my performance otherwise, and was met with the praise and support of my parents and friends after the gala. My hard work and effort had paid off. It had been a successful season, and what a great way to end it, by doing what I loved.

It was this performance in particular that helped me to decide to pursue an education in music performance beyond high school, and possibly a career beyond college. It was a perfect example of the satisfaction and fulfillment I have experienced after a successful recital, audition, or concert. There is no greater feeling in the world than the first few seconds after a well played piece, when I know that everything for which I have worked has paid off. It is for those seconds that I am willing to give it my all in college in pursuit of a career performing, and it is to that experience at the Grand that I credit the moment than changed my life.

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Karyssa Tuthill
John B. Lynch Scholarship Essay
2008-2009 Academic Year

I feel a tap-tap against my back and turn around to see the face of a grinning little girl, cheeks turning rosy from the cold, looking up at me.

“Where are we getting off?” she asks.

“I thought we’d try going up to the top today, how does that sound?” I reply as I’m smiling inside and out because of the excited look in her eyes. It’s about four weeks into my second year of teaching ski lesions at Mt. Pisgah, and after finally getting used to the lift and learning how to made a pizza with their skis, my students are finally ready for the big time. Throughout the time of lessons, I have loved every minute spent chatting about what their favorite colors are, who they have for teachers, and how many siblings they have. While watching each one make it down the mountain safely, I’m proud of how far they have come in such a short amount of time.

The most enjoyable jobs I have had so far have involved children. Besides teaching ski lessons, I have also been a counselor at a summer program for children for three years. At this camp, my duties have included organizing recreational activities such as sports, arts and crafts, and games. One of my fondest summer memories includes taking a hike in the woods, eating gummy-worms, and exchanging ghost stories with my campers. What job could be better than being paid to play?

In college, I am planning on receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in English and Adolescent Education. I hope to bring the magic of the English language to my classroom, and hope to make literature come alive for my future students. With all luck, those who leave my classroom will have learned to acquire the same love of Holden Caulfield and Romeo and Juliet as I have. During my time at St. John Fisher College, I also aspire to travel abroad to London, England to further enhance my English studies. Since writing is my passion, it is my dream to publish at least one novel. On top of my career, it is equally important for me to have a family of my own, and I look forward to the day when I too will have children.

Another passion of mine is volunteering. In college, I joined a service group called Students With a Vision, also referred to as SWAV. This organization presented me with many opportunities. I was able to volunteer at a “Haunted Walk” to raise money for March of Dimes, help children pick out winter clothes in “Project Bundle-Up”, and give manicures at a nursing home. During my freshman year, I have also been able to participate in a walk for breast cancer, join a team in Relay for Life, and volunteer at Teddi Dance for Love, a twenty-four hour dance that raises money for Camp Good Days and Special Times, which benefits children with cancer. Giving back to the community, especially its children, is an immense satisfaction, and to me there is no other feeling like it.

Working with children has brought great happiness into my life. By going on to receive a higher education, I hope to develop new skills that allow me to become a better leader and make a difference in the world. While teaching kids, I too have learned some of life’s greatest lessons from them as well. To live, to love, and most importantly, to laugh.

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Melissa Tyler
John B. Lynch Scholarship Essay
2008-2009 Academic Year

In the past year I have discovered the indecisiveness and confusion that many college freshman encounter. I always thought that I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted to do. My parents warned me, they said, “Melissa you’re going to change your mind, it’s just what happens in college.” I dismissed their advice just as any other naive high school senior would do. I was ready, I was determined, and I was going to become an athletic trainer… until three days before it was time to drive up to East Stroudsburg University. I sat in my bedroom staring at all my things packed into boxes and duffle bags and began to cry. I cried one of the most obnoxious, disgusting, painful cries of my life, and five minutes later my father came into the room and asked what could possibly be the problem. I struggled to tell him that I no longer wanted to be an athletic trainer. I told him that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew most definitely that I did NOT want to be an athletic trainer. This realization came as such a shock because I had wanted to be an athletic trainer since 10th grade; I had prepared myself so thoroughly that I had completed a course in sports medicine, as well as an internship with a local physical therapy clinic by the time of my high school graduation. It was the reason why I had chosen ESU in the first place. It was at that moment that I realized that I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and I was terrified. Once I had begun to breathe again my father said, “well you’re going now,” and so I went.

When I arrived at ESU I quickly changed my major from Athletic Training to the more liberal, flexible Environmental Studies Major. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the honors program at ESU, which requires all incoming freshmen of the program to take a course called Honors Introduction to the Liberal Arts. It was in that class that I discovered the true meaning of college: education in the broadest sense of the word. The liberal arts are the core of all liberal arts colleges, and have been renamed things such as “core classes” or “general education”; however, regardless of their title they all serve the same purpose. They provide the student with a basic understanding of a multitude of different topics. This broad range of education enables the student to learn how to learn. The learning skills acquired in the course enable students to find what it is that truly interests them. In the class I was able to come away with a new understanding of what it was that I was supposed to do, and why I’m here at school. I’m here to learn and learn as much as I possibly can. I have my whole life to specialize in something; this is my time to figure out who I am, and what interests me.

To answer the essay question I can only say that my academic and personal goals for the future are to find what makes me happy and how I can help others find happiness. My plan is to pursue this goal completely and whole heartedly. As of now I can see myself in some sort of ecotourism business. Last summer I completed a quarter-term for Americorps. I was an environmental educator at Lums Pond State Park in Delaware. My job could best be described as camp counselor during the week and naturalist in the Nature Center on Saturdays. It was actually my work with our visitors at the park this summer which encouraged my choice in major. Because I love the environment and any outdoor activity it seemed like the best place to start in my search for occupational fulfillment. As for this summer I plan on going to China for a summer study through the school’s international programs department. I’m finding that what interests me most is travel and teaching others about enjoying and appreciating the natural world. I hope to do as much as this as I possibly can, and perhaps one day I’ll make a living at it.

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