Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – The Road to Character

Name: Katherine Grace Landoni
From: Corvallis, Oregon
Grade: college freshmen
School: Oregon State University
Votes: 0

Forward Scholarship Essay

Katherine Landoni

Road to Character

I believe The Road to Character means none of us can live for ourselves
alone. A life lived for only ourselves I think would be meaningless
and without joy. But when we live for others – when we focus on our
role within our family, our community, and
-then I believe we begin to realize our own place in the world. The Road to
Character also means to develop to our full potential and use our
talents and abilities to engage meaningfully in civic involvement.
Finally, The Road to Character means that one has a responsibility to
give back to the community that has given so much. I know that I am a
product of my community.

Living in a rural area that does not have the benefit of a nearby
university, the support and resources of the community have been
instrumental in helping me carry out my scientific research for seven
years. These relationships with community members prepared me for
success in high school and beyond.

I have received numerous science awards at the local, state, national
and international levels. However, I’m most proud of my commitment
to mentor youth Science and Engineering Club members.
club president, I organized fundraisers and mentored students. For 4
years during high school, I met after school each Tuesday for two
hours to help prepare elementary and middle school members for their
annual Science and Engineering Fair by: guiding them through the
scientific process, conducting mock judging sessions and encouraging
them to confidently conduct themselves. I was clearly a role-model
for these younger students.

The most memorable moments occurred when I saw kids discuss their ideas
for their research and then see the results of their investigative
projects. I remember at the end of one of the after school mentoring
sessions, a middle school girl came up to me and said that she really
enjoyed the session. I asked her what she meant, and she replied with
a smile, “Well, I don’t really like science. I’m better at
language arts. When I heard about the Science and Engineering Club, I
really didn’t want to come. My mom made me, but I’m glad I did. I
had so much fun learning that I could do a good research project. I
think my mom will be proud.”

Through community service activities I learned how to manage a rigorous
academic schedule, find time to complete my homework, practice and
play for the high school varsity basketball team, conduct independent
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) research, and
work at the Farmer’s Market and The Olympic Lavender Farm. Through
it all, I managed to maintain a 3.88 GPA while taking Honors and
Advanced Placement classes. This left little free time for myself.
However, I have learned serving others creates a sense of self-worth
and purpose for me. I found the more I gave to others, the more
giving became a part of who I am.
know that service has transformed me into a more open-minded and
compassionate person with a bigger heart and a willingness to
sacrifice for others.

Currently, I’m a freshmen in Oregon State University’s Honors College
pursuing a major in Earth Science with a geology option within the
College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Integrating math,
chemistry, physics and technology to solve modern science challenges
captivates me. Once I complete my undergraduate degree at Oregon
State, I plan to move onto graduate school and earn my master’s
degree in a geoscience field while conducting research for either a
private corporation or government organization. My eventual goal is
to pursue a PhD in the geosciences and become a professor at
university level.

I believe advances in science and technology provide society with the
ability to achieve greater and more in-depth understanding of nature
and ourselves. These scientific advances afford human beings a
clearer perspective of who we are and what role we should have with
respect to one another, the other species on the planet and the
environment in which we all must live.

Nevertheless, I don’t feel today’s policymakers and politicians have enough
evidence, facts and knowledge regarding the critical challenges
facing our planet in the 21
century. In college and beyond, I plan to organize, engage, and
facilitate active partnerships with communities at the local, state
and international levels to solve critical problems facing the world.
My ultimate goal is to apply my scientific knowledge and passion to
make the world a better place to live, not just for humans, but for
all organisms.

Drawing on my abilities and life’s lessons, I’ll continue to help others.
As I move on to college and beyond I intend to excel academically.
More importantly, I want my endeavors to have a positive influence on
others to make this world a better place, through The Road to

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