Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – A Small Connection, A Large Impact

Name: Alesha Nicole Morovits
From: Janesville, Wisconsin
Grade: 12
School: UW Rock County
Votes: 2

It is more than an honor to have to say I had the opportunity to teach a
computer programming course to several students from China, have
maintained a grade point average well enough to be inducted into
three honor societies, and have had the experience of collaborating
with a team, on a tight deadline while finding a solution to a
challenging task. Several academic experiences of which I have
participated in have developed a sensation of satisfaction and pride
within myself.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
Robotics program at my school was the primary activity during which
my leadership skills began to grow. The first year I joined, I
reached a conflict within myself which was trying to overcome my
introverted tendencies. As a new member, and the only African
American female, I was immediately faced with the fact that I would
need to be an advocate for myself if I wanted to share and put forth
my ideas. After my first year of this activity I became a member of
the scouting team, which is a group of students within the FIRST
Robotics club who have the duty to collaborate with other teams from
several countries such as, Russia, Mexico, France, and China. Being a
member of this group has taught me how to work with many people, and
allow me to gain teamwork, communication and leadership skills. I am
very proud to say that I have learned how to not let my introversion
stop me from doing what I want and doing it successfully.

My grade point average and volunteer work has allowed me to earn several
awards from different extra curricular activities. Beginning in
middle school I earned the President’s award for academic excellence.
My freshman year I was a member of the art club, and an athlete in
competitive swimming and track and field. My sophomore year I had the
interest to branch out and join French club, computer and chess club,
and the FIRST Robotics club. During my junior year I continued these
activities along with Key Club while also being inducted into the
French Honor Society, the National Honor Society. Most recently I
have been accepted into Science Honor Society. Continuing several of
these activities has allowed me to reach undreamt of achievements in
my life and has allowed me to demonstrate and develop my work ethic
in high school.

During the summer of 2013 I was introduced to a new program within my school
district. This program is known as the International Educational
Institute, a summer program which partners Janesville School District
students with high school students from China. As a member of this
activity I attended class with students from my school district and
those from China. By the end of the institute, I learned how to break
through various cultural barriers, which occasionally was difficult
but thoroughly satisfactory! I learned how to encourage, assist, and
collaborate with students from another country which isn’t a
particularly common experience for a high school student from
south-central Wisconsin. I learned how to build confidence and pride
in myself but also in the students from China.

In the summer of 2014 I was invited back to the International
Educational Institute as a teaching assistant for a computer
programming course. My leadership abilities escalated dramatically. I
developed a method of communication to clearly teach students which
had a first language not at all similar to my own. When questions
were asked, it was one of the most difficult situations for me; I had
to take in and interpret every word they said, fix the problem as
soon as possible (due to other students needing assistance
simultaneously), and I had to explain the solution to the problem in
several ways to make sure the Chinese students comprehended it.

This fraction of personal academic and leadership experiences has allowed
me to accomplish achievements I never could have imagined. I had the
opportunity to strengthen my communication, work ethic, time
management qualities and to collaborate with a large range of
students. Overall these experiences have filled me with the
satisfaction of seeing improvement in myself. I have been able to
share my knowledge from these experiences with other people as well,
and I hope they have similar feelings of accomplishment and will find
a similar sense of pride in their lives such as in my own.

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