Basically what I did was get together with
the LGBTQ community here in Rochester at the Out Alliance Organization to try to find a
way to incorporate the community within Mercy. I started the Roc Kids Connect Program, which is an exchange program between Pittsford Sutherland and PUC Achieve Charter School. And it’s just a great chance for kids from
very different backgrounds to get to interact with each other and learn about each other’s
lifestyles. I had a lot of things that made me who I am, and I had been writing tons of essays for colleges and saying my story, so I thought, “What value would fit into that?” and I chose initiative. My initiative is what got me there and got
me through the struggles that made me who I am today, which I think is a better person
than I was before. Part of the reason I want to go into neuroscience is because I was treated at Golisano myself my freshman year, and I just have such a strong appreciation for all of the doctors there, and everything they do. That’s part of the reason why I started club, Hippies for Hope, just to give back. But that’s also the driving force of why I
want to go into science and medicine. I’ll be studying Marketing at RIT this fall. I talked about my nonprofit corporation, The Santa Hat Society, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that provides Christmas presents to families with children who have suffered unimaginable tragedies. Going into college is scary in itself and
knowing that I have some more backing actually improves my self-esteem and confidence going in. I’m going to Washington University in St.
Louis because I’m going to be majoring in biomedical engineering there. I just got the letter and I thought it was
just my bank statement, so I opened it and ran to my mom in the other room, and I was like, “Mom. I won! I won!” I find it inspiring that ESL really strives
to help the community and help the people in the community, so that’s something I look forward to being a part of. We’re all living this together. It’s not about the individual, it’s about
everyone and everyone who works to make the community what it is.