This year, I participated in a group project for my scholar seminar class. For this project, I collaborated with my group to watch a documentary and evaluate the film by comparing aspects of the documentary to the four pillars of Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars as well as other elements of the film. My group evaluated the documentary, Stuck, which is a film that emphasizes the flaws in the international adoption system. This project added to my experiences of collaboration and bettered my communication and teamwork skills. This project also made me aware of a problem in this country as well as others and helped me understand the foundation of my scholars program.
In my opinion, service engagement should be the goal of any considerate citizen. Participation in community service not only helps those receiving the aid, but also improves the lives of those that are taking part in the service. Through my experiences with community service, I have received many benefits as well as learned many valuable lessons that have shaped me into the person that I am today. Through service, I have learned how to put others above myself, collaboration skills, and the value of hard work, along with many other meaningful values. I have also become more involved in my community through service. By serving alongside my peers, I have formed many friendships with people whose values align with my own. It is my hope that participating in a service-oriented scholars program that I will continue to learn about my values and form further friendships while also helping people in my community.
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In the past year, I have had many wonderful experiences and opportunities. I have grown in many areas of my life including faith, friendship and scholarship. However, I feel that I have grown the most in leadership. During my senior year I had the opportunity to hold many leadership positions. I served as the president of my school’s chapter of National Honor Society. In my presidency I led and planned meetings and set up and participated in community service outings as well as other responsibilities. I also was the captain of the varsity cheerleading team and, involved in drama club leadership and the senior class vice president. In addition, I was invited to represent my school at the Josten Renaissance leadership conference. Through Josten Renaissance I was a student ambassador for Taco Bell’s Grad 4 Más program. Lastly, I had the privilege of helping with Sunday school for kindergarten students at First Christian Church as well as lead worship music and dance for children of ages ranging from 5 to 8. All of these positions helped to sculpt my leadership skills. The skills that I refined in my senior year will follow me throughout college and my employment in the future.
Pictured above is me with another NHS member volunteering at COSI day
Pictured above is me cheerleading and serving as captain
Pictured above is me with another member of drama leadership before the school musical, Anything Goes
Pictured above are the seniors who were invited to the Josten Renaissance Conference with the speaker from the event
Pictured above is me with a few of my Sunday school students
I aspire to travel the world through mission trips on summer breaks and after graduation. I hope to provide medicines to people who do not have access to medications that they need while also sharing the message of Jesus. I hope that my time and experiences at Ohio State and in scholars will help me to achieve this aspiration.
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“Would you like to come to camp with us?” This combination of nine words has redirected my life. In the summer before my freshman year, my friends invited me to join them at Butler Springs Christian Camp. I agreed remembering the plethora of stories my friends had disclosed to me about the camp. I was raised in a decidedly traditional Lutheran church and considered myself a “good Christian.” I followed the Ten Commandments, was well behaved, believed in Jesus and attended church every Sunday. Due to my experiences at Butler Springs I now understand how misguided I was.
Butler Springs is a seemingly conventional summer camp in the middle of nowhere. There is no cell service, no contact with the outside world and a lack of edible food. When I first arrived I was skeptical and more passionate about trying out the zip line than I was about developing my relationship with God.
The first night there was lackluster until my first experience with sincere worship. I had grown accustomed to singing out of a hymnal with an organ only aided by a proper bell choir adorned with robes and stoles. The sight of electric guitars, flashing lights and considerably sized screens was followed by a flood of questions and uneasy glances to my friends. As I assimilated to the foreign environment I began to observe my peers. After seeing the way other campers responded to the music and the sermon it was clear to me how special Butler Springs is.
The first night set the tone for the week that transfigured my life. Each day was better than the last. In that extent of time my relationship with God elevated to a height I had yet to experience. With respect to Butler Springs, I now realize at what point I had gone wrong; “good Christians” do not exist. As Christians, it is our job to continuously and relentlessly develop our relationship with God as well as attempting to extend God’s kingdom.
I continue to apply the values instilled in me at Butler Springs in my day-to-day activities. In addition to revisiting Butler Springs every summer and fall, I have furthered my spiritual relationship at First Christian Church. Every Sunday I can be found teaching Sunday school as well as leading worship/music for children ranging in age from five to seven. I am also actively involved in Christian organizations such as Young Life and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as well as a small group that I attend regularly. Therefore, my ongoing journey through Christianity is not only to give myself an identity and purpose, but is a devotion that I will continue to dedicate my life to.
Rachel Copes is a first year undergraduate student at The Ohio State University. Rachel is a business major with a specialization in Finance and a minor in Economics as well as a direct admit to the Fisher College of Business. In the future, Rachel hopes to become a financial analyst in Columbus. Rachel is also a member of the Advocates of Communities and Education Scholars as well as Cru and serves as a Team Captain for the ACES Buckeyethon team. Rachel graduated with honors from Shawnee High School in Springfield, Ohio. In high school, Rachel was the president of her school’s chapter of national honor society, vice president of her class, and involved in cheerleading, theater, choir, church and community service in addition to other activities. Rachel is very excited to become involved in more activities on campus. Outside of the classroom, Rachel enjoys boating, dancing, attending church, and spending time with her friends and family.