When thinking about another “Artifact” that represents me, I thought about my academic and personal achievement in high school. At the end of my senior year, I had the honor of being recognized as an “Outstanding Greenman”. My high school’s mascot is “the greenmen”, and a few years ago the school decided to recognize twelve graduating seniors with “The Outstanding Greenmen Award”. This award is solely based off of academic achievements, involvement, dedication to serving others, and overall character. This award is one of the greatest honors a student at Aurora High School is able to work toward within their four years. Every year, the school district votes on who they believe is deserving of recognition for their overall character. There are several rounds of voting and input put into the final twelve students that are chosen. Each student is ranked in various categories and the process spans over a few months. I remember being called into the principal’s office for the first time. I was terrified that I was in trouble. However, I unexpectedly entered a room with eleven of my peers. Once we were informed of our achievement, we were all humbled and honored. Yet, little did we know how special this ceremony would be. Each student was required to choose any educator or faculty member (Kindergarten-12th Grade) who made a lasting impact on their lives or academic career throughout the Aurora City School system. I chose to honor my AP Economics teacher, Mrs. Jenna Schadle, who never failed to put her students first. At the ceremony, we prepared a short speech explaining why we chose each teacher, therefore, this award was also for twelve outstanding faculty members. In addition, each student was recognized on a deep and individualized level. It was amazing to hear everyone’s story and appreciate the hard work of my peers. This evening was unforgettable and I am still humbled that teachers noticed my hard work over the years and that I was chosen out of 250 students. Overall, this award is something I will forever be proud of and one of my biggest accomplishments. I am so thankful for a supportive family, friends, and a great school system that put me on the best possible path for success.
Home: a place where you feel safe, secure, and supported. When someone says “home”, I think of the chapel at Camp Nazareth. Camp Nazareth is an Orthodox camp ground located in Mercer, PA and is also the place where I spent the majority of my summer, fall, and spring breaks. This place has taught me the importance of a firm foundation in my faith and my relationship with God. This is the place where I met some of the most amazing people that continue to inspire me daily, and I know will support me throughout my life. This is the place where my heart is the fullest and I exude genuine happiness. When I walk inside this chapel, I am reminded of all of the amazing blessings God has given me. This chapel serves as a reminder of all of the experiences that have made me into the woman I am today. Camp Nazareth and the Orthodox faith have shown me the power of God’s love, the importance of service to others, and the significance of showing love to others. I cannot thank this camp enough for the incredible experiences it has afforded me, as a camper, over the last 10 years. Looking ahead, I am fortunate enough to be able to share my experiences as a counselor and mentor for those younger than me. My goal is to make them fall in love with this chapel and this faith as much as I have. Whenever I am overwhelmed or stressed, I always take a second to close my eyes and think of this beautiful chapel that I call home.