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Right to Read Scholarship Winner

2023 Winner- Abigail Drake

Biography: I am a senior from Franklin, Massachusetts going to Franklin High School and I am honored to accept the Right to Read Scholarship. I plan on studying political science in college and, seeing as I have a strong interest in politics and current events, I was delighted to write about something so important and current in my Right to Read essay. It is my greatest hope that this scholarship will allow me to continue on this path.

I have been a Girl Scout for the past thirteen years and I have a strong devotion to community work and would like to put what I have learned in these programs to use in the future to help make the world a better place. I have done much community service in and out of this organization and it is something that I am extremely passionate about. At the moment, I have been working on a Gold Award intended to educate members of my community on textile sustainability.

I am a member of my school’s Science Olympiad and Model Congress clubs and I have often participated in their theater company as well. I was also recently admitted into the National Honor Society and have been dancing in multiple styles for the past five years. It is my hope that in the future I can participate in more of these types of activities in school, as they are what has led me to being the person that I am today.

I cannot thank Price Benowitz D.C. White Collar and Federal Attorney Rammy Barbari enough for this opportunity to continue my goals today into the future while also doing something that I am passionate about.

Reaction Statement: I am honored to receive this scholarship for a myriad of reasons. As book bannings spread rapidly across the United States, this essay felt incredibly salient. I am passionate about this subject and the cultural and political factors that relate to it. This scholarship is something that I hope will allow me to further my education by studying political science, an endeavor that I hope will allow me to better understand such phenomena as those which cause books to be banned in so many schools. This scholarship has brought me closer to my goals while giving me an outlet through which to research about and speak on a topic that I am passionate about and that I plan on doing future work in relation to. I would like to thank Rammy Barbari and Price Benowitz D.C. White Collar for giving me this opportunity.

2022 Winner- Olivia Gray

Biography: Hello! My name is Olivia Gray from Passaic, New Jersey. I am a senior attending the Passaic County Technical Institute in the Education and Human Services career and technical program. I uphold a weighted 4.3 GPA and am the President of my school’s Future Educators Association Club and Student Council Interact Club, as well as the NJFEA Center for Future Educators student leadership team. I am the Vice President of my school’s SkillsUSA club and the Northern Region President of the New Jersey SkillsUSA student officer team. I love to work with young children and get involved with community service projects and initiatives. My intended field of study is early childhood/elementary education with a minor or integrated with special education. I work part-time as an assistant teacher to infants and toddlers at an Early Head Start center and as a Five Below sales associate. By the end of my senior year, I plan to earn the Child Development Associate credential and then be able to teach a preschool classroom while pursuing my undergraduate degree.

Reaction Statement: I was in utter disbelief that I was named the scholarship winner. I truly can’t describe how grateful I am to know that the hard work and dedication I put into accomplishing this paid off. This opportunity revived my inner confidence as a writer after experiencing a lot of financial hardships and came a long way to where I am now. It feels extremely rewarding to have gained such a huge accomplishment this far in my high school career and use this award to forward my passion for dreaming and reach my dreams of being a professional educator!


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