A history book is filled with historical figures who have made themselves "The First" of many kinds achievements. But I ask myself, did Eleanor Roosevelt imagine how her contributions during the Great Depression and the Women's Rights Movement would impact so many women and men around the world, especially in the U.S.? Did Rosa Parks know that by standing her ground for what she believed was right, wanting equal rights for every American, she would be remembered in the history books as a woman who wasn't scared of the consequences of her actions? Maybe this thought never crossed their minds, but I believe that they knew that every small contribution was made with a purpose. Nathaniel Kirkland may not end up in the history books but he will be remembered as a student who caused many smiles to scholarship recipients who now have a place to call a school, who are able to extend their education into college due to his small, but meaningful, contributions.
For the past two years, I have been an intern at St. Chris, where a number of the patients don't have the opportunity that I have for an education or to do things as simple as feeding themselves. Volunteering at St. Chris had made me more aware of the advantage I have in my community. My role may not be of much importance as the doctors or nurses working with them each day, but with just a smile, or a plain cotton doll, I see the change it brings to a kid trying to make it through each day. Nathaniel was a student who I believe wanted to give a small part of what he was to the students in Guatemala. Like him, I make it my duty to use my privileges for a good cause. I want to accomplish impactful things that will help others. Like Nathaniel, I want to motivate students around my community to do good, to impact their peers.
The Nathaniel Kirkland Scholarship will provide me with a higher possibility of continuing my educational path. I will have the opportunity that my parents never had to be proud, educated leaders of their community.
- Sthefany Jaquez-Lopez (Excerpts from personal statement)
Nathaniel M. Kirkland Scholar: Sthefany Jaquez-Lopez