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What Aaron’s words of advice can teach us about the value of failure

What Aaron’s words of advice can teach us about the value of failure

Posted: 11.01.18

Aaron grew up in Baltimore where he attended Baltimore School for the Arts and developed a love for the oboe. He was exposed to accomplished musicians who played some of the great classical pieces and it fed his goal of becoming a professional musician. Through constant practice, Aaron worked hard to perfect his art and performed in concerts playing pieces like Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto.

Aaron soon found his commitment to becoming a professional musician being tested. He had been waiting for his audition day at his dream college, the Eastman School of Music. When the audition finally came, it went poorly and he immediately knew he would not be accepted. It was a devastating blow. This was supposed to be a joyous moment, but instead he began to question his abilities and all that he had been working towards. Aaron learned what it meant to be resilient. He reached a point where he accepted Eastman School of Music would not be a part of his journey, but he resolved to improve for his future auditions.

Aaron’s persistence paid off. He kept practicing and did much better at his remaining four auditions which lead him to believe in his dreams once again. Today, Aaron is attending the Manhattan School of Music and his words inspire us to continue our mission:

“I learned first-hand that it is not failure that defines you, but how you respond to failure. That can be applied to all aspects of life. You can rise from defeat to succeed another day.”–Aaron

Aaron’s resilient attitude helped him become a Central Scholarship scholar where we were able to connect him with the Richard Louis Caplan Memorial Scholarship Music Performance. We are watching Aaron succeed and set big goals, like pursuing his masters in performance and becoming a part of a professional symphony. We are grateful he has shared his passion with us and it gives us great pride to celebrate his talent!

How Sandra found her calling through the love of education

Posted: 10.15.18

Sandra exemplifies what it means to be a Central Scholarship scholar.

Sandra was born in El Salvador in the midst of a civil war with little access to food and other living essentials. At a young age, she was taken in by her grandmother who filled the void of not having parents and became her protector, provider, and advocate. Sandra’s grandmother made sure she and her sisters enrolled in school and taught them to understand the power of help and love.

When Sandra was 10, she and her sisters moved to the United States to be reunited with their mother. It was a very difficult time. It had been 10 years since she had last seen her mother who had remarried and had three more kids. The new family and the different language and culture made Sandra feel lost. Fortunately, Sandra lived near a youth center that provided academic, life skills, and other social services. The staff at the center gave her a love of education and a desire to give back. She also learned that many who worked there had social work or psychology degrees.

Sandra’s outlook on life was shaped by her grandmother and those who helped her along the way. That led her to become an AmeriCorps volunteer where she helped at-risk students with academics and then pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work. Today, Sandra is working towards her masters in social work and is a Central Scholarship award recipient.

Because Central Scholarship’s path intersected with Sandra, we were able to connect her with a Stulman Foundation Scholars grant. The ability to support students who give back so much to the community inspire us and it is Sandra’s words that keep us focused on our mission:

“I am confident that this desire to work in the field of social work is my calling. As part of my legacy, I hope to touch more young people’s lives and that is the reason I continue to be motivated to work towards my goals.” –Sandra

Meet Alina

Posted: 09.06.18

Central Scholarship met Alina back in 2010 as she was aspiring to become a pharmacist. As of May 2018, we are proud to share she has graduated with a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy and is well on her way to achieving her goals. When you meet Alina it is hard not to notice her drive. She was born in Ukraine and moved to Maryland at the age of five. While her parents struggled financially at times, they always instilled the value of education in Alina.

With her laser-sharp academic determination she has taken advantage of every opportunity that has come her way and has excelled in the classroom. While in school she sought leadership opportunities, pursued competitive internships, and remembered to have fun too! Today, she is completing her first year of pharmacy residency at the University of Virginia Health System.

Alina’s academic journey intersected with several Central Scholarship donors, who at different points supported her through eight years of education.  In addition to interest-free loans, she received funding from the Lessans Family Scholarship and the Mary M. and Benjamin M. Rubin Scholarship for Women. She will be the first to tell you that her scholarship providers made pursuing her dreams a reality, but we also know Alina’s intelligence, determination, and resiliency were a big part.

Shannon Wu, December 2017 Scholar of the Month

Meet Shannon – December 2017 Scholar of the Month

Posted: 12.07.17

Shannon Wu is pursuing a PhD in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Shannon is specializing in Informatics and Health Services Delivery and plans to graduate in May of 2019. Shannon was especially drawn to the Baltimore region due to the proximity to the policy arena in Washington, DC, as well as the opportunity to learn firsthand the struggles of obtaining adequate healthcare from populations in Baltimore.

After graduation from Princeton University in 2013, Shannon began her career as a Senior Consultant with IBM. Shannon credits her experience there with motivating her to understand and direct the transformation of health information technology. In her own words, “My time at IBM provided me a solid foundation in informatics and data infrastructure in the pharmaceutical industry, but I did not understand how information and data could be transferred safely and used by providers to improve care for patients. I saw the dynamic technological shift occur in one private sector of healthcare but realized that other institutions such as small medical practices or safety-net providers were given limited policy guidance and financial incentives to invest in technological advancements. A large digital divide was beginning to occur within the healthcare field, and I became eager to explore ways to heal this divide systematically and methodologically.”

Shannon is a recipient of the Hal Cohen Endowed Scholarship at Central Scholarship. CareFirst established the fund to honor the incredible legacy of Dr. Cohen, a renowned health care economist. The fund helps students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in healthcare policy, healthcare financing, or economics.

In addition to her formal studies, Shannon meets weekly with an elderly couple in Baltimore who are dependent on welfare and live in an underserved neighborhood of the city. Through these home visits Shannon has been able to see firsthand how the healthcare and social welfare system impacts families, especially the elderly and other particularly vulnerable populations.

November 2017 Scholar of the Month, Richard WHitfield

Meet Richard – November 2017 Scholar of the Month

Posted: 11.10.17

Richard Whitfield is one of the newest commercial drivers in town! He was awarded a career and technology training scholarship from Central Scholarship to attend the North American Trade School in Baltimore, Maryland, a scholarship made possible from funding by The Abell Foundation. He now holds a “Class A” Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

He graduated from Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School in 2014, where he studied masonry. After graduating, he began to take interest in transportation careers and started work as a driver. He has worked for some major local companies including UPS and Amazon. While at Amazon, Richard enjoyed learning how to operate a forklift.

As some time passed, Richard began to see the “bigger picture” and he realized he was ready for a career. His background in transportation piqued his interest in CDL programs. Now, Richard says that things are going “awesome” and that he is so thankful for the scholarship that he received from Central Scholarship. Richard currently works as a “Class A” CDL Driver for United Natural Foods. He looks forward to helping change someone’s life the way that Central Scholarship helped make a change in his life.

Legg Mason Scholarship Fund for Vocational Students Recipient Tavon Daye

Featured Scholar of the Month

Posted: 08.28.14

Congratulations to Tavon Daye, our August Scholar of the Month.  Tavon completed training at CCBC and received his computer repair certification.  He is 23 years old and was born and raised in Baltimore City.  He hopes to set a good example for his two younger sisters by earning certification and skills education to help him begin his career.  In his own words, he writes, “My professional goal is to get all of the education and training that I can get so that I can prepare for an excellent career to support my family, instead of struggling with a nine to five at McDonalds.”

Unfortunately, Pell grants and financial aid are not applicable to Tavon’s training program.  He is from a low-income single-parent home that does not have the financial resources to support Tavon’s educational pursuits so he turned to Central Scholarship.  After receiving The Legg Mason Scholarship Fund for Vocational Students, Tavon thanked us “from the bottom of my heart.”  Central Scholarship’s vocational training scholarship application is open year round and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  To apply, click here and scroll down to Career & Technology Students.

Wells Fargo Vocational Scholarship and Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Vocational Scholarship recipient Ernestine Saddler

Ernestine, Scholar of the Month

Posted: 11.27.13

Last year, Ernestine Saddler decided to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse, which she had to abandon to care for an ailing family member.  Ernestine altered her career plans and aimed for a CNA/GNA (Certified/Geriatric Nursing Assistant) certificate.  She writes, “In February 2013 I received the opportunity to obtain my Certification as a Nursing Assistant with the help of Central Scholarship, which became the catalyst to jump start my career goals in the healthcare field.  Although I am not a Licensed Registered Nurse, I am determined to become one and with baby steps I will achieve this goal.”

Central Scholarship awarded Ernestine with a Wells Fargo Vocational Scholarship and a Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Vocational Scholarship.  Our funding allowed Ernestine to earn her CNA/GNA certificate.  She reapplied with us this year to move up and earn her PCT (Patient Care Technician) certificate at Stein Academy.  With this under her belt, Ernestine will be able to earn more doing what she loves while she begins taking prerequisite courses toward her nursing degree.

For those interested in career and technology training, Central Scholarship offers vocational scholarships.  The vocational scholarship application remains open year-round and scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis.  The vocational scholarship application will close briefly for the holidays on December 15th, 2013 and re-open on January 1st, 2014.  The application will remain open through December of 2014.