December 15, 2020

Shea Sweeney

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" 6 year old me would have said a shoe designer. 10 year old me would have said an interior designer. 14 year old me would have said a doctor. 16 year old me would have said a nutritionist. But now, 18 year old me is seeking a degree in communications. Every child has different aspirations and goals, some more attainable than others and some more abstract than others. But why do kids continue to dream new dreams every night, and wake up wanting a whole new thing than the day before. Maybe they saw an basketball game and decided they wanted to be in the NBA. Maybe they saw a cooking show and decided they wanted to be a chef. Or maybe like me, they saw a really great pair of high heels and spent half of their lives obsessing about being a shoe designer. Whatever the case may be, those kids saw their future through some kind of advertisement.

It was not until recently that my heart was set on communications. My best friend was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes the fall of our junior year. I tried to be there for her, through the initial hospitalization to the anger and self-pity. I knew in order for her to truly accept the disease, she needed to turn her energy outwards to something positive. The idea of a fashion show fundraiser was born. It would be a way to keep her mind off her problems while raising money for juvenile diabetes research. We had the support of the school community, but were extremely naive as to the work that would be required. We reached out to different stores and businesses around the area. We matched models to stores and coordinated fitting times. We wrote up commentary for the outfits and sold tickets. Ultimately, we collected 100 outfits, had the participation of 60 models around the school and raised $5000 for JDRF. The fashion show began as a way to help my friend, but it helped me in many ways too. It taught me communication, decision making, and problem-solving skills that I want to hone in college. I am proud of my accomplishment and the hard work it involved.

Over the past two summers I have worked at a small sub shop in Wilmington, Delaware. From my first day there, I realized that the job was so much more than making sandwiches. It was about experiencing my community from a different vantage point. I've gotten a chance to learn about customers' lives, their struggles, their accomplishments, their families, and of course what they like on their sub. It broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to people from different walks of life. It taught me how to communicate with people from all different economic and social backgrounds as well as how to make a superb cheesesteak.

As I approach the next chapter in my life, I hope to apply all of the lessons, tips, and tricks I've learned thus far, to college. During my time at college, my goals are to take advantage of all the different opportunities the university offers. I want to study abroad and expand my knowledge of the world. I want to get involved in the different clubs and organizations on campus. I want to have a summer internship, that will fully prepare me for the workforce ahead. I plan on working hard and making the most out of those quick four years. As I am being handed my diploma, I hope I can confidently say that I did the best I could, while appreciating all the friendships and connections I made. I hope you consider me to receive the J.B.L. Trust Scholarship to help defer some of the high cost of tuition, and assist me in achieving my goals.

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