At the Law Firm of Kass & Moses, we value the importance of giving back to society. To this end, one of the ways we fulfill our commitment is by regularly awarding a scholarship to deserving candidates. We take immense pleasure in announcing the name of our most recent scholarship recipient, who has impressed us with their exceptional academic achievements and dedication towards their community.
Our Overcoming Challenges scholarship winner is Henry Addison. Here is Henry’s submission:
Embracing Challenges: Paving the Path to a Purposeful Future
My journey from Ghana to America as an African American college student in my third year has been an unyielding pursuit of the American ideal – the dream of success and making a meaningful contribution. Throughout this life-changing journey, I have faced personal challenges that have developed my resilience and tenacity, driving me toward my ultimate goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. In this essay, I will discuss how I overcame hurdles and barriers in both my academic and personal lives, and how these experiences have uniquely prepared me for a future profession committed to assisting others.
The transfer from Ghana to America posed its own set of difficulties, such as adjusting to a new culture, overcoming language problems, and adjusting to a tough academic environment. However, I refused to allow these obstacles to stop me from my goals. Furthermore, my trip has been accompanied with a number of academic hurdles. The rigorous nature of my pre-medical curriculum pushed me to my mental and emotional limitations. Despite occasional failures, I saw these challenges as chances for progress rather than impediments. I was able to overcome these obstacles by adopting good time management skills, getting assistance from mentors and teachers, and retaining a strong sense of resolve.
These personal and intellectual obstacles have taught me significant lessons and formed my character. They instilled in me the value of tenacity, flexibility, and empathy. Witnessing the challenges and suffering of people in both Ghana and America who lack sufficient medical treatment has motivated my desire to pursue a career in neurosurgery. My ambitions are driven by a desire to make a real impact in the lives of others, to ease their sorrow and restore their optimism.
As I look back on my journey, I am convinced that the obstacles I have conquered have prepared me for the tough and challenging route of becoming a neurosurgeon. My tenacity in the face of hardship, together with my unshakable devotion to academic success, will allow me to overcome the difficult obstacles that lie ahead in this specialized sector. Furthermore, my own experiences have ingrained in me a strong sense of empathy, which ensures that I treat each patient with compassion, understanding, and a dedication to holistic care. Finally, my journey from Ghana to America as an African American college student has been distinguished by hardships, impediments, and personal progress. Adversity has sharpened my character, reinforced my willpower, and given me a unique view on the world. Through these experiences, I have developed the resilience, resourcefulness, and empathy required to pursue a profession in neurosurgery in the future. I am dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of others and to living a meaningful life based on human service.
Our Defense from Injustice scholarship winner is Kourtney Hicks. Here is Kourtney’s submission:
In my junior year of high school, I was diagnosed with Clival Chordoma cancer. When adults would ask me, “what do you want to be when you are older?” I have always had a picture-perfect happy ending for myself: going to college, having a stable job, finding my soulmate, growing old together, and having a loving family. As the steps of childhood trailed behind me, the vision of this life was close, realistic. Just as I was about to cross the line into adulthood, the path severed astray. Astray from the life that I was en route for. Astray from the paths my peers were walking down, and from achieving the things I wanted. Clival Chordoma cancer is a bone cancer in the base of the skull; it is primarily found in middle-aged adults, I was 16 when I was diagnosed. It had been eating away at my skull and taking up space inside of my head for upwards of ten years. I had gone my entire life without realizing I had a 0.8 in a million type of cancer. By the time of my surgery in February 2022, it had grown to be larger than a softball.
I think the worst part about having cancer is nobody could tell me it’s going to be okay. Nobody could tell me anything was guaranteed: graduation, college, growing old; my future was taken away from me. No matter how hard I was gripping onto it, the grains of it slipped out of my hand and blew away. Along with the extraction of my future, my present was taken away from me. I was immediately pulled out of school for an online course, I could not participate in my last season of club and high school volleyball, and for 7 months, the only places I really spent time in were my bedroom and the hospital. In these moments, it felt like my life wasn’t mine anymore. I was no longer living for the purpose of pleasure or entertainment. I could see my friends on their paths, being worried about grades, college, and boys: the normal teenage things. On my desolate path, I was worried about staying alive.
I had to grow up at an exceptionally fast rate. Facing death changed my perception of life. People are criminally mortal. Life is fragile and can be taken away just as easily as it is given. Death does not discriminate. It is everywhere, all of the time; people’s lives end. No more rainy days enjoying a book, no more stressing over grades, just endless nothing. Every experience and every opportunity was something that I was lucky to have, grateful to have, because it was something. I was now praying for just more. More experiences, more embarrassing stories to tell, more laughing with my friends, more of anything. More was something indefinite, but it was the fact I had the opportunity to have an experience, to have more, to be alive right now.
My life became something worth fighting for, whether I wanted it to or not. I had to fight. I had to keep going to have more embarrassing stories to tell, more rainy days enjoying a book, I had more steps I had to walk, needed to walk. My path is cold, desolate, and sorrowful, but I have put one foot in front of the other; I have no choice. I am not dragging my feet with my head down, I am fighting. Fighting for my present and my future with the hope in my heart for more!