Scholarship Review

Charles Blenko

Norwin High School
Senior? Yes
Elite top 100? Yes
Letters of recommendation: Letter of Recommendation 1, Letter of Recommendation 2


A seed takes years to mature into a strong, budding tree, but we still take the time to nurture and care for that seed and resulting sapling until it can support itself. I find in my volunteer work that it is so crucial to invest time and resources in today’s youth, because they will be the leaders of tomorrow.
Much of my volunteer work has centered around supporting local children. I share my interest in science by judging elementary school science fairs and working out project ideas and teaching electrical circuitry to young students during science nights at a local library. As President of my school’s Model United Nations team, I mentor middle school students in Model UN and bring them to conferences with the high school team I run. Having done this for several years, I have the fortune of watching these young minds blossom into passionate, well-spoken, and intellectual delegates at high school conferences. As a sophomore, I held “Program for Positivity” meetings with middle school leaders to motivate them as leaders within their school and have been able to observe these students continue to be leaders at the high school level.
One of the hobbies I enjoy is riding my bike on the trails through downtown Pittsburgh. This activity allows plenty of time to reflect and observe the fast-moving heart of our region. The sights and sounds of downtown continue to motivate me to invest my time in tomorrow’s leaders. I see the work of today’s scientists to clean our rivers and make them a safe place for wildlife, industry, and recreation to intertwine. I watch the combination of ancient and brand-new bridges that withstand the test of time only because someone invested his or her time in motivating the designers of those bridges to be passionate about math and engineering. I observe new, green buildings downtown that are constructed with the mindset that we have a social obligation to not only ourselves, but our descendants, to leave behind a beautiful, vibrant city. None of our beautiful city would stand today had it not been for those who invested time in today’s adults and yesterday’s children to become who they are now.
Volunteerism to me means investing in today’s youth, because they are the leaders of tomorrow. I must credit my success to the adults who have invested time in enriching my life, and I hope to do the same for the young people in my life. I have seen the positive consequences of investment in youth and also seen the negative outcome of those who are left behind as children. It is my wish to never give up on a child. Every child deserves a shot to live out his or her dream. If I can just take moments of my time throughout life to give back to the community that raised me well, I will know I have lived a life worth living.