Scholarship Review

Jordyn Bradley

Mt Pleasant Area Junior/Senior High School
Senior? Yes
Elite top 100? Yes
Letters of recommendation: Letter of Recommendation 1, Letter of Recommendation 2


At a very young age, my parents have always taught me to be kind to others, no matter your circumstances. Fulfilling this lesson, volunteering became an integral part of my life. As a daughter of a special education teacher, I essentially grew up around students with special needs of all ages, and abilities. I would go to work with my mother whenever I could and to this day I am a peer mentor in her Life Skills classroom at my high school. In addition, my father was deployed overseas on three deployments starting when I was in preschool up until I was in sixth grade. As a preschool student, I was helping to put boxes together for our troops overseas and for our veterans locally. Although in our high school volunteer service is a requirement for graduation and for specific scholarships, I have begun my volunteer service very early and continued until today helping various groups such as Special Olympics, Outdoor Odyssey, Ladies Auxiliary, VFW, Lions club, Leo club, Interact club, and IDD Awareness Committee.

Overall, volunteering has had an incredibly positive impact on me. Volunteering is one of the things that remains the same. It was the constant in the seemingly ever-changing life of a young student. It provided comfort for me and when I was volunteering I felt more connected to others, and become less absorbed in the normal stresses of daily high school life.

One essential experience in volunteering happened three years ago when I became a member of Outdoor Odyssey. For one week, I was taken out of my comfort zone at a camp with other students participating in this high-adventure leadership training. We had to work together and support one another and overall we learned so much from one another. This gave way to the second week where I had to mentor a younger student to complete the high-adventure activities at camp. After camp, I committed a year to mentor my student throughout the school year and continue the bond. This experience taught me so much about leadership, commitment, and friendship. Most importantly, I learned the value in something as simple as a short conversation. Some of the students I have mentored just want to feel included and a simple hello and asking about their day means the world. Their appreciation for our conversations made me feel like what I was doing was worthwhile and important. Seeing their face light up when I see them is a simple reminder that sometimes the kindest thing you can do is be present, listen and empathize. In my life now, I try to remember and live this lesson because overall we all just want to feel and believe we matter. I can honestly say volunteering changed my life for the better. I am grateful for the experiences I had, the people I met and the things I learned along the way. I look forward to continuing to find ways to service and help others as it is not just a requirement but a way of life.