Bowties and Books Scholarship

Congratulations to our Scholarship Winners!

Bottlinger Law L.L.C. would like to congratulate all of our scholarship winners. We launched our Bowties and Books Scholarship in 2018 to assist deserving college-bound students in paying for secondary educational expenses. We hope that by offering this money, we are helping not only one student, but an entire community that will reap the benefits of that student's drive for success.

Bottlinger Law L.L.C. would like to thank all who applied. Please check our blog and Facebook page for announcements and other scholarship opportunities.

2019 Co-Winning Entry

"I hope to further research neurodegenerative diseases as a neurologist following medical school after I graduate from Carleton."

- Chloe J., 2019 Scholarship Winner

Short Essay

During my junior year of biology, my class dissected a dogfish shark and a fetal pig. I was the only one in my group that went all in and examined every crevice and inch. Eventually, the smell of formaldehyde faded to the back of my mind and all I could think about was that sharks had two livers and I was holding both in my hands! The turning point, however, occurred during my group’s dissection of the fetal pig.

"My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was barely old enough to comprehend the disease. However, I understood the consequences on a personal basis with my daily interactions with her."
- Chloe J.

Part of the assignment was to extract the brain intact. I recalled holding a human brain during a cadaver lab visit at Creighton University and it made this particular challenge even more appealing. I embodied a surgeon’s character as I used the X-Acto knife to carefully cut and peel the top layer of skin from the fetal pig’s head. It took so much precision for me to extract the brain from the fetal pig’s head and leave it intact. I was in so many positions and angles for at least half an hour to extract the smallest brain I’ve ever seen. I cradled the lightweight organ in my palm. To my amazement, I could see every crease and vein that was so similar to our own human brains. I wish to further my education to have more opportunities to solve puzzles and to be able to uncover more inside our bodies.

In the future, I plan to discover every aspect of the human brain possible, the reason why some brains work better than others, and why some fail, while others succeed. My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was barely old enough to comprehend the disease. However, I understood the consequences on a personal basis with my daily interactions with her. As an only child for the first half of my life, she was my best friend. I spent countless hours with her, whether it was in her apartment playing make-believe school, taking trips to the pool, or watching my sister and I while my single mom was on business trips. So, it was difficult for a twelve-year-old to watch her only grandparent left gradually lose her memory and become less of the person she idolized as a child.

My brain has always gravitated towards puzzles, whether it was a simple riddle or a complicated escape room, my outlook on the world has been surrounded by multiple puzzles and patterns to find. If you find the right pattern and place the right pieces together, you solve the puzzle. I want to collect all the tools to solve the puzzles in my life, some that may help resolve the puzzles of the world. Because of my grandmother, I wish to help solve the puzzle of the human brain, especially the mystery behind Alzheimer’s. The most logical way to achieve my goal is one simple and complicated option: college. There, I can learn from experienced professors and researchers to unlock the secrets of the human brain. I value an environment that encourages critical thinking and analysis but also incorporates creative thinking through research-based learning opportunities. Over the summer of 2018, I spent 180 hours as a research scholar in the Creighton University EPSCoR Program. Each day, I conducted my own experiments with the guidance of a Creighton professor on a DNA protein within E. coli cells. This protein may be a key to unlock the mystery behind how certain genes can turn on and off. If scientists can cultivate this protein and manipulate it to turn target genes off, they may be able to develop a method to preventing genetic diseases. Even though it was only a taste of research, it was eye-opening to gain experience with advanced technology used for studying DNA in vitro. This opportunity motivated my appetite for more of the same once I reached college.

"Firsthand experiences in wild places have shown me the importance of sustainability. I am not interested in polarizing emotional arguments about environmental issues. Instead, I want to find creative, actionable solutions."
- Chloe J.

For the next four years I will be attending Carleton College. There, I aim to be involved in research programs, for example, studying the latest in neurological developments. With this, I plan to major in Biology and History with a minor in Neuroscience. Since Carleton is an undergraduate-only college with around 2,100 students, I will not have to compete against graduate students for a chance at hands-on research. I will be able to have the benefits of a top-tier research institution at a small-sized school. The smaller student population also lends itself to smaller class sizes, much like the ones I experienced at Central through the International Baccalaureate Program during my junior and senior year. I’ve learned that I thrive in smaller classes that allow me to create close relationships with my peers and teachers, as well as have Socratic-like discussions in class. I saw the same attributes when I visited Carleton this spring and sat in one of their history classes, which was a main factor that influenced my decision to enroll at Carleton College.

I look forward to and dread my senior thesis, which will consist of days in Carleton’s research laboratories. Carleton College requires a senior research project similar to the that I participated in the IB program. Over the course of several months, I analyzed the use of time travel in literature with advising from my English teacher. I am excited to change courses toward science and take advantage of the opportunity to explore the intricacies of the human body on my own during my senior year at Carleton. I hope to further research neurodegenerative diseases as a neurologist following medical school after I graduate from Carleton.

- Chloe J.


2019 Co-Winning Entry

"Their animosity struck an unnervingly familiar chord with me. My mind instantaneously conjured memories of my Diwali fireworks a year earlier."

- Viraj S., 2019 Scholarship Winner

Short Essay

Astout man kneeled along the curb of a downtown sidewalk, hammering wooden planks into an elaborate miniature altar, complete with marigold wreaths and human skulls, to commemorate his relatives on the Day of the Dead. I stood beside the construction, lost in fascination of what was taking shape. Fellow pedestrians, however, confronted the structure with deriding remarks of how vulgar this tradition must be to flaunt skulls to the world.

Their animosity struck an unnervingly familiar chord with me.

My mind instantaneously conjured memories of my Diwali fireworks a year earlier. I had eagerly snatched a handful of sparklers from the cabinet and used their fire to trace spirals and stars in the night sky that blanketed my front lawn. My neighbors, however, perceived my cheerful celebrations as an attempt to burn down the neighborhood, and forced me to cease my festivities before they called the police on an eight-year-old – even though they religiously lit Independence Day fireworks themselves.

"And in that moment, I witnessed firsthand just how closely my own estrangement paralleled the misinterpretations that Hispanic communities, in particular, face in today’s society."
- Viraj S.

I recalled that my restless, youthful imagination could never have pictured the antagonism I would receive simply from practicing my own customs. I recollected the mounting sense of detachment I felt between my culture and the preconceived notions of others.

But, after hearing the remarks of the passers-by, it became clear that this separation extended far beyond my own experiences. My neighbors’ failure to comprehend my own traditions was, in fact, merely one example of the many backgrounds that public misconception has outcasted.

And in that moment, I witnessed firsthand just how closely my own estrangement paralleled the misinterpretations that Hispanic communities, in particular, face in today’s society. Just as my cultural festivities met indignation, Hispanic traditions and identities seldom received the appreciation they deserved. This observation sparked within me a flame to help reverse this social stigma and illuminate the hidden beauty of other cultures.

In my junior year, the opportunity to preside over my school’s Spanish Honor Society channeled this enthusiasm. Inspired by the cultural activities I had joined previously, I organized a school fundraiser to celebrate the Day of the Dead, complete with traditional sugar skulls and freshly baked loaves of pan de muerto. In contrast to the hostility of my childhood neighbors or the contempt of passers-by, my fellow classmates instead met these foreign customs with open arms. Both students and teachers of all ethnicities bombarded the sales volunteers with questions about the underlying beliefs of the holiday and how the bread symbolically honors the dead. As I brought these fundraisers to community centers, strangers with disparate backgrounds could abandon their preconceptions and form the same parallels that I felt years ago.

Observing the unification of my community in the celebration of one culture reminded me of the importance of bringing a harmony and awareness among not only the Hispanic background, but all ethnicities in modern society. As our country’s melting pot diversifies, minority populations will grow drastically in size and power. With a wider diversity of employees, voters, and innovators, our well-established institutions of democracy and capitalism must adapt to represent these growing ethnicities.

"As our country’s melting pot diversifies, minority populations will grow drastically in size and power. Yet, we often innately refuse to recognize these populations simply because we lack intimate familiarity with their traditions and core values – because they are different."
- Viraj S.

Yet, we often innately refuse to recognize these populations simply because we lack intimate familiarity with their traditions and core values – because they are different. As a result, by disparaging Day of the Dead altars or scorning Diwali traditions, our society stifles this essential and inevitable adaptation. Rather than ridiculing and stereotyping these inherent differences, however, it is imperative to embrace each culture for the fresh new perspectives it will contribute to every aspect of our lives.

I will be attending Yale University in the fall of 2019, with my mind set on this imperative mission. As an avid contributor to La Casa Cultural, Yale’s Latino cultural center on campus, I will work alongside other passionate students to help introduce the Puerto Rican music of Haciendo Punto en Otro Son to Yale and New Haven. Organizing folkloric ballet floors on Mexican Independence Day, I can expand my efforts of advocacy and awareness to new, open-minded audiences.

Alongside my intended major in computer science, Yale’s distributional requirements will give me the unique flexibility to pursue this goal through my academics as well. Supplementing my workload with Latin American Studies courses such as Contesting Injustice, I will be able to comprehend my own technologies in the context of the cultural and social adaptations our world needs to thrive.

Furthermore, Yale College boasts an unparalleled unity of academic departments, where schools of engineering, science, and humanities are not exclusive to one another, but are all equally accessible to every student. I plan to take advantage of this unison within my undergraduate experience to easily pursue double majors, freely take electives in cultural studies at Yale, and further my understanding of the social progression of our globe.

Despite the fundamental obstacles our rapidly evolving society currently poses to truly acknowledge this goal, I hope to play my part to promote the respect that every culture deserves and, in the process, enable these adaptations myself. Although I can’t light fireworks in the process, I will continue burning away the barriers that separate us from the awareness and acceptance of others.

- Viraj S.


2018 Co-Winning Entry

"I will do my part to change things for the better, ensuring healthy lives for the ecosystems and generations ahead."

- Haven J., 2018 Scholarship Winner

Introduction

"Solving environmental issues requires appreciation for interdependencies, summoning creativity and collaboration between all parts of society."
- Haven J.

I'm a dedicated student, an active part of my community, and I work in a nonprofit recording studio. I play music in two bands, and I love to travel and learn. In the fall, I will attend the Honors program at Western Washington University to study Environmental Science. Through the unique major-building programs available there, I hope to involve social justice and reproductive health in my degree. I am excited to make the most of this immense opportunity, and to begin learning and solving problems at a collegiate level.

I've worked a part-time job throughout high school, and will continue to work during college. I've also collaborated with my parents to establish a savings plan that will help me pay for school. For this, I am very lucky. However, there are still some costs in tuition, housing and food that I simply cannot cover. This scholarship will help me to realize my dream of working alongside professors and other passionate students to create a more sustainable, connected world. Contributing to my educational fund now will have a great return on investment. I will do my part to change things for the better, ensuring healthy lives for the ecosystems and generations ahead.

Short Essay

My father raised me to be a scuba diver. He filled my childhood with stories about the ink-black nighttime sea, towering kelp forests and walls of fish feeding on phytoplankton. At age 12, I was scuba certified by PADI and started joining my dad on dive trips, exposing me to remarkable marine ecosystems around the world.

My mother raised me camping. We spent weekends together exploring the most peaceful, untouched forests we could find. My most vivid memories of her are laced with wildflowers and aspen trees. Because of her, I have observed intricate trophic pyramids and tasted clean mountain air.

Firsthand experiences in wild places have shown me the importance of sustainability. I am not interested in polarizing emotional arguments about environmental issues. Instead, I want to find creative, actionable solutions. I believe this will require solid science, thoughtful social policy, political compromise, and practical economics. Finding solutions will demand critical thinking and an appreciation for the complex interactions between each working part of our world.

An earthy, frenzied science teacher, Mr. Mulick, taught me to appreciate these interdependencies in several of his Advanced Placement classes. He showed me that environmentalism is a tangle of science and social issues. During in-class debates and research projects, he taught me to move past emotional statements in favor of fact-based analysis. I left his classes determined to use science and data to drive change.

"Firsthand experiences in wild places have shown me the importance of sustainability. I am not interested in polarizing emotional arguments about environmental issues. Instead, I want to find creative, actionable solutions."
- Haven J.

Mr. Mulick and other excellent teachers have given me more than I could thank them for. They have urged me to ask questions about the world and have helped me discover what I am passionate about. They have helped me cultivate a solid sense of purpose in my search for quality education. I believe that continuing to work with great professors like Mr. Mulick and collaborating with dedicated students will help me to learn the skills I need to contribute to cause positive change.

In the fall, I will attend Western Washington University. I appreciate WWU's commitment to environmental sustainability as evidenced by its academic programs, environmental research tracks, renewable energy initiatives, and community engagement. Most importantly, I will be attending the college's Honors program. This means that my class sizes will be especially small, and I will have many opportunities to collaborate, discuss, and cause positive change with a community of dedicated professors and students.

I've prepared for success at WWU by working hard in the classroom, engaging in the events happening in the world around me, and experiencing the effects of environmental advocacy in person. I am the co-founder and co-president of my school's Conservation Council, and have debated resource management as a member of a Model UN team. I am ready to pursue the educational opportunities that WWU can offer.

Because of my experiences in wild places, environmentalism has been important to me since before I knew how to spell the word. Learning from great teachers, thinkers, and advocates has furthered my passion for sustainability. Solving environmental issues requires appreciation for interdependencies, summoning creativity and collaboration between all parts of society. I am committed to continue finding those connections and contributing to the solutions. I believe WWU is the best place for me to continue pursuing my dream.

- Haven J.


2018 Co-Winning Entry

"People see me on the surface, yet my hope is that they see my heart through my actions with others and through my service to my community."

- Lauren J., 2018 Scholarship Winner

Introduction

"Many things that matter aren't directly noticed. I experienced this truth through long hours of sewing. But I chose to serve anyway. Serving is excellence – a lifestyle I chose to embrace."
- Lauren J.

Giving to others has truly molded my character. Between competing in three varsity-level sports, serving as President of the National Honor Society, and earning valedictorian at Wisner-Pilger, community service encompassed my high-school years. However, I didn't just donate my time and talents to local hospitals and nursing homes. As I sewed Alzheimer's mats or taught local youth about nutrition, I learned the truth about the work and passion needed to serve others. As my last months of high school approach, I want to continue to give back to the people of rural Nebraska. I plan to pursue a career in medicine as a pediatrician while attending Wayne State College next fall as a Pre-Medicine Major. One of my biggest challenges looking forward to my next eight years of school is finances. This scholarship will help fulfill my post-secondary school dreams by contributing to my room and board, fees, and books in college.

Short Essay

I grew up going to nursing homes with my parents. As therapists, they treated patients in a variety of different homes. I became very familiar with the chirps of the birds and the sound of Bingo chips during afternoon games. I felt comfortable being around the elderly, and from a young age, I tried to do everything I could to benefit my area's nursing homes and community.

Community service has become a part of who I am. My family taught me this through their commitments to our country. My grandfather served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army during Vietnam, and my great-grandfather served in special forces in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. Hearing stories about their bravery and sacrifice empowered me to put others before myself. Many people have congratulated me as I became the recipient of multiple Philanthropy Contest Awards, the Prudential Service Award, and the 4-H Diamond Clover Award, but these accomplishments don't define me. My time giving back to my community means so much more.

Beneath the awards were commitment and a willingness to help others. As I spent my weekends sewing mats for Alzheimer's patients or sewing patriotic wheelchair and walker bags for the members of the Norfolk Veterans home, I began to truly see the value and determination needed to serve others. This epiphany led to my decision to donate over two hundred hours at Faith Regional Hospital and pursue other service projects such as Port Covers for the Carson Cancer Center.

Even though many people in my community know that I donate my talents to my community, few really understand the time and effort I commit. Similarly, much of who I am is unnoticed at first glance. People see me on the surface, yet my hope is that they see my heart through my actions with others and through my service to my community.

Giving to others has truly molded my character. As my last months of high school approach, I want to continue to give back to the people of rural Nebraska. I plan to pursue a career in medicine as a pediatrician while attending Wayne State College next fall. The Rural Heath Opportunities Program (RHOP) will give me course program and will also hold my spot at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) for medical school. My desire to enter the medical field became clear during our 2015 family Christmas. I watched as clear tubes breathed life into my grandma.

"Serving others looks different for everyone: my grandpa's valor in the jungles of Vietnam, the Nebraska doctors helping my grandma to health, my parents healing their patients, and myself, doing little things to brighten the lives of the elderly."
- Lauren J.

The terminal diagnosis was more than a slight change for my grandma and our family. The oxygen tank placed restrictions on my grandma's physical abilities and crushed her mental spirit. I sat at my grandparents' kitchen table and listened as my grandma spoke of her life regrets in what I thought were her final breaths. Our days of kneading dough for rye bread and feeling the sting of jalapeño peppers as we cut them for home-made salsa came to a halt. Therefore, when I heard the Nebraska Medical Center had harvested a lung and was immediately initiating a transplant, I was filled with a new hope for my grandma and our relationship.

Lung transplants were new to Nebraska, and my grandma was the second lung-transplant patient at Nebraska Medical Center. With every visit, I witnessed her physical and mental strength returning. After completing months of rehabilitation, my grandma had a new outlook on life and our relationship had blossomed once again. This experience not only influenced my perspective on Nebraska medicine but was a crucial factor in my decision to pursue a healthcare career. My grandma's doctors, who were committed and passionate about their field, solidified my desire to influence my future patients in the same way.

Through shadowing family physicians and surgeons and volunteering weekly at local hospitals, I immersed myself into the health field. This allowed me to learn more, see more, and appreciate different careers in healthcare.

Serving others looks different for everyone: my grandpa's valor in the jungles of Vietnam, the Nebraska doctors helping my grandma to health, my parents healing their patients, and myself, doing little things to brighten the lives of the elderly.

Many things that matter aren't directly noticed. I experienced this truth through long hours of sewing. But I chose to serve anyway. Serving is excellence – a lifestyle I chose to embrace.

- Lauren J.