Over the summer I found out I was awarded a partial scholarship for my second year at Darden. It was not until late last week I was informed of the requirements for the award though. I knew to be eligible for any second year scholarship I had to be in the top x% of my class; but each scholarship had its own non-academic criteria. When I found out the selection criteria I could not help but crack a smile, the qualifications are characteristics I strive for. Having others think I may be reaching some of those personal goals gives me some confidence I'm doing the right thing.
The qualifications were:
• Demonstrates a relentless passion for learning and inquiry
• Displays a magnanimous and charitable spirit
• Enlivens the learning environment with warmth, humor and good will.
• Will contribute to the health and welfare of all members of the Darden Community
After I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes I was determined to use my disease as a vehicle to inspire others. I had a strong desire to demonstrate that anything is possible if you do it with the right energy and a strong belief in yourself - that's why I got the crazy Ironman idea in my head. Once I came to business school I realized those aspirations could reach well beyond the chronic disease community.
This year at Darden I am starting a holistic wellness program and founding the Business & Public Policy club. The holistic wellness program has been created under the belief that incorporating physical fitness and proper nutrition can improve mental focus and health. While the BPP club is attempting to address business and policy issues from an all encompassing view - for too long business leaders and policy makers haven't been on the same page. Common to both pursuits is the desire to make the entire Darden experience richer and deeper for all.
Finding out the criteria for the scholarship lets me know that while sometimes my methods are a bit unconventional I'm still reaching the goals I set for myself on April 2nd, 2007. I don't always do things like everyone else and that's ok, sometimes a new way and a fresh perspective is needed. Especially since my goal always has been and always will be to help others.