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Olumide Ayeni
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Ever since I entered Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Centre, I felt as if I have always been surrounded by a sort of STEM environment. With all the engineers I've met, conventions I've been to, and lectures I've sat through related to science and engineering, the passion for STEM has always been following me and I am at the stage in my life where I must finally take it to heart and pursue it as I enter college. Unfortunately, for some like me, I come from quite an unstable family household with divorced parents (currently living in a single parent household with my mom) and an annual income that isn’t exactly quite liveable or satisfying. I never really understood how people paid for college and the thought of college costs always scare me and my mom.

 

Throughout the years, I have just been improving my grades and putting my best effort in school when it came to my classes and standardized tests, hoping that some sort of full-ride scholarship would come to me when I get into my dream college. Just sitting and hoping for the perfect scholarship to come to me for my academic skills and involvement in my school’s math team, my school’s tennis team, and possession of 80 volunteer service hours, was not enough though, for I slowly realized that scholarships don’t quite just land into people’s lap like in the movies. While I was still confused and lost about how to receive financial aid, I still did my research and made my best effort in searching for scholarships and luckily came upon the 2017 STAC scholarship. My particular interest in double-majoring in Mechanical and Bioengineering inspires me to become a part of a great, prestigious research University, which would be extremely pricey, and I hope to use the 2017 STAC scholarship to help me pursue my dreams in engineering.

 

When I see the milestones that have been achieved in engineering (particularly bioengineering) such as introducing the rubber glove for use during surgery in 1889 or landing the first spacecraft on an asteroid in 2001, those are the things that excite me and continue to spark my interest in engineering, for I one day want to be involved in something that puts a historical mark in science. Besides my passion for engineering, I also hold an interest in studying multiple languages including Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, and much more. While I already know English, German, and Yoruba, I ultimately aspire to become a polyglot. The thought of being able to communicate with millions upon billions of people on Earth fascinates me, and is something I want to take to heart and devote myself to as I enter college. I am aware of my socio-economic status that holds me back from preparing for the academic programs I want to be involved in like for studying many languages and studying engineering, I hope to take advantage of this scholarship and use it as my opportunity to contribute to expanding my linguistic knowledge; whether if I become a translator for the UN, or simply a multilingual engineer traveling for a business conference.

 

While in college I also hope to fulfill my athletic desires as I, hopefully, enter into college-level Tennis. Whether playing in the Division 1 team or just intramural, one of my definite priorities to fulfill in college is to join the school's tennis team wherever I go. I have been playing Tennis since I was 12 years old, and have been a part of my high school Tennis team for three years. This is not a sport I plan to leave behind, and I hope to build off of this passion and continue playing Tennis in whatever college I attend. After college I hope to eventually pursue a Ph.D. in both Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering and maybe start my own engineering business in the future. Ultimately, I hope to use the 2017 STAC scholarship to fulfill my academic and athletic aspirations in college to eventually lead up to my post-grad dreams as a Ph.D. holder of two engineering degrees.

 

An incident of failure that was fundamental to later success for me would be my entire Freshman year of high school. This incident of failure was the foundation that defined my character throughout high school and today; my character as person who is self-reliant yet open minded, has a desire to learn as much as possible on a wide variety of subjects, and ultimately wishes to build and display a profile of excellence. This may seem like not really much of an “incident", but this was a year of failure for me because, compared to my other high school years, it was academically my least successful. Freshman year was when I had the worst grades, the lowest GPA, and the lowest class rank. My transcript clearly displays this failure, for one can notice an increasing trend in my GPA since Freshman year, starting with the low 3.0 average of C’s and B’s all the way to Junior Year’s outstanding 3.7 average of A’s and B’s.

 

The failure that I experienced during my Freshman year significantly changed my outlook on school, for it made me realize that I had to abandon my lazy habits, and dedicate my most diligent work in school for all that I do.  I developed study habits and committed to them, allowing me to do well on my tests and quizzes; I completed all my homework every night, contributing to me getting good grades. Without this failure I ultimately would not have realized the meaning of hard work to achieve good grades. Ever since this failure, which I have built off of, the true nature and character of myself has been developing throughout high school. As I applied myself in school, I started to discover myself. For one thing I never realized that I am a person who aspires to learn as much as possible on a wide variety of subjects. This is reflected off of my persistent participation in all my classes. It is said that most engineers are closed-minded and focused strictly on their area of study; however, for me, even though I am interested in engineering I wish to learn many other things, which is what I typically do on my free time. When I'm bored I always attempt to learn something new and this has eventually led to me knowing German, a lot of Greek mythology, biochemical reactions, the history of Egypt and Nigeria, and many more random subjects and interesting factoids that I could somehow recite off the top of my head just for the love of learning. I am proud of the many things that I know and can achieve that others don’t. Sometimes I brag of the littlest of achievements (because obtaining 7th place in a CCML math contest may not seem like much but is a big deal to me) To some I am a nerd or a bookworm, but this doesn’t bother me because the thoughts of others cannot stop me from doing what I love.

 

Another thing I have discovered about myself is how independent I am. I am an only child, so I have felt as if I have always been on my own. Despite the struggles I face at home with my divorced parents constantly bickering, or the many relatives that stay in my home, preventing me from sleeping much with their parties and dominance over my room, I have always been quite self-reliant. I struggle with reaching out for help, which is a problem I have been working on over the years, because I feel  I can do everything on my own or that it would be embarrassing to ask for help. I feel I am a great example of how failure can actually build a person up as I continue to discover and better myself. And who knows what more I’ll discover about myself in college.

 

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