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Essay Winners

Students are asked to write a creative essay regarding their qualifications as a student leader. A $500 award is provided to the winning essay through the Angelo and Jenny Mastrian Charitable Trust. The 2014 winner was Katherine Q. Calla of Sharon High School. Below is a copy of her winning essay.

“All successful people, men and women, are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.” — Brian Tracy

Throughout my life, my educational career has been filled with big dreams, always striving to be both a leader and servant for my friends, my school and my community. As I look toward the future I envision myself continuing to lead and serve my community through my chosen career. To achieve this future, my current dream begins at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park campus where I will study political science. Once completing my undergraduate studies I will refocus my vision toward the realization of achieving my Juris Doctor degree. Though the path I envision will be both challenging and rigorous, I fully intend to achieve my goals of becoming a successful attorney. The journey toward my planned career will allow me to engage in a variety of types of law with a specific focus in the area of family law which will enable me to help the children of the community. I have always envisioned myself enjoying a career through which I will be able to serve others. Ultimately, I hope to be able to aide and sup- port numerous causes that have supported me throughout my educational career and which have helped me become the person that I am today.

That person was shaped by a simple virus that taught me much about service, care and compassion. During the winter of my freshman year I was exposed to the Epstein Barr virus, a common illness that usually produces mononucleosis. In my case, however, the virus began to mutate unchecked, attacking my liver and causing acute liver damage. My body was unable to defend itself and I went from dribbling a ball on the basketball court on Tuesday to lying in an ICU bed and being listed on the liver transplant list on Friday. As I watched and listened to the medical staff all around me I saw how they supported one another and my family. Because of their support I found the strength to push through my fear and to appreciate how an individual’s career can really impact lives. For me, the wonderful advances in medical research and my excellent doctors and nurses meant a full recovery without a transplant. My illness provided me with a first-hand view of difficult work that doctors and researchers in pediatric medicine do to help save the lives of children like me. It is because of this experience that I have a strong desire, throughout my career, to support and serve pediatric hospitals and research centers in my community and region.

My illness and lengthy recovery provided me with a unique view of the value of a quality education. Because of this opportunity, I have found that academics is only one piece of a quality education and that the potential to work with, learn from, and interact with many diverse individuals can be equally as vital. Because of what I have learned, it is important to me to support public education once I have achieved my dreams because public education has given me these opportunities. Form the arts programs, the athletic experiences, the various advanced placement and dual enrollment opportunities I have experienced, I recognize that public education is some- thing that deserves my support and continues assistance.

It is my hope that through this essay you have been able to see that I am, indeed, the type of “big dreamer” of which Brian Tracy spoke and that I have both the will and the desire to achieve each of my dreams for not only my future success, but also for the betterment of my community.


Students are asked to write a creative essay regarding their qualifications as a student leader. A $500 award is provided to the winning essay through the Angelo and Jenny Mastrian Charitable Trust. The 2013 winner was Olivia A. Vanscoy of Badger High School. Below is a copy of her winning essay.

What is kindness? Is it a trait or is it an action? The Oxford Dictionaries define kindness as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” Whether it be holding the door open for a stranger or telling a joke to make a friend smile, an act of kindness is universal and always appreciated. Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” An act of kindness can leave a lasting impression on an individual’s feelings. Such as I do now, I want to be able to live each day of my life, in the future, striving to help others who are in need. They may not remember what exactly I did or said to them, but as long as they remember how pleased they were in that moment, then I will know that I’ve reached my goal.

Since I was young, I have known that no matter what path I chose in life, it would be a path that helps others, regardless of age, race, or gender; this is what has led me to the career of pharmacy. The field of pharmacy is not only vast and almost limitless, but it also contains infinite opportunities to help others. As I embarked on my journey to seek out a future career path, I spoke to many practicing pharmacists about what their expertise, experiences, and daily duties entailed. Many of them agreed that the most rewarding aspect of their job was that each and every day, they are able to help a multitude of people. Being raised to be both compassionate and caring, I have realized that the most important career goal to me is to be able to help people through not only medicine, but kindness as well.

I found that the more I learned about pharmacy, the more that I wanted to go out and experience it first-hand. During my junior year of high school, I was honored to be chosen as student of the month by my high school. I was given the opportunity to have breakfast with the members of our local rotary club, who sponsors the award; furthermore, one of the members is our local pharmacist. As I spoke about my future plans to become a pharmacist, he offered me the opportunity to shadow him during summer break. I was abundantly appreciative for the chance to see up close, what the job consists of every day. I learned that pharmacists are not only intelligent and hardworking, but should be kind and friendly as well. One of my favorite memories from my time in the pharmacy was when an elderly man came in and just wanted someone to talk to while he waited for his prescription to be filled. My local pharmacist was more than willing to listen and answer the patient’s questions and the elderly man left the store with a smile on his face. This was when I really knew that pharmacy was the career for me.

Our lives as individuals are a constant journey, and we are continuously looking ahead to our futures in hopes of seeing what lies down the road for us. As I continue down the path I have chosen, I see myself as a pharmacist who is able to help others through my job every day and become a well-respected member of my community. The typical idea of a pharmacist is the person who stands behind the counter and counts your pills into a bottle; however, I see myself as the pharmacist who not only ensures the medicinal safety of my patients, but counsels them about the use of their medicine in such a way that they leave the pharmacy feeling confident, with an uplifted spirit. My journey to becoming a pharmacist will continue this year when I attend Ohio Northern University to major in pharmacy. From there, I will be able to make my vision of helping others come true.


Students are asked to write a creative essay regarding their qualifications as a student leader. A $500 award is provided to the winning essay through the Angelo and Jenny Mastrian Charitable Trust. The 2012 winner was Leanna Elizabeth Gosser of Greenville High School. Below is a copy of her winning essay.

In the real world, it is crucial that a leader has a vision and a way of putting that vision to action in order to make an impact on the community. One quote that I strongly agree with and believe would contribute to the community is "There's no such thing as luck. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity," quoted from Amy Hempel. This quote says that there is no such thing as luck, lucky people, or lucky circumstances; there are only people who work hard and rise to the occasion, who become successful or what others may call "lucky". While some people may argue and say this is a harsh statement, it is a reality and once people start to understand this idea they can accomplish what they desire in life.

In our culture today, the work "luck" is thrown around and can mean various things. People use expressions like" good luck", "bad luck" , and the list continues. Normally when someone is successful or has something good happen to them they are considered to be lucky or have good luck. However, success and good things do not just happen overnight to people who do not prepare for them. The most successful and influential people in the world worked hard, prepared, and constantly made the effort to be ready for a viable opportunity and seized it. The Wright brothers were a prime example of this idea. By doing detailed research, constructing multiple designs and experiments, and putting in many years of dedication, the Wright brothers were able to achieve being the first people credited with inventing and building the first successful airplane. Because they didn't give up on their vision, they changed the lives of people forever and revolutionized the way we travel. When you look at the Wright brothers and other people who have achieved, accomplished, and been victorious, they were also the people who prepared and consistently strived to work hard for the opportunity. The good things or so-called "luck" follow perseverance and sacrifice.

In our modern day society, people are less likely to work hard for something and just expect it to happen, hence the idea of being lucky. Because many people today are used to settling for less, many do not understand the idea of working hard to achieve a goal and gain success. If more people in today's world believed and practiced this idea, our economy would be in an entirely different economic state. Individuals would be more determined to set higher goals and achieve them by diligence, instead of waiting around for a handout or winning the lottery. If this concept and a different mindset were practiced by people in today's day and time, it would not only benefit our entire society, but also improve the lives of individuals by giving them a purpose and striving to achieve one's greatest potential.

I believe a leader is someone who can identify a problem, find a solution, and make it a reality. I have applied the aforementioned quote to multiple areas of my life. I worked hard all through school to achieve and maintain a 4.0 GPA while many others settled for just passing. I earn my own money at my part-time job in order to get things I want, while other kids my age expect their parents to provide them with everything. I also put in extra hours and effort into various clubs and organizations to be recognized as an officer to the clubs. I know that because I have always had a strong work ethic and the understanding that you are given what you earn, I am someone who would be able to help people realize the possibilities that are within their grasp. Humans by nature always want to better themselves, but many times do not have the willpower or motivation to do so. If someone can lead these individuals by example and encourage them to strive to reach the full potential, not only will it benefit oneself, but it will also reshape the community in a positive direction.


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THE 2023 STRIMBU MEMORIAL BARBEQUE Sponsored by First National Bank

DATE: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023
TIME: 5:00PM
Yankee Lake Ballroom
Brookfield, OH


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