By: DeLaney Brown
Owensboro High School Graduate
Brown Scholarship Recipient
My academic journey began right here in Owensboro, beginning at Newton Parrish Elementary, switching to Foust Elementary, then to OMS middle schools, and finally to Owensboro High School. In retrospect, I did not take my academics seriously until my last year of middle school. It was during this year that I began to nurture one of what seemed to me to be my only talent: writing. A single teacher managed to motivate me mitigate my attention to my academics, rather than my social status, and it is because of her that I developed many goals. One of my biggest goals in high school was to push myself to the best version I could possibly be. Take the highest classes, join clubs, and attain good grades. While this goal ultimately capitulated me into an ideological mindset craving academic validation, it also taught me techniques of stress management and set me en route to success. Success is not dependent on a high GPA or a full transcript, but the eye of the beholder. This realization has made the toxic aspect of my high school goal visible to me and is the reason as to why my new goal for my time at Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC) is to be that of attaining a healthy balance between academics and sociality.
My interest in KWC stemmed from the caveats of informal encouragement offered to prospective students. Not once did I feel the uncomfortable need to don a misleading façade that would digress my congeniality towards the college. This was most profoundly expressed during the scholarship competition week. Throughout the interview portion, I found myself discussing one of my favorite Netflix shows, rather than a formal topic that I possessed infrequent knowledge of (as I expected would happen). The informal nature of the school caused me to envision a campus with open arms, rather than one with closed arms and a closed mind.
There is a plethora of hobbies that adhere to my interests, with only one of them being relevant to my major of criminology. Most prominent of them all would be art and music. More specifically, acrylic painting and printmaking, and record players. While my talent in the former of the two is subject to doubt, they still nourished me through my darkest times. They inspire therapeutic feelings in the participant, acting as a psychological release from any pressing thoughts. My favorite pieces to make are those of social commentary, and in the past, I have focused on issues such as American supremacy and the benefactory process of the high cost of medical supplies. The latter of the two, records, just recently emerged. There is hardly ever a time in which I don’t have my earbuds in. 90s and early 2000s music has a special place in my heart. The excitement of having a new record in my hands and hearing its notes stream through the speakers is simply incomparable. I plan to pursue these interests as KWC, whether it is through art classes or music organizations. My last interest is that of true crime. It does not matter if it is a documentary, YouTube video, or book. I love learning about the compulsory need that inspires some of these people to do such horrible things, as well as the justice that is sometime served to the victims, and sometimes not.
During my time as KWC, I aspire to participate in activities that I did not have time to do in high school. This includes sports games, fun organizations, and social service around campus, as well as in the community. I am most interested in student government and student activities, and clubs that encompass my hobbies listed above. I lacked a healthy balance of academics and sociality in high school due to my high craving for academic validation, a habit that I yearn to dispel during my time at KWC. My academics will always hold first place in my heart, but my well-being is just as important, and obtaining a healthy balance between the two is going to be my central goal at KWC.
At Owensboro High School, there are a limited number of extracurricular activities, an issue that became most prominent after the arrival of COVID-19. Despite this limitation, I have participated in Chick-fil-a Club, Art Club, National Honors Society, and Bluegrass Scholar Seminar. Perhaps most significant of these is NHS and Bluegrass. The former of the two is a class in which we discuss numerous cardinal topics, including the school-to-prison pipeline, the Drum Major Instinct, the teacher-student hierarchy, and more. This class teaches students about controversial issues in a peaceful way. It requires mature students to discuss mature topics through respectful dissents or concurrences. The class also offers community service opportunities, such as JA in a Day. This service allowed my class to travel to impoverished elementary schools and teach them about finances. Similarly, NHS is also an organization that focuses on social services. During my time in NHS, I made and donated face masks, made and donated Pb&J sandwiches, and donated hygiene items to shelters. Both of these organizations sparked my love for community service, an interest I plan to continue to pursue at KWC.
Goals for KWC
My goal for KWC is centralized around personal growth and campus involvement. Because of the shortcomings of my school when it comes to extracurriculars, I sparsely had time to develop new hobbies and divulge in previous ones. This issue, combined with the fact that I have rather bad social anxiety, commonly prohibits me from engaging in community activities and campus involvement. I yearn to overcome my anxiety and participate in campus in a way that benefits both me and my fellow peers. There is also the drawback of anxiety that acts as an obstacle for me participating in class. In instances that involve seminars, I tend to stay silent rather than release my thoughts, an issue that ended with me getting an 88 in my AP Literature class during sophomore year. I lack acceptance of my own intellectual abilities, and because of this, there is a constant stream of thoughts plaguing my mind that I am not smart enough to engage in a seminar. I desire both personal growth and campus involvement at KWC, and I know that it is the perfect place for me to achieve these goals.
Ultimate Future Goal
While my future goal extends well beyond job opportunities (such as my desire to stay close to my family), the most significant one to me is rather career-oriented. My intended major of criminology/criminal justice (alongside an unknown double major) is central to my goal, as I yearn to evaluate the inner workings of serial killer’s befouled minds and expose the justice system that claims to punish them so accurately, yet only serves in creating a false prerogative to the public. In the future, I either want to dispel the hoax that is our justice system, or obtain justice for victims of serial killer’s due to their compulsory need to wreak havoc upon peace. Our current justice system is structured on the basis of bias and unfair favoritism. It is fabricated, with the people of society viewing it through a looking glass enveloped in equality and equity. In reality, it is simply a societal structure made to obstruct justice from the oppressed people of society. As for the latter of my options, I aim to allow victims and their loved ones to gain closure, purging away their sorrows as best as I can. Overall, my future goal lies between social justice and psychological peace, and while I have yet to make my decision as to which path I will choose to follow, I am hopeful that KWC will be the best place for me to pursue my goals.