The winner of the 2013 Girls Gone Great Scholarship Essay Contest is Brooke Burghardt,
a senior at Mercy High School in Baltimore, MD
Tune into to WomanTalk Live on Saturday, April 6th at 6:07 pm when Brooke will be Ann’s guest. Joining Ann and Brooke that evening will be Susan Ottenritter from Raskin Global’s Women Getting Wise on Wealth and Kathy Kreft and Stacey Berman from The Baltimore Power Group who, along with Talkradio 680 WCBM, made the Girls Gone Greatscholarship possible.
Congratulations, Brooke! It’s an honor to have you as WomanTalk Live’s sixth Girl Gone Great!
Brooke tells us a little bit about herself:
“I was born in the neighborhood of Highlandtown in Southeast Baltimore one hot summer day in 1995. My mother and I still live in our Highlandtown neighborhood.
Before coming to Mercy High School, I attended St. Casimir’s School in Canton. I will always remember daily lessons in religion and Masses celebrated with older students. These practices enabled me to become active in the faith community of St. Casimir’s Church. At the age of nine, I became an Altar Server. Through years of this service, I now am able to show leadership and train St. Casimir School students in the ministry of Altar Serving; this gives me much pride. I have now moved to the next level of ministry and have been trained in the ministries of Lector and Eucharistic Minister. These ministries have given me the opportunity for fellowship with other parishioners and, most importantly, kept me close to God.
In 2009, I was accepted into the school of my dreams, Mercy High School and will graduate in June. My favorite subject has always been math, not only because I excel in this subject, but also enjoy solving the equations. Math challenges me at times, but also teaches me perseverance. If you can problem solve, you can do anything. Mercy High School has also afforded me leadership opportunities in global issues, which is of great interest to me. There are tremendous cyclical problems in the world; I see myself involved in helping to solve them.
Like most 17 year-old girls, I have hobbies, but dancing is a passion for me. Since the age of three, my feet have never stopped. Through great instruction from Shirley Darling Dancers, Baltimore School for the Arts Twigs Program and Mercy High School Dance Troupe and Dance Team, I never tire of this art. It not only makes me feel good mentally, but it keeps me physically fit.
Through all my volunteer opportunities, I have learned that whether people have less or more, the most important aspect is that I have realized how much we are all alike. Mother Theresa once said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
Although I have been accepted to several colleges, I have not decided upon which I will attend. As for a career, I think I would like to go into the medical profession, but I would also like to keep dance in my life, whether I teach a single dance class or, even, open my own studio.
I am very blessed and thankful to have great mentors (both family and teachers in my life) who have taught me to never give up on what I believe in, and have inspired and molded me into the young woman I am today.”
Here’s what Brooke’s reference, Ms. Mary Stoddard, the English Department Chair at Mercy High School, had to say about Brooke:
“In my ten years at Mercy High School, I have never known a student with the unique combination of qualities possessed by this young woman. Brooke is a dedicated student who holds herself to high personal standards in both academics and in extra-curricular activities. She willingly works long hours to achieve her goals and consistently shows great maturity when she encounters challenges and setbacks.
In working with her peers, Brooke is a kind and patient leader who is able to keep everyone focused on the task at hand while having fun in the process. She has been able to obtain excellent results – as she did in choreographing a number for a large group of her classmates (which included a number of inexperienced dancers) – with just the right blend of firmness, encouragement, and inspiration.
As she stated in her essay, Brooke loves using her talents and abilities to help others. When she speaks of spending time visiting with the elderly or her part in the campaign to raise funds for girls’ scholarships in Africa, her eyes light up with excitement and her words and gestures convey her joy at having been able to go beyond herself to reach out to others in need.
Although her gifts are many, Brooke is humble, seeking to give credit to members of her team, her club, or her family. When I think of the contest’s theme “Girls Gone Great,” Brooke immediately comes to mind. She is a young woman who has already done so much good in her young life that I have no doubt that she will find many opportunities in the future to do great things to build up her community and to help heal the ills of the world.”