Overcoming adversity



Locust Fork senior Hannah Wells (right) is not your average 19 year old. Looking forward to graduation in May, Wells maintains a 3.9 GPA, is senior class and Beta Club secretary, yearbook editor, and active in the Camp Fire Program. She is also a member of the Locust Fork Baptist youth program and works as a receptionist at H&R Block in Oneonta.

Those achievements are pretty amazing, but what Wells wants people to know is that she has overcome many obstacles in life’s journey. She did not want to focus on those obstacles as she believes they can become roadblocks. Wells did say that as she started trying to overcome her challenges she was timid and shy, but, with a lot of pushing and encouragement from her family, she soon became active in school and church.

Desptie her timidness and shyness, she soon evolved into a young adult who knows what she wants and is not letting anything stand in her way to achieve her goals. Wells said, “Overcoming adversity has made me a young adult. I have not let self-pity get in my way. I did not give up and I did not throw in the towel.”

Wells loves being in leadership roles and helping people. She is active in the Gideon MedTech program and is able to serve in a leadership role. The program is a medical, technology, design, engineering and innovative program committed to bringing the power of medical technology to its clients. They work with universities, medical practices, and medtech companies to simplify complex problems.

Because of her involvement with Gideon MedTech program, Wells has had exposure to many jobs, and she has decided to pursue a career in industrial engineering, focusing on prosthetics. She plans on entering Wallace State Community College in the fall with plans to transfer to a four-year university upon completing her general studies requirements.

Knowing that college is expensive and that she wanted to help as much as possible with the cost, Wells began searching for scholarships. She credits her guardians Ronald and Cathy Holley, counselor John Hughes, librarian Grendl Weldon, and other Locust Fork staff for advocating, helping, and supporting her during this scholarship journey.

While in government class one day she opened a link for The Horatio Alger National Scholarship. This prestigious national award was available to students who have experienced challenges, but ultimately overcame them to become successful students and leaders.

Wells felt her life experience met the requirements. She now had the grueling task of writing an extensive essay, getting letters of recommendations, all while remaining extremely conscientious in schoolwork.

Her efforts paid off.

Out of 40,000 applicants from across the U.S., District of Colombia, and Puerto Rico, only 106 scholarships were awarded and Wells was one of the chosen few. She will receive $25,000 to cover her future academic costs. The scholarship will be broken down into four increments and she must maintain a specified GPA to receive the award each year.

Wells will be traveling to the Supreme Court Building later this spring to receive this award. It should be noted that being able to be a part of this ceremony is such an honor as no other outside ceremonies are held at the Supreme Court Building.

With this award Wells hopes to open doors for others who are searching for scholarships. She said there are scholarships out there and admits they are hard work, but they can ultimately pay off in a tremendous way.

At times Wells gets frustrated with students her age as they are not motivated to seek available resources. She said they simply have the attitude that my parents can afford to help me, so why go through the trouble of trying to get a scholarship.

As Wells embarks on this new chapter in her life after graduation, she encourages others to reach deep into their soul as they are deciding what they want in life. She said, “Don’t let your self-inflictions ruin your opportunities for a scholarship. Don’t let social status define you. Be proud of any opportunity you have and who you are.” These are wise words for someone just entering adulthood.