Ellen Murphy, 2016 Recipient of Academic Achievement Scholarship

Essay: In 500 words or less: Describe how you believe that your current academic achievement will impact your future education? Also, discuss the course of study you plan to pursue and why.


I am prepared to be a lifelong learner. Chartiers Valley has given me an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and challenge. In primary school, I joined the gifted program and found the rigor for which I yearned. Gifted was a second home within the school; it was my niche. I loved the hands-on chemistry projects, research projects, debates and lessons. Even better, the life lessons about kindness, leadership, and responsibility are what stuck with me most.


In middle school I eagerly participated in competitions such as the Invention Convention and Academic Games League, studying interesting facts and reading about history and current events in my free time. Chartiers Valley gave me the opportunity to excel inside the classroom, earning high honor roll in every grading period. Outside the classroom, I earned multiple awards through the invention program and even participated in national competitions for academic games. This love for enriched academics transcended into high school, where I placed 10th nationally at the Math Con tournament, competed in Hometown High Q game show, and led Science Bowl and National Quiz Bowl teams. Inside the classroom, I doubled-up math and science to learn more about the subjects I love most. I have taken ten Advanced Placement courses and earned the AP Scholar with Honor distinction.


I have learned that learning is not just about academics. I learned to become a leader as President of Student Council and my Venture Scout crew, as well as social chair for my class, leader at my church, and leader of the Vietnam and Korean War Memorial projects for Girl Scouts. I have realized a passion for serving others at my local library, church, Food Bank, summer recreational program, mission trips, and community clean-up days.


My academic achievement has come to define much of my life. It continues to shape who I am as a life-long learner and has influenced my future. Chartiers Valley has given me practical knowledge as I begin my college journey at Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the best engineering schools in the country. CV courses like AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology and AP Calculus-based Physics affirmed my love of STEM. They helped me learn to challenge myself and take risks.


In college, I will major in environmental engineering and specialize in hydrology. I will continue as a life-long learner, devoting my life to finding, and teaching others about, more sustainable uses of water. I aim to study and improve the interaction between human and natural water systems. Specifically, the peaceful coexistence of water-intensive operations and wetlands compels me. I have a fascination with water and a love for the environment, so this is a perfect choice for me. Furthermore, I hope to empower others to solve their water problems and become lifelong learners themselves.


My time at Chartiers Valley has spurred my love for learning and given me opportunities to grow. The community of teachers, administration, mentors, and friends has set me up for success in college and my future.