It is our honor to announce the winner of the 2018 Hach & Rose, LLP Annual College Scholarship. While selecting only one of over 450 truly inspirational essays proved to be a near impossible task, the genuine emotion, fortitude, and perseverance radiating from the pages of the winning essay solidified our decision.
Our winner’s father was seriously injured on the job. His injuries required five very significant operations. In the essay, the author mentions the physical limitations the accident had on her father, her family’s financial burdens that followed, and the effect it had on the everyday things she and her younger sister had previously taken for granted. She focuses on how the accident enabled her to rediscover the strength of family, the importance of resilience, the power of integrity, and the freedom of acceptance.
Her father, her “larger than life hero,” attempted to shield both of his daughters from the debilitating impact the accident was actually having on his family’s life. Not until the author was older did she come to terms with the gravity of the unfortunate event. Instead of becoming consumed with anger or self-pity, she watched her father rise to life’s new challenges and she eagerly followed in his footsteps. “His own work ethic is one that keeps the entire family motivated to do our best.” In fact, she had an injury herself which required foot surgery, but this setback only served as a catalyst for her to work harder; she won several titles on her school’s track team and has been recognized by her teammates as an outstanding leader. “[My father] made every possible attempt to attend my races and show his support; the least I could do was give it everything I had, even when it hurt.”
Accidents often have a debilitating impact on victims and their families. Our essay winner’s experience should serve as a reminder that while we may not have control over setbacks in life, we do have control over whether such situations define us or redefine us. Due to her demonstrated strength, spirit and accomplishments – all in the face of adversity – it is our absolute honor to name Margaret Ryan as the winner of the first Hach & Rose Annual Scholarship. We have no doubt that you will excel in Speech Language Pathology at your university and will embrace every day of your bright future. “I take with me all my dad’s advice. I take his dedication, perseverance and integrity.” As we all should, too, Ms. Ryan. Congratulations.