01 May

2016 Second Place Scholarship Winner

 

Second place winner of 2016 Scholarship Program

 Caitlin Donovan


When I was a little girl, I would watch cartoons such as Batman and Spiderman where the bad guys were always defeated. I remember thinking how cool the heroes were for knocking evil-doers down and not letting them get back up. How exciting would it be to know a superhero like that!

Well, I do. Down the hall from my bedroom and through the door on the left is where my superhero, better known as "Dad", rests his head. Dad is not only my personal superhero that keeps the monsters away at night, but he is our city's superhero, and helping knock out crime is his specialty.

As a child, one never ponders the implications of your superheroes’ job, but one day it just hits you. I realize now that not only has my Dad been my hero and protector, but has also been the basis for who I am and what I stand for today. Through his passion and dedication to protect and serve the community, I have learned selflessness, hard work and perseverance as well the importance of making prudent decisions. The choice between right and wrong conflicting situations has always been an easy task, thanks to my Dad.

My superhero has always worked the night shift until this past year. Now that he works the day shift and his schedule mirrors that of the rest of the family, it is easier to talk and spend time with him. There is never a dull moment at dinner and Dad rarely turns down a request for a good story. Our story content varies from alligators crossing a road in the middle of the city, to the stories and lessons learned from mistakes made by the evil criminals. The stories regarding alligators were always the ones we laughed at, but in reality the criminal stories are the ones that have helped shape me and my siblings to become the persons of character we are today.

Some of the stories we heard could be paralyzing. The kinds of crimes that my Dad and other law enforcement officers deal with are almost unbelievable. These crime stories are the ones that have shown me that every decision has a consequence and made me realize that I am not above these situations. They can happen to anyone at anytime.

When I hear stories about teenagers that do not survive a drunk driving accident, or about young girls that sneak out at three in the morning to meet twenty-five-year-olds, I realize that outcomes are based on the choices you make. I know my Dad tells me these stories to make me realize that all choices have consequences.

As a high school senior approaching graduation, I have never been to an unchaperoned party. I believe the decisions I make are not only because I do not want to disappoint my superhero, but also because of the impression his stories have had on me. Dad's terrifying stories have taught me that my decision could have a bad outcome, and possibly lead to my family mournfully saying their last goodbyes to me in the ground.

Another principle that has made a great impression upon me is the unfaltering dedication my Dad has to his profession. As a child, the thought of my hero putting his vest on his chest and gun on his hip was amazing, but as I grew older, the reality of what he faced each day was scary. My greatest fear is that he might not return to me at night. But he continues, day in and day out, to put himself on the line to protect the good citizens around him. Each time he goes into work he puts himself in danger and risks leaving his family behind. I know that I would be terrified to be in his shoes, but he is my superhero.

My dad and his fellow officers are the bravest superheroes out there. His dedication to work hard, and his will to never give up, are what motivates me to give my all in everything that I do. I have never really been into sports, so I dedicated my all to my studies. I am that student that puts forth more effort than is needed, and do everything to the best of my ability.

In addition to academics, I dedicate my time to community service. I have been a volunteer at church for the past four years and assist John 3:16 Grandparents Support Group in several outreach activities. I am confident that the motivation and dedication to these two organizations, is a direct result of the fine example of my superhero. Commitment is important in life and I am honored to follow in the footsteps of my hero who has put so much heart in
securing the community.

One of the most honorable jobs of today is serving the community. As a policeman, my father has sacrificed so much in order to protect. Observing my Dad and the manner in which he carries out his career has motivated me to follow my dreams. In the next few years, I plan to earn a Doctorate of Medicine in Biological Science, further specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. My ultimate dream is to establish a Women's Clinic. I have a vision of serving uninsured and underprivileged patients. One division of the clinic will focus on rape victims and their physical and emotional healing; another dedicated to the development of a community based prevention program educating young women about emotional, physical, and social health.

Along with making right choices, I have learned by example to work hard and follow my dreams. Because of my superhero, I have encompassed the qualities to achieve my goals.

Caitlin Elise Donovan is the daughter of Charles Gerard Donovan, III with Kenner Police Department. Her current GPA is 3.85714 and she scored a 24 on her ACT. Miss Donovan has been accepted to the Louisiana State University.

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