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Interview with DaKyla Cannady, PDCU Scholarship Winner

People Driven Credit Union’s scholarship program was established to enhance the educational opportunities and advancement of our members.  Since it’s start in 1990, we have awarded over $328,000 in scholarships.  In it’s 29th year, a total of $14,000 in scholarships went to 10 winning member entrants.

This year’s topic was to write a note to yourself, the day before your first day as a high school freshman.

Interview with DyKyla C, one of this year’s scholarship winners:

DaKyla wrote the following, winning entry:

     Dear High School Student, High school student; wow I really like the sound of that! From this point forward for the next four years once you enter these school doors that is how people will refer to you. It’s like a badge of honor you will grow to love, especially in your senior year. Embrace this moment because it is “your time.”

     Everything right now may seem so new and possibly overwhelming. You may feel like everyone that looks at you knows you’re the “new kid.” Just remember you’re not alone and others just like you are experiencing some of the same nervousness you may be feeling right now. From the hallways that will feel like an eternity the first time, you walk down them, to the lunchroom that will be packed with strange new faces, even down to the combination lock that seems almost impossible to open for roughly the first two weeks. It does and will get easier and fun as you get settled in and adjusted to new routines and new adventures. Be courageous, and don’t let the fear of the unknown stifle or stop your dreams. Half of what we do in life is based on the chances we were willing to take. So, stand strong, hold your head high and walk as if you belong- because you do.

     A major part of high school will be self-determination. School just like life will be filled with many people and many different ideas and personalities. Remember that everyone’s goals and dreams won’t be the same as yours. It can become easy to end up traveling in the wrong direction so stay focused. Your self-determination to succeed is what will help change your dreams into reality.

     Friendships are another focus area of high school. You will see some familiar faces from middle school, but you will also meet new people that may grow into very close lifetime friends so be open to new possibilities. Along the way, you will notice that everyone including you will begin to grow/develop into the person they are to become. In this transition, some friendships will fade while others will blossom; not all friendships will make it to the finish line of your story. It’s part of evolving and growing.

     The importance of “self-love” can’t be stressed enough. Teenage years but especially high school years will be filled with ups and downs and rocky paths will come. Let’s face it, adolescence can be difficult and sometimes it affects self-esteem. There will be moments that you may look in the mirror and not be pleased with the person looking back at you, but that is the time you need to love yourself the most. The goodwill always outweighs the bad so focus on the positive aspects about you and allow those things to shine for others to notice too.

     Finally, remember to relax and have fun. Yes, there will be tests, quizzes, ACT, SAT and finals. But there will also be homecoming games and dances, sports events, social clubs, etc. Balance your time wisely and enjoy all that high school has to offer you. Good luck and see you at the finish line!

DaKyla is about to start her freshman year at Eastern Michigan University.