Charlotte N.C. (Feb. 1, 2018) — Aperture Education has selected Fenton High School senior Jillian Ferry as the winner of its December, 2017 Essay Scholarship Contest. Her essay described the non-academic lessons she learned from her high school choir director Brad Wright, including “Mr. Wright’s Five P’s of success” – how to be professional, punctual, prepared, polite and positive. Ferry, who lives in Fenton, Michigan, will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Aperture Education.
“I entered the contest not just to get the scholarship, but because I wanted to write about Mr. Wright,” said Ferry, who plans to major in elementary education when she enrolls in college this fall. “A lot of the skills he teaches are things I can use now, and 20 years from now. They will help me later in life and in my career,” she said.
The Essay Scholarship Contest asks high school seniors and college students to submit essays surrounding a specific theme. The December theme was “Describe a high school teacher who made an impact on you in a non-academic way.” The essays are posted on Aperture Education’s web site and the public is asked to vote for their favorite. Aperture Education selects the winner from the three essays that received the most votes.
“Our goal with the Essay Scholarship Contest is to help students prepare financially for college, and also to get them thinking about the importance of the non-academic social and emotional skills they have learned along the way, because those also play a big role in their future success,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “We also want to encourage students to think about and recognize the amazing teachers who go out of their way to focus on the whole child. We were impressed by Ferry’s essay and by the work of her choir director, Mr. Wright.”
Ferry joined her high school choir as a freshman and said she always learns something from the stories Wright shares during class. “Each one seems to have a lesson that goes along with it,” she said in her essay. “A story about a student who lacked the skills needed for an interview, taught me how to properly approach an interview, and a discussion about a local news story led me to learn self-defense. While stories are not told in every class, when they are told, they teach me things that other classes neglect to teach me.”
Aperture Education supports educators, administrators and out-of-school-time providers in implementing social and emotional learning programs within their schools or programs. The essay contest is part of its ongoing work to support the whole child. This was Aperture Education’s second Essay Scholarship Contest. The third contest, “What is SEL?” is currently open and will close May 1, 2018. Students must submit a 300-400-word essay responding to the prompt: “In your own words, what is social and emotional learning? During your time in high school, was there a time when a teacher, coach or school staff strengthened your social and emotional skills? If so, how did it affect you? If not, what might have changed had you been given a chance to strengthen your social and emotional skills?”
To learn more about the scholarship contest or to submit an essay, visit: http://www.apertureed.com/funding/scholarship/
To learn more about Ferry and to read her essay, “Brad Wright: The man, the myth, the choir director,” visit http://bit.ly/2mBA1Ag.
About Aperture Education
Aperture Education is a social enterprise focused on addressing the whole child. Its social and emotional learning (SEL) solution, Evo Social/Emotional, is based on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of critical social and emotional skills. The Evo Social/Emotional online system includes both the DESSA and the DESSA-mini, a brief, universal screener of social and emotional competence. Evo Social/Emotional also provides intervention strategies and foundational practices to strengthen social and emotional skills. Its data helps SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and helps educators understand students’ SEL strengths and needs. For more information, go to www.ApertureEd.com.