Here is the essay that I wrote when I applied for a Foundation Fellowship. You guys get mentioned.
My experience with sisterhood has inspired me to change the world. Prior to joining our organization, lifelong sisterhood had already impacted my life. My younger sister, Summer, was diagnosed with autism while I was in high school. At the time of her diagnosis she was nonverbal. However, the combination of her enthusiasm to learn, my family’s hard work, and the knowledge of her speech-language pathologist helped her to find her voice. This unique and trying circumstance inspired me to become a speech-language pathologist so that I, too, could help children with autism find their voice.
As an undergraduate I joined many organizations. However, none could surpass the fulfillment I found in Delta Gamma. I joined Delta Gamma because I wanted an opportunity to volunteer and bond with other women. What I found was true loyalty and friendship. My college career has been fairly successful and I attribute some of that success to my involvement with Delta Gamma. The most important value that Delta Gamma instilled in me was the courage to be a champion for others. After becoming a member, I found myself striving to make more substantial impacts in the lives of those with autism.
As an alumna I am continually strengthening my bonds in Delta Gamma. I recently helped to revitalize my local alumnae chapter through my position as Vice President of Programming. I also run a Delta Gamma blog which has helped me to meet sisters from around the world. When I speak to collegians through this medium, I always tell them that Delta Gamma is so much more than the chapter you were initiated into. I use my connections to not only network with the professional world, but also to enrich my life. The women of Delta Gamma have taught me that for every dream you have, there are sisters there to help you on your journey. More importantly, Delta Gamma has allowed me to be a part of others’ journeys. Delta Gamma changes the world through sisterhood.
Delta Gamma has given me the strength and confidence to pursue my dream job: becoming an autism specialist. As a family member of someone with autism, I have experienced the importance of knowledgeable professionals. My sister would not have progressed as significantly without her team of experts. As I enter the professional side of autism treatment, I know that it takes well-educated and compassionate people to achieve such great results. I hope to provide successful therapies to individuals and families affected by autism, as well as encourage and teach other professionals. This passion for strengthening the field I work in has driven me to seek a PhD. I believe Delta Gamma can provide an even greater impact in my life so that I can help others. Please consider me for a Delta Gamma Foundation Fellowship. Support me in my goal to continually raise awareness, hold open discussions, share my family’s successes, and listen to my sister as my continued inspiration and hero.