Recent Freestate ChalleNGe Academy graduate Requan Da Sant is the winner of the first essay competition for students in the YouthQuest Foundation’s 3D ThinkLink Initiative classes.
He earned a $500 scholarship for writing about how the STEM education project for at-risk youth has affected his life.
“Being able to use computers for graphic arts and be recognized for it is a dream come true,” Requan said in his essay, The Impact of Creativity.
YouthQuest provides instruction in 3D design and printing at Freestate in Aberdeen, Md., as well as the District of Columbia’s Capital Guardian and South Carolina Youth ChalleNGe Academies, where high school dropouts get the opportunity to turn their lives around in residential programs run by the National Guard Youth Foundation. The 3D ThinkLink classes promote critical thinking and creativity while introducing students to the booming technology of additive manufacturing.
Requan’s essay focused on a visit in April to Morgan State University in Baltimore, where he and his classmates showed college students how to create 3D objects. He described it as a “life-altering event” that made him feel “empowered” and helped improve his leadership skills.
Requan, 16, said the opportunity to teach college students also reassured him that he should continue his education.
Students in all three 3D ThinkLink classes were invited to write about their experiences. Members of the YouthQuest Foundation Board of Directors judged the entries.
“The reason he was selected by the Board was because he wrote from the heart,” YouthQuest President and Co-Founder Lynda Mann said at the Freestate awards ceremony June 10.
Requan plans to return to high school and earn his diploma, then join the Air Force Reserve and study graphic engineering in college. He will receive the scholarship money after he completes high school.
“I am a very creative individual with the readiness to work and achieve great possibilities,” he wrote.
We have no doubt Requan will do exactly that.
Here is his winning essay:
My 3D ThinkLink Experience: The Impact of Creativity
I truly appreciate being chosen for this potential scholarship. My name is Requan Da Sant and I attend Freestate Challenge Academy. I am 16 years old and I live in Edgewood, Maryland. I believe I should be chosen for this scholarship because I have demonstrated hard-work ethics, responsibility, and the willingness to learn and further my knowledge. I am a very creative individual with the readiness to work and achieve great possibilities. Albert Einstein once said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”. While attending Freestate Challenge Academy I was given the opportunity to experience a training which involved a 3D ThinkLink course. This course consists of a program called Moment of Inspiration. While using this program we are able to build objects and produce them on our 3D Printing Machine.
I had the honor to teach college students at Morgan State University on April 23, 2014. This was their first encounter with the program. The program was taught to the students in a step by step process. At the end of this process each student was able to build their own 3D key chain. As each student completed their key chain I felt empowered. They were very intrigued by the 3D software and what it detailed. The wise words of Audrey Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible, for the word itself say I’m possible” inspired me to continue on with 3D ThinkLink training and the outstanding growth it brought to my leadership goals.
Being given an opportunity to teach college students at such a prestigious school such as Morgan State University is a life-altering event. It gave me the reassurance that going to college is the best option for me. My fellow cadets and I were greeted with such gratitude and enthusiasm, it made my peers and I feel as though we were on top of the world.
To be offered a scholarship of this magnitude at this point in my life is a blessing. Being able to use computers for graphic arts and be recognized for it is a dream come true. Graphic arts is something that has always fascinated me. I plan to stay focused and further my career in the graphic engineering field.
I remember my mother always telling me, “You are so intelligent and if you use your mind for good, you can really go far in life”. I always think about her saying this in my mind and use it for motivation. If not for my mother I probably, never mind the probably, I would not be where I am right now. She has inspired me to obtain and achieve the unachievable. If I receive this scholarship, it would make my mother proud and it would also make me proud. It would be an honor and a blessing to receive this scholarship. Thank you very much for an opportunity such as you have given me.