A Central York High School senior was one of 106 students nationally to receive a $25,000 scholarship in January.
Brooke Dubbs received the Horatio Alger National Scholarship, which honors students who have faced great personal adversity but have remained committed to education and volunteering within their communities, according to a news release from Brian, a marketing agency based in Pennsylvania.
Dubbs, 18, was placed into foster care as an infant but was fortunate to be adopted by her foster parents when she was 2 years old. Her parents are in their 50s, so some of her childhood experiences were a little different from the next kid, but overall she was loved by a couple who was very family-oriented for her and her five other adopted siblings.
When she was 15, her mom had her first stroke, but she was still the same until a second stroke several months later affected the other side of her body. Dubbs' father became her mother's primary caretaker until she died in May of Dubbs' sophomore year.
"It was just something we had to adjust to," Dubbs said about her mother's death.
Perseverance: Despite the emotionally tumultuous time, Dubbs maintained her GPA and her involvement in extracurricular activities. During her high school years, she's been involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, served on a MiniTHON committee to raise money for children with cancer and been a part of the Future Leaders of York program.
Currently she spends her time as student council president, her class' treasurer and preparing for boot camp. In October, Dubbs enlisted in the Army Reserves. She leaves for boot camp in July, after she graduates.
Dubbs decided to apply for the scholarship after talking with her school counselor, who knew how much she had been through. Online, she saw that she fit the requirements for the Horatio Alger National Scholarship, which included overcoming adversity, having a strong commitment to completing a bachelor's degree, having a $55,000 or lower adjusted gross family income, being involved in extracurricular activities and maintaining at least a 2.0 grade-point average.
When she applied, she knew the chances were slim. After all, only 106 students in the nation get this scholarship each year. When she found out she had won the scholarship, she immediately ran to her father to celebrate the good news.
"Me and my dad cried and did a happy dance," she said. "It was a happy moment. It was shocking."
Big Goals: Each recipient throughout the nation to receive the scholarship was given $25,000. Additionally, each will head to Washington, D.C., March 30 through April 1 to attend a conference on college-preparedness and the Horatio Alger Associations of Distinguished Americans, a nonprofit that encourages youth to pursue their dreams through higher education. It will be Dubbs' first time in Washington.
After she completes boot camp, Dubbs is looking forward to attending Penn State Berks, located in Reading, for the spring semester next year. She's not sure if she wants to study occupational therapy, after seeing so many therapists work with her mother, or if she wants to major in intelligence and security analysis. But she has time to figure it out. After beginning her college career at Penn State Berks, she wants to transfer to the main Penn State campus.
Ultimately, Dubbs wants to work with the CIA or FBI helping people and her country. The scholarship will help her realize these dreams, she said.
Dubbs wasn't the only winner from Pennsylvania; Dylan Giordano, from Bradford Area High School in McKean County, and Michael Medaugh, from Pocono Mountain East High School in Monroe County, were also recipients.