The Summer 2011 Charles Shafae Scholarship Fund winner is Abigail Airoldi.
Abigail Airoldi will be starting her junior year of undergraduate study at Quinnipiac University, located in Hamden, Connecticut. She is currently enrolled in the highly
selective, entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. In addition to the high grades and SAT/ACT scores that Quinnipiac University requires of all its undergraduates,
other requirements specific to DPT include two letters of recommendation, over 24 hours of observation/volunteering in multiple clinical rehabilitation facilities, and
alternate health care experience. The applicants for this program are personally interviewed to keep the student population's professional interests and commitments aligned with
the mission of the School of Health Sciences. The final applicant pool is then carefully selected by the Vice President and Dean of Admissions.
Abigail considers one of her greatest achievements to be her participation on Quinnipiac University's cross-country team. She made many personal sacrifices to make the
highly competitive team. The Quinnipiac Bobcats won the Northeast Conference cross-country title in 2010 for the fifth consecutive year. Abigail also represents her university
as a member of the track and field team. Outside of school sports, Abigail also enjoys skiing, swimming, rock climbing, and any other outdoor activity. Besides sports and
outdoor activities, traveling and culture is her number-one passion.
Abigail spent a semester this past year in Ireland, at University College Cork. Originally, she had wanted to study at a university in a Spanish-speaking country, where she
could practice her language skills. Unfortunately, due to the strict requirements of Abigail's major at Quinnipiac, there were few universities which offered classes that met
the standards of the accelerated program. Still excited by the opportunity to travel across the Atlantic, Abigail welcomed the opportunity to study in Ireland. Once there,
Abigail was taken aback by the genuine warmth and compassion she felt from the Irish. Everybody easily engaged in conversation and she found it easier to open up, making
lifelong friends with whom she is still in constant communication. When traveling in Ireland with fellow classmates from Cork, they asked an old woman for directions. Even though
the destination was less than a mile away, the woman insisted the group accept a ride in her car. After the semester was over, Abigail traveled through the rest of Europe and
found a lot of generosity, many times asking strangers off the street to come into a shop to help translate for her.
Abigail is spending this summer vacation as a counselor at a summer camp for people with disabilities. This has given her the opportunity to practice the values and ethics
taught in the DPT program, which emphasizes community service, lifelong learning, and professional development. Abigail attended a small grade school where she interacted with
the entire student population. This gave her the opportunity to be exposed to kids from a variety of backgrounds, some of whom were disabled. As a child, Abigail learned how to
take people for who they are and what they do, rather than how they look. Abigail has since learned that she can find fulfillment and joy through helping others. This experience
has taught her that life expands beyond normal communication methods, including speech. Humans, she says, can relate to and interact with each other in a variety of methods; one
only needs to be sensitive and observant. Abigail can see her kindness spread from camper to camper, which she attributes to the fact that all people treat others in the same
manner as they are treated. Abigail has been using the non-verbal communication skills she uses with the campers to communicate with the international student counselors as well.
She has found that simple communication skills can also be used to bridge the language gap.
Upon graduating, Abigail plans to put her background in sports medicine to work with an international organization, such as Doctors Without Borders. In five years,
Abigail sees herself having traveled all over the world as a physical therapist and living permanently on another continent, such as Australia, Europe, or South America.
Abigail would like to thank Papercheck for the opportunity and support in pursuing her goals.
Abigail's winning essay described the effect that pop culture has on consumers and how the large brands use this influence to raise sales.
Papercheck would like to thank all of those who submitted essays to our Papercheck Semi-annual Scholarship Award. We received 134 submissions. All applicants should be proud of
their academic accomplishments and achievements. Thank you for sharing your goals and dreams with us. Please come back, and visit Papercheck in the future.
Abigail Airoldi, winner of the Charles Shafae Scholarship
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