March 8th, 2016

2016 Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship Winner

Jocelyn Hanrath is an Olympics-track soccer goalie who has her heart and mind set on a coaching career. When asked about her decision to pursue college study rather than the path of competitive athletics, Jocelyn stated she wants “a degree and not just a job,” and that her hard work and good grades have positioned her well for the next stage of her journey. She was described by all as a dynamic, goal-oriented person who is humble, self- assured and deliberate, considering her options and getting the job done. Whether it’s making sure that disadvantaged kids have Christmas presents or spending countless hours tutoring and coaching younger students, Jocelyn is committed to making the world a better place. When asked about her LD, Jocelyn said, “For a period in my life, I felt inferior to others my age because reading and writing were for me, but not any more; no one should be judged for the things they don’t do well. And failure is never an option.”

Jocelyn Hanrath – Personal Statement

Hello, my name is Jocelyn Hanrath and I’m a senior at East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. I plan on attending Highline Community College to begin working on a Sports Management degree.
I have dyslexia. I’m fortunate to have a Mom who supports me and had me tested when in third grade. I’ve learned that having dyslexia isn’t always a burden because I see things in different ways than other people. For a while in my life, I felt inferior to others my age because reading and writing were difficult for me. But I’ve come to learn that every person has struggles to deal with every day. Some are outside and some are deep inside. I’ve learned to never judge anyone because I don’t know what parts of his or her life may be hard. I know that you can’t always see a disability. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from having dyslexia is that I have to be humble enough to accept help from others.
I have an IEP at school. Because it’s hard for me to read new material with words I don’t know, I use a recorded book app. With this I can read along as I listen. Taking handwritten notes and hand written tests are extremely challenging for me, because I lose what I want to say as I write. I have a school accommodation that I can use my computer and this makes things much easier for me. I have the use of spell check but most importantly my brain seems to work in conjunction with my hands when I type.
I still struggle while taking tests but I know that I improve with every test. I have an IEP that allows me extended time in test taking, and I can have the test read to me. My test anxiety overwhelms me at times but I know test taking is part of education and I deal with it.
I’ve had teachers who didn’t want to originally let me use my accommodations but I have learned to stand up for what I need. It was very intimidating the first few times but now I know when to speak up and whom I should talk to about my needs in the classroom.
One group of people who have helped me keep my positive attitude are the kids I work with in being a peer tutor at my school. They remind me that no matter what happens in someone’s life it’s all about the attitude they have. The kids in special ed are amazing and I love working with them. I’ve learned something from everyone who has been a part of my life and I’m thankful.
My Mom has been there with me through everything, the good and the bad. I’ve watched her and learned that no matter what life throws at you, you have to keep working to get where you want to go. Sometimes you have to take a different path then you first thought but you can still get to where you want to be.
My file holder at school has been great to me. She is always there to give me a hand when I ask and she always has my back. She encourages me to do my best and will always do her upmost to help me with any problems I face at school.
I’m a good athlete and compete at a very high level in soccer. I’m looking toward a degree in Sports Management with an emphasis on coaching. There are a lot of kids who excel in sports who have learning disabilities. I want to be a coach who can help those kids transfer the success they have in sports to success in the classroom. If you are successful and hard working at sports you can do the same thing in the classroom. You might not have a 4.0 but you can be the best student you can be if you work at it every single day.
I know there are many ways of becoming a coach but I want to become a great coach. Going to college is the best way I know how to become all I can be as a coach and as a person. I feel that giving back to the community is important and I know I can make a difference in the lives of kids through coaching.
I know from experience it’s easy to get down on myself when I struggle reading a textbook but I also know how proud I am when I get through it. Every single experience in my life has given me an opportunity to learn.
My Mom adopted me when I was a baby and has worked really hard so I could take advantage of every opportunity and do the things that I’ve wanted. I would like to give back to her by doing my best and getting this scholarship. This scholarship would relieve some of her financial burden. It would also mean I could devote more time to studying and not have to work as many hours while going to school. Having this scholarship would help me achieve my desire to be a collegiate student/athlete.

Join the NCLD movement