2021 Jennifer Turman Memorial Scholarship Essay, by Celeste Sinko

Before I had even learned to walk, I was a runner. Well, at least by association. My mother has been an avid runner for the majority of her life, and as fate would have it, a love of running was instilled in me. After I graduated from stroller cheerleader to novice jogger, I began my own running journey. I started running when I was twelve years old, and now as a senior in high school, I am the girl’s captain of the North Bend High School cross country team and a captain of the Track & Field team. Running is important to me because it allows me to challenge myself. Moreover, I value running in that it is a simple way to stay healthy. Lastly, I love running for the rich community in which it fosters.

Writing essays is hard, but it does not compare to the challenge of running. As someone who strives to perform their best in various disciplines, I am no stranger to hard work. However, running poses a unique challenge in that it requires my body and mind to work in tandem to achieve my goals. Yet therein lies the beauty of the sport; one must push themselves past their threshold in order to reap the tremendous reward. More so than any other sport, running is a test of wills. Whether it be sore muscles, insufferable wind and weather, or forgetting to wear the correct socks, each running day poses a distinctive hurdle. Runners champion these adversities, which in turn teaches us to be strong, tenacious individuals.

Another auspicious aspect of running is its simplicity. While other sports require specific equipment, running only requires a sturdy pair of shoes and willpower to finish the workout ahead. Moreover, I love running because it takes me places. Running doesn’t necessitate a training facility or an Olympic-sized pool, giving one the freedom to train anywhere their heart desires. The simplicity of running lends to its accessibility. Running is a sport for the people; it can be done virtually anytime, anywhere, with anybody who’s up to the challenge.

In every corner of the globe, there are runners. The camaraderie I have found in the running community is unlike any other circle that I’ve ever been a part of. We’re all cut from the same cloth; we share common qualities of perseverance and grit. Running has allowed me to forge strong bonds with individuals from many intersecting backgrounds. Complete strangers are able to bond over running shoes, times, training, nutrition, and so much more. It feels quite special to be a member of a community that unites people all over the world.

Running has shaped me into the woman I am today. This sport has taught me perseverance and serves as a constant reminder of my good health and fortune. Running is conducive to my overall health, it poses a challenge to my body and mind, and most importantly, running provides me with a sense of belonging. As I step into this new chapter of my life, change is inevitable. Places and people may change, but my love for running will always remain constant.

 

2019 Jennifer Turman Memorial Scholarship Essay, by Gabe Delgado

When I was younger, I always wanted to fit in with whatever was popular. Growing up being on a sports team was the thing to do. Naturally I began to get involved with the “popular” ball sports; basketball, baseball, soccer and football. Many of my friends were older and bigger than me. I began to feel left out when I wasn’t selected for the “A” team. I wanted to find something that I could make my own. Something that would make me stand out. Something I would love.

My parents have always been active people. They started getting into running. I realized that maybe that could be my thing, running! My mom and dad became coaches on the Boys and Girls Club track team. My parents also joined the South Coast Running Club, where they would hold all sorts of running events all across town throughout the year. My dad one morning asked me if I’d like to come do one of the runs with him. We went to Bandon for the Bullards Run, and through that experience I got to meet all sorts of neat people who love to run. I’ve done the Firecracker Run almost every year. The kid’s mile or 5k races at South Slough, Kentuck, Run of Two Cities, Mac’s Run and the Turkey Trot. I fell in love with running and a community of people that share the same love as my own.

I began to discover just what running meant to me. I joined the cross country and track teams in middle school. In high school I’ve served as team captain the last two years on the cross team and been the event group leader (EGL) for distance in track as well. I’ve competed at both cross country and track State Championships and hallowed Hayward. Running has given me a platform to express who I am as an athlete. It has given me an opportunity to become a better teammate, a better leader, and most importantly a better person. Running has been, is, and will always be my joy. After a hard day, running gives me the chance to decompress a stressful day. Running taught me more about life than I could’ve ever imagined. It taught me how to never give up no matter how hard it gets, how to persevere in the tough moments and keep pushing through the pain. Most importantly running has taught me community.  That special bond with teammates you get in the tough training and races. No matter who we are, where we come from, or where we’re going, running unites those of us who love it. Local clubs like SCRC prove that at every event. That no matter what’s happens in our lives, running brings our community together. To me, that’s the most important thing that running offers.