Even as a young person, I have always had a busy life - balancing the aspects of being a student and an athlete. I started my football career when I was in the 5th grade when I decided to play city league football. From that experience, I started my dual lifestyle of a student-athlete which continues to this today. I have been a part of NSHSS since I was a freshman in high school and have benefited from the opportunities they have for scholarships and honors. Throughout high school, however, I participated in football, weightlifting, and track and field, which consumed a lot of my academic and extracurricular time. This limited my participation with the program up until my senior year, where I had more freedom to apply for scholarships. Once I established enough life experiences to write about, I applied to multiple scholarships on the NSHSS website. This led me to the scholarship that I was fortunate to be awarded which was the Claes Nobel Academic Scholarship. This scholarship is given to those who have a dream to make a positive impact in the world with regards to sustainability.
Over the years and throughout high school, I learned the best advice to give other high schoolers is to use your time wisely. I know that when you are between the ages of 14-18 years old it seems that you have an abundance of time, when in reality that is the most useful time to prepare for college through scholarships, internships, jobs, and earning professional certifications. Alongside any extra circular activities, it would be wise to stay atop of your academics too. Make sure you build a relationship with your teachers and deans so you can receive letters of recommendation later on as well as job opportunities. All these opportunities can be found within the involvement of NSHSS. Not only will you meet new people from different backgrounds, but you can learn how to make the most out of life.
In addition to my involvement with NSHSS, I have managed to balance the student-athlete life of a collegiate athlete. Over this past fall, I participated in my first semester in college while playing football. This was a major leap from high school and a major milestone in my life. Throughout the season, I had morning and afternoon classes that were back to back between morning workouts and afternoon practice. This was difficult, but I managed this by going to study hall throughout the day and to the library at night. The key tip for managing your time between each class is spending two hours for every credit hour that the class is worth. For example, if the class is a three-credit-hour class, spend six hours per week studying for the class. Another tip for time management is organizing your notes with a composition book and a folder. The composition book can be used for notes, while the folder can be used for any take-home worksheets or syllabi. By the end of the semester, I managed to finish with a 4.0 GPA.
Throughout my high school experience, I was able to achieve a multitude of honors and recognition. Since I participated in three sports year-round, I was able to stay in shape easier and reduce my weight from 250 lbs as a freshman to 210 lbs my senior year. Throughout my summers, I was fortunate to gain internships at various organizations including the City of Tallahassee Underground Utilities, the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, and the Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsions at Florida State University. Alongside my internships, I have procured well over 100 hours’ worth of community service and have participated in various disaster relief scenarios. These experiences in volunteerism and internships have helped me determine my major in Industrial Engineering with a potential minor in economics. I learned the value of being efficient in a job task and striving for quality, not quantity. I have spoken on the radio for Tallahassee Future Leaders Academy and the Links Beautillion about myself or promoting the positive impact of the programs on young teens. Currently, I am a Pre-Industrial Engineer attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. I am also fortunate enough to play on the football team, where we completed a winning season as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions at Division-1 football.
All-in-all, being an NSHSS scholarship recipient has helped me achieve my goals by providing financial relief from the heavy costs of college and continuing my education another semester debt-free. My plan once I get my Masters of Industrial Engineering is to develop a sustainable future for cities that experience major natural disasters consistently. I hope to help those affected and provide a safer quality of life for my community!
Eljin participated in our expert scholarship panel during Scholar's Day Atlanta. Check out Eljin as he discusses his process through earning scholarships.