by Bre Woods, 2018 Opportunity 34 scholarship recipient
One of the biggest impacts on my life happened upon receiving the Opportunity 34 Scholarship to use towards my college education. The impact did not stem so much from the money, but from the root of it all — Will Kellerman. Will Kellerman was a former Verona Area High School student and basketball player who tragically passed away shortly after his twenty-first birthday.
Even though I never got to know or meet him in person, I was privileged enough to be a part of the legacy that he left behind—one of compassion, diligence, and leadership. Learning about Will from those who loved and cared for him the most, inspired me to look at my own life and decide what was really important to me. In this search, I came to realize that my own life goals were no different than Will’s — I want to spread love and compassion to those all around me, strive to be the best version of myself, and be someone who others can look to for guidance, support, and encouragement.
Will’s life and everything that he stood for made me realize that I was taking my life and academic opportunities for granted. So many times I had woken up and dreaded the thirty-minute commute to my 8:30 AM lecture to learn about two-dimensional projectile motion and fluid dynamics. But after my grueling thoughts came and went, I realized that I needed to change my mindset.
To put this into perspective, it means that every time I wake up it should be seen as another opportunity to spread love and kindness to those around me. Another opportunity to try again at something that I may have failed yesterday. And, it’s another opportunity to go to class and learn when not everyone has the privilege of doing so.