The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

Weather


  • 10 PM
    82 °
  • 11 PM
    81 °
  • 12 AM
    80 °
  • 1 AM
    79 °
  • 2 AM
    78 °
  • 3 AM
    77 °
  • 4 AM
    77 °
  • 5 AM
    76 °
  • 6 AM
    76 °
  • 7 AM
    77 °
  • 8 AM
    79 °
  • 9 AM
    81 °
  • 10 AM
    84 °
  • 11 AM
    86 °
  • 12 PM
    89 °
  • 1 PM
    91 °
  • 2 PM
    93 °
  • 3 PM
    94 °
  • 4 PM
    93 °
  • 5 PM
    91 °
  • 6 PM
    90 °
  • 7 PM
    89 °
  • 8 PM
    87 °
  • 9 PM
    85 °
  • 10 PM
    84 °
June 23
93°/ 73°
Sunny
June 24
95°/ 75°
Partly Cloudy
June 25
95°/ 75°
Partly Cloudy
Archives

Seniors win $4,000 in Scholarships through Destination Imagination

Students+attended+the+Texas+Destination+Imagination+State+Competition+award+ceremony+at+the+Globe+Life+field+in+Arlington%2C+Texas.
Students attended the Texas Destination Imagination State Competition award ceremony at the Globe Life field in Arlington, Texas.

Seniors Rachel Reynolds and Xavier Leffler were awarded a cumulative $4000 in scholarships at the Destination Imagination State Award ceremony on April 13. Destination Imagination (DI) fosters creative problem solving through competition, with levels spanning from elementary to University.

“I was pretty surprised when I heard my name,” Reynolds said. “In my head it felt like a numbers game, and I kept wondering how many people applied and how many people were seniors, trying to determine my chances of winning.”

Reynolds applied for the $1,000 Texas DI Scholarship, which required students to write an essay highlighting their contributions to the program in the format of a persuasive essay, arguing why someone should join DI. Additionally, Reynolds had to answer several follow up questions, inquiring about the awards she had won and her DI volunteer experience.

“I have been doing DI since I was in third grade, so about 10 years,” Reynolds said. “I chose to apply because I am really passionate about DI and honestly I wanted free money to help pay for college.”

In addition to the Texas DI Scholarship, one graduating senior is awarded the Sue Shanks TX DI Memorial Scholarship, the highest state-level scholarship, for participation in DI programs and upholding the legacy of Sue Shanks, the late Affiliate Director of Texas DI.

“I didn’t know if I’d win or not just because it was the top scholarship and the only one that was $3,000,” Leffler said. “I was really happy to hear my name and super thankful to DI and Sue Shanks.
For the Sue Shanks Scholarship, students engineered an instant challenge, a DI staple for which competitors are presented with a problem and are prompted to come up with a solution in under five minutes. Leffler created a Hot Wheels based challenge, requiring students to construct a bridge for the cars to cross.

“I found it interesting to be on the other side of the challenge writing process rather than reading and trying to solve them,” Leffler said. “I had to figure out how to reverse engineer the situation.”

Both Reynolds and Leffler have participated in DI since elementary school, and believe it has helped them develop skills that will aid them in the real world.

“One of the things I have liked about DI is that parents aren’t allowed to interfere or help you at all,” Reynolds said. “It is very student-led, so if I wanted to learn how to do something, I had to teach myself and do it on my own.”

Leffler attributes DI for helping him grow into the person he is today and develop his social skills.

“When I first joined DI I was a super shy, timid kid,” Leffler said. “My best friend convinced me to join and it felt like a huge culture shock. DI was completely different from what I was used to, but it really helped me find my voice and personality, as well as bring out more social and outgoing aspects of myself.”

While both Leffler and Reynolds are sad to move on from the competition portion of DI, they are grateful for the opportunities it has offered them and plan on volunteering for the program throughout college and beyond.

“I have done DI for so long that I have kind of gotten used to spending the weekend sitting in my garage and building something, so I’m sad that I will be moving on from that,” Reynolds said. “It’s just kind of bittersweet because all my hard work has paid off, and I have received these scholarships, but at the same time, this was my last competition.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mary Bahrami
Mary Bahrami, Staff Reporter
Mary Bahrami is a junior and is excited for her first year on staff. Mary is also an athlete on the Steiner Ranch Mountain Biking team and a member of yearbook staff. Outside of school, Mary loves to read, write, and spend time with friends.

Comments (0)

All Vandegrift Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *