Never Too Young to Make a Difference

Kailey Young, the Carson Scholar

Junior Kailey Young was first nominated for the Carson Scholars Fund when she was in fifth grade, and she has received it a total of six times since, including her most recent win in March of 2021.

Young’s first time receiving the Carson scholarship. Photo courtesy of Kailey Young.

According to Young, “The Carson Scholars Fund awards $1,000 scholarships to students in grades 4-11 who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities.”
Indeed, the Carson Scholars Fund is extremely selective. Students are not allowed to apply themselves; they must be nominated by a teacher. Young was nominated by her elementary school’s principal. In addition, recipients of this scholarship must have above a 3.75 GPA.

It is no surprise that Young qualified for and received this award. Throughout the course of her life, she has volunteered at the Elkridge Branch library, tutored for NHS, coached middle school girls in volleyball, organized a COVID safe photoshoot with Santa for Kids, and participated in a dance company that performed at charity events and dances at senior centers.
In reference to her volunteering, Young says, “I have learned how far helping people and keeping your grades up can take you in life. I enjoy the volunteer opportunities because they are always fun and a great learning experience.”

Young’s most recent Carson scholarship.

Young’s volunteer work is not her only afterschool activity that sets her apart. She is a member of the Pink Ribbon club, Lightning leaders, and National Honors Society while also playing lacrosse, volleyball and managing the wrestling team. She even managed to fit in a few theatre performances!
Out of all these activities, Young’s favorite was being captain of the volleyball team. She enthuses, “It gave me a chance to grow as a leader while also doing something that I love.”
Young’s volleyball coach, Jennifer Vanoosten, raves about Kailey’s role as a captain, saying, “Kailey has a quiet confidence that exudes leadership…Kailey has a personality that draws people to her. She is the definition of leadership.”
In addition, Junior Isabella Mora has been on the volleyball team with Kailey Young for three years, and she has nothing but good things to say about her captain.
“Kailey contributes to the team by constantly being a positive and hilarious person,” Mora comments. “Even when times get tough and we doubt ourselves, Kailey is always there to support us. I’m really proud to say that she also shows a strong sense of grit when put in a difficult situation.”
Mora describes Young’s leadership style as “supportive, encouraging, and realistic…She has been a pillar of support for me in my volleyball career.”

Photo courtesy of Kailey Young.

Most impressive of all is Young’s ability to connect with her players. Coach Jen explains, “She guides other players in where their positioning should be on the court…Off the court, she is helping other students with their transition back into the school building by showing them around and helping them ease into this difficult, sometimes scary, transition.”
Mora observes, “She’s been able to create strong bonds with all of our teammates and bring out the best in each individual. She understands that everyone is going to struggle with something in their sport and lives; however, the tiniest amount of hope or belief that you have in someone could do a lot for that person.”
Overall, Kailey feels “great to be a Carson scholar” and says that it is “something I am really proud of. It always feels nice to be recognized for hard work, especially for something I enjoy doing.”
While the recognition is undoubtedly important, Young also mentions what the scholarships mean for her future, saying, “I feel as though being a Carson scholar will help me get my college education off on the right foot.”

Young also emphasizes that none of this would have been possible without the support she receives from family and staff members, and she thoroughly appreciates all of their help and guidance.