Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Rylie's Highlights before She turns Eighteen

Our daughter is such a remarkable young woman, she's very mature for her age.  At seventeen, she has accomplished a lot of things.  
Knows How to Read and Write Before Kindergarten

We taught both of our two children  at home during their pre-school years.   Hubby and I agreed that I stayed home and take care of our kids.  It's not  ideal  financially but it's a great decision that hubby and I made.  We knew that our daughter  is one smart cookie even when she was way little.  She just have that  eagerness in learning new things.
She has that patience and focus for learning compared to our happy-go-lucky son lol.  I mean, our son is equally smart as hers but he doesn't have the focus that she has.  She knew how to read and write before she started kindergarten which I am so glad that my husband and I were their first hands-on teachers.  Her friends even joke about her being smart because she was homeschooled during pre-school.

Winner of an International Smile Contest

She was the winner of an international smile contest for the month of October 2009. This contest was sponsored by Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada.  We were in South Korea when this was held.  

Gifted Program from 2nd Grade to 8th Grade

When she was in second grade, she was tested for the gifted program at school and passed.  It was a great middle school learning experience for her as she got to do extra stuff that she didn't do in the regular classroom.  Below are some of the projects she did.

Doodle for Google State Winner

She's into arts when she was young so her art teacher  (thank you Mrs. Wright!)  recommended her to enter the Doodle for Google contest.  She was the winner for our state, West Virginia.  Some of the representative from Google came to Weirton to celebrate her win and brief her what to do for the national round which was held in California.  She didn't win the national round but it was a great experience for her and for us as well. We got to explore the Google headquarters.

Kinsley S. Ard Memorial Talent Show Winner

First Prize on  the Kinsley S. Ard Memorial Talent Show held at Milton J. Weinberg Theater, on March 28, 2014 against 14 other participants.  She played Hunter on the piano.

Anti Bullying Contest Winner

She won  the anti-bullying contest art contest in 2016.  For her entry, she  combined her passion for arts and baking into  one idea and it turned out well.  

A Time To Heal Racism Art Contest Winner

She was the grand prize winner of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development art contest with the topic I mentioned above.

Healthy Soils Full of Life Art Contest Winner

She won the art contest dubbed as Healthy Soils: Full of Life sponsored by the Northern Panhandle Conservation District on May 5, 2017.  She received a cash award sent as check in the mail.  We were not able to  go to the  awarding ceremony due to schedule conflict with her sports but it was really a good opportunity  where her art talent shined.  

History Bowl Finalist

Her team was the runner up in the History Bowl  in the regional round in Wheeling and was one of the finalists on the championship round in Charleston, WV.

Aquinas Medal Awardee for 2019

She was named and awarded 2019 Aquinas medal Recipient for St Joseph the Worker. We attended the  25th Annual Bishops Dinner for Catholic Schools on Sunday, April 7, in Morgantown, West Virginia where the awarding ceremony was held. This is the highest honor a student can receive from the diocese. The award recognizes students for their outstanding qualities of faithful discipleship, academic excellence, leadership and service to school, parish and community, reflecting the ideals of Catholic education epitomized by St Thomas Aquinas the patron saint of students.

Class President, Freshman to Senior Year

She served as the class president from freshman year till senior year.  (2019-2023).  This is a great leadership experience for her.  We let her lead without us interfering too much, she gets to decide what fundraising they do and we just support her whatever she needs.  I think it is important that class officers make decision and not the parents.  If parents would decide for them then there would be no learning avenue for these kids.  I am glad that our daughter gets to do it with very little influence from us.  I think she did a great job.

National Honor Society Member

She is a member of the National Honor Society.  She excels in academics that's because she put her 100% effort into it.  

National Merit Semifinalist

She was one of the 3 named as National Merit Semifinalist in Northern Panhandle schools.  

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition in which high school students compete for college scholarships and recognition. The program is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a privately-funded non-profit organization. Winning a National Merit Scholarship is a fairly difficult undertaking.

SAT and ACT Scores

Our daughter doesn't have additional preparation in taking the ACT and SAT, she rely on the information she have learned from school.  Some of the kids in her class has tutors prior for taking these tests so they have advantage.  Our daughter does good though without tutors.  We bought her a couple of books but she doesn't really have time to read them.  We're pleasantly surprise though that her scores are very high.  Below is her ACT the very first time she took it, then the second time she scored 32, then she took the last one last Saturday (Oct. 22).  

Her SAT scored improved as well, I forgot what she got the first time but below was the second time she took it.  She took the last one this month and brought her score up to 1540.

Krivak Tuition Scholarship Winner

She won the Joe Krivak Tuition Scholarship for two years (2021-2022) with $500 prize credited towards her tuition.  Every year, the school encourage students to write an essay to be selected as the scholarship recipient.  Sending  our kids to catholic private school is expensive but it's worth it.  These scholarships helps a little.

First Job as a Fastfood Crew

As soon as she turned 16, she started working at Taco  Bell.  My husband was against the idea of her working but I supported her  decision on working.  I think it is a great avenue for her to deal with people which is a hard thing for her being an introvert.  It also give her the freedom to have her own finances.  She pays for her gas and occasional eating out and she's so happy that she have her own money in the bank.

Rhododendron Girls State

This wasn't one of her fondest experience but I think it pushed her out of her comfort zone for being shy.  Although she said she didn't really enjoy the experience but it's something that she realized that in life, not everything is a bed of roses, that there are  a lot of curbs and bumps along the way.  I still think that Rhododendron Girls State was a good learning experience for her.  She's an introvert so meeting new people and interacting with them can be very uncomfortable at first but I'm glad she went, she gained few friends that she still keep in contact with.
Nomination to the Academies

On October 10th, she received the nomination for both Naval and Air Force Academies from Rep. McKinley.  She interviewed for the Senator Manchin virtually.  She forfeited her interview with  Sen. Capito because it was on the Homecoming Court Day.   This process has been difficult.  We were not sure if she was still interested in going to the naval academy because she didn't put much effort in putting together the stuff that she needs.  We were on a time crunch but eventually sent her applications on time.  We're glad and relieved that she got the nomination.  Got her physical test and medical exams done  and submitted her application.  She attended the Academy Training Day that Sen. Manchin hosted at WVU on August 27th.  Now, the waiting game begins and that's the hard part.

OVAC AllStar Volleyball Player

She was selected to play for the OVAC (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) All Stars representing her school for volleyball.  She played with different other all-star athletes from other schools in West Virginia at Morristown Ohio.  It was an exciting match and so happy that the mountaineers won.  WV team hasn't won the match for few years so it was so exciting that my daughter was part of the winning team.  The game took place last November 21st of 2022.
She did a really good job representing her team and the school.
US Presidential Scholars Program Candidate for 2023

We received a letter from the United States Department of Education informing us that our daughter is named as a candidate in the 2023 US Presidential Scholars Program.  I think it's a huge honor not only for her but to the school as well.  We have the Madonna faculty and staff to thank for,  for providing quality education to the students.
National Merit Finalist

In September 2022, NMSP (National Merit Scholarship Corporation) selected about 16,000 students.  The school was informed that our daughter advances as a finalist and sent this certificate of merit.
St. Aquinas Medal Awardee

She told us that the Madonna High School principal informed her that she will be this year's St. Aquinas medal awardee.  We still yet to get the confirmation for  it from school so I can't say for sure yet but I will definitely update this when that time comes.  
It's official, she will have the St. Aquinas Medal.  

US Naval Academy Appointment

It is now official that she will be attending the US Naval Academy.  She was sick last week when Senator Manchin's office called to inform her about the appointment.  She didn't get to share the big news with us until this weekend when she was feeling a little better.  She received the certificate of appointment this week and accepted it.
I'd like to thank St. Joseph School and Madonna High School for nurturing and instilling great catholic values in both of our kids.  

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