South Florida philanthropist and entrepreneur Christopher Frederic Veale, proud announces the winner of the 2021 scholarship award.
The committee behind the Christopher Veale Scholarship recently announced the recipient of its 2021 award, Aysha Vaughan. Currently, Aysha is excelling in her studies at Old Dominion University, but what most impressed the scholarship committee was Aysha’s lifelong perseverance. “We never know what life is going to throw at us. But we must be able to adjust, pivot, and keep moving forward,” said Mr. Christopher Veale. He went on to say, “Aysha shared a lot of details about the obstacles she was faced with all throughout her life, and time and time again she pushed through. It was very inspiring to our whole team.”
A few years ago, Aysha’s family was suddenly struck with the first of many traumatic situations when her father was tragically involved in an explosion at the Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia. While thankfully he survived, Aysha’s father would face months of recovery between life support and burn trauma. Despite the concerns and uncertainty of what the outcome would be, Aysha and her siblings continued to give their all in school as their parents had always taught them to. This commitment paid off as her and her sisters continued to excel in their academics even as they struggled to cope with their father’s recovery, their parents’ divorce, and even homelessness.
“Aysha is a champion! Despite the odds being stacked against her and having every reason in the book to not perform, she did what few would – she kept fighting. Not only for herself, not only for her family, but for others like her. I think that’s the true mark of a champion. Someone who not only survives for themselves, but one that then reaches back to help others,” Christopher Veale stated. Ms. Vaughan not only thrived in her academics, but she also participated in various sports, which she credits for helping her ward off anxiety and depression. While statistical reports have found that an overwhelming number of children from single parent homes who experience economic hardships most often suffer academically and discontinue their education in high school, Aysha beat the odds. She began working a job at the age of sixteen to assist her mother with household expenses and successfully juggled working, sports, and her studies. “Life flipped my family upside down many times. Who would’ve thought I’d be sitting here writing a college essay? I could’ve easily retreated to an easily justifiable excuse; however, tenacity and perseverance are qualities that my hard-working mother has taught myself and my siblings,” Aysha shared. “As the product of a single mother raising three daughters on a working-class salary, all of the struggles have only made me stronger,” she continued.
Aysha is a psychology major whose goal is to continue to develop herself and serve in a career where she’ll be able to give back to communities of people with the same level of perseverance and integrity that her mother exemplified. “I would like to invest my time, energy, and resources in becoming the best adolescent counselor, to help meet the emotional needs of a suffering community of young people,” Aysha concluded.
For more further information on the Christopher Veale Scholarship and how to apply, interested students can visit https://www.ChristopherVealeScholarship.com