The Sunflower Initiative launches its second decade by awarding not one, but two, Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarships for 2021. Kennedi Malone of Fayetteville, Georgia, and Julia Rademacher-Wedd of Chicago, Illinois, will each receive a scholarship for 2021. Although from different geographical areas and different experiences, Kennedi and Julia have chosen to attend the same women’s college. Agnes Scott College will have the good fortune to welcome our two Fitzgerald scholars to the Class of 2025.
Kennedi Malone will graduate with both academic and leadership honors and an excellent academic record from McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia, and will attend Agnes Scott College in Fall 2021.
The TSI scholarship committee was impressed by Kennedi’s maturity during the interview process. Her self-described strengths of “precise organization, clear communication, empathetic leadership” were evident in her many academic as well as extra-curricular achievements. Kennedi received awards in Spanish, World History, English, and Science, and she is an AP Scholar with Distinction. A member of her school’s STEM cohort, Kennedi has served for all four years of high school as class representative to the STEM program, which also includes community-based projects and symposia, in addition to coursework in chemistry, physics, calculus, engineering and microbiology. Her junior-year research project investigated the efficacy of sound therapy for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and hypersensitivity. She also developed a deep love of world history and art history and incorporated these subjects into her rigorous schedule with nine AP classes.
To facilitate and increase discussion of media content centering on marginalized communities, Kennedi co-founded @StayConsciousMedia, hoping to educate and engage her peers in a greater understanding of social justice issues. Kennedi curates the topics, prepares readings, and hosts this group in weekly peer-led (zoom) discussions on themes ranging from race in America to discrimination and erasure of gender and sexuality minorities in Poland. As a minority student in a majority white high school community, Kennedi’s efforts affirm her motto, “If I am to improve the quality of my life, I must amplify my voice instead of worrying about who will try to silence it.” Kennedi’s goal is to improve public health and to expand global health education. Her counselor notes that she “possesses much academic promise and is destined to achieve her goal of designing public health programs that are considerate, equitable, and effective for her community.”
Julia Rademacher-Wedd graduated in 2020 from the Whitney Young arts magnet high school in Chicago with a superb academic record in honors and AP classes, in addition to coursework in the arts program. After taking a gap year during the Covid-19 pandemic, she will enroll at Agnes Scott College in the Fall of 2021.
Although Whitney Young is an arts magnet, Julia’s balanced course of study included early completion of calculus and plenty of additional work in the sciences, along with history, literature, and politics. In addition to a heavy course load, she still made time for chorus and took the most demanding dance classes offered. She danced 20 hours a week doing choreography and participated on the school’s best competitive dance team. During high school she was so deeply moved by the violations of human rights that she saw during a school trip to the Arizona-Mexico border that she wrote an essay that won an award from the Kemper Human Rights Foundation. She has also won designation as an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Merit Commended Scholar, and an Illinois State Scholar.
After graduating, Julia explains that she deferred enrollment at Agnes Scott College in order “to support elementary school students who did not have the option to take a gap year while everyone figured it [remote learning] out.” During 2020-2021 she volunteers for Americorps in the public schools, helping fourth-graders with math and social-emotional learning. She also volunteers as Legislative Outreach Coordinator for Parole Illinois, which is devoted to winning parole for people subjected to long-term (often indefinite) incarceration. At Parole Illinois, she moved into leadership quickly, noted by those supporting her enlarged role for her communications skills, wise judgment, and remarkable ease and professionalism. She is eager to start her academic journey at Agnes Scott and pursue her interest in comparative public policy. “During my four years in community at Agnes Scott, I hope to grow in my capability to transform society through compassionate relationships and bold calls for justice.”