Anna graduated from Damascas HS with a 4.74 weighted GPA and 353 community service hours. She will be attending Baylor University.
Anna accomplishments include: Athletics: Varsity Cheer 4 years, Captain 1 year, FCA Member 4 years, Varsity Wrestling Team Manager 3 years, Green 13 athletic leadership award, John Brown Academic Athlete Scholar award, Hornet Leadership award
Community Achievements/Volunteer Work: Tots for God Teacher, Fuse Youth Group Counselor for girls, Difference Makers Church Worship Team Leader, Difference Makers Suicide Prevention Team Member, Inner City Homeless Outreach Team Member, Volunteer at Lorien assisted living home, After School Outreach for Damascus Gardens
Her obstacle as told be her in her application: My Uncle Nathan was magnetic, smart, creative, and talented. Everyone loved him. Everyone knew he was destined to achieve great things. My Uncle Nathan was also an addict. Unfortunately, my uncle never had the opportunity to achieve the potential everyone knew he was capable of as he tragically died in a car accident. He was not able to escape his addiction and paid the ultimate price. My uncle’s death introduced me to the pain, loss, and sadness that addiction brings to many families. My father chose to deal with this grief by helping other addicts. There was a constant stream of addicts who needed my fathers help. Oftentimes, my dad was called out on holidays, weekends, evenings to help these people through their struggles or tragedies. One Christmas Eve, as we were playing a game of cards, my dads phone rang with the news that someone whom he had been helping had shot and killed their wife and children. There were numerous calls of overdoses and many hospital visits for my dad that effected me greatly. Many of these people like my uncle did not survive their addiction. Because of these experiences I became keenly aware of the affects grief has on families and was exposed firsthand to the devastating consequences of addiction. My uncle’s death created a void in our family. I have developed a deep compassion for families who have experienced loss and for those who are affected by addiction. I have learned to have compassion for those around me. You never know the obstacles they have had to overcome to get where they are in life. I worked hard in high school despite the loss and tragedy I experienced. I hope to honor my uncle's memory by continuing to achieve success both on and off the field.
Tiffany graduated from Paint Branch H.S. with a 4.77 weighted GPA and 177 community service hours. She will be attending Temple University in the fall.
Tiffany's accomplishments include: Honor roll and straight A student, National Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, ACES ambassador, and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. Athletic: Captain of Varsity Swim and Dive ( 2 years), MVP (2022), Most improved award for swim, 2nd place in divisional championship, went to divisional championship all 4 years, and went to regional championship for all 4 years. Volunteer: Tutor for math, tutor for Japanese, help donate lifeguard, student aid.
Her obstacle: At age 16 years, her mother whom she trusted and cherished walked out of my life, leaving both her, her sister and father behind, and leaving my father to drink both his sadness and parenthood away. She lost it all and everything started to collapse. No acting as both a mother and a sister life became tough. Each day was clockwork, she would fill the role of mother to both her sister and my father and she knew that the challenges my mother left me were no ordinary tasks. Somedays she just wanted to hold her breath and stay underwater wishing that the burden fell onto somebody else. The challenges she faced pushed her boundaries of being a successful student athlete, yet forced her into a role as a leader. Leadership which was forced upon her yet she utilized the opportunity to her own benefit and for her swim team.
As a four year member of the cheer team, and a captain her senior year, Anna was a great choice as one of our recipients, especially when you consider all the great work she did outside of the classroom and the field. Congrats!
Tiffany had a successful swim and dive career in high school. Here she is goofing around in the pool during a practice! Congrats Tiffany. Be proud of your accomplishments!
Donovan Prophet – attended Sherwood High School and played basketball for 3 years all while attaining a whopping 285 SSL hours. Donovan has committed to Penn State University @ Altoona to play men’s basketball.
When Donovan was in 9th grade he was home alone and heard his father stumble down the stairs. He had a stroke and Donovan knew he was witnessing a catastrophe. His father suffered a 2nd stroke a month later and needed brain surgery but has been unable to walk or talk as he has Aphasia and is paralyzed on the right side. He became a compassionate teenager and a part time caretaker.
Instead of withdrawing from life and school he stayed committed to it and added AP classes on top of the Hones classes. He was resolute that this trauma would not rule his life or define it. Although he was cut from the basketball team his freshman year, he poured his physical energy into his basketball, which was his dream and lifeline. He learned that he couldn’t go around this pain, he had to go through it by committing to training and outworking, rising whenever he stumbled, using obstacles as stepping-stones and valuing my friendships. He committed to community service, listened to his dreams, headed into senior year with 3.5 GPA and he received 5 offers to play collegiate basketball.
His community Involvement was very involved, as he was an Eagle Scout who organized a restoration project of a Historic African-American cemetery at Good Hope Union United Methodist Church in Silver Spring. He recruited volunteers and local companies to help and met with professionals from Heritage Foundation on how to clean headstones and applied for a grant from Trader Foundation For Maryland Burial Sites to install a permanent cemetery sign.
Over the years he has volunteered to help Healthcare Service Workers during the pandemic, organized a clothing drive for Helping Up Mission in Baltimore, worked with Adopt A Road Cleanup Project, and helped pack and distribute food for Project SHARE at the Peoples Community Baptist Church,
His Honors/Awards include National Student Leadership Council @ University of San Diego, Summer 2021; Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Citizenship, Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc., Spring 2021 and a National Outdoor Achievement Award, in recognition for exemplary outdoor requirements in conservation, camping, hiking, and swimming.
Congrats to Donovan for all his achievements while dealing with all that life has thrown at him.
Welcome to Wally World!
Elijah Wormley - attended Paint Branch High School and played both varsity Baseball and soccer in his time there. He had a respectable 3.37 GPA and will be attending Penn State Brandywine Campus in the fall. Elijah has overcome Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), which is a rare condition that consists of four heart defects: pulmonary stenosis, a hole between the chambers of the heart, an enlarged right ventricle, and an aorta defect. He had his first major heart surgery at three months old and has been living with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) hi whole life. He is constantly dealing with heart-focused anxiety and concerns about mortality and has battled depression over his disease.
He says that playing soccer keeps him healthy and active and gives him hope. He says, “I Hope that no matter what may be expected of me, I can do more. I monitor my activity, know when I can push it, and when I need rest. Yes, I have some restrictions, but my options are endless. My heart disease does not limit me, only my brain can do that. Character traits that have helped me overcome are resilience, grit, and perseverance. In my position as goalkeeper, I have learned to take charge and use my own voice to lead the team."
Elijah volunteers his time serving the homeless and mentoring kids through my church and in Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts has also afforded him the opportunity to learn many life skills and he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2021!
In 2020, he was selected to be part of a student leadership mission team to Mexico through Youth with a Mission and in 2019, he was chosen to attend the United Nations General Assembly Conference as a youth delegate. The conference’s goal is to collaborate is to equip and encourage youth to learn, think critically and take action on real-world issues.
Congrats to Elijah, for overcoming his serious lifelong medical issues. We are proud to have you on the Wally World Team!
Elijah's senior picture
Donovan's senior picture
Donovan has committed to play hoops for Penn State Altoona
Hannah St. Laurent, attended Sherwood HS and will be going to Clemson University. She played volleyball, basketball and softball at Sherwood during her time there and was voted most improved at volleyball and basketball her junior and senior years respectively. Hannah overcame a serious bout with depression during high school brought on by bullying and hate directed towards her. Her determination to prove people wrong helped her out of a dark hole, and enabled her to develop confidence and trust in herself "because I’m the only one who knows the real me". She did a ton of volunteer work with numerous organizations during her high school tenure.
Congrats to Matthew Kiras, a Paint Branch student who will be attending the University of Maryland. Matthew had a 3.8 GPA, and had a whopping 456 SSL hours which included a service trip to Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief. Matthew played baseball at PB. He had a severe Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV) as a kid, which led to collapsed lungs and eventually a tracheostomy and a complete airway reconstruction, which led ultimately to a narrow airway which limited his ability to breath normally. Matthew was known as a happy young man, which is evident in his picture here, showing the smile that was constantly on his face.
Kate is a graduate of Paint Branch HS and will be attending York College of PA in the fall to play softball. Kate performed over 325 hours of SSL hours while overcoming a significant death in the family.
Nomso is a graduate of Gaithersburg HS and will be attending UMBC in the fall to study Computer Science Cyber Security. Nomso also overcame the death of a family member and performed over 384 hours in the community.
The WHMF is VERY proud of Cimiya
March 2019 - In an email update from Cimiya, she said.....
During my first semester at Morgan State, I got involved with a lot of social activities regarding Liberal Arts as a whole. I participated in a mural bike tour which featured the Geography and Religious Studies department and I currently work in the Psychology Department Neuroscience Lab run by Dr. Ingrid Tulloch. I joined my university’s Army ROTC program and continue to thrive in the classroom. I finished my first semester with a 3.5 GPA and I strive to do better my second semester. College has definitely taught me that whatever effort we put in, the results we get are the outcome. It also has encouraged me to be proactive and to be confident in myself - knowing that I belong at the table just as much as anyone else. I plan to continue to use my demographics and my passion for change and new experiences as a guiding light for others to better there life and to pursue their dreams sooner rather than later.
I am able to send you some more pictures sometime next week when my professors are able to get them to me. I appreciate everything the Walter Hardy foundation has done for me.
See the message I received recently from Yonas:
My academic and athlete career at the University of Dubuque has jumped to a great start. I’m proud to announce that as a true freshman in college I was able to wrestle varsity and earn a letter. Along with the success on mat, I was also able to make an impact on my new community by volunteering locally with environmental cleanup. I would like to personally thank you guys for giving me this opportunity.
Yonas is shown above at one his wrestling matches during his freshman year at University of Dubuque.
Cimiya played lacrosse, basketball, soccer and softball during her time at Blake, eventually becoming the second highest goal scorer in school history! Also during her time there, she won the African American Academic Excellence Award, was on the Honor Roll, won a sportsmanship award, was MVP of the basketball team. Cimiya overcame a very difficult broken home environment, to succeed in school (3.57 GPA) and in athletics. Cimiya is pictured below and will attend Morgan State in the fall.
Yonas Harris - pictured to the left and below, was from the Northwest HS class of 2018 - Yonas also has a fascinating story. Growing up as young boy in Ethiopia, he lost both parents at age 8 and lived in an orphanage for a year before being adopted and moving to the US, where he quickly learned to speak English. He wrestled all four years in high school, and finished his career with a record of 108-19, including being a 2 X county champ, 2 X regional champ, and by winning a state championship his senior year. Academically, he graduated from the Academy of Finance at Northwest HS, performed 246 hours of community service, mostly spent helping kids with severe disabilities. He has enrolled in the University of Dubuque (Iowa) and plans to wrestle while there.
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