Moving Forward in Life: Meet our 2023 Scholarship Winner

Brianna Botwinick

In a world where the pursuit of education often comes with financial burdens, stories like Brianna Botwinick's emphasize the transformative power of scholarships.

Brianna, a student majoring in Sociology and Multicultural Anthropology at the University of Central Florida, recently emerged victorious in the annual $3000 WellBefore scholarship competition, where her essay on the history and impact of disposable gloves distinguished her among approximately 2000 participants.

Brianna's journey to success has been marked by resilience and determination. Facing challenges such as financial independence since the age of 17, she has navigated her academic path with strength and commitment. When asked about the scholarship, she expressed: "Scholarships really make a difference because it's not just about being able to get textbooks but also the little things like pens or notebooks. There's so much cost to college beyond the things that are textbooks and supplies". Winning the WellBefore scholarship was, in her words, "a real sigh of relief," as this scholarship will not only assist with textbook expenses but also address often-overlooked costs like software and electronics essential for academic success.

Botwinick's winning essay on the creation of disposable gloves and their impact on hygiene is a testament to her unique perspective within the field of Sociology and Anthropology that comes with a deep passion for understanding social complexities that often go unnoticed. She joyfully expressed: "A lot of people don't really think how a lot of medical tools, medical devices, means of sanitization, and things like that came into existence. And when I saw this, off the top of my head, I couldn’t really think of exactly how that happened: how did medical gloves come into existence, what's its history and I thought I wanted to research about that: what was done before this, what was the trial and error, where was this happening, who is this with. It's just very, very interesting to me".

That same analytical view was reflected in her reply about her major choice: "I need to understand society apart from academics, apart from a career, [I need] something that will help me move forward in life and in the world and be successful – not just in a career or financially, but emotionally and physically […]. Social theories and social issues helped me understand myself better and understand exactly how certain things had happened to me".

The moment Brianna found out she won the scholarship, she vividly recalled: "When I first saw the email, I was driving home from South Carolina with my boyfriend to see his family, and I opened up my email, and I started screaming” reflecting that the WellBefore scholarship, for Brianna, is more than financial aid – it's a stimulus for her academic and professional aspirations. As she embarks on her professional journey, Brianna envisions herself handling the technicalities of a company, from hiring and project coordination to organizing events and outreach. Her multidimensional approach, shaped by her academic and personal background, positions her as a future leader capable of navigating the complexities of the professional world.

Brianna Botwinick's success story, from facing challenges to winning the WellBefore scholarship, serves as an inspiration for future scholars, emphasizing the importance of dedication, curiosity, and a deep understanding of social dynamics.

This 2024, we keep our promise towards a better tomorrow through education by renewing our scholarship program, you can learn more here.