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2023 Awardee – Emily Dutcher – HWRA – Alta HS

Jan 27, 2023

Hardships along the High School Journey

I have learned a lot and grown tremendously through several difficult challenges in my life. After playing soccer for 9 years I received my second concussion. This concussion caused me to have a headache all day, everyday. I was struggling with school and could not exercise at all. For five months I had to do two types of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and ocular therapy. This time was very grueling and taxing on my mind, neck, and eyes. I made it through and can say with confidence that there was a plan for me. After finishing therapy, I decided it would be best to stop playing soccer. This was a very difficult decision because soccer was such a big part of my life and some of my best friends were on my team. However, I decided the risk wasn’t worth it. I decided to learn to play tennis and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I met some incredible friends through tennis. As my life started to normalize, my parents told my siblings and I that they were getting divorced. I was devastated. It felt like my family had been torn apart and things would never be the same. The divorce has been the hardest experience of my life. My family and I have had to adjust to new, difficult circumstances. But through these horrible challenges, I have gained greater understanding, awareness, perspective, and empathy, and have become a better friend and listener. I hope to use these attributes to be more sensitive to the needs of those around me throughout my life.

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