Bio-Med student grows through her setbacks

We are proud to announce Savanna Marie Dreger earned an honorable mention in the Ohio STEM Learning Network high school essay contest. Savanna Marie Dreger is a senior at Bio-Med Science Academy in Rootstown, Ohio. She plans to attend college at Kent State University for Pre-Nursing, and hopes to get her Master’s degree in Photography.

Submitting her essay, Savanna included this acknowledgement: “I would like to thank Ms. Hisey, my english teacher and Mr. Monegan, my history teacher, for their help throughout my journey at Bio-Med. They have made a huge impact on me and have been so incredibly helpful and understanding to all of my situations that have occurred in the past.”

This is our last student essay for the 2016-2017 school year. If you’d like to hear about next essay competition and other announcements, be sure to sign up here.

Read essay below:

My birth certificate may say that I was born in July 2000, however 2003 was the beginning of my life. I was turning three when I was adopted and my life changed. My mother homeschooled myself and my four other siblings until going into high school. Doing this not only helped me get a deeper understanding of the information I was learning, but gave me more time to be around my family as a child.

When I was eleven years old I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. At the time soccer was a big part of my life and these chronic illnesses had a major impact on how much I could play. On top of these initial setbacks, I was diagnosed with celiac disease which forced me to make a drastic change in my diet. I continued to play soccer up until my junior year of high school, when I was forced to walk away as my conditions began to affect my performance in the classroom and on the soccer field. Sometimes the hardest decisions are the best decisions and this was one of them.

Going into my eighth-grade year in the summer of June 2013, my mother passed away suddenly. Up to this point in my life, I was home-schooled by my mother. She quit her teaching job before I was adopted to allow her to be present and accommodating for my various medical needs. After my mother’s death, homeschooling was no longer an option. At the time, I was in a wheelchair from my JRA; I felt like I was failing at life. My local home school district of Rootstown consisted of a three-story building without a handicap elevator. My dad and I had to act quickly to find a school to enroll me into; fortunately, a new STEM public school across the street from Rootstown high school was started the year prior to my mother’s passing. It was a program across the street from Rootstown High School called Bio-Med Science Academy. The school had an elevator and seemed compatible with my needs, so at this time we decided that I would skip eighth grade and go straight into my ninth-grade year.

Skipping a grade was a difficult experience and a complicated one, but it didn’t stop me from being the most successful person I could be. I have fought with my chronic illnesses all through my high school career; going through many surgeries for various reasons have caused many setbacks, but these setbacks didn’t stop me from doing the best I could do. My health hasn’t stopped me from trying my hardest in anything that I do and I will not let it defeat me now that I am so close to my next step in life.

My high school career has been full of ups and downs. Through these experiences, I have learned how to balance my time, work ahead, and find time to enjoy the process of learning. Most of the things that I have gone through in my life have only reminded me that not all good things in life are always here to stay and failure doesn’t define a person. I have used the tragic events in my life to become stronger, more determined, and more focused for my future.

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