Shrager & Sachs is proud to announce that we’ve chosen a winner for our first annual scholarship– for Fall 2019. We were truly humbled by the quality applications we received. Thank you to everyone who applied! It was a pleasure to read every application we received.
Congratulations to Regan J. Licciardello of Llano, Texas!
Regan will be attending Texas A&M University as an undergraduate and is planning on becoming an Endocrinologist.
This was the essay topic:
“What is the best advice you’ve ever received?”
This is her winning essay:
“My first memories include tossing stones into the lake, sitting on my brother’s lap while he encouraged me to wait until the last ripple ceased before I pitched in another stone. He explained that the larger stones had longer-lasting ripples and required more patience than smaller stones. In his calm and patient manner, he whispered “be patient, be calm, be diligent, be strong”.
I was a cherished special addition to my family, born to loving parents and my greatest hero, my brother. Even his name was special; Christopher Cash but we just called him Cash. He had brown hair, milk-and-honey skin and ocean blue eyes, and I looked exactly like him. You would think after living almost 12 years as an only child that he would have resented having this tiny bundle of pink thrust upon him, but he loved me from the very first moment he held me in his arms!
After he passed, when I was 10 years old, I learned that he had been my Easter Bunny, my Tooth Fairy and my Santa Claus. My mom told me stories about how he had used flour and boots to make “snow tracks” from Santa and about how he would stay up late to sneak the lost teeth from under my pillow, replacing them with money for me to find. He was selfless when it came to pleasing me, and it was obvious that his heart overflowed with love for me.
At age 9, Cash was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes and, although I was not yet born, the lives of my parents and brother changed dramatically. When I arrived 3 years later, my brother was still struggling to find a balance and, over 10 years, I witnessed health scares, hospitalizations and even several times when Cash lapsed into month-long comas. Our lives revolved around the next hospitalization, mounting medical expenses and my mother’s determination to provide Cash with the best childhood and medical care possible, though none of her efforts changed the ultimate outcome of this story.
When Cash died, my heart was crushed and ached like nothing I’ve ever felt before, or since. Now it was my turn, struggling to find a balance, so determination and perseverance became my catch phrases. I would imagine my brother looking down on me, whispering that I needed to be patient, be calm, be diligent and be strong, and I desperately wanted him to be as proud of me as I had been of him. I worked hard on my school work and developed strong study habits and work ethic. I took the most rigorous curriculum offered in junior high and continued on this course into high school. My immediate goal was to be ranked in the top ten students when I received my first transcript, and I realized that goal when I was ranked eighth. Recently, I graduated third in my class, and I will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station this fall. Cash would be proud, very proud, of me and of all my hard work for this accomplishment.
The best legacy I can give to my lost brother is fullness of life, joy and success. Because Cash died young, his ripple effect was small; although his ripple continues through me. When I lost Cash and struggled to work through that loss, I gained a piece of myself that had not yet existed. Losing Cash caused me to look deeper inside of others and to reach out with both sympathy and empathy when they are hurting. Mimicking my brother with his tender and gentle spirit, I have become more caring and compassionate. I desire to become an Endocrinologist who strives to help children with all types of endocrine problems, especially Juvenile Diabetes.
Cash’s advice to be patient, be calm, be diligent and be strong has served me well. I want my ripple effect, and my brother’s through me, to last long into the future. I plan to accomplish this by pursuing a medical degree, establishing a practice and touching one child at a time. My Bachelor of Science degree will be in Psychological and Brain Science so I can better understand the human brain and the chemistry behind choices that people make. Perhaps then my brother’s ripple will continue through those that I touch, and countless lives will be served by the long-lasting impact of one young man who died of Juvenile Diabetes.”
We’re pleased to announce we’ll be continuing the scholarship next year and beyond. For more information on the next entry period which will be for Fall 2020, please see our law firm’s scholarship page. Congratulations again, Regan! May all your dreams come true.