2006 Scholarship Winners

jl_pool_20_smallIn 2006, we awarded a $750 to Kasondra VanPykeren-Gerth and a $500 scholarship to Trevor Shanklin. Good luck to both of these amazing tall teens!

Kasondra VanPykeren-Gerth

Graduated from Roseville HS to attend UC Santa Cruz. Wants to work for the United Nations abroad.

Kasondra’s Essay – What Being Tall Means To Me

Being tall means riding the first scary roller coasters at Great America before the rest of my friends.

Being tall means acting as an asset to the volleyball, basketball, and swim team.

Being tall means striding confidently and holding my head up high, literally.

Being tall is my characteristic. My height has defined my elegant glide. I’ve sprouted to six feet and I love it. From the first day of Kindergarten to the last day of High School, I have been one of the tallest in my class. Unfortunately, through one insecure year, being tall did mean hunching my shoulders, limiting my dating choices, and confining the types of shoes I could wear. But as I have grown into and mentally up to my vertical stance, I now cherish my sky-reaching potentials. I accept and welcome being extraordinary, above average, and a stand out in a crowd.

Being tall means never having to struggle for a position to view the surrounded street shows of San Francisco.

Being tall means feeling extra-excited when you find clothes that are long enough or cute shoes that are big enough.

Being tall means having long enough arms to help reach what someone else my not be able to.

Being tall gives me confidence. I feel stronger when I stand up straight, elongate my spine, and fulfill my entire potential. For me, being tall is more than a physical state. Tall is a place of mind. For me, it’s knowing that I am perfect as I am. Unearthing my pride in being tall leads me to accept and enjoy everything from the color of my hair to what I choose to do in life. I am not embarrassed of my passions, my style, my family, or anything I am. My height is me and it has helped me realize, recognize, and overcome any insecurity I formerly had.

Being tall is being me; it’s part of who I am.

Trevor Shanklin

Graduated from El Camino Fundamental High School to attend UC Davis. He wants to be a physician.

Trevor’s Essay – What Being Tall Means To Me

Let me just start off by saying that I should not have been tall. My mother was a towering 5’5” and my dad is 5’9” on a good day. When I went to my first day of school I felt as though I had missed the call for school years ago because of how I towered above all of the other kids. Everyone thinks that being tall is a physical trait, but I think that it is more of a personality trait than anything. You could be a cocky basketball player, a passive giant or, if you are like me, take advantage of the stereotypes that everyone assumes about you and run with them. When you’re tall you stand out and kids, friends, and even teachers perceive you as someone different. You get more attention as a result. Others believe that because you are tall you are not to be messed with. That could be true for some, but in the case of my brother and I it could not me further from the truth. I do no even think that I would be able to throw a punch if the time called for it. Yet I keep thinking that I can take on my old man (a big mistake).

I love being tall; it makes everything so much easier. But there is a downfall to being too tall. It’s a disease called “uncoordinated-ness” and it has been the fuel for my laughter for many years. In the water I feel as if I’m in my element, but put me on the blacktop with a basketball and watch out because things are going to get scary. If you’re tall then you are going to have to laugh a yourself every once in a while because the odds are you’re going to fall, trip or crash into anything that consumes space in this world.

Being tall to me means to seize the day, carpe diem, have fun, just do something. You have to live your life to the fullest and be happy while doing it, but you are not to live your life at the expense of someone else’s happiness. You aren’t to allow being tall get to your head. I know so many guys that think they are the coolest things to happen to this world since sliced bread and they treat others like dirt. If you live your life like that then eventually no one will want to be around you. Being tall is like being a superhero; you have to use your powers for good and not evil. When my mother passed away this last year I realized how precious life really is and how fast it can be taken away from you. The one thing that I remembered about her funeral was that there were hundreds of people there for her. It was not just the fact that she just knew a lot of people, but because she treated those people with all of the kindness of her heart. There is one saying that I wish all tall individuals would live my more: “The superior man … does not set his mind either for anything or against anything; what is right he will follow.” -Confucius

Trevor’s Thank You Letter

Trevor (our second place $500 recipient) sent us the following thank you letter that we wanted to share with you:

Dear Sacramento Tall Club,

I would like to thank you again for giving me this scholarship. You have no idea how much this will help me in college. I think this last year was the most stressful year of my life. I mean trying to get into college alone was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, but then trying to finance that accomplishment is truly a feat when it’s #23,000 a year. I don’t think that I would be able to go to Davis due to the fact that I would have to pay for it entirely and that there is no way that I can come up with that kind of money, but after I won I got the confidence to apply for more scholarships. I applied for eight in all and received seven of them. With all of the scholarships I am happy to say that I have successfully paid off my entire first year of college without any loans necessary. Words cannot express how I fell and how much gratitude your organization truly deserves. You are a beautiful group of people who deserve more than you are given credit for. Your compassion and admiration for others has the power to bring happiness to all of those who you help. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. And I will definitely tell every tall person I know to apply for your club.

Trevor Shanklin

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