"No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking." - Voltaire
Hello! My name is Mollie Donovan, and I am so excited to be a part of the Wilson Scholars Program at App State! For the past seven years I have lived in beautiful Pensacola, Florida, but before that, I moved around in Central Florida and Lower Alabama with my family of six. I am majoring in Anthropology with a concentration in Social Practice and Sustainability. As an Appalachian student, I am looking forward to having the opportunity to do research with professors in order to narrow my passions and build a strong toolbox of knowledge that will help me to address issues that my generation may face.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had a house fire. As a result of the losses I felt, and the kindness my family and I received from the community, I decided I was going to start giving back. I began to mentor at a Title-1 elementary school, and have been a mentor there ever since. As a mentor, I worked with the kids in math and reading every day to help improve their grades, test scores, and general educational goals. What I found was most of their growth came not from an increase in the number of math problems we did together, but rather from the feeling of support I provided from the time I spent listening to them and my consistent presence each week. 100% of the children relied on the school to provide them with breakfast and lunch and often that was the only food they would get that day. Working with the kids really has opened my mind to their reality and has increased my desire to address the obstacles that they face in their education and home lives. Providing a sustainable future for these children and their families has now become a passion of mine.
In addition, I have been a part of a non-profit called Chain Reaction (CR). Chain Reaction is a teen service-learning and leadership institute where teens can serve on different projects in our community and also gain leadership roles within these projects. I began at CR on a service project called Human Jukebox. In this project, our team would put together a musical performance at the local farmer’s market downtown. All of the proceeds went to providing music lessons to a mentee at Big Brothers Big Sisters. With my interests in music and heart to serve colliding, I then found myself as the intern to the project. As I became more involved in leadership at CR, I interviewed for the position of President and was lucky enough to get the job. In the position, I was able to run a leadership council, oversee the projects, and participate in service myself! Overall, this past year has really challenged me and my leadership skills. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a leader and the responsibilities that come with being a leader.
As for my other interests, my family has always been into music and art. I love music from the 1960’s and often listen to Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin, among other artists. I also am very fond of ink pen drawing, going to concerts, and playing the electric bass, and I hope to continue these activities during my college years.
Ever since I was a 2nd grader, I was always looking for a way to expand what I knew. I would ask my mom questions about the planet at night and ask my dad all about history. As a Wilson Scholar and a student at Appalachian, I want to obtain and refine my child-like curiosity for the world and apply that skill of questioning to make our society a better place for all.
I am so humbled to be a part of the Wilson Scholars Program and am excited to spend the next four years at Appalachian! I am forever grateful for the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and all of the Faculty and staff at Appalachian for providing me with such an incredible opportunity.