Hello! My name is Sydney Elizabeth Shadrick, but most people simply call me ‘Syd.’ I am beyond thrilled and honored to have been chosen as a Wilson Scholar! I am originally from Lake Zurich, IL, aka the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I chose Appalachian because Boone feels like home to me, and I have loved App since the moment I first stepped foot on campus. I am extremely excited about the highly-esteemed Reich College of Education and the opportunity to study Special Education with a minor in Spanish. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember and am ecstatic to continue that pursuit at Appalachian State to make my dream come true.
What am I most excited about? There are too many things to pick just one! I am extremely excited for my classes and to be a part of the Watauga Residential College. I would love to join a sorority and am looking forward to participating in various clubs and service organizations. I cannot wait to adventure and try new things, as the mountains are so much more exciting than the flat plains of Lake Zurich!
I have been extremely involved throughout high school, ending my four years having participated in nine clubs and having held a leadership position in six of them. In addition, I am a frequent babysitter and am definitely going to miss all of ‘my kids’ next year! I also work at SRACLC (the Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County), an organization that provides recreational programs to individuals with special needs, and I hope to find a similar program in Boone. Additionally, I started a charity called ‘Kid’s Kets’ with a mission to buy stuffed animals and blankets for kids in hospitals, and I am hoping to grow this program by bringing it to Boone.
I hope to gain knowledge, connections, life-long friends, and study abroad experiences that I would not have been exposed to without this scholarship. Although I have never traveled outside the country, I would love to travel all around the world and experience many different cultures. This scholarship is the most amazing opportunity I have ever been given.
Some random and fun facts about me: I love music (especially Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran); I am a huge fan of the book and movie “The Fault in Our Stars;” I love game nights and hope to have many at App; and I am an elephant fanatic and a two-time hedgehog parent.
Lastly, I am a very social and optimistic person. I attempt to spread happiness wherever I go, and I wholeheartedly believe in the strength and power of a positive attitude. I will conclude with a quote by Charles Swindoll that both guides and inspires me: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...We are in charge of our attitudes."