East High School senior receives $40,000 Kind World Foundation scholarship
For as long as she can remember, Trinity Edwards knew that school was the place where she could dream about her future.
It was also the place where the 18-year-old felt the most safe.
“Some of my classmates hated going to class,” Edwards said. “School was always like a second home for me.”
That was because Edwards and her younger siblings Tanner and Nativity grew up in a small trailer home with their parents. When mom and dad became less of a presence in their lives, the three kids moved in with their grandma.
More recently, Edwards, a soon-to-be East High School graduate, has been living with the family of a friend.
“I had to grow up quickly,” she admitted. “Guess I didn’t had any other choice.”
Edwards’ story caught the attention of Marcia Waitt, the scholarship and education program chairman of the Kind World Foundation.
So did Edwards’ essay question, work ethic, personal recommendations, school internships and greater than 4.30 grade point average (GPA).
“Trinity’s intelligence and level of maturity blew me and the Kind World Foundation committee away,” Waitt said. “Our program was created for deserving students like Trinity.”
Since 2009, the Kind World Foundation, founded by former Gateway executive Norm Waitt Jr., has awarded more than $3 million to hundreds of high school seniors from eight metro high schools: Sioux City East, North, West, and Bishop Heelan; South Sioux City; Dakota Valley; Sergeant Bluff-Luton; and Elk Point-Jefferson.
Edwards was selected to receive a $40,000 scholarship from the Kind World Foundation. It’s the highest monetary post-secondary award the local nonprofit group annually presents.
Edwards will use the scholarship to study elementary education at Creighton University, in Omaha, in the fall.
“I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in kindergarten,” she explained. “People would ask me why don’t you go into interior design or something like that? I’d say no, because becoming a teacher had always been my dream.”
Edwards said she wants to back all of the teachers who’ve inspired her over the years.
A standout athlete who was also active in student government, Edwards has juggled two part-time jobs as well as full slate of Advanced Placement courses throughout high school.
“While tenacity and determination aren’t things that can’t be taught, I know there were teachers who were always pulling for me,” she said. “I want to be that type of teacher for my own students.”
Reflecting on her life so far, Edwards doesn’t worry about obstacles. Instead, she concentrates on the challenges and goals yet to be met.
However, she still has time for her friends.
“We hang out at Panera Bread or Chick-fil-A for study groups,” Edwards said with a laugh. “But we make sure not to study for too long.”
A few weeks prior to her high school graduation, Edwards is proud of everything she has accomplished.
“You don’t need to grow up in a perfect situation to succeed,” she said. “You just need to be willing to work hard for your dreams.”