Alex Shaner Delivers Hamilton Scholarship Acceptance Speech

By Alexander K. Shaner

First and foremost I would like to apologize to all of you for not being able to appear in person to accept the scholarship. I am currently in Washington DC, working as an intern for Senator Ben Nelson.

I appreciate this scholarship, I cannot express my overall gratitude for this honor. I feel humble, and most of all appreciative to so many people. First, I am showing appreciation to the family of Howard Hamilton. His dedication to improving the world is greatly admired and through this memorial he is directly impacting the future of education. I appreciate the family for the dedication and for supporting education.

Secondly, I would like to express gratitude to the alumni and the scholarship committee for selecting me for this honor. It is the support from the alumni like you, who contribute directly to the success of Geneva-Fillmore Central Schools. I have attended many banquets, and I am sure this is as much of a success as it has been in years past and increases each year. I am honored to be from a community, which implements and dedicates so much effort to enhancing our education and most of all giving back to the community and the schools.

To give a brief introduction of myself, I am currently a first-year student at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I am a double major and pursuing degrees in politics and international relations. I will be pursuing certifications in Arabic and French with hopeful endorsements in global public health and Global Ambassador Program.

In all that I do, I apply this phrase from Henry David Thoreau. “Aim above morality, be not simply good, but be good for something.” This idea is molded around my educational and other endeavors. I will apply this toward my future goals as well. Civil service is a dedicated future in the service of our country.

Though this is not the same as the avenue taken by the members of our military, it is a necessary aspect to run our nation. With my continuing education, I will move toward the path of civil service to work in some aspect of our government in order not to be “good, but good for something.”

This scholarship, directly impacts my education. With the ever-rising cost of college, this will help ease the burden and will make it possible to continue my education at Drake and even beyond, so I can pursue my future interests. “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Edward Hale is describing the importance of the individual.

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