Get to Know Dynadot's College Scholarship Winner Brianna Gray!

Robyn Norgan
Jan 6, 2014

In 2013, we were proud to offer our first college scholarship opportunity to students studying in the ares of digital media, web development, and web design. We received a lot of great entries and were able to narrow it down to five finalists. Out of our five finalists, Brianna Gray, a freshman at Carleton College who is planning to study computer science or biology, was our winner!

Brianna entered our contest by submitting a powerful blog post about how she dealt with being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis during her junior year of high school. As you can see from her winning blog post, she isn't letting her MS diagnosis slow her down. Since winning our $2,500 college scholarship, Brianna has been busy with her first semester at Carleton. Luckily, I was able to work with Brianna over her winter break to learn more about her and the powerful story she wrote on her blog to become our winner:

Talking about my MS diagnosis was always something that I was not only reluctant about, but also inwardly shunned. For much of the time after the diagnosis, I felt incredibly alone; I was in search of comfort and answers. Luckily, I went to a high school where teachers and other staff were greatly supportive. Often times, it was my support system at school that provided me with some type of relief simply by listening and encouraging me to continue being the same Brianna I was before the diagnosis.

In particular, one teacher my senior year not only listened and offered advice, but encouraged me to further look into MS for myself; however, this was the one thing I always feared. I didn't want to know the start realities that I would find through my research (if there were even to be any at all).

It wasn't long before the end of the year was rolling around, and I was bombarded with projects to complete. For my AP English class, I had to come up with a question that I could answer through research that I could ultimately present in front of my entire class. When it came time to brainstorm, I had several questions all of which held some significance to me. At the bottom of the list was a question regarding MS, but at the time, I was almost dead-set that that would be the last question I would choose. But it was that same teacher who thought it would be a good idea for me to research that very question, and after much consideration I decided it would be a good idea too.

Learning more about MS as I constructed my blog was slowly putting me at ease. I only became uneasy when it came time for me to present my blog in front of my class. Surprisingly, there were no tears as there usually were when I spoke about my diagnosis, and as I began to speak about my blog with ease, I was inwardly proud of myself. I was proud that I had finally reached a place in which I was comfortable, knowledgeable, and at ease with an issue that had created unrest in my life for the past two years.

When I stumbled upon the Dynadot scholarship, I knew that entering my blog into this contest would be the perfect idea. Winning this scholarship has provided me with much more than just needed monetary funds to begin my college career at Carleton College. To hear the positive and encouraging remarks from people who read my blog and people who were inspired by my courage and strength was truly rewarding and humbling. It further showed me that I am not alone; there are, in fact, people out there that can relate to my story in one way or another.

Today, I am a freshman at Carleton College, a place I decided would be right for me due to its academic rigor and quirky and welcoming atmosphere. While at Carleton, I plan to major in computer science or biology while I actively study to become fluent in Spanish. After Carleton, my dream is to be a litigation lawyer (which I have known since I was a freshman in high school), although after law school I do not plan to go directly into law. I would love to teach elementary school for a few years, and teach math in particular to ensure that children (unlike myself) will have the solid fundamentals they need in order to be successful in higher levels of math.

We are planning to offer another college scholarship in 2014! We will be announcing it right here on our blog as well as our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages sometime in the spring.

Image is of an inspirational quote from Brianna's blog. Don't forget to check out her winning blog post!

Posted by Robyn Norgan