Written by FHS Senior & HSE Schools Communications Student Intern, Clara Stadler
In the summer of 2003, Carrie Colglazier, a recent graduate of Hamilton Southeastern Highschool was killed in a car accident. During her lifetime, Carrie founded herself in Royal pride and community service. After the tragic accident, the Carrie Colglazier Scholarship was created to carry on the legacy she left behind.
Austin Davidson was among the Hamilton Southeastern Highschool graduating class of 2013. Austin was a member of the National Honor Society chapter at the high school and participated in the “workday” which is an program through the Carrie Colglazier Scholarship. Austin was eligible to apply for the Carrie Colglazier Scholarship by his active participation in extracurricular activities. However, Austin was connected to Carrie in a different way.
“I knew about [the scholarship] because my dad is the soccer coach at HSE and Carrie played for my dad when I was growing up. Carrie was actually one of my babysitters,” Austin said. “I’ve participated in the workday ever since I was a little kid, always in the honor and memory of Carrie and the legacy she left.”
Each applicant is required to do the workday. Local business and community members buy students service for the day and that money goes towards the scholarship fund. Jobs can vary from mulching, cleaning houses, painting fences, etc.
“You're always in groups, it makes it a fun bonding experience,” Austin said. “I always enjoyed being with my friends throughout the day.”
After the workday, students applying have to submit an essay. The prompt changes each year but always relates back to Carrie and the workday experience. When Austin went to apply, the prompt focused on challenges one has faced in their lifetime.
“During my junior year I was struggling with mental health and coming to terms with some of my identity. I’m openly gay and that was a challenge at that time in my life. So, I wrote about beauty being pain,” Austin said. “During times in our life where we face the darkest days or suffer what feels like endless pain, there is always beauty in that. If you choose to champion love, there will always be beauty in pain.”
After applying for the scholarship and completing the interview conducted by the administrative board, it was announced that Austin had won the scholarship. He stated, “I had such a personal connection to Carrie, it meant so much to me to be the student chosen,”. To feel chosen out of such an excellent group, felt very validating, but more than anything very humbling to think what I did at HSE reflected Carrie’s legacy.”
From the scholarship, Austin won a total of $12,000 to put towards his college tuition. Today, the scholarship has increased to nearly $16,000 for four years. Austin used his winnings to pursue his dream of acting at New York University in undergraduate school and will soon continue his studies at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England. He holds the scholarship close to his heart today.
“I believe the importance of this scholarship is to speak to the community, how we can engage with one another, and how we help one another,” Austin said. “It very much reflects the tendons of being a royal. The scholarship reflects Carrie’s legacy and celebrates what it means to be a Royal and to help others.”
The Carrie Colglazier Scholarship has one major difference from most scholarships. This scholarship is based almost entirely on character and service work, unlike most that are based on grade point averages and academics. Austin advises current students applying for the Carrie Scholarship or other scholarships, “It's really easy to look at scholarships as a formula. If I have this GPA or if I do this many extracurriculars, I can win,” I really encourage students to be honest about who they are. Honesty and vulnerability speak volumes and stands out more than a grade point average, a number, or some other quantitative measurement.” said Austin Davidson, 2012-2013 Carrie Colglazier Scholarship Recipient.
Workday begins Saturday, September 17, 2022.
Applications due March 16, 2023