At Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia, Carl Michael Woodward displayed what being a leader was all about. From active participation in class to providing educational opportunities for others outside of class, Mike devoted himself to becoming both an excellent student and an active community member. He involved himself in a plethora of extracurricular activities including a countywide tutoring program he developed and implemented known as “Helping Others Help Themselves.” He first discovered this idea while at Stanford University over the summer as a member of the Quest Scholars Program. Through his tutoring program, Mike believes that students will not only better understand classroom material but also form strong bonds with their tutors. As president of his school’s National Spanish Honor Society chapter, he has taken part in orchestrating an after-school program designed to teach the Spanish language to local elementary school students. Working with young children allowed him to serve his community as a role model. Realizing that today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, Mike also volunteered to coach a youth parks and recreation soccer team. Feeling that public service is its own reward, he received great fulfillment each time he helps another succeed in life.
In addition to helping others, Mike primarily focused on taking care of business inside the classroom. A straight “A” student, he has been recognized nationally for his accomplishments. He is a National Coca-Cola Scholar, a Quest Scholar, a Venture Scholar, a National Achievement Award Winner, a Kodak Young Leaders Award Winner, and an AP Scholar. He was also selected to participate as a member in MIT’s 2003 MITES (Minority Introduction to Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Science Program) and the Virginia Summer Residential Governor School’s NASA mentorship. As you can see, Mike has accomplished much despite the barriers that stood in his way.
Accepting and overcoming life’s obstacles as they are thrown in his direction rather than blaming his circumstances for any disadvantage has enabled Mike to approach every situation in a positive manner. Believing that everything happens for a reason allows him to maintain his demeanor and empowers him to overcome all adversity that presents itself. Instead of being ashamed of his parents for not attending college, he vicariously learns from their shortcomings and finds great motivation to succeed as the pioneer in his family.
Embarking upon a career of service, Mike aspires to become a neurosurgeon. It is his personal belief that “To whom much is given, much is required.” Due to this reasoning, he believes that through becoming a neurosurgeon he will be able to not only pursue a career in his desired field but also extend a helping hand to those in need around him.
Highly ambitious, Mike’s tenacity and fortitude will enable this young man to succeed in life. With the world before him, he is taking a large step in the direction of success.