Senator Clarence Bell Memorial Scholarship Winner
Brianna Shaw from Chinklacamoose Chapter 16 accepting the Senator Clarence Bell Memorial Scholarship for 2021. I’m a Special Education Major with a Minor in Rehabilitation and Human Services at The Pennsylvania State University and expected to graduate in May of 2023. I work part-time in the Penn State DuBois’s Office of Student Engagement and I’m very involved in the Penn State DuBois THON as Primary Chair, I’m also a Lion Ambassador and First-Year Peer Mentor. I’ve been a member of A.B.A.T.E. Chinklacamoose Chapter 16 for 9 years and currently serve as the chapter’s public relations officer. Thank you so much A.B.A.T.E. for this scholarship, it will help me continue to strive and succeed with my college endeavor.
The Senator Clarence Bell Memorial Scholarship Winning Entry
Nine years ago, I was an 11-year-old girl. Nine years ago, I joined an organization called: A.B.A.T.E. I did not have a typical childhood. I rode motorcycles and spread awareness for motorcycle safety. An 11-year-old junior member that attended monthly meetings and volunteers at community events? Yes, I did have to grow up fast. A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania, Chinklacamoose Chapter, is my second family. They took me under their wing, acting as my guardians and lead me in the right direction, and taught me the importance of looking twice to save a life, to always watch for motorcycles, and how to ensure motorcycle safety in society. I took advantage of this opportunity since I was that 11-year-old kid; I gave my teachers the “Watch For Motorcycles” stickers and spread the “Look Twice, Save a Life” signs all throughout my neighborhood and surrounding communities.
A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania has continuously been my backbone. This organization has brought me many new friends and genuine people who support me; we have spent countless hours together doing events such as: cleaning up the sides of roads, Christmas Eve dinners, dances, and Dice Runs to help less fortunate kids in our community. We have a significant number of families in our area that are disadvantaged around the holidays; in order to help, we team up with a few other members of the community and buy multiple families presents. This is called our Toy Run and we are very well known in our community for this event. This is just the beginning of our Christmas Eve occasion where we volunteer to donate free Christmas Eve dinners to our community and surrounding areas, as well as recruiting local fire departments to dress up as Santa’s crew and deliver the presents we voluntarily wrap. This is a very important event to me. I have spent the past years being Mrs. Claus, helping my mom with orders, and overall hosting the dine in portion. So many community members and chapter members gather on Christmas Eve, taking their own time away from their families, to help these local families and get them their presents and food. We also hold other events, such as dances, to raise money for our Special Olympics program. Whatever we can do to help, we make it happen. Kind people fuel our alliance and make it as great as it is today. We do not really focus on individual success; we focus more on how we look as a group.
For two years now, I have been the Public Relations officer for my chapter. I went into this position thinking I would just update our website every now and then, but I have really dedicated my time in this position to revamp our publicity and focus on spreading our meaning. I have taken my advantages with technology and forced more publicity for our sponsors and events. For my entire life, I have assumed leadership roles. This leadership role in the Chinklacamoose Chapter was just another position to me, but it has become much more than that. It has given me the opportunities to give input of the younger generations and different platforms that will spread our message even further.
Protecting motorcyclist rights is just as important as protecting everyone else’s rights. There is a special feeling people get when they do good or give back; I spent most of my childhood into my adult life feeling accomplished, being kind, and helping my community to the best of my ability. Everyone has their message they are passionate about; mine just happens to be an Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education.