Elmwood High School senior Julia Gross is this year’s Franklin B. Walter Scholastic Award winner.
The award, given by the Wood County Educational Service Center, was established by the Ohio Superintendent’s Educational Service Center Association to promote student achievement and recognize outstanding students.
Gross described herself as driven with a passion for mental health and serving her community.
“I discovered this passion during high school through volunteer work and extracurricular activities,” she wrote in the award application.
Gross is a member and president of National Honor Society and member of the prom committee, Spanish club, science club, student council and the Elmwood Royal Leadership Team.
She was co-captain of this year’s varsity cross country team and also competed on the varsity track and field.
She is in the youth group at New Hope Christian Church.
Gross plans to attend Ohio Northern University and obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
“I want to help change the world, by healing one mind at a time,” she wrote.
Her educational plan includes getting a master’s degree in clinical psychology.
After college, she plans to move home and become a mental health counselor.
After gaining several years of experience, Gross’ goal is to open her own private practice in counseling.
“During my career as a mental health counselor, I want to do more than work one on one with individuals. I want to branch out and raise mental health awareness in my community,” she wrote.
Gross wants to take part in community outreach projects that help reduce the stigma around mental health.
“I believe mental health is one of the most pressing social concerns of today’s world and deserves the public’s attention.”
She said by taking this career path, she can make the world at least a fraction of a percent better, starting with her local community.
Gross, the daughter of Renee and Andrew Gross, received a $1,000 check from the ESC.
ESC Superintendent Mark North announced the winner at the April board meeting.