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My name is Zoie Lehman, I am 21 years old, and am a current senior at St. Lawrence University. I was raised by a single mother in Lewis County, New York. It has been my mom and I my entire life, and our story has not always been for the faint hearted. My biological father walked out before I was a year old, and for my mom, raising a child on her own was not easy. Ensured that I wouldn’t make it to 21, I stand here today, better and stronger than ever – and without my mom, none of this would have been possible. 

I graduated high school in 2020 at Beaver River Central, in Beaver Falls, New York. I graduated 6th in my class and was inducted into the National Honor Society my senior year. I enrolled at St. Lawrence in the Fall of 2020 and am expected to graduate in May of 2024. I have completed 35 hours of fieldwork at the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, as well as 7 weeks of internship at the Lewis County Public Health Agency as a Communicable Disease and Death Data specialist. Furthermore, I am a recipient of the SLU Student Internship Fellowship Award (2023), SLU Student Research Grant (2023), and SLU Donation Award (2022, 2023)

Academically, I employ moderate ability in identifying, recovering and analyzing human skeletal remains; engaging moderately in the application of invasive and noninvasive methods in the field, and practicing advanced precision in the maintenance of records; as well as demonstrating proficient ability in using Excel, Word, PowerPoint and other statistical software output systems. I additionally exhibit advanced ability to organize and classify data and associated tables, graphs and figures, while simultaneously displaying moderate ability in determining overall epidemiological conclusions. 

Overall, I have been driven by the life I have left behind me. Carrying each phase of my life carefully with me to the next, I have learned to give myself credit for not being a reflection of the darkness I had to claw my way out of. I am a driven, smart, young woman, with a world of opportunities ahead of me. I am not what others define me as, and that will stand true for as long as I live. 

Each day, I intend to bring this confidence to others. I want nothing more than for other people to know that they are not alone, and that dark times do pass. 

This lifetime of opportunity would not have been possible, were it not for my mom, boyfriend, family, friends, and support system. With extra special enrichment from the Bee Gee's, Creedence Clearwater Revival, my saxophone, and various other hobbies, I would not be half of the wholesome person I am today if it weren't for the music. 

It is with this, that I leave you with the message that things in life do get better. From the girl who was told they would be lucky to make it to 21, I have conquered more than I have imagined -- and there is far more in sight. It is with high hopes that I will become a Forensic Anthropologist or Tuberculosis Specialist in my professional future, and it is through your donation that my dreams have become reality.

With everlasting love and appreciation, thank you. 

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