The day of my interview for the Chastity Dunnaville Scholarship brought the absolute most anxiety that an eighth-grader could have. My mom made sure I looked my best, knowing that Ms. Dunnaville was in the military, with a brand-new true-blue uniform and crisp white saddles. As I stepped into the room to meet Ms. Dunnaville for the first time, however, my anxiety and butterflies washed away the moment I saw her welcoming and bright smile. Throughout my years of knowing Ms. Dunnaville and her family, she has always kept that same welcoming and bright smile. She has blessed my family and me so much and I am forever grateful. As I leave NDP, I will never forget the generosity that Ms. Dunnaville has shown or the support she has provided.
I have been blessed with not only a scholarship, but a mentor and a benefactor who truly cares about my well-being and success. I have the pleasure of having a true relationship with my benefactor, a pleasure that many girls do not have. At all of the Scholarship Brunches, I was eager to see Ms. Dunnaville and she was just as eager to hear about how our year was going. I am thankful that she stayed involved in our lives in and out of NDP. My sophomore year, Ms. Dunnaville surprised me and came to my sweet-sixteen—it meant so much to me that she took the time to come and stop by. It showed me that she wasn’t just going to leave my life, but would be both present and active. The biggest gift Ms. Dunnaville has given me though has been sharing her daughter with me and the other recipients. I wish I had the honor of meeting her; I have never heard about someone with so much strength, always booming with life. These past four years I strived to be a leader in my classes, working hard each year to achieve good grades and increase the rigor of my classes. I pushed myself just as Chastity would and tried my best, no matter what. I worked to leave a lasting legacy just as Chas did but in different ways.
Chastity was very close with Mrs. Caltrider and even helped teach some of her Civil Liberties and Women’s Studies classes. Throughout my years at NDP, I have also grown close to Mrs. Caltrider and she also told me about Chastity and how wonderful she was. Just as she helped Chas, Mrs. Caltrider has helped me countless times and encouraged me to be the best that I can be. I am glad that I was able to experience the same kindness and compassion Mrs. Caltrider showed Chastity.
As I graduate from NDP, I hope to still be involved with Crabs for Chas and anything else Ms. Dunnaville needs. I will continue to look to Chastity as a role model on how to be a diligent, hard worker loved by everyone. Passing Chastity’s portrait and blazer in the foyer reminds me of her determination to serve others and do everything to the best of her ability. My education at NDP has prepared me tremendously for the future and as I continue my education at the University of Maryland, I know I will have Ms. Dunnaville to support me and Chastity to look up to.
At Chastity’s junior retreat when she was asked what she feared the most at that point in her life, she responded: “Not being able to help people.” I wish I had the privilege to tell her how much she helped my family and me.
Written by guest contributor Kelsey W. ‘19, one of the recipients of the Chastity Dunnaville Scholarship.