2024 Scholarship Recipient Daniela Novoa

The JFK Hyannis Museum awarded Sandwich senior Daniela Novoa with a $2500 scholarship based on her academic achievements and her essay relating to one of President John F. Kennedy’s quotes from a speech to a join session of the Dail and the Seanad, Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963.  The 2024 essay quote was “The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet.” – President John F. Kennedy

Daniela Novoa’s Essay

In his poignant address in 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered a stark truth that ring truer today than ever before. This timeless statement encapsulates the essence of our collective responsibility towards Earth’s well-being – one that transcends borders, ideologies, and generations. The interconnectedness of global ecosystems, combined with the exponential growth in human population, has brought the vulnerability of our planet to the forefront of global consciousness. Rising temperatures, melting ice caps, and extreme weather events serve as brutal reminders of the consequences of our unsustainable practices. The delicate balance of life on Earth is being threatened, endangering not only ecosystems but human societies. Humanity now faces an existential crisis that demands urgent action.

Addressing the challenges posed by environmental degradation requires a shift in societal attitudes towards consumption and conservation, emphasizing the importance of living in harmony with nature rather than exploiting it for short-term gain. In an age marked by geopolitical and economic tensions, acknowledging the vulnerability of our planet serves as a unifying force that transcends national interests. President Kennedy’s assertion is a sobering reminder of our collective responsibility towards Earth’s preservation. It calls upon us to work together in the pursuit of a sustainable future. Only through concerted action can we ensure that our planet remains hospitable for generations to come.

Realizations like these have driven me to pursue service and fundraising opportunities in my community, like raising money for the National Marine Life Center as treasurer of my school’s Environmental Awareness Club. This went towards sea animal rehabilitation and care, and educating our community about the necessity for their protection. Currently, I am running a supply drive through the same club, which is hoping to get significant donations for the Cape Wildlife Center and the animals they care for. I have found this experience to be very rewarding, and plan to do others like it in the future.

In the realm of civic engagement, I also co-founded an organization called the Sandwich Peace Project that is dedicated to providing for people in need through fundraising events. Our funds have gone to local and global causes, including the Independence House which supports victims of domestic violence in our community, conflicts like the Russia-Ukraine war, and the Malala Fund, which helps women in war-tom locations access a valuable education. Overall, we have donated over $2000 to various causes.

The fulfillment I have gained from these services has driven me to be a continuously active member of my community. I see college as a platform for further social engagement; I plan to at least minor in something like environmental studies or women’s rights so that I can bring an educated perspective to whatever field I focus on. I feel especially drawn towards these areas and believe that all fields of study could benefit from input regarding these topics. There will never be a lack of causes that need advocating for, and I hope to be an agent of change in whatever way I can.

Daniela and her parents are pictured with Paul Hart Miller,  JFK board member and scholarship committee member.

Daniela with JFK Hyannis Museum’s Director Wendy Northcross.