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South Decatur senior wins full-ride Honors Scholarship to Manchester

Bradley Walling has won Manchester University’s full-ride Honors Scholarship.

Initiated last year, the scholarship covers tuition, fees, on-campus room and meal plan expenses for up to four years. Only one is awarded per year. 

Walling, a senior at South Decatur High School in Greensburg, Ind., chose Manchester because of the strong reputation of its pre-medical program.

Bradley Walling“I feel like Manchester has the classes that would help me get into medical school and pursue my career as a pediatrician,” he said in his application letter. He also noted that he likes Manchester’s small size, which is like his own high school.

His desire to become a pediatrician is rooted in a passion for helping people. He points towards a impactful volunteer trip he took with his church group to the Appalachian Mountains as the start of his enthusiasm for helping others.

“The job I got was ‘community,’ which translates to helping people in the community seeing if they need anything fixed, anyone to talk to or some financial support,” he said in the application. He went on to describe a specific family he assisted, a single father caring for two sons, one of whom had cerebral palsy. 

“I helped clean their pipes with a snake, a tool used by plumbers, to get all the junk out,” Walling said. “When I did this, the most foul smell entered my nose, forcing me to breathe with my mouth and hold my stomach” because of the stench. “I knew I had to suck it up and do the job so I could make these people's lives better.”

Walling’s service does not stop there. He is an active member of several philanthropic groups, such as Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), an organization that strives to use education to positively influence choices by students, and Friends of Rachel, a group seeking to spread kindness in schools and prevent teen suicide. Walling is one of the first members of the newly formed Decatur County Youth Philanthropy Council, a group of local youths who use their skills and energy to better their community. He considers his work with this council to be a “great honor” and a valuable learning experience. 

He is a member of the National Honor Society and runs on both the cross country and track teams. 

Sariina Kalli, Walling’s English teacher and cross country and track coach, praises him both as a student and as an individual. “He doesn’t just want to know enough to get the good grade; he wants to know everything about the subjects he takes,” she said in her scholarship recommendation letter. “He is a well-rounded, deep thinker, who uses his quest for knowledge to fuel his personal philosophies. He’s at the top of his class academically and is confident enough in his own abilities to help out fellow classmates when needed.”

Pamela Smiley, another of Walling’s English teachers, agrees wholeheartedly. “He was a good student in eighth grade, but when I had him as a junior, WOW, he was amazing,” she said in her own recommendation letter. “Sometimes I would read his assignments and think, he is so much smarter than I am!! He is driven and thorough, leaving no stone unturned.”

Jonathan Black, Walling’s Spanish teacher, described Walling as a “person of great character” who would make the Manchester campus a better place, just as he made his high school a better place.
Walling intends to begin his Manchester journey in Fall 2022.

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Profile written by Carly Greaves, academic intern for communications and media relations.

March 2022