The Jason Gosz and Tall Clubs International Kae Sumner Einfeldt and Virginia Linquist Winker Scholarships are ready for applications for the 2014 graduating seniors. Applicants from the Milwaukee Metro are may download the forms on this web site. If they are our selection after the March 1, 2014 deadline, we will send them on for the draw of however many $1000 scholarships at the TCI national level.
Our winner for 2013 actually was the grandson of Barry Umbs. We always feature the essay of our winner, and the half a page we now ask them to write about Marfan Syndrome. Here is what Nicolas Umbs, having graduated with honors from Menomonee Falls High School last spring, wrote:
What Being TalI Means to Me
Being tall means that I hit my head a lot in my basement among many other
places, but it also means that people naturally look up to me. Ever since elementary
school I have been one of the top three tallest people in my grade. When I walk down the hallway everyone can see me, and when I was at North Middle school to promote art to students I had many kids come up to me and ask howtall I was, since many of them are nearly half of my height. While making decisions in groups for classes, people look for me to give the answer. This has made me a better leader since I need to be informed and pay attention in class so that I am able to understand the content and teach it to my peers.
As an assistant coach in Jr. Indians football and wrestling I am seen by the young
athletes as a role model. I play high school football, I wrestle and run track for the high school, and I do recreational basketball with a high school league. With all of those sports my height is an advantage and a disadvantage. I am not able to get lower than others and therefore I am at a disadv antagein wrestling and football. But I have a long reach and stride so I have an advantage in track and basketball. Also my height makes it certain that everyone can see me when I get on the field or when I’m on the sidelines. The biggest part about being tall in a team sport is that my teammates look to me. They expect me to point out to them what they can work on to improve.
As a Boy Scout I have always been in a leadership position, and many times scouts will look to me first. It’s very hard to sleep in a tent with another scout, when they
are made for campers who are 5’5″ or less. As a tall scout I have always been seen as a role model, and I am expected to know all of the scout skills. Being tall has made me become a better leader, because people look up to me and expect me to be a good leader.
What Marfan Syndrome Means to Me
At this time, I am not personally afiEected by Marfan syndrome. I do not know of
any family history of this disorder, and I have not been diagnosed with it. I did not know it existed before I started to write this essay. However I can see how it could affect me in the future. Being that one of the effects of the disorder is unusual height and long limbs, I could see someone with this disorder being part of Tall Club. If I become part of Tall CIub, I might have the opportunity to interact with people with this genetic defect. This means that I might become friends with some people who have heart problems, back issues, among many other issues. I will have to be wary of this, because right now there is no cure for Marfan syndrome, since it is genetic, and doctors are only able to treat the symptoms not the disease.