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ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated

Announcing the Winner of the 2020 ServiceScape Scholarship

Alice Fan from Acton, Massachusetts is the winner of the 2020 ServiceScape Scholarship. Alice is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences from Boston University.

Alice Fan
Alice Fan is the winner of the 2020 ServiceScape Scholarship

Her winning submission can be found below. We hope you enjoy the essay and we look forward to reading more submissions for our 2021 Scholarship.

Dear Alice at age 12,

Our 6th grade teacher sent me your time capsule letter today, our graduation day. I know you imagined being at the football field and throwing your cap high into the blue sky so it looked like a soaring bird. And you planned to fly away with it, to far away universities and freedom. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm sitting in front of my computer, graduating to a live YouTube video. You asked me if I was happy in your letter. But you didn't think to ask if I was healthy. Six years ago, health was a given. Today, we are amidst a global pandemic. Distrust and fear of the unknown brews. I'm not sick, but I am lonely, scared, and restless. I've been writing letters to cope.

Sincerely, Alice at age 18

Having read all the good books about pen pals who became lifelong best friends and romantic confession letters from mysterious senders, I've always had a romanticized view of handwritten letters. There's something alluring about the dichotomy between carefully printing uniform little letters while recklessly staining the paper with memories, emotions, hopes and dreams. I write in the hopes that someone will read and see me. I write, waiting for a response that says "you are not alone" and "I remember as well."

I read, too. I read news articles about COVID research and reopening plans. These are the articles so many people are clinging to for guidance. We would all be a mess without the scientists and journalists writing COVID updates. I also read op-eds, advice articles, and blog posts about isolation and confusion through hard times. These articles bring strangers together through our respective loneliness. Now more than ever, writing ties us all together, comforts us, and motivates us to keep living.

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