Read more Thank You letters

Sydney Putnam '14

To preface the root of this acknowledgment letter, my utmost appreciation is offered up to you for the Christine Gianacaci Journey of Hope Award, here at Lynn University for the 2014 J-Term trip to the Dominican Republic. Traveling is one of my most prominent callings, and because of you I am given another chance to carry out this mission that means so much to me.

I was born in Florida in 1992 and shortly thereafter moved to Connecticut with my mother and father where I lived for the past twenty years. I have a younger brother and sister (I am the oldest,) and I am very close to my family. Recently, my mother, brother and sister moved to Florida following the strenuous divorce of my parents. I still have much family (and all of my friends) in Connecticut, but I have grown closer to my maternal family ever since the split. I am extremely family oriented by nature, so I try my very best to keep in touch with everyone whom I am related to back north—I still consider it to be home.

Prior to enrolling at Lynn I attended a college preparatory boarding school in New Milford, Connecticut (Canterbury School) where I lived for my last two years of my high school career. This was the strongest mold an undirected adolescent could have ever asked for. Canterbury really opened my eyes to structure, reality, responsibility, balance, work ethic and extra curriculars that are beneficial long-term. While at Canterbury I attended two international trips of mission—a dream that I had always held close to my heart. One trip was to Nicaragua and another (more pilgrimage based) was to Lourdes, France where I assisted the malades, or sick people in the most popular act of the Holy Land: bathing in healing water. These trips were not my first time out of the country, but they were the start to what I call “truly traveling.”

In 2010 I began my freshman year at Lynn where I took on a major of Multimedia Journalism, began a work study job in the Marketing and Communication Office on campus where I was in charge of the “styles writing” portion of the school’s website and I also began and ended my one year career on the University’s Varsity Tennis Team. Now, as a senior, I am still majoring in Multimedia Journalism, and will graduate with a minor in Photography. As for my job, I am still with the Marketing and Communication department, but my tasks have been altered over the years. I now most predominantly oversee all of the social media platforms that the school is involved with. I control a few of the sites more closely than others, and make daily posts to Instagram and Facebook, track our engagement as a community and create monthly summaries of growth or loss in activity for metric graphing.

I am graduating this coming May, and still have some questions as to what I want to do. I have figured out my ultimate goal, but what I will do in the mean time is sort of up in the air. I am deciding whether or not I want to apply for a Graduate Assistant job in the office of Marketing and Communication and pursue my Masters in Multimedia Journalism while I study vigorously for the LSAT, or if I want to take a year off to dedicate my time to my legal studies prior to enrolling in Law School. We will see.

I currently have a 3.86 GPA and have been inducted into the Lambada Pi Eta Honor’s Society. Although I have my doubts on occasion, one mantra I have trained myself to live by (without driving myself crazy) is: failure is not an option.

As for my hobbies, I enjoy painting, singing, writing, horoscopes and empathizing with others through emotionally rich conversations. I am always willing to drop what I am doing if it will result in turning someone else’s negative mood around, and/ or put a smile on his or her face.

As I stated in my scholarship application letter: “I plan to travel for the rest of my life, both truly and for whatever other opportunities present themselves to me. But, first and foremost, my calling is to help—to empathize—to encourage—and to succeed in doing so. I believe that every journey that I am able to experience will provide a series of lessons responsible for shaping the person I will forever be in my personal life, occupational life, and whatever ways of life follow—that person will forever urge to aid those in need; with a sincere smile, of course.” I think that this very well foreshadows what I will continue to carry out throughout my mission this coming January in the Dominican Republic. But, additionally, I want to gain a new sense of personal identification to a foreign culture. I want to feel. I want to understand. I want to learn.

Conclusively, this scholarship is something I will be eternally thankful for. This is an opportunity to never be forgotten. Travel is experience that shapes a person, opens his or her eyes, and builds character all at the same time. If it weren’t for this award, I would not be able to participate in the trip. A midst the many things that I have learned thus far in my life, self-sufficiency has been a tough new challenge and lesson. Following my parent’s divorce and the sudden distance between my father and I, I have been given no other choice than to fend for myself in ways I never imagined I would have to. So, with that being said, your offerings to me are more substantial than any of my words can depict.

I feel it is only appropriate to close this letter in remembrance of those en route of helping the Haitian citizens in 2010. There is no basis for learning more powerful than travel. Each and every student and faculty member part of the mission trip to Haiti in 2010 knew what it meant to truly travel. As first-world citizens, they put everything they had on the line to assist and open the eyes of those living in impoverished vicinities—and they completed such with utmost selflessness. I believe I can carry on the mission of this very specific sample of the Lynn community. So, I thank you!

Stay in touch with Lynn:


Lynn University
Office of Development and Alumni Affairs

3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33431

Phone: 561-237-7269 | Toll-free: 877-326-5966 | Fax: 561-237-7819