Kendra Couturier
First Place Prolife Essay Scholarship Winner

I don’t know how old I was when I first learned about the problems of abortion, but I was lucky to grow up in a very pro-life family. This has helped me become the person I am now. By the time I was in second grade, I was setting up lemonade stands in my grandma’s yard, and decided to donate the proceeds to what was then the Pregnancy Care Center, now Thrive Medical Center. I didn’t know the direct tactics used to kill children through abortion at that age, or many of the facts and statistics I know now, but even then, my young conscience could see that babies being killed before they were born was deeply wrong, so if my money would help babies and their moms, that’s what I’d do.

Naturally, in high school, I joined my school’s Teens for Life group. I designed a few fundraiser flyers and volunteered, but I hadn’t held an officer position in the Teens for Life group or any other group until last year. I have a quiet personality and was not necessarily the expected candidate for becoming my school’s Teens for Life group president. But when the time came to find the next year’s officers, I emailed my group’s leader and told her I was considering it. Last year, I made it a goal to find new, worthy things to say yes to that I normally wouldn’t. This was one of those opportunities, and for what better cause? By the time the next meeting came, I had become the president. I wasn’t initially sure if being a president was something I could do, but helping those who can’t speak for themselves motivated me. The previous president encouraged me and convinced me that I could do it, and I am so glad I took the chance.

I have grown a lot throughout my time as a leader, uncovering parts of myself that I didn’t always know were there, but looking back I think I had them all along. Through this, I have organized fundraisers, figured out how to refurbish a dresser within a week, gave speeches, participated in the life chain, went to the Michigan March for Life in Lansing with most of my high school, and recorded a radio ad. In the future, I hope to continue growing as a pro-life advocate by testifying to the goodness of life in both big and small ways in my everyday life. The apologetic-style knowledge I have gained throughout high school has led to me joining in on conversations explaining why the pro-life view is the way it is, and I hope to continue. Throughout my journey as a pro-life advocate, I have become more confident in what I believe and why, and am convinced that I will continue promoting and living out pro-life values in my life, and continue to do anything I can to help mothers in crisis pregnancies and their children