I am nominating my daughter, October. She is eight years old and has been doing jiu-jitsu for about approximately five months. For the past few years she has been asking about taking martial arts and, unfortunately there just was not a place close enough to home to take her to that we could afford. Shortly after her eighth birthday, I was contacted by a person I spoken to in the fall of the year before that was thinking of opening a local academy. His name was Jacob P. and he had told me that he remembered our conversation and had started his academy and was offering kids’ classes at very affordable rates. So, shortly after I brought October in to try it out she had become hooked. Between how great Jacob is with the kids’ class and teaching them, and how great the kids in the class were, she doesn’t want to miss a single class and even participates in the women’s classes once a week and, sometimes, open mat classes with the adults. The women’s class is often directly after the children’s class, but she doesn’t bat an eye at working hard for two plus hours. She also tries to show her younger brother moves and exercises and tries to encourage him to join. The experience has changed her attitude and it has helped her to become more focused with school and has been a real boost for her confidence. At around the two month mark, her instructor, Jacob, did a combo kids/adults class and convinced me to come on the mat. The interaction from the class got me hooked as well. I have this thing that both my daughter and I enjoy, and we are learning together. It is really awesome. A few weeks ago Jacob’s instructor came in to help with the kids’ class. After this class, October was awarded her first stripe. I really feel her dedication and progress made this feel so special for her. She was very excited and made me wait so she could show her mom when we got home. I had a huge sense of pride in the fact she worked so hard for that and that she knew what an honor it was to receive it. She has made friends with the kids in her class and is welcoming when new kids come in. She really gets a sense of accomplishment when she understands and executes certain moves or when she does well in practices and sparring. I think she deserves the scholarship because of her dedication and love for jiu-jitsu and the instructor. She works hard and gets bummed out when we miss or have to skip classes due to other obligations. Both, her mother and I are so incredibly proud of her.