Chelmsford High School Alumni Association
ABBY K. CARTER
Awarding Criteria: Will be awarded to a senior who has shown the following qualities: courage, compassion for others, positive attitude, sense of humor, the ability to overcome adversity, a zest for life and strong moral values. This scholarship requires a 500 word essay outlining how applicant has overcome some type of adversity. The recipient will receive this scholarship per year, for each of four years, provided he or she is enrolled in a nationally accredited college or university and maintains a 3.0GPA (on a 4 point system) or its reasonable equivalent each year.
Abby Carter, beloved daughter of Kay and Bill and sister to Ryan, was born in Virginia on November 1, 1984, and graduated from Chelmsford High in 2003. Abby was a bundle of energy, a jump-in and do it girl. She competed on a State level in gymnastics, was an equestrian who always chose the largest, most stubborn horse, a baseball player and fanatic Red Sox fan. At her church, she was an acolyte, member of the bell choir and voice choir, and a member of the youth group. Half the size of her brother and three years younger, she was his protector and biggest fan.
When you remember Abby, what you see is her smile. She touched the world with sunshine. She made people comfortable. She took time for her friends and would drop everything to be a willing listener and comforter. Loyalty was high on her list of desirable character traits. Tolerance was another, but she never tolerated arrogance or cruelty. She quoted Queen Latifa in her yearbook: You have to stand up for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone.
There was so much promise in that small package we called Abby. She was beginning her studies at Northeastern University, intending to get a PhD in physical therapy and run her own business, when she was felled by a seizure, a disorder which had plagued her for the previous six years but which she had accepted and lived graciously with. She understood it was part of her, but she would not allow it to define her life.
Abby’s short life was a joyful dance. Her moral compass was set true. She lived Lincoln’s words, “It is not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
This scholarship is one way to perpetuate her memory. It is hoped that it will help someone else extend Abby’s philosophy and traits of character that made her such a wonderful daughter, sister and friend.