BACKGROUND: The Thalia Civic League has been an active part of the Thalia community since the Civic
    Leagues formation in 1953.  Through this scholarship award, it is the intent of the Civic League to encourage
    and reward Thalia neighborhood high school students for their academic achievements, and continued
    participation in neighborhood and citywide civic/community activities.

    Our scholarship recipient is:  Jessica Carlisle - Her scholarship essay

    Growing up and living in Thalia

          My great grandfather hunted here, my grandparents built their first home here, my mother
    grew up here, my grandparents, great aunt and uncle, and aunt currently live on my street , and I
    have lived here my whole life. Not only has Thalia been a significant part of my life and my family
    history, it has also made an enormous impact on many others who live in Thalia.

          Tradition is important in my family, and this is evident by the number of my family members who
    have lived or currently live in Thalia. My great grandfather hunted on Thalia grounds before any
    houses were built in the early 1900’s. My grandparents moved here in 1971 to build their first
    home so their child, my mom, could attend the finest schools in an excellent environment. Now, I
    have six other family members living on my street too! Somehow my family can’t seem to get away
    from the amazing things that Thalia has to offer. Being surrounded by family, having amazing,
    nearby friends, and going to the same school as my mom, I have experienced the benefits of the
    close knit, caring, and generous atmosphere that Thalia exuberates. With so many family members
    living close to me, I have been able to experience the importance of family involvement in my
    everyday life. Thalia has enabled parents to continue tradition by raising their children in the same
    schools as they once attended, and this is evident in my family and numerous other families in

          Thalia has enabled me to create long lasting relationships with friends, family friends,
    teachers, and elders throughout my community by harboring families with strong values and
    interest in creating a beneficial environment. My neighborhood has been a welcoming place for
    my friends and me to grow up in while being in a safe and supportive environment. I attended
    preschool at Thalia Presbyterian with other children from the Thalia area, and I am still close
    friends with several of the same people who I played play-dough with when I was three and four.
    The amazing friendships I gained through my community have prepared me for the future because
    I know I will always have a strong group of friends who support and love me, and that would not
    have been possible without our close knit lives in Thalia. I have friends who don’t live in Thalia,
    and they often say there is something different about people who have grown up in Thalia
    together. That something is involvement. Involvement in each other’s everyday lives, from the
    park playground behind the Presbyterian Church, to our first day at Thalia Elementary and our last
    day at Princess Anne High School this upcoming June. This endless bond could not have been
    possible without the community that Thalia offers.

          Therefore, Thalia has given me an extremely close relationship with my family and a
    supportive group of friends of which I will cherish the rest of my life.

    Jessica will be attending, James Madison University to study Dietetics or possibly Physical
Jessica Carlisle
page updated May 14, 2015
Scholarship Finalists

Andrew White -- Logan Berns -- Jessica Carlisle -- Katie MacCall
    Logan Berns' Scholarship Essay

           Growing up in Thalia has been a wonderful
    experience that has played a part in defining who I am. I
    was not born here, but my family fortunately ended up
    making our home in this great neighborhood. I was born
    in Illinois, moved to Florida within a year, and moved to
    Virginia Beach after another year. My father was in the
    military, which was the reason for all of the moving.
    Shortly after we arrived here, my brother was diagnosed
    with brain cancer. After this, the Navy did not ask my
    father to move, and allowed us to stay in Hampton Roads
    because of the excellent doctors. We lived in the
    Bayside area for our first six years in Virginia Beach. In
    2001, there were eight kids in my family and we had
    officially grown out of our house. A family we had grown
    close to in the Bayside area moved to Thalia and loved it,
    and found us a house shortly after. Our fate was sealed.

           I was in the second grade when we moved to Thalia.
    In my old neighborhood, I had very few friends that I saw
    often. Within a few weeks of moving here, I made many
    friends my age. Thalia quickly became a place I could call
    home. I hung out with these friends occasionally
    throughout elementary and middle school, but was never
    extremely close with any of them because I went to Old
    Donation Center and Kemps Landing Magnet School and
    they went to Thalia and Independence. When I got to
    high school I was adopted into a very close group of
    friends who all live within about four blocks of each
    other. They were extremely tightknit but gladly welcomed
    me into their group. Our sophomore year we all started
    going to youth group at Spring Branch Community
    Church. Two kids from our group already belonged, and
    they convinced all of us to go. At one point, every
    Sunday night about ten of us would meet at my house
    and we would all pile into my mom’s 15 passenger bus
    and ride there together. Everyone there began to call us
    the Thalia kids because we all showed up together and
    were so close. This soon changed to neighborhood kids,
    and then “hood kids.” To this day many of them still refer
    to us as the Hood Kids.  This was my freshman year; I am
    now a senior and see these kids every day, and they will
    be part of my life forever.

           A very special thing happened last year that my
    family and I will never forget. It was a Monday night last
    February when I heard a very loud crash in my front yard,
    and I looked out my window to see my Ford Explorer
    facing my house: it had been hit hard enough to spin 45
    degrees. I remember my whole family sprinting outside to
    see the damage. A drunk driver had driven through our
    yard, slammed into my car, throwing it into my mother’s
    car. He then reversed to try and get out of the yard and
    hit my father’s truck in our other driveway, at which point
    his truck finally gave out. Within twenty minutes, we had
    at least fifty neighbors in our yard. I will never forget
    when one of them said, “I remember when Thalia was a
    good neighborhood, and stuff like this did not happen.”
    Standing there that night, I agreed with him; I felt
    disappointed in my community. However, over the next
    few days, I realized that what he had said was not all true.
    By the next morning, we had received phone calls from
    more than ten neighbors offering for us to borrow cars
    or carpool. Several days later, teachers and staff from
    Thalia Elementary actually came to my house to help pick
    up the glass and debris in our yard.

           A good community isn’t one where bad things don’t
    happen; it is one where you can count on your neighbors
    to offer support when they do. Thalia is an amazing
    neighborhood, filled with great, generous people
    everywhere I look. The hospitality of the families
    throughout Thalia is overwhelming, and their willingness
    to help others is unique. Thalia is now my home, and it
    will always be.

    Katie MacCall's Scholarship Essay

    Growing up and living in Thalia
           I have lived my whole life in the Thalia
    neighborhood.  It is where I spoke my first words,
    took my first steps, and made my first friends.  I go
    to church at Thalia Trinity Presbyterian Church, and
    I have gone there all my life.  I also went to
    preschool at Thalia Trinity too, so I have spent a
    great deal of my time there. I went to school at
    Thalia Elementary, and my mom is a Kindergarten
    teacher there.  I have become close with a lot of
    the teachers and staff at Thalia that I still keep in
    touch with today.  
           Living in Thalia has provided me with a great
    environment to grow up in and an overall great
    place to live.  It’s got that country, small-town feel
    while still being in close proximity to pretty much
    anything I would need.  I can go fishing or crabbing
    in my backyard on the Buchanan Creek and then
    wash off and ride bikes up to 7-11.  That would be
    the perfect day for me.  My car almost never goes
    outside of a two mile radius from my house
    because everything I could ever want or need is
    right here in Thalia.
    I also love how the people in this neighborhood
    are so nice and friendly.  Not a day goes by that
    someone doesn’t ask me how my sports are going
    or if I’ve decided on where I’m going to college.  
    Even if people don’t know you, they’ll still ask how
    your day has been or wave to you as you pass by in
    the car.  Growing up and living in Thalia has
    provided me with a great group of friends and an
    overall incredible childhood experience.

Luke Tyler Carroll
Growing Up and Living in Thalia

4109 Clintwood Lane, Virginia Beach, Va. That address will be a place that I
will never forget in my life. It was where I grew up to be the person I am
today, typing this essay in the pursuit to get the scholarship this great
organization is offering. Looking back on my life I realize now that I could
never picture growing up anywhere else. My father often reflects and tells the
story of how we ended up buying our home here. My father was still on active
duty and the Marine Corps transferred our family here,  the realtor that
brought us to Clintwood Lane and the neighborhood families were all outside
and active on our street greeting us, he laughably refers to our street and
neighborhood as “Mayberry” and said he swore the realtor must have paid off
the neighbors to be as nice as they were. We spent nearly an hour outside of
the house talking to all the neighbors before we even stepped foot in the house
to see if we liked it. Well thinking about my years in Thalia is like watching a
movie that shows life that is too good to be true. Having not watched the show
about “Mayberry” my father refers about, I can only imagine it must be a
great place. Everyone on my “Mayberry” is amazing and genuinely cares for
one another in a way that I see in no another place. There’s Joey down the
street who couldn’t be a nicer guy. Every time I turn around he is doing yard,
throwing the block party jumping into a street hockey game in front of our
house or just stopping to say hi when he’s riding his bike down the street.
There is Steve our neighborhood greeter on the corner always having a
barbeque and welcoming anyone over to relax and have a good time with
friends and neighbors. And there is not a kid on the block that could forget
Harold across the street for opening his pool to all the kids on the street
during the summer. These people and more like them have left marks on me
in life and I have learned so many things from the experiences that I have
shared with these people and other people in my neighborhood. From people
like these I have learned humility, kindness, and how to be a great neighbor in
general. Along with these experiences in my time in Thalia I have countless
memories to carry with me as I go into my future. I will never forget riding my
bike or long board with my friends down to Thalia Island, which we never
figured out why it was called an island, isn’t it a peninsula? Anyway, who can
forget the fishing trips and crabbing out on the water on the weekends and just
relaxing on the water during summer days? Thalia has been a place where I
have been able to grow as a person and learn so much about life. I love this
place with my entire heart and I will be sad the day that I leave here for
college, the next chapter of my life, but knowing everything that I have
learned here I will be able to take it with me and make my future an even
better one. Thalia will always be my home and just like many of our local
neighbors that grew up here I also know that I will be back to Virginia Beach
when I graduate college, and of course, when I look into buying a home Thalia
will be the first stop on my list.
Allison Marshall - Winner of the 2012 Scholarship
Growing Up In Thalia

The Thalia childhood I experienced showed me that “every memory is precious.
Whether it is a bad one or a good one, they overall shape us for who we are today.
So don't let any of them go” (J. Johnson). Neighborhoods are sacred.  The
connection between each individual in a neighborhood is vital.  They are a place
you come back to and remember the friends you made, the neighbors you had, and
the different places you could go.  These memories become a person’s identity.  
Together, these experiences shape your personality, values, and views.  Each
memory I have had growing up in Thalia has formed me into the person I am today.

Hand first, feet second.  That was the motto my friend, Kate, and I stuck to as we
went mud sliding through all the ditches in the neighborhood.  Meeting Kate in
preschool at the Thalia Trinity Presbyterian Church, we became friends very
quickly.  Back then, our strategy was to think of the craziest things we could do in
the neighborhood.  So, the day it rained, we decided to put dirty clothes on and
slide in random ditches.  At the time, we did not see it as two little girls getting
people’s yards all muddy.  We saw it, simply, as fun.  But the fact that not one
person yelled at us that day allowed me to remember “mud sliding with Kate” as
one of the most enjoyable things I did.  The Thalia community was, and still is,
extremely kid- friendly and living here has permitted me to become the fun-loving
individual I am today.

All my childhood memories have helped me understand the true value of
friendship.  Those neighborhood friends that you spend every second with will
always stay close to your heart.  When I was in second grade at Thalia Elementary
School, I met my best friend Hannah.  We were inseparable.  Living only two
minutes apart, we were able to have plenty of bike rides to “The Water”, trips to
7/11, and picnic many different places! To this day, we look back at old pictures
and yearbooks just to laugh at ourselves.  A friend is great to have from day to day,
but a childhood friend is a lifelong gift.  That is what the Thalia neighborhood gave
to me.

Learning to ride a bike was the toughest and most exhilarating challenge as a kid.  I
sat on my pink bike with my dad holding on tight until I finally got the courage to
tell him to let go.  Once I could ride my bike, I did not stop until it got dark outside.  
That day was such a great day because I practiced all day with my dad and was able
to learn pretty quickly.  Being able to ride a bike led me to another precious
memory.  Charlie Green was an elderly neighbor who rode his bike around our
block about ten times a day.  After stopping and talking to my family a few times,
we grew to love Charlie Green.  Soon after, when he would ride by, my sisters and I
would get our bikes and join Mr. Green on with his “bike laps”.

Initiating our creativity, my sisters and I would always go into our backyard and
build forts.  Constantly, we were raking leaves, cutting bushes, and trying to find
chairs in order to make our own little getaway.  One day, we found the perfect spot
for a fort.  We did not realize it was in our neighbor’s yard (even though it was on
the other side of the fence…).  So, we started cleaning and adding chairs.  Then, the
boy who lived behind us saw the fort and started playing in it too.  We all were
really excited that we had a place to play together.  Going through elementary
school, my friends and I would ride bikes around the neighborhood to try to find a
place for our next fort.  We would even look through magazines and choose
random objects we wanted to decorate our fort with.  Living in Thalia allowed us
plenty of room to explore new possible fort locations and space to develop a
creative mind.

Amazing, friendly, supportive.  These are just a few characteristics the Thalia
community portrays every day.  The caring people and adventurous places that
Thalia gave to me as a child, contributed to my development. Experiences in Thalia
have shaped me into a well-rounded individual, who is ready to face the adventures
of my future. Thank you, Thalia!
Erin Bushnell
Growing Up and Living in Thalia                                                             

I first came to Thalia in 1999 when I was five years old. My family and I had moved up to Virginia Beach from Miami, Florida, and my parents spent a few months
looking for a suitable neighborhood. They hoped to find someplace cozy and personable, yet large enough to include a variety of people; someplace pretty,
surrounded by nature; someplace where community mattered – imagine their delight when they discovered a house for sale in the Thalia neighborhood.

My parents began to settle in and meet our neighbors (neighbors who would help us out countless times, teach my little sister and I innumerable things, and generally
be wonderful for the next 12 years), while I explored the new yard. At the time, I was too little to care about the bonds of community, but the young me was thrilled to
have a large, green place full of trees and lush grass in which to play. I spent the vast majority of my childhood outside with friends, playing with sticks, and making
up stories about horses and dragons and imaginary creatures. The gentle slopes on either side of the yard became rolling hills and valleys; our pool was either a
crystal clear lake or a mighty ocean, depending on the circumstances; the trees formed a vast, dense jungle alive with birds and squirrels and butterflies. Some of my
fondest and most vivid memories are of hot, humid summers where the yard truly did seem like a jungle, so heavy was the air and so green were the leaves. Off to one
side of the house is a thin strip of creek, which, when the tide was high, provided enough water for my dad to take the whole family out for a ride in the jon boat, into
the open waters of the marshes and the Chesapeake Bay, to explore the neighborhood from a very different perspective.

Even nicer than my immediate surroundings was the close proximity of other kids like me. There were several people my age within walking distance, and many more
just a few minutes' drive away. The houses and yards of the people I befriended ended up being just as much a part of my childhood as my own home – and the roads
that led there still hold a lot of fond memories for me.

Naturally, I couldn't spend all of my time goofing around outside, and when autumn came that first year, I began attending Thalia Elementary School. The impact
that my early education had on who I am, and the number of fond memories that I have of that school is far too great to go into here. Three years of middle school
and four years of high school means that the five years I spent at TES were the longest amount of time that I had ever stayed at one school. I remember riding the bus
home on the last day of fifth grade, waving goodbye to all of the teachers and staff on the sidewalk, and tearing up a little at the sudden realization of what a huge
chunk of my life I was leaving behind. I still get the opportunity to stop in on occasion, and it seems to be more or less as I remember it – fun, friendly, and
educational (the only difference is that everything seems so much smaller now!).

I stepped out of the Thalia neighborhood after Elementary school, going first to Independence Middle School and then to Salem High School for the Visual and
Performing Arts Academy. That didn't stop me from continuing to enjoy the neighborhood, though – I continued to visit friends, bike through the winding roads, and
participate in the youth group at Thalia Trinity Presbyterian Church as often as I could.

I'm immensely glad that my parents chose this neighborhood. Because of the people who are involved in the community, it has always been an incredibly friendly,
nurturing, and peaceful place for me, and I'm very grateful to all of them – they say that it takes a village to raise a child. I know that when I go off to college in the
fall, I will miss Thalia's atmosphere a lot. I can't imagine a better place to call home.

Thalia Civic League/Thalia
Garden Club

Scholarship Essays
Scholarship Essays

Thalia Civic League /
Thalia Garden Club

Scholarship Essay
Kayleigh Berns
                         Growing Up and Living in Thalia

                                                  Kayleigh Berns

           “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This idea is something I do my best to
    demonstrate and live by in my life. Growing up in Thalia has had a great
    impact in my life. Thalia is a one of a kind neighborhood; a family, my family.
    Through family crises, constant support, and all around kindness, my Thalia
    neighbors have truly taught me what it means to love your neighbor.

           When I was in 7th grade, my family had a bad car crash in our front
    yard, involving a drunk driver, and all of our vehicles. Thankfully no one was
    injured but it’s what happened next that had my heart racing. I was
    overwhelmed by all the love and support that was given to my family by those
    around us. The very next day when I came home from school around 4:20
    there were already 10 of our neighbors at our house to help us clean up our
    yard, and as time went on more and more came. Whether they were offering
    us their cars to use, cleaning up tiny shards of glass (or the remnants of what
    used to be my brothers “closet” aka the trunk of his car), or just providing our
    family with whatever we needed, every single one of our neighbors was
    doing whatever they could. My family and I were overwhelmed by all the love
    that had been given to us.

           Every time my family has needed anything, we have been grateful
    enough to not have to go further than the outskirts of our neighborhood.
    From giving me or my siblings a ride to school because we missed the bus or
    buying whatever it was that one of the nine Berns kids were selling for school
    this time, our Thalia neighbors have always been there. One time in
    particular I was selling cookie dough to raise money for me to go to a Young
    Life Camp for a week in the summer. I went door to door trying so hard to sell
    this overpriced cookie dough and was pleased to find that just from selling to
    some of my neighbors, I was given over $200 off of my camp cost. This is just
    one example of how loving and generous Thalia neighbors are.

           Thalia was a great place to grow up and I will forever be in debt to those
    who live in it for all they have done for me and for helping to shape who I am
    today. Thalia has given me wings to fly and start my own adventure at the
    University of Mary Washington. I started school as a Thalia Eagle and will
    finish college as a UMW Eagle. No matter where I go and what I am doing,
    Thalia will always be my home, my roots, my family.