Tomasina DeLong of Shaker Heights, OH, prides herself on preparedness. As someone who is part of an at-risk population and the daughter of a continuity professional, she found herself ahead of the curve as the recent pandemic was unfolding. And now she finds herself the winner of this year’s DRI Foundation $5,000 scholarship for a college-bound high school senior.
“When I was six, I almost died from an allergic reaction,” she says. “Since then, I’ve been carrying an Epi-Pen and an inhaler for my asthma.” Her constant companion and “trademark” is her backpack filled with essentials like water, bandages, and ice packs. “I’m kind of the mom of my group,” she says. “I always like to prepare.”
Tomasina recently graduated from Shaker Heights High School with a 4.65 GPA and will be attending The Ohio State University in pursuit of a medical career. Her application contains her prize-winning essay discussing how she could affect preparedness in her community (read it here).
“She’s incredibly smart and incredibly hard working and driven not just to achieve but to help others and serve,” says her dad, Aaron DeLong, CBCP. DeLong is solution lead for security and business continuity services for AXIA Consulting. “Her work ethic is just incredible.”
As for Tomasina, she thinks her dad is pretty incredible too. “I really learned from hearing about his job,” she says. “Looking at everything from every possible scenario has always been a strength of mine. And knowing that if something were to fail, I also know how to back it up.”
Tomasina thanks the DRI Foundation and says she is “honored” that she was chosen for the scholarship. “I’m very proud to represent my father and the work he does so well.”