Hudson grad finds purpose in serving others

Amy Fulton wins Franklin B. Walter Award

Yeji Kim
Hudson High School
Amy Fulton plans to study at Duke University, pursuing a career in medicine.

Hudson High School Class of 2020 graduate Amy Fulton has left a lasting mark through both her service and dedication to the community around her, all while demonstrating academic excellence.

Recently, Fulton was awarded the Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award, an award given to one high school senior in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Those awarded demonstrate academic achievement, personal accomplishments, and community service, three things Fulton was noted for throughout her high school career.

She was a National Merit Finalist, nominated for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence, and also a District-Nominated Akron Beacon Journal Star Student this year. This summer, Fulton is training to be an Emergency Medical Technician through online courses and hands-on clinical training, with a required total of 200 hours of training. She hopes to be certified as an EMT this summer so she can start helping the community as soon as possible.

“You don’t have time to do everything that you want to in life so be grateful for the things you do have time to do,” she said, referring to the variety of different activities she has been involved with, “When things don’t work out for whatever reason, remember that there are so many other opportunities as well.”

Her dedication to service is nothing new, as she has been involved with the Hudson community since her freshman year. She says service “puts everything in a better perspective.”

“If you actually want to understand people and understand the world and have a perspective on what matters and what doesn’t, you have to be out there working with people,” she added. “Volunteer with a group you are unfamiliar with and try to get a perspective on something that you don’t know much about.”

In her senior year, she was enrolled in HHS’s Service Learning class, where she was able to volunteer at Barber Elementary School; Stewart’s Caring Place; Access, Inc.; and Elara Caring. In her senior year, Fulton was also President of Key Club — a club dedicated to service and leadership — as well as co-president of the local Drug Free Clubs of America chapter and secretary of the Hudson Community First Youth Advisory Board.

She said leadership roles have also taught her lessons.

“People are always willing to help you out if you’re willing to ask them ... so never be afraid to ask for help with things.”

Another crucial part of her educational career in the Hudson City School District has been the HHS Drumline and Concert Band. For her, it was one of the most rewarding experiences.

While she struggled in the beginning, she gradually worked her way up as a result of hard work and enjoyment. Fulton was a Head Senior Squad Leader and a Drumline Section Leader this school year.

She also participated in Hudson Youth Cross Country. Through cross country, she learned the perfect balance between supporting her team and preserving her own competitiveness, both of which came together to demonstrate the importance of teamwork. This year, Fulton was the recipient of a Ray Hyser Sportsmanship Award.

She advises those still completing their high school careers to get involved and find activities they thoroughly enjoy and can speak passionately about.

“More than any one activity, I think I learned from all of them about so many different people,” she said. “I got to meet so many cool people and I got to really get my feet wet with different things and finally find what stuck for me.”

Fulton will continue her interests in the medical field at Duke University in the fall, studying neuroscience on a pre-med track, with a possible minor in Spanish.

Eventually, she hopes to become a neurosurgeon.

“I just think the brain and nervous system are super fascinating and I love the idea that all of who we are can theoretically be explained by the chemical reactions and electrical impulses going on,” she said.

Additionally, she will further her love for service through one of Duke’s FOCUS (First-year Opportunity for Comprehensive, Unified Study) programs called Knowledge in the Service of Society. In this program, Fulton will take service-based classes and participate in various service projects.

On campus, she is also planning to be a part of the drumline and hopes to join an EMS group or an off-campus private ambulance company.

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About the award

The Ohio Educational Service Center Association recognized 84 of Ohio’s top students from across the state during the 31st Annual Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Awards Program on May 12.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was held virtually through two-way interactive video and live streamed on the Association’s YouTube Channel. Kerri Weir, OESCA president and superintendent of the Northwest Ohio ESC, stated, “We could not let current circumstances prevent us from honoring these outstanding students.”

The awards program, named in honor of Ohio’s 31st State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Franklin B. Walter, was established in 1989 by OESCA to promote and recognize outstanding student leaders for their academic achievement and service to their schools and communities. One senior from each county in Ohio was eligible to receive this annual honor. Recipients were required to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and community service as indicated by high school grades, test scores, school and community activities and awards.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted delivered the keynote address at this year’s program.

“We are honored to have the Lieutenant Governor address the students and families,” stated OESCA Executive Director Craig Burford. “In order to achieve this level of success, these students have demonstrated bold leadership, resilience and grit. These are the same characteristics the DeWine Administration has displayed and called upon each of us to model for our families and communities during this unique time in our state’s history. We are grateful to have a member of the Administration address the award winners.”

Over the past 31 years, OESCA has recognized over 2,500 scholars and student leaders during this event.

“Ohio’s ESCs have over a century of service in providing technical assistance and support to Ohio’s schools and students, and during this event we get to see the impact of that work,” added Burford.

“We look forward to our continued partnership with school district leadership and state policymakers to ensure students have the tools and resources necessary to succeed regardless of where they live and attend school.”