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‘The Avengers lives changed entirely’: Salem senior wins scholarship comparing high school experience to Marvel movies

The speech includes nine Marvel characters by name as well as other references to the MCU

The speech includes nine Marvel characters by name as well as other references to the MCU
The speech includes nine Marvel characters by name as well as other references to the MCU

SALEM, Va. – High school and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While for most, the two don’t go together, that’s not the case for Nathan Snow.

Nathan just graduated from Salem High School and has racked up a bunch of scholarships from the Salem Education Foundation, PTA, and Junior League of Roanoke Valley.

“We’ve applied for probably around 20 to 30 scholarships and just hope for the best. We still have some of those coming in now,” said Snow.

With three people in his family, including his twin sister in college next year, every dollar counts.

Recently, he learned he won another scholarship.

“I was very surprised. I had started competing in forensics this year and had been giving speeches. But with one year’s experience, I wasn’t expecting to win any sort of scholarship with whatever speech I came up with. It was very shocking,” said Snow.

The senior sent in this video.

“Our high school experience has been interesting to say the least,” starts Snow in the entry video.

He won the Virtual Valedictorian Scholarship by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). The scholarship recognizes select high school seniors who submitted special messages for the class of 2021 - full of inspiration and encouragement.

“The Marvel Cinematic Universe relates to our unusual high school experience in more ways than we may realize,” said Snow in the video. “The Avengers lives changed entirely just as our lives changed because of the lockdown due to the pandemic. Like the Avengers, we were shocked and defeated.”

Yep, you read that right. He compared his school experience dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

“My family and a lot of other people I know turned towards the MCU during the pandemic with the premiere of the new Marvel TV shows on Disney+ so I think that was part of what triggered me writing the speech. It was seeing that Marvel gave us something to look forward to during the pandemic and it really just kind of helped us all to get through it,” said Snow. “I’ve always been a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I sat down and started thinking about what I would say to my class of students. Especially in this crazy year I realized that the pandemic and the Marvel Cinematic Universe kind of line up in more ways than we would expect,” said Snow.

His five-minute speech references nine Marvel characters by name, from Ant-Man to Vision, and included other references to the cinematic universe that consists of more than two dozen movies and TV shows.

“Even when the world seems to be against you, us Spartans have your back because the Spartans are our own group of superheroes. Even though we may go our separate ways, like the Avengers we are always prepared to assemble again against whatever challenges we face,” said Snow.

If you’re looking to win scholarships, he has great advice, “We had to apply to a lot of scholarships just to get a few wins. You aren’t going to win every scholarship but if you can apply to more scholarships you’ll improve your chances of winning some.”

He’s going to UVA and after that, is planning to go to law school. His brother applied for scholarships a couple of years ago as a graduating senior, so he applied to some of the same ones.

Snow encourages people to check out the NSHSS for scholarships.


About the Author:

You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m.