Heeding the maxim that hangs on the refrigerator door in her Kaysville home, Jennifer Harward hasn't traded momentary pleasures like television for hard work and saving for a college education.
For Jennifer, who is 17 and a senior at Davis High School, life has been a constant quest for what she wants most. She works part time as a school custodian to earn money for college, has tied with four others for the top academic honor in her class, has lettered twice in track and still finds time to sleep."It has made me appreciate what I have. A lot of people take what they have for granted," she said.
Just listening to her daily schedule is enough to make one tired. It all starts at 4:30 a.m., after an average of only five hours of sleep. Harward arises and begins poring over the books, completing the day's homework assignments and studying for tests. She is off to school at 7:30 a.m. and attends class until 2:30 p.m.
It's then to track practice until 5 p.m. From 5 to 8 p.m., she sweeps and mops the halls of her school and then goes home to hit the books again. Her day ends between 11 p.m. and midnight. She admits she gave up television long ago and has turned down a lot of opportunities to "go out and have fun" with friends.
Somehow she has found time, as an officer of the National Honor Society, to help organize monthly dinners at area nursing homes. She also served as manager of her school's girls volleyball team and helped a school business club organize a yearly food drive for Salt Lake homeless shelters.
All the hard work is paying dividends. Harward is one of 30 students nationwide who has received a $5,000 scholarship, sponsored by the Horatio Alger Association of Alexandria, Va.
"I guess I would want myself described as hard-working and having `stick-to-itiveness,' " she said. "I have really learned the value of time."
Part her of tenacity comes from the fact that Harward always knew if she were to get to college, it would be by earning her own way and excelling in school. She has also been driven to work harder because, she says, some teachers and students felt that because she cleaned the classroom, she couldn't excel in it.
Another part of her initiative comes from the fact that her parents taught her how to work.
"Our family doesn't have a lot of money. We always had to work for everything," she said, explaining that during her young years her family saw some tough times after her parents' divorce. Her parents are Mary Benjamin and Roger Harward. Harward lives with her mother.
She received the scholarship at a special assembly at Davis High School Friday and will also be honored during a expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in May.
"She exemplifies what we hope we are teaching. She has learned the values of education and the rewards that can come from hard work and desire," said Clyde Jackson, Davis High assistant principal.