Atim Bedell, a member of the Class of 2018 from Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, has been awarded a full four-year scholarship to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she plans to major in creative writing with an eye toward becoming a novelist. 

Bedell, who graduates from Seton with a 4.0 average, was awarded the Evans Scholarship through the Western Golf Association, a 120-year-old organization created to promote the sport.

For the past 90 years, the organization has sponsored the Evans Scholarship. Established by Chick Evans, one of the nation’s top golfers in the 1920s, the prestigious scholarship provides a full scholarship, including room and board, to deserving caddies who demonstrate scholarship, fellowship and leadership.

Bedell also participates in the association’s Caddy Academy, which Bedell explained is an all-female summer program where young women serve as caddies at golf courses in Illinois in an effort “to increase among women an awareness of golf and caddying.”

“What I learned (from golf) is patience, of course, but also how important it is to find the right fit,” Bedell said. “In golf you have to take into account how your club fits, how you should stand and where you need to be. Golf makes you take everything into account to reach your goal, and that is important in everything you do.”

Bedell also works as a caddy at the Chevy Chase Country Club. As the only female caddy there, she said, “Sometimes they (golfers) are surprised and sometimes doubtful, but they are impressed.”

The daughter of Gbutukla and Deddeh Bedell, natives of Liberia, Atim and her family are members of St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring. There, she is an altar server and Eucharistic minister. She has three younger brothers – one a student at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, and two who are students at Holy Redeemer School in College Park.

Bedell came to Elizabeth Seton High School from St. Francis International School in Silver Spring. “My dad thought a Catholic education was a better experience for me, and I have come to agree with that,” Bedell said. “I get support for my faith and through religion classes I have learned a lot about my faith. This is a good school with a good curriculum that gives you a good foundation for life.”

Outside of the classroom and off the golf course, Bedell had a busy four years at Seton. She was a member of the National Honor Society and served as its secretary. She was also member of the Ambassadors Club, an invitation-only group who act as representatives of the school, visiting middle schools, assisting with school functions and hosting visiting students and their parents.

Bedell also served as a No Place For Hate council member, helping lead a group of students who work against bullying, bias and discrimination.

Through workshops and other programs, Bedell said, the group “shows how even subtle forms of discrimination can hurt others. We encourage students to make small differences that matter in how they deal with people.”

Bedell was also enrolled in Seton’s unique pre-pharmacy program, and she sat for her pharmacy exam earlier this month to qualify as a state licensed pharmacology technician.

Seton’s pre-pharmacy program provides students with basic knowledge and practices in pharmacology, and hands-on experience working in pharmacy labs. Students who complete the course, the state-approved final exam, and 160 hours of work in community-based and hospital-based pharmacies may apply for Maryland state certification as a pharmacy technician.

While she does not intend to pursue a career in pharmacology, Bedell called the program “beneficial and pretty fun.” She said it “taught me people skills. I learned how to interact with people and that is important. I learned how to be patient.”

She participated in the Capital Partners for Education program where she had a mentor throughout her four years at Seton. Bedell said that she and her mentor, “hang out, talk, and she offers me a lot of advice.” Bedell was also a “Big Sister” to an incoming freshman.

“You act as a guide and be a mentor and if they have questions, they can ask you,” she said. “It’s good to have care and concern for other people and to put others before yourself and be a good role model for others."