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Financial Aid Scholarship - "Why should you receive a scholarship?"

Feb 2, 2011   #1
Hi there!

I am new to this site and I would really like feedback regarding my application essay for a scholarship I'm applying for at my college.

Your response to this section is your opportunity to tell the scholarship selection committee why you should receive a scholarship. Include information that you believe the committee should know as they consider your application. Your future education and career goals must be included. You may address academic or personal achievements, leadership skills, financial obligations, community activities and school achievements. Some scholarships are based on need and some are not.

Everyone has made a poor choice at some point in their life. I've made numerous that have drastically changed my course in life more than once. Looking back on those choices, I refuse to say I regret any of them. If it wasn't for those choices, I wouldn't be where I am or be the person I am today; educated, motivated, disciplined, happy, and most importantly, proud.

It was damaging being raised by a single mother addicted to alcohol and drugs. By the age of 14, I became pregnant with my first child and by 16, my second. Not long afterward, my mother chose to take her own life. I couldn't comprehend how a mother could do such a thing. I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it took to be the best mother, woman, and person I could be. My kids deserved that and much more.

I graduated high school, in 2004, with my diploma, and in 2007, with no experience what so ever, was offered a position as an Administrative Assistant within a very successful insurance company. I truly enjoyed the environment, my duties, and above all, my salary. I was blessed.

In 2008, due to careless choices and distractions outside of work, I was let go. I had allowed toxic people to influence my decisions that inevitably caused me to lose my dream job and fail my family.

Afterward, I searched for months to find a similar job, but didn't meet the requirements, due to lack of experience or education, for any administrative position. I was at a point in my life where everything was quickly falling apart. I was unemployed and forced to collect unemployment to support family. I searched for inspiration in everything and anything. One day, I came across two quotes that, to this day, I live by: "Experience teaches slowly, but at the cost of mistakes." (James A. Froude) and "Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." (Oliver Goldsmith). I realized that everyone makes "mistakes", we must learn from those mistakes, and keep going, in order to succeed at whatever it is we are trying to accomplish.

In April 2009, my life came to halt when I became pregnant with my third child. Due to a high risk pregnancy, I was bed ridden until she arrived in December. After she was born, I regrettably started examining my life. I asked myself, "What am I doing with my life?" "How did I get distracted from being the person, woman and mother I promised myself to be?" and the answer came to me bright as day. I was neglecting an opportunity available to me for so long.

In August 2010, I decided to take control of my life to better myself and to support my family. I enrolled at Waubonsee Community College full time to obtain my Associates in Applied Science for Administrative Assistance. It was challenging and frustrating at times, being a single parent and going to school, but I knew it was for the best. I also continued to seek employment, and in November 2010, I began working part time, for the Christmas season. I was one of the 4 temporary employees chosen to be hired on permanently.

In December 2010, I completed my first semester at Waubonsee, with straight A's, and I've never been more proud. I successfully accomplished two short term goals while leading a hectic, financially strained lifestyle raising three inspirational children. I have established two long term goals for myself; continue to purse my degree despite future obstacles I'm destined to face and obtain a respectable position with that acquired degree. My current short term goal is to finish this semester with all A's again regardless of distractions and restless nights.

I understand it will be an everyday struggle, like it has been my whole life, but I have goals and am determined to change my life, and the lives of my children, for the better. From time to time I will fall, but I will proudly lift myself back up and keep moving forward.

Feb 2, 2011   #2
Wow, this is truly an inspiration story. The message is clear, the story flows well, I feel like I personally know you and that I want to give you the scholarship. Besides some grammatical errors, I don't think you should change much. The structures is good overall. I am VERY impressed.
Feb 3, 2011   #3
Thank you so much for taking the time to read it and honestly critique. I worked on it for two days straight, but when it comes to writing, I'm not very confident. So thank you! I really appreciate it!
Feb 9, 2011   #4
I've made numerous that have drastically changed my course in life more than once.

Wow, I totally relate to that. But in this sentence, I think you have more words than necessary. It is redundant to say numerous and also more than once. Fewer words, fewer words! :-)

I refuse to say I regret any of them. If it wasn't for those choices, I wouldn't be where I am or be the person I am today;---excellent, that is a good attitude. But if you make any really bad mistakes, you will regret them.

I want to tell you that it sounds like making excuses and making other people responsible. I don't think you intend that, but it is my job to tell you about the impression I get... it's like... you throw your mom under the bus and talk about your bad choices in relation to her bad influence.. and toxic people... it is a bad combination. When you take responsibility for bad choices, it is best not to talk at all about other people's faults. Write a different essay about their faults. Keep 'em separated. :-)

regrettably started examining my life. --I think you mean regretfully.

Throughout this, you confess all kinds of stuff. I think you should spill the story in a few simple sentences, and focus MOST of the essay on your strong intentions, your strong interest in the work that you want to do... the contribution you want to make to your field. Don't make it like, "I regretted the way my life was and wanted to do something." Make it about the inspiration that is welling up in you, the strong desire to make a big splash in this world by doing what you do best.

I think your attitude toward mistakes is great. So let this essay be a way to share your insight and ideas about what is important to you. Let the reader know what you are going to do.

Feb 10, 2011   #5
wow this is amazing it totally inspired me, I give you tons of credit for being able to clearly say why you need this scholarship

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