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"my first public speaking" a challenge I faced or personal accomplishment I achieved

free2Bme 1 / 2  
Mar 25, 2011   #1
This is a question for a few scholarships that I am applying for, some of the scholarships are for students in recovery or who have had hardships such as abuse, eating disorders, etc...However, this essay will actually go with the application that many different scholarships can be choosen from. This is my first time writing essays for this matter. I am 47 years old and re-entering college now that my children are grown and I lost my job. How much is one to write about themselves and not be considered too much or inappropiate. I am enclosing one of my essays. Please let me know if this is right for the question and/or am I missing the question all together. Thank you for your time and professional insight.

Describe a challenge I faced or personal accomplishment I achieved.
Describe my strengths and skills I need / used to face the challenge or achieved (300-500 words)

One month ago, I stood before ninety high school students preparing to tell them my story. This was not my first public speaking engagement nor will it be my last. I have been sharing my experiences, strength and hope with the public since the first day I was diagnosed with HIV on New Years of 2007. The few years prior to being diagnosed, my life had hit an all-time low, unemployed and homeless I had made a few poor decisions to survive. I spent much time in a tumult of sadness and disbelief. Until one day, I reached out and asked for help. That was the beginning of my new life. I surrendered my addiction and entered into an inpatient program, and then outpatient and I continue to work my recovery on a daily basis. I have learned a great deal from the challenges in my life, the strength, and courage that I have has helped me to make responsible productive choices for my future.

I volunteer doing outreach help within the HIV community as well as helping woman who are survivors of abuse and addiction because no woman should feel powerless. I have spent the past year learning a great deal about the many challenges faced by foster youth and "street kids". I am known as "mom" or "auntie" too many of the youth that I have helped through various outreach efforts. I am helping my family heal, which, in turn; my actions are breaking the chain of repeated abuses that have plagued my family for all generations. These experiences have helped me to decide where I will be once my educational goals have been meet. I am striving for a degree in social work emphasizing health education and youth outreach. I cannot achieve these goals without the generous help from scholarships.

I have faced academic challenges the past three quarters at Portland Community College it has been an exciting year for me. I learned a great deal about my strengths and weaknesses and I have explored and used the many services available to students. I am enthusiastic and motivated to accomplish what my parents were not able to achieve because of family obligations. I am a first generation in my family to attend college at the age of forty-seven. Today, I am proud to be a freshman with thirty-two credits completed towards my transferrable degree to a four-year college. I have been so blessed and grateful to have this second chance. I am no longer a survivor. I am committed, dedicated, and excited to open doors that I never thought would be possible. I thank you for taking the time in considering me a candidate for your scholarship in support of my educational needs.

written by LMC 3/25/2011

I feel that maybe I should focus on one topic and my strengths...I am just a bit overwhelmed and would be very grateful for some advice.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Mar 27, 2011   #2
Use a comma:
This was not my first public speaking engagement, nor will it be my last.

I am known as "mom" or "auntie" too to many of the youths that I have ...

... family for all generations.

Use a comma in the compound sentence:
I have faced academic challenges the past three quarters at Portland Community College, and it has been an exciting year for me.

Excellent... this is powerful writing. I guess if I am to make a suggestion, I will say it is good if you can give some more discussion to your intellectual/career interests. I know this is supposed to be about a challenge, but you still can find a way to incorporate some discussion of the action plan that leads you to apply for this scholarship. Do you know what I mean? Try to end the essay with some mention of the way this scholarship will affect your ability to carry out your plan, and be specific.

Also, it this really about the challenge of public speaking? I think it is about more than that.
You are a great writer!
OP free2Bme 1 / 2  
Mar 28, 2011   #3
Hi EF_Kevin,
Thank you for your insight and advice regarding my essay. I will make the corrections and add more information about my educational goals and how the scholarship will help me to accomplish my plans. I am very grateful for the time you have spent reviewing my work, and thank you so very much for the compliment.

Lisa Carpenito
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Mar 28, 2011   #4
Thanks for being here, Lisa! And if you have time, maybe you can give some advice to these diverse kids we help here.

OP free2Bme 1 / 2  
Mar 28, 2011   #5
Thank you Kevin,
I will gladly check in on these amazing writers and help the best I can with advice and positive feedback. Once again, thank you for your advice and for the invitation to help out.

Lisa Carpenito
salma 1 / 3  
Mar 30, 2011   #6
Hi!! i really like your essay!! it has a powerful voice of commitment!!
can you please help me with my essay? Thank you!!!

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