Senior year was finally here and there were numerous things I had to worry about. Applying to colleges and universities, application fees, composing college essays, ACT/SAT scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, meeting graduation requirements, prom, senior portraits, purchasing my cap and gown, graduation invitations, and last but not least, SCHOLARSHIPS.
Going the extra mile
As a student from a severely low financial background, college scholarships became my top priority and were a pivotal factor in whether or not college would be attainable. Since tenth grade, I’ve spent my summers working closely with my college advisors, guidance counselors, and career specialist in an intensive, three-day “College Boot-Camp.” I became more knowledgeable about colleges and universities, scholarships, and how I could become a competitive applicant. Furthermore, my college advisors provided me with continuous support throughout each school year to assist me to attain my college aspirations.
With a list of “Big-Dollar” scholarships already on my radar, I backed each scholarship application up with thorough research. Conducting extensive research on a potential scholarship is essential because not only does it place you in a position that makes you aware of the background of the scholarship, but it also shows that you will go the extra mile.
I would spend days and nights comparing my stats, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles to previous winners and see if I could visualize myself as a prospective scholar.
The Gates Scholarship was the first scholarship I felt comfortable and had enough confidence to apply for. It would provide a full-ride to any college or university in the U.S. Although I made it past round one, which was the “Qualification Round,” I was not advanced past round two.