Applying for Scholarships Scholarship Applications Scholarship Essays

Using Your Homework and Assignments for Scholarships

If you or your student is juggling various activities (working, clubs, practicing, volunteering, etc.), then I feel your pain.

It’s rough because there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day. Everyone has challenging semesters, six-weeks, or quarters. But how do we balance those priorities with searching for scholarships?

Is This You?

One of my end-of-the-semester doctoral assignments was to highlight an academic leader that was either dead or alive. I decided to write about the life, skills, strategies, and qualities of Booker T. Washington.

And while I had read and learned about him on numerous occasions, I had never done any research on his work. I’m not talking referring to a Wikipedia quick check. I mean real (extensive) research.

You see, Booker T. Washington was born a slave. However, his determination led him to receive unprecedented educational opportunities upon his freedom. Because of his hard work and dedication to his studies, he was accepted into one of the few colleges at that time that admitted African and Native Americans.

Here’s what makes his story so inspirational.

He traveled by foot, hitched buggy rides, and jumped onto trains to make the 300 mile trip from West Virginia to Virginia to attend college. Talk about a hunger and desire to succeed! To be honest, I don’t know if I would have been able to do that if I were in his shoes. And his story didn’t stop there…

His commitment to excellence led him to assume the position of “Assistant to the Founder” of Hampton Institute. From there, he was appointed to start his own college at twenty-five!

How I Saved Hours on My Scholarship Applications

Throughout his career, Booker T. Washington faced what could be viewed as insurmountable obstacles. However, his relentless pursuit to leave this world a better place allowed him to live his legacy.

As I’ve discovered more about Mr. Washington’s story, I see similarities between us.

He was dedicated to his education no matter what circumstances surrounded him.

He believed that in order to be truly successful, hard work was required.

He maintained a high level of confidence in the face of adversity.

I think these quotes also describe his attitude regarding life:

  •  “Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.”
  • “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
  • “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”
  • “One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.”
  • “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

and last…

Character is power. - Booker T. WashingtonClick To Tweet

(I love quotes, but I’ll stop there!)

In completing that assignment, I became hungry for success again.

Even as I share this with you, it’s igniting something within me to continue to raise the bar.

I’ve saved hours of time on my scholarships because his story fuels my fire. It adds to my desire to have a better life because of all of the sacrifices my family has made.

Real Talk: My great-grandfather could not read or write, so for his great-granddaughter to pursue a doctorate degree is legacy altering. My passion for making my family proud saves me hours on applications each and every day.

Use This Strategy on Upcoming Scholarships

Which past homework or class assignments have impacted you?

Think about it because those papers, posters, and projects can be used as scholarship materials.

Have you written, researched, or studied:

  • Historical Figures
  • Important Historical Events
  • Current/Past Societal Issues, Initiatives, or Movements
  • Classic Books, Texts, and Speeches
  • Your Own Family’s History

You don’t have to stop with these suggestions.

Go back and look at homework from over the years to help you and your family save time. See if you can incorporate that information into some of your upcoming scholarships.

Need help brainstorming and figuring out ideas? Make sure you schedule some time to chat with me or one of our Scholarship Coaches. Plus it’s free. Just click here to schedule a Scholarship Strategy Blueprint Session.

STUDENTS: Feel free to leave me questions/comments below or to ask me about certain homework assignments you’re thinking about using!

PARENTS: Talk to me about some of the projects you’ve been working on late at night with your child 😉

Let’s get your family headed in the right direction.

Feature Image Artwork Credit: iStockPhoto/golubovy

About Your Author
Having earned well over $150,000 in scholarships to pay for her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, Gabrielle McCormick teaches students, parents, and education professionals from across the country about winning scholarships to pay for college. Between finishing her dissertation and watching the NFL and NBA, she runs Scholarship Informer in her efforts to make college affordable for anyone that wishes to attend.
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