Loran Scholarship Essay Contests

The Loran Scholars Foundation is pleased to announce the 28th class of Loran Scholars. These 33 young Canadians were selected from an initial pool of 4,438 applicants based on evidence of character, commitment to serving their communities and long-term leadership potential.

The selection of a Loran Scholar is unique in its attention to a young person’s character. We believe that integrity, courage, grit and personal autonomy are better indicators of overall potential than standard academic measures. To discover these traits, we administer the most comprehensive and thorough scholarship selection process in Canada. Our 350 volunteers in 21 different cities interviewed nearly 400 semi-finalists and then invited 83 finalists to our national selections on February 3rd and 4th. Each of the 33 Loran Scholars was interviewed or assessed by up to 12 different people over the course of three months.

Valued at $100,000 over four years, each Loran Award includes an annual stipend of $10,000 and matching tuition waiver, access to $10,000 in funding for summer internships, one-on-one mentorship and annual retreats and scholar gatherings. It is tenable at any of our partner universities.

Download the list (PDF)

Dawn Avery
BMO Loran Scholar - 2017
McGill University
King George Secondary School
Vancouver
British Columbia

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Dawn provides childcare at a YWCA support group and created an educational video series to help reduce the stigma of homelessness. She co-founded the school newspaper and helps organize the school's annual arts gala. Dawn teaches dance, participates in the creative writing club and volunteers with a forest education camp. She spent the summer working as a sales clerk. Close Bio

Lily Bateman
McCall MacBain Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Toronto
Northeast Kings Education Centre
Canning
Nova Scotia

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Lily is assisting an international development initiative run by people with intellectual disabilities. She is president of an environmental club and organized a nature-through-art project for local children. Lily runs track and field, performs slam poetry and is a singer-songwriter. She holds two part-time jobs. Close Bio

Jérémie Bédard
Dobson Loran Scholar - 2017
Queen's University
Champlain Regional College (St. Lawrence)
Québec
Québec

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Jérémie started a business that helps other student clubs manage their budgets. He leads the entrepreneurship club and serves as treasurer of the CEGEP student association. Jérémie relaunched a used book exchange and co-founded a competition to fund student initiatives. He volunteers with seniors, plays guitar and runs. He is employed as a customer service representative. Close Bio

Cheyenne Brown
McCall MacBain Loran Scholar - 2017
Queen's University
Kalamalka Secondary School
Vernon
British Columbia

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Cheyenne coaches three youth marksmanship teams and is a troop warrant officer with the army cadets. She served as section commander at the local cadet training centre and participated in a regional outdoor expedition. Cheyenne volunteers as a visual arts peer tutor and worked at a restaurant for three years. Close Bio

Cameron Carter
Scace Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Toronto
St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary School
Abbotsford
British Columbia

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A national water polo champion and past captain of the provincial water polo team, Cameron coached Special Olympics swim athletes and a youth team at the local community centre. He also served meals at a soup kitchen for more than three years. He runs cross country, participates in student council and works part-time. Close Bio

Katie Clarke
BMO Capital Markets Loran Scholar - 2017
University of King's College
Glebe Collegiate Institute
Ottawa
Ontario

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Katie is captain of two competitive rowing teams and organized her school's first mental health promotion week. As student council co-president, she is leading efforts to make school events more financially accessible. Katie managed a theatre show and competes in local poetry slams. She holds a part-time job at a bike shop. Close Bio

Blair Crawford
Young Fund Loran Scholar - 2017
McGill University
McKinnon Park Secondary School
Caledonia
Ontario

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To recognize the diversity within her school, Blair advocated to have the Six Nations Thanksgiving Address played during morning announcements. She helps run the diversity club and co-founded a breakfast nutrition program. Blair also serves as captain of the basketball and soccer teams. She works as a crew trainer at a fast food restaurant. Close Bio

Kieran Cyphus
Connor, Clark & Lunn Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Toronto
Heritage Woods Secondary School
Port Moody
British Columbia

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Kieran organized the school badminton team and increased its membership. He started a tutoring program and, as a volunteer at the public library, helps community members learn to use technology. Kieran plays viola in the school orchestra and is a member of the volleyball team. For the summer, he was employed at a local restaurant. Close Bio

Maggie Easton
KPMG Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Victoria
Prince Andrew High School
Dartmouth
Nova Scotia

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Maggie led a team planning therapeutic recreational activities for blind and visually impaired children. She continues to provide respite care for some of the children and is a member of the Best Buddies club at school. Maggie plays the fiddle, led a Mi'kmaq drumming class and is involved in school musicals. She worked in sales and file maintenance. Close Bio

Gwyn Foster
Rebanks Family Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Waterloo
Uxbridge Secondary School
Uxbridge
Ontario

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As a Girl Guide, Gwyn runs an outdoor leadership camp for 75 youth and co-organized a rally event for girls from Ontario and Nunavut. At school, she directed a school play and facilitates workshops on leadership, diversity and conflict resolution. She is also a member of the cross-country and mountain bike teams. During the year, she holds two part-time jobs. Close Bio

Jes Francis
Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Ottawa
Drumheller Valley Secondary School
Drumheller
Alberta

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After coming back from a five-month exchange trip to Japan, Jes started organizing events such as an annual culture festival for the international students at her school. Jes is a member of the anti-bullying club and a yearbook photographer and editor. She plays badminton and participated in a month-long digital illustration program. Close Bio

Samantha Giguere
Hydro One Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Toronto
Central Algoma Secondary School
Thessalon First Nation
Ontario

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Samantha has been organizing an annual community dinner and talent show for five years. She sings, plays the fiddle and coordinated a musical performance for a literary event. Samantha also participated in an archaeology program and helped organize a community parade float. She previously worked in the office of Thessalon First Nation. Close Bio

Parnika Godkhindi
Ralph M. Barford Loran Scholar - 2017
McMaster University
Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute
Toronto
Ontario

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Parnika is editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, co-president of the environmental club and a student business competition trainer. She has been volunteering with the cadets for over five years and, as flight commander, trains new recruits. Parnika also participates in stage productions at temple and plays badminton. She is employed as a tutor. Close Bio

Spencer Graling
Rebanks Family Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
St. Paul Regional High School
St. Paul
Alberta

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Spencer is president of his 4-H club and district council. He serves as junior coach of the bantam football team and, as captain of the senior team, started a concussion awareness campaign. Spencer also played for and led a football team in the town of Lloydminster. He curls, raises a flock of hens to sell fresh eggs and for two years operated a vending machine. Close Bio

Adam Guthrie
Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
École Secondaire Notre Dame High School
Red Deer
Alberta

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Adam volunteers as a triathlon coach for children in his community and spearheaded a garbage clean-up initiative at his school. He is also student council president and a cross-country runner. Adam helped design a science game as a learning tool for students with special needs. He plays two musical instruments and works as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. Close Bio

Allison Harrod
BMO Capital Markets Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Ottawa
Erin District High School
Hillsburgh
Ontario

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Allison helped to revive the music program at her school and volunteers as one of two student conductors. She served with the army cadets for four years and spent two summers volunteering at a children's camp. Allison plays flute, serves free breakfast at school and holds a part-time job at a grocery store. Close Bio

Kerilyn Kennedy
BMO Capital Markets Loran Scholar - 2017
Western University
Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional School
Cloverville
Nova Scotia

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For the past five years, Kerilyn has been teaching athletic and life skills to children as a volunteer with various programs. She is the captain of several sports teams, a weekly breakfast program volunteer and a member of the 4-H club. Kerilyn also assists a student with disabilities. She works on a dairy farm and for a catering company. Close Bio

Michelle Lemelin
CIBC Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
Cégep Garneau
Québec
Québec

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Michelle started and leads a beekeeping business at her CEGEP. She is also the president of another student business, for which she created a mentorship program and an online work platform. Michelle organized a winter clothing drive for refugees and helped coach a junior volleyball team. She worked at a chocolate shop. Close Bio

Janine Lock
Clearwater Loran Scholar - 2017
McGill University
Strait Area Education Recreation Centre
West Bay
Nova Scotia

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Janine runs games, activities and themed days for children who spend hours commuting on a school bus. She is president and junior leader of the 4-H club, which she has been helping to run for four years. Janine is a competitive horseback rider and a member of the curling and soccer teams. She also played the trombone in the school band and worked as a lawnmower and snow remover. Close Bio

Peeha Luthra
Ralph M. Barford Loran Scholar - 2017
McGill University
Old Scona Academic High School
Sherwood Park
Alberta

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Peeha co-leads the writing club and edits the school magazine. She started a club for gender equality at her school and, as treasurer of the student engagement team, helped organize mental health workshops. Peeha also kickboxes and is the lead actor in the school production. Close Bio

Chedi Mbaga
Applebanks Loran Scholar - 2017
University of New Brunswick
St. Michael's College School
Toronto
Ontario

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Chedi completed a short film to share the stories of youth with intellectual disabilities, serves as student government president and played lead roles in two plays. He mentors younger students in debating, dances ballet and has been an altar server for over seven years. Chedi works as a swim instructor at a community centre. Close Bio

Faris Mecklai
Loran Scholar - 2017
McMaster University
Mulgrave School
North Vancouver
British Columbia

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Faris has been volunteering within the Ismaili Muslim community for three years, most recently as a teaching assistant. He started a stream ecology club and co-leads the human rights club at school. Faris also plays trombone in the concert and jazz bands and is a member of the badminton team. Last summer, he was employed as a pizza cook and cashier. Close Bio

Umaiyahl Nageswaran
Sabourin Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
Don Mills Collegiate Institute
Toronto
Ontario

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Umaiyahl advocated to restore her school's orientation camp trip and led a team in planning the event. For two years, she has been coaching a children's soccer team. Umaiyahl is also captain of the school softball team, student council president and a member of the ukulele ensemble. Close Bio

Margaret Ovenell
CIBC Loran Scholar - 2017
McGill University
Stratford Hall
Vancouver
British Columbia

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Margaret advocated for a new gender-neutral uniform policy at her school. She has been volunteering weekly at a long-term care facility and leads the school Model United Nations club. Margaret competed as a member of the BC cycling team and participates in skeleton racing. She acts in school plays and previously worked at a bike shop. Close Bio

Hailey Radigan
Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
Parkdale Collegiate Institute
Toronto
Ontario

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As head of the gender and sexuality alliance, Hailey tripled the club's membership and advocated to incorporate LGBTQ+ content in classrooms. She has been volunteering at a soup kitchen for seven years and more recently started assisting with a refugee outreach program. Hailey runs track and field and is a member of the improvisation club. She is employed as a Sunday school teacher and a tutor. Close Bio

Matthew Reynolds
Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Waterloo
Humberview Secondary School
Bolton
Ontario

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Matthew provides audio-visual technology support for school events. He is a founding member and the team captain of the FIRST Robotics club. Matthew also helps plan music events and organized a student-run concert during a school strike. He coordinates volunteers at community athletics meets and works part-time as web developer for the school board. Close Bio

Sila Rogan
McCall MacBain Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
École Secondaire Kelvin High School
Winnipeg
Manitoba

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Sila leads the environmental club and ran activities to encourage recycling. She serves on a youth advisory council for community grants, writes for the school newspaper and helped organize the Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Awards. Sila also volunteered with a research lab for two years and works part-time. She is a member of the school cross-country team. Close Bio

Ford Smith
McCall MacBain Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
Claremont Secondary School
Victoria
British Columbia

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Ford is an active on-call volunteer crew member at the local Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue station. He volunteers with the ski patrol, providing emergency response services, and leads a Scouts venturer company. Ford also plays baseball and referees soccer. He spent the summer working at the BC Cancer Agency. Close Bio

Adrianna Vanos
Loran Scholar - 2017
University of King's College
St. James Catholic High School
Guelph
Ontario

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Adrianna has been involved with the Best Buddies club since Grade 10, supporting students with special needs, and this year is serving as its president. She manages technology for the arts council and helped organize theatre festivals in her community. Adrianna plays several musical instruments and spent two summers working with the Guelph Police Service. Close Bio

Finley Wheeler
McCall MacBain Loran Scholar - 2017
University of British Columbia
Morden Collegiate
Morden
Manitoba

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Finley is a Level III certified hockey referee and captain of the school hockey team. He led a team to win the provincial street hockey tournament and also captains the school soccer team. Finley sings and acts as the student supervisor for the Central Manitoba Youth Choir. He volunteers with the town's corn and apple festival and teaches swimming during the summer. Close Bio

Kaitlin Wong
Loran Scholar - 2017
McGill University
Killarney Secondary School
Vancouver
British Columbia

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Kaitlin organized a social media campaign and rallies to protest the closure of several elementary schools. She is captain of the field hockey team and helped expand the Model United Nations club from 5 to 20 members. Kaitlin worked as a canvasser for a federal political party and held a summer job at a juice store. Close Bio

Janelle Weslowski
Scotiabank Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Guelph
West Central High School
Rocky Mountain House
Alberta

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Janelle is active in community theatre through choreography, choir and acting. She leads her church’s youth group, which volunteers in soup kitchens and organizes community cleanups. Janelle also created a film in support of the new gender and sexuality alliance at her school. She is employed as a cashier and supervisor at a local food store. Close Bio

Hui Wen Zheng
Future Leaders Fund Loran Scholar - 2017
University of Toronto
Western Canada High School
Calgary
Alberta

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Hui Wen co-founded and leads the multicultural club, edits a community blog and helped create a program connecting students to health science research opportunities. For two years, she has been completing administrative tasks to support her school’s large fine and performing arts program. Hui Wen is also a member of the Mayor's Youth Council and a barista at a local café. Close Bio

We extend our deepest gratitude to our volunteers and to the donors who have committed to funding 30 named awards for the class of 2017. Our donors include the McCall MacBain Foundation (5); an anonymous donor (4); BMO Capital Markets (3); Rebanks Family (2); The Ralph M. Barford Foundation (2); CIBC (2); James Appleyard & Tamara Rebanks; BMO Financial Group; Jonathan Burke & Susan Yurkovich; Clearwater Seafoods; Connor, Clark & Lunn; Hydro One; The John Dobson Foundation; Future Leaders Fund; Hamilton Community Foundation – The Young Fund; KPMG; Paul & Jan Sabourin; Susan & Arthur Scace; and Scotiabank.

Media Contact

Joana Nyambura, Manager, Marketing & Communications
416.646.2120, x228
[email protected]

 

 

The following article is cross-posted from MedHopeful.com - a blog with entertainment and advice for budding physicians.

Now that you know how to think like a scholarship winner, it’s time to start writing like one. But we can’t just start writing, which is a big mistake I think some students make. Like anything important in life, you shouldn’t just jump head first into it. You need a plan.

As we learned in the previous article, you need to market yourself in a way that is conducive to the scholarship judges. So we need to learn how the judges are thinking, find what they are looking for, and emphasize those relevant qualities and experiences we have into our essays.

So how do we know what the judges are looking for?

Read the Scholarship Criteria Carefully

This should be obvious, but there are still students who don’t study this carefully enough. Most scholarships provide at least a few points or brief summary of the type of students they are looking for, both on the application form and on the website.

For example, the Loran Award states that their overall criteria are leadership, service, and character. In the application form, two of the three essays ask you to talk about a community service and leadership experience. As a result, most students just answer the questions normally, and hand in the application.

But hold on, there is a third criteria: character. In fact, the organization specifies the idea of “moral force of character”. What does this mean? If we do a bit of searching, we find a few character traits that are relevant: “honesty, integrity, courtesy, tolerance, maturity, and compassion”. Knowing this, we can then plan our essay to include specific experiences that emphasize some of these character traits, which is much superior to an essay which neglected them. These three criteria for the Loran Award were here for a reason, and ensuring that all three criteria were met in your essay answers is imperative.

So read the scholarship criteria carefully, and take advantage of all the information available. Make sure you address all of the criteria in your essays.

Read the Profiles of Past Winners

A lot of websites for scholarships post profiles of the recipients. By looking at which of the scholarship recipients’ experiences or qualities are highlighted, we can get a sense of the type of things the judges are looking for.

For example, I took a look at the profiles of the 2008 recipients for the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership and tried to look for some common terms. The three most common terms that I found among all of the recipients’ profiles were “create”, “founder”, “initiate”, and “start”: all terms that are essentially synonyms of the same concept. From this, it is easy to see that the TD Scholarship judges looks for students who have taken the initiative to turn an idea into a reality.

With this knowledge, we now know to focus our TD Scholarship essay on our experiences that involved us initiating or creating something, whether it be a youth group, conference on social justice, or an event that celebrates art in the community, etc. These essays are never long enough for us to tell our life stories, so it is important that we mention the right experiences that maximize our chances of being awarded.

Analyze the Essay Question: What is it Really Asking?

At this point, you should have a general idea of types of things the judges for your particular scholarship are looking for, and have a basic idea of which experiences / qualities from your life you wish to draw upon.

The next step is to analyze the particular essay question(s) you need to answer, and further narrow down which specific experiences and qualities are most important to use in each of your essays.

In general, most Canadian scholarships will ask for essays about the following two topics (or some alternatively worded form of it). Here we will analyze these common questions, what they really mean, and how to tackle them:

(1) Leadership:Describe an important leadership experience or important initiative you undertook. What were your successes and failures, and how did they affect your development as a leader?

Most scholarship essay questions on leadership tend to look a bit like the above question. Based on this type of question, and my experiences, it is my opinion that scholarship committees evaluate leadership essays on five major criteria. You generally want to address all of these things in your essay, whether the question explicitly asks for it or not:

  1. The extent of the leadership experience and degree of accomplishment. Essentially, what were the results? Looking at the actual accomplishment is an easy way (though not necessarily accurate) to measure the success of your leadership. For example, a youth group that has a 100 members sounds a lot better than a youth group with 10 members. It shows that you can organize large numbers, are a strong motivator for your peers, etc. Don’t be afraid to be passionate about your accomplishment (but in a non –arrogant way of course). If you’ve done a lot, say so in detail!
  2. Why you got involved in the leadership experience: What was your inspiration and how did it make you feel? This is a very important aspect that I feel is the most neglected. Scholarship judges want real students with real feelings and experiences. Sharing your initial inspiration and how it made you feel is crucial. It shows that you are sincere and real. It shows you are passionate. If your inspiration made you cry, angry, frustrated or upset, and it ultimately made you get involved – say so!
  3. What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them? Everyone loves a story of the hero overcoming obstacles and achieving victory at the end. You will see this all the time in the best movies and novels. Why? Because it is inspirational. And inspirational stories make anyone reading (in particular, the judges!) want to help you succeed. It shows that you are so passionate about your experience that you were willing to persevere and continue pressing forward despite adversity. This shows that you are genuine about your cause. It also shows that you are able to adapt to new situations, and that you don’t give up. All of these are qualities of a great leader.
  4. What did you learn? How did these lessons affect you as a leader? No one is born a leader, and no one ever stops growing as a leader. Every experience brings new lessons, and the best leaders are humble and realize this. Being able to recognize that you’ve learned about leadership in your experience shows that you are an active learner, and are cognizant of what’s going on around you. What did you learn about motivation? Leading by example? Communication? Teamwork? Integrity? Vision? These are all qualities of a leader that you learn and improve on by experience. And as such, you want to make it clear that you have gained these qualities through your experience.

    By speaking about these lessons, it shows that you have truly reflected on your experiences. And in particular, it shows that you understand what leadership is. Leadership isn’t about the title of “President” or “Captain” or “Executive Director”, and the judges want to see that you know that. The judges want to know how your experience has changed and improved you as a person and as a leader.

  5. What does this mean for the future? So you’ve done some amazing things as a leader and learned a lot – but what’s next? A scholarship isn’t an award – it’s an investment in your future. Scholarship judges want to invest in students who will continue developing as leaders and applying what they’ve learned. If you the initiative you started is continuing, or you plan on continuing being involved in your particular activity in the future, it really helps to tell them. Nothings says more about you and your genuine interest in your experiences than the fact that you will continue to stay involved.

(2) Volunteering / Community Service:Describe your most important contribution to your school or community. Why was it meaningful for you and your community?

For students who are involved in a lot of community leadership activities, it might be easy to fall into the trap of answering it like the leadership essay. But be aware, the two types of essay questions are often asked separately for a reason. The leadership essay is about leadership: the skills you learned, how it has affected your growth, and what you will do with those skills in the future. The community essay is about community service: why the community needed it and how you fulfilled that need, that you learned the value of service, and (I guess a theme that is common to both) what you learned along the way. I highly suggest you address the following four criteria in your community essay:

  1. This is an activity you dedicated a fair amount of time to. The scholarship judges are looking for students who made a fairly long commitment to a community activity. To say that your one month stint at the local hospital was your most important contribution to your community seems a bit farfetched, and suggests you did not have anything more meaningful to mention. Not to say that one month or less at a certain community service is not meaningful (because that is not true whatsoever!): my point is more geared towards how your essay will be received. From the perspective of the scholarship committee, if one month appears to be your longest commitment, your story simply isn’t very convincing. Between two activities you could talk about, I would almost always choose to mention your activity that you had a significantly longer dedication to.
  2. Why was it important to you? Whether it be a specific moment that got you involved and/or something personal you gained while being involved, it is important for you to share why it is important that you continue to be involved in this community service activity. Having a genuine reason (that makes sense!) for why you remain involved in the activity goes a long way to building a convincing essay. It might be hard for you to figure this out initially, but that’s okay – set some time to really think about why you are doing these great things you do, and brainstorm ways to put it into words. It might be the simple joy you get from helping others, the excitement of trying something new, or the opportunity to form relationships with others. There are many reasons why there is value in community service, and everyone’s reasons are all true and admirable.
  3. Why was it important to the community? Simply put, what would happen to your community if you didn’t do what you do? Servant leadership is all about using your leadership skills to help those in need. Being able to respond to those in need in your community is a true sign of altruism, and proof that you have a higher level of observation and willingness to act. It’s admirable for anyone to provide help to others, but it’s even more impressive to see that you recognize the real needs in your communities and do something about it.

    Imagine you are a scholarship committee and there are two candidates. Candidate 1 has collected 10,000 cans of food for a local food bank that is already brimming with donations. Candidate 2 has raised $1,000.00 for a forgotten homeless youth shelter that is in terrible shape. Both candidates have done amazing and truly admirable things. But which of the two candidates has really thought about the needs of their communities and acted upon it?

  4. Do you really understand the value of community service? It’s unfortunate that a lot of students simply see community service as a hoop they have to jump through. Or as a bullet point on their resume or student application. To be fair, I was also in that mind set early in high school. But as I got older and more involved in the community, I realized how valuable it is. In my honest opinion, I feel that the education I received through my involvement in the community was more important than my formal education.

    Almost everything I have learned in school I could have learned from a text book. Conversely, you can’t learn leadership, communication, team work, conflict resolution, and a myriad of other skills from a text book. These are things you have to experience, and you don’t really experience these on a deeper level in school. Not to say that school isn’t important, but just to illustrate that your education outside of school is just as, if not more, important.

    Sharing what community service has taught you and how it helped you develop demonstrates that you have truly gained from community service, and suggests you will continue doing it, whether in the same or different forms. It shows that you realize that by giving, you end up receiving more in the end.

Theme-Specific Scholarship Essays

Some of the scholarship essays you will write may be “theme-specific”. For example, an environmental scholarship might ask you about your most important environmental contribution. Maybe the multiculturalism scholarship wants you to describe your most meaningful contribution to the promotion of cultural diversity.

Just realize that these are simply alternative forms of the two major topics of leadership and volunteerism we discussed above. The only difference is that the activities you choose to answer the essay questions will need to also fit the bill of the theme at hand. All of the other areas you should address remain the same.

A Check List of Scholarship Themes

The following is just a list of important themes and character traits that you should try and highlight about yourself in most scholarship essays. I’m not saying you need to cover all of these (decide what is appropriate for the specific essay), but most strong scholarship essays will cover a combination of these. We have already discussed many of these themes, so most of these will be familiar:

  • Passion
  • Leadership
  • Altruism
  • Achievement
  • Perseverance
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Sincerity
  • Visionary
  • Long-term / Future

Time to Begin Outlining Your Essay

At this point, you should have a pretty clear idea of which specific experiences, stories, ideas, and lessons you want to mention for each of your scholarship essay questions. Brainstorm and write those down on paper.

Now it’s time to develop an outline for your essay that incorporates all of these things you’ve written down. Not saying this is what it has to look like, but if you’re having writer’s block, a basic type of outline could be:

  1. Introduction: Your story about how you first got involved in the leadership/community activity.
  2. Body: A description of your efforts in the activity, the results of the activity, the lessons learned, proof that you understand what leadership means / you understand the value of the community activity, etc.
  3. Conclusion: How will this experience affect you in the future? Will you be continuing to do this? What’s next? What final thoughts can you take away from this?

At this point, simply organizing bullet points in order for each section of the outline is great. Even just topic sentences or the main ideas are good enough for now.

Feel free to be creative with your outline, but just remember that clear and concise is much better than ambiguous and creative. You don’t want to confuse the judges.

You can now begin writing out the actual essay if you like, though I suggest you first read Part 3 of this series, which will help you figure out how to word and write your essay.

Remember, how you write it is as important as what you write!

 

Click here to read Part 1 of Joshua's series on How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay: Thinking Like a Scholarship Winner.

JOSHUA LIU is currently a Biomedical Sciences student at York University. He is the founder of SMARTS: the Youth Science Foundation Canada's national youth science network, which connects over 300 young people and 200 schools today. He also currently sits on Shad International's Board of Directors. Joshua has spoken as a presenter, panelist, and keynote at numerous student conferences. He was named as one of Canada's "Top 20 Under 20" in 2005, and is a recipient of the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership.

For more articles like this one, check out Joshua's blog at MedHopeful.com

Image courtesy of user "J'Roo" at Flickr.com via Creative Commons License.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnicho02/2529067478/


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