To Do

To Do

515. Set up a scholarship

My Story

Updated February 28, 2010

I’d like to set up a scholarship for students just like me. I was a good student who loved going to school, and loved learning. I still do. I worked hard, read anything I could get my hands on, rarely turned in homework assignments late, and participated in anti-drug and alcohol groups, the marching band, the prom decorating committee, and talent shows. I started a babysitting business when I was 12 and that kept me pretty busy. When I turned 16 and was finally old enough to be hired at a “real” job, I started working at Dairy Queen and turned over my babysitting customers to my younger sisters.

For all that, it was just about impossible for me to get a scholarship. My parents made a comfortable middle class income that put me out of the running for the low-income scholarships, and my complete lack of coordination put me out of the running for most of the rest, which were athletic scholarships. Finding and applying for scholarships was an exercise in futility. Though maybe now the internets have made that a little easier.

My parents may have been making a comfortable wage, but I was on my own for school – nobody seemed to want to take that into consideration – that the actual income that should be considered was the money I was making at Dairy Queen. It was an exercise in frustration that led me to leave my first choice school drowning in debt after one semester. It took me about three or four years to finally pay for that one semester. Then I scrimped and saved and attended a community college while working full time. I finally won a modest scholarship from my employer that helped me pay for the last two years of my schooling. All told, it took me 6 and a half years of attending school to finally earn my bachelor’s degree, and then another 12 years beyond that to finally pay off the student loans.

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