By UnigoWe are very excited to announce the winner of the $5,000 Unigo Education Matters Scholarship. The question was, “Why does education matter to you? What is the value you hope to receive from college? What would you do to convince the college cynics?” Check out Kiet’s winning essay and scholarship tips. Winning scholarship essay Lights flickering in the dreary night, crickets chirping through the weary moonlight, clock ticking out of sight – the suspense was quiet. “Look what I won!” she blurted, rippling the silence. I felt touched that out of our nineteen family members, Kayleen, my six-year-old cousin, chose me to show her spelling bee award to. Her mother stated before our call that she “was getting great grades like you.” At the age of seventeen, to see her motivated by me was the proudest moment of my life. It meant that my hard work prompted my cousin to dream big and do the same, that my endless studies impacted my family’s possibilities, and that my dreams helped them rise. Kayleen’s simple gesture has made me realize a greater drive, that I’m impacting my whole extended family, that I’m pushing the boundary of possibilities, and I’m paving way for hundreds of generations after me. Knowing that story, I’d say you’re wrong! And you’ve never been so wrong in your entire life. Education matters. It helps push boundaries, it allows families to rise from hardships, and it promotes big dreams. Although reading and studying can seem quite daunting, I can assure you that your studies help motivate the people around you as it did for my six-year-old cousin. And in return, you rise with a greater purpose, a drive, which inevitably helps bring you one step closer to your dream. Scholarship tips from our winner Finding Scholarships The key to winning a scholarship is finding a topic that you enjoy. Once you pick a topic that interests you, it becomes easier to have fun and pour your heart and soul into whatever you are writing. You can’t win a scholarship if you don’t apply, so don’t be afraid. Although it may sound impossible to be chosen, you have to try. Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay My mentor once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So, when applying for scholarships, seize every opportunity. Although applications look discouraging and chances slim, don’t ever overlook the odds of success. Believe in yourself and craft a story with passion. Although you’ll be turned down for some, learn from those failures and improve your craft. Ultimately, from every opportunity and every improvement, you’ll have produced an incredible-scholarship-winning essay.