2016 All About Education Scholarship winner and tips

By Unigo

We're excited to announce the winner of the All About Education Scholarship. The question was, “How will a $3,000 scholarship for education make a difference in your life?” Check out the winning essay, followed by scholarship tips from our winner.

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Music makes me fly.

Cradled in daddy’s palms, three years old, I hollered along to “Kryptonite” as he zoomed me around the room. I reached to the plaster sky, gazed at the train city miles below, feeling like Superman. Loved. One with the music. Soaring. But.

Everyone has Kryptonite. Mine? Best friend dying in a fire. Mom fighting “fatal” cancer. Bullies: “Check if you hate Isabella.”

Antidote? Love, plus music. Rochester’s Jillian Jensen combined both on “X Factor” when she described overcoming bullying. Hearing Jill, I felt uplifted and thought, I’ll be like her. Use music to help people soar.

Inspired, I started doing all I could to help others. I taught Sunday School; served the poor in Puerto Rico, a Montana reservation, and New Bedford; and tutored in math and history (earning a President’s Volunteer Service Award silver medal). Needing top collegiate training to best help others, I kept my grades high (14th in class, top 5% on SATs) and excelled in extracurriculars (three varsity sports, math team, theater, captain of mock trial). But I worked hardest on my music, writing and performing an original musical, studying with Jill, making contest finals, and touring with Voices in Time. My plans now are simple. With a $3,000 scholarship for education, I’ll work hard in Belmont University’s songwriting program (I’ve been accepted with a scholarship) until my songs become powerful enough to lift people off their knees and smash their Kryptonite to bits.

— Isabella K.

Scholarship tips from our winner

How to create a winning scholarship essay

"If I can give any advice on applying for scholarships, it would be to apply soon, apply for many, make sure you have strong content and execution, and revise, revise, revise! The worst thing you can do is wait until the end of your senior year and find yourself drowning in scholarship applications just before you have to choose your school.

What I like to do is read through dozens of essay questions on scholarship sites like Unigo and pick out the ones that best fit my experiences and accomplishments. I then tell the truth about those experiences as clearly and vividly as possible using specific, carefully-chosen details. Lastly, I revise and revise until I have a draft that flows smoothly and makes its core argument.

But my best advice is to live the kind of life and do the kinds of things in high school that, when described, truly make you stand out to your readers later. Writing winning essays is easy when you have impressive things to write about."