We're excited to announce the winners of the Unigo I Have a Dream Scholarship!

"We want to know … what do you dream about? Whether it’s some bizarre dream you had last week, or your hopes for the future, share your dreams with us for a chance to win $1,500 for college."

For these lucky applicants, dreams of winning a scholarship just came true. Whether it be a deep slumber, carefree daze, or hope for the future, our I Have a Dream Scholarship allows students to let their dreams be their muse. See our past winners and their scholarship responses below.

Want to be a featured winner? Check Our Scholarships for a new scholarship every month. Or, get instant, personalized matching from millions of scholarships worth over $14 billion with our Scholarship Match.

2018 Winner

Jefferson C. / Downers Grove South High School
Westmont, IL

Mid-day summer. Heat is scorching. Buckets of Ivory blue. Brushes pressed against the walls. The men are statues moving the brush. The men fill the room with color. The men spend hours in the same position. Their knees start to crumble. Back starts to worsen. Hands start cracking from the oceans of color. Their lungs fill with carcinogenic particles. The flames arise from the machinery. The ingredients are set forth. Pressure is on. The men assemble the food like machines. Time is ticking. The men work for hours. Through days and nights. Through holidays and special events. The men endure the suffering of humiliation and despair. They endure the cruelty of harsh hours, intensified conditions and the humiliation of working at a low wage job. The men. They have a purpose and desire. They are enduring the pain for others. They are as brave as any soldier. They are as humble as MLK Jr. They are as loyal as any long life friend. They are capable of anything.

Those men are my father. My father's dream is for my siblings and I to not endure the pain he has suffered. To go through college and achieve a high earning career. To provide like he has throughout all these years. My dream is to follow my father. To provide for those who can't. To provide for those in need. To doing the right things in life.

2017 Winner

An W.
West Richland, WA

Wield beautifully sharp knives that sing in the air. Slice pork in translucent layers, gristle and fat transform into shimmery ephemeral sheets. Set pan a-sizzle. Savory scent wafts up, drop in rosemary, thyme, potato. Artfully arrange on blindingly white plate. Drizzle thick rich syrup over it all. Judge’s mouth is open, got a little bit of drool there, sir. Audience clamors, wants a closer look. He spears food with fork, brings it steaming to his mouth. Tastes it. Bliss spreads over face. Shouts “First prize, ladies and gents, I give you—”

Wake up. Grasp at that dream, futilely. Can’t remember anymore.

Muster the motivation, somehow, to stand up. Back to the grind, to college, to classes. Lose myself in exams, career-searching, stress. Stomach grumbles. Bite into cold dead sandwich. Memory flashes: exquisite herbs on the best-roasted cuts. Drop tasteless bread. Opt, instead, for lemon ricotta pancakes. Sunny-side eggs. Burn tongue countless times on hot clam chowder. Gather army equipped with spatulas. Make our mark with glorious midnight spaghetti, boiled in golden dim lighting. Custom ramen slurped down against a.m. hours, friends laugh and clutch warm bowls. Roast kale with honey, raisins, nuts — didn’t know green stuff could taste so good. Cocoa cookies. Happiness tastes crunchy, light, delectable. Spread it a little, knock on dorm doors. Watch butterscotch chips melt into smiles.

Fall asleep to minty fresh toothpaste tingles fading on tongue. Dream in flavor.

2016 Winner

Jarom D.
Terre Haute, IN

Hands were made for doing. The hands of a carpenter carve, the hands of a sculptor make beautiful things, the hands of a mother love, the hands of a father protect. Mine are the hands of a house painter. They are covered in wall paints of every hue. The hands of a painter can only do so much at one time, they are limited to the width of a brush. The hands of a painter are constrained to the abilities of the tools he is given, to the room he is placed in. My dream is to be no longer constrained to the room in which I paint. I want to study economics, and affect the lives of people far beyond the reach of my brush. I want to be able to rectify failing economies of rural villages of third world countries all over the world, and in doing so enable and educate others to be able to create self sustaining economies within their villages, and be able to help other villages do the same.

I learned a long time ago that where you are and what you are doing doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you are trying to do, and who you are willing to become. This painter wants to paint a bright future, as an economist, for thousands of lives who might then be able to use their hands to make something beautiful.

2015 Winner

Leann I.
Fort Worth, TX

Major: Leann I.

Frustration, indignation, and infuriation crowd school hallways. Powerful and destructive words of discrimination, transgression, and separation flood every form of social media. It seems nearly impossible to escape this horrendous nightmare when almost every person has been hurt and scarred, to some degree, by degrading name-calling, racial prejudices, or malicious judgments. It’s even harder for me to wake up from this nightmare when I realize this nightmare is what we call reality.

My dream is to live in a world that completely overthrows that nightmare and conquers all bitterness, self-entitlement, pride, and hatred. My dream is to see all people interacting with one another with respect and kindness. I dream of a place where people are not defined by their appearances or their social or economical status. I dream of living in a society that no longer focuses on our differences, but rather, celebrates diversity and appreciates uniqueness so that one day we might all be able to contribute to bettering our world with our individual skills and talents.

Most importantly, I dream of being the change I want to see in the world. My dream is to continue bettering myself every single day. Sometimes, the road gets bumpy. I fail and don’t meet my goal, but then I remember the road less traveled will always be challenging. It will require a high level of self-discipline and patience. However, the reward of inspiring others and changing lives for the better will be worth it. I dream of making a difference.

2014 Winner

Jessica L. Virginia Beach, VA

Major: Speech Language Pathology

Lying down, my body melts deeper into the sheets, transcending reality. A gradual crescendo of the song “Dreamflower” by Tarika Blue seeps into my mental record player. I surrender to the slow, jazzy rhythm that is so smooth, so spiritually captivating that all brain chatter becomes silent. I suddenly hit a concrete sidewalk and experience a second awakening to the night time. I am mellowed by the blue-gray buildings that surround me. The air is humidly heavy of emotion; however no human seems to live here. Everything just seems to make sense, though. Everything just feels right. I pause to analyze the scene, but a giant being of 6 feet tall calmly appears and suggests to me “Hey dear, you’ve gotta keep the beat going.” Getting a better look at his features, I notice that the creature speaking to me is a string bass! He floats majestically, but masks his identity with sunglasses and a beret. I think to myself “He is so unique though, why does he want to blend in? Why doesn’t he want to be noticed?” Then I ask the same questions out loud. The string bass replies, “Well, my dear, this is the city of music! We all exist to blend together. Each element lifts the other higher, creating harmonies, creating peace. We all serve for a greater goal than to simply stand out -We all serve for the song. And that is why you must keep the rhythm going. You now serve a humbling duty.”

2013 Winner

Paige M. North Port, FL

Major: English

My uncle always told me to do things in spite of. In spite of others, in spite of circumstance, in spite of financial standing, and in spite of the nagging feeling of doubt that often fills you. My dream is to follow that advice. To be successful in spite of the statistic. The statistic that growing up in a low income family, with family members who’ve been incarcerated, involved in drugs, or torn apart by a nasty divorce, are likely to follow in those footsteps. My dream is to remember the discord I grew up in and learn from it. My dream is that, even though other than my father, no members in my family have attended college that I will. My dream is that even though, in my childhood, I never stayed in one place for long, that my children will have a stable home with parents they can depend on. My dream is that even though my mom never found her dream job that I will find a career that lights a passionate fire within me and puts food on the table. I dream that I will always have enough faith in myself to never turn to drugs or alcohol as a crutch. My dream is for people to look at me, and look at what I’ve accomplished and say, “Look at all she’s done, in spite of.”


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