Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship Winners

We’re excited to announce the winners of the Unigo Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship!

“Imagine that your high school or college has been overrun with zombies. Your math professor, the cafeteria ladies, and even your best friend have all joined the walking dead. Flesh out a plan to avoid the zombies, including where you’d hide and the top-five things you’d bring to stay alive.”

With the popularity of “The Walking Dead” and movies like “World War Z,” this scholarship is ideal for zombie fans and enthusiasts. Our winning “survivors” would be great to have around in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with the living dead. By coming up with the perfect zombie survival plan, they’ll manage to survive flesh-eating zombies — and the costs of college. See our past winners and their scholarship responses below.

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2022 Winner

David Hernandez | California Baptist University

Durham, CA.

Rolling out of bed, I grimaced as a sharp hunger pang reminded me of my lack of sustenance. Once alert, I began searching through my hideout, my dorm room, for necessities. I donned a thick coat and gloves to protect me from ravenous zombies. Because of the power outage, I also grabbed a flashlight and extra batteries. In need of a weapon, I searched the dorm for any potential impact device. I entered the bathroom. There it lay, a toilet plunger. Weapon in hand, I quietly pushed open my door and peered down the dim hallway. Desperate for food, I crept towards the kitchen. Suddenly, a nearby door flung open, and a dark figure slammed against the wall. I froze as my zombified roommate recovered and staggered past me with no less than a glance. Terrified and confused, I abandoned my mission of covertness and dashed into the tenebrous kitchen. After switching on my flashlight, I made my way toward the refrigerator. Opening the door, I felt a draft of cool air and discovered shelves full of leftovers, fruit, and yogurt. However, as I stood before the refrigerator, none of the food seemed appetizing. My heart dropped. Was I hungry for human flesh? I turned and bolted towards my room. Once in the bathroom, I aimed my flashlight into the mirror. Staring back at me stood a zombie with deathly pale skin, bloodshot eyes, sunken cheeks, and saliva dripping down its chin. I, too, was infected – and still hungry.

2021 Winner

Vanessa Rios

Carpentersville, IL

Darkness enveloped my vision as clouds settled overhead, releasing their weeping tears. As I unraveled my umbrella, the wind threatened to take it, making me fear falling victim to the weather. Unlike the lights in most buildings, the sun would rise soon, and help alleviate my burdens. <br>Once I stepped within the barriers of the school, the water in my shoes betrayed me, announcing my presence. With its predatory senses alerted, it turned towards me. Its mouth was drenched in blood from a previous victim. Fully aware of its approach, I reached into my bookbag to grab a knife and smashed its head. That knife was the only possession that this life allowed me to keep from my home. The unilluminated hallways ordered me to find a flashlight, so I hurried towards the main office. I riffled through cabinets, finding a flashlight, and duct tape. I generously layered my sleeves with duct tape. As I walked through the halls, the light made clear the clutter, which surfaced repressed memories. However, I shook my head and raised my flashlight. With an upcoming herd in sight, I ran into the janitor’s closet. All I heard were their groans, and banging. On impulse I escaped out the window, however I was surrounded. One of them tried to bite into my arm. Death drew near, but in an instant lightning struck a tree, which fell onto a large part of the herd. With that, the thunder announced the soon arrival of the sun.

2020 Winner

Shelby W. | Roosevelt High School

Sioux Falls, SD

Slumped against a dented locker during the zombie apocalypse, I grimaced at the sight of my entrails leaking onto the cold, blood-stained floor. In my limp hand was a crumpled piece of paper with a scrawled plan that was supposed to be ‘foolproof’. Little did I know that I was the fool. I laughed at my own buffoonery as I lay there dying, silently cursing myself for conceiving such an idiotic scheme. The first step of my plan was to lock myself in the art room. The room came conveniently equipped with a microwave, toxic fumes, sharp utensils, metal rulers, and all the drawing supplies I could ever need to pass the time.

The idea was to plant copious amounts of paint thinner in the ventilation system, which would put those green ghouls to sleep. Then, I would sneak into the hallway and plug in the microwave filled with metal rulers; hence, detonating my own make-shift zombie death bomb. I would then run and take cover behind the stone walls of the art room, rejoicing as I listened to the rotten viscera splat against the solid, metal door. Easy peasy. Mission Accomplished. However? I forgot one small detail.

Zombies are not susceptible to deadly toxins. Humans are. So I, the moronic human, stoically entered the zombie infested hallway with my handy death-trap? Only to collapse into the side of a locker, pass out, and have a drooling jock take a bite out of me. So much for ‘foolproof’.

2018 Winner

Shekinah O. | University of Oregon

Salem, OR

Behind me, I hear the eerie moans of my old friends, but there’s no time for nostalgia. I find an unexpected resolve within me to survive. I quickly, yet quietly, sneak to the science lab. I hurriedly light a match–zombies are scared of fire! I wrap a lab apron around the end of a meter stick and douse it in a flammable liquid that my now-zombiefied chemistry teacher would have never let me use. The moans grow louder, so I use a Bunsen burner to light my makeshift torch.

Just in time! The zombies have entered the room but quickly retreat at the sight of my fire. I smile at my success but am snapped back to reality as I see my best friend among them. I must get them their vaccines on the other side of town.

Torch in hand, I look around for what I need to survive. I grab an extra match box, some snacks I had stored in my old desk, a first aid kit, and more lab coats to protect from any zombie bites.

I look up and gasp. I didn’t realize how my movements had dimmed my torch, nor how close the zombies have gotten! I quickly light it again, and the new fire roars–as do the zombies. I scramble down the hall and make it outside, with seconds to spare. I catch my breath, but there’s no time to rest. Glad I’m alive and armed with supplies, I sprint towards the Med Tent.

2017 Winner

Jelicia S.

Decatur, GA

Day 14, I remember it like it was yesterday. The CDC announced that the person that they were holding with the virus had escaped and everyone should keep watch. Then it started to spread. Quickly. It hit my neighbors, my parents, my school, then everyone around the world. Everyone, except me. I’m the only one alive now and I’m scared, lonely, and depressed. How long can I survive on my own? I’m outnumbered a million to one and my food source of leftovers from the cafeteria is running out. All I have with me are: a sword, a blanket, a family photo, a bottle, and a journal to keep all of my thoughts and experiences.

Writing is the only thing that I can do in order to keep me from losing my mind and giving up. I’m hiding in the school, but I know that I can’t hide here forever. It haunts me every night as I hear them, scratching and growling trying to get in, trying to kill me. I don’t get much sleep because it only takes a second for them to get me and humanity is lost forever. I often catch myself smiling when reliving memories with family and friends, then sobbing when I remember that I will never see them again. If you are reading this, that means that I’m gone and zombies have learned to read.

2016 Winner

Damien P.

Chicago, IL

To be sung to “Hamilton – My Shot” instrumental

I am not throwing away this shot
I am not gonna get myself caught
Hey yo, I have my pistol ready
I’m here to shoot some zombies
And I’m not throwing away this shot!

I’ll be running ‘cross these infested halls
I can’t stop to think or blink, can’t drop the ball
Walkers coming at me as I push past a broken wall

I gotta squeeze through so I don’t die
With no time to cry, give it your all!

Water running half empty, or maybe half full
Tryin’ to get back home. My newfound home? A teacher’s room!

Only nineteen, but I have to act older
These school halls act as a holder, a bolder
way of livin’, supplies needing salvage
Roofs with better vantage, running low on bandage
I need this plan managed

The plan is mismanaged. Hark! I hear my name
Its Ms. Fran with zombies around her, she exclaims

Please don’t
Try to
Rescue me
Please just
Run, go
Without me

I fearlessly shoot like a hero wannabe
The walkers fall, but I can still hear her screams
Eventually, they’ll fall with my weaponry
And it’ll end victoriously, so
can we just get to the chorus, please?

I am not throwing away this shot
I am not gonna get myself caught
Hey yo, I have my pistol ready
I’m here to shoot some zombies
And I’m not throwing away my
Not throwing away my shot

2015 Winner

Allie S.

Dry Ridge, KY

Slowly I crouch,
& carefully take aim.
Mr. Gibbons sure is a grouch,
I’ll aim for his brain.

I reload my bow,
& crawl across the floor,
behind me a grenade blows,
as I make my way to the door.

I inch towards the chemistry lab,
& as I’m rounding the corner,
suddenly I’m grabbed,
then WHAM! I end Mr. Boernear.

I slip into the room,
& stop when I sense movement,
I off Mr. Evans with a broom,
his zombie game really needs improvement.

I run to the supply closet,
Trying to read the labels,
something reeks of vomit,
then behind me I hear flipping tables.

Slowly I turn,
to see the zombies pressing in.
My stomach churns,
boy, I sure hope I win.

I grab the two nearest jars,
& pour them in a beaker.
I throw it towards the stars,
And crouch down near my sneakers.

A second passes by,
then the room is rocked by an explosion,
I’m completely knocked awry,
but the zombies look like they’ve suffered

Victorious, I rise,
raising my fist in elation,
but I’m staring into a pair of dead eyes,
this is an unexpected situation.

A straggler has escaped,
& I find myself unarmed.
I accept this as my fate,
& that I’ll soon be harmed.

Gripped with the urge to flee,
I grab what’s nearest my hand,
& when the zombie reaches towards me,
I stab it with a replica DNA strand.

Not a moment did I waste,
Not wanting to be a snack,
out of the school I raced,
not once looking back.

2014 Winner

Amy H.

Hampton, VA

ACHOO! Oh no… did they hear me, please please tell me they didn’t hear me. But the dust and the rat pellets, and oh my god that spider is the size of a baby’s arm. Is that a condom over there? Who would do that in here!? More noise. Gotta tilt that tile back again, see if they’re close or if I can get some more food. The run to the gym for a mat to sleep on and towels to use as blankets and pillows was a close call, I barely avoided Mr. Mancini, thank heavens Joel got to him and was able to tear a leg off this morning before Mancini bit his face. Poor Joel, no more quarterbacking. Hard to do with your nose chewed off and being zombified and all. No more social studies for me Mr. Mancini! Been here ever since, trying to make an excursion out for canned food. Glad I thought to grab that can opener on the last trip. Okay, tilting back. Oh NO! Is that Mike?! Dude, pompadours look even worse when you’re a zombie. Who would’ve thought there was a crawl space behind the school freezer. As long as the water in the well holds out, I have enough canned food to last for a long time. Now all I need is reading material and a place to pee. I will make this work. Everyone knows nurses make the best survivalists.

2013 Winner

Wendy P.

Champaign, IL

“Class, turn your textbooks to page forty-three!”
A forceful door knock is heard suddenly.
Mr. Math fatefully decided to check;
In seconds, we hear a crunch of the neck.

Returning back pale and decaying,
In come three zombies staggering and swaying.
We jump out of our desks and rush to our feet,
Coming towards us, they were ready to eat!

I threw my textbook at his brainless head,
Then grabbed my friend to escape the walking dead.
We ran downstairs to the chemistry room,
Locking the door with a table and a broom.

The open ingredients compelled us to conspire;
We made concoctions that cause explosion and fire.
Hauling the beakers in a recycling bin,
We yelled, “Let the zombie apocalypse begin!”

They vehemently banged and moaned at the door.
I aimed the explosive and counted to four.
Darting to the gym, I took a pack of matches.
A surviving zombie gave my friend a few scratches.

Within minutes, her skin started to rot;
She turned against me and I felt guilty in thought.
A new crowd of zombies was by her side.
I ran into the locker room for a better place to hide.

In the sports closet, I found just what I was looking for:
Archery equipment, gasoline, and golf carts galore.
I locked the exit doors, smothering fuel around the school;
I dropped the lit matches, driving off and feeling cruel.

After an arduous battle against the zombies,
I came out victorious and was able to appease!

2012 Winner

Sierra S.

Orland, CA

Roses are red.
Dead flesh is green.
When the dead start to rise,
You’re on my team.

Running fast and far
Just trying to survive
Hurry up and get in
Because I’m starting to drive!

To Costco we go,
To stock up supplies
We have cars and vaccines
Good thing Costco provides

Quick stock up on food
Grab all the guns
Propane tanks and torches
And hope for good fortune.

Hurry, lock the doors!
They are coming in fast.
Grab, lock, and load,
And get ready to blast!

As we open the doors,
A breeze lingers through.
Zombies! They’re on the horizon!
Now let’s end this snafu!

The apocalypse begins,
And flesh starts to fly!
The battle is raging,
And the dead start to die!

The smell of rotten flesh,
And flame throwers ablaze.
We’re stronger than them,
And slowly end this craze!

Quick! Where’s the vaccine?
A zombie injected his poison!
My fever is increasing,
And my world begins to darken.

Brains, flesh, and heart beats,
Take over all my senses.
Fight it, now, fight it!
Control this unruly nonsense!

Weaker and weaker, my body collapses.
A moment me and then a monster,
ready to turn on a friend.
And yet there are more sharp punctures…

Wait, I’m back to a clear mind,
And the cannibal urges dissipate!
My eyes gradually open,
And a new world awaits…

Roses are red.
Our flesh is still white.
We fought long and hard
To be the victors tonight!

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