On Friday I got a letter from the The Journalism Foundation of Metropolitan St. Louis. I was awarded a $1000 scholarship from the Society of Professional Journalists.
I filled out the application over the summer, actually I filled out several scholarship applications. I remember this particular application being especially cumbersome. I looked up the requirements and now I remember why. Here's what I had to include:
1. A transcript from the college I was attending
2. A letter of recommendation
3. A statement of 300 to 500 words explaining why you are applying for this scholarship including a plan for completing your education, the number of hours each semester you plan to
take, proposed date of graduation, the school you have chosen and why, your long-term career goals, and how you learned about this scholarship.
4. A financial statement, including an estimated budget for completion of your study, whether you are now employed and if the job is full-time or part-time, whether you plan to work during the school year and what income you expect from that job, the tuition cost at the school where you will enroll in the fall, the percentage of your education cost being contributed by your parents or spouse, any unusual family expenses or circumstances (other children in college, medical expenses, unemployment, etc.) and exactly how the scholarship money would be used (tuition, living costs, supplies, etc.)
5. List of school activities, position held on school newspaper or broadcast station, any awards and honors.
6. A recent photo of yourself, head and shoulders, to be distributed with a news release if you are selected for a scholarship. Also, a list of newspapers/publications to which you would like such a release sent.
Once I sent the scholarship I kind-of forgot about it, until now.
The Chairman of the organization is a really good friend and coworker of a teacher I had last semester. I can't help but wonder if she had something to do with my winning? I don't know, and I can't really say I would expect something like that from her. After all, she encouraged our whole class to apply in the fall once class started.
I know it said I had to say how I would spend the money, but I honestly don't remember. I think I said living expenses, since I have a child and have to commute to school.
I am so excited, and I must admit, proud of myself. I know the money won't put a dent in my student loans, but anything is better than nothing and I really appreciate it. I think I will send the chairman a thank you email or letter. Is that appropriate?
I was just thinking that I am becoming a better writer, and something like this just gives me a boost.