As you evaluate these applications, I’m you may begin to feel like you're reading the same papers over and over (with the exception of a few different cheesy puns and valient quotes dispersed throughout your readings.) In a nutshell, your applicants are “looking forward to their future in college,” They have presented you with GPAs, community service work, and have assured they are “ready to take the next step.” I hope you haven’t become too comfortable with this type of essay, because I’m not too comfortable writing one.
There is one word that I would use to describe myself, not only as a student, but as a son, brother, friend, and stranger: Committed. In my early stages of middle school, brace-faced, wide-eyed, and deep into my ‘awkward phase,’ I was naive in so many ways, but somehow I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. My plan was simple, as most things are when you’re that age: I wanted to attend the prestigious School of Business at Clemson University, and then bring as much of the Clemson spirit, knowledge, and talent back to Mount Airy to establish a company of my own. While I was naive, I wasn’t ignorant about the dedication it would take to make this dream come true, but that didn’t stop me. In fact, maybe some of that middle-school “I’m Invincible” naivety (mixed with a hearty amount of the “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Do Something” attitude) pushed me to make my dream a reality.
To attend an out-of-state university, I knew I would have to earn a lucrative scholarship to help pay for my tuition. Although I consider myself to be an athlete, the Clemson Track and Field recruitment team may not see my speed as “D1 level.” I’m not a musician, nor a first generation college student, so I was left with one option. I would train to become the type of student and leader Clemson simply couldn’t deny.
So, I set a goal in middle school, one that I clearly remember my counselor dubbing “unreasonable and unachievable,” (hence the aforementioned “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Do Something” attitude.) I vowed that I would never earn less than an “A” in any class, while always taking classes that challenge my intellectual ability. Throughout middle and high school, I took classes that consistently pushed me to what seemed to be my limit, but after they were completed, I realized I wanted to stretch that limit even further. I took high honors classes, 5 Advanced Placement courses and continuously added more responsibility to my daily routine to see how far I could push my capacity. This chess game of ‘challenges versus limits’ reached it climax my senior year, when I took two FCC classes-- Calculus 1 and English 101--in the same semester. In my proudest moment as a student thus far, I proved my college readiness by earning ‘A’s in both classes, keeping the perfect 4.0 GPA I pledged in sixth grade.
My middle school self was also quite aware that good businessmen are undisputedly strong leaders, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I made a true effort to shed any last shred of self-doubt in order to make my dream happen. A teacher at my school, named Mr. (Jeremy) Brown, contacted me directly. He told me that he believed I had what it took to make a powerful impact in my community. His confidence in me was enough for me take a chance and run for Student Government Class President. I hope I never let Mr. Brown forget how thankful I am for that. It was in this position that my eyes were opened to the struggle and needs of the nearby community-- teens in school fighting cancer, elementary school children with no homes to go “home” to, Baltimore residents without any food to eat. I felt an overwhelming feeling of sorrow and selfishness. Rather than just feel for the victims, I decided to take an active stance.
With the help of the other members of the SGA, I planned and held events that allowed the community to rally around those that need help. We have organized races, tournaments, seminars, lunch collections, and other events that have fostered my leadership skills. More importantly, these events helped shape fundamental core characteristics that I continue to make efforts to improve: the ability to recognize and actively care about the struggles of others and the desire improve the lives of others. Community service has given me an entire new outlook on life and a new purpose: to help those who need it the most.
I know this journey is just beginning for me, but I am committed to taking risks, donating time, and reaching past difficulties in order to become a better student, a better businessman, and a better person. I know that I am the best option for the Mt. Airy Chamber of Commerce Scholarship. There is no one who is committed to their end goal more than me. This scholarship will bring me one step closer to my end goal, and I know I will not let the town of Mt. Airy down. That’s a commitment