Grant Essay Format

Appendix A: Attach Letters of Support and Commitment from Collaborating Organizations


Father Mark O'Reilly
Our Lady of Guadeloupe Catholic Church
123 Guess Road
Durham, North Carolina 27704
Telephone (919) 477-6789
E-mail: fathermark@yahoo.com

July 4, 2000

Dear friends:

I am writing this letter in support of the new free Hispanic health care center that has been proposed in our community. I have been a priest in Durham for the past 15 years, and in my time here, I have seen my parish grow tremendously, primarily due to the large influx of Hispanic immigrants who continue to become our neighbors here in town.

As a priest, I am privy to many of their difficulties, and it strikes me time and again how many of these problems are due to a lack of adequate health care. Many do not have money to go to the doctor. Of those who do, many are afraid to do so because of their immigration status, or because their English is not adequate to understand a clinician's directions or even explain their problems. Many of these people I have accompanied to local clinics and served as their translator; but if I did this for every person who needed this in my parish, I would no longer have time for anything else.

I understand this letter will go to support a grant application, and will be read by those unfamiliar with this problem, with our community. Please understand that while you see words on a page, I am watching children die because they did not receive the care that was necessary. The need is urgent, and the time to act upon it is now.

I have the highest confidence in those who are running this new clinic. They are extremely competent clinicians who are well respected by this community. They can get things done. Most importantly, they are passionately dedicated to this cause. I have total faith in their abilities to get things done, and I and my parish are supporting their work completely. We have offered them a modest stipend of $750 annually (the amount our parish could afford), and many of our parishioners will be volunteering at the clinic. I urge you to support their efforts as well. If I can be of any further service, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Yours in Christ,

Father Mark

Julie Nielson


Human Relations Department
Big Drug Corporation
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27707
Jnielson@gw.com

June 29, 2000

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing in support of the new free clinic that is being proposed in our area. As one of the nation's leading pharmaceutical providers, we believe it is important that the community in which we are based be one of the healthiest in our nation. It is to that end that we have pledged our support to this new clinic. It is part of our mission to "give something back" to the community that graciously houses us.

Although we have not yet finalized the specifics of our donation to the new clinic, we hope to be a regular benefactor, probably through donations of our products. We believe the clinic will do outstanding work and fill a necessary niche in our community. We hope that you will join us in supporting this worthy endeavor.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at (919) 383-1234.

Sincerely,

Julie R. Nielson

Human Relations Associate
Big Drug Corporation


Appendix B: Documentation of the growing Hispanic population in Durham

December 21, 1997
The News & Observer
Estimate alarms Hispanic advocates
By NED GLASCOCK; STAFF WRITER

RALEIGH -- The U.S. Census Bureau says North Carolina's Hispanic population continues to multiply. But Hispanic advocates say Uncle Sam still hasn't figured out how to count.

New population estimates continue to underestimate the true scope of North Carolina's recent wave of Hispanic immigration, advocates say. They worry that the apparent underestimation could mislead policy-makers about the level of state and local resources needed to address the influx.

The Census Bureau estimates that 134,384 Hispanics lived in the state in July 1996, an 11 percent increase over 1995 and 73 percent more than in the 1990 census.

However, the new figure falls far below the estimate of 205,000 made by state health officials in 1996, said Katie Pomerans, Hispanic ombudsman in the Office of Citizen Services, a wing of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

"A lot is at risk," Pomerans said. "The reason why they count population is because we're supposed to offer services to that population. You plan for growth that way - for the number of schools you need, the number of parking spaces you need. But nobody knows the actual figure, even after they count it."

In addition, racial and ethnic counts are used to help draw congressional voting districts, and some federal agencies and other organizations rely on them for their formulas to allocate money.

In the Triangle, the apparent discrepancy between official figures and reality is pronounced in Durham, where estimates by local Hispanic groups put the population about 8,000. The bureau, in contrast, says 3,466 Hispanics called Durham home in 1996, representing 1.8 percent of the county's population.

"It definitely doesn't have anything to do with reality," Pomerans said. "They're grossly undercounting there, and it makes no sense."

Although the Census Bureau says Durham's Hispanic population grew by 11 percent from 1995 to 1996, the number of Hispanic children in the Durham public schools jumped by 25 percent over the same time frame, from 562 to 705, she said.

Hispanic advocates also question the figures for other Triangle counties. The Census Bureau reported: - 11,227 Hispanics in Wake County, or 2.1 percent of the county's population. That figure is a 15 percent increase from the year before and a 103 percent rise since 1990.

2,508 Hispanics in Orange County, or 2.3 percent of the population. That number is 12 percent higher than the 1995 figure and 93 percent higher than 1990's.

Overall, Hispanics make up a tiny fraction of the state's population - 1.8 percent of the state's 7.3 million residents in 1996, according to the bureau. Still, even that percentage is on the increase: In 1990, Hispanics made up 1.2 percent of North Carolina's population.

Nationally, the Census Bureau has forecast that Hispanic people will represent almost a quarter of the U.S. population by the year 2050, up from one-tenth currently.

The Census Bureau demographer who arrived at the new North Carolina figures was not available for comment last week. Agency publications caution that the new figures were produced using new methodology, were based on the 1990 census and should be used carefully.

"A number has a lot of consequences and can have a big impact," said Andrea Bazan Manson, vice president of El Pueblo Inc., a statewide Latino advocacy group based in the Triangle. Manson said the group often uses estimates of 250,000 to 300,000 for Hispanics in the state. "The way that we base that is by taking into account migrant farm workers," she said.

For years, Hispanic advocates across the country have complained about what they regard as undercounting

Whether the census data for North Carolina are accurate or not, the trend of growth in Hispanic numbers is undeniable and can still help guide policy-makers, said Susan Brock, a migrant health coordinator with the nonprofit N.C. Primary Health Care Association.

"[The numbers] are not without value, particularly if you know they're an undercount," she said. "I don't know that any data [are] perfect."

Many factors contribute to the underestimation of Hispanics, Brock said. Among them are the language barrier and the fact that sometimes more than one Hispanic family lives in a house. Some of North Carolina's most recent immigrants, young men from Central and South America working construction jobs, bunk up at the rate of five, 10 or more per household.

In addition, undocumented immigrants are reluctant to come forward and be counted.

Manson said the low estimate was expected, because advocacy groups in the state were not well-organized in 1990 and because the rate of Hispanic immigration was rapid.

"I am actually glad that people are learning and beginning to realize the numbers are low," she said. "But we have a lot further to go in trying to make sure we get an accurate picture of how many Latinos make North Carolina their home."

Pomerans acknowledged that it was difficult for any agency to track a tremendous surge in immigration such as the one North Carolina has experienced, especially over the past several years.

"We have to just hope that with the next census, it's better done," she said. "A lot of that depends on the help of the community and educating people about the importance of responding to the census."


February 22, 1998

The News & Observer
Spanish lessons (Part A) (First of two parts)
By Ruth Sheehan and Ned Glascock; Staff Writers

Lured by the prospect of good jobs in a humming economy, Latino immigrants have flocked to the Tar Heel State in record numbers this decade, literally helping build the new North Carolina as they forge new lives.

But this historic demographic shift is placing a large burden on state and local governments - a burden for which nearly every agency and branch of government is ill-prepared and under equipped.

Although Latinos remain a small fraction of North Carolina's overall population - about 2 percent - the U.S. Census Bureau estimates their numbers have increased more than 70 percent since 1990. Hardly a town has gone unchanged.

Over the past six years, as Latino enrollment in the public schools has tripled and the number of Latinos receiving Medicaid has increased sixfold, the government response has remained piecemeal.

Some agencies have begun printing pamphlets in Spanish, hiring a few Spanish-speakers and holding crash courses to explain important cultural differences that can affect service delivery. But there is no coordinated strategy.

"It is not as if this wave of immigration is some big surprise at this point," says Katie Pomerans, a liaison for the Spanish-speaking community with the state Department of Health and Human Services. "It's a fact. It's a reality. We are behind the curve, well behind the curve on this one."

Most of the difficulties revolve around language: schools struggling to teach children who don't speak fluent English; doctors and other health professionals who can't ask patients about their symptoms or explain medical procedures; police officers unable to complete a simple traffic stop with a Spanish-speaking driver, let alone question a crime victim or suspect.

Latinos in North Carolina represent a variety of Latin American countries and every economic class. But it is the wave of working-class migration mainly from poor areas of Mexico and Central America - and even other parts of the United States - that poses the biggest challenges for government.

Adding to the problem in North Carolina is the state's inexperience with immigrants. Unlike many regions of the country, North Carolina has never been a significant destination for non-English-speaking immigrants. And the answers for how to deal with this unprecedented influx of new residents - some legal, some not - have proved elusive.

Government agencies in North Carolina are playing catch-up, says Aura Camacho Maas, a member of the state Human Relations Commission and founder of the Latin American Resource Center in Raleigh.

"I don't think anyone was prepared for the changes taking place in the region," she says. "The first reaction from many different sectors was to ignore it. But I think we've evolved quite a bit from that.

"People are beginning to address those issues now. But it will take a while. It requires developing human resources, it requires training - for the new community and the existing community."

Government's struggle to match the rapid pace of change plays out in the classroom, the courthouse and the health clinic in nearly every community in North Carolina. Here is a collection of snapshots from the front lines.

Among schoolchildren: Mary Mason's specialty is language. But these days, she's preoccupied by the numbers.

As coordinator of the English as a Second Language program at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, Mason sees the demand arcing upward in what is perhaps the most crucial interface between new Latino immigrants and the state: the public schools.

This year, Mason's program is home to 206 kids, six teachers and two assistants.

Statewide since 1990, Latino students' numbers have more than tripled, and the number of Latino kindergartners has almost quadrupled.

The Wake County public schools have nearly doubled their ESL teaching positions in the past year, and the pace is so frantic that some new ESL teachers are sent into the classroom while they're still training for certification.

"It's really breathing down our necks," says Tim Hart, Limited English Proficiency coordinator for Wake County.

"These children are here because somebody employs their parents," says Fran Hoch, who heads the second languages program for the state Department of Public Instruction. And they're not the children of migrants, she says. They're here to stay.

"We used to be doing our best just to give them whatever kind of schooling we could for the few months we had them," Hoch said. "Now they are part of our accountability. If we don't serve them, they become part of our dropout rate."

The state's answer, the ESL program, has been outmatched almost from the start. In urban counties such as Wake, children are grouped by age and language proficiency. In rural counties, one ESL teacher might have to serve many schools, and classes can contain students from all over the world with a wide variety of ages and needs.

The younger the child, the easier it is to pick up English - and the easier to learn a new language in a normal classroom environment. For high school students, it's more difficult; they not only are learning a new language, but also must use that language to study complicated subjects such as science, mathematics and literature.

Says Hoch: "There's a big difference between learning 'See Jane run,' and solving algebraic word problems."

The state does not track dropout rates for ESL students. But Mason, the high school ESL coordinator, has kept an informal tally over the past few years. The boys, she says, have the hardest time. Of the last 26 she's taught, only two had graduated by May.

"The prospects are not good for these kids," she says.

Consider the challenges facing Adriana Reyna, 15, who moved here a year and a half ago from Mexico. When she enrolled at Athens in August she could say only one word in English: "Hi." Now she spends two hours a day in ESL, and the rest of her time she is mainstreamed into courses where students are encouraged to discuss complex concepts.

Reyna has no idea what her classmates are talking about.

"I say nothing," she says. "I only listen."

On the job: Inside the cramped, concrete-block duplex in Durham, Tom O'Connor listens intently to the Honduran woman with the long brown hair.

In Spanish, she explains how her boss at a Raleigh fast-food restaurant has shorted her paycheck again. And although she's a full-time worker, she receives no health benefits.

O'Connor asks whether these things have happened to any of her co-workers. Her face creases with an expression that's part grin and part grimace.

"Solamente a los hispanos," she says. Only to the Hispanics. "Creo que es que somos hispanos." I think it's because we're Hispanics.

O'Connor takes notes. He will look into it.

As executive director of the non-profit N.C. Occupational Safety and Health Project, O'Connor's job is to be an advocate for ill-treated workers. More and more, his cases involve workers from Mexico and other countries south of the border.

But truth be told, neither O'Connor nor the state labor department has a handle of this segment of the work force.

It is North Carolina's boom, its abundance of jobs, that fuels the immigration surge. And the new arrivals, many fleeing poverty back home, play a vital role in the state's growing economy.

Anyone driving past a construction site need only look to confirm that Hispanics make up a large and growing percentage of the workers erecting the new subdivisions, office buildings and shopping malls that mark North Carolina as a player in the New South. They take some of the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs - slaughtering chickens, paving highways, logging trees.

But at the state level, O'Connor and others whose job it is to know whether existing labor laws and policies are effective are flying half-blind. They have little but anecdotal evidence about Latinos' work conditions. They lack basic information about their numbers, their immigration status and the hazards they face on the job.

Now, N.C. State University researchers - teaming up with O'Connor's advocacy organization, the state Department of Labor, labor activists and others - are undertaking an ambitious study of the state's Hispanic work force.

The preliminary results raise as many questions as they answer, says Jeffrey Leiter, a professor of sociology and anthropology at NCSU, who is helping lead the research.

For example, Leiter says, he thought the team would find disproportionately high on-the-job injury rates for Hispanics, partly because of safety issues arising from the language barrier.

But an unexpected pattern emerged from the information on large work sites the team pieced together from federal and state databases: In certain job categories, a surprisingly low percentage of Latino employees reported workplace injuries.

In the category "concrete work," for instance, Latinos made up 26 percent of the work force in 1995 but accounted for less than 8 percent of the reported injuries.

"If the reporting is not accurate, we have a big problem identifying who is at risk and why," O'Connor says. "We can't understand what the problems are and how to reduce injuries.

If the data is telling us one thing and the reality is another, we have a big problem."

Leiter's team of students and researchers will soon conduct field interviews to determine whether Hispanic workers are less likely to report injuries. Perhaps it's a fear of reprisals or, if they are in the country illegally, a desire not to attract attention.

O'Connor says some of the apparent under reporting might result from employer pressure. Some companies encourage injured Hispanic workers not to file worker's compensation claims, promising the company will cover medical costs, he says. Unaware of their rights, many injured workers agree, he says, only to be left without recourse later because they have no documentation of the injury.


Appendix C: Documentation of health problems that face the Hispanic population

May 10, 1996

The News & Observer
Rubella outbreak hits Latinos hard Illness, fear twin foes in Chatham
By Ben Stocking; Staff Writer Page: A1

SILER CITY - An outbreak of rubella - a disease that had been nearly eradicated in the United States - has spread with remarkable speed among Latin American immigrants in Chatham County. Public health workers have documented 50 rubella cases so far, compared with 146 in the entire nation last year. To contain the outbreak, health workers have been going from home to home, business to business trying to persuade immigrants to be immunized. Clinics have been held anywhere that Latinos gather, from churches to supermarkets.

"Gaining their trust has been hard," said Maria Rangel-Sharpless, an epidemiologist with the state Division of Maternal and Child Health. "We've had to overcome a lot of obstacles."

Nearly four weeks into the outbreak, state and county health officials are confident that it is almost contained. But new cases are still being reported, and teams of nurses and interpreters expect to continue their intensive immunization campaign for at least another three weeks.

Sample Scholarship Essays


If you’re applying for a scholarship, chances are you are going to need to write an essay. Very few scholarship programs are based solely on an application form or transcript. The essay is often the most important part of your application; it gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and your dedication to your goals. You’ll want to make sure that your scholarship essay is the best it can possibly be.

Unless specified otherwise, scholarship essays should always use the following formatting:

  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 point font
  • One-inch top, bottom, and side margins

Other useful tips to keep in mind include:

  1. Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you completely understand them before you start writing.
  2. Think about what you are going to write and organize your thoughts into an outline.
  3. Write your essay by elaborating on each point you included in your outline.
  4. Use clear, concise, and simple language throughout your essay.
  5. When you are finished, read the question again and then read your essay to make sure that the essay addresses every point.

For more tips on writing a scholarship essay, check out our Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay .


The Book that Made Me a Journalist

Prompt: Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why.

It is 6 am on a hot day in July and I’ve already showered and eaten breakfast. I know that my classmates are all sleeping in and enjoying their summer break, but I don’t envy them; I’m excited to start my day interning with a local newspaper doing investigative journalism. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and despite the early mornings, nothing has made me happier. Although it wasn't clear to me then, looking back on my high school experiences and everything that led to me to this internship, I believe this path began with a particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class.

I was taking a composition class, and we were learning how to write persuasive essays. Up until that point, I had had average grades, but I was always a good writer and my teacher immediately recognized this. The first paper I wrote for the class was about my experience going to an Indian reservation located near my uncle's ranch in southwest Colorado. I wrote of the severe poverty experienced by the people on the reservation, and the lack of access to voting booths during the most recent election. After reading this short story, my teacher approached me and asked about my future plans. No one had ever asked me this, and I wasn't sure how to answer. I said I liked writing and I liked thinking about people who are different from myself. She gave me a book and told me that if I had time to read it, she thought it would be something I would enjoy. I was actually quite surprised that a high school teacher was giving me a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It had never occurred to me that teachers would lie to students. The title intrigued me so much that on Friday night I found myself staying up almost all night reading, instead of going out with friends.

In short, the book discusses several instances in which typical American history classes do not tell the whole story. For example, the author addresses the way that American history classes do not usually address about the Vietnam War, even though it happened only a short time ago. This made me realize that we hadn't discussed the Vietnam War in my own history class! The book taught me that, like my story of the Indian reservation, there are always more stories beyond what we see on the surface and what we’re taught in school. I was inspired to continue to tell these stories and to make that my career.

For my next article for the class, I wrote about the practice of my own high school suspending students, sometimes indefinitely, for seemingly minor offenses such as tardiness and smoking. I found that the number of suspensions had increased by 200% at my school in just three years, and also discovered that students who are suspended after only one offense often drop out and some later end up in prison. The article caused quite a stir. The administration of my school dismissed it, but it caught the attention of my local newspaper. A local journalist worked with me to publish an updated and more thoroughly researched version of my article in the local newspaper. The article forced the school board to revisit their “zero tolerance” policy as well as reinstate some indefinitely suspended students.I won no favors with the administration and it was a difficult time for me, but it was also thrilling to see how one article can have such a direct effect on people’s lives. It reaffirmed my commitment to a career in journalism.

This is why I’m applying for this scholarship. Your organization has been providing young aspiring journalists with funds to further their skills and work to uncover the untold stories in our communities that need to be reported. I share your organization’s vision of working towards a more just and equitable world by uncovering stories of abuse of power. I have already demonstrated this commitment through my writing in high school and I look forward to pursuing a BA in this field at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. With your help, I will hone my natural instincts and inherent writing skills. I will become a better and more persuasive writer and I will learn the ethics of professional journalism.

I sincerely appreciate the committee’s time in evaluating my application and giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

Do:Follow the prompt and other instructions exactly. You might write a great essay but it may get your application rejected if you don’t follow the word count guidelines or other formatting requirements.
DON'T:Open your essay with a quote. This is a well-worn strategy that is mostly used ineffectively. Instead of using someone else’s words, use your own.
DON'T:Use perfunctory sentences such as, “In this essay, I will…”
DO:Be clear and concise. Make sure each paragraph discusses only one central thought or argument.
DON'T:Use words from a thesaurus that are new to you. You may end up using the word incorrectly and that will make your writing awkward. Keep it simple and straightforward. The point of the essay is to tell your story, not to demonstrate how many words you know.

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Planners and Searchers

Prompt: In 600 words or less, please tell us about yourself and why you are applying for this scholarship. Please be clear about how this scholarship will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Being African, I recognize Africa’s need for home- grown talent in the form of “planners” (assistants with possible solutions) and “searchers” (those with desperate need) working towards international development. I represent both. Coming from Zimbabwe my greatest challenge is in helping to improve the livelihoods of developing nations through sustainable development and good governance principles. The need for policy-makers capable of employing cross-jurisdictional, and cross- disciplinary strategies to solve complex challenges cannot be under-emphasized; hence my application to this scholarship program.

After graduating from Africa University with an Honors degree in Sociology and Psychology, I am now seeking scholarship support to study in the United States at the Master’s level. My interest in democracy, elections, constitutionalism and development stems from my lasting interest in public policy issues. Accordingly, my current research interests in democracy and ethnic diversity require a deeper understanding of legal processes of constitutionalism and governance. As a Master’s student in the US, I intend to write articles on these subjects from the perspective of someone born, raised, and educated in Africa. I will bring a unique and much-needed perspective to my graduate program in the United States, and I will take the technical and theoretical knowledge from my graduate program back with me to Africa to further my career goals as a practitioner of good governance and community development.

To augment my theoretical understanding of governance and democratic practices, I worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programs Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department. This not only enhanced my project management skills, but also developed my skills in research and producing communication materials. ZESN is Zimbabwe’s biggest election observation organization, and I had the responsibility of monitoring the political environment and producing monthly publications on human rights issues and electoral processes. These publications were disseminated to various civil society organizations, donors and other stakeholders. Now I intend to develop my career in order to enhance Africa’s capacity to advocate, write and vote for representative constitutions.

I also participated in a fellowship program at Africa University, where I gained greater insight into social development by teaching courses on entrepreneurship, free market economics, and development in needy communities. I worked with women in rural areas of Zimbabwe to setup income-generating projects such as the jatropha soap-making project. Managing such a project gave me great insight into how many simple initiatives can transform lives.

Your organization has a history of awarding scholarships to promising young students from the developing world in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. I have already done some of this work but I want to continue, and with your assistance, I can. The multidisciplinary focus of the development programs I am applying to in the US will provide me with the necessary skills to creatively address the economic and social development challenges and develop sound public policies for Third World countries. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Research the organization and make sure you understand their mission and values and incorporate them into your essay.
DO:Focus on your strengths and turn in any problems or weaknesses into a success story.
DO:Use actual, detailed examples from your own life to backup your claims and arguments as to why you should receive the scholarship.
DO:Proofread several times before finally submitting your essay.
DON'T:Rehash what is already stated on your resume. Choose additional, unique stories to tell sell yourself to the scholarship committee.
DON'T:Simply state that you need the money. Even if you have severe financial need, it won’t help to simply ask for the money and it may come off as tacky.

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Saving the Manatees

Prompt: Please give the committee an idea of who you are and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

It is a cliché to say that I’ve always known what I want to do with my life, but in my case it happens to be true. When I first visited Sea World as a young child, I fell in love with marine animals in general. Specifically, I felt drawn to manatees. I was compelled by their placid and friendly nature. I knew then and there that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting these beautiful creatures.

Since that day in Orlando, I have spent much of my spare time learning everything there is to know about manatees. As a junior high and high school student, I attempted to read scholarly articles on manatees from scientific journals. I annoyed my friends and family with scientific facts about manatees-- such as that they are close relatives of elephants--at the dinner table. I watched documentaries, and even mapped their migration pattern on a wall map my sister gave me for my birthday.

When I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take part in a summer internship with Sea World, I fell even more in love with these gentle giants. I also learned a very important and valuable lesson: prior to this internship, I had imagined becoming a marine biologist, working directly with the animals in their care both in captivity and in the wild. However, during the internship, I discovered that this is not where my strengths lie. Unfortunately, I am not a strong student in science or math, which are required skills to become a marine biologist. Although this was a disheartening realization, I found that I possess other strengths can still be of great value to manatees and other endangered marine mammals: my skills as a public relations manager and communicator. During the internship, I helped write new lessons and presentations for elementary school groups visiting the park and developed a series of fun activities for children to help them learn more about manatees as well as conservation of endangered species in general. I also worked directly with the park’s conservation and communication director, and helped develop a new local outreach program designed to educate Floridians on how to avoid hitting a manatee when boating. My supervisor recommended me to the Save the Manatee Foundation so in addition to my full-time internship at Sea World, I interned with the Save the Manatee Foundation part-time. It was there that I witnessed the manatee rescue and conservation effort first hand, and worked directly with the marine biologists in developing fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns. I found that the foundation’s social media presence was lacking, and, using skills I learned from Sea World, I helped them raise over $5,000 through a Twitter challenge, which we linked to the various social media outlets of the World Wildlife Federation.

While I know that your organization typically awards scholarships to students planning to major in disciplines directly related to conservation such as environmental studies or zoology, I feel that the public relations side of conservation is just as important as the actual work done on the ground. Whether it is reducing one’s carbon footprint, or saving the manatees, these are efforts that, in order to be successful, must involve the larger public. In fact, the relative success of the environmental movement today is largely due to a massive global public relations campaign that turned environmentalism from something scientific and obscure into something that is both fashionable and accessible to just about anyone. However, that success is being challenged more than ever before--especially here in the US, where an equally strong anti-environmental public relations campaign has taken hold. Therefore, conservationists need to start getting more creative.

I want to be a part of this renewed effort and use my natural abilities as a communicator to push back against the rather formidable forces behind the anti-environmentalist movement. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting this non-traditional avenue towards global sustainability and conservation. I have already been accepted to one of the most prestigious communications undergraduate programs in the country and I plan to minor in environmental studies. In addition, I maintain a relationship with my former supervisors at Save the Manatee and Sea World, who will be invaluable resources for finding employment upon graduation. I thank the committee for thinking outside the box in considering my application.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Tell a story. Discuss your personal history and why those experiences have led you to apply for these scholarships.
DO:Write an outline. If you’ve already started writing or have a first draft, make an outline based on what you’ve written so far. This will help you see whether your paragraphs flow and connect with one another.
DON'T:Write a generic essay for every application. Adapt your personal statement for each individual scholarship application.
DO:Run spellcheck and grammar check on your computer but also do your own personal check. Spellcheck isn’t perfect and you shouldn't rely on technology to make your essay perfect.

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Sample Essays

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