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Scholarship Announcements: Words of Wisdom Essay Contest, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Knight Scholarship

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Happy Friday! Well, ladies and gentlemen, scholarship season has arrived. For the next two months, you should be eating, breathing and sleeping scholarship applications since there are a plethora of them with February and March deadlines! So if you are serious about earning scholarship money to help you pay for college, it’s time to put the proverbial pedal to the metal.

Today, I’ve got a $10,000 essay competition with Maya Angelou and Alltel Wireless (now there’s an unexpected duo!); four different Ronald McDonald House Charities scholarships; and the $5,000 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation scholarship.

Remember, these three opportunities are just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to find more scholarships, check out one of the many free scholarship search engines (here’s a great little article on some of the better scholarship searches). Or just take to Google and start your own search.

There is money out there to be earned! And with the economy the way it is, who among us can really afford to say no to free money? Good luck!

1. Words of Wisdom Essay Contest: $10,000 (2/7/13 Note – This award may no longer be offered)
The Words of Wisdom essay contest is a joint initiative of Alltel Wireless and poet Maya to celebrate Black History Month. Students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are eligible to complete for one of ten grand prizes by answering the following question: “In remembering the past, what will you do to contribute to a brighter future?” Each of the ten winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship to their HBCU, along with an opportunity to meet Dr. Angelou in person. Essays must be 750-1000 words and will be judged on their passion and ability to strike an emotional chord. Entries must be post-marked no later than the deadline stated on their website.

2. Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships

Since 1985, the Ronald McDonald House Charities has been providing scholarships to financial needy students to help them realize their dreams of a higher education. Today, RMHC has four different scholarship opportunities:

The RMHC Scholars program is a $1,000 regional scholarship for students of Asian-Pacific heritage.

The RMHC/African-American Future Achievers is $1,000 regional scholarship program for students of African American or Black Caribbean heritage.

The RMHC/HACER program is a $1,000 regional scholarship for students of Hispanic heritage.

Among the pool of HACER applicants, four will be selected for the prestigious HACER National Scholarships, which provides $100,000, payable over four years.

To apply for any RMHC scholarship, applicants must be legal U.S. residents, seniors in high school, and planning to enroll full-time in a two- or four-year college or university a high school senior. Applicants are required to complete an application and include a high school transcript, letter of recommendation and a personal statement. Applicants must also include a copy of their parent’s most recent tax return (1040). The application deadline for all RMHC scholarships is stated on their website.

3. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: $5,000
The Knight scholarship is a national essay competition where winners must write an essay on one of the following topics: (1) a persuasive essay about building awareness and inviting action for change in your school, community or the world; (2) a personal narrative about your experiences with service and volunteerism, or (3) a news article reporting on acts of service and volunteerism by young people. The three grand prize winners will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Eligible applicants must be high school seniors who have been accepted to a two-year or four-year accredited institution. Essays must be no more than 500 words and will be judged by media professionals on their organization, mechanics and impact on the reader. Applications must be submitted no later than the deadline date (see website). Winners will be notified by a specified date and will be honored at a National Awards & Recognition Luncheon in New York City.

Good luck on your scholarship applications!

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