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  • derek

Funding the next chapter ahead - the world of scholarships

A majority of senior-year students focus on university applications and often underestimate the thought of scholarships. However, scholarships are equally important as you have to pay for school somehow. This Saturday, I got to attend Tomiwa Ademidun’s Think Tank on College Scholarships as a part of the Associate National Lead program and was exposed to a number of new viewpoints and perspectives.

Truthfully, I had neglected the thought of scholarships due to my increased school workload in semester 1, as well as various scholarship sites only offered a handful of scholarships, those often being the big overtly competitive ones. Tomiwa, a Western University graduate, was in my boots before and created a platform called Atila to make scholarships more accessible. His program, alongside those like yconic and ScholarTree, can allow you to discover the vast world of unclaimed scholarships- some little, others with lots of 0s at the end.

Additionally, Tomiwa recommends inquiring your local business store, company, or civic organization if they had a scholarship, or if they hadn't, be interested in creating one. This was really interesting, as I didn't really know that many companies offered scholarships to their employee's children, or that asking to create a scholarship would be successful. He also advised us on how to write a successful scholarship essay, with tips such as making your text more specific, giving examples and proof, as well as dividing up your paragraphs to make it readable.

But why go through all this trouble? Well, school is expensive. Tomiwa remarked that he graduated with nearly $60k in student loans- one of his incentives to create Atila in the first place. Additionally, scholarships are not just about money, however, is an achievement that can be placed on your resume. Finally, the skills you learnt to search for scholarships or to write your essays are transferable in the real world. For example, all of the time searching for ideas to write about improves your communication skills, therein possibly increasing your grade in English class or being able to get new opportunities.

As I go into my second semester, not only do I have more free time, I can use that free time to apply for scholarships. I can use Tomiwa's skills in finding scholarships, tools such as Atila and yconic, and specific writing techniques to help fund my next chapter in life; and even if I don't get a single scholarship, I will still learn so much soft skills that I can apply in the future!

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