As a student, I always seek new opportunities to gain tangible real-life skills and knowledge I
can’t gain in a classroom setting. Illuminate’s Associate National Lead programs gives me the
opportunity to do just that while also gaining invaluable skills in the process. This Saturday, I got to attend Tomiwa Ademidun’s Think Tank on “Ways to Receive Scholarships” as a part of the Associate National Lead program and was exposed to a number of new viewpoints and perspectives.
Throughout this conference, I learned how important it is to research more about scholarships and apply for them. I used to think that scholarships are only offered to certain high academic students so I never thought of even applying. Tomiwa broke my assumptions and I learned that most scholarships actually do not require specific grades or extracurriculars. Tomiwa also opened my eyes to how scholarships can really help to support university tuition. I never knew four years of tuition plus living expenses can equal the amount of money used to buy a house.
After today, I became more confident about applying for scholarships and have a larger thought of what to do to apply for them. There are certain ways and tips Tomiwa talked about during today’s think tank. He showed me how to write a strong application essay. Some ways he mentioned were providing evidence and reasons to support my reasoning. He also taught me that I have to provide specific details in order to build a strong application essay. Another important thing is to look at past winner’s applications as examples which I believe is a very useful tool. Other than the application essays, he showed us ways to be organized and keep track of all the scholarship deadlines using various tools such as Notion or Google Drive.
Last but not least, Tomiwa introduced us to the website that he built when he was a student at Western Ivey. His website, Atila, is an amazing website that provides students with mentors and sources about various scholarship opportunities. I believe it is very useful for students who have no idea how to or what scholarship to apply for. Overall, Tomiwa truly opened my eyes to the world of scholarship and guided me through the process of applying.