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Coca-Cola Scholars Program

August 31, 2009

by Emily

Scholarship opportunities abound for students who devote their time and energy to helping those around them. One such opportunity is this week's Scholarship of the Week. The Coca-Cola Scholars Program, one of the most generous and well-known community service scholarships, is awarded each year to high school students who have demonstrated academic achievement and community involvement.

Current high school seniors can win up to $20,000 towards their college education through this scholarship program. By demonstrating the ways they've served their communities and made a positive impact on the world, students can earn one of 250 four-year achievement-based scholarships from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.  Finalists will also receive a trip to Atlanta for personal interviews and an awards ceremony.

Prize: 50 National Scholars awards of $20,000; 200 Regional Scholars awards of $10,000

Eligibility:: Current high school seniors (at the time of application) attending school in the United States with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents planning to pursue a degree at an accredited college or university in the United States.

Deadline: October 31, 2009

Required Material: Completed online scholarship application, found on the Coca-Cola Scholars Program website. Semifinalists will be selected and notified in November, at which time they will be required to supply additional application material, including essays, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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by Emily

Many college scholarships focus on high school seniors, but there are scholarship opportunities for younger students as well. This week's Scholarship of the Week is one such opportunity, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. These scholarships are awarded to students in grades 5-12 who have served their communities in a significant way in the last 12 months.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards were created in 1995 through a partnership between Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. These community service scholarships give young people who show an early commitment to helping others a chance at national recognition, as well as up to $6,000 to pay for school and an additional $5,000 to benefit the charity organization of their choice.

Prize: Five high school and five middle school National Honorees will receive $5,000 scholarship awards and an additional $5,000 donation to a charity of their choice; 102 State Honorees will receive $1,000 awards and will go on to compete in the national contest and participate in an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Eligibility: Students in grades 5-12 who are legal residents of any U.S. State or the District of Columbia who have engaged in a volunteer activity in the last 12 months. Applications must be certified by a school principal or the local head of one of several officially designated certifying organizations listed on the contest website.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted for certification by November 2, 2009 and must be sent by the school or organization by November 9, 2009.

Required Material: A completed scholarship application which describes your role in the community service activity you completed, as well as its impact on you and the community. Applications and a list of the questions applicants are required to answer are available on the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards website.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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AXA Achievement Scholarship

November 23, 2009

by Emily

The term "achievement" means much more than academic or athletic success, and there are scholarship opportunities that recognize this fact.  High school students who have accomplished something significant in their school, workplace, or community--and not merely for a grade in school--are invited to apply for the AXA Achievement Scholarship, this week's Scholarship of the Week.

The AXA Foundation, in association with U.S. News and World Report and Scholarship America, seeks to reward high school students who are making a difference in their communities.  Previous winners include students who have set up a food bank in their community, designed a curriculum to get kids interested in science, founded a nonprofit organization for young people that encourages community service and civic involvement.  AXA scholarship winners are a diverse group wo have the following in common:  ambition and drive; determination to set and reach goals; respect for self, family and community; and the ability to succeed in college.

Prize: 52 state winners: $10,000, 10 national winners: $15,000 (for a total of $25,000)

Eligibility: Current high school seniors who plan to enroll full-time in an accredited two-year or four-year college or university in the United States by fall 2010.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.

Deadline: December 15, 2009

Required Material:Completed scholarship application, found on the AXA Achievement website, recommendation from an adult (not a family member) who can attest to the student's achievement, and high school transcripts.  In the application students are asked to describe an outstanding non-academic achievement that they feel qualifies them for the scholarship.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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by Agnes Jasinski

By now you've probably slept in, taking advantage of the day off from class. If you venture outside of your dorm room or apartment though, chances are your campus will have a number of activities happening surrounding the holiday. Why not then recognize the work and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in a local activity celebrating diversity? It'll probably be more rewarding than watching reruns all afternoon.

Here are some highlights we found from college observances of Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

  • Former "lost boy" John Bul Dau will speak today at Champlain College tonight. Dau led groups of displaced Sudanese boys after 27,000 of them were driven from their homes in 1987 by the region's violence, and has raised $700,000 through a foundation he set up to open a clinic in Sudan.
  • Northwestern University will feature a performance tonight by Chicago jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis and his trio, as well as lectures, panel discussions, and film, music and theater events throughout the day.
  • Alma College will host a live performance tonight of "The Meeting," a drama about the lives and philosophies of Malcolm X and King.

Some students had planned to make the most of the day off well in advance. At the College of Charleston, teams of 10 students apiece are participating in the MLK Day Challenge, also known as the National MLK Day of Service.  Each team receives $75, a van, and six hours to help a local nonprofit group complete a community service project (painting playground equipment or leading educational sessions in the community, for example) by the end of the day. A number of students from Whatcom Community College will work on two projects today, partnering with Habitat for Humanity and with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association in stream-side restoration.

If you need some inspiration on this important day, check out how some teens in the Silicon Valley are living King's dream. It's never too late to help out, whether it's looking for ways to make change in Haiti or as close as your local neighborhood. Enjoy the day off if you want to, but consider what you can do to help out once you're done relaxing, because there aren't a shortage of volunteer opportunities out there. And if you need even more of an incentive, conduct a free scholarship search to see the number of community service scholarship opportunities out there for college students interested in volunteerism.


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by Agnes Jasinski

If the crisis in Haiti has caused you to up your volunteer efforts or if you've always been interested in community service as a way to help out your local community or even build on your resume, there are a number of scholarship opportunities out there for you to get some payback for those good deeds. This week's Scholarship of the Week awards 1,000 scholarships of $1,000 each to high school students involved in volunteer efforts in their schools and communities.

The Best Buy@15 Scholarship Program is looking for students with impressive academic records who give back to their communities. Students with work histories in high school will also be considered, but you have to be planning to attend a college, university or technical school in the fall immediately following high school graduation. If you think this fits your student profile, make sure you look for this award in your search results. Remember to check off "community service" before conducting your free scholarship search, because volunteerism is a top criteria on many scholarship awards.

Prize: 1,000 scholarship of $1,000 each

Eligibility: Students must be planning to attend a college, university or technical school in the fall immediately following their high school graduation. Students in grades 9-12 from private, public, alternative or home schools are eligible to apply. The program is looking for students with solid grades who are involved in volunteer efforts in their schools and communities, and/or have a work history.

Deadline: February 15, 2010, although applicants are urged to file their applications early

Required Material: Scholarship applications are available only to @15 members, but you can become a member for free on the program's website. Paper applications will not be accepted, so please file yours electronically.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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by Agnes Jasinski

Duke University professor Deborah C. Jenson wasted little time deciding how to get academia involved following the recent earthquake in Haiti. She developed a new course for the school called "Haitian Creole for the Haitian Recovery" that aims to help undergraduates, health-care practitioners, and engineers get involved in relief and rebuilding efforts by teaching them about the country's language and culture. Less than two weeks after the earthquake, a group of students from all different backgrounds - history, forestry, and political science majors, for example - were already meeting and discussing how their unique skill sets could contribute to rebuilding Haiti.

The course also includes a basic introduction on how to navigate Haiti as someone who joins the relief effort, from getting around to pinpointing exactly the parts of Haiti that were most affected by the earthquake. Jenson came to the idea almost immediately after the disaster. She met with students from the Haitian Student Alliance and her Creole classes, and knew exactly what the relief effort would need to be successful and lasting: cultural sensitivity.

In an interview with Jenson in The Chronicle of Higher Education this week, she describes the projects already taking form as a result of her students' need to help, such as a prosthetics drives and an initiative to help HIV-positive orphans. Others are in the class so that they can become effective communicators before going on humanitarian missions to Haiti. Jenson said in the interview that because it is obvious rebuilding efforts will continue for many years to come, Duke will probably offer the course in subsequent semesters.

Colleges and organizations across the country continue to look for ways to use their resources and personnel to make a difference in Haiti. The Institute of International Education created an emergency grants program to help students from Haiti on American campuses who have been affected by the earthquake. Accredited campuses are able to nominate up to five students at their institutions for the $2,000 grants. Lynn University established a fund to assist members of their community whose lives the earthquake impacted. The school was rocked recently by news that the four students and two faculty members who went missing after the earthquake were presumed dead. The group was there on a service learning trip.

If you're still looking for ways to help, contact your university. Colleges have become an excellent source for students interested in joining the relief effort. Or consider getting involved in community service projects closer to home. There's never a shortage of service or volunteer projects wherever you may be.


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by Emily

The benefits of a vegetarian diet are well-known, but did you know that in addition to benefiting your health and the environment, going vegetarian can also have a positive impact on your wallet?

If you're a high school student and a vegetarian, check out this week's Scholarship of the Week.  The Vegetarian Resource Group is offering two $5,000 college scholarships for high school seniors who are involved in promoting vegetarianism in their schools and communities.  If you've been actively engaged in pro-vegetarian activism or a community service project that involves raising awareness of the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, you can write a short essay explaining your experience, your views on vegetarianism, and your future plans and goals for a chance to win this scholarship award.

Prize:

Two $5,000 scholarships

Eligibility:

High school seniors who will be graduating in the spring of 2010.  Applicants must be planning to attend a college in the United States in the fall.  Applicants must have been actively engaged in promoting a vegetarian lifestyle in their schools or communities.

Deadline:

February 20, 2010

Required Material:

A completed scholarship application (found on the Vegetarian Resource Group website), a copy of your high school transcript, three or more letters of recommendation, and an essay (with supporting documentation wherever possible) addressing a number of topics, including your efforts promoting vegetarianism and your goals for the future.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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by Agnes Jasinski

College seniors who prioritize "prosocial" activities while on campus have a better chance to lead more productive lives in adulthood than their peers who may have focused more on their academics or landing a high-paying job post-graduation, according to a University of Notre Dame.

"Prosocial" activities are described as helping friends through difficult situations and participating in community service projects, not making sure your Friday and Saturday nights are planned well in advance. The researchers suggest the results point to the benefits of having goals focused on helping others rather than just helping yourself.

The two studies looked at a sample of 416 college seniors (57 percent were male) who were evaluated again 13 years after graduation, once they reached their mid-30s. As seniors, the respondents had four types of "life goals" in the following categories: creative ("becoming accomplished in one of the performing arts"), prosocial ("helping others who are in difficulty"), financial ("being successful in a business of my own"), and personal recognition ("becoming an authority in my field"). At adulthood, however, those who responded that they still considered themselves prosocial after all those years also described greater personal growth and integrity.

It isn't a stretch to believe that being kind to your peers and spending some time volunteering may make you a better person, or at least allow you to work toward being a better person. It's interesting to think, however, that how you behave in college may have a hand in shaping who you are as an adult. The studies suggest that if your purpose in life is helping others, you're set to become a well-rounded adult. Colleges may want to take notice and provide students with more of these types of activities and opportunities, or even promote service as part of their curriculums.

You don't need to allow your grades to slip or stop working hard to graduate on time and land that first job out of college. The studies are more a reminder that other things are important, too, like evaluating your life goals and giving yourself a priority check once in a while. Make the most of your college experience, and consider volunteerism and service as a way to make you more well-rounded. And if you are that go-getter worried about how the state of economy will hinder your job prospects post-graduation, consider this: community service looks great on a resume, and great on applications for advanced degrees. There are also a large number of scholarships that reward students for their service, so consider all of your options when you're planning that social calendar.


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by Agnes Jasinski

If you're working your way through college with a part-time or even a full-time job to help cover your college costs, your employer could be able to help outside of that modest paycheck. This week's Scholarship of the Week is the McDonald's USA National Employee Scholarship Program, which recognizes and rewards the accomplishments of McDonald's student-employees who excel in their studies, serve their communities, and work hard to deliver an outstanding experience for the company's customers.

Every academic year, the McDonald's National Employee Scholarship Program selects one outstanding student-employee applicant from each state and the District of Columbia to receive a $2,500 scholarship for use at any qualifying institution and for any field of study. If you work elsewhere, make sure you contact your employer to determine whether any financial assistance is available to you. And, if you qualify for this award, you could be eligible for a number of community service scholarships, as being active in the community is a criteria of this award.

Prize:

Each outstanding student employee receives a $2,500 scholarship. From those, three student-employees judged to demonstrate the highest commitment to school, work, and community service are named "McScholars of the Year" and awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

Eligibility:

Applicants must be currently employed at a U.S. McDonald's restaurant and have at least four months continuous employment at the time of application, work a minimum of 15 hours per week, be a high school senior planning to attend an accredited institution or a returning college student who currently attends an accredited institution, and be employed by McDonald's or a U.S. McDonald's owner/operator at the time the scholarship awards are announced.

Deadline:

March 1, 2010

Required Material:

An application is available online. Scholarship winners are selected on the basis of their documented academic achievement, community involvement, and job performance.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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by Agnes Jasinski

Many organizations out there look to reward those students who may need financial help to explore their interest areas, especially if the fields of study they're interested in aren't one of the highest-paying majors out there. This week's Scholarship of the Week is the J.W. Saxe Memorial Prize for Public Service, which is meant to enable students to gain practical experience in public service by taking a no-pay or low-pay job during a summer or other term.

The J.W. Saxe Memorial Prize for Public Service has awarded more than 200 awards to students to encourage public and community service since 1984. Winners in the past have gone on to aid immigrant families, work on woman's rights in India , and assist in educational reform in Haiti. The fund was created in memory of Jo W. Saxe, who headed a number of economic missions internationally and who believed deeply in the need for persons of integrity to serve their countries and communities through public service.

Prize:

A $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to at least one undergraduate or graduate student involved in public service.

Eligibility:

Applicants must be undergraduates or graduate students in an accredited college or university, seeking support for an internship in public service, and not general tuition support, have a demonstrated record of  public service activity in the past, present, and/or future, and can demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given applicants who have already found a public service position, but who require additional funds.

Deadline:

March 15, 2010

Required Material:

Applicants should send a resume together with an essay describing short- and long-term goals, including their need for funds, together with three letters of reference. At least one reference letter must be from a faculty member. Email applications will not be accepted.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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