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An Essay Worth $10,000

By Meital Caplan
May 7, 2018

Getting accepted to college is one thing, but affording it can create a completely new set of challenges. After noticing a tweet from Chance the Rapper about a scholarship contest, Alexiea Feaster, a senior at Chicago Public Schools Bogan High School, decided to apply. Here she shares why it’s important to keep going when you feel like giving up.

When the Scholly Scholarship Summit organizers announced that I had won their $10,000 scholarship, I thought I was in a movie and the whole ordeal was a joke. I hadn’t won any of the 25 scholarships I had applied to beforehand, so this news was extremely surprising.

This experience solidified in my mind that you should always apply for scholarships. If you know what you want, you should go for it. By just applying, you’re giving yourself a greater advantage because you are now in the running for the win instead of on the sidelines letting everyone else pass you up because you think your chances are slim.

I had to keep that thought in my mind when I went to the Scholly event. On the way there my bus was delayed five times and my shoes started to absorb too much snow, making my feet cold. Still, I didn’t turn around because this image of me going on a stage receiving a check kept flashing through my head.

Every student should make sure they are aware of how they will be able to finance college.

If you have to depend heavily on scholarships, then you should go for every opportunity available to you. As I mentioned earlier, I applied to more than 20 scholarships before I received the Scholly one, and believe me, I was getting so frustrated with all the rejection letters.

I worked on my essays and applications between classes, during lunch in the counselor’s office, after school, and on the weekends. The process may be long, but you have to think about what is at the end of the journey.

This fall, I plan on attending Xavier University of Louisiana and majoring in biology pre-med. In addition to the Scholly scholarship, I’ve been awarded two others, totaling $13,500 in financial aid. Receiving these scholarships is a big help because after earning my bachelor’s degree, I plan on pursuing medical school to become a physician so that I can help others and give back to my community.

I’m already giving back because my OneGoal class is an environment where you pass down knowledge to everyone. It started with my Program Director, Danielle Watkins, helping explain all of the financial aid options to me so I could explore all available opportunities for me to pay for college. Now with some wins under my belt, I plan to share scholarship information that I’ve come across with my classmates because I want us all to achieve our goals. We all have each other’s backs about succeeding in life and getting to the top. Getting to your goals might be tedious, but it’s accomplishable.

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