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Scholarship Essay

Since Elementary school I have had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my life. That vision, coupled with my own struggles and experiences, has given rise to a deep passion for helping at-risk youth find their purpose in life and change their circumstances from improbable to undeniable. I envision myself being a vital instrument in the effort to help transient and homeless youth find safe, stable homes filled with love, and a family that will embrace them as their own. Through my involvement in the Youth Advocate Program, I was able to gain an invaluable new perspective; one that allowed me to see that at-risk youth, such as myself, could have their lives positively impacted through  Mentoring, Advocacy, and positive influence.

Upon entering YAP, I shared the mind state and thought  process of the kids with which I aspire to work. I was determined to learn life's lessons in the hardest way possible. Seeing this as my primary  challenge, my YAP Advocate worked tirelessly to help me overcome what he saw to be the root of my problems. I'll be forever indebted  to my advocate because he taught me how to overcome obstacles that to that point had seemed insurmountable; things like dishonesty, ungratefulness, lack of discipline, and most of all, hopelessness. Though my metamorphosis was not instant, I am grateful that my Advocate had the resolve to stick with me through  the valleys and peaks while simultaneously supplying me with hope, steady guidance, and a litany of tools needed to effectively  work towards  my goals.

Seeing the need for hands-on experience, my Advocate strongly urged me to become a volunteer  Peer Mentor. He explained how it would be the first step towards giving back to my community, while simultaneously giving back to the program that fostered my personal metamorphosis. While serving as a Peer Mentor  for YAP, my aspirations to become a Social Worker were firmly reinforced  as I was able to affect change, at least to a small degree, while still myself undergoing a transformation. After graduation  from Middlesex County College, I plan to complete  my undergraduate  studies at a 4-year institution, en route to obtaining an advanced degree (MSW). My Advocate also taught me the value of clearly defining my goals; both short term and long term. In my young adult life, I have already found this to be an invaluable tool. Having defined goals keeps me motivated in that I always feel as if my actions have a purpose. I look forward  to the day that I am able to walk across the stage, taking the first step towards  success. When that day comes, I will have my Advocate to thank for his constant motivation, and his unwavering belief in me long before I believed in myself.

Nomination Letter

I am writing this letter to offer my sincerest recommendation in favor of Malcolm Robertson as a recipient of the YAP ENDOWMENT FUND SCHOLARSHIP.  As a successful graduate of the CRIS program, Malcolm has taken great strides as a person, progressing from a troubled youth, to a promising, productive adult. In the years that I have known Malcolm, it has been my privilege to watch him grow in three areas that exemplify his worthiness of the honor you'd bestow.

First of all, Malcolm has grown academically across a wide range of disciplines appropriate to his educational level. Although he has subjects in which he excels to a greater degree than others, he has maintained a balance among the various areas of study, truly exemplifying the academic liberal arts goals at this stage of the educational process. I believe the success in this area has instilled the necessary foundation to ensure ongoing achievement as specialized education gradually replaces general education.

A second aspect of my experience with Malcolm that leads me to believe him to be an ideal candidate for your scholarship is the breadth of extra-curricular activity such as football and lacrosse during his educational career. He has participated in various non-core events and processes at an exemplary level. He is generally recognized amongst faculty advisors to be an active participant, a committed advocate, and an engaging leader.

A third consideration I'd like to bring to your attention is a little less measurable. This student shows a level of maturity above and beyond his peers. While he is not standoffish or somehow aloof from his peers, he nonetheless rises above the usual concerns that typify today's  youth. He instead serves as a clear moral and intellectual standard to which his friends aspire.

I believe that your scholarship monies will be well spent with Middlesex County College. I have every confidence that he will complete his studies and complete them in a way that brings honor and esteem to the traditions and goals of your organization.  Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.