BTL Athletes Scholarship Winner Profile: Alaysia Oakes
Alaysia Oakes is a motivated and athletic student who was recently one of the five winners of the BTL Athletes Scholarship on Bold.org. The scholarship was funded by BTL Industries, Inc. and was open to low-income student-athletes who play varsity or collegiate sports.
Applicants submitted short videos introducing themselves, their goals, and clips of them playing their sport. Each winner received $15,000 to help with their higher education costs. As one of the winners, Alaysia has shared her experience with the scholarship application process and has opened up about how this award will impact her life.
Alaysia applied for three scholarships on Bold.org before winning the BTL Athletes Scholarship. Her advice to other applicants is to have an organized approach to scholarships and to be diligent about spending time on applications.
Alaysia said that “My approach to scholarships was treating them like school assignments, making them in mind mandatory. This was extremely helpful and motivating throughout the scholarship process. I also created an excel spreadsheet putting down all the scholarships I had applied for, when they were due, how much they were for, and eventually whether or not I won them.”
Scholarships can be a time commitment, but they prove to be a valuable investment for winners like Alaysia. Students are often busy, especially if they’re balancing academics with other responsibilities like work, internships, athletics, or other extracurriculars.
After devoting time and effort to scholarship applications that don’t guarantee a payoff, winning an award can be an incredible experience. Alaysia shared her reaction to winning the scholarship, saying “I was particularly excited to hear about winning this scholarship because of how important the topic was to me; my experiences as a student athlete. I put a lot of time and effort into my video submission and was overjoyed to find out that I had won.”
Finding the perfect-fit scholarship as Alaysia did can boost an applicant’s chance of winning. Scholarships that are only open to small groups of students, such as varsity or collegiate student-athletes, have a significantly smaller application pool than scholarships that are open to all students, which lowers the competition as a result. Students can also play to their strengths by applying for video-based scholarships like the BTL Athletes Scholarship if they’re not strong writers.
Alaysia reflected on her recent success and said “I think I won the scholarship because I was genuine in my response. It was evident the level of commitment that went into the video. I didn’t have to be a professional or have everything perfect, but the message was there along with the heart and that is why I believe I won.”
Alaysia has big dreams for the future, including a hope to attend the Olympics for track and field. Alaysia also plans to become a real estate agent and a motivational speaker while furthering her athletic career. Alaysia is also passionate about helping others and wants to do so through public speaking. In order to reach all of her goals, Alaysia is committed to completing her college degree and studying business and finance.
Higher education often comes at a high expense, so scholarships can be extremely helpful when it comes to paying tuition and other expenses. Alaysia shared that “This scholarship has been extremely impactful, especially considering the large amount. This one, in particular, has set me up nicely to be able to afford my college experience and has encouraged me to keep aiming high in life.”