Bold Listening Scholarship

Funded by
Bold.org
Learn more about the Donor
$500
1 winner$500
Awarded
Winner
1
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
Apr 29, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 21, 2022
Education Level
Any
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening,” -Larry King.

Being a good listener not only helps you learn from the wisdom of others but also makes those around you feel heard and appreciated. Broadening your horizons can be as simple as just keeping an open mind and truly listening to others.

This scholarship aims to encourage students to be good listeners to those around them.  

Any student may apply for this scholarship by telling us how you actively listen to others and what listening means to you.

Published January 28, 2022
$500
1 winner$500
Awarded
Winner
1
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
Apr 29, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 21, 2022
Education Level
Any
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

How do you actively listen to those around you, and what does listening mean to you?

150–300 words

Winning Application

Elora Umbach
Penn Foster High SchoolCasper, WY
When I dialed the suicide hotline four years ago, what I needed most that night was for somebody to listen. I curled onto my bed, staring at the shoelaces I had tried to asphyxiate myself with only moments ago, and knew I would try again if I didn't talk to somebody soon. The operator the suicide hotline connected me with moments later was a woman whose voice sounded like honey. She carefully eased me into answering questions, assessing my risks so subtly I didn't notice, and comforting me based on my responses. To this day, I sincerely believe I would not be here if not for her listening ear. So when I was offered a position with our local Suicide Prevention Awareness Team (S.P.A.T.) two years later, I jumped at the chance to be that person for someone else. I had so many assumptions about what suicide prevention would look like. I thought the most crucial tactics would be the language used or stabilizing emotions but quickly learned that the best thing to do for someone attempting suicide is to listen. Active listening is something best learned in the field. Entering elementary, middle, and high schools to give presentations to approximately 1,000 students has given me plenty of practice. I ask open-ended questions when students come to me expressing suicidal ideation, requesting clarification when needed. I’m attentive to their body language while keeping my face as neutral as possible. In many situations, I converse with kids in exposed environments-stairwells, hallways- so I adjust my personality to make it a safer environment, comforting and advising as best I can. I’m not saying that my presence has saved lives or changed anybody's mind, but I can say that I will continue to listen to my generation of peers until everyone feels heard.
Henry Tran
Albany Medical CollegeElkridge, MD
When I was volunteering as a Crisis Textline counselor, my main responsibility was to respond and listen to texters who were experiencing crisis and traumatizing moments. Active listening in these situations consisted of reading and understanding what the texter was worried about, exploring the details that the texter is comfortable sharing, and finally providing emotional support by either confirming their feelings and thoughts or providing advice/ideas. At the end of the day, active listening is when we provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for the other person to express themselves. Even though these crisis conversations were conducted through texts, I have taken these techniques and applied them to in-person situations. When I am talking to someone in person, I make sure that I maintain a comfortable level of eye contact and avoid distractions, such as my phone. Furthermore, I use body language to show the speaker I am paying attention, such as nodding. With all of this in mind, I would also continue to provide a safe environment for the speaker and give them the opportunity to talk about everything they want to say, just like through the texting platform. Once they are done talking, I would then respond by agreeing, clarifying, or asking questions to continue to explore how they feel. Active listening sounds like a straightforward task. However, I feel like it is crucial to listen properly. In my mind, this person is gathering the courage and strength to reach out to me in a time of need, so I should understand and respect that. To me, listening is a gesture that can lead to trust and support. It can lead to life-altering decisions; therefore, active listening is an important skill to have.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 29, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jun 21, 2022.

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