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Bold Persistence Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Jun 12, 2022
Winners Announced
Jul 12, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

“Energy and persistence conquer all things,” -Benjamin Franklin.

Having persistence can guide you through the difficulties you face in life. No matter what obstacles you’re facing, stress you’re experiencing, or doubts you have in yourself, persisting throughout all of them is the only way to reach your goals.

This scholarship aims to support persistent students who persevere through all of the challenges they face.  

Any student may apply for this scholarship opportunity. To apply, tell us about how you’ve used persistence to overcome obstacles in the past.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published March 11, 2022
Essay Topic

Please tell us about a time when you used persistence to overcome an obstacle.

150–300 words

Winning Application

Deanna Oliver
Cornell UniversityNew York, NY
I was in 7th grade when my dad was arrested for first-degree murder. Growing up, our family seemed like any other—we took family vacations, enjoyed summer cookouts, and hosted the occasional Christmas party. As I grew older, though, I started to notice that we weren’t quite like other families. My dad came home every few days, but never managed to stick around. The occasional fit turned into storms of drunken rage. Awkward moments at the dinner table became desperate flees from the house. By 7th grade, violence was typical in my household; and when I witnessed the death of my cousin at the hands of my father, I saw my life unravel. For years, I struggled with bouts of depression and PTSD; I developed OCD and anxiety; I lived with a looming fear in the back of my head alongside flashbacks of violence and cruelty. At the time, I felt that I was bound to fail and undeserving of happiness. But I had persistence and I persevered. I surrounded myself with friends and mentors that encouraged me to value my life despite my circumstances. I focused on school with the intent of bettering my life and starting somewhere new. I did just that—I graduated top of my class and went to NYU for my undergraduate studies; I went on to work at the top law firm in the country and pursue a master's degree in public health; and now, I will be pursuing a third degree at Cornell Tech in the fall. I still face the same obstacles and challenges as I did years ago, but every day I choose to overcome them; to see my future and not my past. Persistence, for me, isn’t just a one-time story, but a life-long journey that I look forward to every day.
Chelsea Kiefer
Fort Hays State UniversityRaleigh, NC
For years I had undiagnosed pain. I slowly got weaker and weaker as the pounds melted off of my body, and I became incapable of the activity I once enjoyed. The active lifestyle I lived with my dogs seemed out of reach. I worried constantly about medical bills, the risks of treatments, and what would happen if I continued to lose weight. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease of the small intestine, including fistulas, blockages, and internal bleeding. I dropped down to 83 pounds, was anemic from lack of nutrients, and was sick every day. Living with Crohn's disease, especially with such an aggressive case, has taught me I can overcome any challenge in life. Through my sickest months, I did not give up. I wanted to be more than my illness, and I did not want it to define my life. It has taught me to work hard and I can face any obstacle put in my way. So, I decided to quit my job and follow my dreams of getting a degree in history to eventually work in a museum. If I could survive everything my health threw at me, I could do this for myself. Life is unpredictable. Even if someone does everything right -- stays active, eats well, exercises -- life can throw a wrench in the plans. This means we each have to be flexible to adjust our plans to our new reality, but it does not mean we need to give up those plans. In fact, being sick gave me an appreciation for every small victory in life that I did not have before my illness. While my journey has been long, hard, and painful, I have come out on top and have gained the confidence to know I will continue to thrive.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 12, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jul 12, 2022.

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