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Gabriella Carter Failure Doesn't Define Me Scholarship

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Gabriella Carter
1 winner$1,082
Application Deadline
Dec 1, 2020
Winners Announced
Jan 1, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

In life, we often credit our accomplishments with shaping us into who we are. While this is true, our failures also play monumental roles in helping us grow.

Each missed opportunity and heartbreak can serve a purpose!

This scholarship is for students who find the strength to value their failures and voice them aloud—for students who know that there are always learning opportunities on the horizon and who pivot to take each failure as an opportunity to reflect, regroup, and rejoice as they improve.

It will be awarded to a student who demonstrates introspectiveness and growth from a notable failure in their life. Students at any educational level are welcome to apply.

Selection Criteria:
Published September 24, 2020
Essay Topic

Describe the failure that you are most thankful for in your life. How has it redirected and influenced you into becoming who you are today?

250–500 words

Winning Application

Chaniah Brown
North Carolina A & T State UniversityGREENSBORO, NC
In the fall semester of my freshman year of college, I received my first failing grade in my entire academic career. I received a fifty on an essay I wrote for my English 100 class. This completely shattered my self-image. My self-worth foundation was built upon my academic rigor; I was a consistent "A" student, an AP student, and won numerous literary excellence awards. This failure disputed my self-image and shattered my esteem as a student. I felt unintelligent and alone. I was mortified by the way this failure would change other people's perception of me. I had to reevaluate my approach to the course and the foundation of my self-esteem. I devised a plan; I would reach out to my professor and better understand my work errors and stop basing my self worth upon grades. I swallowed my pride and received tutoring through my university, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. This was extremely hard for me. I was encouraged to ask questions and be curious in my childhood, but not to ask for help. I was raised in a family where my mother never asked for help, consequently internalizing asking for help with weakness. No one wants to feel weak. It was offputting because I was not knowledgeable in this style of writing. It was sporadic for me not to know something or not be well-versed in various subjects in my academic career. Much to my surprise, my tutors were exceptionally encouraging, welcoming and explained the areas in which my writing could improve. I realized that failure is inevitable and needed for growth. There can be no success without failure. This event pushed me to have become a better student and person. I am most thankful for this moment because it changed the course of my life. I learned to be compassionate towards myself and give myself time to develop. I no longer view myself as just a student but as a complete person whose value exists outside of a grade or classroom. I have also embraced asking for help when I need it. Asking for help does not equate to weakness but rather bravery. There is an essential vulnerability required to ask for help, and I have fully embraced it with openness. I am exploring my identity, personality, and interests. Recently, I completed a painting. I would not have done this if not for this failure. Since this event, I began a new path of self-discovery and self-love. I have grown and have a better understanding of the world and myself.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Dec 1, 2020. Winners will be announced on Jan 1, 2021.

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