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Life Reimagined First-Gen Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Dec 30, 2019
Winners Announced
Mar 15, 2020
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Family Status:
First generation college student (parents did not attend college)

This scholarship is for first-generation (first in their family to attend college) college students who are determined to succeed in a complex world rigged to favor those at the top.

The donor, Calvin Rosser, is a writer on a mission to empower 10 million people. Here’s Calvin’s story:

“I grew up in Orlando, Florida with a mom who made less than $14,000 a year. My dad was a drug addict and gambler who disappeared when I was two years old. As a kid, I hated the unstable world of economic scarcity and desperately wanted to create a better life.

So I did the only thing a kid can do – I worked my tail off in school and hoped that things would get better. And eventually, they did. After lots of hard work, some luck, and support from a generous mentor, I landed a full ride to Princeton University. Princeton was my opportunity to elevate myself out of poverty and create a better life.

Since then, my life has been consistently improving. After graduating from Princeton, I achieved financial stability while working a lucrative job as an investment banker. Looking for a more fulfilling career, I joined a fully remote startup and traveled to 30+ countries while learning the fundamentals of growing a business. Two years ago, I began my mission to empower 10 million people to live a more fulfilling life.

My life is now filled with more stability, opportunities, and joy than I previously imagined possible. And now that I’ve “made it,” I’m committed to helping others create a better life.”

The recipient of the Life Reimagined Scholarship will receive $1,000 and have the opportunity for one year of mentorship with Calvin. All GPAs will be considered, and all majors are invited to apply.

Selection Criteria:
Drive, Curiosity, Commitment to succeed
Published January 10, 2020
Essay Topic

Please write short essays on each of the following topics. They should be 500-1,000 words in total.

  1. What book has had the most profound impact on your life? Discuss why.
  2. What's one important lesson you learned from your childhood that sticks with you to this day? Explain why the lesson is important in your life.
  3. What is a big life challenge that you have overcome? Describe the challenge and what you did to conquer it.
  4. Imagine that you win the Life Reimagined First-Gen Scholarship. As the winner, how would you get the most out of the year of mentorship?

500–1000 words

Winning Application

Destini Hinton
University of Mount UnionAlliance, OH
1. The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens, while not my go-to book for enjoyment reading has had the most impact on me mentally and emotionally. On the surface the more obvious themes of justice, truth and redemption that relate to the accused Vietnam veteran are gripping. Truthfully its the more underlying themes of alcoholism, abuse and being the underdog that revolve around the main protagonist that I can identify with the most. My English instructor Amy Milnes is the one who suggested the book and I wasn't expecting what I got. From the start the narrator introduces us to his abusive alcoholic mother who switches the roles of parent and child whenever she deems fit, the responsibility he felt for his autistic brother and his desire to prove the people wrong who doubted him and said he would never amount to anything. A lot of those things touched base with me in a way I wasn't expecting, and since it was used in a class setting, paired with brutal honesty from my classmates, I learned that I wasn't alone and that while they didn't look like it we all had something we struggle with. We all had weights to fight against. I suppose the impact it had on me was to encourage me to follow my dream and my goals in college even when the people closest to me are my weights.2. When I was younger my dad used to be a social person and had introduced us to a family staying across the street. She had two children a girl about 1-2 years younger than me, Jayde and a boy about 5 years younger than me, Kole. Jayde and I were friends even though she was younger than me. I hung out with her a lot but Kole didn't have many friends because he had anger issues, a lazy eye and due to not having many friends, didn't know how to interact socially. One day I was leaving my house to go to another friend's house and saw her brother in the front yard crying. I went over and talked to him, and decided to bring him along. My friend wasn't happy that I had brought a little boy with me, one that "looked weird" and I got embarrassed for a moment before I got mad and left, because if I couldn't treat everyone equally and with kindness then I shouldn't be playing with anyone. From then on I took Kole around whenever he wanted to come along, introduced him to other boys in the neighborhood and watched him grow. His mother Danielle thanked me and I saw how much it meant to her, and all the good things that came from being kind and treating people equally. I learned to always try to look at something from another person's view. And I carry that with me to this day.3. One of the biggest challenges of my life has been the transformation it has undergone in the past year. My relationship with my mother is not very good to say the least. We fought about anything and everything. She had a tendency to be emotionally and verbally abusive and believed in rough love, she could be hard to handle. So could I, with my growing sense of self-awareness and what I wanted for my life, it wasn't what she wanted it was a bad mix. So as soon as I graduated I left. I took a job at a summer camp with two close friends and spent my summer there. It was rough, my mother constantly showing up to harass me or blocking me from her life completely, a seizure that was chalked up to too much stress and strain. There were so many times that I almost gave up and took the easier path. All I could do was think about my future, the things I would be doing soon, being an example for my brother. I fought hard mentally, emotionally and financially to be here. I'm proud to say that I'm where I am now because I didn't give up and I won't give up. So you ask how I conquered this challenge but I don't think I have yet, I'm still working on it. This essay, this scholarship is part of my conquering process. So thank you for being a part of my journey.4. When I think of a mentor, I think of someone that has something to teach me if I am willing to listen. All my life I have listened and watched the things around me and the story's they tell. My parents stories, their friends, my friends, older women and gentlemen I've come across and had the pleasure to listen to. Right now, Im kind of writing my own story. As a person who has recently cut ties with most of her family a friendly face with good advice and guidance wouldn't hurt. A lot of people have their parents to guide them while they cross the bridge of high school to college and the adjustment but I don't. My mom doesn't approve of me being here because it wasn't her way, her school or her profession. she wanted me to be a veterinary technician and go to a technical school. I on the other hand wanted to study the Japanese language and the culture that comes with it. As of right now I am a double major in Japanese and international affairs and diplomacy. I dream of being a translator/interpreter for the UN and an ALT for the JET program in Japan. She thinks its useless and has told me countless times that I will come crying back to her and Im trying my best to prove her wrong. Having a mentor would mean having someone in my corner, rooting for me and telling me that I can do it. I would use this time with them to cultivate skills that will help me clear the path to my degree and therefore my future. Neither one of my parents officially graduated from high school and on the very few occasions that I communicate with my father I enjoy telling him the path Im on, because he tells me that Im doing well and that he's proud of me that Im doing what they couldn't. I look around at the people I love and while things are better right now they used to be very very bad and we lived in poverty. My family have Jobs they hate and that they need to just get by and I know that with the right tools I dont have to live like that, my children wont and that my siblings will see that they dont have to either. Tools that I could gain from a mentorship. Everyone has a right to be happy in their lives, some just take extra steps. Steps like going out on your own, going for what you believe in, finding someone who can teach you the things you need to keep succeeding and striving for what you want. Then I can teach them to the people around me and be a mentor to someone else one day. To say I did it, but not without help.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Dec 30, 2019. Winners will be announced on Mar 15, 2020.

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