Mechanism Fitness Matters Scholarship

Funded by
Mechanism Ventures
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2021
Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2021
Education Level

Keeping fit has always been a challenge. It has been made even more challenging due to the sudden shifts caused by the pandemic.

15.5% of high school students in the US are obese, while more than two-thirds of all adults are either overweight or obese.

These statistics are rising at an alarming rate, with no sign of slowing down. With the pandemic, these numbers are likely to grow even faster.

At Mechanism, we believe that fitness should be part of a daily commitment to longevity and a healthy lifestyle. By promoting healthy lifestyle choices, we hope to empower the next generation of thinkers and builders to thrive.

This scholarship will be awarded to one college student and is open to any field of study. 

We will be assessing an applicant’s ambition, talent, and drive, in addition to how fitness plays a meaningful role in their lives.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Driven, Ambitious, Talented
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself. How do you stay fit and what are the benefits you have achieved by staying fit?

250–500 words

Winning Application

Doyup Kwon
University of Notre DameTorrance, CA
Athlete. Me. Overweight, glasses-clad, and a failure at anything that had to do with a ball. I couldn't imagine ever being called such a term. Yet the access card that identified me reminded me what I was at the meet for-to swim the 100 yard butterfly. I no longer fit my own image of myself. For much of my life, I had used the labels that others put on me-"nerd, geek, chubby"-as crutches, excuses to stay confined within my box and attempt nothing new. So, when my mom forced me to join the swim team, I was terrified, fully convinced that I didn't belong anywhere near a pool. After the longest two hours of my life, I begged my parents to let me quit. But as the days went on, I spent so much time in the water that I started to feel freer there than on land, and became comfortable with pushing my physical and mental limits. I discovered that hard work yields improvement and that improvement builds confidence, and forged a stronger and more fulfilling version of myself through the sport. For the first time in my life, I could call myself "fit," and utilized swimming to feel good about myself, my body, and the things that I was doing. I wasn't an athlete until I built up the courage to be one. As I reshaped my body for racing, I also reshaped my thinking, drastically altering my outlook on the world. So many other hidden joys revealed themselves to me after I made the small effort to try them-I embarked on countless adventures through the Boy Scouts, took on matters of life-or-death (literally) as a lifeguard, and now constantly look for new ways to push my boundaries. Staying fit to me means more than just living a healthy lifestyle and competing in athletics at the highest level of my ability. I believe that "being fit" permeates every level and aspect of my life, from the physical to the spiritual to the mental. I have used the experiences I've had on my health journey to bolster my academics and education, and even strengthen my relationships with others. Even today, it's hard to call myself an "athlete." But my life experiences have taught me to open myself up to as much as possible. I now actively seek discomfort, putting myself in positions far outside of my old box. By applying myself to every opportunity that crosses my path, I will expose myself to a world I couldn't see before. Whether or not I succeed in what I attempt, I will be content in knowing that more adventures will offer themselves with every new day.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 30, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2021.

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