Pandemic's Box Scholarship

Funded by
Carlynn Greene
Learn more about the Donor
$2,000
1st winner$500
2nd winner$500
3rd winner$500
4th winner$500
Awarded
Winners
4
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
Dec 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Dec 21, 2021
Education Level
Any
3
Contributions
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Enrollment Status:
Attending college in the fall of 2021
Enrollment Status:
Attending college in the fall of 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a unique and life-altering period of time for everyone.

While the pandemic brought about many challenges, it has also ushered in opportunities for growth. 2020 marked an unparalleled year for progress in social entrepreneurship, environmental impact, technological innovation, and more people entering a career in medicine.

Alluding to Pandora’s Box, the Pandemic’s Box Scholarship will celebrate the stories of positivity and good outcomes that came about for people during the pandemic. 

The scholarship is open to high school seniors, undergraduate students, graduate school students, and adults looking to return to school. 

To apply, please write a short essay (150 to 200 words maximum) or record a video (45 seconds to 1-minute maximum) describing how the pandemic has affected your life and/or aspirations in a positive way.

Selection Criteria:
Essay or Video, Reflection, Ambition
Published April 22, 2021
$2,000
1st winner$500
2nd winner$500
3rd winner$500
4th winner$500
Awarded
Winners
4
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
Dec 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Dec 21, 2021
Education Level
Any
3
Contributions
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

Please record a short video or write a brief essay that answers the following question: How has the pandemic affected your life and/or aspirations in a positive way?

0–200 words

Winning Applications

Caroline Seegmiller
Collin County Community College DistrictAllen, TX
I am currently an ESL teacher who works with students who are learning English as a second (or sometimes third!) language. My students are recent immigrants who have a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. My main job as their ESL teacher is to facilitate their transition into the American school system and prepare them with as many tools I can provide them so that they can learn how to navigate future obstacles on their own without me. This not only includes learning English as an entirely new language but also learning about cultural differences all while they are learning new materials in various subjects along with their peers. Due to the unique circumstances of the worldwide pandemic, many schools like my own were forced to embrace technology when we shut down our campuses in March 2020. During this time I realized there was a lack of digital resources available to support English language learners as their classrooms transitioned to virtual platforms. Many videos or programs that teachers wanted to use did not have accessibility options such as closed captions, simplified language, or text-to-speech. In short, the programs that were available at the time did not meet the needs of my English language learning students, or frankly many other students who may have a reading, learning, or intellectual disability. Simple small alterations to the user interface such as toggling the font size of a digital text could improve the overall user experience. Besides the lack of accessibility options, another tremendous challenge was the fact that many of our students had never had their own personal computer before and were seriously lacking basic technological literacy skills making it extremely difficult to explain algebraic equations to a middle school student who doesn’t speak English very well and didn’t know how to use a computer very well either. Right now I am working towards a degree in web and mobile app development to gain a better understanding of computer programming. Eventually, I am interested in going into academia to research how teachers can effectively implement technology into their classrooms. There are a lot of educational games and programs out there, but many do not use research-based practices or culturally competent curriculum. I want to learn how we can create and improve digital resources for teachers like myself to use in our classrooms. Resources that not only meet standardized curriculum goals but are also easy to use for all students regardless of their computer literacy level. My long-term goal is to combine my background in education with my interests in computer programming to work as an instructional designer or web developer in order to help create and improve educational websites/mobile applications that include accessibility features so as to cater to the needs of as many students as possible. My teaching philosophy has always been to teach with the highest expectations to the lowest-performing group because if you are able to make difficult material accessible to them, everyone else in the class will also benefit. I know based on my personal experience that having better educational programs and games available to teachers would make a huge difference to students like my own if only more digital resources were designed with them in mind by being more accessible, effective, and of course fun to use.
Jernelle John
University of Maryland, BaltimoreBaltimore, MD
I anticipated my life to look very different in 2020. I graduated from college in December 2019 and planned to use the beginning of the 2020 year to prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and apply to medical schools. I never anticipated, however, just how different this year would be. My MCAT was canceled twice and each time I recommitted to an arduous timeline for preparation. The delay and uncertainty brought about much anxiety and affected my plans to get involved in other opportunities. Furthermore, when coronavirus cases began to rapidly increase in the United States, I was working as an emergency room scribe. I ended this position due to concern about exposure. I live with individuals who may be particularly vulnerable to the virus and thus felt obligated to decrease the risk of exposure to this easily transmittable, and oftentimes deadly, affliction. This year has also been one of much injustice, especially racial injustice. Police brutality and its disproportionate effects upon people of color parallel the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 also upon people of color. This year’s tragedy was further amplified by the fact that the community members could not come together to mourn and comfort each other but were instead advised to stay home and isolated. People laid sick and alone, and many could not fight off the foreign virus eventually passing away. I sat and mourned not only for the friends and family that I lost this year but also for the nation and those around the world who were grieving for their lost ones. While this was a tragic year in many different ways, it also reminded me to appreciate the blessings and small victories in my life. I was able to connect with more people than ever before virtually. I began volunteering as a mentor for young students to enhance their literacy skills. I also started working as a contact tracer for individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to positive cases. I am grateful to provide support and guidance to others during these difficult times. It provides me with a unique sense of accomplishment to be able to bond with others during a time when the world has been disconnected by contrast due to the global pandemic. This past year has also further enhanced my desire to pursue a medical degree. I have traditionally viewed physicians as experts who serve primarily through their advanced scientific knowledge, but when the pandemic started the medical community knew very little about the COVID-19 virus and its various effects. As physicians were still learning about COVID-19, empathy, sensitivity, and collaboration must take on a more central role than they might have before the pandemic. The devastation that the virus has caused, especially to underserved populations, has reinforced my mission to gain both the technical and interpersonal skills to combat such ailments and provide comfort to my future patients. Eventually, I was able to take the MCAT and obtain a pleasing score. I will be starting medical school in August 2021. I am confident that I will acquire the necessary skills in medical school so that I may be fully equipped to treat patients from diverse backgrounds and with diverse symptoms, especially underrepresented minorities who oftentimes lack adequate access to medical care.
Elisabeth M
Belmont UniversityIndianapolis, IN
My video is linked below! I wrote it about being a college freshman amidst the pandemic and how it's taught me to be alone without feeling lonely. I hope you enjoy it! https://youtu.be/INThOTaA_jI
Ashli Quintela
Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR
I've attached my video for your viewing. Hopefully, it is able to work correctly, if not I've attached it here as well: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q5w6Uhtn7hXdf404QkALjPA8xggfobyx/view?usp=drivesdk

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Dec 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Dec 21, 2021.

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