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Pay It Forward Scholarship

1 winner$500
Next Application Deadline
Aug 31, 2021
Next Winners Announced
Sep 30, 2021
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Year in High School:
Desired Degree:
Gerontology, Social Services, Human Services, or a related field

Although we are limited in our ability to escape the aging process, many people aren't deterred by this reality.

Across the globe are several different experiments, projects, and hypotheses around the aging process and how we, as a species, can deal with them. While aging is impossible to reverse, we can continue to study aging, its effects on people, and potential ways we can alleviate these pains. 

As a pathway to the future, gerontology has the potential to heavily expand all of our current knowledge on aging, helping the generations of the future deal with its effects.

The Pay It Forward Scholarship is designed to support ambitious gerontologists who’d like to study the aging process in older generations to prepare newer ones for their own impending destiny. To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be a high school senior or an undergraduate student going into the social services, human services, or gerontology field. 

To apply, please write about whether you believe it's more important to help the present generation or to focus on ensuring that the future goes well for generations to come.

While it’s not required, it’s a plus if you have volunteering experience with senior citizens and you’re a first-generation college student.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Selfless, Vision, Ambition, Purpose, Impact
Published March 7, 2021
Essay Topic

Do you think it's more important to help the present generation or to focus on ensuring that the future goes well for generations to come?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Gabrielle Williams
Byron Nelson H SFort Worth, TX
The world we live in today has allowed us to reflect on our nation's history as well as potentially improving the way we learn and how it will affect those around us. There has been a debate on whether we should focus our intentions on the students of the future or provide resources for the current generation and its people. As a minority young woman who is passionate about seeing change and providing help to those who need it most, I believe we should begin transitioning our efforts to the young and enthusiastic to ensure the future goes well. The human brain is a complex organ that enables actions and thoughts that are unique to every individual. Science has proven that the brain will continue to develop until early adulthood which opens an opportunity for children to become their own self through personal experiences. It is described that a child's brain is a sponge ready to soak up all surrounding water in the form of education provided by their peers. With people who already have a role in society, there isn't much one can do to improve their status unless they go out and seek enriching opportunities. The comparison between the present generation and future ones is difficult in a way that the available resources are drastically different and their ease of accessibility. Just like how we all grow and advance as a whole, so should the focus. The present generation has done wonders for our local communities and affected how we interact with one another. However, there comes a point where everything that has been done needs to be put into action and use. Focusing on the present generation has its own benefits, but the future holds thousands if not millions of young minds that can continue to make the world a better place. With the predicted trend of minds getting smarter and more intelligent throughout generations, we need to begin catering to those possibilities rather than continuously fighting a battle that has been fought for years. The importance of ensuring the future goes well for generations to come is rooted in the core belief of parents providing a better life for their children by pushing them to become more involved in their communities by volunteering or committing to various extracurricular activities that cater to their desires and interests. Without this, today's society wouldn't be as advanced as it is and its people would still be the same as one would be two hundred years ago. Focusing on ensuring a better future for generations to come is an idea that some aren't open to. If making the world more suitable for uprising citizens of the society we currently live in is considered important now, the possibility of it becoming true will increase highly. If this mindset is adopted, advancements in technology and means of transportation and communication will continue to improve as well. Groundbreaking discoveries, passionate leaders, innovative educators, abstracted scientists, humane nurses and doctors, and altruistic philanthropists will come from preparing the children of today and tomorrow; and if our efforts are withheld due to not focusing on ensuring a better future, we will be put on a self-inflicted standstill without a reasonable way to advance. It's not whether or not we should help and focus on the present generation or future ones, rather it's how we view our lives changing in the next hundred years. The future holds numerous probabilities and it depends on if we chose to embrace the unknown or hideaway for it in fear.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Aug 31, 2021. Winners will be announced on Sep 30, 2021.

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