Vanessa Muza Teskey Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
Brian Belko
Learn more about the Donor
$1,000
1 winner
Awarded
Winner
1
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
Jan 18, 2022
Winners Announced
Feb 19, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Must be a senior in high school
Gender:
Must identify as a woman
Field of Interest:
Must be interested in pursuing a career in writing
Education Level:
Gender:
Field of Interest:
Must be a senior in high school
Must identify as a woman
Must be interested in pursuing a career in writing

Vanessa Muza Teskey was an extraordinary writer who was passionate about advancing women’s rights.

Vanessa wanted young women to be empowered to pursue their dreams, make an impact on the world, and make their voices heard through writing. 

This scholarship seeks to help one female student who is an aspiring writer or journalist pursue her education and make a difference in the world. 

Any female student who is a high school senior and is interested in pursuing a degree in writing, journalism, or a related field may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us what type of impact you think writing can make and how it can create positive change in the world.

Published October 3, 2021
$1,000
1 winner
Awarded
Winner
1
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
Jan 18, 2022
Winners Announced
Feb 19, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

What sort of impact do you think writing can make in the effort to make positive change in the world?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jeanne-Marie Du Plessis
Hslda Online AcademyLovettsville, VA
It was the words that first drew me. Sometimes I wonder why I'm made like I am, and that little thought opens the flood gates of skepticism and self-deprecation, but the words! I tear pages out of notebooks and write it all out in black and white so I can understand the confusion of thoughts and emotions inside me. That first night I settled on this desperate measure, I sat in silence afterwards, trying to wrap my mind around the magic of words. Little marks on paper, pixels on a screen, sounds passed on silently from flat surface to flat surface; magic. Let me illustrate my point. I, the writer of this sentence, and you, the reader of it, are meeting together at this exact word - we are together in this moment. Time is absolutely irrelevant and locational differences certainly haven't affected a thing. I cannot see you, you cannot see me, but for now, we're traveling down this screen together. I hope you don't mind. Whoever said humans are mortal was a downright liar. If you have the guts, you can transfer little bits of your soul onto paper, and poof - the magic is at work. Then you ball that paper up and throw it into the world's Water Hole of Ideas, Knowledge, and the Bottomless Collection of Thoughts and Feelings of Mankind in General. If you throw it hard enough, sometimes it can make quite the splash. I think now's the time to mention a clause in the Terms and Conditions of Writing few writers seem to have heard of: "You agree to being aware of the fact that every word you write and make available to the access of Mankind in General has an effect on every reader, and you take full responsibility of this effect and its possible effects. (Section 182 B.)". Let me suggest something radical: why not write our little bits of souls into something beautiful and grand, like a flood. There are many ugly, festering edges in that Water Hole. In fact, there's a swamp located somewhere in the very middle. It poisons some of us who go down to revive ourselves with words. Why not wash these away with good words - overflow the boundaries or at least bury the filth? Let me suggest something even more radical: the previous suggestion was not radical at all. Basic human dignity depends on the existence of brotherly love. If you are not even willing to pour a cup of pure, clean, freshwater words for a stranger, the world will turn into a desert. But now I, the writer of this sentence, must fondly say goodbye to you, the reader of these words. We've magicked our way through several paragraphs, and here I will leave you with a farewell cup of good strong words brewed up by Ursula K. Le Guin: “A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.” We can use our magic to lighten the world's dark places. Will you?

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jan 18, 2022. Winners will be announced on Feb 19, 2022.

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