R. Gabrielle McCormick

This past weekend, there was a little event called the Super Bowl. Although I was extremely disappointed by the outcome, as I am a Broncos fan, there was an important lesson to be learned by all. Preparation is key.

Defined by Merriam-Webster: Preparation is the activity or process of making something ready or of becoming ready for something. The Super Bowl winner is normally the one that has best prepared for the current opportunity. The Super Bowl loser is now the one that is best prepared to seize the next opportunity.

I highlight that to tell you this, all of the scholarships in this post have deadlines within the next two weeks. I know you may be wondering why I would list scholarships with such close deadlines. I’m doing this to teach you a lesson I learned recently about the art of preparation.

Last week I received an email from a fellow doctoral student. The email contained a link to an extensive grant application for dissertation research. The deadline was three days away. Hopefully you can see where this is going by now. I was completely unprepared to seize the opportunity. However, it’s what I did next that mattered. I began working on the application’s components for next year.

Benjamin Franklin stated that, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” I’ve given you your warning. The Denver Broncos have given you your warning. Even if you are unable to prepare a solid application for these scholarships now, at least see what they are requiring. Those requirements could be crucial for other upcoming scholarships.

Here’s a breakdown of four scholarships I think you should consider:

  1. National Peace Essay Contest: Essay competition that is open to all high school students. What did we just say about preparation?
    Award: $1,000-$10,000
    Deadline: Feb. 10th
  2. Courageous Persuaders: Students grades 9-12 are asked to create a TV commercial targeting middle school students to warn them against underage drinking.
    Award: $250-$3,000
    Deadline: Feb. 12th
  3. AFA Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness College Scholarship: High school seniors are asked to write an autobiographical essay related to Alzheimer’s disease.
    Award: $250 – $5,000
    Deadline: Feb. 15th
  4. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship: This is for minority, high school seniors. The scholarship package includes a grant, mentoring, internships, and leadership development.
    Award: $7,500
    Deadline: Feb. 15th

I leave you with this last bit of advice from a wise man: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham LincolnWe’ve only talked about preparation, but I really want you to take it a step further this week. Do not just prepare. Prepare to execute. You can do it. You have the tools and the resources.May you use this week to sharpen your axe to begin executing.