I’ve been reading the Yakezie scholarship essays recently, and I have to say that while I have enjoyed all of the essays that I have read so far, there are a few that have touched me personally and have left me spending some time thinking and self-reflecting about life in general. To me, that’s the sign of a pretty good essay. I’d like to share them with you:
- I Look Up To You
- Ma’an Luzano shares her story about the guiding light in her life that is her Ate (At-eh), which means older sister in Filipino. Her Ate is her personal hero. Although she grew up in a broken home, her Ate taught her to be strong and resilient, and to look forward to the future with courage and hope. I also grew up in a broken home, and for me, the guiding light was (and is) my grandmother, and she is my own personal hero. Sometimes, we all need a guiding light to show us the way. If Ma’an wins, she plans on using the scholarship funds to help out for college; she plans to attend San Diego State University.
- The Drug Dealer
- Stepan Parunashvili talks to us about the inspiration he receives from the story of Tim Ferris. His book about the four-hour work week and on overcoming personal fears inspired Stepan to make changes to his own life, as well as start new projects, such as Tutorcurve, a service which matches university tutors with high school students. I enjoyed this essay as well, although I have to admit that I didn’t get the connection between the title and the rest of the essay until I read the comments. If Stepan wins, he plans to use part of the funds to apply to universities in Toronto, as well as McGill University in Montreal.
- The Gift of Caring
- This essay by Kaitlyn Martin shares a heartwarming story on how her life was changed by a simple act of unconditional generosity and sacrifice between two strangers. It is amazing to find that even when someone finds themselves in the depths of what by all accounts would be considered a despairing situation, they can still give up what little they have if it would mean the world to someone else. It’s really a mutually beneficial exchange, since both hearts are warmed by the exchange. This story gives me hope for the future, and it has rekindled my belief in the inherent good of people. Evil exists, and we can all fall prey to it, but if we work to change the institutions and incentives that reward immoral behavior, we can become better than we are.
These are only a few of my favorite essays, but in truth, I enjoyed all of them. They are all written with heart and passion and deserving of a read, and I highly encourage you to head over to the Scholarship section of the Yakezie to read them, comment, and vote for your favorites! If you also enjoyed these essays, then you could also consider contributing toward the scholarship at the Donate page; I’m sure it will be greatly appreciated by all.
So, reader, did you also enjoy the scholarship essays? I’d love to hear your own thoughts, and how you personally relate to the stories shared.