Think For Yourself Scholarship Details & Application Process

In a world full of voices, the Let Grow Think For Yourself Scholarship invites high school students to step forward and share their thoughts. It’s more than just a scholarship; it’s an invitation to express oneself freely and grow in the process. 

Let’s get into how this opportunity encourages students to speak up, promoting a culture of independent thinking and self-discovery.

Background of the Scholarship

Let Grow’s Initiative

Let Grow champions a special cause – empowering high school students to think independently. Since its launch in 2018, the Think For Yourself Scholarship 2023 has been a departure from traditional academic awards. 

Instead of focusing on grades, it values authentic, real-life stories. Over the years, more than 25,000 students have participated, sharing their narratives, and Let Grow has distributed $40,000 in scholarships.

Scholarship Details

The simplicity of this scholarship is its strength. A generous $5,000 awaits the storyteller with the most impactful narrative, and three additional compelling stories receive $1,000 each. 

Yet, it’s not just about the financial reward; winning essays find a place in respected newspapers like USA Today and The New York Post, amplifying the student’s voice on a broader stage.

Essay Prompts for 2023

The soul of the “Think For Yourself” Scholarship resides in the thoughtful responses to five prompts. Each prompt taps into a different aspect of personal growth through free expression. 

These prompts invite students to share real stories about times they could have been upset but chose not to, their thoughts on shielding teens from controversy, the impact of social media on authenticity, experiences where someone changed their mind, and instances where they hesitated to speak up.

Taking offense but choosing not to, facing controversial topics, navigating social media, transforming beliefs, and having the courage to speak up – these prompts encapsulate the real challenges students encounter in their everyday lives.

Insights from Past Winners

Brianne Parker’s Experience

Brianne Parker, the 2022 First Prize Winner, took us on a journey through the impact of reading “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In her narrative, she shared the eye-opening experience of witnessing her classmates’ reactions to the injustices presented in the book. 

As an African-American woman in the Deep South, Brianne was accustomed to discussions about daily racial injustices. However, seeing her classmates’ different perspectives was a revelation. This experience allowed Brianne to discard preconceived notions, creating understanding among classmates and initiating a key moment of growth.

Danyere Francis’s Story

Danyere Francis, the 2020 First Prize Winner, shared a deeply personal story about being physically attacked for being gay. Instead of harboring resentment, Danyere took a surprising path. 

He reached out to his attacker, Luis, initiating a conversation that led to understanding. Danyere’s ability to empathize with Luis, despite differing beliefs, showcases the power of open-mindedness and dialogue in resolving conflicts. It’s a story of resilience, compassion, and the potential for coexistence even in the face of adversity.

Common Theme: Growth Through Exposure

What binds these stories together is the theme of growth. The Think For Yourself Scholarship 2024 seeks more than just eloquence; it aims to uncover stories that demonstrate real-world encounters challenging preconceptions. 

It encourages students to broaden their perspectives and embrace the diverse world around them.

Contest Guidelines and Application Process

Eligibility Criteria

Participating in this transformative journey is straightforward. If you’re at least fifteen years old, a resident of the United States, and in 11th or 12th grade, you are eligible. This scholarship isn’t just for the top students; it’s for anyone ready to share their journey of learning and growing.

Submission Requirements

Entering is a simple process. Starting January 1, 2024, students can submit their essays online. Pick one of the five prompts, write 600 to 800 words, and make sure it’s in English and original. The emphasis is on authenticity; they want real stories, not fictional creations. 

Additionally, they’re serious about maintaining a safe and inclusive environment, making it clear that any content that is obscene, pornographic, libelous, or objectionable will be disqualified.

No Purchase Necessary

Let Grow ensure that the scholarship remains accessible to all. The Think For Yourself Scholarship firmly declares that no purchase can influence the outcome. This commitment to fairness underscores the essence of the scholarship – an equal opportunity for every student to share their unique journey.

Think For Yourself Scholarship Prizes and Recognition

Scholarship Prizes

The scholarship extends beyond the intrinsic satisfaction of sharing one’s story. Four winners, including the Grand Prize Winner and three Runners-Up, are set to receive scholarship prizes totaling $8,000. The scholarship prize is not a just token; it’s a financial endorsement of the winner’s journey toward higher education.

Also Read: John Lepping Memorial Scholarship

Form of the Scholarship Prize

The money isn’t just handed out; it’s a thoughtful process. The grand prize of $5,000, as well as the $1,000 for the Runners-Up, is sent directly to the educational institution the winner attends. This ensures that the financial support aligns with the winner’s academic aspirations, providing a tangible investment in their educational journey.

Importance of Compliance

Winning the Think For Yourself Scholarship comes with responsibility. Applicants must comply with the rules and regulations, verifying their identity and eligibility. 

The stringent yet fair verification process ensures that the scholarship reaches those who genuinely embody the spirit of free expression and intellectual growth. It’s a commitment to fairness and integrity in the selection process.

Final Words

In a world where conformity often overshadows individuality, the Let Grow Think For Yourself Scholarship emerges as a sanctuary for those who dare to think differently. As we invite students to share their stories, we recognize the transformative power of personal narratives. 

The scholarship is not just a financial reward; it’s a celebration of the journey towards independent thinking, free expression, and the boundless growth that comes from embracing the diversity of ideas that shape our world.

So, high school juniors and seniors, the stage is yours – share your story, and let your voice resonate in the corridors of change. It isn’t just about winning money; it’s about celebrating your journey of thinking freely, expressing yourself, and growing in a world filled with diverse ideas. 

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