I'm addressing a dual audience with this post today. Consider it my usual nod to my absolute favorite activity - multitasking.
To anyone who happens to be independently wealthy AND to anyone who has young children, the following message is for you.
For those of us that have children of the college-bound age or above, we have been awakened by the light of a consuming activity called Helping-Your-Senior-Apply-For-Scholarships.
Unless you gave birth to a LeBron James type of child, and colleges everywhere came to you begging you to send your child to them (offering you free education for sending your child to them!) then you likely know the head-scratching mouse-maze that is scholarship application.
Oh sure, people will tell you, "There are hundreds of scholarships out there! You just have to know where to look!" and they're absolutely right. There are hundreds.
If you can prove your child's Aboriginee ancestry. If your child has maintained the exact GPA of Pi all through high school. If your child is a direct descendant of Betsy Ross or Abe Lincoln (bonus points if you can prove relations to BOTH!) And if your child can get written letters of recommendation from every teacher he/she ever had starting with Preschool - then yes, there are hundreds. Also, if you can include the eyelash of a Bengal Tiger, your application will be given extra consideration.
If however, you have an average teenager who works pretty hard, tries most of the time, participated in some extra curriculars but was not the All-Academic Quarterback AND the All-Conference Starting Forward AND single-handedly won the Spirit of Six award ON THEIR OWN - then you may find there are less than hundreds.
A lot less.
More like... a handful.
Which is good. Don't get me wrong. Its just not the deceiving amount you may have originally been led to believe was out there willing to pay for your child's continued education when you, in fact, had said child.
Therefore - my point to the earlier mentioned audience (independently wealthy people and mom's of young children... in case you forgot.)
If those of you who are independently wealthy are looking for a worthwhile place to put some money - may I recommend offering a scholarship to average kids? Not (just) the top-12.6 percent of the class kids, not (just) the offspring of the man who invented the wheel - but average kids.
Kids who try hard but still may not get straight A's.
Kids who hold part-time jobs and still have perfect attendance in school.
Kids who do not need to disclose their race, gender, birth defects, list of hospitalizations or third grade report card in order to even be considered.
Basically, find your average hard worker and offer the "I Believe in Your Effort" Scholarship.
I think that would be lovely. And worthwhile. And a total game-changer for some kid, and their family.
And to the mom's of young children, print this list for safe keeping:
-Save every report card.
-Take ziploc bags with you to the zoo. If there is a piece of hair outside of the tiger cage that could even remotely pass for the tiger's eyelash - bag it and have it DNA tested for proof.
-Ask every teacher to write your child a letter of recommendation. Twice! Once at Christmas break and once at the end-of-the-year. Don't wait - start a collection of these now. You can never have too many. Also ask your pediatrician, your vet and your next door neighbor.
-Start an ancestry.com account. Trace lineage as far as possible. Keep record of any Founding Fathers, former government officials or inventors. If there are no connections to these types of important people start planning your campaign to run for office. Or get a patent started for your invention. There's no time to lose here! Every year you spend in your regular job is another year lost when you could be living your life to help your child's future.
I hope this post helps... someone.
Please. There are precious and average children out there, who are EVERYDAY trying to get into college. For mere 50 dollar bills a day - you can help these children. Start planning your "average kid" scholarship fund. Start planning what you will invent to help your child's future scholarship application.
The future of our youth depend on it.
Also the future of my checking account, but that's a silly little matter for another day.