Scholarship Writing Workshops

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College is more expensive today than ever before. Students are forced to piece together loans, grants, and scholarships in order to make their dreams of going to college a reality. Education is the only way to ensure a life with choices and yet many low-income and minority students report feeling uninformed about scholarship opportunities and unsupported in the application process. Oftentimes, although there are funds for low-income and minority scholarship, there is only a small pool of applicants.

To fill this gap, we began our Scholarship Writing Workshop in 2008 to see if students wanted to learn more about getting into college. Not only did we fill the class, but we had so much interest that we now offer these classes every month to a packed room. And 97% of the teens we surveyed who participated in this workshop said they would recommend it to their friends. 97%. How is that for a standing ovation?

How does it work?

The daylong workshops are hosted by local colleges, including Concordia University, Lewis and Clark College, Reed College, University of Portland, Warner Pacific and others. Students have the opportunity to meet with an admissions counselor and are given a campus tour led by undergraduate students or admissions officers, who provide insight into college life.

Next, students are given step-by-step instruction and guidance to identify scholarship opportunities, prepare application packets, solicit and obtain letters of recommendation, apply for financial aid, and write a first draft of a general personal statement to be used in the university admissions process or to obtain scholarships. Each student then participates in a mock interview, preparing them and building their confidence for their scholarship or college admission interviews.

This program was started to support the college aspirations of African American high school students, but it has grown to serve the community at large. 57% of participants are African American, 14% are African, 11% are Caucasian, 13% are Hispanic and 5% are un-specified racial/ethnic identity.

To sign up for our next class, contact Marshawna at . To support this important program, click here.

~What students are saying~

"This program should travel to all schools and talk about the scholarships that are out there for kids who see themselves in college. Thanks so much for the opportunity!"

"I am so grateful to be here, I have made connections and tools to go to college."

"This is the most amazing experience and opportunity I have ever been a part of."

"I would be the first generation going to college in my family so I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Now I feel way better."

"The program is very helpful for me because I come from a family that does not speak English. I'm getting the help that they are not able to provide for me."


How Can Universities Host?

Hosting one of our Scholarship Writing Workshops is a fantastic way to highlight your school to a group of eager students, who would not otherwise be exposed to the educational opportunities you offer.

For many of these students, this is their first time visiting a college campus and you have the rare recruiting opportunity to reach them before they decide where they wish to pursue their secondary education. Plus, you have the happy feelings of knowing you are helping us keep our costs low, so we can reach even more budding college students.

To host, you must provide two rooms, one with computers and one without. We will also need an area to do interviews and an admissions person to give a private tour of your campus and participate in our mock interviews. To sign up or learn more, contact Marshawna Williams at or 503-282-7973.