Sunday, June 11, 2006

I LOVE FREE MONEY!!!!

I'm tellin you, i wish I could extend the fortune I've been receiving in my educational pursuits to other parts of my life. This past week, I received notice that I was chosen as a California Pre-Doctoral Scholar, AND I won the California Graduate Student Equity Fellowship Award!! I damn near fainted when both of those bad boys ended up in the mail on the same day. U KNOW!

The Pre-Doctoral Award includes a $5000 fund for pre-doctoral development (paying for conferences, visits to prospective doctorate programs, organizational memberships, technology, etc.), a free GRE prep course (which I will be using the hell out of considering my first crack at the GRE was BOO-HISS!), and "generous" funding for a summer internship of my choice on one of the University of California campuses. How tight is that?

The Student Equity Fellowship is basically a $3000 award that I can apply to my financial aid. So $3000 less dollars I'll owe Uncle Sam's greedy ass :).

So yeah, if I wasn't motivated before to do big things in the future, i'm definitely motivated now! All you undergrad and grad students out there that are reading....KNOW YOUR RESOURCES!!! The only reason I knew about these scholarships is because I dug for information, and made friends with the right people. The money and support is out there, it's just up to YOU to find it and hustle for it! Make good friends in financial aid and the career center. HOUND your academic departments about scholarships notices. And if you happen to be a 'minority student', your ass BETTER be involved in McNair's Scholars, MESA, Upward Bound, and/ or EOP...these programs are fighting to stay ahead of budget cuts to provide YOU with free money and resources. RECOGNIZE PLEASE!

...sorry if i got on my soapbox a lil' bit. I'm just so passionate about people taking advanatage of free resources, be it scholarships, summer research programs, internships, mentoring, tutoring, even job placement. I suffered tremendously throughout my undergraduate years because I either didn't know this free stuff existed, or I got lazy and didn't apply. Life would have been a WHOLE lot easier if I had been up on game and got my hustle on.

In addition to that mess on my part, as a member and officer of National Society of Black Engineers (who's house??????SIX HOUSE!!!), we had to fight for years just to maintain funding for our umbrella organization, Minority Engineering Program (MEP). A program that, on our campus, was responsible for providing direct support and resources to about 87% of the minority engineering, physical science, and biological science students, producing over 50 minority Ph.D. earners, a couple of Fulbright scholars, and one Black Engineer of the Year winner (GO 'HEAD CHADWICK!!!). After several rallies, too many petitions, and a mass stand-in at the Dean of Engineering's office, the university got hella shady and axed the funding for our program director and support staff, effectively killing MEP and leaving our Black and Latino students to fend for themselves on a unwelcoming campus of 33,000 students. Without a program like MEP, the GPA's and performance of minority students dropped so dramatically that the university reestablished funding for MEP in an effort to save face and negative statistics.

So, long story short, use what you have in front you my people. It's absolutely ridiculous to work so hard when you don't have to, and you never know how long a resource may be available to you.

****stepping off my soapbox****

I'll keep posting about my scholarship decisions as they come in the mail. Here's the tally so far.....

Show me the money! (YES): 4
Hell to the naw! (NO): 7
Still awaiting response: 6

I'm gonna toss up a few thank ya Jesus'es because I sure as hell don't want to run up another $17,000 in loans next year. And that's my word.

HOLLA!!!

3 comments:

mytruth said...

congrats on the money!!!! Fellow McNair Scholar

Emily said...

Congrats!!! That's awesome about the scholarships! And I definitely agree about thenot knowing or not trying to apply during undergrad -- I think I got so discouraged with my low GPA I didn't think I had a chance...but you never now. Now things are better, but I'm still waiting for that big one to cme along.

dancehard said...

Thanks for the kind words folks! Do us all a favor...if you find out about some free money or resources, hook somebody up! It's all about the network, giving and receiving, baby.