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Scholarship Essays

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Carol E. Macpherson Scholarship Essay Example - Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Dear Scholarship Selection Committee:

Relevant Experience

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania in a town with a population of less than 300, the only people I knew who had been to college were my teachers. Many of the older girls got pregnant and dropped out of school by the 10th grade. There were no other role models in terms of academic aspirations or career options. Despite this fact, for as long as I can remember, I dreamed of going to college. I developed a fascination with Anthropology from reading the National Geographic magazines my grandmother had, and started learning about Anthropology programs. I knew my parents could not afford to help me with college and we knew nothing about financial aid. Still, I felt in my heart that if I worked hard, got good grades and stayed focused, I would find a way to make my dream a reality.

By 10th grade I had the highest GPA in my class, had won several statewide academic competitions and a teacher offered to assist me in applying to colleges and to write my recommendation letters. I sent away for catalogues, but by the end of that summer I was in love and pregnant. Then my entire world began to unravel. Though my older ex‐husband had a full time job, he also had a budding drinking problem. I would rather not share the traumatic details of our marriage, it is enough to say that after 5 years of abuse I escaped with my life and my three children.


Since that time, I have been waging custody battles and supporting our children completely on my own, as their father is unable to pay consistent child support. I also completed my GED, attended two terms of community college and have been accepted into the University of Minnesota’s Anthropology program. Though I have taken a winding path, I am finally where I always wanted to be ‐ with the addition of three children I love and would not trade the world for.

Education and Professional

 GoalsMy career plans are to complete a BA in Anthropology and then continue on toward a Ph.D. I have planned it so that by the time I need to conduct field research my girls will be old enough to live with my parents, who have offered to assist with childcare for extended periods. My area of specialization is the study of women healers through the ages, from witchcraft and feminine shamanism to contemporary folk medicine. It is my hope that through future research, my findings may one day lead to breakthroughs in modern medical practices and an increased respect for a more feminine and holistic view of healing in today’s world. On a more personal level I want to provide the role model for my girls I never had.

Financial Need

As a single mother, who can only work a maximum of 20 hours/week while in college, the assistance this scholarship offers would be invaluable as I work toward making my dreams a reality.

Thank you for your consideration.

Original Source: University of Minnesota

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