Significant Endeavor Essay
A significant endeavor is the outcome of identifying a need and taking the lead to create a meaningful solution that impacted (or continues to impact) your community, society, or school.
When reading a scholarship application, judges often ask what the need or problem was – why did the student undertake a specific project or endeavor? The endeavor could involve an intellectual challenge, research problem, ethical dilemma, barrier, or something that impacted the student personally. It may be rooted in community/service learning, research, the arts, journalism, advocacy, public affairs, etc. Judges do consider originality, initiative, degree of difficulty, results, and any benefit to society as a whole. Generally speaking, judges are looking for students that go above and beyond – students writing about getting into college or working while going to school don’t make much of an impression. After all, many community college students face the same struggles with finances and families, and they’re all making it work while taking action on other issues they identify on their campus or in their community. For some students, these endeavors are a result of a lifelong passion; for others, it’s a new obstacle or issue they’ve just become aware of. Endeavors come in all shapes and sizes and can have local or global impact.
Judges are looking for evidence of how you created the solution to the problem you identified and how you involved others. They are especially interested in how you exercised your leadership skills in this solution. This is a personal statement about how you are using your college education to bring about change around you. If your endeavor was part of a group project, write about your impact, what YOU did. We have forums and recognitions for chapter projects and college projects – they’re called Hallmarks. This is a scholarship application – this is not about your chapter or the work you’re doing as a group. This application is about you, your accomplishments, your leadership, your skills, your story.
Students oftentimes overcome tremendous obstacles to their education. These obstacles can be used as the basis for a pity party, or they can be used to propel the student into action so that they can leave behind a legacy, helping other students avoid the obstacles they had to overcome or providing tools, resources and assistance for other students facing the same issues.
When reading scholarship applications, judges want you to describe how and why you identified this need; the steps you took to arrive at a solution; who was involved in this project; what type of impact data and numbers you have that quantify your outcome; and how you applied your academic or intellectual skills to this endeavor.
- Writing an essay about giving a persuasive speech in your Oral Communications class to overcome your fear of public speaking IS NOT a significant endeavor. Although it might have resonated with your professor and/or your class, it did not help anyone overcome the same fear you had, nor did it have a lasting impact on those around you. Creating a workshop designed to help other students overcome their fear of public speaking and teaching that workshop to students is a significant endeavor because you are leaving something behind that others can use to overcome an obstacle.
- Teaching a swimming class to a group of students after you almost drowned during a school picnic is worthy of an essay. Because you recognized that others like you had a need or could lose their life because of the difficulty of obtaining this training is worthy of the essay. The more lasting the impact, the better the story.
- Tutoring is another worthy way to impact those around you, but merely tutoring doesn’t really leave a legacy for others. Yes, it impacts the students you are working with directly, but after you stop tutoring, the benefit is gone. Setting up a mentoring/tutoring center after identifying a lack of resources for students who struggle is a great example of a significant endeavor.
Describe a time that you identified a significant need and took the lead to create a meaningful solution that impacted your community, society, or school. What was the need or problem? How did you create the solution, and how did you involve others?
- The steps you took to arrive at a solution.
- Who was involved in this project.
- Impact data and numbers that quantify your outcome; and
- How you applied academic or intellectual skills to this endeavor.
This endeavor could involve an intellectual challenge, research problem, ethical dilemma, barrier or something that impacted you personally. It may be rooted in community/service learning, research, the arts, journalism, advocacy, public affairs, etc. Judges consider originality, initiative, degree of difficulty, results and benefit to society. Limit your essay to ONE specific endeavor. Do not include web links or photos in the text box.