Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
Who is your role model? This is a typical question every kid gets at as they grow up. My answer to this question as a kid was always changing with the news cycle, depending on who was the latest celebrity to hit the headlines. 18 years later, I am a lot wiser— always striving to go beyond the obvious in what I see in people, or how they are portrayed.
Most people see in their role models something that they feel resonates with their personality or life goals. For some, it is a shared background, philosophy, or goals. For others, it is the struggles and hardships that their role models overcame. I belong to the latter.
See, my mother wasn’t always the stunning lady that she is today. The story of how she beat insurmountable odds to be where she is today inspires courage. It tells of a woman, who against all odds stacked against her, found inspiration in her tribulations and used stones cast at her to build a strong foundation, one that my brother and I anchor our dreams to. It is for this reason that I can proudly say that my mother is the most influential person in my life. She always has been.
Richelle E. Goodrich, a renowned author, once said: “there would be no cloud-nine days without rock-bottom moments left below.” My mom’s bottom came after ten years in an abusive relationship as a single mother of two boys. While the events of the ten years left her bruised, they serve to remind us of her journey. “My family never treasured education,” she says. Seeing her siblings and members of her extended family, I can tell you that the consequences have been far-reaching. When she decided enough was enough, she left her hometown for another city in the hope of starting over. “The thought of starting over was scary,” she recalls. Luckily for her, she had completed high school. She worked as a janitor at a high school in South Carolina for six years. For her, it was about breaking the curse of the Martins, as she refers to her family. The only way she knew how was to educate her children. This didn’t mean she was ready to throw in the towel as far as her education was concerned. She wrote one application after another, seeking scholarships for college. And when her lucky break came, she enrolled for a B.A Psychology at the University of Texas Permian Basin.
She is currently working as an event planner, part-timing as a Life Coach. While being the only member of her family to pursue a college degree gives her a sense of pride, she says it reminds her that she should set the bar so high that “her two boys” will have to work twice as hard to surpass her achievements.
Her story inspires me to step out of the comfort zone and take on challenges, and applying for this coveted scholarship is me stepping out of the comfort zone.
Feedback on this essay.
- Very nice essay overall.
- Didn’t like that the essay opens with a question, but the applicant did a good job tying the question to the main idea. As I read through the introduction, I was hooked and saw why he opened with this particular question. That’s what you want your opening paragraph to do. Hook the reader. While I don’t condone starting your essay with a question, but if you do, it must make sense and tie in with your main concept.
- There are good transitions between each paragraph.
- I loved that he not only tells us about his role model, but explains why he chose her, so we didn’t have to guess.
- There are a few unnecessary words here and there. For example, “It is for this reason that I can proudly say that my mother is the most influential person in my life.” I’d suggest rewording this to, “That’s why my mother is the most influential person in my life.”
- The closing is good, but a bit abrupt.
- Overall, the applicant does the job, answers the prompt, and shares an inspirational story that stands out.
What’s the verdict? Scholarship or not?
Yes, he’s definitely a contender. I love his story. Picking a role model close to home was a smart move that gives us a glimpse into his family and background. He also does a good job answering the topic and following the instructions.
Everyone has a story to share. Your story is yours and doesn’t need to be a sorrowful account, full of trials and tribulations. Be sure to include a unique story that draws readers in. Finally, follow all the instructions for your scholarship essay.