Test the Dedication of Your Parents

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As you explore the scholarships you can prepare yourself to apply for in the future, don’t overlook the opportunities you can glean by getting your parents involved in your planning. As a matter of fact, two of the scholarships that I won were because my parents were members of organizations. My dad was a member of the Fraternity Phi Beta Sigma and my mother was in the Classroom Teachers Association.

After perusing the Internet, you will realize that many of the clubs and associations with scholarship programs are not organizations that any young person off the street can sign up for and join. YOU may not have the correct qualifications to get involved, but your parents might! Ask your parents about their employer benefits, work unions, and social clubs. If your parents belong to some of the right ones already—great! If not, ask them if there are any helpful associations that they are eligible to join.

You’ll know that your parents really care about your education if they are willing to do any of the following:

  • Switch employers to provide you with better scholarship opportunities
  • Move to a different state to provide you with better scholarship opportunities
  • Join the military to provide you with better scholarship opportunities

Start laying on guilt now, and who knows what you’ll ultimately talk your parents into!?

And even if your parents won’t sign up for the Navy, remember that there are lots of other adults you can improve your scholarship chances by sucking up to! In my last post, I wrote about how you should be looking for people who are not only willing to write nice things about you, but who honestly KNOW a few nice things about you. But if your adult of choice does not know and/or like you yet, you’ve got a few years to start sucking up and getting yourself noticed. If this adult does like you, make sure that your relationship remains strong and positive.

Here is a list of people that you can approach to write you a recommendation letter:

  • Employer
  • Community Service Rep
  • Coach
  • Neighbor
  • Teacher
  • Principal
  • Church Official
  • Co-Worker
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Probation Officer (Just kidding…unless you really have one)

Show the adults in your life that you are an upstanding young citizen, and they will be tripping over each other as they line up to help you win money for college. Suck up until it hurts…but remember that you only need to be nice to a half dozen or so people. The rest will have to fend for themselves and this includes your parents, because they (usually) can’t give you recommendation letters.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adam K. Thomas

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