Finding His Creative Niche: Channing’s Scholarship Story


On cue, Bobby, who was playing the role of a homicide detective, began to brutishly interrogate Channing’s little brother about the sudden disappearance of “Flashcard Man.”

“Did you torture him first, you creep?” Bobby shouted.

When the suspect refused to speak, his interrogator continued to scream at him.

“What did you do?”

“Did you torture him first, you sicko?”

“Tell me!”

“Did you torture him first, you creep?”

“Cut, cut!” said an exasperated Channing as he lowered his camera. “You already said creep. This time it’s supposed to be, ‘Did you torture him first, you ANIMAL?’”

“I wish you’d remember your lines, Bobby,” Channing’s brother, Jonfranco, complained. “We’re going to be here forever if you keep screwing stuff up.”

“This from the kid who‘s only got ONE little line in the entire movie,” Bobby shot back. “Even a parrot could be trained to say, ‘No, I recycled him,’ so just shut up before I make you switch parts with me.”

“Nobody’s switching parts,” Channing interjected quickly. “You know we don’t have time to be messing around. I’ve got to get this film edited and submitted to the SimpleLeap scholarship* competition in just three days, so let’s focus people!”

“Lay off. It’s not our fault you waited until the last minute,” Jonfranco muttered.

“There’s not enough time to do this right,” Bobby added.

“Maybe we should just forget the whole thing?”

Channing and his crew almost did quit without entering the competition. Channing had learned about the SimpleLeap scholarship only four days before the submission deadline. The assignment was simple enough—all he had to do was create a three-minute movie about how he got rid of his archaic flashcards after discovering SimpleLeap’s more effective study software. Easy, right? Especially since Channing had both a friend and a brother who were cool enough to help him out.

But with such harsh time constraints for conceiving, scripting, filming, editing, and scoring his project, the pressure was on and stress levels were high. Lucky for Channing, he and his crew proved themselves up to the challenge of creating a masterpiece in a ridiculously short period of time. Their movie won the competition!

Like all aspiring students of higher education, Channing was worried about where he would get the tuition money for community college. Despite being ineligible to receive financial aid, Channing hadn’t really considered scholarships to be a viable source of income, so he pursued them only half-heartedly. His organizational plan consisted of a simple folder on his computer desktop labeled “Scholarship Attempts” and a drawer of materials in his closet. He kept tabs on his entries by checking the status online.

Now, after winning $500 from SimpleLeap, Channing knows that scholarship applications do lead to real money. As president of the student government group at his college, he is dedicated to his education and continues to need financial help to achieve his goals.

“Every once in a while a scholarship catches my attention and I go full throttle for it,” Channing reports. “There are all kinds of scholarships out there that tailor to everyone’s different skills, so instead of waiting for one to catch my eye, I think I’d be better off going out and finding a few.”

Good advice, Channing!

* the SimpleLeap scholarship doesn’t seem to be operating anymore, so you can’t replicate Channing’s exact story, but for every scholarship opportunity that disappears, new ones pop up. Keep checking back for more advice on how to find new scholarships that are right for you.

Photo by Mattias Diesel on Unsplash

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