From the Hearts of Students: Why I Want to Go to College

Fall 2008 | | January 19, 2009 at 11:54 am

Each year GEAR UP middle schools select students for Educational Trust Awards, a "scholarship" valued at $2,000 plus interest and available upon college enrollment. The process for selection at many schools usually includes an essay written by the student about their future career goals and why going to college is important. The following selections, taken from student applications, show how meaningful this GEAR UP resource is to each of them.

White Middle School Student Essay Excerpts

"I want to win the scholarship to help my family with the cost. I want to go to college so that I can be the first person in my family to go to college. My parents had only made it to high school and less. Their parents couldn’t afford to pay for them to get into college because they were a poor family. I want to win the scholarship so that I can get a good education and so that I can prepare to get a good job."

"I personally thought that college was a waste of my time. But after being in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) for two whole years I learned that college can make a big difference in my life. I learned that all the knowledge and skills that come from college can serve me well in my life. Also if I graduate from a four-year college I can earn about $1,030 a week. AVID has taught me a lot these past two years."

"I think college is a very important step in life. One of my dreams is to go to college. College could help me achieve all my other dreams that I want to accomplish, like the career I want to do. For example, I want to become an elementary teacher. I know it doesn’t pay as much as other jobs, sometimes, but it’s what I want to become."

"I want to become a doctor because my parents own a residential care facility for the elders and I enjoy doing volunteer work. As I examine the daily life elders, I become more interested in the medical field. I want to be able to become a doctor and prevent elders from having strokes or other sicknesses that will affect their life later on if life."

"In the future I want to be a director and make my first movie about dancing and music and inspire other kids to go to college and earn a music degree. Your investment into my education would be an investment into the future of the world."

"My mother used to say, "Whether or not we have enough money, you are going to college." That is why ever since I could remember I have been college-bound. So throughout my life I have been thinking about what I am going to do for a living. I believe I’ve got it. I wish to purse a degree in computer science."

Holtville Middle School Student Essay Excerpts

"I am part of the MESA program which stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science and Achievement. I have been in this program for the past two years and this program has both been challenging and rewarding. With this program I have visited universities like Imperial Valley College, University of California Los Angeles, and University of California Riverside. By going to these universities I have learned how it is like to be a university student and every problem they have to face. It did sound challenging to me, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to become a successful person."

"During the summer of 2007, I attended the College Readiness Academy. Of course, the GEAR UP program was involved. We learned new math skills and discussed the need of attending college. I looked at it as a college prep class. We learned about how to look into a college and what each school has to offer. I personally want to attend SDSU or UCSD. I had to make a power point presentation on the college of my choosing and I chose SDSU. I had to research financial costs, requirements for acceptance, and the majors that they offer. By participating in this program, I learned that in order to make it into a university that I had to work hard and keep my grades up."

"Most kids of today do not realize the importance of grasping the opportunities that the community gives them until it is too late. Unlike those preteens, I have participated in many educational opportunities that are still helping me achieve my long-term goals. I have taken part in the GATE program, the MESA program, and The People to People Forum in Washington D.C. These programs are some of the few that have helped me understand the greater meaning to a good education and to a good life. I have not only learned from these programs, But I have also learned from the adults in my life to keep going and to do whatever I can to get into the university of my choosing."

Live Oak Middle School Student Essay Excerpts

"Have you ever felt like you needed to learn more? Do you have a passion to learn more about life? Going to college will allow me to pursue my passion for learning. However, going to college is very expensive, so my parents tell me. I am applying for this scholarship in order to contribute towards my college fund. I will use my education and knowledge to help me become a successful person and reach my goals."

"You can never start planning for college too early. That is why I try my best to participate in educational opportunities that can help me prepare for a better education. For the past few years now, I have had a strong desire to win a college scholarship and to go to a large university. I wish to achieve a bachelors degree or higher. Even though I am only a thirteen year old seventh grader, and know I’ll have other experiences that could change my career choice, for now I am hoping to major in film and cinematic arts."

"To succeed, achieve, and prosper is my philosophy. I hope to obtain this college award and live by what I believe. I take initiative in pursuing my goals, and have strong motivation and dedication to learning. Whether it is in school or outside of it, I retain many different avocations. I have a huge interest in music. Living without music would be like living without air. I’m very dedicated to both the jazz and advanced band."

"Whenever I have the opportunity to take advantage of educational experiences, I take them! I believe that every time you miss a day of school you lose the opportunity of learning that will never again be provided. Every day I put forth a great effort to take advantage of my education for the present and the future. I have been in the honor roll many times in the past and have rarely been absent. I received a 4.0 GPA for every quarter in sixth grade."

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