Did she fail, or did she succeed? Of course, the goal wasn’t to keep the scholarship, her goal was graduation. Regardless of your winning scholarship essay, you have a similar goal: Get an education, become a contributor, and claim a bright future full of your dreams, like Ella Avery-Smothers.

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Here are the winning essays in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. youth essay contest held in conjunction with Monday's celebration at Lawrence University's Memorial Chapel. The contest is open to students throughout the Fox Valley.

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Start with for a great list of places to send your winning scholarship essay.

Back to your winning scholarship essay. The first step for you: Apply. You can win a scholarship or a state grant or a Pell grant and go to college. You can have the opportunity you want, you can have the future you want. But you have to work for it. You have to do your part to create that future, so apply for grants, scholarships, work study, employee assistance, life credit, advanced placement/CLEP tests, or whatever you can.

Be specific with your scholarship essay. A common mistake in any form of essay writing is using generalized statements over specific ones, and that’s not acceptable in winning scholarship essays. Be specific with your writing. To put it this way, include some “slice of life” examples showing how, for example, education created an impact in a matter of single realization or experience.Learn About the Winners of the Young Naturalist Awards Program, the Museums 7th - 12th grade research competition. Every winning essay is available since it's founding year, 1998.If you’re writing an essay that speaks of your aspiration to become a musician, include few interesting details about how your love for music started. Winning scholarship essays focusing on specific life experiences are likely to help readers relate to what you’ve been through – in an encouraging way.Experts across the spectrum agree that humor is a key to many winning scholarship essays. That simplistic tip cruelly overlooks how hard it is, as evidenced by the giant teams who write comedy TV shows, to make someone laugh. Humor might not come naturally to you. That's OK. There's a way to make your writing fun to read, without struggling to pry some joke out of a story that doesn't feel remotely funny to you. Paul's levity in his essay is evident in his word choice and phrasing.