3. Explore your strengths

There are three questions you need to answer before you can complete a winning scholarship application:

  1. What is your career goal, and what is your plan to get there?
  2. What experiences in life have motivated you to reach your goal? 
  3. How do you give back to your community?

This page is all about helping you explore your answers to these three questions.

Career goal


The people who review your application are going to want to know your career goal and your plan to reach that goal. So before you start your application, you need to have a clear idea of the direction you are headed. Your career goal should have two qualities:

  1. it should be something that you will enjoy
  2. it should benefit the community


How to figure it out


Use the CIS tool in the (LINK)
  • My Courses tab to:Match your skills and interests with careers and job titles. 
  • Find which degree would qualify you for your future career and which schools offer this degree. 
Fill in your self-evaluation:
  • Write your future job title in your self-evaluation worksheet.
  • Brainstorm a list of reasons you will enjoy this job.
You'll know you're done when:
  • You can clearly state your future job title and each step in your academic plan.


But I don't know!

If you are undecided about your career goal, you're not the only one - many people spend their whole lives figuring out what they want to be when they grow up! But for the purpose of your scholarship application, you need to decide on a career goal you might be interested in pursuing in order to show direction and ambition to the scholarship committee.

Life Experiences


When donors read your scholarship essays, they are trying to see if you have the grit and determination to achieve your goals. So right now, start thinking about the experiences and factors in your life that have given you knowledge, experience, and education.


How to figure it out


Fill in your self-evaluation:
  • Answer the questions in part 2 of the self-evaluation template.
Review your self-evaluation:
  • Look back over your answers and identify which stories, experiences, strengths and skills demonstrate that you have learned lessons or overcome challenges. 
You'll know you're done when: 
  • You can think of a couple stories that explain why you are determined to reach your goals.

Giving back to the community


Scholarship committees want to give money to students who will eventually go on to improve our communities. Therefore, you need to demonstrate to them that you have a broader goal outside of your own school and career path; that you are thinking about the bigger picture. You show this by describing ways that you have contributed to your community in the past. 


How to figure it out


Fill in your self-evaluation:
  •  Answer the questions in part 3 of the self-evaluation template.
Review your self-evaluation:
  • Look back over your answers and find stories and examples that demonstrate your involvement in your community, family, and school.
You'll know you're done when: 
  • You have a couple stories that demonstrate how you contribute to improving the world around you.
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