I had a break in my schedule recently and sat down at my desk unsure of where to begin on my ever-growing to-do list. I checked my email to see if there was anything pressing or urgent to attend to, but mostly it was a form of procrastination. I was just looking for a way to stall and postpone the work that I needed to get done by indulging in a few idle minutes online.
However, my inbox reminded me that it was time to direct my energy and attention to the selection of a winner for the scholarship that we set up.
Let me back up a bit–earlier this year, we at Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville decided to set up a scholarship program! We called it: The Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville Child Empowerment Scholarship.
The Big Idea
You might be wondering why we would do that? At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we have strong feelings about education. We know that our opportunity to pursue our education opened up so many doors for us that have exceeded our wildest expectations. For me personally, lifelong learning is a passion, and we wanted to pass that on to our future leaders! We believe several things to be true:
We believe in the power and benefits of education
All people deserve an opportunity to pursue an education
Those who have obtained an education have an obligation to use their knowledge to empower others
Much is expected from the fortunate
And most importantly to us, it is our mission to stand tall in our community and be a source of positive impact
These beliefs led us to jump into the water with both feet and put our money where our mouths are. So to answer your question, “Why would CDC start a scholarship?” we answer, “Why wouldn’t we help a student pursue their own passions?!”
About The Scholarship
In this spirit, we felt that we could start a scholarship to help others better themselves. The key question we wanted to have answered was:
“How will you leverage your education to empower children to live healthier, happier lives?”
We didn’t restrict this scholarship to individuals who were going into dentistry or even the health sciences. We also didn’t restrict this scholarship to local students just within our community, the goal being to reach a bigger applicant pool in our first year of offering the scholarship.
Perhaps, in future years, we will consider adding additional scholarship programs to target the many local students who are worthy and passionate about making a difference for others. But for now, we wanted to open it up to any student who planned to be enrolled in college during the 2017-2018 academic year and who had at least a 3.25 GPA.
Wow! We are so excited to announce that we had over 35 application submissions in our first year!
As I settled into my office chair to review the applications, it was truly overwhelming and inspiring to read the applicants’ essays and review their transcripts. It reminded me of my own experience, first when applying to college, then to dental school, and then again to my anesthesia residency.
Reading and studying the applications made me nostalgic for my student years, a time that is further in the past than I care to admit! More than that, though, I also felt a sense of pride knowing that CDC is able to offer a helping hand to a worthy student, one who is trying to better both their life and the lives of others.
Let me assure you, all of the applicants are fantastic students, and many have told powerful stories about their life experiences and how they intend to use their education. Selecting one applicant has been incredibly difficult. It is an experience that has been much more challenging than I anticipated it to be, as all of these students are truly deserving and will go on to do great things.
It was with a great sense of responsibility that we reviewed these applications. We are so pleased and honored to have the opportunity to provide financial support for a student standing on the precipice of their future.
The recipient of our first scholarship will be announced in a brief congratulatory blog post in the coming weeks. We feel that the winner deserves a moment to bask in the limelight and be recognized individually.
Stay tuned for that announcement! It should come at the beginning of July. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page and be the first to know!
Looking Ahead to Next Year
If you are a student just now hearing about our scholarship, don’t worry. We’re sorry you missed the cutoff for this year’s scholarship, but with the success of the program that we’ve seen this year, we definitely intend to do it again next year.