Favorite Scholarship Resources from $100,000 Winner

Chika Adiele. Photos by Lorraine Rosales

Chika Adiele is a CSN dual enrollment student and the winner of many scholarships, including the 2018, $100,000 award from the Roger’s Foundation.

What’s your attitude toward applying for scholarships? I have a really positive attitude towards applying for scholarships. A dream of mine is to graduate with zero college debt. I saw scholarships as the solution. At first, it was really exhausting: writing those essays, getting letters of recommendation, and answering those questions was a super tedious process. After a while, it was super easy. It became fun when I started thinking about it from a different perspective. It’s free money after all!

How many have you applied for this academic year–fall and spring semesters? I’ve applied for over 80 scholarships this academic year. The great thing is that I applied for high school AND undergraduate scholarships.

How many and which have you received and do you have other details about those scholarships and their sources? I’ve won six scholarships so far [seven as of May 1st]:

  • The Rogers Foundation $100,000: This is for high school seniors. This was one of many scholarships awarded. It was the grand prize. They also awarded full ride scholarships to students accepted and enrolled into Kentucky Wesleyan College.
  • The Elks Most Valuable Student $4,000: This is for high school seniors. They give 500 students $4000, 12 students $20,000, 2 students $30,000, 2 students $40,000, and 2 students $50,000.
  • FineAwards.com Award $500: This scholarship is fun and worthwhile. I submitted a video on how my mom was a big influence in my life. It took me twenty minutes and only four other people applied! You could check since it was through YouTube.
  • The Village Foundation $500 and Alpha Kappa Alpha Omega Phi Theta Chapter $2000: Alpha Kappa Alpha along with the Village Foundation, were supplemental scholarships to the Ronald McDonald House Charities scholarship program. This is for high school seniors. There was a main application, and I could fill out extra questions or submit more letters of recommendation.
  • NV Energy Public Education Foundation $1,000: This was a scholarship for high school seniors. However, the Public Education Foundation awards scholarships to high school seniors and current undergraduate students every year.

What is your educational goal and your career path at this time and how has CSN played a role in helping you move forward? I plan on double majoring in Biology and Spanish. I want to go to medical school to pursue pediatric or fertility medicine. CSN has been huge in advancing my education. I’ve met some wonderful professors who have changed my life, I have a head start on college (86 credits!), and the connections I’ve made are priceless. My Spanish professor, Yolanda Hernandez, is the reason behind me also majoring in Spanish because she showed me the beauty and practicality of the language. My biology professor, Dr. Lois Merkler, made me change my major from nutritional science to biology. Teachers make a difference. The library was my home. I loved the library databases and the wonderful help from the staff.

What books and websites are your favorites for getting information on specific scholarship opportunities? I have three all time favorite websites with their own pros and cons:

  1. MyScholly.com This is my all time favorite. The questions and fields it asks for you to fill out are super specific and it is wonderful because the list adapts with you. The only con is that it’s $2.99/month. Trust me though, it’s worth the money.
  2.  Scholarships.com Chika didn’t elaborate on this well known site, but here is some additional information about it.
  3. Cappex If you don’t want to pay for Scholly, Cappex is your next best bet. I’ve actually seen as much or even more matches through Cappex. Every week, they add between 5-50 scholarships. The major downside is that it is horrible with matching. It takes me a while to go through all of them. Sometimes, in a list of 20 new scholarships, I’ll only find 2 or 7 that I can actually apply for. It’s important to keep [that] in mind.
  4. Google Google is your best friend. I mean it!! It has everything. The best thing to do is make a list of things specific to you. Write down your GPA, major, any sports or extracurriculars, volunteer work, clubs, and interests. When I say there is a scholarship for everything and anyone, it’s not an exaggeration. There are scholarships that don’t need a GPA, some for if you golf, or if you like talking about cats. There are scholarships for being tall, blue eyed, left handed, Polish, loving to dance, interest in culture and law… I dare you to type “_______ scholarship” and not find a scholarship.
  5. My favorite book is the Ultimate Scholarship Book. They make one every year. My favorite thing about this book is that it is updated. Old Scholarships are removed and new ones are added. They also give great advice in the beginning of the book on recommendations and applying. The book also has a website for the book. Each scholarship has a code, and if you go to the website and put in the code, it will give you more specific info in the scholarship. It’s pretty cool.

CSN librarians want to wish Chika continued success in school and life. Chika, you’re an inspiration!