The Teen Kids News reporters Hannah & Cailin spoke with B-Forc! Founder Shelia Cain:
- It is common to hear of athletic scholarships, but recently we’ve been hearing buzz about other, lesser-known scholarship opportunities for students. Could you tell us about these?
Answer: There are scholarships for almost everything. Cancer Survivors, ADHD, Community Service, College Majors from Art to Journalism and more, Leadership the list goes on. It has been estimated that there is over $3.5 Billion Dollars in scholarship money available for young scholars to pursue.
- I hear that some scholarships have thousands of applicants. What makes one applicant stand out from the rest?
Answer: The true power for success is in the voice, story and power of the essay. Once you have adhered to the mechanical requirements such as: Word Count, grammatical structure, answering the question directly and creatively, and meeting the deadlines, the applicant needs to just engage the reader through the essay. “Creatively tell the story”.
3. What grade do you have to be in to apply?
Answer: The majority of the scholarships focus on High School students and primarily seniors. But the exciting news is there are many organizations, businesses and foundations who want to jump start younger scholars college savings via scholarship opportunities like Jif Peanut Butter “Most Creative Sandwich Contest $25,000; Google “Doodle for Google” $30,000; Kohl’s Kids of Care $10,000 and the Christopher Columbus Award (amount varies) all applicants range in age from K-8th grade (Kohl’s is K-12)
4. Other than financial aid, what are the other benefits of getting a college scholarship?
Answer: Free Money! No Student Loan Debt, and to receive such awards are great resume builders as young scholars move from college to internships to future careers. Since the scholarship process is one of individual commitment, tenacity and goal setting, beyond the money it speaks volumes to ones character and follow through for their own success.
5. Since B-Forc and Teen Kids News have teamed up, TeenKidsNews.com will be featuring a Scholarship and Tip every week, including a list of scholarships specifically for girls. Can you tell us more about that?
Answer: Since I have a daughter, I am excited and all about Girl Empowerment…Katy Perry’s “Roar” is our theme song. And, there are many opportunities for young girls beyond Girl Scouts from scholarship to camps that I am anxious to share.
6. How would a student know if they qualify for a scholarship?
Answer: It is very important to read the criteria and/or eligibility rules for every scholarship opportunity. Many will indicate who may apply. Here's an example: a young scholar, who loved music, found a $25,000 music scholarship and spent hours writing a beautiful, winning essay only to discover he needed to get a letter of recommendation from his band teacher…problem is he don’t even play a harmonic. We really had a scholar do that…very disappointed over the time he had spent crafting a great essay…but didn’t take the time to read the rules. Read the rules to know if you qualify.
7. Within the past three years B-Forc! has helped students win $710,000 in scholarship funds. When you founded B-Forc!, did you ever think it would reach that kind of success?
Answer: (LoL) Aaah! Honestly no. B-Forc! has amazed us. My Husband and I started our web search quest for our daughter when she was in the 8th grade (now a junior in College). We realized early that people we knew or didn’t know weren’t sharing info about scholarship opportunities. We needed more resources, so we started researching. When our daughter graduated from high school her scholarship value was $250,000 (from colleges offering full-rides to outside scholarships locally & nationally). We started sharing all that we had learned. In addition, we had discovered so many awesome camp opportunities that focused on developing leadership to space camps. Since we discovered the formula, we were compelled to share…the books we used, the way we did it, what works and doesn’t… many needed to know and WOW! This is where we are at today. The power of sharing is awesome!
8. In addition to college prep and scholarship solutions, B-Forc! provides volunteer and camp opportunities for college bound students. How can teens get involved?
Answer: Currently, our B-Forc! College Prep Boot Camp has only served the Kansas City area (Introduced in July 2012). In 2013 we have been traveling due to invites around the Midwest area and performing college prep seminars. We are excited and have tentative plans to expand and share the B-Forc! Plan. The purpose of B-Forc! Is not only to share our plan but to encourage, inform and inspire parents and young scholars to develop a winning plan; to take advantage of the awesome opportunities they may not know are available. The college and scholarship process is competitive and to be in the game, parents and young scholars need to have a plan; every serious student needs to be the best candidate out there for colleges and scholarship foundations to invest in.
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