Friday, April 24, 2015

My Life as 3D Scholarship Essay Contest

Welcome to the official announcement of the first My Life as 3D Scholarship Essay Contest.

The idea to give away a college scholarship to someone who has been affected by their sibling's addiction came to me after I wrote a blog post a little over a year ago. That blog post talked about what I would do with the money if I ever managed to win the lottery. One of the things I mentioned was starting a foundation to assist younger siblings of addicts, because of what amazing people they are.

Then in November, I decided that winning the lottery was pretty unlikely. So my wife and I decided to put up some of our own money and create a scholarship that would help a sibling affected by addiction pay for college. The original idea was to award the scholarship to a younger sibling, but we later decided that addiction--the ultimate family disease--doesn't care if a sibling is younger or older, so why should we?

This $1,200.00 scholarship is a small one. With the cost of college tuition these days, it's not going to make a huge dent in anyone's college debt. But it will help, which is exactly what my wife and I wanted to do. We put up half the money, and the other half came from generous people who contributed via a GoFundMe campaign. (FYI: That GoFundMe link is still active. If anyone wants to donate more to the cause, we can increase the amount of the one scholarship, or give out multiple scholarships.)

And here we are.

This is the first time I've ever put together a college scholarship, so if there are little glitches here or there I hope people can deal with them. I thought we'd just gather up some money, find a deserving person to give it to, and send a check to their school. Then I realized there needed to be some kind of application and--gulp--rules.

I poked around on the Internet, looked at some scholarship applications and rules, and created a couple of documents that I hope will suffice for the My Life as 3D Scholarship Essay Contest. (Note: Links to these documents are at the very end of this blog post.)

By the way, my wife and I decided on an essay contest because we thought it was way cooler than randomly drawing a name out of a hat. Plus, we both like to write and appreciate others' writing. Our younger son--one of those amazing siblings affected by addiction--also likes to write. So it was kind of a no-brainer. The topic for the essay contest is:

“How has your sibling’s addiction affected you and what are your dreams for your future?”

Oh, one more thing! I almost forgot! We needed judges. We needed actual living, breathing caring humans who knew a thing or two about writing, addiction, giving, etc., to read the submitted essays and figure out who deserves to win.

My wife and I made a list of people we wanted to help us with the judging, and it turned out that rounding them up was the easiest part of this whole deal; because everybody we asked said yes.

So, in addition to my wife, my younger son, and me, these are the folks who will be judging the essay submissions:

Kristen Johnston
Kristen is an Emmy Award-winning actress who starred in 3rd Rock from the Sun on NBC and currently stars in The Exes on TVLand. She is in recovery, and wrote the brutally honest and funny book Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster about her experiences. She is also a co-founder of SLAM NYC, an organization committed to starting the first sober high school in New York City. And, as if all that wasn't enough, KJo also writes an awesome blog called "One Big Mouth."

Jeanne Keister
Jeanne and her husband Don lost their son Tyler to addiction on December 23, 2012. Since then, they have worked wonders to help break the stigma associated with addiction and evoke legislative changes through their organization atTAcK addiction.

Hannah Miller
Hannah is an incredible young person in recovery who is part of the University of Michigan's Collegiate Recovery Program. She shared her story with Heroes in Recovery back in December. You can read it here: "Nine Lives"

Munchie Morgan
Munchie is a fabulous writer who lost her younger sister to an addiction-related suicide just over a year ago. She has shared her story on the Heroes in Recovery site, too. You can read it here: "My Sister Sarah."  Munchie also writes a great blog for a treatment center, the latest installment of which can be found here: "She Survived."

Jillian Speece
Jillian is one-half of the ridiculously talented husband-wife musical duo called The Bergamot. Not only does she have a phenomenal voice, but her outlook on life is one my wife and I admire so much. In addition to making music, Jillian sells her own line of wellness products on Etsy and writes a blog that is full of positivity. The Bergamot's new album, Tones, drops on May 5th. (Here's a sample of their work: https://youtu.be/uLitiRJ7QT0)

Cathy Taughinbaugh
Cathy is a parent coach who recently started the Rise Up Moms group to help mothers make positive changes in their lives. She also writes a terrific blog and offers other great resources on her website: http://cathytaughinbaugh.com 

I think that about covers it.

If you know a college student who has been affected by their sibling's addiction, and they are attending college in the fall, please share this blog with them. Maybe they'll be interested in taking a shot at this scholarship contest. All the information they need to apply/enter--requirements, rules, deadlines, etc.--should be contained in the documents below.

NOTE: These links are to Microsoft Word documents saved to Google Docs.

2015 My Life as 3D Scholarship Essay Contest: Rules

2015 My Life as 3D Scholarship Essay Contest: Application/Entry Form

If you have any questions about the scholarship, or if you have any problems with the documents, please contact us at:

siblingscholarship@gmail.com

I can't wait to give away some money in August.

Peace.

5 comments:

  1. That is awesome! My younger son was deeply affected by his older Brother's addiction. I would have him apply but he is just in 11th grade yet so he hasn't started applying for scholarships. This is a great idea! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very cool idea! My other children affected by my first born's addiction problem are not in college yet, or I'd encourage them to apply. This is fantastic. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great idea. The essay will help them to express their feelings and the recognition will show them that others are aware that addiction has affected their life as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is such a gift, Dean! What a wonderful idea. We know siblings are affected by substance use. Thank you for being creative and thinking of great ways to help!

    ReplyDelete