Scholarship Winner Spotlight: Chloë Divers

A common essay prompt asks students how they’ve contributed to their community. Chloë Divers emphasized her community involvement and won the Mimi Soltysik Memorial Scholarship in October 2023. Chloë won $500 🥳! Check out Chloë’s winning essay and her scholarship tips for other students.

The Mimi Soltysik Memorial Scholarship is a national scholarship open to high school and college students. Apply to the 2024 Mimi Soltysik Memorial Scholarship here.

Why would you recommend Going Merry to other students?

“Going Merry is an excellent resource to find scholarships for anyone from any walk of life! I am a queer, disabled woman who comes from a single parent household, I also love the arts. I am a proud student athlete, a former Girl Scout, an avid volunteer, and SO many other things. My identity is very multifaceted, but Going Merry had scholarships to fit every niche of who I am and what I want to share with the world in the process of funding my education.”

What are your tips for students applying to scholarships or college?

“Keep applying no matter how many rejections you receive. Being rejected for opportunities is not a reflection on your personal capabilities or accomplishments, sometimes it’s just not the right fit, but there’s something out there that will be. I have applied for over 550 total scholarships over the course of the last 6 months, because I am determined to make a college education happen for myself. You can do anything you want, as difficult as it seems in the moment, just keep moving forward, don’t let disappointing results discourage you from trying again.”

Chloë’s winning essay:

Briefly share with us how you have been involved with the community and what impact this has had on your life.

“Community is one of the most important things in the world to me. I value supporting people, and I personally believe we as a whole do not do enough to maintain meaningful relationships with our fellow humans. I believe that ‘hustle-culture’, and the hyper-independence of modern American culture has driven us apart in unforeseen ways. I believe in the value of interpersonal relationships. We should be able to lean on each other for physical, emotional, and resource support. Unfortunately, however, that is just not the world we live in–but I don’t think that means it can’t be.

As a kid, I really valued helping others. The joy I got from seeing others benefit from my contributions was the closest thing I ever got to feeling in control of the seeming constant crises in the world around me. I was a Girl Scout for about seven years. As a Girl Scout, I participated in countless volunteer efforts. For instance, I visited a nursing home on Christmas to keep residents with no family visitors company, I assisted unhoused populations struggling with food insecurity, and I participated in wildlife conservation efforts. Outside of my Girl Scouts involvement, I was also involved with things like an annual charity 5k, and an annual beach clean-up day growing up. Volunteering became a source of fulfillment for me in a world of constant stress and anxiety.

Over time my volunteer efforts have expanded. In 2020 I became involved with my home city’s brand new LGBT organization. Through my efforts I have been able to provide resources to queer community members, who are statistically at a higher risk of poverty and homelessness, especially in our post-pandemic world. I have been able to help organize community events such as an annual “queer hike.” I have also delved into the issues that affect many members of this community outside of their queer/trans experiences. This year I became certified to administer and distribute Narcan (Naloxone). Narcan is a medication that can temporarily reverse an overdose, allowing more time for emergency services to arrive. Members of the LGBT community struggle with mental and physical illness, including substance use disorder and chronic pain, at a considerably higher rate. It’s incredibly important to me to give struggling people in our community a chance to survive long enough to recover from the health conditions we so commonly struggle with, and they can’t do that if they lose their life to overdose. This cause is very near and dear to my heart.

I plan to continue volunteer efforts as much as possible in the future. The burden of singlehandedly funding my college education has absorbed most of my current time, but I believe in the power of hard work and think that eventually I’ll be able to jump back into volunteering. My future plans involve volunteering with The Trevor Project, and The Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center Thrift Store. I hope to be able to continue supporting my community very soon, and your generous scholarship opportunity could assist me in getting there sooner. Thank you very much for your consideration.”

Eleanna Garcia

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