Beans For Brains Winners and the True Value of Scholarships

Beans for Brains has come and gone for this year, but we are still reeling from the excitement of our 4th year of giving scholarships to creative students! That's why, when Ashley from The Learning House contacted us to let us know that one of the Universities she consults for had written a blog about us and asked if she could be a guest on our blog, we said yes! She has tons of knowledge on the importance of scholarships for students these days, and we thought the data was pretty interesting and wanted to share it with you. Here is what Ashley had to say about the true value of scholarships: 

The True Value of Scholarships

As the cost for attending a college or university continues to rise students seek help to pay for these high expenses outside their and their families means. Scholarships are one area to look and are extremely beneficial because, simply put, the funds don't have to be repaid. To receive a scholarship, a student will need to meet certain criteria, which traditionally were granted based on an athletic or academic merit, however, there are unique college scholarships for students with other talents like the winners for the Beans for Brains scholarship.

With the growth in the number of scholarships available, it is important to remember to not get discouraged. There are numerous scholarships out there for students whether their talent is sewing or writing greeting cards, there are scholarships for both and many in between. Almost every student in America can find some type of scholarship they quality for. The hard part is winning them.

A study by the National Post-secondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) shows just how competitive scholarships are because they found that in the '07 to '08 school year, 5.5% of undergraduate students received a private scholarship averaging $2,523. However, this number encompasses a large group including students pursuing a 2-year degree. When you look at just students in 4-year colleges, the number rises to 10.6% with scholarships averaging $2,815! That means that, on average, one in ten students enrolled in a 4-year institution is receiving a scholarship.

It’s also comforting for students to know that there are scholarship and financial aid opportunities provided directly from their university. Higher-end universities tend to offer more financial aid than lower-cost schools but both provide financial assistance so students have additional areas to look for scholarships outside of their own research. On average, schools that cost $6,000 or less to attend per semester will provide
7.2 percent of its students with some type of financial aid. This percentage jumps to a whopping 43.2 percent for schools that cost more than $19,000 a semester to attend.

In addition to the financial benefits accompanied with receiving a scholarship, 
there are others as well. For starters, a scholarship adds prestige to the academic transcript of the recipient. Furthermore, it will be a great addition to the recipient's resume when applying for jobs. It brings a boost to a student’s self-confidence and encourages them to excel. For those receiving the Beans for Brains scholarship, for instance, they’re featured on the website and can potentially make connections with professionals. Therefore the true value of a scholarship goes beyond monetary incentives. It’s something to be proud of, be thankful for, and continue to pursue.

Congratulations to the winners!

By: Ashley Dunlap - Online Marketing Specialist for The Learning House and works with several universities including Shorter University Online. 

Thanks Ashley for the really great story! And on that note, we'd like to formally announce the winners of the 2013 Beans for Brains Scholarship! Many of you know that we give out 5 scholarships each year-- one each to 4 designated regions of the US and 1 to a local (Reno/Tahoe) student as a way to give back to our own community. Here are the 5 winners of this year's awards:

Western Region: Jessica Harris
Jessica Harris

Jessica is getting her Bachelors at University of Denver in Environmental Studies. She has been an advocate for environmentally friendly anything for as long as she can remember.  Her closet is a combination of anything natural from wool to silk, organic cotton, flax and hemp. In fact, her project that she submitted for the scholarship was a hand beaded hemp and silk charmeuse cocktail dress that she designed, drafted the pattern, and sewed herself. Jessica is a huge DIY'er and loves that the Beans for Brain scholarship exists to support creative students. She told us: "I am so thankful that for the opportunity that [Jimmy Beans Wool] has given to me in order to pursue my dreams. I will continue to work hard and make them proud to have chosen me as a scholarship winner. I am very excited for the future!" Jessica's future goals are certainly worth being excited for too! She plans to apply to law school to become an Environmental and Animal Rights Attorney. Congrats Jessica!

Midwest Region: Madison Stuhlreyer

Madison Stuhlreyer
Madison is majoring in Biology and is Pre-Med at Ohio State University. For her project she sewed a set of mythological themed oversized dolls. She created the patterns for all body pieces, outfits and parts for “My First Medusa and Mercury” dolls herself. Madison is a knitter as well as a sewist. Currently, she is in the honors program at The Ohio State University. In five years, she plans to be in her second year of medical school at either The Ohio State University or the University of Cincinnati. Madison is also recipient of the Ohio STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) scholarship which provides an opportunity for her to share her excitement about the sciences with Columbus-area youth. So cool! Congrats Madison!

Southern Region: Omar Johnson
Omar Johnson

Omar attends Columbia University and is studying negotiation and conflict management. Omar taught himself to knit and crochet as a way to relax while he was deployed overseas with the US Air Force. He's received several medals and is currently ranked as a Captain. His project was a crochet baby blanket that he recently made for his newborn niece. About his chosen career path, Omar writes, "I am currently getting my Masters in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. I will graduate in May 2014. Once I graduate, I plan to use this degree to become a better officer in the military and a better citizen in my community. This program has taught me the essentials of peacemaking and peace-building, which is vital within our communities and important for me to understand as I seek to serve our country." Way to go Omar! Thank you for your service and being an inspiration in your efforts!

Northeast Region: Cassie Lowell

Cassie Lowell

Cassie is attending Harvard College and is majoring in Bio-engineering. She plans to continue on to graduate school and pursue her ABET certification in engineering. Cassie is an athlete who plays Field Hockey and Swims. In her free time, she loves to sew. For her project she created a "historically accurate" Ariel dress from Disney's The Little Mermaid drafted from her own pattern and complete with hand stitched gold seashell appliques and pearl beading. She really loves historical costuming and most of her projects include some kind of historical element. Of her future goals, Cassie writes, "Solving real world problems in a way that helps people is a dream come true for me. With the right combination of passion, innovation, and collaboration, anything is possible."

Reno/Tahoe: Farah Rashdan
Farah Rashdan

Farah attends the University of Nevada, Reno and is majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She plans to get her Master's Degree in Social Work. She is actively involved in many on campus organizations and volunteers locally as well. Farah crocheted her project using yarn that was given to her by friends and family. Of her future plans, she writes, "I want to get my Master's in Social Work so that I am able to help those that have gone through human trafficking. I would also like to volunteer abroad in countries like Thailand, which has a massive population with many young females who are affected by human trafficking. I am a firm believer of my life being my 'Magnum Opus;' it will be my greatest work, so I must challenge myself and overcome my own obstacles in my own life.”

So these are the five winners of the 2013 Beans For Brains Scholarship! Congrats to all of you and thank you to everyone who submitted an application! We hope all of you will apply again next year!

I'd also like to take a moment to thank our Sponsors for the Beans For Brains Scholarship! Without them, we wouldn't be able to continue to help crafty college students achieve their life goals! The 2013 Sponsors were:

-Chicken Boots
-Bar Maids
-Knitter's Pride
-Lorna's Laces
-Red Heart
-Westminster Fibers
-Universal Yarn
-Tahki Stacy Charles
-Alsatian Soaps
-Berroco Yarns
-Classic Elite Yarns
-Knitting Pure and Simple
-Unicorn Books
-Blue Sky Alpacas
-Cascade Yarns
-Lantern Moon
-Yarn Pop-Brown Sheep Yarn Co.
-Plymouth Yarns
-Javori Designs
-Kollage Yarns

For a more information about the Scholarship and a list of past winners, please see the Beans For Brains Scholarship page on our website. 

I hope you all have a great weekend and as always, happy crafting!


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