When we launched the inaugural eScholar student contest last year around the theme of why education matters, it became clear from the entries we received that most students understood their education is relevant because they all had clear goals they wanted to achieve. Focused on personalized education with a mission to help individual student succeed through setting goals, we were curious to learn more about these goals and how students set and approach their goals. This year’s Goals Matter Contest was designed for students to express their aspirations. We knew there would be interesting and creative entries, but we were still amazed over how insightful, passionate, and genuinely moving these responses were. These highly motivated students continued to surprise and inspire us with their authentic candid perspective. It is a privilege to catch a glimpse of their hopes and dreams, and each of them deserves a standing ovation.
We received over 300 entries, and narrowing down the finalists and selecting the winners was not an easy task. From curing diseases to communicating with the world, exceling at sports, getting better grades, and helping communities in need, our essay and video submitters have showcased the benefits of goal setting and the remarkable inspiration of working towards their personal dreams.
Many students who took part in this contest have faced personal challenges that stirred them towards a specific goal and taking action. On behalf of the entire eScholar team, I congratulate all the winners and finalists and want to thank everyone who participated in the contest. Being selected as a finalist is a huge accomplishment since we received doubled the amount of entries this year.
The winning entries came from students in North Carolina, New York, and Utah. View essay and video responses from both winners and finalists here on our blog! We’ll be featuring excerpts from their responses over the next few days.
Teen Essay Winner: Zakiyyah M., North Carolina
Teen Essay Finalists: Alissa W., New York; Faith M., New York
Youth Essay Winner: Anna V., New York
Youth Essay Finalists: Kelsey X., New York
Teen Video Winner: Mikayla M., New York
Teen Video Finalists: Christian S., Illinois; Jack G., Maine; Jaclyn N.
Youth Video Winner: Isaac W., Utah
Youth Video Finalist: Chloe M., New York
Read the excerpt from the winning teen essay by Zakiyyah M. from North Carolina below and get inspired to set your own goals as you consider these questions:
- Tell us about a goal that you want to accomplish and why?
- What motivates you to achieve this goal?
- How do you plan on reaching this goal?
- Who has encouraged you to reach for this goal?
- How will your education help you reach your goal?
“Cultures around the world are all so different, each amazing in their own way, yet we are all the same. A goal that I have is to learn several different languages, to successfully communicate with people all over the world. I became interested in these languages for a variety of reasons. For Korean, I’ve started watching dramas broadcasted from Seoul, with subtitles, and I’ve started to pick up on a few phrases as I watch different ones. Now I constantly pour myself over all things Korean. I want to learn how to fluently speak and write Arabic because it is the origin of my name. In Arabic, Zakiyyah means intelligent. And for American Sign Language (ASL), I want to learn this not only to be able to communicate without using words but to raise awareness about how it isn’t a disability. I think that more hearing people should be educated in sign, even if they don’t have a deaf friend or relative. Now in high school, I am a participant of ASL club… these languages and many more will soon be a part of my knowledge.”
– Zakiyyah M., Age 15
– See more at: https://www.escholar.com/2014/06/goals-matter-contest-winner-zakiyyah/#sthash.SRgz9JoZ.dpuf