Entries for month: November 2013

“There is no Sincerer Love than the Love for Food…”

November 27, 2013 ·

Here at the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation, we proudly support feeding the children of the world…starting with the children in this office. If everyone at Nova Southeastern University knew about the eating perks of this student employment job, our supervisor Daryl, would have about 5,674 interviews each day. Daryl is probably the only caring, sweet enough person to actually spend so much personal money on food for his employees. He invites us out for lunches and also pays for us which honestly makes me feel bad about it, but it’s just so heart-warming to see he does all these things with such under-appreciated selflessness.

In this office… we have a lifetime supplies of candy, especially chocolate. Reading Dove quotes has become an essential part of my day. We also have a variety of cheeses and yogurt, bagels, granola bars, popcorn, microwaveable meals, cookies, and so much more that I cannot keep up! There’s soda, Diet Snapple tea (my personal favorite due to the Snapple fact on the cap), Chocolate milk...And oh yea, water!

Long story short, this office is a sugar land dream! On top of that, our skilled employees bring food all the time as well. Daryl makes the best chocolate Éclair you will EVER taste…he even made a lite version for me, which he doesn’t know just how much it means to me. Belen makes the most delectable guacamole out there. I really don’t particularly like Guacamole..but hers is just something else! Bridget brings things in for us all the time as well…and I plan to soon establish Fridays as Flan Fridays! Besides, if you didn’t know, Calories only exist if you count them! (Dove Quote)

The best part of our dining experience here at CKSF is that we all bond as we eat and have the best conversations and inside jokes because of it. Once in college, anyone considering getting an on-campus job should really look into which one they will apply to, for it could end up being the best part of your day. A family that eats together stays together. And no better quote than that of Dove’s can apply to out magnificent supervisor “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

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Carpe Diem…

November 27, 2013 ·

As a high school student, I tried to participate in enjoyable activities to get the volunteer hours I needed to graduate. I actually enjoyed doing these activities so much that I accumulated over 700 hours of community service and fun!

One of the greatest opportunities came my way in my junior year of high school. I learned that I could become a student ambassador for the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation and introduce the foundation and its scholarships to my classmates and friends.

The ambassador project was finished in 3 months and after that I continued on with my regular school and volunteer work. I thought that was the end of my connection with the foundation. But about six months later, when I was in my senior year, I heard that they were looking for interns. The position involved working with the scholarship website on the administrative part of it. I had no prior experience in the field, but I wasn’t afraid to try new things. I thought to myself that nothing is worse than not trying for the fear of failure. If I never tried, I would have kept thinking to myself what if I was capable of doing the task? On the other hand, if I tried and then failed I would know that this is not one of my strengths. Also, I had enjoyed my time working with the people, so I decided to apply for the internship. To me, this was the opportunity to enjoy myself and those around me, while gaining experience and learning skills that could be useful to me. I talked to my parents about it and they were very enthusiastic for me to begin a new experience.

Fast forward one year later, I’m still here. But now I’m a student employee, a senior intern, and I have learned just about everything about running the administrative side of the scholarships. Now I now walk the new interns through the steps that I once took with extreme caution and care.

I’m not saying that during my time here I haven’t made any mistakes, in fact I’ve made more than a few; from burning the pop corn in microwave to sending out the wrong email to the wrong people, I have gained many unwanted but necessary learning experiences. Had I not taken that first step to apply for the internship, I would not have grown into the person that I am now. I would not have arguably the best student employment job on campus. I would not have learned the great skills that I learned on this job and the skills that I can use at any point in my life. Overall, I consider myself lucky to be able to work alongside my friend’s everyday!

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Think Green Scholarship

November 27, 2013 ·

Our spunky, Mexican, vibrant, talented guacamole-maker, employee is clearly not just hilarious and beautiful, but also very self driven and motivated. Belen Perez has developed a scholarship that is Earth friendly in its content. She is an environmental sciences major at Nova Southeastern University and a fellow CKSF employee. Personally, I loved the idea of the scholarship, for I feel it can give NSU great recognition for its programs within the environmental sciences major just as it did with Marine Biology. NSU really is a great school that not enough people know about. Secondly, I believe people should be more knowledgeable about our home, Planet Earth. In order to do this, it’s important to have common knowledge on our surrounding natural landmarks and environmental sources which was the main focus for Belen.

Belen came into NSU her freshmen year as a Marine Biology Major as well as the Environmental Sciences major due to the overlaps in credits. As Belen said herself when I interviewed her “I just fell into the major.” She soon discovered she clearly has a passion for it and just dropped the Marine Biology and commenced her new journey that has opened so many doors.

Here at CKSF, we develop online quizzes based on accuracy and time for a wide variety of subjects and award scholarships to the participants with the highest scores. Belen thus took it upon herself to make a scholarship within her major that focused on The Everglades. As our most wonderful supervisor likes to say, The Everglades is “part of our back yard” due to our South Florida residence.

The quiz is comprised of categories all based on different Everglade themes: history, geography water quality, native, and non-native species. The first quiz, which is the challenge round will run from December 1st through the 20th. The top 25% from that challenge round advance to a championship round. Each round will have 15 questions. The scholarship, as do all CKSF scholarships, provides a sort of cheat sheet that contains online sources from which the quiz questions were derived. For the purpose of this scholarship, Belen has most of her sources from The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with whom she has diligently worked to develop content and provide prizes.

Belen has contacted SFWMD and the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation and asked them to help donate small prizes to the top 25 scoring individuals. Since SFWMD works in Everglades’s restoration, we are happily awaiting their reply. Belen has also worked on giving winners an eco-friendly NSU’s logo water cup.

Belen’s heart of gold and copper exterior wishes nothing more than to educate kids from all over the United States  on the Everglades and as she said herself “its unique beauty.” As do the rest of the CKSF staff, she hopes to draw attention to her program here at NSU.

Although we all struggled seeing her try to make the quiz fun, I can say she excelled as I’m sure anyone taking the quiz will notice. She definitely put her soul and energy into making this scholarship. Her hard work is deeply appreciated here at CKSF, for her fireball energy spirit brings us all together even more. Therefore, don’t hesitate to see her greatness at work for yourself, log on to cksf.org and register if you haven’t done so already to take her quiz and possibly earn scholarship money to further your education! 

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“Bullying and the Law” Means Bully-Free Schools

November 27, 2013 ·

Bullying can’t wait, and warnings only go so far; it’s time students understood the legal consequences of bullying, and the “Bullying and the Law” program is your chance to initiate total awareness at your school and around the country.

Developed and administered by the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation at Nova Southeastern University, "Bullying and the Law" is designed to treat high school students as responsible young adults. Through this entirely FREE and WEB-BASED program, participating schools are able to educate students, parents and teachers on anti-bullying, civil rights, and harassment laws as well as the consequences of breaking these laws. Best of all, “Bullying and the Law” fits perfectly into US Government and History course curriculum!

FREE to every high school in sponsored states, “Bullying and the Law” is unlike the average anti-bullying assembly. Students start by visiting http://www.bullyingandthelaw.org, gaining access to a student-friendly review of their state’s bullying and cyberbullying laws, and move on to understand the associated vocabulary and watch newscasts of students arrested for bullying. At the end of the program participants take an online quiz, to ensure learning outcomes and advocate complete understanding. Participating schools have the opportunity to promote maturity and create a healthier learning environment.

Florida’s “Bullying and the Law” program is sponsored by Walser Law Firm, located in Boca Raton, and is highly dedicated to the cause. Attorney Thomas C. Walser states "there is something missing in the current bullying programs, none seem to address the legal issues associated with bullying. The Bullying and the Law program will fill the void that exists in understanding the legal consequences of bullying and harassment."

With this in mind, we encourage you to consider adopting “Bullying and the Law” for your school. This FREE ONLINE program is more than bully-prevention; it is a movement toward full consciousness of anti-bullying laws and penalties that when known are much more powerful than simple deterring techniques.

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“I Learned It in a Movie…”

November 27, 2013 ·

Has this ever happened to you, where you actually gain a lot of knowledge and start spitting out random facts that turn out to be useful from none other than a movie? Here at The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation we support visual learning. For this reason CKSF is happy to announce that starting in the month of December there will be movie quizzes!

The office staff at CKSF has been debating whether there should be awarded movie quizzes for a long time. Daryl Hulce, the supervisor has been repeatedly succumbed with different movies to test kids on in a wide range of genres. Eventually Daryl waved up the white flag and agreed. These movie quizzes have great potential. Contrary to some belief, movies help in information retention. There are many people who simply cannot sit down and gain information from reading a book but can quote a whole entire movie. These people deserve the chance to win something just as much as a skilled book reader. This quiz will hopefully open up the doors for these students to feel accomplished and get rewarded for their skills and common knowledge.

Choosing a movie, however, was a great difficulty for the entire staff. E-mails were sent out to choose one movie and no one agreed or proposed the same one. The only solution to this problem was to agree on having a whole series of movies that quizzes will be generated for. The first movie will be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This is a commonly known movie and also a book; therefore it seemed like a good first fit. Many differing genres will follow for people of all interests and knowledge.

The winning participants will get awarded with movie tickets to continue on their movie education. Movies are entertaining and educational all in one and should be appreciated as such. Keep a look out for quiz dates and movies that range from Disney to the Blind Side, to even Star Wars. The possibilities are endless! Don’t hesitate and log on to www.cksf.org to register for an account and keep a record of the movies that are to follow and start preparing!

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The One Man Key-Club Wonder

November 27, 2013 ·

I’m proud to announce that I have the privilege of working alongside a young man who single handedly keeps making a difference around the world. Nick Azcarate is a dedicated intern that joined CKSF for community service and may I say, he has done it in a way that has helped the community probably more than anyone else in this office.

Nick is a part of his high schools Key Club, an international student led organization that gives its members the opportunity to “provide service, build character, and develop leadership”. This organization is compartmentalized in 33 different districts, divisions, and clubs. Usually a school that has this club is due to a teacher sponsor that is a member of the Kiwanis International Organization. Kiwanis International... an organization that “cares” and “comes together.” This is a nonprofit organization that has the mission to group members to “financially assist Kiwanis international in serving the children of the world”

In order to bring awareness to the Kiwanis organization to all Key Club members and other high school students, Nick decided to use his resources at CKSF and make a scholarship opportunity for kids who displayed the vastest amount of knowledge on the Kiwanis organization. CKSF is an organization as many know, that runs on timed quizzes and provides winners with scholarships. The “Key Club Challenge” as Nick titled it, provided the highest scoring participant $500 and a trophy to the highest scoring school. It was composed of two rounds, the first dealing with Kiwanis objectives and general information. The second round had to do with Kiwanis accomplishments, projects, impacts, and history. Long story short, by the end of this quiz, every student who took it learned in depth what the Kiwanis International organization is all about. This is exactly what Nick was aiming for. He believed so much in the organization and its positive impacts that he took it upon his hands to help recruit members for them one way or another… and let me tell you, it was not easy for him to do so.

The Kiwanis organization has been recently experiencing a decline in Kiwanis memberships. To become a member, one must give a minimum $250 a year and a minimum of $1,000 to reach some type of fellowship. As an organization they need help reaching out to different people, which is why it was thought that the foundation board and other Kiwanis leaders would be interested in helping Nick reach out to students all over the US for awareness. High schools learning about Kiwanis could be a solution to declining membership. Nick thought these students could be the future of Kiwanis! Unfortunately, I guess they got too busy giving other recruitment tips as are posted in their website. Nick himself spoke with John Shertzer in the International board and all he asked was if a Kiwanis member or club sponsors this. “I sent them an email saying yes, but then I received no further response” says Nick. He also tried contacting individual members of the organization who seemed to be in support of his cause, but never actually helped in terms of “guidance” or “funding” as mentioned by Nick.  It’s a sad thing no one in the organization was willing to offer him any help in making this movement more efficient. Nick had to fundraise all by himself, being an intern, making constant calls, creating the quiz, having his parents have to donate money, and so many other things that I lose track of because they’re so many to register in my head. He fund-raised using car washes, his parents, club organizations at universities and even held bake sales. It seemed that this driven, hard working, inspirational young man had everything but the support of his organization. I wish I could have been a member at the time to give him my aid and be proud as I saw his cause grow and actually reach out to help people contrary to the received opposition. After all, Kiwanis is devoted to their mission statement “In fact our vision is to extend your Kiwanis impact.” It’s a good thing at least Nick was there to give them a hand and not let their goals go unattended as the organization continues to prosper and network with one another.

Nick is an awing person in all honesty. With more people like him, the world can definitely “come together.”

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Wharton School and CKSF Deliver Pizza

November 22, 2013 ·

We are Team We Deliver, a team of ten Wharton freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania, enrolled in Management 100. In this course, each team is expected to carry out a consulting project for a client throughout the semester. Our first task in this course was to pick a project. After hearing Daryl’s presentation about CKSF, our team knew that the Pizza Math program would be our first choice. We were lucky enough to get our first choice project, since many of the other teams wanted to do Pizza Math too. The Pizza Math program goes like this: we go into local schools, administer online math quizzes, and reward kids with donated pizza.

We set out to work, finding schools in the Philadelphia community that would be willing to cooperate with us for Pizza Math. We contacted twenty-three schools in the area via email and phone, specifically targeting math teachers and 5th, 6th, and 7th grade teachers. We eventually committed five teachers from Independence Charter School.

Next, we set out to write quizzes for those classrooms. Colin and Danny researched Common Core standards, and Emily and Will asked the teachers about their individual classroom curriculums. Taking those into account, we tried to make our questions as relevant as possible. Plus, we had the task of making the questions funny and engaging too. To college students who reminisce of our elementary school days when we used to (and still!) listen to Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, we were easily entertained by the question making process, especially Jeehae, who is a child at heart. To show you what we mean, here’s a 5th grade question Nikita wrote:

One Direction bought 30 pizzas. The 5 members want to split the pizzas. How many pizzas does each member get?

A) 12

B) 24

C) 9

D) 6

The hardest part of this was definitely coming up with the “right” wrong answer: the answers that would have been right if the student misread the question. We knew that students would accidentally multiply when they were supposed to divide, or maybe skim over words like “How many pizzas each?”. How could we make the questions tricky, but not too tricky?  

Meanwhile, Chris, Shannon, Franklin, and Dhruv were off securing pizza sponsors donate to the rewards for Pizza Math. When we pitched our idea to the pizza shop proprietors, we attempted to appeal to the owners’ self interest by explaining how they could increase their publicity to kids and teachers. However, this led to reluctant responses. Shifting gears, we adjusted our pitch to appeal to proprietors’ civic duty, stressing the community-boosting aspects of CKSF’s endeavors. Since many of the pizza shops near Independence Charter School are small businesses who are well integrated into their community, we see now why this strategy was the best.

Finally, it came time for us to implement Pizza Math with the Independence Charter School. We ended up implementing Pizza Math thirteen times, across three grades and ten classrooms. If you’re doing the math, you’ll notice that there were three repeat implementations, with teachers asking us to come back! The receptionists at the schools even stopped asking why we were bringing kids pizza at 1:00pm, right after their lunch hour-- “Pizza Math again?”

Seeing the students actually excited to take part in this program that we had created especially for them was the best part of Pizza Math. Students would greet us in the halls by name, asking us when we were coming back to their classroom. When Emily and Shannon went to implement Pizza Math in a classroom, one student stopped them in the halls, asking Emily, “Where’s Dhruv?” since Dhruv and Emily were at the school the week before! Shannon didn’t take it too personally.

5th grader Donovan said that he would do the program again because he “liked multiplication.” 6th grader Josephine called us “traitors” when she caught us red-handed with pizza, implementing Pizza Math with her class’ rival classroom. But all was well when we returned the next week to repeat Pizza Math with her class. Even though the program motivated the kids to see math in a different light, we still liked talking to them about high school, college, and Penn after the quizzes were done

Working with CKSF has been an extremely rewarding journey for Will, Danny, Franklin, Emily, Dhruv, Chris, Jeehae, Nikita, Shannon, and Colin -- every member of Team We Deliver. We’ve not only learned how to effectively work together as a team, but we’ve also learned how to take an unconventional approach to a conventional subject. Even though math is still math at the end of the day, our team really feels like we made a difference in these kids’ lives. Being able to see the students’ excitement for Pizza Math has continually inspired Team We Deliver to deliver.

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The Life of a Commuter Student

November 22, 2013 ·

Hello, my name is Lladeris and I have no friends... Just kidding (I hope someone found that funny). The truth however is that as a commuter student it’s undeniably harder to build up a social life with new people. College is a whole new ball game compared to high school. No one will come up to you and just attempt to befriend you and ask you how your life is or if you want to be their new best friend…unless you’re in a sorority…then maybe, but those don’t always come out cheap.

I have five different classes, I work 25 hours a week between two jobs in opposite locations, I do research with a professor, I’m actively involved in my church in which I provide many service hours as well as attendance twice a week, and I attempt to at least exercise for an hour every day. Trust me between stress, unbalanced schedules, lack of sleep, and a budget….you will gain weight. Not to mention the little time I’m able to be at my house, I have to do school work. Research papers consume my life.

With all these activities it’s borderline impossible to be actively involved with my university. I’m in Pre-Med society and have written some things for the schools newspaper and that’s just about it. I’d love to be more involved but I simply just don’t have the time for it. I live about 5 minutes away from campus and that makes a huge difference believe it or not.  I feel as though if you live on campus you’re more forced to build relationships with your peers. Luckily I work with on campus jobs in which I have been able to make good friends. If it wasn’t for that…I really wouldn’t socialize with people more than necessary.

However, I must admit there are many pros to living at home. For one, I have a lot of financial leniency. My parents still pay for most of my things and therefore I don’t have to worry much about starving or living off of ramen noodles. Secondly, I can maintain great relationships with my family and childhood friends that also stayed in the area. I don’t have to deal with a dorm mate that I may not like or know well. I also have the luxury of sleeping in the bed that I’ve grown so accustomed and comfortable with. But, this doesn’t mean I’m not missing out on a movie type college experience. I still have curfews and parents constantly on my back. Plus, I get lazy and don’t come to school events such as the numerous sporting games. Not to mention, I also feel I’m missing out on the education that living on my own as a dependant human being would give me. On a positive note, I stay out of trouble more than others that live on campus and don’t have as many chores to do as home. My mom helps me out a lot with everything basically and so does my dad.

Therefore, I must say, it’s all a matter of preference and what you are expecting out of college. I’m perfectly happy staying at home…for me the pros outweigh the cons. However that’s not the case for everyone. My suggestion is to make your own list of pros and cons and make an educated decision on whether to stay home or on campus and do what makes you happy.

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Casting Call

November 14, 2013 ·

The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation (CKSF) keeps finding out different ways to get involved with the community and student life. It’s almost every kid’s dream at some point to be on TV and show off what they are made of to the world. Well now is your chance to show off your talent, creativity, and personality and be a part of CKSF’s Bullying and the Law program designed to build awareness of the legal consequences of bullying and cyber-bullying to young adults. You will get the opportunity to receive a free on camera acting lesson and be cast in a video that will appear on the program’s official Bullying and the Law website by a trained acting professional in John Casablanca’s Modeling Agency.

This opportunity to be on film can ultimately have a positive impact in reducing bullying or at least provide knowledge to high school students on what could happen to them if they engage in this kind of behavior. In order to implement this program throughout all schools, it is essential to promote it. Our target aim in doing so is social media which is the heart of the 21st century.

Keep in mind that the actor will be none other than you! Not only will there be a free acting session but also a chance to show your individuality and charisma. Only you can bring life and energy to the big screen. The John Casablanca Modeling Agency is located in Miami, Florida. All participants under the age of 18 require a parent companion to accompany them to the casting call.

Now, here is where teachers and administrators come in! CKSF will be working by your side to make the casting call. Students who express interest and would like to demonstrate their acting ability can do so by reading the Florida and Federal Bullying laws on behalf of the program.

We encourage you to come out, be creative and most importantly have fun. See you there!

Interested high school students can contact Daryl Hulce at daryl.hulce@cksf.org

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Nursing Students Earn Tuition Back

November 13, 2013 ·

Tired of having to stop everything just to finish a scholarship essay or application, making it harder to keep up with studying for actual exams? Well, endure no longer. The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation understands that finding time to participate in a scholarship can come second to school work, and asks, why can’t one benefit the other? CKSF is currently offering Tuition Back Scholarships, giving college students an opportunity to earn their "tuition back" by taking online quizzes designed to help them review and prepare for exams! Instead, all undergraduate nursing students (including international students) in the United States have the opportunity to essentially earn money for studying harder for their core nursing courses!

Unlike most scholarly educational programs, CKSF requires only a free registration at www.cksf.org before participants have full access to an abundance of simple, curriculum based quizzes. Tuition Back is an amazing opportunity for nursing students, as each scholarship covers the primary concepts of core nursing courses without asking book specific questions. Offered each semester, Tuition Back quizzes are placed purposefully around midterm and final exam time, meant to increase study power! At the end of each semester, the high scorer from each course wins a scholarship to cover tuition for that class. Winners attending a participating Nursing Tuition Back Scholarship school will receive their tuition back up to $1,000! However, even those attending schools not yet participating also have a chance to receive a scholarship of $100. Like almost all CKSF scholarships, Tuition Back quizzes are scored on time and accuracy with three quizzes in the challenge round plus a final championship round made up of the top 25% highest scorers. Quiz topics include Introduction to Professional Nursing, Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology and Tuition Back also offers scholarships to business and education majors.

CKSF focuses on providing fair scholarship opportunities to all levels without the often arduous essays, applications, and GPA requirements. Nursing students don’t miss out! For more information, visit www.cksf.org.

By Sara Girard

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