As a graduate student, I don’t get the massive number of enthusiastic (often time repetitive) emails about “New Scholarship Opportunities in Your Account!” (an actual, albeit too rare, email subject heading) as I did when I was an undergraduate or even a high school student. It would be nice, some time, just once, to have an email inbox overflowing with potential college money, ripe for my picking instead of electronic reminders that “Loan Interest Payment Due Soon” or “Your Checking Account Is Overdrawn [because you had the audacity to buy groceries AND pay your electric bill]” (yep, more examples of actual, far-too-frequent, email subject lines).
That being said, I’m a giving person at heart. I sponsor families in need in my hometown, give generously to campaigns and causes about which I am passionate, and tweet like mad for organizations I support. While the latter doesn’t cost me any money, and I don’t do these things for anything other than the intrinsic rewards, it would be nice if I could have my cake and eat it too, instead of donating it to the local food pantry. So, when I found the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation’s newest scholarship reward, I’ll admit I was equal parts psyched and skeptical. A scholarship just for graduate students that also promotes and supports the Bullying Academy’s anti-bullying program? I clicked the link and, sure enough, right under “Eligibility” it said: “All graduate education majors in the U.S. [emphasis added]”. Score!
Having been a teacher for several years, I have seen firsthand both the bullying done in schools and the potential teachers and administrators have to affect positive change for their students surrounding the issue of bullying. The Bullying Academy’s online program can offer me, the teacher, a tool for raising awareness and combating the disastrous effects of bullying both in and out of my classroom. Far too many of my students have feigned headaches or stomachaches in order to stay or go home early from school because they were being bullied. I’m only one person in a classroom of twenty students, and my colleagues and I do what we can, but it never seems like enough. What I love about the Bullying Academy program is that it puts the power and tools to end bullying in the hands of people who can do the most to affect it: the students.
By participating in this scholarship through the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation, I have my long-awaited opportunity to do some good and (maybe) get a little something extra in return.