With the mantra “short-term pain for longterm gain,” military child Katrina Hunter has diligently worked to earn more than $8,000 in scholarships.
With the hopes of one-day becoming a French immersion teacher, Hunter was in Nova Scotia on an immersion exchange during the summer when she decided to attend a virtual program designed by the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) that debunked myths on how to find scholarships.
Taking the information she had learned from the session, Hunter got to work, waking up at 9 a.m. every day during her break to search for scholarships.
A third-year university student at the University of Ottawa, Hunter, decided to attend university in Ottawa to live with her father, after growing up in PEI, retired Canadian Armed Forces member Capt. Terry Hunter.
Hunter’s father played an important role in encouraging her to look for scholarships.
Hunter would look for scholarships online using words that described her: from being a woman to a military child to a Catholic to a soccer player.
Once she found the scholarships, she then had to go through the application process and write essays. For her essays, Hunter drew from her experiences when her father was deployed to Sudan when she was in seventh grade.
She recommends that others applying for scholarships, find the best words to present why they deserve the scholarship.
“When you’re applying for a scholarship you want to make yourself sound like you’re the best person for this scholarship. You want to boost yourself up by saying I received this, I volunteered here, I am doing this, to show you’re the best candidate,” explained Hunter.
With a lot of patience and searching, Hunter eventually earned $8,200 from four different scholarships.
From her experiences, Hunter’s main advice is to be bold when applying and go for scholarships even when you don’t meet all the criteria.
“My advice for people who are applying is even if you adhere to two out of the three criteria or even one of the three, apply because in the long-run, if you’re the only person that applied for the scholarship, then you could receive it because there’s tons of money out there,” said Hunter.
She also advises that organization is key to the process and be sure to make a list of which scholarships you apply to, when the deadline is and when the decision is announced.
When it comes down to it, Hunter affirms that there are many organizations and foundations that are eager to help students out financially.
“People don’t know there’s all this money out there. It takes time. You have to set aside the time to actually look and apply and write essays and get reference letters,” said Hunter.
However, in the end, all the pain is worth the gain.
“Once you receive a letter and you open it up and just the amount of excitement and relief on you, it’s just amazing,” explained.
To listen to the PEI MFRC virtual session recordings on scholarships click here.