This year’s gap year scholarship applicants were incredibly impressive.
Every one of them offered insight, passion, and motivation beyond anything either Jim or I remember having when we were their age. And they all were truly dedicated to using their gap year to “test drive” their interests, skills, and future college or career path.
This made it very difficult to decide on our winners, and we wish we could award more scholarships and in larger amounts (and we look forward to the day when we will be able to do this).
Two applicants stood out from the rest, and we decided to split the $1000 scholarship between them. Congratulations to Jessica Lippe and Ilana Gelb, our Test Drive Your Future Gap Year Scholarship winners for 2011!
Jessica Lippe — 9-Month Camp Internship
Our first winner was Jessica Lippe who will be participating in a 9 month internship at Camp Rivercrest in Nebraska, where she will have the opportunity to test drive four different camp-related jobs, including programming, marketing/promotion, and maintenance.
Here’s what Jessica says about her reasons for choosing a gap year:
“In my past two years attending college, I felt that I was learning a lot, but that much of what I was learning would not give me an advantage in the workplace. I came to the conclusion that education is necessary, but it needs to be tied in with hands-on experience for two reasons: one, so I could explain my experience and do better in job interviews, and two, so that I can believe that the job is right for me instead of being unsure whether or not I want to pursue this career or field of study for the next 40 years.”
This truly gets to the heart of Test Drive Your Future. We love the idea that Jessica will get to rotate through a number of positions within her internship to gain a world of experience in several potential careers she is interested in: writing, camp programming, and marketing.
Ilana Gelb — Leap Now’s “One Revolution”
Our second winner is Ilana Gelb who will be participating with Leap Now’s “One Revolution”, a semester-long program which travels to Guatemala, India, Kenya, and Tanzania. In these locations she will be participating in a variety of service work focusing on sustainable agriculture, education, job training, community technology, and bio technology.
Following One Revolution, Ilana will participate in a 2-month internship as a Development Assistant with a non-profit organization in London. She will complete her gap year with a three-month volunteer term in South Africa with the Umzingisi Foundation during which time she will be working in the local schools and orphanages to coach children in sports.
Here’s what she says about her upcoming gap year:
“I feel that I would not be able to grasp the information I will be taught in college without having a better understanding of the world, and without having a glimpse into what my future would look like if I turned my human development major into a career path…I chose this [gap year], because I want to use the world as my classroom… This gap year will amplify and specify my passions and show me a snap shot of possible futures. I will use this year to expand myself, while developing a more intimate relationship with the world.”
Ilana demonstrated a great deal of motivation and passion to participate in her gap year. She interned for the summer with the Center for Interim Programs to receive the assistance she needed in planning the perfect gap year experience.
We had multiple scholarships from LeapNow participants which were all excellent, and we wish you all the best on your exciting adventure.
We look forward to next year’s applications!