The Dayspring Pens office was abuzz when we received the first submissions for the inaugural Dayspring Pens Scholarship Program.
Now months later and over 700 applications submitted, we are proud to announce the finalists and winners of the Scholarship Program.
In this article, you can find out all about the requirements, the scholarship selection process, and read the incredible work submitted by one of our finalists and the winner.
Let's start with the scholarship requirements.
What were the scholarship requirements?
The Dayspring Pens Scholarship Program states that anyone interested in applying for the scholarship must be a US resident or student visa holder, 18 years or older. The applicant must also be enrolled in any undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited US college or university.
This scholarship was open to both undergrad and graduate students attending any accredited university within the United States, as well as high school seniors who have been accepted into a university program in the coming Fall semester.
Each applicant was required to submit:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- School name
- Expected graduation date (for high school seniors only)
- Proof of eligibility
- Write a 500-word essay about the following prompt:
Name a fictional character that you connected with in the last year and describe how they have made a lasting impact on your life.
Applications were submitted by the deadline of January 9, 2023
What were we looking for?
Beyond meeting the preliminary submission requirements, we were looking for essays that showed a thoughtful analysis of the fictional character chosen and an introspective discussion on the connection the character had on the essayist's life.
We wanted to see submissions that showed how interacting with a fictional character made an impact beyond simple enjoyment of a storyline- how the character brought value to their lives and caused the essayists to reflect more deeply on their lives or their view of the world.
We also were looking for submissions that were properly formatted grammatically and fell within 100 words plus or minus the 500 word count requirement.
What was the voting process?
First, all submissions that did not meet submission requirements of naming a fictional character and being between 450-550 words were removed.
Then, each submission was read looking specifically for correct formatting and grammar and for the essayist's ability to share a personal reflection on the fictional character with whom the writer was impacted.
This included the applicant's analysis of the character and the ability of the applicant to synthesize personal thoughts on the character's nature or experience in relation to the individual's life.
Once the submissions were narrowed down to the top twenty essays, the entire office staff read each essay and voted in two rounds that left a near unanimous vote for our winner and finalists.
What the Finalists and Winner received
Our winner received the aforementioned padfolio and pen in addition to a one-time award of $1000.00 to offset the costs of tuition, books, computers, room, or any other education-related expense.
We received over 700 applications with fictional characters selected from film, television, books, and manga, ranging from Spongebob to Atticus Finch.
We selected two finalists to receive an engraved padfolio and pen.
Our first finalist is Avanless Peterson. To read Avanless's wonderful essay on Dalinar of Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings and a journey toward authenticity and integrity, click here.
Our second finalist wished to remain anonymous.
We are proud to announce the Winner of the Dayspring Pens Scholarship for 2023 is Hannah Oman.
To read Hannah's exceptional essay on Katara of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the power and beauty of forgiveness, click here.
Thank you very much to Hannah Oman, Avanless Peterson, our second finalist, and all the applicants who submitted essays for the scholarship. It was a joy and an honor to read each individual's work.
For more information on the Dayspring Pens 2024 Scholarship or to make a submission for the upcoming school year see our Scholarship Program page.
Sam Di Nardo is the Lead Blogger at Dayspring Pens where she has become an expert in all things ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pen. Her current fountain pen favorite is the Franklin Cristoph Model 20 Marietta. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their growing family. Learn more about Sam's Bio.