Dayspring Pens 2024 Scholarship Program

By Samantha Di Nardo

Dayspring Pens 2024 Scholarship Program

Dayspring Pens 2024 Scholarship Program

By Samantha Di Nardo

For the second year in a row, Dayspring Pens has offered a $1000 scholarship for students (or incumbent students) furthering their education. 

To say I was excited to read the submissions for this year would be an understatement. I have, in fact, been looking forward to it all year, to reading all about what fictional characters impacted people, what personal reflections a person could draw out of a story, to what books I need to add to my reading list for 2024…

I am happy to say that the submissions have all been read, the votes tallied, and a winner selected for this year’s scholarship. 

What were the requirements to receive this scholarship? 

I’m glad you asked…

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
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • School name
  • Major
  • Expected graduation date (for high school seniors only)
  • Proof of eligibility
  • Write a 500-word essay about the following prompt:

Name a fictional character from a book 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, 2024.

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 from a book 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 twelve essays, the entire office staff read each essay and voted in two rounds that left a near unanimous vote for our winner and finalist.

What the Finalists and Winner received

Our finalist received an engraved Dayspring Pens Travel Size Leather Padfolio and engraved pen.

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.

The Applications

We received over 1000 applications with fictional characters ranging from children’s books to manga to the classics.

The Finalist

We selected a finalist to receive an engraved padfolio and pen.

Our finalist this year is Savannah Cook with the excellent essay on the book Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey. Click here to read Savannah’s thoughts on coming to terms with doing your best.  

The Winner

I am happy to announce the winner of the Dayspring Pens 2024 Scholarship is Colman Numbers.

To read Colman’s insightful personal reflection on the motivations behind actions through the eyes of Milton’s famous Satan from Paradise Lost, click here. It is exceptional. 


Thank you very much to Colman Numbers, Savannah Cook, and all our applicants who took the time and effort to share their personal reflections and experiences with us. 

It was an honor to read them.

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