I Wanted to Publish This One In A Newspaper

My name is C. Dudley or Tina for short and I worked hard to put myself through Danville Community College during the period of August 2010 to May 2012 in which I graduated top of my class. I did apply for and receive financial aid but wasted nothing because I completed my Graphic Imaging Technology Degree during the day and a Photography Certificate at night. I used every penny of aid money plus a $1,750 school loan, so there wasn’t a check issued at the end of every semester like other students. I worked as a construction worker on the weekend and when I could fit it in, during the week just to pay the bills and graduate.

I am a mother of two and I wanted to show my children that a degree in your background can open the world for you. I told them, a degree is basically your only option away from minimum wage unless you’re one of the lucky few that were able to catch a break.

I was so very excited when I applied to and was hired by Womack Publishing in Chatham, Virginia just to get shorted because of a government contract agreement with the state. To the readers, yes you read that properly and yes it was as unfair as it sounds. The company covered numerous Newspapers for both Virginia and North Carolina.  Three of North Carolina’s were mine; my boss would inform me often of their praise. While employed as a Graphic Designer, I completed around a hundred or more newspaper ads, sixteen flyers, an event calendar and a magazine cover. I met all appropriate deadlines early and never complained, with a smile on my face always. I enjoyed the creativity and inspiration of my career and looked forward to a bright future.

On the 89th day of employment, I was called into the office for what I thought was my ninety-day probation evaluation but I was issued my walking papers instead. It completely took me by surprise and because Virginia is a no-fault employment state, yup you guessed it; absolutely no reason why. With my hopes dampened, I swallowed my pride and asked if there was anything I excelled with or could improve upon before I moved on to my next employment option. I was simply told, “Nope, I wish you well.”

When I applied to the next six available design jobs that were within thirty miles from where I lived, I was informed that I didn’t have enough experience and to reapply when I had more in my employment background. I felt I had no choice and went back to construction and restaurant work because I had to now, show my children that a parent does whatever it takes to provide for and take care of them.

Last year I ran into Morgan at General Dollar, a girl I graduated with and was informed that she too had worked in the exact same position and was relieved of employment exactly the same way on the 89th day as well. She also informed me that she knew four other people that graduated at the same time or a year later, to have the same thing happen working for the same company.

Yes, the government is helping businesses with these contracts but they are hurting the little people, the people that pay in taxes and that have put in their effort and time to get those jobs. Another company guilty of this situation is Telvista, Inc. of Danville, Virginia or was during 2008-2010. I don’t understand how that is moral because to me I can’t seem to make sense of why a company would ruin the futures of the average person who worked so hard just for a bonus check! But hey I care about my fellow neighbor.

Over the last year, I’ve struggled with myself on writing this article but it’s been nagging me as a story that needs to be told. So as much as it pains me to be unprofessional and name call, Womack Publishing is not a place you want to apply to. Don’t let your dreams be smothered by a company that cares more for money than about their employees and how hard they’ve worked.


How I Helped My Daughter Get Into College – Entry 1

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016

Let me tell you, I thought I was starting early, early but boy was I wrong! LOL. I had decided as a low income, single mother of two; I needed to look into scholarships and financial aid as my kids were getting older and I was not getting any richer. With a daughter that just started her junior year of high school and a daughter in the seventh grade of middle school, I felt like I had to get on the ball. What if Tatyana didn’t win any of the current year’s scholarships, I needed her to have time again next year to apply. I had to remember, she is already a junior; time flies.

The information I found was almost astonishing and engulfing, and I had only started researching just two weeks ago. So I had to figure out a way to make it more in-depth but still organized. So I started by looking up articles that would better assist me with this task and I must say, Google has always been my best friend, LOL. The first article that really set me on my path was: Step-By-Step Strategy to Crafting Successful Scholarship Applications with topics such as (1) Create a list of scholarships and grants you qualify for, (2) Stay Organized, (3) Essay Writing, (4) Letters of Recommendation, (5) Personal Statement, (6) Ensuring all application requirements are met, (7) Review/Revision process suggestions, and (8) Schedule for Submissions. This article is well worth the read if you’re serious about college. When I went back to look this article up again to provide a link, I couldn’t find it so I hope you have better luck because it is beyond useful.

This blog will be written as the journey takes place, so when it’s finished I hope it will be interesting and informative for the parents of and for the future students themselves. I hope that our experience through this process as a family will be knowledgeable and beneficial to both us and everyone else. Maybe by June 2018, this blog will be book worthy; hey a mom can dream too. LOL

Ok parents, take hold, no child wants to write their first demanded essay! Yes we know, they do them in school all the time but let me tell you when asking a teen for a Scholarship Essay it can cause them to come up with all kinds of excuses. Try to keep a positive attitude, teens already carry a chip on their shoulder; even the best ones do. So show them how important this is for their future and that it can make College or University life more comfortable and could take the worry off the already full table without pushing too hard.  Sometimes the most wishful advice can be taken the wrong way by a teen, don’t worry they will grow up and mature just like us, as a adults have; it just takes time.

Let’s call it like it is, life’s journey whether it be bumpy or smooth is up to you, to give yourself and the ones you love all the possibilities that are within your grasp whether it be a Sweepstakes drawings or an actual Scholarship; every little bit helps to get you to your goal. Every total from $100 to $100,000 should be tried for, “If you never try, you can never achieve!” Depending on the degree your child has been dreaming of, their goals should never be squashed because of financial issues when there are so many opportunities available out there.

My daughter, Tatyana’s first attempt at a deadline essay was a fail because she had issues with the word count total and the deadline got to close to meet. The silver lining of this first try is, there is bound to be another Scholarship Essay that fits the same criteria and then she has time to tweak it and then use it, meeting the next deadline with ease. The lesson in this scenario is to give you enough time to complete the task.

For a slight change of subject, I had my first appointment with my daughter and her college counselor last week, I was not at all impressed I’m sorry but it is true. This young lady did not want to listen to the plan that I had started with my daughter, all she wanted to talk about was that our income didn’t afford Tatyana a lot of choices. I started to talk about the scholarship searches that I have done and she immediately steered the conversation to; “Scholarships are not her main focus at the moment Ms. Dudley, she should be looking into schools that will cover the most financial aid.” My daughter wants to go to a Christian University and I will do whatever is possible to help her have a real future and achieve her goals in life. So I will be asking that my daughter be transferred to a new college counselor, someone that will back her up in her dreams. Don’t get me wrong, we will be doing fallback schools but if I can actually help my daughter to go where she wants too then that is my duty as a parent.

Sometimes I think parents have gotten too busy to help children, to achieve their highest potential. Now please, these words are not meant to offend but to make a statement. A lot of my friends giggle and comment to the fact that I check Cheyenne and Tatyana’s homework personally and daily before letting either of them put it back in their book bags. Most parents ask their children, “Is your homework finished?” Which then gets the reply, “Yeah” and they just put it in their book bag and go about their day. Don’t just let your child go through life, help them experience it! I bring this subject up because I started to ask around, “So what did you help your kid(s) do to get ready for college, scholarship wise?” The response from the twenty-some people I asked was, “We didn’t do scholarships, and we just did financial aid and paid the extra or got loans”.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t just have the money to pay out and I definitely don’t want either of my daughters swimming in debt when they’re finally out of school. Tatyana wants of all things, a PhD, which I am very proud of but she didn’t fill me in until this year that she wanted that type of degree. She wants to be a Counseling Psychologist with a possible minor in Religion & Philosophy and that takes eight to twelve years of higher education. These types of degrees cannot just be earned from a two-year college and will take a lot of money, time and effort to achieve this kind of goal.

Unfortunately like most teenage females, schooling took a fall the first year Taty really got interested in boys, which was her freshman year of high school. The dip in grades hurt her GPA, she could’ve had a 3.0 or higher but isn’t that far, she has a 2.652 and has time to bring it up thank goodness. She hasn’t taken a practice SAT or ACT yet, so we still have questions on that topic, it was supposed to be given in tenth grade but sadly for some reason was not. So as this information becomes available, I will be writing about it.

Currently I have helped Taty apply for four different Sweepstakes Scholarships and am in the process of trying to work with her on organization, dedication and deadlines for the essays and projects coming up. I am constantly looking up different websites for more opportunities every day. Information not looked up is knowledge never learned! (-C. Dudley)  Like the article I mentioned above states, organization is the key to meeting deadlines. I started a college binder with the invaluable information I have already looked up and sections like Oct. 2016 Scholarships and then Nov., and so forth all the way to the following October. I used pens with colored ink to color-code information throughout, for each different scholarship and numbered pages to keep important items highlighted in a way. Located in the back, is the college material we have collected on her possible college choices with research on each. As my kids would say, I nerded it up! LOL

I wish my mother had not been so busy working to support the four of us, so that she would’ve pushed me to do more with my life. Not saying that it is her fault in anyway, that I became a mother young or that I waited ten years to put myself through a community college for two degrees that currently are not possible to use. I just wish she had pushed me and helped me see a possible bigger future like I am trying to do for my daughters. Single mothers do their best and in the end, you are always sculpted into the person you were meant to be, no matter life’s circumstances. It is drive and effort that will lead you to where you were meant to be, god always has a plan whether we believe it; he does.

Tatyana has huffed and puffed the last few days, when I bring up the word essay LOL. I have to remind her “Sweetheart, I am doing this to help you. If you really want to do this, to get your PhD, you have to motivate yourself to help the people helping you, as well as yourself.  If you didn’t have me in your corner doing all this research, would you be any closer to having your dream?” She then says, yes ma’am and tries her best which is all I can really ask for.

I know this part of growing up can be and is overwhelming. I hope that Taty will continue to let me in and talk to me, so that the next step in her life can be educational and adventurous without the added extra stress of finding funding at the last minute or HAVING to take a school loan. I want her to really experience life, educational and fun, and let me tell you, it isn’t gonna happen if she stays too close to home. That’s why my degrees are not being utilized; the area we live in is not the best for ‘career’ opportunities. Along with the fact, that an education from a more reputable college or university will give her the edge she needs in the job market she has chosen.

I want her to find those true friends that will be with her for the rest of her life. I want her to actually meet people, to find out who she can and will really become, to find that professor that will push her to do extraordinary things, and I want her to brave situations she never thought she could be a part of. The real college experience from what my perception is, who knows I could be wrong LOL. I just want the best for both my children and I don’t want them living paycheck to paycheck like we have done all their lives, I want them to have more opportunities, higher dreams and the drive to go after it all; what parent doesn’t!

So now that all that personal stuff is said and out of the way LOL, we can move on to more informative information…Here’s some October Scholarships to get you started, these are not due until the end of the month, so they might be able to work the deadline into their schedule depending on how busy your teen is. There are sweepstakes scholarships in this information as well so that, you as their parent can register them for chances at some pretty decent amounts. Yes I know the odds are low and the applicants are high, but you never know unless you try! I will do my best to list five or more, every day I post to my blog.

Award Amount     Date/Deadline     Sponsor     Internet Info     Eligibility     General Info          Essays/Questions     Restrictions

(1) $1,000 School Survey Sweepstakes Scholarship – must be registered in school

Oct. 31, 2016

Take a short survey on your school and be entered in a drawing for a chance to win

https://k12.niche.com/school-survey           NICHE Scholarships

The winner will be contacted directly


(2) Course Hero Monthly $1,000 Scholarship                       USAscholarships.com/


Answer a quick question for a chance at a big reward and be creative! Check each month for a new question                 Oct. 31, 2016                U.S. citizen

in high school at entry             16 years or older – if under 18, need parental consent

One question will be posted online at http://www.coursehero.com/scholarship-form each month and allow registered, eligible entrants up to 1,000 words to submit a response


(3)  “Your RoadMap” $2,000 Christian College Sweepstakes Scholarship     Oct. 31, 2016

http://www.unigo.com/                   Christian Connector Inc.           Just Apply


(4)  Feelin’ Good Scholarship Slam          Oct. 19, 2016             $1,000


in high school or college at entry                     25 years or younger

What makes you feel good? We want to know what your pick-me-up is.  Do you read a certain poem?  Chow down on some pizza?  Cuddle your furry best friend?  Tell us in a poem what makes you smile and why, for a chance to win         PowerPoetry.org/


(5)  Zombie Apocalypse $2,000 Scholarship       http://www.unigo.com/

13 years or older          U.S. citizen             Unigo Scholarships

in high school or college no later than Fall 2022            Oct. 31, 2016

Submit an online short written response (250 words or less) for the question:  “Imagine that your high school or college has been overrun with zombies. Your math professor, the cafeteria ladies, and even your best friend have all joined the walking dead” Use your healthy brain to flesh out a plan of avoiding the zombies; including where you’d hide and the Top 5 things you’d bring to stay alive”.

Winner will be notified by email or phone on or around Jan. 31, 2017

As you can see just from these 5, there is a vast difference and for the scholarships that have essays, it can open one’s mind and some can actually be fun. I have learned a lot throughout this two week process, I can’t wait to see what else is out there I haven’t looked up yet. I really hope I can help my daughters accomplish their dreams!


Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

It has been a long couple days, I’m sorry I haven’t typed sooner. Tatyana has had a Marching Band Competition, which they placed 3rd in, and an All County Choir Concert. Now it’s time to get back to college scholarship business.

I started the College binder with information from Colleges that my child was interested in or brought home, first. I then did further research on each and every pamphlet she gave me.  Did you know that Cost of Attendance is not the same as tuition, room, etc.? Cost of Attendance is an average total of ALL expenses for the year.

I then looked up exactly what she said she wanted to do for a major. I wrote out the entire definition so that Taty could read it and make sure that it was what she wanted to do for a future career. I wanted her to know, what she was going to be putting herself through to achieve her goals. Next, I looked up the lowest to highest annual salary for her title and logged that information as well.

I can tell you by the numbers I took and some simple math that Taty can have a return educational investment for time and effort spent, down to the number of years she would have to work. If it’s more than eight-ten years, I would logically say the investment is not worth it.  We are doing our best to use Scholarships money and not to touch loans, so that her investment should be nothing but profit if we can complete this goal. Statistics for a career field are also a big factor. Is what your child choosing for a future, really going to provide one? To me, that’s the most important question of them all!

I looked up several articles for assistance with search topics like successful scholarship applications, funding for a woman that wants her PhD, making an essay standout, and website help for college scholarships. All of this information has been invaluable!

I have currently helped to register my daughter for 9 sweepstakes scholarships and Taty has completed 1 essay (in poetry form) entry. The important revelation I found out is that, it looks like PowerPoetry.org is set up quarterly because it stated that: an applicant can apply to only one of the many scholarships offered during Aug. 18 – Oct. 19, 2016.

Maybe by passing this information along, I can help others beside my own children and in retrospect give them some competition so it’s well-earned LOL. My twin sister has taken copies of all my information and started to help my niece. Some Nikki won’t qualify for because she is not 16 yet but there are still plenty that cover lower ages. The earlier you begin, the better off your child will be. You can never start your child’s College Bank Account to early!

Here are some more scholarships almost every teen can apply for:

Award Amount     Date/Deadline     Sponsor     Internet Info     Eligibility     General Info          Essays/Questions     Restrictions

(1)  $1,000 Cappex Easy College Money Scholarship              Oct. 31, 2016


Tell us what you do in your free time by following these instructions:

Step 1:  Create a Cappex profile. One profile makes you eligible to apply for many different scholarships offered.

Step 2:  Tell us about your extra-curricular, leadership, and volunteer activities.

Step 3:  Click on the scholarships tab, then click on “Cappex Scholarships”, find the scholarship title in the list and click “apply”


(2)  Chegg $1,000 Monthly Scholarship                Oct. 31, 2016

http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx          USAscholarships.com

What is the one class you wish you school would offer and why?     16 years or older

U.S. legal resident   in U.S. high school at entry       must be a Chegg register user

Fill out entry form:  http://www.chegg.com/scholarships/chegg-1000-monthly-scholarship-july-2015/apply               Scholarships are not paid to schools outside the United States and the contest is VOID in Puerto Rico


(3)  Make Me A Freshman $500 Sweepstakes Scholarship       Oct. 31, 2016

https://makemeafreshman.com/         Just register for a chance to win

Winner must be a student or plan to spend the money on a student and is eligible if application process is complete with only one email


(4)  Sallie Mae “Plan for College” Sweepstakes Scholarship

https://www.salliemae.com/plan-for-college/registration         $1,000

Begins:  Oct. 1, 2016        Ends:  Oct. 27, 2016             U.S. citizen

Winner will be selected Nov. 1, 2016

The potential winner cannot have WON any other Sponsor contest or sweepstakes in the previous six month period                       Sallie Mae Bank

300 Continental Drive    Newark, Delware 19713


(5)  BG Scholarship (Brandon Goodman)       $300             Oct. 31, 2016


in high school at entry             minimum GPA 2.0               U.S. citizen

Explain in 250 words or less about your academic goals and your contributions to your school and/or community


(6)  Voice of Democracy $30,000 Scholarship Competition               Nov. 1, 2016

www.fastweb.com      H.S. Freshman+           info@vfw.gov

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

Write and record a 3-5 minute broadcast script on the following theme: “My Responsibility to America” and fill out the application to turn in to your local VFM office.


Now because I am dedicated to helping my daughter and all of you, I have to go elsewhere to jump on some internet. Because like I said, I’m a single mother of two and sometimes you have to go without things you want for the things that you need.

So until next time, I hope this information has been useful in helping the children of the world who really want to go to college.


Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

I tried my best to get this blog up and running the best I could, sadly with no avail. For almost 3 hours, I tried to find a free blog site but the problem is; nothing is free anymore. WordPress.com is free but there is still a catch. I know paying for a domain name is not that expensive but it just isn’t in my budget. I don’t know how but I will figure this out because I’m insistent on sharing this very important information with others.


Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016

The last week has been so very hectic for our family, so let me explain real quick! Monday, Taty had the make-up football game because of the nasty storm that hit over the weekend. Tuesday, Taty had marching band practice till dark. Wednesday, the kids went to church and then out to the Youth hangout. Thursday, Taty had marching band till dark. Friday, she had girl empowerment paint night and completed her first ever painting which is really, really good. Saturday, she was gone all day to a marching band competition in which her school took 2nd and several 3rd place awards.

Let me tell you with a teen this busy, it is really hard to get her to work with me on the scholarship stuff. When a moment of free time finally opened up, I got Taty to complete her first scholarship essay and asked her to have her English teacher look over it for fragment or run-on sentences, punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes; the deadline is October 31, 2016.

What we learned from this experience is to make time; it will be the only way with how busy her life really is. If the essay would’ve been finished before, she could’ve qualified for a $1,500 scholarship but the word count was an issue not conquered. I was able to have Taty modify the essay and now we will be turning it in for a different $300 scholarship. The silver lining is…any scholarship money is good money, because an expensive dream can be an achievable goal with the right motivation and apparently more organization, LOL.

The essay did seem a lot easier for her to do once she took the time to read the articles I have researched. I also made her read this blog, so she could really understand the effort I have put in to help her achieve this goal. I hope that Taty continues to work with me instead of against me from here on out, but hey she’s a teenager.


Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016

I talked to my twin that already has a WordPress.com account and it allows a guest blog, so I’m thinking this prayer has been answered. The information will go out!

Today I spent the day looking up examples of Student Resumes. Taty’s actually looks pretty dang good, so far. There are still a lot of empty spots I can fill in, like figuring out what years she participated in everything, what years she made honor roll, and the skills section.

I also have to have Taty do her personal statement; Cassie has told me that Nikki has completed some applications that needed it. I am even more proud of my teen with every award or achievement I add to the resume.

Just like an employment resume, the document needs to have the student’s name, address, city, state, zip, phone number, and email. The sections I used to express the pure admiration of my daughter were: Objective, Education, Academic & Achievement Awards, Extracurricular Activities, Athletics, Computer Certificates, Other Certificates, and Volunteer Work. Let me tell you, it’s very impressive; I am a very proud mom.


Monday, Oct. 31, 2016

I have done quite a lot these past couple days; we’ve applied to 24 scholarships just this month totaling $71,400. I hope and pray that she wins some! Keep in mind that 17 of them are sweepstakes scholarship entries. Applicants are high and odds are low but like I repeat all the time, every little bit helps. So of course, the other halve is essays and I do have to say, Taty has shown a lot more effort. I think making her read this blog, helped the most.

What helped a lot as well was the fact; I did research for some of the essays. When I say research, I mean I looked up definitions and some relevant facts to help stir some inspiring essays for my kids. Like I tried to tell Taty, as long as you are behaving and making good grades; I will do everything in my power to help you achieve your goal. I know she is BUSY with school and related activities, so as a parent it is my privilege to help my daughter the best I can. My favorite part of school was the research, air go; nerd. LOL

But let me tell you though, when teenage attitude rears its ugly head, I really just want to call it quits. As mom and a parent that wants to see her kids succeed, I have to hope they don’t make me throw in the towel before they’re able to jump in the pool.

I do have to apologize for not being able to get my blog up and online before the end of October submissions but I just couldn’t make it happen. My sister is picking up the loaded flash drive today and will have it posted soon. So here’s your November scholarship help. Good luck.

Award Amount     Date/Deadline     Sponsor     Internet Info     Eligibility     General Info          Essays/Questions     Restrictions

(1)  Course Hero $1,000 Monthly Scholarship      Nov. 30, 2016    USAscholarshis.com


U.S. citizen     in high school       16 years or older – if under 18, need parental consent

One question will be posted online at www.coursehero.com/scholarship-form each month and allow registered, eligible entrants up to 1,000 words to submit a response


(2)  Chegg $1,000 Monthly Scholarship         Nov. 30, 2016


What is the one class you wish your school offered and why?

U.S. legal resident     16 yrs or older     in a U.S. high school   registered Chegg user

Scholarships are not paid to schools outside of the U.S. and the contest is void in Puerto Rico


(3)  Zumper Apartments $1,000 Scholarship       www.cappex.com

H.S. Freshman +     https://www.zumper.com      Nov. 15, 2016

This is for students who have helped their community or classmates in some way. Must submit an essay that discusses how you’ve impacted your fellow student body and/or community and an introduction to housing near your school.


(4)  $1,000 November Scholarship Sweepstakes        Nov. 20, 2016

https://colleges.niche.com/scholarships   Nationwide      All H.S. students +

Simply login or join to apply


(5)  The GoCollege Lucky Draw $250 Scholarship Monthly Sweepstakes

http://www.gocollege.com/lucky-draw-scholarship.html      Nov. 30, 2016

To apply, simply fill out form. Winners will be contacted on or before the 5th of each month


I can’t wait to see if the blog is as interesting to other people as it is to me!? I promise to add more to each day I write as a whole. I will have more to post soon; I’m sorry I have been so busy but a mom is a mom, on top of everything else.


Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

Alright, it’s been long enough that it won’t feel like I’m repeating to you, as I go into much further detail on items located at the beginning of my blog. Topics I felt were necessary to elaborate on so that the parents and students reading this blog would have a literal understanding of why starting as early as possible, is a MUST!

Look up the exact major your child is interested in applying to college for and then look up the lowest and highest annual salary for this position, a breakdown is very important. Taty wants to be a Counseling Psychologist and retire as a Preacher. A psychologist in that field makes a low salary of $66,040 and as high as $72,310. But with the minor in Religion and Philosophy Taty wants to take later in college if she is able to balance her PhD classes, will help her with the profession she wants to retire with, as well as the higher salary she can obviously make with the extras in her background. Apparently she has put time and effort into thinking about what she wants to do for her future but forgot to tell me. She could’ve started applying for scholarships as early as 13 for some but most at 16 or older. We could’ve been getting her ready since last year but I didn’t know her dream was so big. Her resume is already impressive but we have a lot of money to come up with for just about any top notch college or university.

The top school Taty and I like is Liberty University located in Lynchburg, Virginia which isn’t that far from home but far enough away for her to experience life. The campus is only 1 hour and 39 minutes away. It is a private, no-profit Christian University and is classified as a doctoral research university which means to me that she can do her entire college career at ONE school and not have to transfer to finish. This institution also offers financial aid and in-school scholarships on top of what we are applying for. The 2 main requirements among others on a list for this university are a 200-400 word essay on how your personal faith and beliefs will contribute to Liberty’s mission to develop Christ-centered leaders and a GPA of 3.0 or better. The cost of attendance for this school is $34,000 a year. I hope the total is covered by financial aid and scholarship awards, which will make her educational investment nothing but profit. Her entire college career at a high of 12 years would cost $408,000. If she had to take student loans to pay for her schooling, her educational investment would bring a return in about 5½ years on the high end of annual salary. At the lowest annual salary, she could see an investment in a little over 6 years.

Taty’s very first choice before the college research was Mid-Atlantic Christian University which is located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The campus is 4 hours and 19 minutes away from our home and is a private 4-year Christian University supported by Christian churches and churches of Christ, which is part of the Restoration Movement. This institution also offers financial aid and in-school scholarships on top of what we are applying for. The 2 main requirements among others on a list for this university are a GPA of 2.0 or better and ranked in the top half of their graduating class. The cost of attendance for this school is $28,993 a year. She would pay $115,972 for 4 years before having to transfer to another institution like Liberty to do her last possible 8. So with a high of 12 years of college, it would cost her $387,972. Which broke down, would give an educational return in 5¼ years on the high end of annual salary. At the lowest annual salary, she could see an investment in 5¾ years.

Taty isn’t sure what she wants her secondary choices to be yet but we have gotten together more than a couple college packets of introduction letters, pamphlets and statistic research I have collected. She just knows for a fact that she wants to go to a church based college or university and that she doesn’t want it to be too far away from home. Her boyfriend, future fiancé, is in the military and she doesn’t want him to have to split his leave time into 2 different travels out of respect for his family and their relationship. Again, she always gives me reasons to be such a proud mom.

The other’s located in the back section of my binder are colleges and universities like Barton, Belmont Abbey, Western Carolina, Wingate, Christopher Newport (CNU), Marymount, Appalachian State, Averett, and Eastern Carolina. She seems to be favoring Belmont Abbey after getting information in the mail; she was excited to see they go to school among monks. Taty also got to take a mini-tour of the Appalachian State University campus last weekend when she went for a Marching Band Competition and was very impressed. I’ll have to do further research on these next 2, for the investment breakdown and educational return value.

Taty’s advisor told her that when she takes AP English this coming semester if she gets an A, it can bring her GPA up immensely. She has also been requested as a teacher’s aide to her Choir director and is very excited about it. She is doing everything she can to fit it into her schedule. Her band leader has also asked her to continue to help with music, arrangements, and activities even if she can’t do marching band again next year. I am always such a proud momma. Chy, my seventh grader, just came home yesterday and told me that she was accepted for Student Council, I had tears.

It’s a known fact that talking about a topic and writing about a topic are two totally different things because of the way your mind works. Talking about something is because a topic has caught your attention and you want to discuss it. When you’re sitting down in front of the computer, sometimes things don’t flow as easily or you want to change it because you can’t remember where your train of thought was going. So using a voice recorder can be a useful tool. Take a look at the description for a scholarship essay and see if it sparks conversation, play the tape back for helpful ideas when trying to put it to paper. Newspaper reports do it all the time, take a cue from them.

I used the voice recorder while I was riding in the van yesterday; I went to the community college to use their computer lab to print Taty’s signed applications and completed essays for reference. I was thinking that my entries haven’t been long enough and wanted more information to be able to add and well, I can’t write notes while driving or type an entry on the computer. LOL, I used mine to put together the previous couple paragraphs.

I went to look at November’s breakdown of Scholarship information on the 30th of October and noticed that there was just ONE due at the beginning of the month and we were going to miss it. This one entailed more than just a short essay; she needed a 3-5 minute audio broadcast of her essay along with the doc file and a signed application by the 1st. I moved it to the back of my binder, to the following year and then it started to bother me. It was the largest amount she would be able to go for and I thought if I helped her, it could be possible. So on Saturday I helped Taty with an outline for a somewhat complicated essay on short notice. I thought I was helping. I asked her to read it over and see if she thought it would help.

In the outline I started with the thesis statement of course and the conclusion. I directed her to pick the topic sentences and elaborate with body paragraphs where she would make her points and to embellish on the thesis and conclusion paragraphs. Then I advised her to read it aloud to herself a couple times so she wouldn’t trip over words, this had to sound like a radio broadcast of information. Taty of course, got frustrated and didn’t write on the essay until Sunday. I was scared that it wasn’t going to be at least three minutes so I had her go back and type two more topic sentences for more points for the body paragraphs. The frustration persisted when she tried to record herself because she didn’t take my advice to read it a couple times. Taty gave up and promised to record it Monday morning before the bus came for school. She had a lot of trouble for some reason, slowing down her speech; I swear it sounded like she was in a race. When I read it as an example pausing at the periods or commas, she laughed and said I sounded like I was reading to Kindergarteners. I now see she should take a Public Speaking class ASAP. It did get recorded and I’m glad I had her go back and add the other two points because it ended up being 3:31 long.

Monday was a somewhat stressful start to my morning! Trying to get her completed items turned in to the proper place, seemed harder than I thought. There were no local chapters close to me when I did the search through the VFW website. I decided to use the phone number listed on the website, which then was given another phone number and left a message. That lady returned my call just to inform me that she had no idea of the requirements we would have to meet to submit and that the deadline had already passed. I told her that the deadline was tomorrow at close of business day and I was just trying to figure out how to proceed. With another phone number where I had to leave a voicemail, I was soon in touch with a very nice gentleman named Nathaniel Degraffinreaidt, the chairman. He called me back, he is the one that runs the Greensboro VFW office and I was able to turn in my daughter’s submission through e-mail. This equaled a very happy mom!

My mom never tried to help me get ready for college so I haven’t had either side of this issue yet in my life as a helpful example. I had Taty, my first daughter, when I was 19 turning 20; I registered for Danville Community College when she was old enough to enter preschool. Right after registration, I found out I was pregnant with my second child, which was supposed to be a boy LOL; I would’ve been in labor during exams. I backed out and then re-registered when Chy was old enough to enter preschool because I knew I needed to have time to study, for classes and also to work. So that put me almost ten years after I graduated high school to put myself back into college, which is why I stress to my kids so much not to take time off between your schooling and life because it is so hard to get back if the break is taken!

I have two degrees and still work, and live paycheck to paycheck. I would rather have had a career to afford my children, comforts that every child deserves, for that I give thanks to my family. Without them, my children wouldn’t have had half of what they own. I hope that my future grandkids will not have to live low income like my children. I hope, what I am instilling in my daughters will provide a better future for them and for generations to come. Earning possessions can instill more moral value than having things just handed to you.

Yesterday after school, we finally didn’t have any other previous engagements so I filled out for a November Sweepstakes Scholarship that every parent can do for their child and Taty wrote another essay. To keep her from frustration, I tried to pick the easiest one and she still threw attitude. I just don’t get teenagers! I had her do “What Class Do You Wish Your School Offered and Why?” I did definitions for anime, micro-expression, and Polysomnography; three things that I knew she would be interested in and she still gave me a tiff. I was hoping the literal translation or definitions would spark interest in writing an essay that didn’t have a required word count. But teenagers do what they do. By the end of the afternoon, I did have a cute essay that ended up being over 250 words which is the short essay total, LOL. The scholarship entry was written on Polysomnography, also known as a sleep study. What teenager wouldn’t want to take a class about sleep? LOL

I told Taty how proud everyone was of the essay and audio, she completed and she lagglely said in a roundabout way “well mom helped with most of it, thank her”. I tried to explain to her that I did set up her outline but in no way does that mean I wrote any of her essay. She then repeated that to another person, I explained yet again that doing the outline in NO way means I wrote ANY of her paper and that I would NOT do it again. Since Taty doesn’t understand, she can just do it on her own. She may use the definitions and related topic information that I researched but from now on, the rest is on her! It was like she couldn’t be proud of HER own work? Again, I just don’t get teenage girls to be more precise. She thought she was frustrated, it was hard to be proud of her when she couldn’t be proud of herself. Emotional young ladies suck, LOL. Sometimes a parent feels like effort is unappreciated.

Today we will not be doing scholarship stuff because my children love church and will be attending this evening for the festivities. After church service they go to the ice cream shop for youth hangout. But I the mom will be looking up more scholarship information because while October had 40 in its list, I only have 19 for November. I’m sure there is more I can track down, I just have to do a little research.

Soon I will be looking up information for a college major to become an animal doctor, nurse, or tech because that is what Chy wants to do. This has been her passion since she was basically born, she loves and needs her Nana’s farm. She treasures animals and nature; she has dogs, cows, horses, chickens, pigs, rabbits, and mice. With her qualifying for Student Counsel we can start her resume, LOL this early as a seventh grader. Remember there are scholarships students as early as 13 years of age can apply for, we can start next year.

Cassie, my sister said that her and Nik Nac have applied for like 15 scholarships and will get a total for next time I write. I want you to see how much effort is put into this process because you never know if your kid is going to be the one to win, she’s not the only one applying. So the more scholarships that can be applied for, the less the student will have to worry financially when they finally make it to college and can actually spend their time learning and experiencing life.

Now I leave you to go to DCC to print and jump on the internet to send Cassie my newest blog postings for your special viewing. Have fun and be productive. LOL


Later Wednesday night: I know I said no essays last night but guess what I lied, LOL. Taty abided by my request and finished another essay with 2 parts to it and I will be leaving to a library. She wasn’t happy when she got home from church.


Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016

Today I was a very happy mom because Chy’s Social Studies’ teacher sponsored her for her first scholarship essay entry. I put it in the mail today; it was due to be postmarked by tomorrow at the latest. Remember Chy is my seventh grader and hasn’t had to ever do a serious essay before, so this was a learning experience as well; LOL. She made me so very proud. I was very impressed, as well was her teacher and principal. She also made AB honor roll this semester!

The first day, I asked her to do bullet points in hopes that she could start slow. I gave her enough time; we started last Thursday and turned it in today. I asked her to come up with more points over the weekend with her nana and when I called Saturday early afternoon, she hadn’t had any new info added. So I advised her to try “thought bubbles”; it worked wonders. When Chy came home Sunday night I went through her book bag, although it was after she was already in bed. The idea bubbles were vast but in the wrong order or connected to the wrong topic idea, so we re-did her chart using colored ink pens for better organization. We then went through and made a list of how each color of information should be presented in the essay for a fluid delivery. Chy then hand wrote her rough draft and I entered it into the computer. It totaled 210 words but the scholarship essay requirement was between 500-750 words, so I sat Chy down at the computer, we looked at the research information, and added more topic points and fillers to her essay to complete the word count task.

I sent off Chy for Division I (middle school) and Taty for Division II (high school) and now that they are home from school, Taty will have to pick 1 from the 3 November essays that are due in the teen dates.

I’m sorry I haven’t written more, sooner but Cassie cannot remember passwords to get into emails connected to WordPress so this blog is still an unpublished fountain of knowledge and for that, I am sorry.


Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016

So I just have to start this entry with my poor Taty has done so many essays over the last couple days; LOL. I had her do a couple different ones because she has church and Dudley family dinner Sunday, so she will be busy and her 17th birthday is Monday. My explanation was before Sunday is your free time which means, it’s mom parental scholarship time. I told her, she has a real break coming up.

I know it has only been a couple weeks since we started this scholarship stuff but we haven’t heard anything yet but confirmation of entry emails. It makes me nervous because I really want her dreams to come true and I would really like enough scholarship money to cover the entire first year of her choice of college before she completes high school. I really, really don’t want her to have to take school loans if not absolutely necessary; I can’t stress that enough.

Thursday afternoon I handed her the 3 sheets from the Nov. packet and told her to choose from the 4 numbers that were due on or around the 15th. LOL, of course Taty’s first choice was the 150 words or less, and then she moved onto the Bio statement. On Friday morning she completed the last one which was an essay with no word requirement.

I let her go to Auntie Kelly’s Friday around 1pm because they were out of school. Today she got to go to a really cool Harry Potter exhibit at Amazement Square in Lynchburg, VA and took all kinds of cool pictures. My teen is a geek and I love it because I’m a nerd, LOL.

I picked her up when I got off work and headed home; I let her relax just long enough and then brought up the essays yet again. Her response was, “mom…haven’t I done enough scholarship essays earlier?” Again I explained that she wouldn’t be doing any tomorrow or Monday because we are going to be busy and deadline dates are coming up. It amazes me that I have to remind my teen that all of this is being used to better HER life and to help her achieve HER dreams. Teenagers are so spacey; LOL.

Right now the only thing sitting on the computer screen is the topic of the essay and the questions they want answered throughout the essay. Taty sat in front of the screen from 5pm-7:15pm??? When I finally get this blog posted, I hope there are comments from other parents that have been through this situation that will comment so I can start to make sense of it, LOL. So I decided to take over the computer and write on this blog while she cooks LOL.

My friend Kerri told me that I should think about Tumbler for my blog because they don’t have a specific character count minimum like Twitter where it is 150 or less per post. My sister Cassie said all she knew was that it was a social media site; I assume it’s like Facebook. Taty tells me on the way home today that she thinks it’s like a dirty teen site, I was like “what do you mean?” She said she didn’t think I would get a lot of traffic for the blog on that site, it didn’t seem like a good fit. She tip toed around like it was a childish Facebook. My issue is though, that actual blog sites need a domain name which isn’t free like the website Tumbler will be. I can connect links onto my other social media sites for the pass of information. I told Taty I was sure that if I could just get the blog up and running that it could be posted on ANY website and catch traffic with readers because it’s good and has useful information. I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed with prayers said. I don’t know what to do; I just want to be able to get it to the public.

The essay Taty chose for this afternoon needs both an essay and a video posted to YouTube, I told her it could be uploaded to her channel or mine as long as it was titled and tagged correctly. The clock count for the video is between 2-4 minutes which by my calculations would be about a 330 word essay for the short end of 2. I’m curious to know if I am right. Taty’s 3:31 minute audio broadcast ended up being 653 words long. Well as long as she pauses at the commas and periods; LOL. Plus she is really beautiful and I love to see her on camera.


Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

I turned in the essays Taty had written and posted her first video submission on YouTube. So as it stands, she has completed 17 sweepstakes, 1 poem, 1 art contest, 6 essays and one audio file scholarship entries for the month of October 2016 for $71,400. For the month of November, she has already completed 7 sweepstakes, 7 essays, and 1 video file scholarship entries for $26,000. We have not heard back yet on any of them so we still have our fingers and toes crossed. So up to date we have applied Taty for $97,400 in scholarship money in one way or another.

I have had some issues with two different scholarships excepting the essay and after all her hard work it was really sad to come home and tell her no matter what I did; they did not get turned it. I have emails out to both Chegg and Course Hero; we’ll see what is returned.

This afternoon Taty is supposed to come in and grab the scholarship binder and start working on one. We will see…


Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016


So I am very sad to say that if it is left up to my teenager to get these things done, she will drown in debt! I say this with a very heavy heart because Friday afternoon she and I got into an argument over the scholarships not being important to her. I told her I was done helping; that everyone else thinks that I help too much and don’t put enough on Taty.

I begged Taty to do number 20 out of the November packet but she wanted to do the less complicated ones; I thought that one was the less complicated one! It asked for an essay on something that you collaborated on with someone else that you could’ve never accomplished on your own. I advised Taty to write about this scholarship stuff since it was a current and easy topic to write about. When the deadline passed and I told her how disappointed I was that it did not get completed, she had the nerve to scream “You just wanted me to write about giving you credit”. She could’ve written it on any situation as long as it obeyed the topic. This crap has nothing to do with me getting credit, when in the world is she going to realize that!? I just want to help the little monster get into college and not have to have school loan debt before she can reap the rewards of a great education and possible career.

Taty frustrated me so bad and hurt my feelings to the point that, I told her I was done. She could use the information in the binder on her own but I would not go out of my way to tell her about the scheduling or bring up any of the future essays anymore; that I couldn’t believe that she just doesn’t know how to show appreciation and consideration for the person that is trying to help her. I told her that if she continued with the disrespectful attitude that I would get rid of the binder and she could track down the information all on her own, have enormous debt or just work at Burger King; this should be more important!

The $10,000 essay submission passed her by on the 18th and a $1,000 video submission will pass her by tomorrow. That one, she almost has the entire essay for, if she would just pay attention. Also I’ve asked her to get letters of recommendation from her past and current pastor and/or a favorite 10th grade teacher since mid-October and have yet to see anything. Taty has visited her old church 3-4 times since October supposedly to get the letter and to see the congregation but has never come back from Danville with it. I almost texted her today to remind her to get it but then I remember I’m not helping right now, so I guess it will be forever before it’s available for her student resume packet.

I try to keep this blog positive and real but I have to be honest, the attitude and situations that my teen is putting us in is making it extremely hard to even want to help her and that is depressing! I am a mom that wants nothing more than to see my children succeed and I should never have ill feelings towards doing anything for them! I hope we can move past this uncomfortable and abnormal circumstance, so that we can get back to the way things were when they were moving bumpy but smooth; we had a rhythm that has been interrupted.

I just hope that Taty cares enough for her future to make an improvement for herself instead of expecting everyone else to help or not even caring period.

P.S. Of course, I never did get my blog out to the public and for that I am sorry. I don’t want my words getting lost on the web, I want them to mean something and be read by eyes that really want to use this information!

It’s now late afternoon, a couple minutes before the kids go to bed and just like I thought, the scholarship binder hasn’t been a thought in her mind. I really wonder if she will think about it tomorrow before it’s too late. I know life gets in the way but getting out of this tiny town and away from mundane problems should be a teenager’s first thought!? LOL

It’s killing me because all I want to do is bring up the binder and say, “aren’t you forgetting something important; you know your future?” I think I should check our emails tomorrow for college and scholarship stuff just in case she surprises me. I sure hope she does.