COMMENTARY BY RHONEA LONG, FNN REPORTER, TECH PREP BUREAU
JAN. 7, 2014. Recently I applied for an OSSE scholarship and I made it to the interview stage.But that was the end of my journey...at least for this year. New scholarships will come my way again and I’ll make sure I get those.
What is an OSSE scholarship? Well, it’s an opportunity from Office of the State Superintendent of Education. If you get the scholarship you will have the chance to go to college in the summer for DC residents. It’s for juniors and sophomores in high school. Once you get the scholarship, OSSE will pay for everything except spending money. But you can earn money while you attend school through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) for spending money.
Before the interview started, I was given two rules: don’t be nervous and be yourself. I definitely was being myself and wasn’t nervous. But I think that was the least of my problems. My problem was I didn’t “toot my horn” enough. I should have told them that I am ambitious and open-minded. I have a 3.5 GPA. I’ve been on honor roll all my years of school. I’m ready for new adventures in my life and much more. The interview was supposed to be 15-20 minutes long, but mine got cut short to nine minutes because I didn’t “toot my horn” enough. I believe the overall interview went well.
After the interview, I patiently waited for the email of acceptance or rejection. I for sure got rejected. But I decided that I wouldn’t let that end my life/rain on my parade because there are endless opportunities and scholarships available for me and other students who got rejected. There are endless scholarships that we can apply for especially ones that are specifically made for us.
Later I read that 360 students applied, 60 spots were filled, but only 14 sophomores were selected. I have a feeling that if acceptance was equally shared between sophomores and juniors, I would have been accepted. But then again, if I was going to get accepted it wouldn’t matter if the acceptance was equally shared.
I’ll definitely apply again next year. My advice to people who make it to the interview stage is to brag about yourself when they ask. That’s what I learned this time around and I’ll definitely apply it my interview next year.
Rhonea Long is sophomore at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.