Winning Scholarship Essays written by Rodolfo valadez, cohen foundation scholarship winner.
Going to Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, California, Rodolfo discovered his passion: filmmaking. While making movies including his critically acclaimed documentary “los angeles,” which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, is his passion, Rodolfo’s inspiration is his mother. Rodolfo freely admits that his mother is “my support, my help, my guidance, my friend, my hero.” With this Scholarship Essay, Rodolfo won a $6,000 scholarship from the Cohen Foundation and $7,000 scholarship from the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards to attend the University of California at Los Angeles.
A Mother’s Sacrifce
My mother sat in between the dry grass growing out of the puddle of dirt water under a bridge in the hills separating Mexico from San Diego. In that exact moment I sat aboard a plane with strangers and in possession of a name other than mine in order to be granted admission into the United States. It has now been 14 years, and my mother still sacrifces her own comfort for mine. She works nine hours a day, six days a week in a machine-like position, humped over a sewing machine, altering clothes for strangers. At the same time I sit in class, socializing, enjoying a productive school day.
However, my mother is fulflled knowing that her children take advantage of the vast opportunities this country has to offer despite the hardships she has to endure for a weekly paycheck. A paycheck she has vowed to invest into my college education at UCLA, an institution requiring almost $16,000 a year. At her hourly salary and after taxes she would have to work 2,560 hours in order to pay a year’s tuition, which equals working 10,240 hours over the four years of college. If asked to, she would be more than willing to undergo the task of paying for my education knowing fully the standards and strife she would burden herself with.
In my sophomore year, I was among 24 honor students sequestered into a film course. I became one of the first students to attend the annual Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. In my second year in the course I attended the Sundance Film Festival where I was able to display my own work. Again, in my fnal year, we were invited to Sundance to show more films from our Academy of Film and Theatre Arts.
The film I showcased in the student forum was a documentary film commemorating my mother’s struggle and sacrifce ever since her departure from a small oasis named Los Angeles in Durango, Mexico, only to move into the cold, industrial city of Los Angeles, California. The film depicts her struggle and reason for doing so. It also illuminates the fact that more like her exist all around us.
The film course at my high school has been my passion. For three years the course taught me to acquire a more perceptive and critical view of the world. Throughout the course we studied Aristotle’s philosophies and the evolution of cinematography, and we analyzed films and wrote essays comparing the motifs they translate into a sequence of shots. I have become more creative and just recently started working on a new 16 mm film entitled “Love Story.” As clichéd as the title suggests, the story is a satire of what the title represents. Such projects motivate me to work even when class is over. In the last three years I have found myself in class Saturday mornings and afternoons, editing and brainstorming ideas with classmates.
I have my mother to thank for being able to pursue my passion in film making. I realize she gave up everything for me, and I will do what I can to make it well worth it.
You can read an article on how to write scholarship essay here. And you can read more Scholarship Essay Examples from this blog. You can also take a look at our updated list of available scholarships in 2013 if you are looking for one.