The Career Center, tucked away past the N-building, is where Davis High students can start making big bucks without getting a job. The Center publishes a list of scholarships that is practically endless and updated every two weeks, also posted on the Naviance website by College and Career Specialist Julie Clayton.
Because there are so many scholarships out there, Clayton and counselor Cathy Pereira advise students to apply for every scholarship they are eligible.
Many Davis High graduates who receive scholarships have one thing in common: the willingness to come to the career center and apply, according to Clayton.
“I didn’t have the best grades, I didn’t write the award-winning news pieces, and I didn’t devote my life to community service,” Davis High graduate Lindsay Schrupp said. “Scholarship applications don’t ask you: Why are you the best? They ask you: What have you experienced, what have you learned from your experiences, and how are you going to take that knowledge to make a difference in the future?”
Schrupp graduated from Davis High in 2007 and spent “quite a bit of time applying for scholarships in [her] senior year.” She describes her experience as not difficult but tedious and stressful, similar to applying for college in general.
Social Science teacher Fern O’Brien advise students to “read the instructions well in advance and don’t wait until the last minute to fill [the scholarships] out.”
O’Brien remembers Davis High graduates who received scholarships as being “usually very responsible [and] they are self-motivated.”
“It’s really amazing watching [these students] go through high school [until] they graduate,” O’Brien said. “They [apply for scholarships] because they want to, not because of [their] parents…”
Schrupp spent 50 minutes every day during her TA period, applying for about 50 scholarships. She ended up receiving 10 scholarships, totaling about $7,000, which was enough to cover her first year of tuition.
“I would advise not doing it alone. Make sure you have someone, like a teacher, who can look over your application and edit your essays,” Schrupp said. “Ask help when you need it, but in the end you have to rely on yourself.”
“An excellent application will have a compelling essay that is well written and thoroughly describes a student’s leadership,” said Jennifer Thayer, Assistant Director of Programs of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.
This past academic year, the CAAA gave approximately $50,000 in scholarships to 38 incoming students. Three of those students were from Yolo County; one was from Davis and the other two from Woodland.
“My suggestion is just to use all the resources possible at DHS–from the computer lab to the teachers who are paid to help you. Whenever you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it, and ask for it again and again,” Schrupp said.