With this essay, I would like to apply for the Educator’s Professional Master’s Program Scholarship. Having already acquired a preliminary B.A. in Education, I now aim to continue my studies and successfully achieve my career goal—becoming a university adviser and student counselor.

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The choice to work in education was not random. Having joined the masses of college entrants four years ago, unlike most of my future colleagues at the University of Maine, I already knew what I wanted to study and who I wanted to become as a result. When I think of what influenced my choice of a future profession, I picture a particular person: my high school guidance counselor. This person transformed my life, with no exaggeration. When I was a high school freshman, my life seemed like a meaningless mess of obstacles. I realize that most teenagers probably face the same troubles at this particular stage in life. But my situation was made worse by the bitter event that completely shook my world—the death of my father. It was a terrible shock for the whole family. My mother seemed to have entered an endless phase of depression; my older sister left the family house to live with her boyfriend in another state; and I felt completely alone, abandoned, and helpless. Of course, my high school friends felt sorry and tried to support me at first. But as the weeks passed by, I remained numb to the world around me, so they are not to blame for having eventually given up on me as well.

At the time, I remember thinking that no one could understand what I was going through; my faith in a better future was shaken completely. The only person who supported me then was my guidance counselor. Miss Sibersky was the only person I could talk to and the only person with whom I could sit silently. She helped me get through this life-blow; she helped me become more assertive and discover a new me—someone that could keep living to the fullest, even a fuller life than before; someone that was not afraid to succeed and not afraid to fail. I started studying much harder, my grades went up, I joined the varsity tennis team, and I saw how my high school achievements brought back the smile to my mother’s face. When I introspect about those four years, I realize that they were the turning point in my life. This was when I knew that what I wanted the most was to help students change their lives, like my guidance counselor helped me to change mine.

When I received my high school diploma, I did not have a tough choice deciding where my future was going. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I am more than ever positive that the choice I made was the right one. I want to help young people like myself to enter adult life, to form their personal opinions, to believe in themselves, and to find the right path in life. That is what the profession of a university adviser or counselor is about to me. However, in light of the recent financial hardships in my family, my mother is no longer able to help me finance my education. My mother is already doing her best, and I can see how stressed she is with the fact that she is not able to give me more than she already does. Unfortunately, a master’s level education in our country is extremely costly, but I believe it should not come in the way of achieving my goal. Therefore, I hope to receive financial aid from the Board of Graduate Education of the University of Maine and, with trepidation, am asking you to consider my candidacy for the Educator’s Professional Master’s Program Scholarship.

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