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INTOTHEBEST Scholarship Winner

Class of 2005
Congratulations to Elaine Kao '09 from South Carolina

Scholarship Essay Question

What would you do if you had 1 million dollars? How would this influence you or others?

  Elaine's Essay

A million dollars to a multimillionaire is not an extraordinary thing, but to me, a million dollars would not be so lightly taken for granted. Since I am no millionaire, I would carefully plan the expenditure of one million dollars. People have said that the making the first million is by far harder than making the second. "Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million."; (Jean Jacques Rousseau) In other words, it takes money to make money; once that money is there, the easier it is to augment that share of wealth. Acquiring the first sum of money requires the hardest work, unless the lottery had something to do with it. I, however, aspire to continue that ethic of hard work throughout my entire life. Giving great amounts of money will never be upsetting if the money is spent to better others. I intend to use money as a tool to improve the world one person at a time; by doing this, worldly riches will seem like rags compared to the treasures of serving human kind. Money cannot but happiness, but it sure can help. This saying simply means that when money is used wisely and selflessly, it can change the world for the better. If I had a million dollars, I would split the money among educations for my siblings and myself, traveling and research. The first key to a higher success is a higher education. The best investment is putting money toward education because enhancing the mind is priceless. "The more you know, the more you know you do not know." This quote demonstrates the fact that the more educated a person becomes, the further he will see that there is even more to learn. Life-long-learning is a goal that everybody should encompass so that each person can live his life to the fullest. My carpe diem, to reach the highest point of achievement and education, is a medical doctor. I have grown up in playing hospitals as a young child to working in a medical office at the present. I dare to dream of being a medical doctor so that I will have the ability to serve my community with expertise and precision. I have two younger sisters and one younger brother; you could say that I am a "trail-blazer"; for them; they look up to my example and respect my seniority. The bar I set for them is no higher than what I set for myself, though it is no lower either. Thus, I would happily help them with their educations and quests for success. Reaching above and beyond my family, I would begin to travel around the United States to offer my services to those in need, then ultimately, to the whole world. The zenith of my ambitions is to help people throughout the world in third-world environments, whether this means through the Peace Corps, Doctors Without Borders, independently or by other means. The money set aside for living my dream would provide for food, shelter, equipment and traveling expenses. I already have experience with Meals on Wheels, Hospital volunteering, Helping Hands and other service organizations, through these I have discovered my mission in life is to help other people less fortunate than myself. So why not travel and go places that other people go on vacations to, while doing my job. Keeping in mind that giving ten dollars to someone to feed their children will brighten their day and kindle a light in their life forever. Kindness is a precious gift that is never forgotten nor unwanted. Even a simple smile can turn someone's day around. I want to represent my country in a positive way, to promote peace in the world. Although I am no Miss America, I believe that each individual person can make a constructive difference in the unity of nations. But I am just one person, I am not ubiquitous nor can I change the entire world single-handedly, I will need other people to help me in my quest to positively influence humanity. Life on earth is not eternal; consequently I will need other people to carry on my line of work to create an everlasting chain of service. The third portion of money from the original million dollars would be donated entirely to medical research. This would be to ensure the continuation of people working toward a promise for tomorrow. Research is another key to the improvement of life. Even after I have passed away, my work will still continue to live on through others. I have received numerous awards for doing research in high school and I plan to persist in this passion by taking it to a higher level in the future. Being Fourth Place in Life Sciences at the local affiliate competition of the Intel Science Fair 2004, receiving recognition from the United States Army for my discoveries, receiving the Sigma Xi Award and being First Place in Botany at the 2004 annual South Carolina Junior Academy of Science (SCJAS) meeting for an oral presentation at the College of Charleston are just a few of the accomplishments I have rendered. I have even had experience in managing money for research, which would be helpful for a leadership role in a group of researchers. I was the only youth SC Grant Recipient of 2004, only SC Travel Grant Recipient of 2004 and am currently the treasurer of the SCJAS. But the joy of discovering new grounds and rising above only dreaming my dreams has been worth more than any award or recognition I will ever receive. The difference between a dreamer and an achiever is the discipline to sacrifice the little things in order to make the big picture come together. If I had one million dollars, I would use this money to give my siblings and myself the highest education possible, to travel around the world and to donate the rest to advancements in medicine. The most important idea to remember is the importance of the individual; using my resources and talents, I plan to make my mark on the world. The goal is not for the little pieces alone, but the large prize that is made of all of the little pieces to act together in harmony. One million dollars may be an ultimate goal for some people, but to me, it would just be a tool to help me reach my ultimate goal.

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