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INTOTHEBEST Scholarship Winner

Class of 2005
Congratulations to Naomi Talbot'09 from Belhaven College

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 is more money than most kids in my small, rural community dream of having. Most of us would hardly know what to do with such wealth, but not me. If I had a million dollars, I know exactly what I would do with it. Someone once told me that the best way to handle money is to save some, spend some, and give some away, so the first thing I would do with my money would be to divide it into thirds: $333,333 to save, $333,333 to spend, and, since one million isn’t divisible by three, $333,334 to give away. I would put $200,000 of the first third in the bank to collect interest, and invest the rest in stocks. With my spending money, I would immediately set aside $105,000 for college. That would cover four years at Texas Christian University. I then would use $200,000 to remodel my house. I could just buy a new one, but my family and I don’t want to leave our neighborhood and all our friends. Also, I’d take my two best friends on a shopping spree, giving each of us $1000 (which we could easily spend in a day) and using $100 for food and transportation. In just a few years, we’ll all be at college, so I want to spend time with them while I can. After we graduated from high school, I would take them with me to Greece for a month on a budget of $10,000 ($4500 for airline tickets and $5500 for everything else). I’d also set aside $2400 to buy pointe shoes and dancewear for the next six years (being a ballerina is expensive), and I’d buy a laptop for my brother and another for myself, which would cost about $4000 total. The remaining $10,833 I’d give to my mom so she could pay for groceries, our school tuition, and anything else she wanted. My final third of the million dollars would go to needy people, especially children. First, I would fulfill a long-held dream of mine and sponsor two children through Compassion International with $10,000, which would last about eighteen years for each of them. I’d also give $50,000 to an orphanage in India because I used to have a pen pal in an Indian orphanage, so I’ve always wanted to help India specifically. Another $50,000 would go to missionaries in third world countries, who work to improve people’s lives by building schools and giving them medical aid. I’d also give $10,000 to my church’s benevolent fund, which we use to help needy families in my community. Next, I would start a scholarship fund for my school because tuition is expensive and a lot of families can’t pay it. To do this, I’d invest $200,000 in stocks so that I could keep giving scholarships out year after year. Finally, I would give $13,334 to Operation Christmas Child, an organization that gives Christmas presents to children of all ages in poor countries around the world. In dividing the money this way, I would be providing for my own future, but I would also be helping millions of other people. My parents would have a comfortable, renovated home that they could actually afford, since they wouldn’t have to worry about paying my way through college. My friends would have the invaluable experience of traveling to another country, which I’ve discovered firsthand is the opportunity of a lifetime. I’d also be helping hundreds of students receive a wonderful education that they otherwise couldn’t afford. Most of all, I would be improving – maybe even saving – the lives of millions of people who need my help the most.

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