At Improving, we’re proud to support our communities in a number of different ways, and at our new Improving – Atlanta office, this is no exception. Whether it’s sponsoring a food drive, advocating for more women in the industry or participating as a company in Race for the Cure, there’s a reason we’ve been named one of the top workplaces in America for giving back.
Another way we “give back” is by offering a $1,000 scholarship to help create opportunity for college students of all ages and backgrounds.
In their latest scholarship essay contest, they asked students to submit essays describing how they define the word “bold,” along with an example of a time when they chose to be bold. We were thrilled to receive over 100 submissions, many of which were well-written and thoughtfully crafted. Ultimately, the winning essay impressed us with its relevance, compelling story and high quality.
Without further ado, we’d like to present the winning essay of our 2019 scholarship contest, submitted by Oberlin College student Colby Fortin.
Essay prompt: The word “bold” is hard to define because it means different things to different people. Please tell us what being bold means to you and give an example of a time when you were bold.
To be bold is to be willing to confront fear in order to create change. The times in my life when I have been the boldest, I have also been the most afraid. In these challenging situations, I have truly learned what my values are.
Following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, I was petrified. I remember seeing the breaking news on Twitter in between classes. I had family living near there, though their children wouldn’t yet be in high school. The brick building quaked around me. I was confronted with a loss of childhood.
The next day school was in session, I was called down to the principal’s office along with other student representatives. We were proposed various ways to help our community heal and pay respect to those who were unjustly lost. I found myself stepping up to take a lead. While peers seemed indifferent or lacked motivation, I felt driven by my sadness and anger. Collectively, we decided that we needed to, at the very least, hold an assembly to talk about resources for those grieving and for anyone else struggling. I decided to reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who I had an established relationship with through prior service work, to ensure our presentation was effective and considerate.