Scholarship Interview: Ishva Mehta

scholarship interview online tutoring platform

“This is part of a series of interviews with our scholarship recipients for our 2021 Build A Better Future scholarship sponsored by Honors Graduation. We hope you will find their stories as inspiring as we do! For information on our 2022 program, click here

Our final scholarship winner is Ishva Mehta with her online tutoring program. Ishva started her project in 2020 at COVID’s peak. She spent her time in the National Honor Society tutoring elementary school children that were not proficient in English. She was finding that as schools were shutting down and COVID was at its peak, these students were struggling even more. Upon researching why she realized they were coming from non-English speaking homes, so they did not have the extra help they needed. Many of these parents could not afford tutoring either. 

Ishva set out to change this and help these students that were struggling the most. She wanted to focus on English with reading and writing. She started with a small website and through word-of-mouth. As she continued her program, more and more parents caught on and wanted more and more. This sparked her idea to create a feedback form to see what parents were wanting from this tutoring website. 

From this feedback form, she realized a lot of requests came for read alouds for their kids to watch. Ishva got to work and went full force with animating the stories herself, creating the videos, and even creating worksheets to go along with the videos. Beyond this, she wrote her own book as well. 

Funding the website became a challenge for Ishva and because she was helping low-income families, there was not a lot of community funding, either. To solve this problem, she took up a job at her local library to be able to continue this website. 

In the future, Ishva hopes to find a more permanent solution to funding the website, write more children’s books, and publish the current book she has written. 

Ishva is amazing and has created such a great resource in her community!

You can see her tutoring website here. 

You can watch her video here.

Scholarship Interview: Swetha, Ben, and Johnathan

This is part of a series of interviews with our scholarship recipients for our 2021 Build A Better Future scholarship sponsored by Honors Graduation. We hope you will find their stories as inspiring as we do! For information on our 2022 program, click here”. 

Introducing our next scholarship winners: a group of three working together on the same project and splitting the scholarship winnings. Swetha Palakur, Johnathan Polucha, and Ben Kim. These three high school students worked together on a project for their engineering class, where they specifically needed to come up with a solution to a problem. 

They chose to create a keyboard specifically for persons with Parkinson’s Disease and other similar, neurodegenerative diseases. The reason for choosing this group of people specifically was for two different reasons, first that they realize what vital importance of using a computer is in this day and age and they recognized the struggles those with PD have using a typical keyboard. And second, they had close family members with Parkinson’s Disease, meaning this project hit close to home for them. 

After creating their first humble prototype made of cardboard, they were able to meet with the head neurologist at the University of California Irvine. She gave them great insight into how the minds and bodies of those with PD work, as well as some feedback on their prototype. One worry Ben, Swetha, and Johnathan had was that the keyboard would be too complicated to figure out, but she reassured them that it would be a great cognitive and problem-solving practice for the PD patients. 

After more teacher and peer feedback, more prototypes, and working out some wiring issues, they were able to create a functioning keyboard! Ben, Swetha, and Johnathon hope to someday patent their keyboards and spread them to Parkinson’s Disease patients all over. 

Ben is attending Princeton University, Swetha is attending the University of California, and Johnathan is attending Oregon State University. 

The Scholarship Is Due Today!

Our Design A Better Future scholarship has been going for a few years now. It’s a scholarship awarding five winners $10,000 towards their college tuition. To give a quick overview of the requirements, students must plan, put together, and carry out a project at the school or in their community that betters it in some way. We’ve had students create an invisible cane, start up a music class program for inner-city kids, and create an online social platform for kids with disabilities to come together, specifically during the pandemic.

Needless to say, these kids are amazing! All of them being senior’s in high school. It’s incredible to see them find a problem in the community and take action to fix it or better it in some way.

Today, our 2021 scholarship is due. As submissions have been flooding in, I’ve been reading through their carefully carried out projects. They are submitting pictures, videos, research articles, and more. And with each submission I am again blown away at what these students are capable of!

It’s also interesting to me what they are passionate about. Each project is based on a platform that these students have taken a stance on and are willing to promote and rally together to spread awareness for, for the betterment of their community.

Needless to say, these 17-18 year old kids are amazing. I don’t think we need to worry about our future one bit if they are going to be the leaders of it!

I am excited to announce the winners in a few weeks here on the blog, so stay tuned to learn more about these five winners, if I can bring myself to choose only five! I think they all deserve an award!

Tips For Applying For Scholarships

What’s better than money? FREE money! There are different companies and people around the world that understand not just how expensive higher education can be, but also how important it is. To help this, they offer students scholarships to help offset these costs. (Hint, hint, we offer a really good scholarship too!) As far as applying for scholarships, here are our tips! 

  • Never assume you are too young or too old. You can find scholarships as young as 7th or 8th grade or even clear into your Ph.D. 
  • Write out a general essay that you can adapt to each scholarship you apply for. 
  • If you are employed, check into your company to see if they offer any scholarships or school reimbursement 
  • Get started early! If you procrastinate on deadlines, you may miss out on great opportunities. It also looks good to scholarship boards to see those that submitted early versus those that waited until the last minute. 
  • If you have specific questions about the scholarship, reach out to them and ask! More often than not, they are happy to answer your questions. 
  • Apply for as many as you can find. If all you have to put in is time to apply for scholarships, it’s worth the money you’ll receive. 
  • Make sure you read all of the requirements and qualifications for a scholarship and double-check that you’ve done everything before submitting. Many people are turned away from a scholarship because they do not have all of the materials needed when submitting. 

Check out this video!

Good luck applying! Be confident in yourself and your qualifications. What other tips would you add to this list?