Fall 2023 Winner of The Bright Futures Scholarship

Nicholas Spencer

Nicholas Spencer is a freshman at Strayer University. After earning his undergraduate degree, Nicholas hopes to continue running his small business and conquering anything he puts his mind to. Through his essay, readers will learn how important receiving an education is to Nicholas as he balances the responsibilities of being a single parent while also pursuing a degree.

Read Nicholas's Essay:

My name is Nicholas Spencer, this year I have decided to go back to school and get a bachelors in business administration with a minor in marketing, concentrating in entrepreneurship. I am 43 years old, a single father of a beautiful outgoing 5-year-old daughter. What made me decide to go back to school was good old fear. Being a single parent there isn’t really someone I can fall back on if I come up short, which is bound to happen at some point. That is a scary thought for me. With inflation skyrocketing and the job market shrinking, I felt the need to get some kind of security. I own and operate a small business, what if that fails? Another scary thought. Raising a teenage daughter, the scariest of thoughts I had. So, I decided, after looking at jobs I could fall back on that would provide the financial security I would like to have for my daughter and I, that I needed at least a bachelor’s degree.

I am currently at the ladder part of my first year, and what a year it has been. I have managed to get inducted into SCLA, a nationally recognized honors society for scholarly leadership and achievement. I have made the universities Presidents List every term so now I am being enrolled in to Honors Courses. This is the outcome of a mindset that won’t allow for failure. I’ve noticed my daughter looks up to me in a whole different manner. I’m a different kind of role model besides just being a father. She started school this year as well, so we are starting our educational journeys together. She sees me getting A’s and that motivates her to do her best to bring an A home on her papers of coloring teddy bears and unicorns. Just today she was so excited to show me that she can write her name all by herself. Oriana. I am just as proud of her as she is of me, and this is a unique opportunity that I feel I should take full advantage of.

Oriana and I have had to make great sacrifices both personally and financially. I have taken on debt in the form of student and private loans. I sold my truck and a lot of my possessions. I let my baseball card collection, worth over 50k, that I’ve had since childhood, go for pennies on the dollar. We are continuously making small sacrifices, cutting corners here and there so I can devote the time it takes to fast track a 4-year degree and to remain getting the grades I am determined to get. I am continuously applying for scholarships that I feel I have a chance of getting. An extra 500 or 1000 dollars would be a godsend to us. Besides the financial relief it would provide, it would be a great boost to my self-esteem, not that it’s low. I am a single parent and can’t afford low self-esteem. It will show my daughter that hard work, positive thinking, and devotion will pay off no matter what obstacles we face in life. The last term of this year starts in 5 days and one of my classes is a professional writing course. I now feel ready to take on this classes head on and know I will do great at it, In large part due to writing all these essays. Thank you so much for your consideration and taking the time to read my essay. I am thankful for this opportunity to earn your scholarship. The help you provide us students goes way beyond the dollar figure. You touch people’s hearts and that is admirable, and something that you should be proud of doing for people. Thank you and God bless.

Respectfully, Nicholas and Oriana Spencer

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