As you may have heard, the Mensa Foundation is increasing the amount of the Cooper/Mossip Scholarships for the upcoming scholarship program year to $600. We had a goal of doubling what had been a $300 scholarship. With a significant bequest from a Mensa member, we can accomplish that goal much sooner than we had anticipated.
What’s a Cooper/Mossip Scholarship? Actually, it’s two scholarships, each with multiple awards — the Karen Cooper Memorial Scholarship and the Diana Mossip Memorial Scholarship. One scholarship is awarded on behalf of a participating Local Group with the funding provided by the Foundation. In the 2015-16 program year, Diana Mossip scholarships were awarded in regions 1-5 and Karen Cooper scholarships in regions 6-10 for 94 participating Local Groups.
So who are these people and why are scholarships named for them? In the late ’90s, the Mensa Foundation had received some donations significant enough that it chose to create two new scholarships. Both were named to honor individuals with ties to the Mensa Foundation.
Karen Cooper was a Trustee and Treasurer on the Mensa Education & Research Foundation board. She improved The Foundation's financial record keeping, which enhanced scholarship tracking. She died from breast cancer in 1996 while serving on the board.
Diana Mossip was the daughter of Carolyn Mossip, who was also a Trustee on the Foundation board and chair of the Awards for Excellence in Research committee. Diana died in an unfortunate auto accident in 1997 when she was a college student.
A look at the essays submitted by the students reveals a range of interests with a passion to achieve a goal.
Nedda B. received a Karen Cooper scholarship this year. From her essay: “Model UN is a program that introduced me to the importance of collaboration and compromise when it comes to solving pressing international issues. At the Royal Russell Conference, I worked with youth delegates from all around the world to develop resolutions that promote sustainability, alleviate poverty and establish peace. This conference, and the MUN program as a whole, have inspired me to want to take on a career as a real member of the United Nations, where I can collaborate with other individuals and work toward making a positive impact in the world.”
Recipient of a Diana Mossip scholarship in 2013, Andrew N., has a passion for bioinformatics — using computers to collect, store and manipulate biological information — and is an avid researcher. Bioinformatics is a key tool in learning more about the human genome as well as data leading to new knowledge in genetics. Describing in-class activities on the subject, his teacher, Lisa Battig, told the Orange County Register, "He wasn't just referencing literature already out there," she said. "It was information he knew because of his own work with bugs. The students were flabbergasted."
Betty Jo H., winner of a Diana Mossip scholarship in 2015, wrote, “My educational adventure began roughly twenty years ago, after graduating from public school. […] I knew my desire involved work with children who had special needs, the ones who appeared to have been prevented or blocked from communication and integration into that average society we call ‘normal.’” After working several jobs, earning an associate degree and serving a stint in the Army, Betty Jo continued to pursue her dreams.
She wrote, “My goal is to achieve my bachelor’s degree in education, with a dual major of special education. With this, I will have opportunities for advancement in employment, or change to a new career assisting my community and continuing outreach to the special needs population that I serve. I hope to continue my education to a master’s degree level, in a field that will allow me to continue to help people to find their voice.”
If you’d like to be one of the first to read essays, volunteer to be a scholarship judge. Check to see if your Local Group is participating and needs judges. If not, you can still volunteer to judge in a region or group that has a need. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s about to be 2017, which means that everyone is about to make their New Year’s Resolutions.
That means, the timing could not be more perfect to focus on resolving to focus on your education and, of course, a way to pay for it!
Here are some suggestions of resolutions you can take on this year to improve your financial situation:
Avoid Credit Card Debt –
Credit cards can seem like a simple solution for the present, however, piling on debt to deal with later is not a solution.
As enticing as any credit card rates may seem, interest accumulates rapidly and paying off the minimum payment is not a solution.
If you do have a credit card, only spend what you actually have. That way, you will improve your credit score and never carry a balance.
Save More –
It sounds simpler than it is. Saving is difficult, but if you decide to save a certain portion of your paycheck, it can be easier if you arrange for automatic deposit of that portion into a savings account.
Eventually, you will get used to your adjusted paycheck and will not even think about the amount that’s gone into your savings.
Apply for Scholarships –
Scholarships are basically like free money for school and the more you apply for, the better your chances are of winning. Stay diligent – it’s not easy to win a scholarship and you likely won’t win one on your first try.
This year, resolve to apply for a certain number of scholarships weekly. Maximizing your chances can take you from a scholarship applicant to a scholarship winner this year.
Just Say No –
If you can’t afford to go out, stay home. It’s that easy! You must be realistic – if you can’t afford to dine out, go out or whatever it is – why not entertain on a budget?
Go in on a cooking dinner with friends (groceries are much less expensive than eating out), playing games at home or find other budget-friendly ways to have fun. Remember, you can say no to going out and spending money without sacrificing fun!
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