Top 15 Strangest Scholarships

Thousands of soon-to-be students are hunting for extra financial assistance for college tuition. Without a perfect SAT score or the ability to run a sub 4.5 forty yard dash, you might find your chances of securing a scholarship aren’t looking too bright. However, you might not realize that your odd talent or hobby may make you the perfect applicant for one of these 15 strange but real scholarships.

Oink, Oink

Has your room been compared to a sty? Are you comfortable living in a messy habitat? These aren’t requirements for a scholarship, but they are attributes of the creatures you care about – pigs! If you’re interested in creatures of the bovine persuasion, this is the scholarship for you; the International Boar Semen (IBS) Scholarship is available for those interested in swine management. For more information, visit piggene.com/IBS/ibs_home.htm.

The Next Generation of . . . Klingons

Trekkies, leave your capes, figurines, posters and other memorabilia behind. Just bring, well, yourself! Klingon Language Institute, in an effort to promote language study, awards one lucky winner a $500 Kor Memorial Scholarship-but don’t worry, fluency in Klingon is not a requirement. Check out the requirements for this scholarship at: kli.org/scholarship/.

Think Tall Thoughts

You’ve got Michael Jordan’s stature but you’re about as agile as a water buffalo. That’s okay with Tall Clubs International! Males over 6’2″ and females above 5’8″ are encouraged to apply. The reward is no small (pun intended) amount either; Tall.org awards a whopping $1,000 scholarship to the winner. Find more info at: http://www.tall.org.

Yo, Shorti!

For the vertically challenged, the Billy Barty Foundation offers scholarships to students of “short stature”. Similarly, the Little People of America awards students – and their families – scholarships. To join, members must be 4’10” and shorter. Scholarship amounts range from $250 to $1000. Read all the requirements at: lpaonline.org.

More Trans fat, please!

Say goodbye to the cabbage soup, grapefruit only, or south beach diets! The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance encourages “fat” people to apply for one of their two merit-based scholarships. The scholarships, offered to already-existing NAAF members, awards $1,000 for first place, while the second place prize is $500. For more fat-friendly information regarding the scholarships, go to: naafa.org/newevents/shcolarship.html

For the Herbivores

Calling all veggie-lovers around the world! Two health-conscious winners will be awarded $5,000 in scholarship money from the Vegetarian Resource Group. But be forewarned: unless you love your legumes, this scholarship is not for you. Eligible applicants must not only exemplify a healthy lifestyle, but also promote vegetarianism within their community too. For more information visit: vrg.org.

Sk8 through School

Thanks to Tony Hawk and a few scrapes, bruises, and breaks, your skateboarding skills may have finally paid off. The Patrick Kerr Skateboard scholarship program awards four different scholarships each year. One applicant will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and three others will receive $1,000 awards. And your mother thought skateboarding would never get you anywhere! Requirements include maintaining at least a 2.5 out of 4.0 GPA, be a graduating senior, and a United States citizen. Be sure to read all the requirements skateboardscholarship.org.

Bit of the Bubbly, Please

Finally, your weakness for wine might serve another purpose-besides the pounding morning-after headache. The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (AASEV) awards multiple students for enrolling in science fields relating to the grape and wine industry. The scholarship amount is not predetermined; it varies year to year. To read other requirements for this scholarship, go to: asev.org/scholarship-program.

Bowling for Dollars

Though those middle-school years of loitering around bowling alleys have ended, your talent for earning turkeys may finally be cashing in. The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) offers a range of scholarships, including the Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow that offers a $1,500 renewable scholarship for distinguished male high school bowlers and the Alberta E. Crow Star of Tomorrow that also offers $1,500 in renewable scholarship funds for great female high school bowlers. Read more at: bowl.com/smart/locateState.aspx.

Got Milk?

The Scholar-Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year award is given to twenty-five graduating high school seniors who have what it takes to sport the famous milk mustache; winners receive $7,500 in scholarship funds. If that’s not enough, winners receive a special ad that runs in USA Today. If that’s not enough, winners receive an all-expense trip to an awards ceremony at Disney Wide World of Sports’ Milk House in Orlando, FL and an induction into the Milk House Hall of Fame. Check out applications at: sammy.bodybymilk.com.

Offer an Organ

You signed up to be an organ donor when you received your license. Put that heart on your ID to use! The Students for Organ Donation Youth Leadership award one or two $500 to $1,000 scholarships to full-time high school or undergraduate college students. Successful candidates actively promote organ donation and transplantation. More criteria to apply for this scholarship can be found at: studentdonor.org.

Tee It Up

You’ve seen them trudging up and down the greens, toting thirty pounds of iron on their backs, and offering tips to improve swings, distance and posture. Finally, they’re due their recognition; Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, founded in 1949, offers anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500 per year to caddies. Eligible applicants must have served at least two years as caddies, helpers in the pro shop or course superintendent operations at a club in Massachusetts. Read more information: ouimet.org/scholarships/

Color in the Lines

Did you meticulously color in the lines of your coloring books as a child? You may have graduated from crayons to acrylics, but the concept is the same: you’re an artist at heart. Established in 1983, the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrator of the Future contest awards both quarterly and annual scholarships, ranging from $1,500 to $4,000. Read more : writersofthefuture.com

Hot, Hot, Hot

You’ve heard it, those three little words…in case of a fire: stop, drop and roll to safety. Earning a scholarship from the American Fire Sprinkler Association is almost just as easy; AFSA offers ten $2,000 scholarships per year to graduating high school seniors. Requirements include reading an essay and taking an online (and open-book) test. Read more about this sizzling offer on: afsascholarship.org.

Giddyup, cowboy!

The Arabian Horse Foundation offers an annual scholarship of $2,500 to one eligibly equine enthusiast. The scholarship, named in remembrance of William Zekan, is offered to horse lovers that demonstrate financial need, are currently either a high school senior or college freshman and can provide two letters of recommendation. For more eligibility criteria: arabianhorsefoundation.org.

Entrepreneurs – Top 10 Essential Entrepreneurial Traits

Are you intrigued by the possibility of being your own boss and starting a business but not sure you have the right qualifications to be an entrepreneur? What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur? Although there is no single perfect entrepreneurial profile, there are many characteristics that show up repeatedly in successful business owners.

Following are the top 10 essential entrepreneurial traits that anyone who is interested in starting a business must possess:

    (1) Independence – This is the most common denominator of all entrepreneurs. They want to seize control of their future; thus they decide to become their own boss instead of laboring under the gaze of a master.

    (2) Persistence and Determination – The world of entrepreneurship is fraught with both success and failure. An important quality of a successful entrepreneur is the doggedness to continue pursuing a goal despite some setbacks and obstacles they may encounter on the road. This persistence and determination is fueled by a burning desire to achieve the goal of succeeding in the chosen field of business.

    (3) Self-Confidence – Along with independence, an entrepreneur possesses self-confidence. They believe in their capabilities and makes sure that they will put in their best effort into their particular endeavors and likewise expect the best results from it. Belief in one’s capabilities is very important in achieving any goal – especially in the world of entrepreneurship.

    (4) Creativity – In the business world, you can not afford to be complacent and uncreative unless you want the competition to move up on ahead of you. Creative people are naturally curious, inquisitive, bright and highly flexible when thinking. They keenly observe their environment and have an eye for spotting new trends that could spark a business opportunity.

    (5) Organized and goal-oriented – An entrepreneur knows the value of organization in a business endeavor. A good entrepreneur has the ability to consolidate resources.

    (6) Visionary – An entrepreneur has a vision for his/her future.

    (7) Risk-taking and Tolerance for Failure – A good entrepreneur realizes that loss and failure are inherent in any business endeavor. Thus, an entrepreneur must always be ready to make calculated risks and face whatever consequences accompany those risks. As in all fields of endeavor, the characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is in never giving up and in picking up the pieces and continuing the journey even if failure momentarily obstructs the way.

    (8) Perseverance and Hard Work – These are perhaps two of the most important entrepreneurial traits.

    (9) Commitment – An entrepreneur will not achieve success if he/she gives up at the first sign of trouble.

    (10) Honesty and Honor – Another very important mark of a good entrepreneur is being honest and honorable in all business dealings and interpersonal relationships – whether it is between business partners, employees, peers or investors.

If you possess these traits, you may have the necessary skill set to become a successful entrepreneur.

Take Charge Of Your Life With These Top Leadership Tips

The unique assemblage of traits and qualities that comprise a truly great leader can sometimes prove quite mysterious and elusive. To really grasp what effective leadership entails, it is important to acquire a thorough education on its principles and truths. The material below should provide a strong basis for any study of the topic of leadership.

It is wise to use honesty as a great starting point for leadership. Your job will be to lead others in the right direction. If you are an honest leader, those around you are going to see your good intentions and want to be a part of them. Always be honest when dealing with your colleagues because you can influence them to be honest.

When you’re a leader, make sure that your team with people. You must remember that you are a part of a team. Individual voices can contribute to and better an entire project so try bringing others together to collaborate. Leaders are never alone. Do your best to invite as many perspectives into the discussion and decision-making processes as you can.

A good leader, or manager, will go out of his or her way to get to know employees better. Not just about work-related topics, but about their outside activities, family and interests. Employees appreciate it when their leaders acknowledge them in ways that don’t pertain to work. This makes the relationship a little more personal.

Don’t make the mistake of ordering people around. That is not true leadership. The key to true leadership is to inspire those around you. You need to help them find their own voices so that they can go on to lead others. The entire journey they take with you is about their ability to know themselves better.

Be sure that you spend some time each day out of your office, and in the midst of the workforce. Try to be a part of the group, while maintaining your leadership role. You can use this time to get to know your employees, ask questions or even join them for lunch.

Promotions, bonuses and raises should always be fairly distributed and based on performance. Don’t simply promote the person who has been working with you the longest or hand out the biggest rise to a family member. Your employees will be more motivated when they know that they can earn tangible rewards for working hard.

Spend more time in the office than out of it. It may be exciting to travel everywhere that you can, but suitcase leadership doesn’t really inspire the teams back at the main office. If you find yourself travelling more than half the time, then you can be sure your employees aren’t seeing you as their leader. They need to see you there.

Don’t fear to fail. Failing is something that many great leaders have done, and it has only spurred them on to greater victories. If you fear failure, you may be afraid to act boldly, which is the only way for a leader to act. If you fail at something, use it to help you change directions.

Be prepared for conflict and try to deal with it before it gets out of hand. Ignoring conflict will make the problem worse and make you look too weak to handle it. Practising good communication skills with your employees will help them feel more respected even if they don’t agree with specific decisions.

Keep in mind that hope is not always a good thing. If you or your business are involved in a situation that has an inevitable and bad ending, do what is necessary to terminate the situation and move on. Employees will never forgive blind optimism in such circumstances, and it’s better for everyone to have a bad situation behind them as soon as possible.

Good leaders hire good people to work for them. If you refuse to hire individuals that you fear may become the competition, you undermine your own chances for success. Search out people who are as passionate about your industry as you are and encourage their problem-solving abilities and reward their successes.

Anyone in a leadership role should be concerned about trust. You must be able to trust your team or workforce, and they must also be able to trust you. Try having a meeting periodically with a small group, where trust issues are discussed, and solved. Look for good articles on the subject of trust in the workplace, and read them with your group, giving each other feedback and suggestions.

As a leader, you are responsible for forming the goals and aspirations of your team. Come up with a best-case scenario for your team, and your vision for the future. Share these goals with them, and ask them for their feedback and suggestions. A true leader has a team under him that is focused on the same goals, and how to achieve them.

Always listen to feedback. The opinions of your employees are important and can be helpful. Some criticism might be hard to take, but try to be receptive to it. Make sure your workers know they can come to you with any feedback they might have. Point of views that differ from your own is valuable.

The value of strong leadership to any business enterprise simply cannot be overstated. The ability to motivate and spur others onto greatness is a rare thing indeed, and something that is indeed worthy of examination. With any luck, the information provided above has been a great starting point for readers everywhere.