About me - Carlynn Greene, The Scholarship Guru.
"Producer, YouTuber, and now author and instructor of The Scholarship Algorithm book/course. Greene is a senior at the University of North Texas in Denton studying broadcast journalism. She has won 30 scholarships for herself, a total of $110,000. And over the years through her YouTube channel (ESP Daniella) and personal consultation to students, she has helped those from the U.S. and globally win over $2 million in scholarship money.
She aspires to do a TedTalk, propose legislation for more student funding, and to create her own scholarship fund."
How I started winning for myself.
I have applied for well over 100 scholarships from the time of 2016 to 2021. From that number, I was able to secure 30 scholarships ($110,000 as a high school, undergraduate and graduate student) for myself. And the hard work has certainly paid off. I expect to graduate debt-free in Spring 2021.
The first scholarship I applied for also happened to be the first one I ever won during my junior year of college. Later on, I started back up applying the spring semester of my senior year, securing many local/small scholarships, enough that added up to being a half-ride (rather than a full-ride) to college.
Then, in my junior year of college it was time to start applying again. However, this time around I already knew what needed to be done. From years or trial and error with past applications, I already had a competitive edge on what it takes to win scholarships. So my junior year, I won 11 scholarships -- most of which were applied to my senior year of school's financial aid.
I say all this to say this -- keep applying for scholarships. You can still win as a current college student. There is a common misconception that you can only win as a high school senior/incoming student, but it is still possible!
Why I started helping others win.
What started me on this journey of helping others with scholarships was my mother.
My senior year of high school, I won a scholarship from a hospital I had been volunteering at for years. I was asleep in my room and I woke up to my mother at the side of my bed, on her knees .. crying, shaking, and thanking God over and over again. She was holding the award letter for the scholarship that I won. That was when I realized that the knowledge I have obtained about scholarships shouldn’t be kept to myself. From there on out, I had a responsibility to not only other students but also the parents because so many times parents are the ones who bare the financial burden of paying for their education.
My reaction the first time someone told me they won.
It was December 21, 2017 -- a week before my birthday. I had woken up to the notification sound of a new email message. I opened it and there it read a student telling me how my videos helped them get a full-ride scholarship just months after I had started my channel back in August. Not only was this person the first one to tell me so, but they were also not from the U.S. -- they were from the D.R. Congo, studying in Ghana.
Upon reading this email, I cried for a good ten minutes. I couldn’t believe that my advice/words that I had filmed in my parents’ bedroom, with a cheap/used camera, and amateur video editing skills -- was able to reach someone as far as Africa. That’s when I really knew that what I had to offer was groundbreaking.
Why I continue to do what I do.
Malcolm X once said that “Education is the passport to the future.”
And Nelson Mandela once said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
However, what happens when that education is not accessible to others and is gate-kept?
That's where I come in.
The national student loan debt in the US alone is in the trillions and a four-year degree gets more and more expensive by 2.7 percent every year. Yet at the same time the average minimum wage and household income has not grown within the past decade. And on top of all that, consider how the pandemic has caused so many to suddenly not be able to / not know how they will afford their education. Some schools are even raising tuition and fees during this time because they have lost so much in profits. And as a result, dropout rates will go up.
Therefore, the knowledge I have obtained, and what I do to help others bridge this gap needs to be shared.