Dear Google – I’d really love a scholarship.
Yesterday I received my federal aid package from the University of Minnesota for next year at the College of Science and Engineering. The numbers were pretty decent but not enough to fully cover the cost altogether. Today, I was given a special surprise.
I found a pretty large envelope addressed to me in my mailbox this afternoon. It was sent from Mountain View, California. It was from Google. It was just like when I got my Gmail stickers, but way better. The classic Google logo was printed on the front side.
Inside, I opened up my package to find a large card stock letter addressed to me. Let me share with the opening statement.
We at Google are proud and excited to present to you the 2011 Google Scholarship. This scholarship is partially based on reviews from accredited institutions in Minnesota by your own teachers. The other half is the fantastic promise that you have shown by way of your blog and projects. At Google, you work independently and as a team. That takes initiative and you have that trait. This trait is evident based on your love of technology, your aspirations in your academic and professional life and the personal relations you have formed. This scholarship will propel you into your future as a talented individual who is simply awesome. At Google, we love giving back and we like helping others achieve the same great success we have been lucky enough to attain.
The letter went on to share the details of the 2011 Google Scholarship.
Here’s the except from the benefits section.
You will receive the following benefits from the 2011 Google Scholarship.
- Meal Plans – To learn and prosper, you need to eat. At the Googleplex, our cafeteria is known for always being open and always having everything you could ever desire. We want to give you that experience at your school. Your meals are on us.
- Cheap Transportation – If you plan on driving around campus or simply taking the bus, we’ll cover some of the expenses. If you already have a car, we’ll provide a monthly fixed rate for gas and monthly maintenance. If you’re planning on investing in a new car soon, we will provide a special credit if you select one that is environmentally friendly.
- Cheap Travel – Along with transportation, if you want to visit Paris or hang out in Moscow, we’ll get the best deal possible. We want you to broaden your horizons.
- Extra-curricular Bonus – If you want to work out, learn golf, try a new language or see the world, go ahead and do it. We want you to learn as much as you can.
- Less Chores – You won’t have time for chores. If you rent an apartment, we’ll provide daily cleaning services. Washing cloths, doing dishes and feeding the cat – we’ll take of it. If you simply have too much to do, we’ll work something out to make life a little less hectic.
- Private Library – Books are expensive in college. While we’re helping with those expenses anyway, reading for pleasure can be expensive too. We digitize thousands of books a month but we can’t do it all at once. Our private library is gigantic and you have full access.
Of course, they had some tech-toys built-in too. It’s almost a dream.
- Main Computer – Your computer is where you do your best work. That’s why you are receiving this scholarship after all. However, let us provide you with the resources to design and build your dream computer.
- Satellite Laptop – You need to be able to move around with ease, especially between classes. Your choice of laptop too. Be it a gaming rig or a feather light ultra-portable, you pick.
- Tablet – Pick any on the market tablet with Android on it. It’s yours.
- Phone – Google will pay for an Android based handset on any carrier you choose. In addition, the price of your voice and data plan will be covered too.
- Beta – New products are created internally at Google everyday. We need someone on the outside who has a different prescriptive on the world and the way things should work. You can help us out. You can expect be included in web service, software and hardware beta testing.
I was pretty floored at this point. It really couldn’t get any better.
However, the final section was on the college portion of the scholarship.
Finally, we have to tell you about the other part of the scholarship. It’s the boring part that deals with college. You will receive $10,000 per year for four years provided you of course continue doing the things that make you awesome and annually complete your credit requirements.
The letter concludes with a representative meeting with me at the University of Minnesota in May for more details.
The 2011 Google Scholarship award is incredible. It’s better than anything I would’ve asked for or imagined. I mean, sure, Google gave me a laptop last year, but this is on a different level. Honestly, I couldn’t be more stunned.
So, thank you everyone who has supported me and making this possible. Thanks to my parents, teachers and friends. And most certainly, thank you Google!