Northvale, N.J. – August 21, 2017 – Today marks the fourth annual award date for the JAM Paper Teacher Scholarship. This year’s winner is Kwamae Nelson, a junior attending Seattle Central College in search of a future in which equality and diversity go hand in hand with a multicultural education.
The JAM Paper Teacher Scholarship rewards $500 to one lucky and proactive student who is pursuing a career in Education. Deceptively simple, the scholarship asks just one question—“Why do you want to become a teacher?”. Sam Ruck, a Digital Marketing Analyst at JAM Paper, explains that he combed through over 400 essays in his search for the winner: “It’s truly remarkable to see students from all walks of life striving for better academic futures by pushing themselves to send in essays.” Throughout the contest, Ruck noticed a specific pattern among the submissions. “Almost every submission portrayed teaching as an innate and irresistible calling that both gave them an individual sense of purpose and a selfless devotion to helping other people.” Upon receiving their essays, a running list of every applicant’s submission was kept by the scholarship review team detailing the applicants’ individual stories and core messages. While so many excellent essays were submitted and reviewed, Kwamae Nelson’s essay was a clear standout from the first day it was reviewed. When the list of finalists was pared down to just ten essays, Kwamae Nelson eventually stood alone as the winner of the contest.
Nelson writes in his essay, “As I was growing up, I did not learn about any positive contributions by Africans, Pacific Islanders, or Indigenous peoples until I attended college. This Euro-centric approach left a void in my knowledge of historically marginalized cultures, leading me to believe that the accomplishments of Europeans and Euro-Americans were the only accomplishments worth knowing.” From this first paragraph, Nelson established the critical tone of his essay in which he analyzed the American education system for its lack of multicultural awareness and accuracy, citing that history class “depicted the Founding Fathers in the limelight and glory … yet at the same time, African people were forcibly stolen from their homelands and had their identity and freedom stripped from them…” Throughout his essay, Nelson mentioned that a multicultural perspective is imperative which creates a world in which students are knowledgeable, sensitive, aware of other cultures, and most important of all, willing to question the value of what they’re being taught. As Nelson eloquently states, “Connecting conversations and relating classroom content to students will ultimately help students make positive changes to themselves and all of humanity.”
The JAM Paper Teacher scholarship is awarded to one lucky winner per year, with next year’s deadline being July 13, 2018. This company will continue this scholarship for students like Kwamae. Andrew Jacobs, CEO of JAM Paper (www.jampaper.com), explains that “these submissions show the passion and dedication future teachers have, and we will continue to appreciate and reward their enthusiasm.”
Congrats to Kwamae Nelson for winning this year’s JAM Paper Teacher Scholarship!
Check our blog tomorrow to read the amazing interview with our passionate winner, conducted by Sam Ruck, Digital Analyst of JAM Paper.
Want to submit your own essay? Click here to find out more!
Press Release written by: Sam Ruck