Ontario, Calif. — As she prepared to enter the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the West Coast University Ontario campus, Emma Chacon scoured the Internet for any scholarships that she might qualify for. The Corona resident came across a unique one that piqued her interest: the "Frame My Future Scholarship Contest" which is sponsored by Church Hill Classics, a leading U.S. manufacturer of custom diploma frames, certificate frames, insignia desk accessories and photo frames. The scholarship contest was in its fifth year, and Emma decided she would put her creativity to the test and give it a try.
The contest was open to any U.S. student attending college full-time for the 2013-14 academic year (community college, undergraduate, graduate school). The contest entry needed to communicate how the student wanted to "frame" their future. Students were asked to submit an original "creation" which expressed what they hope to achieve in their personal and professional life after college. Entries included photographs, poems, essays, collages, drawings, paintings and other imaginative pieces.
"The Frame My Future Scholarship Contest was created to allow students to showcase their creative talents. Emma's entry demonstrations how she wants to frame her future and Church Hill Classics is happy to help her attain her dreams with this scholarship award." said Lucie Voves, President of Church Hill Classics.
Emma says she has given a lot of thought into her future, which is precisely why she enrolled at WCU.
"I want my future to be in nursing, so it was logical for me to enter the BSN program here," Emma said. "I've always thought of nurses like superheroes, which is why I wanted to go into nursing, but also because I love science."
Emma frames her future as a trained nurse, working in an academic or research capacity, so she decided that she would enter the contest with a photo combing the superhero image with her love of science.
"I went to a thrift store and found some things to make my own nurse superhero costume," she said. "It was fun to come up with ideas. I wanted to express that my future is in science and nursing."
Next, Emma told her biochemistry professor about the contest and asked if she could take a photo in the lab after class. She submitted her entry, and weeks later she was thrilled to learn that her self-portrait was selected as one of the finalists.
"There were over 9,000 entries so I was shocked when they told me I was picked as a finalist," Emma said.
The contest winner is selected by popular vote from the public online, so she encouraged family, friends and classmates to vote for her entry via social media sites like Facebook.
"I knew there were a bunch of people voting for me, but because they don't show the vote count I never really knew if I was ahead or not," she said.
As it turns out, she was on top. Emma's entry was picked as one of the five winners and she received a $1000 scholarship towards tuition at WCU. What's more? She was named as the Grand Prize Winner; in addition to her personal scholarship, Church Hill Classics donated $1,000 in her name to be used for scholarship programs through the WCU Foundation.
"I was both shocked and thrilled when they called," Emma said. "It is an honor and I thank all of my friends and family who voted for my entry."
"Congratulations to Emma for winning with her creative entry," said Dr. Barry Ryan, University President. "The additional gift to the WCU Foundation will also help fellow nursing students, a true win-win for all."