2016 NIGP Young Professional Scholarship Recipients

2016 was a year full of lessons for me. Every time I looked around I was learning something new or having something re-iterated to me in a different way. I would even say that I possibly just wanted to pay closer attention to what was happening in my life. Thus, the lessons just meant that much more.

So, let me give you a little background on the 2nd lesson 2016 taught me. I am an undergraduate and graduate school alumni. And like most Americans I paid for it on my own. Unfortunately, I never applied for scholarships to assist me. I should have, but I did not. I have a laundry list long of reasons that I never did, but to keep it short, I know that I should have. Fast forward to 2015, I ran across a scholarship for young professionals in the field of procurement. The qualifications were simple. Candidates were to be under 40! That was me. Or they had to have less than 3 years experience in the field of government procurement. That was not me, but I met the first criteria, so I closed my eyes and leaped. Applying for a scholarship was unchartered waters for me, but I leaped anyway. I submitted my application and with much anticipation, my application was declined. The scholarship would have been so helpful. It would have afforded me the opportunity to attend one of the largest national government procurement conferences. Without the scholarship, my chances in attending were slim to none since my company’s budget is not always plush enough for such expenditures. I read the rejection letter with disappointment, but I was convinced I would try again the next year.

March of 2016, I saw the enrollment period online for the scholarship. I again completed the application, submitted, and waited for the response. I took another leap. Not much changed from 2015 to 2016, but clearly it was my time and I was awarded the all expense paid scholarship. Talk about elated! I was much more than elated. I was grateful. Thankful. I was also aware of the lesson that came from it.

Life will ALWAYS have some moments of let down or disappointment. Things will not go your way 100% of the time. The key is our reactions to those moments. When I did not get the scholarship in 2015, I did not get pissed off and damn the entire scholarship agency to Pluto. I regrouped and thought about what I needed to do differently. In this instance, I needed to just be patient and get ready to take the next leap. In 2017, know that there will be areas that may not be favorable in your eyes, but the bigger picture is that you must continue to leap. It’s the unchartered territory that we are sometimes required to travel in order to see our goals come to fruition. You must continue to take strides towards whatever the goals are that you set forth. I leaped from 2015 right into 2016 right into my scholarship! I will continue to leap and I encourage you to do the same!