Theodore Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) believed that learning to read was of the upmost importance for people of all ages, but especially children. In 1954, he accepted the challenge from William Ellsworth Spaulding (director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin) to write a book that inspired children to read using a list of 348 words that Ellsworth thought were important for first-graders to learn. Using only 236 words, Seuss composed the Cat in the Hat and renewed interest in the written word for young readers. Keeping in line with that philosophy, the Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go College Scholarship Program offers high-school seniors the chance to win a $10,000 scholarship.
Applicants must be of high-school senior status and write a short composition using the themes of the book “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” The personal letter format must consist of no more than 200 words and must be typed and double-spaced. The pieces are judged on technical merit by a selected panel under the supervision of Random House. The first-place award of $10,000 is paid out in the same year in which the contest is judged and will be made payable to the student’s choice of post-secondary educational institutions.
Last year, Random house received over 12,000 submissions to the contest. The winner was Isaac Helleman from Plano, Texas. He essay titled ‘Father, I Wonder, Why Bother with School?” was selected and he is pursuing his degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This year’s award of $10,000 was doubled from last year’s $5,000 first prize. The contest was started last year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Seuss’s book. “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” has sold over 8.5 million copies.
Random House’s scholarship award, as well as being extremely generous, makes the possibility of a starting a college education more of a reality for many that could not otherwise afford the opportunity to pursue higher education. Unlike many scholarship opportunities that are ultra-specific, this scholarship has very few requirements and it is not so narrow in scope, in terms of the applicant, as are many other scholarships. It does not bind the applicant to a specific university or offer the award to people that fit a certain niche, but is rather purely based on merit. A complete listing of all of the details and rules can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.seussville.com/OTPScholarship/
Seussville.com. Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go College Scholarship Program. Retrieved March 4, 2011, from http://www.seussville.com/OTPScholarship/
Hubpop.com. Winner of first annual ‘oh, the places you’ll go!’ college scholarship program announced. Retrieved March 4, 2011, from http://www.hubpop.com/winner-of-first-annual-oh-the-places-youll-go-college-scholarship-program-announced/85334/