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How I Won the BBB Scholarship

by BBB Staff | Jul 24, 2018 5:17:46 PM

Hello and welcome to another week with me diving into your Better Business Bureau! We are approaching the last two weeks, and I’m so glad we got to see what all BBB does together!
This week is a special edition of “BBB from a young consumer’s perspective” as I get to talk about how I first got involved with BBB—the BBB 10k scholarship!

In perfect alignment with what BBB aims to do for consumers, young and old, the BBB 10k scholarship is a tangible way BBB aims to help high school Juniors and Seniors and young consumers in general. So, what is it? Let me tell you what makes this scholarship special.

If you have ever looked at any scholarship program; you know almost all of them are either “free advertising” for some company or they ask about the same essay question every time. Well the BBB scholarship is way different, and I think one of the coolest scholarships out there.

BBB decided to modernize their scholarship by changing the essay requirement to a video contest. You don’t have to be a film major to apply either, from Lego animation to just some friends in front of an iPhone camera, this was a fun and modern way to show BBB why you deserve the scholarship!

The video I submitted was a 90-second entry that demonstrates how BBB helps people become smart consumers. There is an emphasis on creativity and story-telling. What sets this scholarship apart is that you aren’t telling BBB why you are the best candidate, you are showing consumers why the BBB is best for them!

This change in pace makes this scholarship both fun and exciting. Out of hundreds of applications each year, there are about 25 finalists chosen. These videos are then posted on the BBB Northwest + Pacific YouTube.

The judging criteria consist of creativity, as previously mentioned, content, the ability to tell a story about how BBB helps people be smarter consumers, and, most excitingly, video views! When my video made it to the finalists, my entire community rallied behind me and created a sports-like following of how many views my video had each day!

I had people constantly watching my video and asking me how I was stacking up against other finalist’s videos. This is both fun and helps to spread the positive messaging of BBB and what they aim to do for consumers. It was also pretty cool to see the support my community had for me and how this is exactly what BBB hopes to cultivate.

There are a few topics to choose from each year, each of which is a different area BBB aims to help consumers be safer and smarter. Some examples include scam tracking, online reviews, identity theft prevention, and more!

While changes may be occurring within the BBB Scholarship program, I would still highly recommend everyone apply.. You never know, you could be the winning student! Before I talk more about my personal experience with the scholarship, here is my video so you can see what I’m talking about:

So, now that you have seen my entry, here is the process of how I ended up applying and winning the #BBB10k scholarship, and why you should apply too!

Through this scholarship, I learned tons about what BBB does for people that I hadn’t previously known! Through the whole process, I came to value BBB and all they do. Because of that, I was able to make a video that spoke to the value of their services.

I was first told about the scholarship from a high school counselor who knew I made videos. While it is in no way required that I had previous video experience, the desire to be creative and have a little fun with this application was a must.

I was a little tentative at first that I even wanted to apply, it seemed like a lot of work, and I had already written tons of essays for scholarships that year. Even though it was video, I saw BBB as a boring topic to make a video about. However, once I took a few minutes to look into the actual application criteria, I was excited to finally have some fun getting creative with a scholarship!

I got right to work. First I did research on the topic. I chose online reviews. This research step is one of the most important parts. Take some time to really dive into the topic in general, and especially what BBB does in regards to your chosen topic. For online reviews, I learned all about the problems with fake reviews and then how BBB uses verified reviews to combat this marketplace fraud.

Take a look at the 2018 and 2017 entries to see what BBB is all about!

What makes this scholarship so awesome is there is no right answer! As long as you are educating consumers using one of the BBB services, take the creative liberty to do something unique and different! If I could offer one piece of advice to make you stand out as a winner, it would be just that, get creative and go for it!

This scholarship is an extremely generous exhibit of BBB’s heart and goals, and we would be remiss if we didn’t take advantage of this great opportunity!

Since winning the scholarship and going on to intern with BBB, I have never been disappointed in the genuinely good-hearted people behind all these services. This scholarship opened my eyes to what BBB really does, and I hope it allows you to experience the same thing!

If you have any questions feel free to comment on this blog, this week’s vlog, or contact BBB! Thanks for reading another week as I start to wrap up my dive into BBB! This has been a special week for me, and I hope I have motivated you to apply for the scholarship and to continue looking into the value of BBB.

Make sure to sign up for the torch talk e-mail newsletter to stay up to date on all that is happening in the world of BBB. Also, make sure to subscribe to BBB Northwest + Pacific YouTube to stay up to date on all the videos posted to help you be a smarter consumer.

Until next week!

Cameron Blegen

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