Supporting Communities Around Us

Empower Scholarships

" The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. " ~ ARISTOTLE

We owe so many of our successes to the handful of individuals who have empowered us to do big things. Together as a community we can overcome exponentially larger challenges and achieve far greater successes than if we were to take them on by our own. Organic Life Start wants to hear your stories of inspiration about someone who has empowered and motivated you to reach new limits.

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    • 2 Awards Per Scholarship
    • We grant 2 scholarships per year and accept applications on a rolling basis. Apply for the Organic Life Start scholarship today.
    • Fall Semester Scholarship

      Important Timelines
    • Applications Close: Jun. 30
    • Winners Announced: Jul. 31
    • Scholarship Amount: $500
    • Spring Semester Scholarship

      Important Timelines
    • Applications Close: Dec. 31
    • Winners Announced: Jan. 31
    • Scholarship Amount: $500

Scholarship Eligibility

In order to be eligible for any Organic Life Start Scholarship, please be sure you meet the following criteria:

  • The scholarship is only open to US citizens or permanent legal residents.
  • Scholarship applicants must either be in their final year of high school, or must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a US-based higher education institution.
  • All applications must include a minimum 1 paragraph response to the scholarship prompt question.
  • All education backgrounds will be considered.

Apply For The Organic Life Start Scholarship

Our most recent Empower Scholarship application and its full application prompt can be found here.

Scholarship FAQ

What is the Organic Life Start Empower Scholarship?

Organic Life Start creates several scholarships per year. These scholarships are aimed to help anyone who is a high school senior or older, and are meant to help with expenses related to ongoing education. Each Empower Scholarship is on a different topic which is found on the relevant scholarship page, and the requirement for entry involves a thoughtful answer to the specific question asked within that Empower Scholarship. Empower Scholarships are launched throughout the year on various topics, so be sure to come back often and see which new scholarships have recently been launched by Organic Life Start.

For how much is each Empower Scholarship?

Organic Life Start Empower Scholarships are in the amount of $500, which will be awarded directly to the applicant, or in the case that the applicant is under 18 years of age the amount will be awarded to the applicants legal guardian. The $500 scholarship is intended for use on any education related expenses that are necessary for you.

When are scholarship applications due?

Each Empower Scholarship has two yearly deadlines, depending on which semester scholarship you are applying for. Fall semester scholarship applications are due by June 30th and spring semester scholarship applications are due by December 31st.

How are applications verified?

Scholarship applications need to be written in your own words. Any applications that are plagiarized will not be considered. Scholarship recipients will need to provide a college transcript as proof of enrollment (for undergraduate and graduate applicants), or proof of college acceptance (for high school seniors).

How is applicant information used?

We only use the information provided in your application to get in contact in the event that you are a scholarship recipient finalist. If you are selected as an Empower Scholarship winner, we will ask to publish your story on our site so that we can continue to inspire others with similar stories. To make sure we've gotten all your details right, any content related to your story will first be shared with you for approval before being published on our site. By submitting an application you agree to be featured on our site if you are selected as a scholarship winner.

How will winners be notified?

Organic Life Start will reach out to the winner within 2 weeks before the winners are announced. During this time we will conduct an interview so that we can hear more about your specific story. Winners will be notified by email at the address from which the email application was originally received.

Where can I find out who won the scholarship?

All scholarship winners will be posted live on this page after they are notified in person. Be sure to check back regularly for new scholarship opportunities which become live throughout the year.

Empower Scholarship Application

Prompt:Share the story of one of the most inspiring and empowering individuals in your life. In what way did they empower you, and how did this empowerment unlock something special in you?

There is no length requirement, but please respond in at least a paragraph to share your story.

Your application has been submitted! We'll be reaching out to finalists in the weeks ahead.

Past Scholarship Recipients

July 2022

Kayla McEwen

Reading about the inspiring stories of various people who apply for a scholarship is one of the pleasures we received in hosting one. We received thousands of applications from all over the different states, and knowing about their interests, ambitions, and backgrounds gave us nothing but delight and joy. We read about their life’s journey and how their experiences encouraged them to pursue careers in different fields of education. We are excited to see what the future holds for all of our applicants since they all want to make a huge difference in the world.

We're pleased to announce that after months of reading, rereading, and going through hundreds of applicants, we've chosen Kayla McEwen as the recipient of the Organic Life Start Empower Scholarship!

Kayla is currently taking up Psychology in California State University Bakersfield, with hopes of becoming a school psychologist someday. She was raised by a hardworking and selfless single mom who made sure to take care of her despite the absence of her father. This inspired her and prepared her now that she is a single mom of four wonderful kids. Being a single mom was never easy, especially if you have dreams to pursue. But she’s not the type who gives up easily.

As challenging as it may seem to balance being a full-time student and being the sole full-time parent to four young children, Kayla proved to be successful in both. She takes most of the classes she needs online via zoom, or fully online so that she can be home as 2 of her children are not going to school yet. She waits until she puts the kids to bed at 8:30-9:00 PM to start on her schoolwork, she will then do all assignments, quizzes, tests due by midnight first then begin studying until 3-4 AM. All this sacrifice because she wants to give her kids the time they need.

Kayla’s compelling and moving story, which discusses the hardships of a single mom having to take all the responsibility alone is what sets her apart. There was a time that she didn’t know what to do, she even felt like a huge failure as a mother. But the brave Kayla didn’t stop there, she immediately went back to working full time. For she knew that if she wanted to support her kids and provide them with stability, she needed to go back to school. Though, a part of her was not confident enough to believe that she was smart enough or capable of doing anything - she fought that part of herself so that the real Kayla would prevail; A loving, brave, passionate and dedicated mother and student. With that said, she was able to finish AA in psychology in one year rather than two while maintaining Dean's List. This is one of the achievements that makes her proud. It was the first time she believed that she could actually finish and graduate with BA. I know that many would definitely agree that it will be very challenging to achieve this with or without kids.

When asked if she would have to “regift” this scholarship, who would she give it to? She answered that “she would want it to be given to another parent who is trying to better themselves and their babies' lives because from experience when you are a single parent and receive help, it just means so much to you.” We’re glad to give it to someone as deserving as her.

January 2023

Jessica Lee

When we launched this scholarship program, we always had the value of SHARING in mind:

  • We wanted to share positivity when you recognize the people who inspire you to reach your dreams.
  • We wanted to share empowerment by being your voice and sharing your story of inspiration.
  • We wanted to share and give back to the community. We see you working hard for your future and we know that you will share the same inspiration and empowerment to the next generation.

Choosing a winner is no easy feat. All the stories we received are wonderful and uplifting – but we had to make a choice. After several weeks of deliberation, it is with joy that we announce Organic Life Start’s Spring Semester scholarship awardee: Jessica Lee.

Jessica is taking up Neuroscience and Psychology in the University of Pittsburgh. She has devoted her life to caring for her family. She is a determined single mother who is doing her best for her strong, brave, and smart 8-year-old daughter.

Her schedule is packed every day – but it’s always centered on putting her daughter’s needs first. She adjusts her schedule so that she can drop off her daughter to school and pick her up on time. She and her third-grader work on their homework together and she makes sure that they get to enjoy dinner together. Saturdays! Saturdays are extra special for the mother-daughter duo: Jessica’s daughter gets to take ice skating classes and Jessica gets peace in watching her do something she has always wanted, but was not able to do before.

Here are some takeaways from Jessica that she wants to impart to everyone reading this:

  • Getting on the other side of a relationship is not something to be ashamed of. Learn to care for yourself, not just for others.
  • Strive to be the best person. In Jessica’s case, she strives to be the best person for her daughter – the best person in her world.
  • Set healthy boundaries in all of your relationships.
  • You deserve better. You are not alone in your battles. Do not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough, especially for something you dream for.

We also wanted to share Jessica’s special message her daughter:

  • Set healthy boundaries.
  • It’s okay to take care of your mental health first.
  • And Jessica’s favorite quote: “Mental health is not your fault, but it is your responsibility. And that starts with healthy boundaries.”

Jessica serves as an inspiration. She is a mother. She is a friend. She is a hard worker. She is you and me – navigating this world for our loved ones and trying to share love, every step of the way.

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories with us. You make the world better by recognizing and honoring empowering individuals in your lives. We are humbled to have received so many sponsorship applications over the past months. We wish you all the best in all your endeavors!

July 2023

Dannon Vickers

The story that our team chose for the Fall Semester Scholarship is so close to our hearts. As fellow parents, we all share a common mission of being the best version of ourselves for our children. Aside from providing their needs, we aim to serve as an inspiration – and show our kids that they can also make their dreams come true despite circumstances beyond our control.

Dannon, one of the strongest women we got the opportunity to know, goes to WGU and is studying to become a Registered Nurse.

On Motherhood: Dannon's motherhood journey was not as smooth sailing - she went through an unplanned pregnancy without a partner, had to move in with her parents, and had postpartum depression. She had to deal with exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and adjustment to caring for someone who fully relies on her – all while her body and mind are healing.

At 3 months, her baby had bronchitis. When Dannon heard her baby wheezing - her heart broke to several pieces. But her baby was just happy that he was with his mom - he was smiling and giggling while wheezing and struggling to breathe. Dannon thought that she had never witnessed someone in so much pain but could just smile and laugh it off. Her infant was struggling for basic life and yet he never cried; rather, he had the strength to smile at his mother and which offered her so much comfort.

As adults, we learn to hide a lot of emotions to not disturb others but her son wasn’t hiding anything. At that moment, she realized that her child is so strong and truly kind. He has no preconceived notions about how to “act” in society and is just himself. She realized that she wanted to become just like her son; happy regardless of the pain. He then gave Dannon a new goal – and that is to protect his smile and happiness.

On Nursing: 2020 changed everyone’s lives. Dannon saw how hard everyone in the medical community worked to make the world better. This led her to a mission – be part of the solution.

She had first hand experience with how nurses make situations better. When her son was sick, the nurses that helped him at Children's Medical Center provided her small family with comfort. They would play with her son and make him giggle even when he did not feel good. They constantly checked on Dannon and regularly updated her on everything that was going on. They cared for her son and after a week it was time for them to leave. The nurses were so happy to see him off because he was laughing and walking around. Dannon has never felt such reassurance that her son would be okay and to this day, she is grateful for those nurses and doctors that helped him.

Dannon wanted to go into the medical field so badly after that, but she knew that it was a difficult feat for a single parent. She had to get a couple of things in order before making a career change.

  • The first thing was to find an online school that could allow her to finish as much school remotely as possible.
  • The second was to make sure her son was old enough to get into Public School. Now that he is in Kindergarten, Dannon will be able to spend more time focusing on work and school so that when he comes home, she can have time to focus on him. I have found a school, WGU, that allows me to work remotely as much as possible.

Her strong desire to be a part of the medical community has led her to pursue her nursing degree while taking care of her family.

Once she finishes nursing school, Dannon’s goal is to work for a Children’s Hospital.

  • She wants to help kids heal from their diseases.
  • She wants to repay the kindness and reassurance that she has received in a trying time. She recognizes that without those nurses who offered her support, she would have been lost.
  • She also wants to give it to other parents who are in the same position as she was.

Dannon also aims to be a part of an OBGYN. She wants to assist with this area because creating human life is no easy task.

  • She would like to be there for other women just as they were there for her.
  • Sometimes life is scary and bringing a baby into the mix can be frightening but it doesn’t have to be that way. Her role will be for the mothers to feel there is one less thing to worry about with her help.

On Life Lessons for Our Readers

Difficult is Not Impossible. Dannon thought that it was impossible to get into nursing school as a single parent. After researching, she found out there are so many ways to receive assistance when trying to go back to school as a single parent. She used to worry that she would not be able to find time to work and go to school at the same time. However, WGU has helped her realize that she can take as many online classes as necessary and better prepare herself for clinical application.

You cannot plan everything to a T - and expect that everything will go according to plan. Natural birth + No epidurals. Beastfeed. These were the goals she had for herself. And these are the goals that so many parents have.

While she was able to deliver her son naturally, she could not do the other half. She was barely producing breast milk and because there was so little of it - she didn’t realize that it was hurting her son.His jaundice was not going away. She could not fix it by eating and sleeping more (no parent gets to sleep more!) I could barely produce any breast milk and I kept thinking that I could fix things just needed to sleep or eat more. She switched to formulas and he got better.

Dannon realized that plans may seem important, but she also learned that if her son is healthy, the rest will fall into place. As parents, there are plenty of times where we feel that we know best or want to give our kids the most they can possibly have – but sometimes it’s these feelings that can get in the way of what is truly best for them. There is no perfect answer/solution. Each child is different, and they just want you and your love.

Here are Dannon’s messages for her son:

  • Always remember that difficult is not impossible. If you truly have a dream or passion, go for it, and try your hardest.
  • The best things in life are not always the easiest. Life can be messy and scary but knowing how to handle those situations is half the battle.
  • You have more love and support than you possibly know and just know that we are all here for you. My biggest goal for you is that you get to follow your dreams/passions and see them through.
  • I love you with all my heart and you will always be my greatest accomplishment.

Dannon’s story is yours and mine. She is vulnerable and strong. She is kind and determined. She is full of love despite hardships. She is an inspiration - and we are honored to share her story with all of you.


Thank you to all participants who took the time to share their wonderful stories. With so many people lifting each other up, we are hopeful that the future generations will be beautiful, bright, and kind. We wish you all the best!

January 2024

Jake Ruehl

We received thousands of entries during this semester's story showed us what Empowerment is – family, support, encouragement, hard work, and resilience. We are proud to announce that the Spring Semester's winner is Jake Ruehl.

Jake, like most of us, had struggles growing up. He had doubts and insecurities, and it took its toll on how he viewed himself. Two people made an impact on him and made him aspire to make a change in the community.

Jake is blessed to have a father who gave his all to support his family. He worked long days in the vending machine industry - and what many people may not know, is that filling, fixing, and moving vending machines every day is extremely hard on the body. His dad worked through sickness and injury just to make sure that the family had what they needed.

In October 2019, Jake's father suffered a massive brain aneurysm. On the way to the hospital, while talking on the phone, doctors told me the family to prepare for him to be different, or ultimately the worst. The "size of a golf ball" is what they kept telling Jake. But his father came back, out of surgery, and asked Jake's mother to go home and get his guitar, so that he could send his children a video of him playing it and telling them that he was going to be okay. His father – a man who just was on the brink of death being airlifted to a hospital, and his first thought was "Make sure my kids know I am okay".

During Jake's sophomore year of high school, Jake met his American History teacher, Mr. Pierce, and he became the first teacher to get him to enjoy going to classes. Mr. Pierce made lectures interesting, took notes on the board to make sure we were all working at the same pace and was willing to always be available during lunches and after class for extra help.

With the work ethic of Jake's Dad and Mr. Pierce's commitment and effort as an educator – these two individuals inspired Jake to be a high school English teacher. Jake aims to empower students the same way he was empowered by the two remarkable figures in his life. He feels that his experiences throughout his school career will help him reach students who are simply giving up on themselves like he was. He wants to make sure that his classroom is a place where students can feel welcomed, and that it can be a place where ideas can be shared with others through peer-to-peer activities.

We asked Jake for some words of inspiration to readers and these are what he shared:

  • Never give up on yourself. Everyone has a different journey, and though life can be hard, it is those struggles that will help you learn more about yourself and what it means for you personally to be happy. One of Jake's favorite sayings is "comparison is the thief of joy" by Theodore Roosevelt. He believes that people should take this quote to heart.
  • Nothing is easy, and there are no handouts. But with work ethics and love for family – you can make a difference.

We also wanted to share Jake's special message for his Dad:

Thank you for teaching me that you need to work for what you want, and that as long as you put in an effort, you'll get results. Thank you for being a great role model, and showing me how important it is to be there for your family. Many qualities that I will take with me into my professional career are qualities that I have seen in you my entire life, and for that, I am forever thankful.


Jake's story shows us that every little action impacts the community - being a dependent husband and father, being an honest worker, and being an educator who aims to restore confidence and bring hope to children's futures. Every sincere act contributes to a bigger cause – and this is what the Empower Scholarship aims to support.

Jake goes to WGU and is currently enrolled in their Masters of English Education program. He is hoping to graduate by the end of this year. Thank you, Jake, for sharing your story. We wish you all the best!