How does a white, Catholic, upper middle class, Midwestern young lady achieve a full-tuition DIVERSITY scholarship at a highly selective university like Ohio State? It started with a 10th grade resume review.

I’ve preached it to my college counseling students for almost two decades, “Put your resume together early in high school.” Review it to identify opportunities to be Purposeful about your Pursuits while you focus on Longevity and Leadership. Not everyone takes me up on my advice, but those who do get the following benefits and an extra with a big bang possible!

When my student, we’ll call her Christy, sent me her resume for review in tenth grade, it was TOO LONG! But I like to start that way. Little did we know the conversation and actions of the review would result in huge payoffs for her family.

First, we pared down what was most important to highlight, so the reader really grasped her strengths and personality as she was determined to one day head to medical school. Rescuing a horse from the glue factory was something she was ready to chuck. After discussing it, we hit on a great topic for her future college essay that could easily relate to her career goals and her passions.

Having worked with hundreds of college advising students over the years, visiting campuses, chatting with those in admissions, I knew even with her great grades, test scores, rigor and multifaceted busy life, she still needed a unique leadership to set herself apart at some of the selective schools where she would apply.

We discussed creating a club which ended up being a film club. She was the president, of course. We identified how to use the club to benefit others; she decided all on her own to create a film on the accessibility of private Catholic education for financially disadvantaged students in her area. Her school could then use the film to promote Catholic education – something important to Christy and her family.

Christy loved the club, the work, the finished project. So did her school. It stregthened her resume, saved time on applications and made her standout from other applicants. We could not have imagined in her 10th grade year this would open the door for a white, Catholic, upper middle class, Midwestern young lady for a DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP; it did.

The scholarship criteria for this full tuition scholarship were (and still are) as follows: Applicants should be academically exceptional high school seniors who will contribute to campus diversity and actively engage as advocates and champions of diversity, inclusion and academic excellence on campus.

Had she waited to review her pursuits in light of her goals to late in her high school career, she’d never had the time to make this impact on others and her future.  Don’t wait! There’s an opportunity cost to delay.

LEAP offers resume development tips, guidance and review for families throughout the US. Cincinnati students can attend our Resume Workshop LIVE!