After winning our summer semester’s scholarship, Maegan Ong has agreed to answer few questions we had for her.
We hope her answers will help future applicants to win one of our next scholarships.
MB: Did you learn anything new while working on the essay?
MO: I was previously unaware of what a volatile organic compound even was prior to writing this essay, so I definitely learned a lot about the potential dangers that VOCs can cause in everyday life. I’ll definitely be a lot more wary of keeping products that contain VOCs in my household from now on.
MB: What was your biggest challenge while writing about VOCs?
MO: I had to do a lot of research on the topic as I had no previous experience or knowledge about it. I found that a lot of websites online seemed to be copying off one another so it was difficult to find original or new information since the web doesn’t seem to have a ton of information on the topic.
MB: Why did you choose this exact topic?
MO: I chose VOCs because I wanted to learn something while I was writing this essay. I already knew about a couple other topics on the suggested topics list and decided to write about something I’ve never heard of before – because if I haven’t heard of it in my daily life, there’s a chance that others haven’t too.
MB: Was it hard for you to find correct information about VOCs?
MO: It was not hard to find correct information, it was more difficult to find new information on the subject as a lot of the research I found was pulled from the same website or contained very similar information.
MB: Do you think that information about environmental dangers are available enough to people?
MO: There is definitely not enough information about environmental dangers available to people. Specifically with VOCs, I had never even heard of what a volatile organic compound was before this experience and they are quite harmful. I think that more information and exposure should be pushed onto the public so that citizens are more aware of the impact that the products they are using have on the environment and their bodies. Even with the climate change push and the rise of environmentally friendly products, there is still lots of companies who have continued to use the same toxic products, and there are still lots of people who buy these products.
MB: Would you promote our scholarship program to others?
MO: Most definitely. It was an excellent experience and well worth the time and effort I put into writing and editing the essay. It’s so great to see local companies supporting students with scholarship programs like this.
MB: What would you suggest to students which are planning to apply for the next round?
MO: 1000 words is a lot so make sure you write about something that you are interested in or already have previous knowledge on, since it’s easy to write 500 words on a topic and then run out of things to say for the remaining 500. Structure your essay as though there are imaginary headers above each paragraph, so that it is easy for the reader to follow your train of thought.
We invite students from any program in any Canadian post-secondary institution to submit an application for the next scholarship contest from our Scholarship Page.