Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
The aforementioned message kept me alive through my 3-year journey in search of a prestigious scholarship to further my education.
It was not a walk in the park but through the help of God, my unrelenting spirit, soul and mind, I am here today with heart full of appreciation and gratitude to encourage a brother, sister and a friend who has been in search of a scholarship for years and are currently stuck in the dilemma of hopelessness.
My journey started in 2017 after I graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana with a First Class Honours in BSc Business Administration with specialisation in Management.
Despite my tuition fee arrears, my University put a human face to my situation and allowed me to graduate while it withholds my certificate until “I clear myself”.
As a result of that, I missed my first golden opportunity to study a Masters programme in South Africa, SA on a full scholarship, given that I could not prove my certification.
Little by little, I saved enough from my national service allowance to clear my arrears in order to secure my certificate – this was already in 2018.
I tried again with Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program in SA and the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship in the UK which all came crushing at my feet. This evoked so much feeling but I kept my eye on the ultimate crown and surged on.
Here comes another year – 2019, this time I gave the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship another try with the full optimism to win the award, regrettably, it ended up in tears again.
At this point, pooling strength and amassing confidence in myself was somewhat impossible. Failure kept its ugly head in my affairs.
The struggle was real and it was a normal or natural feeling for anyone to feel discouraged and lose hope at this point but the spirit in me kept on hitting me hard to stop at nothing.
In the last quarter of 2019, the 2020 Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Sciences Po, Paris and the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship opened again.
It was rather too early as I had not recovered fully from the previous defeat. With courage and fortitude, I started working hard on my essays.
I sacrificed several hours of sleep reading articles around the MSc Programme I wish to pursue. This programme which is entirely a new area with reference to my academic background. I created an account on LinkedIn and started connecting with previous scholars.
It was indeed a very exhausting hurdle. When my colleague applicants sat behind laptops to work on their applications, I had my broken-screen phone and notepad alone to help me throughout the process.
I encountered many challenges but to God be the glory; great things He has done, I have the pleasure and honour to announce to you today that, I have been awarded a comprehensive and fully funded Mastercard Foundation Scholarship in Paris to pursue a 2–year master of Science in Environmental Policy starting from the fall semester this year (2020 – 2022) and I have had a couple of Commonwealth Shared Scholarship nominations in the UK.
I cannot boast enough of my exceptional unrelenting spirit and resilience – it can only be God. The ebb and flow of the tides in my scholarship journey is now clearly understood. The reasons are now loud and illuminating, the result is speaking volumes and testifying to the world, that giving up is never an option.
It is rather gratifying and delectating to note that, every effort quashed and reduced to nothing by failure is not a tangible reason to give up because after all, the joy and the sense of fulfillment that will cloud your heart on winning after several attempts will surpass the pain of giving up on yourself and letting yourself down.
To this end, I can say emphatically without doubt that, failure is a foundation to grow your strength to champion a course that will project you to the height you never expected.
Source: John Elliot