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Can you read the street signs?" Mom asked as we drove through the chilly winter night. I leaned forward and squinted at the signs above us. "Oh! That was it! We were supposed to turn there!
A couple of days before this nighttime adventure, I'd found an application for a $20,000 scholarship offered by a national community organization. Even though there wasn't much time to fill out the application and write the essays--the deadline was later that week--I thought it was an opportunity that was too good to pass up.
After I adapted some other essays I'd already written and gathered some letters of recommendation, Mom and I headed to the local branch of the …