Direct Textbook is proud to announce the winner of the 2016 Scholarship Essay Contest. At Direct Textbook, we are proud to support students seeking aid for their college experience. For your chance to participate in our current scholarship contests click here.

Meet the winner of the 2016 Scholarship Essay Contest, Dynas Johnson!

Dynas will be attending Temple University in the fall where she will major in Communication Studies. While she’s nervous about the upcoming challenges this milestone presents, she’s excited for what the future holds. Dynas knows she is ready for whatever comes her way this year! When she isn’t writing award winning essays, Dynas is diligently doing chores and enjoys writing poetry. Dynas is also currently teaching herself how to draw and play the piano.

Here is Dynas’ winning essay addressing the questions: “What role does pride play in your life? Should you want to feel proud?"

"It takes a serving of pride to feed the motivation for personal growth. Wanting to become better than last year, month, or yesterday, comes from already knowing that I am worth it. I know that I am worth as much as I am willing to put into myself. That sounds prideful and it is, and that is not a bad thing. Vanity is different from respecting one's self, a detail that is often overlooked.

Pride has been a subtle, yet important thing throughout my life. Back in grade school, I was known as the writer. I always carried a little handmade book for when I found inspiration; I would sometime sit alone during lunch and write poems, or write lines and ideas for when I got home. Poetry, especially, made me who I was and am today. When I could not relate to others, I stayed away from confessional feelings and dove into the worlds of nature and fantasy. I was shy, so writing gave me a voice. I had pride in what I could do because only I could provide my unique insight, emotions, and ideas.

High school was the catalyst that encouraged and at times, forced me, to evolve. I remember the cold of insecurity that wrapped around my throat as I walked into my first writing class. I also remember the embarrassment cooking my cheeks after I read my first piece and received first real critique. The experience left me with a mixture of humbleness and understanding, but also a bitter taste of self-doubt. I started losing pride in myself as I saw my classmates grow while I felt as though I was standing still.

It went on like this for a long time until junior year hit. In the midst of a lot of emotional and social turmoil, in which friends were lost and gained, I found myself rising from the rubble. Growing tired of self-doubt and judging myself based on my classmates' abilities, I worked harder to improve my poetry and my writing in general. I knew that I was worth the effort, and no one had to tell me that. I wanted my pride back. By the end of that year, I got it, along with a wealth of writing pieces and learning experiences.

Now I am going to college, ready, excited, and full of self-esteem. I feel proud, because I know that I worked hard to get where I am now, and that sets a standard for my future.

People should feel proud of themselves, because it can bring emotional prosperity and stability. That pride will wake them up in the morning and motivate them to try even when no one believes in them. It will make them unmovable when people or situations try to make them doubt themselves. It will tell them to act with dignity and respect. Pride is necessary for success in various aspects of life. If no one else is, I am proud of myself. That is what matters."

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