The Scholarship Fund

Our 2023 Winners:

$500 Scholarship Winner: Eva R.

When I think about my childhood, so many memories involve reading books with my family. My grandmother regularly took me to our local Spring Lake, NC public library. I always looked forward to these trips with her, knowing that together we would pick out a large stack of books to enjoy at home. One of my all-time favorites, written by Leigh Hobbs, was Fiona The Pig. Let me explain why this book was so special to me. I am part of a mixed-race family, meaning that growing up, although I had similarities to both of my parents, my skin tone and features didn’t exactly match either. In the book, Fiona, a young piglet, is nothing like her parents. While they resemble typical pigs, being messy and having a penchant for mud, Fiona is the exact opposite. Fiona, unlike her parents, lives for tea parties and dressing up. Her parents struggle to understand her and wish that she was more like them. This problem continues throughout the book, until the end, when Fiona puts on a talent show for her parents. Here they realize that they love their daughter just the way she is. Even though Fiona’s challenges differ from mine, I still feel a closeness to her character as someone who feels slightly out of place within their own family. There’s a happy ending for both Fiona and myself, we each found acceptance, but most of all love, despite our differences.

Honorable Mentions Amazon Gift Card: Boyd B. 

The book that influenced me the most as a child was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. This sounds ridiculous to most but it wasn’t the words on the pages that influenced me, but the memories that came from reading it. When I was tiny my dad was serving in the US Navy, he traveled the world on the USS Chigaco for six months at a time. He missed birthdays, Christmas’, and even my first day of Pre-K. While he was away he would get to go into whatever town they were at for the time being and look around, on one of those adventures he got me the book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” He shipped it out soon after and when it finally reached my home back in Hawaii I made my mama read it to me every night. My mama flooded my dad’s letters with pictures of me reading and soon it became part of the USS Chicago’s decor. I took it everywhere we went, from school, to the zoo, and even on picnics. The night he finally returned home, he read it to me until I fell asleep. This became our routine, every night he was home he would read me the words on the worn-down pages of the book until we fell asleep. As I grew older we stopped this routine, now the book sits on my shelf, collecting dust while holding onto the memories my dad and I will forever cherish.

Honorable Mentions Amazon Gift Card: Josephine G. 

The book that influenced me the most was The Little Engine That Could. Growing up, I was always more on the shy side, scared to be outgoing like my sister. I kept to myself more. My mom would sit with me every night, though, and let me pick a book, and, if I was convinced enough, then two. I chose the Little Engine that Could so many times that she no longer needed to see the words to read it. This book taught me how capable I was, and today, I am not afraid to put myself out there and be who I am. Instead of trying to fit in a bubble and follow everyone else, I embrace who I am and always “think I can.” I loved it when my mom would read to me, and if I could, I would’ve chosen every book, so the fact that I maximized my one book with The Little Engine That Could show how important it is even to a growing mind like mine was and is. Today I no longer “think I can”; I know I can. Sometimes when I doubt myself, I remind myself of The Little Engine That Could. It wasn’t easy to break away from my shy self, and I couldn’t have done it without this book. I thank every day that my young self liked the color blue, picked that book to read, and stuck with it every night.


Thank you to everyone who applied this year!

Application Deadline

All applications including the submission of 5 completed book reviews must be submitted by October 28. Award notification will be made on November 15, 2023.

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The winning applicant will be notified directly by November 15, 2023 and an announcement of the winner will be posted on our scholarship page by Nov. 15 as well.

Remember, every bee’s voice matters, and yours could be the one to help another bee find their next favorite book. 

Let’s make reading buzz-tastic together!