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Unigo Superhero Scholarship Essay

Vaughn M.
Virginia Beach, VA


Vaughn: A 31-year-old student seeking his doctorate in clinical psychology.

Kang the Conqueror: A Marvel supervillain and time-traveling despot from the 30th century.

Scene 1

(Vaughn sits at a coffee table contemplating life. In an email offering a scholarship, he is asked the question; who would you be, a superhero or a villain? Turning to his lovely wife, he proclaims …)

Vaughn: I should be the villain.

Caroline: What? Why!?!

(Vaughn stares into the distance; entering a world beyond imagination.)

Scene 2

(Kang’s first officer sees his commander open his eyes after a prolonged pause.) 

Officer: Sir, are you alright?

(Vaughn’s influence takes control.)

Kang: Status Report!

Officer: We remain in geosynchronous orbit over Earth!  The fleet stands by for your orders. Their champions, the Avengers, approach.

Kang: Just as planned… Commander! Withdraw the fleet. Set a course for the galactic center!

Officer: But sir …

(Vaughn, asserting his newly found power.)

Kang: You question, me!?!


Caroline: Earth to Vaughn! Where did you go?

Vaughn: By taking the place of the villain, I would be stopping him from “conquering.” If I became the hero, Kang would not be stopped in a day, but if I became the villain the problem would be solved.  In terms of powers, I would want to be a character in command of time and space.  With such power, technically, one day could last for an eternity.  There are so many options!

(Caroline rolls her eyes and finishes her chocolate cake.)

We're excited to announce the winner of the $2,500 Unigo Superpower Scholarship. The question was, “Which superhero or villain would you want to change places with for a day and why?” Check out Melissa A.'s winning essay and scholarship tips.

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Winning scholarship essay

Quite frankly, it would’ve been too easy to conquer the world.

Melissa collapsed onto the park bench, ignoring the pigeon’s indignant squawk as it flapped away. Absently, she swung a foot back and forth.

Anybody could guess Putin’s password. Manipulate France’s leader? Child’s play. Honestly, she was surprised no one had hacked the nuclear codes thus far. She considered doing it herself (her afternoon was free), before deciding against War Games Part 2.

A campanile rung out five chimes. Frustrated, Melissa stood and whirled around, slamming her fist against a tree. Bark cut into her knuckles, and Melissa flexed the bleeding appendage. Five bells. Three hours until her gift faded, brain faltering. Time enough to vanquish the world — that was easy. But to change it forever? Not so much.

The idea was barely a flicker, quieter than a breath. But an image slowly formed in Melissa’s mind: lies, such as needing to floss, a place where everyone had to see through bullsh ... "alternative facts."

Her knuckles still stung, but Melissa didn’t mind; she’d take technologically-advanced neurons over enhanced muscles any day. Already she could visualize snugly fitted gears. Building the machine wouldn’t be a problem; but try as she might, even she couldn’t predict the reaction — hate? gratitude? — for forcing humanity to confront the truth.

It didn’t matter, Melissa decided. Hero, villain, each spouted honeyed words, different only in name. Grimly smiling, she straightened her back.

Three hours.

180 minutes, only her brain to change how the world viewed reality itself.


Scholarship tips from our winner

How to win scholarships

When I was first beginning to apply for scholarships, I had no idea where to start looking. I needed advice, so I turned to my best friend in the whole wide world: Google. I would browse online for scholarships that seemed interesting. Over time I learned that there were certain companies that hosted a variety of scholarships throughout the year. I subscribed to several of these to receive periodic notifications, which was how I became aware of Unigo's Superpower Scholarship.

I'd argue that the two most important attributes for winning scholarships are time management skills and passion. Look far and wide for scholarships, start early, brainstorm, and keep track of deadlines. I recommend using Google Calendar to set periodic reminders.

How to write a winning scholarship essay

Always write about something that interests you; only then can your unique voice — be it dry wit, or grave concern about an important issue — truly be heard.