Tillman Tuesdays: Essay Writing

Blog, Tips for Applying | 02/22/2022

With applications for the 2022 class of Tillman Scholars open through February 28, we want to help you make the most out of your application! While the process may be arduous, the rewards last a lifetime. As the Pat Tillman Foundation continues to address the leadership gap in our country, it is the passion and tenacity of our growing Tillman Scholar community that offers unique perspectives and creative solutions to overcome seemingly insurmountable issues facing our society and world.

Applications close in just one week, so it is time to get serious about those essays! Your story and your passion have led you to apply to be a Tillman Scholar, and your essays are your opportunity to tell us why you deserve to join this community. While your story is unique, this advice is universal—check out these tips from scholars below:

“Illustrate your grit and your determination while succinctly describing how you will carry on Pat’s legacy and contribute towards progress. Favor the concrete details over the abstract, and above all, be the truest version of yourself.” — Jo Unruh, 2021 Tillman Scholar

“The two most important aspect to writing your essays is to 1. Tell your story and 2. Convey your passion! You chose a particular path for reason, it’s likely personally connected… tell us that! Tell PTF how you see yourself making an impact in the world.”— Jayme Hentig, 2020 Tillman Scholar

“Speak to 3 people who know you well and ask them ‘what makes me special? What are three words that describe me well?’ These people know you well and will help identity your voice when writing your essay. Simply put: Listen to your community to find your voice.” — Timothy Berry, 2021 Tillman Scholar

“Work with a reviewer to read and edit your essays; I highly recommend reaching out to your university’s scholarship office to help with this process. Your work will look less professional if it’s clear you did not take the time to review your essays for mistakes and flow.  Polished, thoughtful essays stand out!” — Gretchen Klingler, 2017 Tillman Scholar

“Essays are an opportunity for you to highlight why you should be a part of the Tillman Scholar community. You need to tell a compelling story that aligns with service, scholarship, humble leadership, and impact. Your past accomplishments are valued but focus on highlighting what you will do to effect change.”— Kevin Bubolz, 2020 Tillman Scholar