Sonlight Scholarship Winners: Where Are They Now?

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For over 30 years, Sonlight has been blessed to be a significant part of the educational foundation to so many students across the globe. Years ago, Sonlight President Sarita Holzmann wanted to support Sonlight students beyond graduation. Thus the Sonlight Scholarship Foundation was created, and each year, the scholarship committee evaluates applicants, selects winners, and awards $4,000 to $20,000 total to each. 

Sonlight offers scholarships based on two different sets of criteria. One puts greater weight on academic performance, and the other focuses on mission mindedness and acts of kindness. If you are a high school senior, we encourage you to apply here

From business to academia, from churches to the mission field, from neighborhoods to home—we are grateful to have been part of these amazing students’ lives. 

The Sonlight team recently caught up with a few of our past Scholarship winners who are now thriving young adults and pursuing their individual callings. Be sure to stay tuned in the coming months for additional stories or read past stories here.

Meet Lydia M. 2017 Sonlight Graduate 

Lydia M. attended the University of Colorado Denver, receiving a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in leadership studies. Upon college graduation, Lydia taught Business English in China online and recently moved to Armenia to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Lydia is currently teaching high school English at a private French school in Yerevan. 

"There's not one right way to do homeschooling. Every family and every kid is different! Be ready and willing to adapt curriculum for your child's needs. The best part of homeschooling is you can pick and choose how to do things to fit your family." - Lydia

"One element that has played a large role in my life is how Sonlight curriculum helped me learn about other cultures and countries around the world. For example, when I decided to move to Armenia, none of my friends or family members had even heard of the country. However, I not only knew it existed but also some of the history thanks to Sonlight books like The Road From Home."

Meet Jacob U. 2019 Sonlight Graduate 

Upon graduating from college, Jacob intends to pursue his Master’s Degree and work in an economic think tank. 

When asked how Sonlight prepared him for life after homeschooling, Jacob states, “My education granted me a much deeper understanding of and appreciation for a greater diversity of subjects than many of my non-homeschooled peers are afforded by their education."

"In addition, homeschooling gave me the flexibility to pursue extracurricular interests with greater intensity than a more structured, tightly scheduled educational format would have done.”

When asked what advice to current high schoolers looking to apply to the Sonlight Scholarship, Jacob states, "Don't overthink the application process. Just be open and honest with your answers and you'll do just fine."

Meet Michaela E. 2021 Sonlight Graduate

Michaela is currently attending Messiah University in the honor's program as a Communication and Business Administration major and Health and Exercise Science minor. Michaela is also a student athlete as a part of the women’s soccer team. 

“My homeschool education equipped me extremely well for adulthood. It gave me the freedom to regularly interact with people of all ages rather than being confined to only being surrounded by peers of the same age and experience.“

Michaela’s favorite Sonlight memory is doing Read-Alouds with her mom and siblings. She states, “I will always cherish being able to read through books together as a family.”

“The flexibility homeschooling brings and develops relationships with people of all backgrounds. I felt it was extremely helpful to be able to shadow and learn from people with more experience than me.”

“I truly believe that homeschooling gave me the time and freedom to develop myself and my faith to be able to step into the world with confidence that I was well-prepared.

Homeschooling is a special journey shared by parents and children, and I am so grateful for my journey!

Meet Bobby N. 2016 Sonlight Graduate

Homeschooled since kindergarten, Bobby N. is now a 2020 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was awarded the Truman and Stamps scholarships for his work in sexual harassment and assault prevention. Bobby is currently commissioned as an Armor Officer in the United States Army.

“Sonlight taught me not to simply accept the worlds' different narratives, but to question them and critically compare them to what Jesus taught. By exposing me to different viewpoints and different cultures, Sonlight equipped me to appreciate diversity and see the strength in different viewpoints.

"This is certainly cliché, but the best part of homeschooling with Sonlight was the books. Homeschooling can help your children love to learn. It can also prepare them to encounter the world in a loving and gracious way.”

Give your students the freedom to learn what they are drawn to and support them in what they want to be.

Meet Daphne S. 2018 Sonlight Graduate

After Daphne graduated from Sonlight, she began attending Colorado Christian University and will graduate with her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and a minor in English in May 2022. 

“My love for learning has prepared me for adulthood in so many ways. I am not afraid to take on a new subject and learn about new areas of life. Being homeschooled also taught me about empathy for other people. I read so many different perspectives throughout my years of Sonlight, and so now I try my hardest to understand a person’s motivation to do what they do.”

“Homeschooling teaches your kids how to love to learn, it teaches them how to pursue what they’re interested in, and it teaches them empathy for ways of life they never had. I love how close my family was and still is because we made each other a priority. I wouldn’t give up my homeschooled life for anything."

Wow, what a blessing it is to hear all about the great successes from our Sonlight graduates! These young adults are truly making an impact in our world in no small part because of their Sonlight educations. With a Sonlight education, your children will not merely absorb basic information, but, far more, they’ll develop an inquisitive spirit and love for learning. With Sonlight, you set the stage for your students to continue learning even after they have completed their formal education.

To hear more testimonies from Scholarship winners head over to the Sonlight Connections Podcast.

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