~by Carmen Jones, Ed.D. c.
As I was doing my usual homework routine and checking twitter, I came across a message stating that Sean “Puffy” Combs’ son Justin does not deserve a $54,000 scholarship to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) because of his father’s worth of over $450 million. The author indicated that he could easily afford to send his son to college with no problem. Immediately, I began to think that this does make absolute sense based on my understanding of scholarships that the requirements are usually for those in financial need. Looking back on my younger years, I also received full-ride scholarships because of the financial distress my parents faced. They were unable to afford two daughters going to college at the same time. However, I also realize that the reason why I was awarded the scholarship was that I earned it.
According to National Public Radio (NPR), Justin Combs defended his self by taking his frustrations to twitter. He stated, “I put that work in!!!!...PERIOD." This is when I began to feel empathy for the junior Combs and realized that he put in the work just like I did when I was doing all that I could to attend the best college. UCLA awarding Justin a $54,000 scholarship is similar to the situation that happened with Master P’s son Romeo when he attended Southern California University (SCU) in 2008. I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is, “What are we learning from this?”
Scholarships from colleges are to not only award those who are in financial need, but also those who exemplify the importance of working hard and deserving of a rewarded for their hard work. If scholarships were awarded to only those in financial need, we would have a problem, because now universities would have to seek out those in financial need. Those who work hard would not receive any kind of financial reward.
The UCLA representative, Ricardo Vazquez advised the Los Angeles Times that the scholarship awarded to Justin Combs would not affect the scholarships awarded by the university in anyway. Students from UCLA also feel that the scholarship was well deserved to Justin Combs and “…If his athletic ability deserves it, then more power him”. This statement comes from the Undergraduate Students Association President, Emily Resnick. Like Resnick, students understand the politics of how universities work, and what better way to get the best and brightest for the athletic department then to seek out superstars.
We live in a world where people want to be rewarded for their good deeds, hard work, and valuable insight to making the world a better place. Awards are around us everyday. They can be found in places such as American Idol, NBA Championships, Spelling Bees, and toddlers going through graduation ceremonies to Kindergarten. We cannot ridicule something that we put there in the first place. But, oh wait, we do live in a country that loves to ridicule anyway! No matter how rich or poor you are, there should never be anything wrong with receiving a pat on the back for your efforts.
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