It’s no secret that college is expensive. When you add up tuition, room and board, and those $200 textbooks you have to buy each quarter, a higher education might seem like a goal that’s out of reach for many students. Luckily, there are women like Shayla Price. When Shayla was a junior in high school, she realized that her parents wouldn’t be able to pay for her education at a university. That’s when she discovered the potential of scholarships. After earning $100,000 in free money, Shayla became known as the “Scholarship Queen”. Since then, Shayla has helped more than 5,000 students across the nation find and apply for scholarships. “I make it part of my mission to inform individuals—students and parents—that scholarships are available for their education,” she says. As many students face the daunting mission of earning money for tuition, Shayla is there reassuring them that funds don’t have to be a barrier between them and college.
When she was just twenty years old, Shayla published her book, ‘The Scholarship Search: A Guide to Winning Free Money for College and More’, providing students with an invaluable resource for college preparation. The book is filled with tips for writing strong essays, asking teachers for letters of recommendation, and managing time wisely. And time management is a skill Shayla knows well—writing a book when you’re twenty years old and also dealing with the pressure of college isn’t an easy task! Shayla says that her motivation to create ‘The Scholarship Search’ came from her parents, her passion for writing, and her desire to help others get free money through scholarships. These incentives compelled her to set aside time from homework and extracurricular activities to complete the book.
Alongside her enthusiasm for scholarships, Shayla also has a deep commitment to helping others through volunteer work and community service. From a young age, she has been devoted to making a difference in her community. Whether it’s picking up trash, spending time with the elderly, or helping out at the local hospital, Shayla emphasizes the importance of community service, especially for young people looking for scholarships. “Most of the scholarships I earned were based on community service—they weren’t based on academics,” she says. “It was more about how I had helped other individuals. In order to receive, you must give.” The worldview that “in order to receive, you must give” seems to be the guiding principle behind Shayla’s work. Shayla’s lifelong dedication to giving to others through volunteer work set the stage for receiving thousands of dollars in scholarship money. What makes Shayla incredible is that she didn’t stop there—in college and beyond, she continues to work to improve the lives of others through supporting volunteerism and advocacy.
After being the first in her family to graduate from college, Shayla set her sights on law school. Hoping to learn ways to use her experiences in the nonprofit world (during her undergraduate years, she worked for the Children’s Defense Fund and the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City), Shayla earned her law degree and became a lawyer. During law school, she also developed her abilities as an advocate. “Since [law school], my problem solving skills have boosted up!” She added with a laugh.
Shayla currently uses those problem solving and advocacy talents to address some really large issues, like hunger in the United States. “A lot of times, individuals look at hunger as something where you have to be very skinny and your stomach has to be bloated out. But hunger is also seen in individuals that don’t have enough food to sustain themselves for tonight. Most of my advocacy work now is around childhood hunger.” Shayla understands that even though she is just one woman, she can use her voice as an advocate to improve the larger community. By encouraging others to participate in ending hunger through volunteering, Shayla continues to use her time and talents to give back to those around her. “I want people to know that hunger does exist in America and that we can solve it. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone in the world; it’s more about access.”
During my conversation with Shayla, I was reminded of just how big of an impact a woman can make when she identifies a problem in the community and works to solve it. By helping students get the money they need for college, working at nonprofit organizations, and advocating for an end to hunger in the United States, Shayla has used her skills to serve those around her in numerous ways. Exemplifying intelligence, dedication, and empathy in her work, Shayla demonstrates the positive change that can come from committing yourself to service.
Learn more about scholarships from Shayla at http://www.shaylaprice.com/
Women Working to Do Good is a series that Hello Giggles and the White House have been collaborating on. We will bring you stories of women in communities across the United States who we think are stars in their own right. Whether they are young entrepreneurs, active community organizers, or making a difference in a single life or community, we think these women are amazing and want to share their stories with you! Each story will also be featured on the White House blog, and we are working together to bring more strong female role models to the forefront.
If there is a woman in your community who you think should be honored in this series, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!