apply here for the passion fund
To apply, please fill out the application form below. An example application is provided below the form.
Examples of Passionate Pursuit
Many may ask, What are some examples of a passionate pursuit that might win the Passion Fund award?
They could be anything. God may call you to go to school at LeTourneau University in Longview Texas to learn how to fly for Mission Aviation Fellowship. Or, he may call you to open a yogurt shop in Parkville. The key is not only the dream, but the plan for how you are going to accomplish this dream and what you’ve done thus far to get there.
The following is an example of how previous winners have answered their application essay questions.
My passion is to encourage people with special needs to reach their full potential. I believe that people with special needs have an incredible perspective and gift to give. These people are often overlooked and undermined in many day-to-day areas of life. The longer I have been an advocate for people with special needs the more I see this mistreatment. This problem is one that reaches past the secular world and is even in the church. Some of the wisest people I have ever met and got the privilege to form a relationship with are in a wheelchair, have autism, or are deaf. I have learned so much from individuals like this. It makes me so disheartened that so many people overlook them because of their disabilities. It upsets me that these people, who are children of God, are not loved and respected as much as others because they are so worth being loved.
I believe people with special needs are crucial in the Kingdom of God. They can have such amazing ideas, leadership skills, and deep relationships with others. People with special needs just need to have a little more assistance in learning how to communicate these ideas. They have incredible potential and can accomplish great things. People with special needs can change the world. The only difference between them and neurotypical people is that they need a little more help doing certain tasks. They may be slower to learn certain things, but they have the potential to learn everything and anything.
My goal has always been to encourage independence from people with special needs. I really love seeing people grow their confidence in themselves and their abilities. I strongly believe that’s what I can do to help them reach their world-changing potential. I think some encouragement can change not only their mindsets but also impact people around them. People with disabilities are judged by what they cannot do rather than what they can do. Nonverbal people are even written off as dumb or emotionless because they cannot communicate their emotions or intelligence the same way we can. People in wheelchairs are often said to be helpless and that they cannot be independent. I believe if people with special needs were talked to and judged on all the things they can do, they will reach their full potential and the world would not only be a better place, but many would view them much differently.
I have been working with kids with special needs for six consecutive years. I chose to spend my summer working at a camp called Camp Barnabas. Camp Barnabas is one of the largest camps in the area that is dedicated to making sure kids with disabilities feel welcomed and loved. This is an incredible place that spurred me on to this passion many years ago. Camp Barnabas creates an atmosphere where no matter your background, race, ability, or disability you are met with God’s love and acceptance. I was able to intern at this camp in 2017 which was an amazing and rewarding experience. I was one out of 12 people chosen out of about 250 applicants. This summer I will be serving there as full-time staff for many weeks getting to immerse myself in this passion and make a lasting impact for the Kingdom. For this position, I was one of 100 people chosen out of over a thousand applicants.
Not only do I spend my summers at Camp Barnabas, but I am also currently working full time at a group home that houses kids with disabilities. The kids I get to work with are in foster care and have a hard time finding a permanent home because of their intense behavior needs. These kids that I work with are not loved and accepted. In many cases, they don’t have family or friends. They are put in the group home because they have been labeled unlovable by the government or even their families. My job is mainly to teach them how to be valuable members of their communities, but also to love on them continually. I work on different goals and teach them different skills so they can go out and change the world. I also work as an office assistant in this company. During my office days, I write reports and create spreadsheets for the Missouri Department of Mental Health on how my clients are progressing on their goals. During this, I advocate the Missouri Department of Mental Health on my client’s needs in order to make sure they are matched with funding and any services.
I have been pursuing this passion aggressively since I was 12 years old. I have learned how much I enjoy helping others become more independent. Overall, I believe that the Lord has truly called me to help and serve people with special needs. My service towards them does not only helps them understand God’s love but it also rewards me in making my relationship with God so much deeper and fuller. l completely believe that the Lord wants to use everyone, no matter the ability or disability, to further his Kingdom and make His name known. This is why I know that teaching these people in need the ability to be integrated into everyday life is one that will make an eternal impact and one that I want to be apart of.
I plan to become an Occupational Therapist for kids with special needs. An Occupation Therapist job is to work with kids who are a little slower at learning basic everyday tasks. This could be things such as brushing their teeth, buttoning their shirt up, regulating how they express their emotions, writing their name, and so many everyday tasks that we don’t think about.
This occupation really calls to me because I will be helping people with special needs reach their full potential as well as be making a difference in not only their life but their families, peers, and anyone who is blessed to be in contact with them. I believe that kids like this learning these tasks will help them grow into more independent members of their community and help them to achieve their goals. Many things that we don’t think are important can really open up a new world to kids with special needs. For example, teaching a child to button his shirt may not be the biggest deal for most neurotypical kids to learn, but that skill may, in the future , allow that person to button up his shirt correctly for a job interview. Teaching a child to hold a spoon may ignite their love for food and cooking and maybe they start their own bakery someday. The options are really endless. That is why my passion is so important to me, being able to be the person that helps guide others in finding their own passions and achieve them is so important to me. Occupational Therapists really give the kids a strong foundation for becoming independent people with successful careers, hobbies, marriages, and lives.
I am planning to become an Occupational Therapist at Metropolitan Community Co llege. This is a two-year associates degree that can really jump start my career in helping kids every day. Currently, I plan to do a year at Metropolitan Community College to earn all of my prerequisites and then complete my general education courses. After this, I will apply for the Occupational Therapist program in May 2021. This is the earliest I can get into this program and I am so excited to begin my journey of helping those in need reach the goals God has in store for them. I will apply for this and if I get in I will be able to finish all my course work and graduate in 2023. After I graduate I plan to apply for lots of jobs locally, either in schools or hospitals that both pertain to my degree, in which I can help these special needs kids flourish.
From the time I was little I have had a passion to see God’s justice, love, and peace permeate the lives of those around me. My friends and family have commonly characterized my personality as warrior. I am inspired when I hear stories of ordinary men like William Wallace, who chose to take a stand for freedom when no one else would. My passion is to take similar stands by fighting for God’s justice in areas such as pornography, human trafficking, the persecuted church, and the homosexual agenda. In addition to these concerns, I primarily desire to see justice in the area of outlawing abortion. I want to see these issues addressed at the heart level of our society, in our legislation, and in our courts. America needs leaders that will honor God and promote His will and values in government. My passion involves seeing those leaders arise and use their skills to honor God’s leadership and values. When I was in preschool, this passion was personified through my deep interest in the life of Moses. It was amazing to consider how God could take someone who was ordinary, weak, and broken and turn them into an instrument for His will. The obedience, desire for freedom, and the leadership that Moses expressed inspired me. I loved hearing about how God was faithful to His people. Even when the Israelites betrayed God, He was faithful to Israel in the face of danger. That is the God that I know and want to share with the world. In my Christian life as a teenager, a verse that has spoken to me is Proverbs 31:8-9 – “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the abuse of the poor and needy.” The first time I read this verse, I thought of the unborn. This verse is also applicable to all those who are exploited. These people need a voice to be an advocate for them. I want to be part of that voice and help them. I have also had multiple people in my church approach me and confirm these callings without solicitation. Once an older gentleman at my church told me that he felt like God impressed it upon his heart that I was meant to be a general in God’s army. In another situation, another man told me that He felt like God was going to use my voice to advance His will. These stories are not meant to prove anything about myself. Instead they encourage me to pursue my passion wholeheartedly. Establishing righteousness in a government administered by human beings can only be achieved if God intervenes in our culture. Smart politicians and good speakers are not going to solve our problems. When God’s people humble themselves and pray, He will heal their land. I want to be involved in moving mountains in the political arena with others in the body of Christ.
Given my vision, I have worked hard in high school academics and participated in forensics. I currently have a 4.0 GPA including several honors classes. Plus, I took trigonometry, calculus, physics, and foreign language for dual credit at a local Junior College. The speech and debate league that I participate in is known as the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA). The NCFCA was founded by Dr. Michael Farris’ daughter and is a forensics league in which thousands of Christian homeschoolers across the nation compete every year. In my first year of Lincoln Douglas Debate, I took 4th at the 2013 NCFCA National Championship. After that tournament, I was invited to be a contributing author for Monument Publishing’s Redbook. The Redbook is a debate curriculum that debaters use to construct arguments about the resolution. Last year, I again qualified for the NCFCA National Championship which was located at Patrick Henry College. While at the tournament, I had multiple scouts from Patrick Henry evaluate by debate rounds. Over the course of discussions with multiple people at the college, they indicated their excitement about my debate skills. I have also received phone calls from Dr. Farris and from debate scouts in which they expressed interest about having me on their debate team. Additionally, I took 2nd place in a speech category known as “Persuasive Speaking” at that tournament. After the Action Alert Championship, I was asked to write again for the online portion of the Redbook by Monument Publishing for the 2014-2015 competitive season. Despite the fact the debate season this year has just gotten underway, I am already seeing my hard work pay off. I transitioned to a new style of debate called Team Policy. Despite this change, my partner and I achieved 1st Place at the first tournament of the season (which is the only one that we have attended this year). NCFCA has been a great way for me to learn and grow. As a result, I have had opportunities to develop and communicate important messages outside of NCFCA venues. One situation occurred recently when I gave my 2nd Place Persuasive speech in a public setting. The speech addresses the impact of sexual addiction and pornography on society and the family structure. I partnered with an organization called Exodus Cry (which seeks to fight Human Trafficking) to develop and disseminate a video of my speech. The day after we finished filming, the director contacted me and indicated that this video has the potential for an extremely wide reach. She is currently working on the editing process, but once the film is produced, she speculates that this could reach many people in top-tier organizations like Focus on the Family. My experiences speaking and debating have helped me develop critical thinking skills and a clear speaking ability. My goal is to use my talents to follow God’s will and stand up for His righteousness, even if no one else will.
From the time I was twelve, God has given me vision about how to accomplish my goals. The first step involves getting a four-year undergraduate degree related to government and pre-law studies. I was accepted to Patrick Henry College (PHC) in December. I plan to attend PHC in the Fall of 2015 and pursue a degree in American Politics and Policy. Additionally, I believe that consistent prayer and worship is a critical part in establishing God’s will in our nation and the World. Throughout all of these stages, in pursuit of my passion, I plan to engage and invite others to join me in the exercise of both prayer and worship for the promotion of His will. While at Patrick Henry, I plan to debate on the Moot Court team which is co-coached by Dr. Michael Farris who founded HSLDA. Patrick Henry has won eight National Titles in the past eleven years of competing in Moot Court. As Dr. Farris described, Moot Court prepares you to debate in front of the United States Supreme Court. I believe that this experience will be critical in helping to develop forensic skills necessary for effective communication within the American government. In addition, Patrick Henry will be a great place where I can develop relationships with other future leaders. Partnering with brothers and sisters in Christ will be critical in achieving the goals that I have dreamed about for so long. After completing my degree at Patrick Henry, I hope to go on to law school. Patrick Henry has an almost flawless track record with their law applicants. In 2014, multiple students from Patrick Henry were accepted by some of the top law programs in the country. These include institutions such as Yale, Harvard, Regent, and the at the University of Virginia which as the 8th best law school in the nation. After completing a degree in law, I hope to join or start a law practice that advocates for God’s truth in the courtroom. I hope to eventually fight for God’s justice on the floor of the Supreme Court. While working in that arena, I also plan to continue developing relationships with other Christians who share common goals. The unity of the body of Christ will be paramount in being successful to honor God in the way we govern America. After engaging in the realm of law for a few years, I plan to run for public office. My ultimate dream would be to be a senator in Congress. If God wants me to enter into these arenas, He will make a way. My plans may be subject to change, but at this point in time, this is what I feel like God is calling me to do.
I love art. When I first saw the movie ‘Tangled’ at 13 years old, I was enraptured by the beauty of the story and the beauty of the artwork, although I was not very interested in art at that time. However, after watching that movie, I found myself absent-mindedly doodling Rapunzel over and over, even though I did it very poorly at first.
Whenever I was bored, whenever I was listening to or watching something, I found myself doodling. I grew a bit sick of the movie after a while, but I kept drawing anyway. Drawing had become way too fun to stop! I have never taken an art class (although last summer I went to a four-day art camp). I simply consumed every art book in my library, using hundreds of art books as my teachers and guides.
I continue to challenge and teach myself in my art- if there is a technique I am terrible at, or a subject that scares me (such as hands, the artists’ bane!), I first try to simply power through it. Often, it surprises me how much easier it was than I thought! However, there were often very frustrating times when I had to take it slow and swallow the bitter fact that I did not yet have the skill to draw what I was imagining.
If there is any virtue that art has trained me in, it is patience! My art has always started with and centered on telling stories. More and more in stories today, truth is being hidden or even lost completely among the murk. I want to change that. I want people to see God and have their hearts yearn for Him through my artwork. I want my paintings to drive people to thought and to action. I love getting to know people, so the mere concept of creating a character has always fascinated me. I have always loved acting and theatre, which has helped me infinitely to create more accurate movement and expression in my artwork.
I am also a huge reader, and God has taught me just how much stories can deeply impact a person. Jesus Himself used parables constantly! Ever since I was little, I have always had my head stuck in a beautiful story. To have the opportunity to create a story, to shape a world, has always been a dream of mine. That is why I believe God has called me to shape story through my artwork- to create concept art for animated movies or illustrate children’s books. I have learned so much about life and about God through stories, and so I want to be the person that captures these stories. I want to define and create characters and worlds that become dear and change lives.
Last spring, my mom nonchalantly commented- “You know, you’d be great at leading a kids’ art class. Once planted, I could not shake the idea. I made plans, created a website, set up a room, gathered supplies, wrote lessons, and then opened Whimsy Art Lab! I sold out, and found myself the creator of a business and the teacher of a class. As the classes continued, I was shocked simultaneously at the amount of work that went into teaching a class and maintaining a business and the joy teaching gave. I finished one class during the summer, another class in the fall, and I am now expanding my business to two classes this spring.
The classes are simply me, trying to teach kids the techniques and concepts I wish I knew when I was starting out. I have also had an amazing experience thanks to Mid-Continent Library’s Cover-It-Up illustration contest. It was my first real-world chance to combine literature and art, both of which I love dearly. I had a blast coming up with the book covers. I even won first place! I was elated when they offered the contest again, and I poured even more time into my covers. I again won first place, and my other cover got an honorable mention! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, and it definitely has helped confirm my passion for illustration.
I am also the monthly Facebook and website banner designer for Lee’s Summit Home Educators for this school year. Just this past Christmas, I developed a set of 25 Jesse Tree ornaments for sale. I had my artwork displayed at Union Station through the KC Art@Work program last summer. In 2011, I was asked to paint and design the mural for my church’s nursery. This year, I designed a logo, a brochure banner, and a Facebook banner for a new ministry group, Freshwater Friends. I am in the FHE 2015 social committee, and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. I was a part of designing dances, and it was so fun creating the look and feel of a world when all you have is an empty gym!
The dance that was the most fun was Alice in Wonderland- I helped a friend paint a ‘down-the-rabbit-hole’ tunnel, I made large stand up mushrooms, and the whole group painted whimsical designs on teacups for the tables. I produced, directed, wrote, filmed, and acted in Bales Baptist’s BFF Women’s Ministry Commercials. I was the campaign intern for State Representative Candidate Nola Wood last summer. I was the 2014 Missouri Breckenridge scholar, and I was recognized at the State Capitol. I am a Missouri Bright Flight Scholar.
I am in the Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society. I was the Nationwide Grand Prize winner of the Sunbeam Invention Idea Contest in 2005. And lastly, I have over 300 service hours, mainly in teaching kids’ Sunday School and volunteering for the MPE conference, political campaigns, and Storybook Theatre.
Above all, I want my career to serve God and to further His kingdom- specifically, I want to use my artwork to spread the truth about God, His story, and His love. After looking into many types of career options, I have decided to pursue an Illustration degree because it is the only art degree that actively incorporates story into its courses.
Through an Illustration degree, I would learn how to design a character, how to make my style consistent, and how to impact people through stories. I would learn the procedures, the techniques, and the programs that have been lacking in my art experience so far. I would learn firsthand from professional artists and peers what my weaknesses are so I may strengthen them, and what my strengths are so I can use them to their fullest potential. It is the sort of environment I have so often dreamed about- one where I can satisfy my ravenous hunger for learning art, one where I can be critiqued and grow, one where I can spend hours upon hours practicing until I know that I can complete a professional job well.
However, of the colleges in America offering Illustration, only three are Christian. If I do not go to a Christian school, I will be asked to sacrifice my values to pursue my passion. Other colleges bring in nude models and like to ‘push the boundaries’ of morality. I don’t want to view a live human being as an object simply to study and draw. I want the meaning to seep further than that and recognize that a naked person is one of God’s beloved creations, and not for my eyes to see. I want to serve God with my knowledge, not slap Him in the face with the very talents He has entrusted to me. I want to be in a place that recognizes truth for truth and will not envelop the classroom in lies because it ‘pushes boundaries’. I want to have the opportunity to keep serving churches and ministries through art.
Pursuing an art degree in a secular world would mean compromises I am not willing to make. Pursuing an art degree in a God-fearing, God-serving environment forms a path that I am very eager to take. However, they are all expensive. I am vigilantly pursuing scholarships daily to follow what I believe is God’s will for me. Getting an Illustration degree at a Christian school would be a total change of worlds, a change in paths from one I might have to choose otherwise.
Instead of shuffling around in the dark on my own, I would learn exponentially from the deep wisdom and experience of the artists surrounding me. I would be challenged by critiques I have not had much opportunity of having before. I would grow from a beautiful, God-fearing environment. An Illustration degree would prepare me to become a concept artist or an illustrator, and spread God’s story through movies and books.