How Does the Passion Fund Work?
To apply, please fill out the application form below. An example application is provided below the form.
Example 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.
Hi! My name is Megan Hansen, and 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.