Jonas’s Scholarship Success Story

Blog written by Jonas Marshall

Leaving Grade 11, I had almost no knowledge about universities and even more so, scholarships. I thought the only way you could win a scholarship was if you were really good at sports. So, when my mom showed me this company called GrantMe that she saw on Facebook, I was not prepared for the journey I was about to undergo.

Before starting at GrantMe, I had no idea how I was going to pay for university. 

I worked a part-time job since Grade 9, but only had about $10,000 saved up for school. Realizing that this would barely cover my first-year tuition, I thought student loans and debt were inevitable.

GrantMe helped me unlock my potential. 

When I started GrantMe during the summer between Grades 11 and 12, I was already a member of my school’s leadership committee. I had a couple of ideas that I wanted to implement in my school. However, I didn’t really have a plan. GrantMe saw those ideas and helped me devise an action plan that put my visions into reality.

They didn’t just help me submit stronger applications—they built me into a person that could win scholarships. 

After every mentorship call, I learned a new perspective on how to tackle the problems in my life. For instance, I learned to use Google Calendar to help organize my weekly activities and due dates. I learned to address my issues with accountability by admitting when I was struggling with balancing schoolwork and scholarships. 

All of this combined made me into a better and more capable person.

One of my greatest areas of concern with scholarships was my essay writing. I had a pretty good resume in terms of volunteer experience. However, I considered myself an average English student and I hated writing essays. This is where GrantMe came in to save my butt. They showed me techniques to follow that made my math and science-inclined brain able to connect essay writing to a formula that I could follow. 

This made essay writing 10 times easier and faster for me. 

Without GrantMe’s help, I would take five hours to write something that sounded like a generic job application. Similarly, I often felt confident working on an essay until GrantMe editors pointed out how uninteresting it was!

They helped me to elevate my writing to make my scholarship application stand out amongst many.

After writing and submitting several essays, I started to build a database. I could pick and choose bits from past essays to quickly create new essays to submit to other scholarships. This made it easy for me to quickly go through scholarship applications and increase my chances to win more money!

By winning over $51,000 in scholarships, I won myself extra time that I would have spent on a job during university.

As I go into computer engineering at Queen’s University, I’m excited to take part in several clubs and extracurricular projects. As a result of the work I dedicated this past year, I now have the freedom to do so.

GrantMe gave me the opportunity to explore what my university has to offer without worrying about student debt. 

Without their help, I wouldn’t have as much freedom with my education. For that, I am ever grateful.


Jonas Marshall is a 2020 GrantMe Academy program alumnus and a current GrantMe Mentor. He will be attending Queen’s University in fall 2020 to study computer engineering.

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