Juniors: $1,000 to pursue your dreams and passion this summer

Any current junior returning to Stetson next year is eligible to apply for The Mike Raymond Beyond the Classroom Grant, which provides $1,000 to fund a summer passion project.

The grant is awarded annually to students who have achieved junior standing and actively pursue their passions for learning outside of the domain of assignments, credits, and compulsory education.

Grant money is to be used during the summer actively pursuing a passion or a dream. Whatever you do is up to you; the project does not have to be connected to any particular field of study.

Ideally, the recipient will be working on an independent project: creative writing, journalism, film, acting, political activism, scientific research, or a business plan. Possible uses for the grant money may include travel for research; books; equipment; or just supplemental income to cover fundamental living expenses in order to take financial pressure off of the grant winner during the pursuit of independent learning and exploration.

Why this grant exists:

Michael W. Raymond, Ph.D., a professor of English at Stetson University until his death in 2007, believed that higher education was an opportunity for students to discover their passions.

His message to undergraduates at Stetson University was clear: The university exists as a sanctuary and a crucible, a place to learn to love the process of learning, and to catch fire with an intellectual passion that will sustain you for the rest of your life.

He was speaking from his own experience as an undergraduate at Stetson University, and this grant in his honor is designed to help current and future undergraduates to pursue their own dreams and passions. Dr. Raymond railed against using four years students at a college or university as vocational training. The idea that college represented a transactional experience in which one “put in” four years of time, a pile of cash and expected a degree in return which represented little more than a ticket to the rat race was anathema to him.

How to apply: 

To apply, send all the following via e-mail to adehnart@stetson.edu:

  1. A personal letter (no more than 750 words) describing the origins of your passion that will motivate your project.
  2. A paragraph describing your project: What will you do this summer?
  3. A brief budget outlining how you’d intend to use the money.
  4. Evidence that shows your commitment to your passion. Examples include past work; a portfolio; links to audio, video, or writing. Submit either links or an electronic copy.
  5. Optional: an e-mail of recommendation from a faculty member who can attest to your passion and your commitment to it. That should be sent separately by the faculty member to adehnart@stetson.edu.
  6. Your information:
    • Name
    • Mailing address
    • E-mail address
    • Telephone number
    • Major(s)/minor(s)
    • Current class standing

Deadline: Send all this via e-mail to adehnart@stetson.edu no later than April 10. By submitting an application, you certify that you intend to return to Stetson in the fall as a senior. Any applications that don’t include the required information will be discarded.

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