Jose Luis Rodriguez essay

“Chronicle a successful raffle fundraising campaign you or a family member has been a part of. What results were achieved? How did it help the organization and/or the community it was meant to benefit? How did the experience enrich you? 500-1000 word essay”


Neither of my parents attended college. My father, coming from a lower class working family, immediately entered the labor workforce of America upon high school graduation, and soon after that had a child with my mother, living paycheck to paycheck. My mother aspired to be a doctor but soon succumbed to depression, drug use, and alcohol abuse shortly after entering parenthood. I was born into a family with little financial stability, a failing marriage, and the various problems that these cause. My mother, grew up in New York, and met my father in Florida in high school.

Both coming from lower class families, they found companionship in each other’s shared struggles through life. They both had high aspirations, but near the end of high school my mother was pregnant, and my father took the first job he could find to support them. My mother had always dreamed of helping people, of making a difference in the world. Ultimately my mother passed away a few weeks before I turned seventeen. I was born with her caring heart, and all my life I have always sought to help others.

A successful raffle fundraising campaign I was a part of was to help a poorer classmate raise enough money to attend college. I came up with the idea because I was speaking with him and he subtly mentioned his family’s financial problems, and inability to afford college. This reminded me of my parents, both unable to attend college due to finances (as well as unplanned pregnancy, which also did not help their financial situation).  Their inability to attain degrees, led them down a path of financial instability and restriction, which only got worse with time. A college degree can open opportunities for many people, and change a life.

To set up the fundraiser, I purchased a wheel of raffle tickets, and informed my church as well as mutual friends, about a raffle where the winning prize would be a brand new IPhone. I informed everyone where the proceeds would go to, telling them about my classmate. Their desire to help made selling the raffle tickets very fast and easy, I sold the tickets to everyone in my church, their friends and family, and mutual friends of my classmate and I. After this, I spread the message and raffle further, to include a GoFundMe page for my classmate, and opened the raffle to people in my neighborhood, and other neighborhoods around me. The raffle fundraising campaign was very successful, with everyone wanting to pitch in to help my classmate, as well as donating without getting a raffle ticket.

To be sure what I was doing was legal; I made sure people were aware of a free option to join the raffle. Of course no one did that, as the point of the raffle was to help my classmate, few truly cared for the IPhone.  The results achieved were enough money to pay for most of my classmate’s college tuition for three years. This was a huge community effort where everyone helped and came together to help give someone an opportunity!

He is currently in his fourth and final year of college, and has openly admitted his appreciation for all those who were apart of the raffle, for making a difference in his life. The experience enriched me because I love to help people, and being able to prevent this person from having the same situation my parents had, was my driving motivation. Education is very important, which is why I am applying for this scholarship, to pay for mine. I haven’t tried a raffle Idea for myself, but I know that if I did, Raffle Tickets would be my go-to!


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