Combs Waterkotte Scholarship 2023: Learning the Hard Way

Earn $500 toward your education by telling your story! Combs Waterkotte is excited to announce our current scholarship essay contest. See below for scholarship contest terms.

We have all made mistakes. Humans are flawed and, quite often, making mistakes is how we learn. Some mistakes are bigger and have harsher consequences than others, but messing up does not make you a bad person. We see evidence of this every day in our work as criminal defense and personal injury lawyers. Everyone makes mistakes but the key is to learn from the experience and be better for it.

Part of maturing and becoming self-sufficient includes reflecting on our actions and our shortcomings. Evolving as a person requires work. Think about a mistake you have made in your life. How did your actions affect you? How did it affect others, and who? Do you believe you learned from it? Why or why not? What did you do differently after learning from your experience? Write an essay exploring one or more of these questions for a chance to win a scholarship toward your education.

Learn more about the details and rules for this essay contest or submit your materials for the Combs Waterkotte Q1 2023 scholarship below.

Contest Details

The Prompt and Submission Requirements

A 500-1,000 word essay about “Learning the Hard Way”

Discuss a time you made a mistake. Reflect on what happened, what you learned from it and how the experience changed you. While the prompt is meant to be open ended, you may choose to share the events or factors that led to the mistake, how your mistake impacted others, the consequences (both intrinsic, such as feeling guilt, and extrinsic such as being grounded or losing a friendship) of your mistake, how the experience of that mistake has changed you, etc. Provide a personal and thoughtful perspective.

For your essay, please:

  • include your full name and an essay title
  • write between 500 – 1,200 words (longer does not always mean better!)
  • attach it as a PDF, txt, doc, or docx file
  • send it in by March 24

One winner will be selected based on a quality essay and adherence to the submission rules and requirements. The winning essay will utilize correct grammar and spelling, meet the submission deadline, demonstrate strong writing skills and approach the prompt from a unique and personal perspective. You may follow any accepted style (AP, MLA, Chicago or other) of your choosing.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be considered for the Combs Waterkotte Q1 2023 scholarship, please send the following to by March 24, 2023 at 11:59 pm Central Time:

  • a college transcript (unofficial is okay) or enrollment letter
  • your essay
  • your contact information
  • your student number
  • your school’s financial aid office information, including address and phone number
  • a resume or short bio

We welcome and encourage non-traditional and underrepresented students. Because the award will be sent directly to the winner’s school, we require a transcript or enrollment verification to ensure the selected winner is eligible to receive funds to their student account. Current high school students or adults planning to attend or return to college or a trade school but are not yet enrolled, please check back with us after you can verify your enrollment.

Award Details

The winner will be selected and contacted via email on March 31, 2023. Two attempts to contact the winner will be made. If Combs Waterkotte is unable to reach the selected winner with the provided contact information or we do not receive confirmation from the selected winner within 7 days, the runner-up will be selected as the winner.

Awards will be sent directly to the school.

We wish you luck and look forward to reading your essay!