David's Hillsdale Tuition Fund

My passion is to be able to learn about anything. It seems like an impossible task: only a genius like Leonardo di Vinci or Benjamin Franklin can master multiple sciences, excel in art and be prominent in politics all at the same time. Unfortunately this is true, and I don't pretend to be a genius. But as Issac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” The giants of this world go back down through the ages, and from them anyone, genius or not, can learn anything.
The study of giants, so to speak, is the study of history. The historian is free to learn from any giant, be he King Alfred the Great or Martin Luther King. Any subject; science, literature, politics, religion, is an open door to the historian, because scientists, writers, politicians, and religious leaders have all invited his interest and attention. The Historian's job is to meet all these monumental people through the record of their words and deeds, and remind humanity of the greatness of its heritage.
To me, history is not the story of the past. History is the story of the present. All human endeavors are connected at some point in history. For example: Germany was for most of its history a patchwork of independent city states. In 1618 Prussia, an area of land on the north-western border of Poland, was inherited by the Hohenzollern family. This family expanded Prussian rule into Germany for the next 300 years, until Germany was finally united. The unification of Germany, along with many other events, upset the balance of power in Europe and led to WWI. WWI led to WWII. And because of WWII, my grandfather joined the U.S. army and met my grandmother at an army base. My grandparents brought my father into the world, which led to my birth on November 19, 1995. So I can really say that the ambitions of an aristocratic German family 400 years ago lead to my existence today.
That is why history is so exciting to me. It is like standing on the shoulders of giants, while I look down and see the dizzying height of generations. From this tower of humanity I can see the whole world. It is a beautiful world, and I will live my life to learn everything I can about it.
This is my passion for history, as best as I can describe it. But the problem remains as to how this passion could be made into a useful career. After all, one can not live on dreams alone. I hope to develop my skills in college and become professionally capable; however, so far I do not have a particular profession in mind. There are many careers open to historians: law, research, education, and government positions ranging from diplomat to secret service agent. A love of history could be satisfied in any of these professions, and with so many choices it is hard to make a decision as a mere high school graduate.
Fortunately I do not need to make a career choice so soon. My goal is to nurture my passion for history and strive for intellectual excellence. With dedication, work ethic, the help of Hillsdale College and my generous benefactors on GoFundMe.com, I can train myself to be qualified for any of the careers open to a history major. Instead of narrowing my studies to a particular career, I will broaden and enrich my general knowledge of history. Hopefully this will put myself in a position to choose a career, not based on my limitations in skill or experience, but on my desire to always learn from history. In short, I plan to become successful by making success secondary to my passion for learning.
Perhaps this seems impractical, but only if one defines success in terms of financial or social success. I, however, think that achieving intellectual excellence for its own sake is enough success for a lifetime.
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David Woods 
Frankfort, IL
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