Mackenzie Weiss calls herself “an aspiring student with a lack of funds.” Sadly, that describes many high school seniors these days, but Mackenzie is trying to change that.
“I fill out 10 scholarship applications a week,” says the senior from the small town of Waxahachie, Texas, which is south of Dallas. ” It sure is scary to have to face student loans. I’m trying to do everything that I possibly can to minimize the amount I have to take out, and I hope that just maybe I won’t have to take out any.”
It’s this attitude and work ethic that made Mackenzie the latest winner of The Debt.com Scholarship For Aggressive Scholarship Applicants. The next round opens today, and a new winner will be featured here in two months.
If you don’t think there are enough scholarships out there for Mackenzie to apply for 10 a week, think again. As Debt.com has reported before, there are some really weird scholarships available right now.
“I filled out one about what I would do in a Zombie Apocalypse, and what I would be if I were an ice cream flavor,” Mackenzie says.
She’s doing it right, because I meet too many young people who only apply for big scholarships. To use a baseball analogy, too many students swing for the fences, trying to hit home runs on $5,000 scholarships. Home-run hitters tend to strike out a lot, and so do students who apply only for these scholarships.
Mackenzie and others like her realize that smaller scholarships quickly add up, especially when there’s a lack of applicants. She’s smart. So what does she want to do for a living?
Her goal is to graduate from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, located near her home, and teach high school.
“I’m going to major in theater education and minor in English education,” she says. “I’m excited to be able to teach the things that I love to high school students. Theater made a huge impact in my life, and I’ve been a part of my high school theater program for three years now. Nowhere else have I encountered such a family. I didn’t experience this kind of love in any of the sports that I was in.”
Mackenzie does love sports. She ran cross country and track from junior high all the way up until her freshman year, when she played softball. During her sophomore year, she got into theater and “I hated having to split up the days I could practice softball and go to rehearsal, and I dreaded softball practice. So I decided to put all of my focus on theater. I definitely haven’t regretted that decision.”
Mackenzie has a younger brother and sister, and her parents work at a family ministry that her grandfather began.
“My dad helps manage books, install satellites at stations, manage some equipment and all of our TV stations,” she says. “My mom pays the bills and does most of the managing for the books.”
That’s given Mackenzie an appreciation of saving and a dread of debt.
“I would say to my own generation that it’s so easy to procrastinate or let the heavy work fall on someone else,” she says. “On saving money, just make sure and stick to your budget. Sometimes you have to be strict with yourself.”
That’s why we’re being generous to Mackenzie, and giving her this scholarship.