Making a Positive Impact in the World

Best Life Design recently hosted a Scholarship Contest in which applicants matched up Make an Impact LIVE mentors to some of the ways they mentor in the world and wrote a short essay about making a positive impact in the world.

The essay portion of the applications left us in awe… the compassion and passion to serve, need for tools, desire for mentorship, and hunger to stand in community with others.

We share pieces of the winners’ essays here for you to learn from and use to reignite the fire within you to continue to live your best life design and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Grand prize (Free Ticket to Make an Impact LIVE! and personal introduction to your mentor of choice):

“Being able to attend and participate in Make an Impact LIVE encompasses so much that I’ve held as a someday dream that is it more than just one event. It is what I’ve valued, but not achieved. It is the perception that I’ve held of myself, but years of putting off the actuality has created dissonance so great that I have to beat back the fear. Having a scholarship so that I can attend and bring my son, would be such a renaissance of living a new unfettered and successful life.

I write this at the end of a long week, a typical week, rather stressful with juggling some consulting, taking care of family needs, and operating my nonprofit. I have had this “assignment” to write this compelling essay up on my computer desktop for several days. The must-dos came first, and I just finished writing a grant. It was the deadline for my “No Maybe Babies” program to assist teen moms (and a few dads) with the necessary support and mentoring they need to be that important role model while they continue to grow up themselves and live a new life as student and parent.

I love this work. I am good at it, yet I am aware that I sorely need that mentoring also. The enormous personal struggles have depleted my spirit, have given me sorrowful nights where I made those dreams bloom in full color for my children, yet they didn’t happen. Oh, I am a survivor and know that there is formidable strength in me, but I am dazzled by the power and energy that will be gathered in one spot in Chicago later this month. It is something I want so badly. A gift I can give to my own children and the children I work with daily. I have been blessed with determination and perseverance, but I am needing the magical inspiration that will be at Make an Impact to refresh that innermost dream so that I can pass it forward.

I call myself a social entrepreneur. I believe in action and fearless path-blazing so that we can help change and channel lives so that they in turn can pass on that delight in doing good. I don’t want to shelve this dream for another year. I took a huge leap this week and signed the lease on a bigger set of offices for my nonprofit. I named it My Mother’s Voice in 2003 because I believed so strongly in that nurturing, mothering voice that we all can call upon to guide and help others. I talk about making an impact all the time. This event could be my time of nurturing of renewal and guidance … and then I can return with that gift to pass on with the impact, the energy, of everyone who will be touched and moved in that conference room. Choose me, and I will give your gift back to many others!”

~Donja G.

[Editor’s Note: We awarded a 2nd scholarship for Donja to bring her son or other support person]

First prize ($600 scholarship):

“Science, technology. engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields fuel my curiosity and wonder of life. I am continuously amazed by the innovations that have irreversibly changed our world. I have come to be mindful of the reality that even though we have learned harmful effects of some advances someone comes along to invent something that corrects it. I pursued a Ph.D. in chemistry to assist others in understanding STEM issues and concepts as they apply to our everyday lives.

I am willing to appear ‘geeky’ as I share my excitement about science and math and it’s applications in our world. In January, I sat and prayed that God would provide me the resources to utilize my passions, skills, talent, and training to inspire, encourage, and educate others especially youth in our community with a greenhouse and all the STEM topics associated with its successful build and operation. I have since realized the network of professionals in our community to realize this dream is quite strong. The work I have been doing to settle my family in our community has actually also led me to the opportunity to step out and provide a service I have often considered AND can evolve to the greenhouse ideas.

I would like to start and grow a professional tutoring business in my community. My training and experiences have provided a broad range of professional, technology, and presentation skills. Most importantly, my experiences have taught me that the things we appear to struggle with in a moment are often superficial. I am good at listening to questions and helping people find the answers for themselves. I love celebrating how each ordinary individual is being and capable of finding and becoming extraordinary. When I am mindful to celebrate others’ success I am the light I want others to see through me.”

~Angie C.

Second prize ($500 scholarship):

“I see “Make an Impact” as an important step in knocking down the walls that have been preventing me from being as successful as I need to be to achieve my dreams and make an impact in the community where I live.

By building my business, and creating wealth, I will be able to use my business as a vehicle to achieve my ultimate goals. 1. To create a trust so that my disabled son will be able to sustain himself financially long after I am gone. 2. To personally fund the Special Olympics program, initially in my local community, and eventually for the entire state which serves over 11,000 disabled athletes. 3. To enable disabled members of my community to have sustainable employment and recreational opportunities, and to create a model program that can be implemented statewide. 4. To build my business to the point that I can personally be responsible for the care of my aging father’s needs and living expenses so he can live in his home for as long as he would like, and when he no longer can care for himself, that his long term care needs are met.

It is my hope that “Make an Impact” will help me to focus my goals, prioritize my actions, and give me the tools necessary to take daily action steps toward achieving my objectives. Thank you for this opportunity.”

~Brian L.

Third prize ($400 scholarship):

“I have a vision of helping people see beyond convention (or the way we sometimes think things should be) and into their own hearts so they can consciously choose what they really want out of life and live extraordinary lives. I do this now, and am building a business around it, but I don’t know how to reach out to more people, or how to even talk about what it is I do. Make an Impact is a chance to learn from people who already do this how to expand my community and help more people live happier, more fulfilling lives. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone grow and expand their horizons.

I believe every bit of help I give to someone reaches all the people they interact with, so helping more people can have a tremendous and growing impact.”

~Kaari B.

And this is the reason all applicants received an offer of some form of assistance…

This essay from a runner up exemplifies the quality of all the applications:

“To me, Make an Impact means new thinking about life, legacy, impact – after becoming aware of things I never experienced before or even thought about and ability to challenge myself to bring these new ways of thinking to others, in my own home and my own community – all fueled by inspiration and motivation that only a live event can deliver.

Vision to making a bigger impact in my community…is big and evolving every year.

I started to empower my own clients to give to non-profits of their choice, initiate the dialogue and show them how they can either start on this generosity journey, or transform from pocket book, reactive donors to purposeful and inspired philanthropists.

My next step is to help families involve their young children to giving and sharing their time, treasures, and talents with worthy causes they choose after getting to know them. I need more tools and learn ways how to implement this to what I already do.

After that is implemented in my community, I dream to connect the most lonely members of community – forgotten elderly who live on their own, or in nursing homes – with our younger members of community because they have so much to offer each other (wisdom, companionship, feeling of being needed and useful).”

~Natalia K.

We hope you join these Scholarship winners and the extraordinary business and life design mentors at Make an Impact LIVE in Chicago on October 27-29.

And for those of you playing along at home…the correct answers were:

This New York Times bestselling author of four books teaches you how to get as many clients as you desire — and is a black belt in Aikido. Michael Port

This real estate artist and philanthropist, who recently sold one of his homes for $22.9 million and ran across Death Valley (135 miles in 130 degrees) for the 6th time to raise funds for his charity, thrives on showing people how to listen to their greatest calling to serve. Frank McKinney

This man sits on the Franklin Covey Board of Innovation and is known for unleashing BIG dreams and waves of inspired action into the world. Mitch Matthews

This man, mentor to many top business people around the world, shows you how to give more value to grow your influence, profitability, and happiness. Bob Burg

This business etiquette expert, regularly featured on TV and print outlets around the world, reminds us that relationships and daily kindness pave our way to success and shows how to turn contacts into contracts. Patricia Rossi

Known as the Chuck Norris of branding, this author of Brand Against the Machine, shows you how to bring out your unique awesomeness to make your brand stand out and be remembered.  John Morgan

This Best Life Design contributor recently shared advice to knock the socks off an audience…and will do just this in Chicago. Tom Fiffer

This emcee kept our inaugural event flowing along with fun (and on time!) – and she’s coming back to work her magic. Felicia Slattery

This passionate speaker shares practical ways to heal and nurture relationships so you can take care of business at home while you’re growing the business of your dreams. Gina Parris

This New York Times bestselling author is a regular on MSNBC and a decision making expert who helps entrepreneurs weigh risks and rewards to tip the odds of success in their favor. Carol Roth

This speaker, new to our Make an Impact LIVE! event, implores you to not settle in life and leads you out of mediocrity toward leaving an incredible legacy. Travis Robertson

This psychologist thrives on sharing the good stuff in life, leading her to create a rare opportunity to network with and learn from some of the best business growth and life design mentors in the world.  Dr. Mollie Marti

From helping folks at toward greater fitness to helping you leverage media to build a healthy business, this dynamic speaker has the right moves. Andrea Metcalf

If you have any questions about the Make an Impact LIVE event, simply email

We at Best Life Design applaud ALL of you seeking to make a bigger impact in your community!

Leave A Reply (9 comments So Far)

  • This is beautiful! What touching entries, and I’m so thrilled to think of meeting such wonderful attendees in a little over a week! 

    • The applications were all amazing. Can’t help but get excited about this event — seeing the quality of attendees it’s attracting. See you next week!

  • Donjamarie

    I am so grateful and humbled to be chosen for this Scholarship! What passionate entries and what energy for doing meaningful work and service. I echo the thoughts of Gina Parris that meeting everyone will be thrilling. Thank you!

    • Congratulations on your well-deserved scholarship, Donja.
      We’re looking forward to welcoming you — and your son! — to Chicago next week.
      Safe travels… and buckle up 🙂

  • Karen Schachter

    You continue to be such an inspiration and bright light. I am in awe.
    Love, Karen 

    • I’m just a mirror, darlin … I’m just a mirror 🙂
      We’ll miss you at the event — enjoy your special time with your daughter!

  • Wow! I just spent time reading each of these submissions and it made me incredibly proud to be a part of this event.

    Each of you is an inspiration and I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you.

    Travis Robertson

    • Looking forward to learning from and with you, Travis!

  • Brian

    Thank you to the scholarship committee.  I’m honored to have won a scholarship, and to be able to be among this elite group.  Thank you for a wonderful event and opportunity to share in the development of a brighter future!  Brian