lady smiling with sky blue background
Posted by: Howard Dvorkin, CPA
Date of post: January 4, 2016

The latest scholarship winner is a real cheapskate. So we're giving her $500.

Zoe Parajon loves her sisters, but she doesn’t want to be like them.

“I refuse to graduate college with debt,” the 18-year-old high school senior says. “I have seen both of my sisters do it, and I don’t want to be that miserable after college for however many years it takes to pay off thousands of dollars.”

So Zoe has a plan. In fact, she’s had it for years.

“I’ve been working towards graduating debt free since the eighth grade,” she says. The straight-A student has been enrolling in as many Advanced Placement classes as she possibly can, hoping to impress scholarship judges. Perhaps she’ll also earn enough AP credits to skip some introduction courses in college — and save on the ensuing tuition.

Zoe has also applied for more than two dozen scholarships.

“I apply for the small ones and the big ones, hoping that I receive every last bit of financial aid I can get,” she wrote in her letter for the Scholarship For Aggressive Scholarship Applicants. “I haven’t won any of the scholarships so far, but I am not giving up!”

Good thing she didn’t because her love of learning and hatred of debt has just made her’s fourth winner.

“THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to become closer to my goal of graduating debt free,” Zoe told me. “My family struggles with money as we live paycheck to paycheck, and I just really do not want that to be me when I am older.”

What will she do when she’s older? Zoe has ambitious plans…

I have fallen in love with public health. There are endless possibilities, but I believe I want to be a public health administrator and oversee large companies, making sure their employees are being treated fairly and that no child labor is taking place. Another possibility is attending law school and becoming a public health lawyer — and essentially try to eliminate child labor all together.

Here’s a lifelong plan Zoe is 100-percent certain about: Living debt free. If that also describes you, then APPLY NOW for our $500 scholarship. Want an edge? Read 5 Really Dumb Reasons Why You Didn’t Get That Scholarship.


Howard Dvorkin is a CPA and chairman of, an educational resource for those who want to conquer all forms of debt in their lives.