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Congratulations To The 2012 DISH Systems Essay Scholarship Winners

by Andrew

Posted on April 18, 2012

DISH Systems Essay ScholarshipWith the cost of college tuition continuing to go up year after year, it can be very hard to afford college. Fortunately there are plenty of scholarships students can apply for and hopefully walk away with some money to put towards their future education. This year marks the second annual Essay Scholarship which will proudly award $1,000 worth of scholarships to one deserving High school or college student. This year we had so many amazing entries we decided to award a small monetary prize for second place. Here are the winners for First and Second place:
  • First Place: Megan Proebesting
Question: There are countless numbers of television channels in the United States alone. If you were the executive of a TV network, what kind of programming would you create and why? Does your network aim to entertain, inform, or inspire? I am incredibly blessed. If I am hungry I can go to the kitchen and there is always food. And when our supply gets low, I can go to the store and get more. I have an abundance of clothes, I always have heat or air conditioning, I am able to go to school, I have a house, a family, live in a safe area, have clean water, the list goes on and on. But there are people on this planet who are not as blessed as me. There are people on this planet who go days without food, who die because they don’t have clean water, who live in boxes, who don’t have families, who aren’t allowed to go to school, and we still complain about our lives. If I was the executive of a TV network, I would create programming that would inform viewers about the difficult and sometimes impossible circumstances many people face. The programming would motivate viewers to volunteer, donate, or serve. One of the shows I would air on my network would document a family in a developing country. Each episode would be about a different family from different areas in the world. The show would chronicle their work, family, life, and struggles. It will show how the roles in their family differ from the roles in American families. One show, for example, could be about a family in Uganda where “families...struggle to access health care, education, and other basic services” and where “children suffer disproportionately” and have the highest number of children orphaned in the world due to HIV/AIDS. ( The program would follow a family from Uganda for a few weeks and show how their lack of education affects their daily life and decisions. It would explain what they could do if they had more education and examine the barriers that keep them from getting it. The episode would also show the effects of not having health care and how people they know have died because of it or because of HIV/AIDS. It would highlight their poor living conditions along with other struggles they might face. Then, at the end of the show, I would provide the name of an organization or charity that helps people like this family and how to contact them. Hopefully a show like this will cause viewers to realize that their situation could be far worse. Also, viewers will be touched by how families struggle to survive and will find ways to help them. Another type of show that will be on my network will be about people who actually help the people in need. The show will spotlight different people or organizations that assist and give to the poor. There are many organizations that are well known but many people are unsure of what they actually do. The Red Cross for example shows up during emergencies and natural disasters but what does it do in the meantime? This show will show all the things the Red Cross does for people and even document some of the people the Red Cross has helped. Episodes could also be about small unknown charities such as Shoeman Water Projects. This organization collects donated used shoes, sells them in developing countries for affordable prices, then uses that money to build well drilling rigs, water purification systems, and to repair hand pumps to bring clean water to countries that do not have it. Another type of episode this show could air is one that spotlights people who give up their lives and move to other countries to serve. One person like this is Nathan Barlow who moved from the United States to Ethiopia to treat people with a disease much like leprosy called Mossy foot. Another episode could be about American families who have adopted orphans from developing countries and how the children’s lives have changed for the better; the list is endless. By showing how much some people do for others, the viewers will feel compelled to help. So, at the end of the show I would explain how to contact, donate to, or volunteer at the charities. Almost everyone has seen the sad long dramatic commercials for starving children or abused animals and almost everyone changes the channel during them. So what will make my viewers stay on my channel? One reason is the fact that my shows will be personal. The shows will be about people and their stories making it much more compelling than a collection of footage of starving children and depressing music. The viewers will be able to relate to the families in each show. Since some shows are about females, parents can relate to the parents while children relate to the children. If the show is about charities the viewers can relate to the people running them because they are ordinary people just like them. This realization and connection will make the viewer more willing to help. There are many different types of shows that I could show on my network that would inform America about what the rest of the world goes through. Some could be about struggling families while others could be about the people who help them. The network I create would be of interest to viewers because they can connect to the people the show is about. It would be successful not only because people will want to watch it but because no matter how many people volunteer, serve, and donate there will still be opportunities to serve and help. We can make shows about handicaps, poverty, missionaries, inner city missions, inner city life, the elderly; life in developing countries, charities, there will always be something. The network I would create would inform viewers and compel them to act.
  • Second Place: Allison Thompson
Question: The Advent of the Internet has changed the way we receive news and entertainment. Do you believe broadcast news and entertainment programs on television have been jeopardized due to the internet’s instant capabilities? Why or why not? In 1962, a man stood amidst a multitude of cheering, eager voices, one hand resting on the podium in front of him, the other hand brushing against the knot in his dark blue tie. To the crowd around him he seemed untouchable; something shining from behind his boyish eyes made him seem untouchable, something in his freshly starched shirt, the white of his collar, something in the way he unconsciously rocked back and forth before the masses like a mother would, comforting her newborn child, defined him as untouchable. When he began to speak awe forced them to be silent, and they stood, hanging their aspirations and dreams on every syllable that left his lips. "Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why he wanted to climb it,” the man said. He looked around him, a hint of a smile on his face. “He said, 'Because it is there.' Well, space is there, and we're going to “climb” it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked." John F. Kennedy was the man who stood in 1962, speaking to the world. He spoke of the unthinkable, he spoke of the future. He spoke to the future. And, in a faded, pine scented kitchen, he also spoke to my grandparents. They watched history unfold from a foggy, static-filled television set on the kitchen counter, experienced every word of every hour, every minute and every second. The little, dusty black box looked like an abandoned creature, a pitiful being with lopsided antenna ears and a broken volume switch that my grandfather turned with a pair of “Happy Time” pliers. It sulked in the corner during the day, just an accent to the peeling wallpaper on the walls, a companion to the plastic covered furniture. But at night, that little, dusty black box came alive. It cautioned my grandparents about the next day’s weather patterns, chatted pleasantly about issues in society, laughed uproariously as it showed scenes in black and white. It sang at the Apollo with them cheering in the audience. It took their hands and explored forbidden caves and forests whose soil still boasted of social virginity, and carried them through the sky. At night, that little, dusty black box lit up their faces with wonder. Television is a pure wonder, a mind-boggling concept that challenges the mundane and forces even the most pessimistic to accept the possibility of the impossible becoming possible. Television is the reincarnation of faith in humanity, the boon for a reality stricken nation, the fuel to future generations. The magic is nestled among the wires and cords and found in the fact that, from the beginning, television has connected us as a people. Broadcast news and entertainment shows have linked us all, injected within our blood codes and encryptions, static, created a family sired by technology and the desire of humanity to bend the idea of a uniformed life. The substance of the show may sometimes prove controversial, or unnecessary, or inappropriate at times, but the fact that we created it, that we fathered a child of microchips and data, one that can show you the entire world from a box, makes that fact trivial. The expansion of television to the internet does not jeopardize the influence of television programs, just as the sheen from a second, newer trophy on the shelf cannot dull the pride imbedded in the first, or how the second child is no more loved than the first in the eyes of a mother. Both have become branches on a tree, challenging us to climb higher, to reach until we feel our fingertips graze the next handhold in the bark. They inspire us to be better, to do better, and to ignite within each other the burning desire to spread our hearts and envelop the world. Society may not realize the influence television has had on it, but I have recognized its hand on my life. I recognized the wonder from my youth, as I sat in a pine scented kitchen, completely at awe. It taught me my "ABC’s", danced the "potty dance" with me and my stuffed Elmo doll, and introduced me to a whistling mouse with red pants and shiny black shoes. Television, that little, dusty black box, came alive at night. Television, and the programs that accompany it, will never be forgotten or replaced in my life or the lives of many others.  I believe, regardless of the technological strides humanity makes, it will always come back to that simple fact. Congratulations to Megan and Allison and a special thank you to all the other applicants, it was definitely hard to choose between all the great essays. To learn more about the best priced satellite TV and Internet services in your area visit us at or call (866)989-3474.