Shmoop Word Up Scholarship Winner: Arati Warrier

Congratulations to Arati Warrier, winner of the $3,000 Shmoop Word Up Scholarship!

There are nearly a quarter of a million words in the Oxford English Dictionary. Some are common words we use in everyday conversation while others have long since passed from our general lexicon. Regardless of their usage, each has their own definition and personal significance.

That got us thinking—what would you consider to be the best word in the English language? We received some pretty incredible responses, but ultimately Arati’s essay struck a chord with our judges for bringing a sense of excitement and inspiration to one of the most common words around.

Here’s her winning essay:

Confidence, persistence, and initiative can all be vocalized in the word “yes.” By agreeing to do more things, you are sure to increase the positivity in your life. Say yes to new experiences, helping people out, and growing. All the power to change is in that one word.

We wanted to get to know Arati a little bit better, so we asked her a few questions about herself and her aspirations. Here’s what she had to say…

What is your strategy for finding and applying for scholarships?

When it comes to scholarships, more is more so I tried to apply to as many as I felt I was eligible for. I heard about a lot of scholarships from my school’s college and career counselor and from my school’s website. On my own, I also found tons of scholarships simply by typing it into google or using a scholarship hunting site like which links you up to scholarships you can apply to after you fill out a profile.

If you could have any celebrity/public figure as a substitute teacher for the day, who would you choose?

I would choose Bo Burnham, who is a comedian I admire. His comedy is very intelligent and often makes use of satire and wordplay so I feel like as a teacher, he would be both engaging and intellectual.

What direction would you like to take after you’ve finished school?

I’m hoping to go to med school and become a pediatric neurologist so I can work with children with special needs.

How are you more than a test score?

I think I’m more than test score because I thought of school as more than just a series of endless tests and a way to improve my rank. I really enjoy learning and the pursuit of knowledge and hope to never stop gaining that. It’s also really important to me to do something with what I’ve learned. I really hope to make a difference in the world, travel to other countries, and help those who are less fortunate than me.

What’s our favorite word in the English language? Winning. Head over to our scholarship search, where we have over $2 billion in financial aid up for grabs—who knows, you may just end up a winner like Arati.

written by
Sean Castillo
June 27, 2012

3 Responses to “Shmoop Word Up Scholarship Winner: Arati Warrier”

  1. Marianne Mirando
    July 6, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Short, sweet, insightful and positive. Well done. Clearly, Arati will be successful in her pursuit of knowledge! Kudos.

  2. Hem Ramachandran
    July 10, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    Congratulations Arati, when I heard long time ago, you skipped a grade, I knew you are a great person who will bring good things to this world when you grow up. Good luck on your goal, you can accomplish what you put your mind on, and more. Yes!

  3. Latha
    July 10, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    Congratulations Arathi, to your perseverance and confidence, in searching and finding the scholarships. Proud of your accomplishments so far and good luck to future ones.

    Pediatric Neurology will be a great field, considering the neurological issues we don’t have a good treatment regimen yet, for Autism and pervasive developmental disorders. It will take young people like you with passion and perseverance :-)

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