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Kiaan Patel Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$500
Application Deadline
May 1, 2023
Winners Announced
Mar 15, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High School Senior
Pursuing higher education

When considering future endeavors following high school graduation, many students gravitate towards earning a degree at a college or university of their choice. Despite the hefty price tag, the benefits of seeking higher education prove to open doors for more opportunities. 

As college provides access to a diverse range of career paths and job stability, everyone should have the resources to pursue their postsecondary education to advance their life. Unfortunately, there exists a disparity between students from lower-income backgrounds unable to afford to invest in their education. 

Almost 84% of college students rely on some sort of financial aid to support their education. Given the importance of education, we must continue to encourage students in their academic pursuits by supporting them in ways that might help change their life.

The Kiann Patel scholarship will echo this mission by supporting high school students pursuing an undergraduate degree at either a 2-year or 4-year university or college. To apply, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through your career. 

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published January 29, 2023
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through your career.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Charlotte Walder
University of DelawareNewark, DE
If you saw me walking down the street, you’d likely stare. Not with any malicious intent or judgement, but out of curiosity. What’s that big green crutch she’s walking with? Why does she walk like that? What’s that thing on her leg? As someone who’s lived this life of curious stares for the past six years, I’ve come to understand why people are so intrigued by me without even knowing who I am. I’m disabled, and people don’t know how to interact with individuals like me. I want to support those who’ve struggled with their identities as disabled people through the process of acceptance and skill of self-advocacy. On August 28th, 2016, I experienced a spinal cord stroke, paralyzing me from the neck down. I had never been to the hospital before that day, so, I figured this change would be temporary. Little did I know that this assumed “temporary” change would dictate the rest of my life, granting me a new identity as a disabled person. I was now surrounded by people who viewed me as an enigma, which forced insecurities upon me that I didn’t have the words to describe. Instead of internalizing this, though, I sought to understand it. I realized that this small bubble I felt stuck in was actually one that such a large, diverse group of people fit into. In fact, disabled people make up the largest minority group in the world. Knowing this gave me the strength to advocate for them and myself in ways that otherwise, I never would’ve had the courage to. In 2018, I worked with my parents to help connect a network of other disabled people who have similar diagnoses to myself, giving us all a medium to share our struggles with people who understand it best. Though small, it was incredibly impactful, and I met so many amazing people along the way. In 2020, I joined my local hospital’s Teen Advisory Council, where I work alongside other patients of the hospital to ensure our voices and feedback are heard by care teams. I’ve also helped design a “Teen Room,” a comfortable space for patients to relax in the hospital wing I originally stayed on back in 2016. In school, I’ve led my class as student council president all throughout high school, and have always made space in meetings to discuss accessibility in school; eventually aiding in the construction of an elevator for other disabled students in one of the larger buildings on my school campus. These passions I’ve discovered and pursued through my time in high school have opened my eyes to what I see myself doing for the rest of my life. As a venture into college, I plan on majoring in psychology and completing my master’s in behavioral and community health sciences -- gaining clinical experience as I do so -- to eventually become a rehabilitation psychologist and work within an inpatient hospital. I’ll lead on behalf of those who don’t have access to healthcare, financial aid, or emotional support, and advocate for proper policy to improve their quality of life. I’ll take what I’ve learned throughout my own life and grant others the ability to view themselves and their identities with compassion and confidence. With my own experiences as a disabled person, my voice is especially valuable in this already underserved field, and I’ll devote my life to making the world more accessible, accommodating, and accepting for disabled people. While I may still get those stares, I always smile back, because I know in my time I’ll leave the world better than I found it.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on Mar 15, 2024.

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