For DonorsFor Applicants

RAD Scholarship

1 winner$2,000
Application Deadline
Apr 19, 2024
Winners Announced
May 19, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High School, Undergraduate or Graduate
Career of Interest:
Must be interested in improving overall road safety for pedestrians and cyclists via your career

The Rob Dollar foundation was created to remember Rob who unfortunately lost his life during a cycling accident. Rob loved riding and the community that embraced him while embarking on his passions. 

The passion Rob had for cycling pushed the creators of the foundation, his father and best friend, to raise awareness and improve safety for other cyclists.

In 2020 alone, there were 1,260 bicycle-related deaths, and this number is estimated to keep increasing. Almost 64% of these fatalities were caused by motor vehicle traffic collisions. 

These overwhelming statistics call for advancement in the methodology used today to keep cyclists safe in our communities. This scholarship is positioned to support students looking to make a difference. The opportunity will support students who are pursuing careers that aim to improve overall road safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Students who are looking to pursue careers in civil engineering or city planning and development are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. However, preference will be given to students who are also actively involved in the cycling community in addition to degree requirements. 

To apply, please share a bit about yourself and your interest/connection to the cycling community along with your goals to help improve our roadways. 

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published September 18, 2023
Essay Topic

Please share a bit about yourself and your interest/connection to the cycling community along with your goals to help improve our roadways.  

400–600 words

Winning Application

Faye Dooley
Lincoln Park High SchoolCHICAGO, IL
My ties to the cycling community are deep-rooted, as cycling has always been a big part of my life. It has connected me to my family and community, beginning with my dad introducing me to the joy of cycling in the alley of my urban home. He had cycled competitively as a child in Ireland and was so excited to share his passion for the sport with me. Once I became a proficient cyclist, my family spent time together riding bikes and exploring Chicago and the neighboring areas. My family, however, also knows the darker side of cycling. Before I was born, my grandmother suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a cycling accident caused by poorly marked road signage and unkept bike paths. The terrible accident took away her once vibrant spirit and stole her independence with lifelong repercussions. The incident still impacts my family and is a constant reminder of cycling's inherent risks. The Rob Dollar Foundation's mission resonates deeply with me as I've witnessed firsthand the toll of unsafe roads on those I hold dear. The staggering statistics of bicycle-related deaths in 2020 serve as a dark reminder of the urgency of this cause. With nearly two-thirds of these fatalities attributed to motor vehicle collisions, it's evident that we must do more to protect cyclists and pedestrians on our streets. An example of some steps my community has taken to lower the risks of motor vehicle traffic collisions for cyclists was the creation of The 606 Bloomingdale Trail. This 2.7-mile elevated trail was once an abandoned industrial train line repurposed on Chicago’s northwest side, that now features a chain of street-level parks, scenic lookout points, and public art installations. The addition of this trail has not only lowered the risks of traffic collisions for cyclists, but it has also helped the environment. When urban planners initiated the development of The 606, it was anticipated that more individuals would be motivated to bike and opt for alternative modes of transportation instead of driving. This shift is expected to reduce carbon emissions associated with car usage. Chicago has also encouraged its usage by making bikes available to rent at nearby Divvy Stations as part of the city’s bike-share program. With the addition of The 606 to my community, I am able to cycle in a safe environment with minimal risk. Due in part to my own experiences using The 606 trail, I have made it a goal in my future career as an urban planner to continue the creation of similar infrastructure in major cities and urban environments. These experiences have broadened my understanding of the challenges facing cyclists and fueled my determination to be a part of the solution. The Rob Dollar Foundation scholarship resonates deeply. Rob's love for cycling was tragically cut short by a preventable accident. The foundation's mission to improve safety for cyclists aligns perfectly with my desire to create roads that nurture a culture of shared responsibility. I plan to leverage my education in urban planning and involvement in clubs, internships, and study abroad programs to join the next generation of urban planners to reimage urban spaces. I plan to use my skills to design innovative solutions that prioritize road safety. As a recipient of the Rob Dollar Foundation Scholarship, I will not only have the opportunity to further my education but also amplify the voices of cyclists and advocate for policies that reflect their needs. Whether it's protected bike lanes or traffic calming measures, I'm committed to making tangible improvements. We can build a safer, more equitable transportation system by fostering collaboration.
Greta Paulding
Grove City CollegeGROVE CITY, PA
I am passionate about infrastructure. I care deeply about the way my town is designed, the way systems impact everyone around me. I first developed an interest in civil engineering and design three years ago after seeing the differences between European and North American streets. I discovered that Amsterdam, despite being a major city of over 800,000 people, had an incredibly low number of traffic-related deaths compared to American cities of the same size. Indianapolis, which also has a population of about 800,000, had nine times the traffic deaths of Amsterdam. This shocked me. My findings made me consider the state of my hometown. Over Covid, I began to walk and bike in my area and realized how dangerous my town is for those outside of a car. Wide roads encourage drivers to speed and lull them into a false sense of security. The lack of sidewalks or bike paths forces pedestrians and cyclists right up to the road. The commercial area consists of big-box stores connected by a four-lane highway. It is a place people go because they have to, not because they want to. I realized that things in my community needed to change. I wanted to do something. Since then, I have begun working as an intern in the town hall and advocating for smarter road design while creating connections within local government. I help with both big-concept projects and smaller tasks and have gained a lot of perspective about how change happens in local government. It is a slow process, but change is coming to my town. Sometimes the biggest improvements for pedestrians and cyclists are the ones that seem small. One of my goals is to add a walkway across the river separating the school district from the surrounding neighborhoods so that kids can walk to school safely without using the dangerous bridge used for vehicles. This will not only encourage healthy habits but also relieve our already strained bus service of significant stress. I want to have a plan in place for the bridge before I graduate so that my younger brother—and countless others—can benefit from it. After graduating, I am hoping to major in civil engineering and go on to help improve infrastructure on a state or national level. I will advocate for traffic calming measures such as road narrowing, an incentive program for cities and big towns to improve their public transportation system and bike path network, and educating the public about what needs to be done. Infrastructure is not flashy. It is not exciting. To many, it is simply a matter of where the government decides to put concrete. But it is infrastructure’s seeming invisibility that makes it so important. There is no day in American life that is not affected by it. No second spent sitting in rush hour traffic or waiting for a late bus that cannot be explained by a decision made by someone in the business of infrastructure. These are everyday problems, assumed unavoidable, because many do not know anything different. Our infrastructure is crumbling, but change is possible. I plan to be part of that change.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 19, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 19, 2024.

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