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STAR Scholarship - Students Taking Alternative Routes

Funded by
1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Mar 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Apr 1, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior, trade school, undergraduate, or graduate student
Non-traditional education path or disadvantaged inner city areas

Every student has a slightly different educational journey, with experiences that are uniquely personal to their situation.

Because of this, many students don’t take what is considered to be a traditional educational route. Not everyone is accepted to the schools they wish to attend. Not everyone knows what their future is going to look like. The STAR Scholarship - Students Taking Alternative Routes seeks to help students who face the overwhelming challenge of taking non-traditional paths to earning their education. It is important to give these students the support and resources they need in order for them to be successful. 

BIPOC high school seniors, undergraduate, trade school, or graduate students are eligible to apply if they are taking a less traditional educational route or come from disadvantaged inner city areas. In a video or essay response, explain what career path are you interested in pursuing and how do you see this changing your life trajectory?

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Drive
Published November 24, 2023
Essay Topic

In an essay or video response, answer the following: What career path are you interested in pursuing and how do you see this changing your life trajectory?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Julien Odom
Claflin UniversityDurham, NC
My career path would be directed toward community development and mentorship. The struggle of who has access to resources usually leaves the underclass who are poverty-stricken to die in a concentrated area with no hope of possibility or change in our historical political economic system. What led to the path was my mother enrolling me in programs of color usually educational to provide resources and services to BIPOC students. But my main start was the Young Leaders Academy of Baton Rouge Inc., for young black males would become productive citizens in their community. I did lots of volunteer work like feeding the homeless, having roundtable discussions with the BR police department, and being a server at Kwanzaa's Pancake festivals. This program was catered for young black males who lived with single mothers and this program was an investment of Black men having an impact on young black boys' lives. With this program, it led me in high school to join other programs that fostered youth development. Programs like NAACP Youth Works Chapter, Everett Youth Advisory Board, and Black Student Union. My passion is for rebuilding underinvested communities while maintaining the fabric of that community. This path will lead to career networking, as I will get to collaborate with various organizations, learn about other people’s backgrounds, and get involved in public policies starting locally. Locally I have participated in community events like my church's health fair, and supporting school workshops, and over the summer I joined a program called PROUD to help direct youth who are on a path of incarceration. This opportunity to work with this program has and will lead me to local organizations and community foundations to help provide resources and build sustainable relationships with government officials. These relationships will help me develop leadership and collaboration skills to ensure local, regional, and national policies, and systemic changes that broadly foster community development. With career aspirations of running for political office, this would also allow me to further myself in grassroots activism. With the goals of improving our social programs, public infrastructure, technology innovations and data research, this leads me to believe that the importance of higher education is important which will improve my written communication and public speaking skills. This welcomes the opportunity to get to know my local leaders, practice data research, learn local laws, and further my understanding of connecting with communities and their cultures. Mentorship will continue to deny the stereotypical narrative and statistic that the poor are just useless and violent, therefore my commitment to humanitarian service will be towards creating projects that will help revitalize and stabilize the disadvantaged and underinvested communities for this transform our political economy even internationally to become the bastions of democracy, healing, and progress.
Prince Itua
Raritan High SchoolGlassboro, NJ


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Apr 1, 2024.

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