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A Sani Life Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Jun 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Jul 8, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

2020 was one of the hardest years of our lifetime.

The pandemic affected everyone in different ways. Some people lost loved ones. Others lost their jobs. Nearly everyone had to cancel events that they had been looking forward to.

And the pandemic wasn’t the only source of difficulty in 2020. Various social, environmental, and economic issues also bubbled to the surface.

In confronting the many challenges of the 2020 experience in both life and business, we all learned more about ourselves. Through confronting these difficulties, we were forced to develop creative solutions to unexpected and difficult problems.

The A Sani Life Scholarship exists to encourage people to reflect on what they learned during 2020 and to think about how they will use those learnings to build a brighter future in 2021 and beyond.

All students in any field of study are eligible to apply for this scholarship.

To apply, please share your personal 2020 experience, what you learned, and how you will take these lessons into your life for a brighter 2021. Depending on your preference, you can share your story via a 200-800 word essay OR via a 2-5 minute video.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Reflection, Resilient, Ambition, Vision, Driven
Published February 19, 2021
Essay Topic

Tell us more about your 2020 experience. What did you learn? What experiences will you remember? How did the year shape your plans for the future?

200–800 words

Winning Application

Imanni Wright
Chapman UniversityBloomfield Township, MI
While it is strange to say and think, the time of quarantine has impacted the pursuit of my dreams positively in three ways. I finalized plans for the rollout of my organization, Life and Basketball, which will fulfill my dream to provide academic, athletic and community service opportunities to girls. In light of the devastation of the pandemic, I was humbled and honored to share important mental health and self-care resources with my journalism peers, with a focus on students of color. Academically, I achieved my dreams of making the Dean’s List and working with my school on creating diversity and inclusion programs. Ever since I can remember, community service has been an important part of my life. My parents have instilled in my brother and me the importance of giving back in ways that were both personal and meaningful. My experience as a basketball player has contributed to my strong belief in the need to provide safe, academically enriching and supportive environments for girls to advance to their potential in sports, particularly basketball. Recognizing these needs, I founded Life and Basketball (LAB), a non-profit, 501-c-3 organization, to provide top-notch basketball training from the area’s best coaches, standardized test preparation and community service opportunities - all free of charge. The community service component of the program will provide opportunities for teenage girls to solve problems in their communities while improving the lives of their neighbors. Whether the issue is senior citizen hunger, a need for school supplies or helping the homeless, our Social Good Champions (as we have named them) will consistently work to meet community needs. I also realized my dream of launching the program by coordinating the first service project along with a Detroit community center. Neighborhood children wrote messages and decorated greeting cards to uplift the spirits of servicemen and women who were patients at the Ann Arbor, Michigan Veteran’s Hospital. Currently, I am working with my board of directors to find ways to support high school athletes who are facing cancelled or postponed seasons. Our goal is to assist them in refocusing their efforts on continuing their athletic training while becoming academically prepared to apply to college. An aspect of my summer internship program included attending an annual conference in New York City that includes presentations from influential journalists like Lester Holt, a career fair featuring innovative media companies, and presentations by current fellows. Because my dreams include becoming a mental health advocate for journalists of color, I submitted a proposal and was honored to be selected as a presenter and realized a dream to present about Mental Health and the Media for Journalists of Color. The presentation focused on the importance of making our mental health a priority - especially due to the unique challenges we face that our white counterparts may not experience. Microagressions in college, work place discrimination and even seeing traumatizing videos and articles of BIPOC atrocities on social media and plastered all over the news affect us differently. Many times, we are unaware of how this stress can cause serious issues including insomnia, depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Five options, including meditation by using online applications like Calm; journaling online or in paper to identify triggers; taking a break from social media to reduce consuming stressful information; scheduling a self-care day ranging from pampering to going to a favorite restaurant; and, because students of color are far less likely to seek help, scheduling an appointment with a therapist of color. This opportunity gave me an outlet to help others and share the skills I have learned personally gained from both therapy and research. Academically, I achieved my dreams of making the Dean’s List and working with my school on creating diversity and inclusion programs. While the pandemic forced me to move home, I was committed to excelling academically and achieved a perfect grade point average during the spring semester. I also began serving as a charter member of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (Dodge) new initiative called the Dodge Inclusivity Project. My role as the director of curriculum is to meet with the Dean and chair a committee to discuss and design a plan to restructure the academic curriculum to showcase more black literaries and scholars within the realms of broadcasting. While 2020 has forever changed our lives and many people are worried about contracting the virus, I have remained focused on my goals while comforting those impacted by Covid-19. My advice to those pursuing their dreams would be to remember that being frustrated or angry is easy; however, they can use their personal pandemic experiences as a springboard to new ways of thinking and doing things. This life-changing moment can be framed in a positive light by using our strengths in an edifying way.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jul 8, 2021.

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