AMPLIFY Immigrant Students Scholarship

Funded by
Steph Smith
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Nov 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Nov 30, 2021
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Eligibility Requirements
First generation immigrant student
First generation immigrant student

Immigrants, regardless of where they are from, are tasked with the difficult task of assimilating to their new home and can encounter difficulties including discrimination, getting employment approval, and more. However, immigrants bring incredible new perspectives and skills that shouldn’t be overlooked -- they should be celebrated. In fact, as of 2018, 55% Of America's unicorns had an immigrant founder.

This scholarship is here for first-generation immigrant students to pursue higher education. In order to qualify for this scholarship, please write a short 500-word essay on your unique story and what you hope to achieve in the coming years.

This scholarship is part of a 12-part, AMPLIFY Scholarship Series, spanning topics including women in tech, continuous learning, environmental science, and more. These scholarships are announced quarterly and awarded monthly throughout 2021. Follow along here!

Diversity and Inclusion
Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Impact, Leadership
Essay Topic

What is your unique story of immigration and how has that impacted who you are today? What are your future aspirations and how can this scholarship help you achieve them?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Laurie Rodriguez
University of FloridaTampa, FL
My mom came from the Dominican Republic when she was just 19— full of dreams and the courage to strive for a better life. Her name is Yolanda Vargas, the fearless woman who painted my wings so I could fly. Like many immigrant parents, she taught me what it means to sacrifice for a better life. Her American Dream of becoming a business owner came true when she opened up “ Mi Sol”. A Dominican restaurant known for its refreshing Cuban coffee and peaceful atmosphere, all thanks to my mom. I watched her wake up at 6 am every day and be Mi Sol’s chef, accountant, cashier, manager, and all. She ran the entire business by herself and, without a college degree, she solely learned along the way. She did that for 11 years, and she earned the love and respect of everyone within the community, but especially mine. She quickly became my role model and I aimed to learn from her inspirational ways. However, a heartbreaking event occurred. My mom’s American dream was cut short after a brutal fight with cancer in 2020. Despite every reason to quit, I keep going in order to honor my mom and all her sacrifices along the way. Today I mirror my mom’s hard work by being a kind, resilient, and aspiring young Latinx professional determined to succeed. Since I was a kid, I have had a heart for creativity and communication; therefore, I knew it was a perfect match when I learned about marketing. I am proud to say that soon I will be a Marketing graduate from the University of Florida and begin my career as a Marketing Analyst at PepsiCo. As a first-generation student, I challenge myself because I know it is within me. I come from generations of strong Latinx men and women who worked hard for future aspirations. I love the quote, “I come as one, but stand as 10,000" from Maya Angelou because it helps demonstrate my inspirations. To be a child of an immigrant means to bear the intensified pressure to succeed in school, and every day I work hard to be the change for my family. Besides marketing, I also aim to open up a dance studio in the Dominican Republic to provide a center for Arts and academics. I love dancing bachata and want to live a life full of learning while helping local communities flourish. Also, as the child of an immigrant, I quickly learned the importance of being independent; therefore, I have been working on creating my own small business specializing in soy vegan candles. My parents taught me the value of hard work and the importance of striving for new goals while giving back to those around me. Therefore, I love having different skill sets such as marketing, dancing, and candle-making because they all offer a different spark while practicing universal skills such as leadership and communication. Overall, this scholarship would open up many opportunities that are currently not possible due to financial hardship. After my mom passed away, I became financially responsible for my sister and me. I would love to devote more time to involvement or academics, but I cannot due to the extensive pressure to work full-time. Regardless, if I were chosen for the Amplify Immigrants Students Scholarship, an immense financial weight would be lifted from my shoulders, and I would be supported to keep prospering and make my immigrant roots proud. Thank you.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Nov 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Nov 30, 2021.

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