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Black Engineering Leaders Grant

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Mechanism Ventures
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
May 11, 2021
Winners Announced
Jun 11, 2021
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
African American

Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not.

Inequality of opportunity is pronounced in the start-up world, where just 1% of start-ups receiving venture funding have Black founders and where the share of Black employees is around half that of the US population.

In support of building a more diverse and equitable start-up ecosystem, this scholarship is part of a series from Mechanism Ventures supporting Black students who are currently in or who aspire to pursue engineering roles at start-ups.

The Black Engineering Leaders Grant will be awarded to a Black student or recent graduate who plans on (or already is) pursuing a career in engineering at a start-up.

Students across any field of study or company are eligible to apply.

This scholarship is part of the Mechanism Ventures Impact Grants Series.

Selection Criteria:
Impact, Drive
Published June 12, 2020
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself. What do you hope to achieve in your career in engineering, and how are you preparing yourself to achieve it?

500–1000 words

Winning Application

Olamide Habib
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyFranklin Park, NJ
My name is Olamide Naomi Habib. I am an African American female from Somerset, NJ. I recently graduated from Franklin High School in Somerset, NJ. My interests include playing tennis and the piano. I currently attend New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) majoring in Chemical Engineering. I am the Vice President of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) at my school. I love chemistry and math. In 2018, Johnson & Johnson selected me from my high school to visit their engineering departments and conduct some research during a program. I also tutor people in math and physics for the MCAT. I have participated in various community service activities such as volunteering at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital for 2 years and partaking in missionary trips around the United States to spread love and the word of God to others. Majoring in Chemical engineering has already shown me that I can work hard to overcome negative words and continue to pursue my degree as an African American female in a predominantly male field. As a chemical engineer, I want to be able to make processes more cost-effective, more environmentally friendly, and more efficient at a great company that supports such causes. I also have the option to also teach, work with the government, write, create new companies, and perform research. I actively work towards my goal of living in a pollution-free environment. I separate wastes to reduce air pollution before they get into landfills and separate organic from non-organic wastes and biodegrade the organic ones into compost. With a chemical engineering degree, I am able to work on different sustainable projects such as using alternative and renewable fuels. I am able to apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems which are the link between scientific discoveries and the commercial applications that meet societal and consumer needs. After graduation, I want to work in a lab or a chemical plant working on different projects. I will have the greatest impact on this because as of right now, Infrastructure is a combination of fundamental systems that support a community, region, or country. It includes everything from water and sewer systems to road and rail networks to the national power and natural gas grids. Perhaps there will be a hydrogen grid in the future as well. It covers a wide range of things that I am passionate about. I hope to achieve multiple goals, such as creating better storm drainage and cleaner water, while also enhancing the appearance of the landscape, improving the habitat for wildlife, and offering recreational spaces for people. Ultimately I know I will thrive at being a future chemical engineer because chemical engineers need to be able to think analytically and solve challenging problems, have an aptitude for mathematics, physics, and chemistry, have excellent oral and written communication skills, enjoy being innovative with their creative process, and be able to conduct precise work. Chemical engineers work together to create new grand projects that will help the human good. All these characteristics of a chemical engineer I have already shown in different classroom settings throughout my high school career and currently in college.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 11, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jun 11, 2021.

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