Bubba Wallace Live to Be Different Scholarship

Funded by
Bubba Wallace
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
May 31, 2021
Winners Announced
Jun 15, 2021
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners

"Creating unity and compassion and understanding of each of our brothers and sisters is so powerful. We have to preach that to the ones that don’t want to listen and understand." - Bubba Wallace

The Live To Be Different Foundation, led by NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, was formed in 2017 to lift up individuals seeking a means to fulfill their potential, no matter their age, skin color, disabilities, or ambitions. Through a message of compassion, love, and understanding, Bubba believes all barriers can be removed so that all dreams can be realized. 

Bubba and Live To Be Different's mission is to encourage the next generation to be better and more inclusive than every generation before it so that they can achieve anything they put their mind to, just as Bubba has done in his journey standing up for racial justice while trailblazing as one of NASCAR's most successful African-American drivers.

In doing so, Live To Be Different strives to empower and support disadvantaged individuals with educational, medical, social, or other types of assistance needed to help make their dreams reality.

To enter, please share an experience of a time when you encountered adversity, and what you did to overcome it.

Diversity and Inclusion
Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Vision, Different, Inclusive, Impact
1 winner
Application Deadline
May 31, 2021
Winners Announced
Jun 15, 2021
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

Please share a time in your life in which you encountered adversity, and how you were able to overcome it. How did the experience impact your life, and how will it contribute to your future endeavors?

250–750 words

Winners and Finalists

Winning Application

Aleisha Medley
SUNY at AlbanyQueens, NY
Sarah Yu
University at BuffaloBayside, NY
Zahir Muhammad
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical CollegeWashington, DC
Skylee Jones
University of North Carolina WilmingtonStafford, VA
Eric Hamilton
Georgia Northwestern Technical CollegeRome, GA
I was not raised by a single father my self. My father struggled with addiction my whole childhood and most of my adult life. From this I had to make myself grow up at early age and do what I could to help my mother where I could. I started working at the age of 13. Although my father was not the best role model, I did see an example I did not want to follow as a father myself. At the age of 26, I became a father to my son Charles. He is the greatest gift I have ever received. My son's mother and I split up when Charles was 6 months old. We divorced when he was just a little over a year old. After Charles' mother and I split up, I had to move back in with my mother, into a one bedroom, one bath house. Moving in with my mother was the biggest and hardest challenge I have ever faced in my lifetime. For the first 6 months we lived with my mother, we had to sleep on blankets on the floor. As a father, that was the most heartbreaking thing I had to endure. To watch my 6 month old son have to sleep on a blanket on the floor because I was not able to provide as a father was a difficult and eye-opening moment for me. We lived with my mother in that situation for two and half years. After teaching him to sleep in his own toddler bed at a earlier age, I began sleeping on the couch, all in a small living room. I started welding in 2012 at a factory in Alabama. I have worked at many different plants welding since I started. After becoming a single father, it made it much harder to hold down a job. I lost jobs because I did not always have child care and would be unable to go into work. I was also fired from jobs due to going to court during my divorce for child custody. I have always been the parent that would have to take my son to all his doctor appointments. I would have to work night shift on a lot of my jobs and give up all my sleep so I could make sure he had someone to watch him or take him to his appointments. I decided to go back to school at the age of 30. I go to school full time and work full time on the weekends. I am going to school for an Associate's Degree in Applied Technical Management with a Diploma in Welding and Joining Technology. I have always been over looked for promotions and management positions due to my lack of college education or because I was too good at my position to be moved. I know after completing my degree it will open up so many doors that were not a option before. After school I plan to find a job with very little travel, so I can spend time with my son. However, being able to travel some will allow me to make a lot more money, which will help me be able to buy a home for me and my son. It will also help me send him to the private schools in our town, giving him a better education for his future. If I receive this scholarship, it will help a lot with my financial needs, which will relieve a ton of my own personal stress. It will allow me to work less overtime, which will give me more time to spend with my son. I am usually in class from 8:30 in the morning to 12:30 in the afternoon. At least 1 to 2 days a week, I am receiving some type of tutoring from about 1:00pm to 3:00pm after class. On the days I am not doing that, I try to work on side jobs using my own pressuring washing business until time to pick my son up from daycare. I am working very hard to be successful in school. I was not always the best student, but want to do well through this program. At the moment, I have a 4.0 GPA, which is way better than the 2.3 GPA I had in high school. I am making efforts and putting in time I never did before for school. I am doing all of this because I want to be the best father I can be to Charles and show him that hard work and determination can help you accomplish anything. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship award. If chosen, I will strive to represent Little Bundle well, as a student and a father.
Justin Farmer
Irmo HighColumbia, SC
On being a man, Rudyard Kipling wrote. “… If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same…” He describes my dad perfectly. My earliest drawings had my dad stretched across the length of the paper. His legs were long and muscular. His hands were like big brass symbols. His feet were make-shift riding toys and his shoulders were like sitting stools. He was a former college football player. My dad was strong and could do anything! He was a smart, hardworking man who was actively involved in the church and in our community. I would stand in his study in awe of the man I called dad. He had plaques all over the walls, certificates and trophies were stuffed in boxes, championship rings and medals were displayed on the credenza. I remember asking Dad if he was the greatest man on the planet. He replied, “Great is relative. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” I had heard him say that at so many funerals; I rolled my eyes (in my mind). I felt like dad had just used a scripture to dodge a heart-felt question. My dad was built with a hammer and nails. He was the strongest man I knew. Thinking back, he did have some small ailments back then, but he looked to his faith and assured my brother and me that everything would be okay. The walls came tumbling down on the last day of school of my fourth-grade year. It was Memorial Day weekend and I was going to spend the summer in Georgia with my grandma. Dad got hurt at work! He had some chronic conditions, but they were well-managed. The added stress of a new injury precipitated a downward spiral that had him in and out of the hospital. Each new visit was longer than the previous one. That big, strong dad of mine pushed through pain and sickness to provide for my brother and me. He had his first stroke on Christmas Day when I was in ninth grade and fought his way right back to health. He was not the same, but he was still a massive man with a commanding presence. He was diagnosed with a nerve condition the next year, and his vision began to suffer from it and his walking became unsteady. He could still do the work of two men even as he sat. My dad was a different dad, but he was still the Rock of Gibraltar in our family. The nerve condition affected his digestion, and by the following year, he had lost over one hundred-thirty pounds and was too weak to get up without assistance. He sat in his motorized wheelchair most of the day and slept most of the time. He was hurting physically, emotionally and noticeably. I watched a giant shrink in stature and in abilities. Last year, his kidneys stopped working and he had three more strokes while driving home from dialysis. Now, he commits his time to researching cures for everything and raising money for charities and foundations that assist persons with chronic ailments. My dad says, "God doesn't give all of this to just anybody, so I do what I can do and leave the rest to Him." I button his shirts and tie his bowties. My brother helps with socks and shoes. Dad still cooks and checks homework. He teaches Sunday School and directs the laity of thirteen churches. And he knows how to “drop the hammer” should we stray too far from the straight and narrow! The silver lining in this memory cloud is that goodness came from change. My dad is not the same. Now, he is more patient, deliberate and passionate about physical, emotional and spiritual health. As a family, we have learned how to do more with less – a lot less. Our finances are stretched. My dad allows us to be active participants in family economics. We prioritize, budget, save and sacrifice together. Somehow, Dad always finds a way. His faith reminds me to be bold in my faith. I would have never known how strong my dad really was until I watched his health decline and see him continually thank the Lord for the blessings within the calamity. I used to cry. Now, I just remember when and smile.
Elena Davalos
taft college Bakersfield, CA
I never planned to be a single mom , in a reality I don’t think anyone does . I learned not to question why God does what he does but when he took my best friend, the father of my child and husband I didn’t expect my life to change so drastically . I was heartbroken and didn’t even care about myself and didn’t see it possible to care for a one year old . I was struggling financially because of helping with funeral expenses and not being able to work because I didn’t feel mentally ready yet . Then one day my mom , who lost my own dad when I was two years old told me she was able to move forward and live through her pain and that I would be able to as well. Although I am not as strong as my mom I knew I had a little girl who still depended on me to be there and she did not understand why her daddy wasn’t coming home anymore . How do you explain to a one year old that her daddy has passed ? Especially when she’s constantly walking around the apartment looking for him and becomes upset when their is a knock at the door and it isn’t him ? You can’t . All I knew is that my own pain no longer mattered and that my daughter was suffering too . I promised myself I’d do anything I could to make her feel okay . Although I can’t bring back her dad I can show her videos and pictures of the love he had for her and keep his memory alive . I went back to work at a Lead Cashier but also started Medical Assistant school as my first step to become an RN. I love check to check and barely makes end meet. The way I see it as long as my daughter , Delilah has diapers and food and clean clothes , that’s all that matters. I am blessed to have my mom who watches my daughter while I do homework and work . I am currently taking prerequisite classes too apply for an LVN program. Once I finish that I’ll continue to go to community college to branch out to RN . My dream is to be an RN in OB. I have my own fertility issues and I would love to be apart of helping women deliver their babies and care for them as if they were my own . Winning this scholarship would help me a lot with making sure I can keep up with my bills and growing daughter . It would motivate to work even harder and stay up even later doing homework . It’s hard being a single mom to an almost three year old but I am pulling through . She is the reason I am still standing and why I realized that I need to do more than be a cashier or a medical assistant . I want to be the good example she deserves . Her dad passing away from medical issues and seeing the treatment he got in the hospital made me see how I personally love helping people and could have a fulfilling jog doing so . My favorite memory I have with my daughter was this one time I caught her saying “ hi daddy” and having a conversation and playing with her dad after he passed . It was beautiful to witness and I felt his spirit in the room . When it was time for him to leave my daughter turned to me and said “mommy daddy go bye” and he gave me a big kiss and hug that I knew were sent to me from him . I have not thought about giving up school just wished it wasn’t so hard sometimes . My long term goal is to get my masters in Nursing. I am taking it one step at a time since I still want to be apart of my daughters life and watch her grow. I still have to work and support my child so taking it slow is my best option . Even with all the Suffering and obstacles thrown my way, I am proud to say I am still standing and thriving .
Amanda Bonesteel
Northern Michigan UniversityMarquette, MI
Fatou Kourouma
Think Global SchoolTeaneck, NJ
Cameron Seymour-Hawkins
Berklee College of MusicBoston, MA
If you asked me what they were before the pandemic, I’d tell you Zoom was a handheld recording device and Coursera was a remedy for eczema I hadn’t tried. Now I am nearing the end of my first Coursera course in programming and plan to enroll in a class learning C++, data structures, and discrete math so I can get a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. With a background in music production, I have become increasingly more fascinated with computer science, more specifically the concept of Machine Learning, and how the software that I use every day is not only made, but came to be a constant in the entertainment industry. Once I develop the necessary foundational skills to write effective, succinct code, I would like to use the Chris Jackson Computer Science Education Scholarship to immerse myself in the study of AI and machine learning to improve how music is delivered and experienced. In the media, the field of computer science, is portrayed as a very solitary activity, yet the more I learn about it, the more I find that this could not be further from the truth. Computer scientists are continuously collaborating with specialists, manufacturers, artists, potential users, and each other to deliver the best possible consumer experience. This inspires me because collaboration is at the heart of my work as a sound engineer. Ultimately, I have a lot of interests; music, politics, advocacy, and technology to name a few, and have always dipped my toes in many different subjects. My goal moving forward is to merge all these interests and be involved in creating the platforms and technology that people use to engage with these topics and most importantly, with each other. For years, I longed to be like the students who seemed to finish undergrad in four years with little stressors, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade any of the twists and turns my journey has taken me on to get my undergraduate degree. These include temping to help international students apply for visas, struggling for years in a retail job, community organizing, supporting my family, and many other detours. Not being able to finish my degree on a traditional timeline permitted me to learn outside the confines of the classroom. This path has shown me that computer science affects everything I care about. It has also made me embrace being a lifelong learner. I feel I am the best candidate for receiving this scholarship because like Chris Jackson, a scholarship such as this would make a huge difference in my ability to go to school since I come from a working-class background. Also, as I stated earlier, I am pursuing computer science out of a love of building meaningful relationships with people and working together through technology to solve problems. From the description of this award, it sounds like Chris rooted his computer science work in connection with people, which is ultimately what I wish to do, too.
Merveille Muyizere
Northern Illinois UniversityBatavia, IL
Valerie Fuchs
University of Washington-Seattle CampusSeattle, WA
Sarah Barnhart
Southeastern UniversitySpringfield, VA
Irvan Mandalas
West Coast University-Los AngelesLoma Linda, CA
Karla Gonzalez
University of California-Los AngelesLong Beach, CA
Valeria Araujo
Mills CollegeOakland, CA
I am not a single mother, but I'm the eldest daughter of a single mother. I'm basically mom #2 to my little brother with autism. My mother has raised my brother and I by herself for the past 8 years. This has changed my life drastically because we have struggled financially. For 6 years, the three of us lived in a single room in my aunt's house. I could never stay up and do homework, I had to be mindful that we had to wake up at 5am in order for my mom to get to work on time. She worked so hard to get a place of her own, and now she owns a house, and we all have our own room. She didn't receive help from anyone, besides the small income I brought in from my internship and part-time job. I admire her so much for this, and it has helped me believe that anything is possible. At her job at State Fund she has moved her way up by working since she was 23, now she has a job that requires a bachelor's degree once applying. She worked her way to that position with only a high school diploma. I currently work at YR Media, formerly known as Youth Radio, and I work a part-time job at Gap. All while maintaining my 4.0 gpa my senior year. I get tired sometimes, I work at YR Media 3 times a week after school, and roughly 3 days a week at Gap. I don't like to complain because I know my mom has experienced worse at my age. I've worked at YR Media since I was 15, the start of my sophomore year. I had no interest in journalism at the time, I didn't even know what it was. I simply applied because they offered positions at the age of 15, I was eager to start working. It became something I loved, the best part of my day. I started off as a DJ for the weekly radio shows. Then I decided to start writing pieces for the news stations. It was addicting hearing my words on air, knowing that I was finally being heard. From there they moved me up to YR's newsroom to collaborate with KCBS and KQED, and I was only 16. My mom was ecstatic, and I finally felt like I was doing something right. I moved departments several times at YR, I wanted to gain much experience as possible. I didn't just work as a journalist, I also explored areas such as graphic design for album covers and podcasts. Currently, I code interactive articles for our newsroom. I've featured in a video, and spoke on a Emmy-award winning podcast. I still can't believe the opportunities that have come my way. Working to support my family wasn't something I dreaded when I was also pursuing something I was passionate about. If I didn't live in the conditions I lived in, I wonder if I would have the same work ethic. I also work at Gap because YR Media only pays minimum wage, but if I'm being honest, I would work at YR Media even if I were working for free. My mom doesn't like me working until 11pm, but my motivation is for her to work less. My dream career is to be a journalist at a big time news company. Journalism is very competitive when it comes to pay. It makes me anxious when I begin thinking about my future salary. I need enough to support my mom and brother, and myself. So I've been considering computer science since coding comes to me as second nature. It isn't what I love, or my ideal career, but it pays. Winning this scholarship will take some weight off my shoulders, I don't always want to work 2 jobs. I already have a hard time finding time for my school work now, I can't imagine the challenges I'll face once I start college. I think about giving up all the times, but then I remember my mom never gave up on us.
Isaiah Ford
Glendale Community CollegeBlue Springs, MO
Laurence Price-webb
North Carolina A & T State UniversitySyracuse, NY
Athena Verghis
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main CampusColumbia, MD
Her soft dancing glimmer contrasted the beating summer sun of the mid-Atlantic. As two osprey flirted above us and leopard frogs led hymns of a repeating hum, I experienced an epiphany - her unparalleled beauty must be preserved. To many, she is seen as an abandoned home of irredeemable repair, but to me, she is a great host of life. Like an inspiring teacher, she leads by example, and has taught me to be selfless, resilient, and most importantly, to remember my roots. She is the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay began dying as heavy development led to insurmountable amounts of litter, runoff, and toxic bacteria, killing most life in the water. Regardless of these challenges, she remained resilient. By solely increasing mussel populations in riverbeds, the dissolved oxygen levels increased and turbidity cleared. Furthermore, it restored underwater plant growth, improving soil quality and therefore, aquatic plant life. Using the Chesapeake Bay as a mentor, I mirrored her resilience when tackling AP Chemistry. Though I would understand the concepts, I would not do well on assessments which soon reflected in the grades I brought home. Instead of letting myself get washed by this setback, I used this opportunity to work through assignments and past tests with my teacher after school, find study resources in books and join evening Skype calls with other students. Furthermore, I applied these techniques to other classes and taught them to peers or students I tutored. By the end of the year, even though chemistry did not become my easiest class, I found the course extremely interesting and was proud of the type of student and learner I had become. Like a fresh bed of mussels in the Bay, new approaches in how I studied for chemistry brought unforeseen and long-term benefits for me and those around me. Healthy soil, productive farms, and climate stability are a few indirect and often underappreciated benefits the Chesapeake Bay provides for residents. The nearly endless list of services has taught me to do more than is expected of me — to serve others and the environment in many different capacities and to do so frequently. Growing up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the value of sustainable practice has been embedded in how I treat our natural resources. Due to overharvesting in the bay, oyster populations have been dropping, negatively impacting the rest of the ecosystem. However, naturally, these shells, if returned back to waterways, are capable of rebuilding oyster reefs to restore populations. This sparks my insatiable curiosity. With a sense of exploration, I have personally defined creativity as toying with what is in front of me to improve not just myself but also those around me. Through interdisciplinary learning and observing details around me, I have felt truly myself and found ways to better my community. The pile of shells encourages me to look beyond the current system of excessive waste. Like a Coke bottle or the daily newspaper, I consider the option of recycling these shells. In theory, creating a closed-loop system like this would be successful, but I am stuck logistically. Do the shells need to be clean? Who would collect the shells from the restaurants? Will there be any incentives for restaurants to participate? These are all things that come to my inquisitive mind as I envision this plan. I connect with different volunteer-based organizations, peers I could reach out to, and create a timeline for the project. Once we get back home, I start searching the web to quickly find environmental organizations with similar oyster shell recycling programs and interest to expand into my hometown of Ellicott City. After many tedious yet fruitful conversations and email threads with local restaurant owners and volunteers with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, we are able to establish a new relationship between the root of overharvesting and its modest solution. I had to learn a new language of small business owners to better relate to my audience. Many crab shacks and oyster houses are now able to collect shells to be picked up for monetary compensation and stand as a more environmentally conscious business. A simple family dinner has now redefined its value because of a small shell that caught my attention at the end of the table. Most significantly, the Chesapeake Bay reminds me of my ancestral home in Kerala, India, specifically its natural beauty and the recent onset of issues both areas face. Currently, intensified monsoons and heatwaves in Kerala have brought powerful and long-term destruction to the land and people. Though specific species may be different, both ecosystems are facing the consequences of erosion, poor environmental legislation, and a changing climate. These similarities have helped me realize a vision to restore Kerala as well with the tools I have learned in the Chesapeake Bay. Committing to saving the Chesapeake Bay has opened my eyes to ways I can serve globally, especially for my family in India. Today I sit on the Howard County Environmental Sustainability Board and work with influential adults who have made me realize the value of a student’s voice. I am thankful I have found a voice to serve and protect her because she permeates every part of me. Through the time I have spent with the Bay and her rivers, hills, and people, I have decided to dedicate my life’s work to preserve our natural resources by pursuing an Environmental Engineering undergraduate degree. Thinking about the next four years, I can easily envision myself working with honeybees, electricians, and policymakers — maybe even all at the same time! As an environmental engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, I will be engaging with and learning from every system and part of our environment and society to truly understand every angle of a problem. Tech offers me unique opportunities to develop skills I hope to one day use back at home, redesigning Baltimore, to structurally prepare the city to withstand the effects of climate change.
Kaylin Moss
Marist CollegePoughkeepsie, NY
Anika Kathuria
Bridgewater-Raritan High SchoolBridgewater Township, NJ
Kynnedy Smith
Columbia University in the City of New YorkShaker Heights, OH
When I was younger, I loved creating contraptions under the name, The Inventress. I made things like vibrating back scratches that reached multiple spots at once and a pulley system that simplified rinsing dishes. Once I got my first taste of gaming through my Pink Nintendo DSI, I quickly became interested in learning how to be a digital inventress through code. After learning how to create a text-based adventure game in the language C# at summer camp, I became obsessed with coding. I participated in computer science camps and research each year after that, and I began creating new “inventions” in the form of creative online tools, games, and websites. I fell in love with computer science because coding is like doing magic with a keyboard. With the correct lines of code, I can create anything I want, from a new game or website to alternate realities and intelligent technologies. Computer science is thrilling because it gives me the ability to literally be a magician, to create something from nothing, and use this ability to better the lives of others. This summer, while reading up on news about the field, I stumbled across an article about a company that conducted the world’s first successful total knee replacement surgery using smart glasses enhanced with augmented reality and artificial intelligence. I was completely awestruck by how this technology enhanced the surgical process, so I decided to write a science article about how artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) can revolutionize the healthcare sector. I spent hours researching ways these two technologies can be combined to create an augmented human intelligence in healthcare workers, and I even secured interviews with experts from Google Healthcare and the Medical Virtual Reality department at the University of Southern California to broaden my understanding. I gave my all to this project, losing track of time researching potential applications and barriers to integrating this technology into everyday life, and I was very happy to get my article published in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Office of Engineering Outreach Program e-publication at the end of this summer. After studying how AI and AR can be integrated into the healthcare sector, I have become increasingly interested in how this technology can be used to help my community, especially in the midst of the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer. Between the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others who look like me, I began thinking of ways this technology can be used to create change during this tense time. I would love to explore the opportunity of a safety integration in AR/AI glasses that could read a person’s constitutional rights to them when they are stopped by the police and display the officer’s badge number and title. I also envision AR/AI glasses made for the police officers to wear that could recognize the person’s face and tell the officer the person’s criminal record, their occupation, if they have a family, etc. Although facial recognition raises some ethical concerns, I believe these issues can be solved with proper regulations in place that ensure the security and diversity of the data collected. The integration of this technology in these situations could bring humanity back into civilian-police interactions, make people feel safer, and even save lives. By pursuing computer science in college, I hope to continue studying this technology and go on to achieve my Ph.D. in the field with a concentration in human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. In light of the systemic injustices that myself and other minority communities face in our society, I want to become an expert in this field to create a software company that produces technology that accents and improves the minority experience. Through virtual experiences and programs that augment human intelligence, I want to use the magic of computer science to expose people to new perspectives, and better the lives of minority communities.
Kelly Haen
Northwestern UniversityChicago, IL
Yassmin Simmonds
Pacific College of Health and ScienceNew York, NY
Karen Escarcha
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA
From Alexas to self-driving cars, the future is defined by the technology we design. But who gets to build that future? Currently, 83% of tech executives are white — a blatant lack of diversity that limits innovation in a sector that heavily shapes our society. While I can't stop the rapid rate of technological advancement, I can build a career ensuring that the tools we design are inclusive of diverse perspectives, accessible to marginalized populations, and eliminating systemic barriers. That is why I see pursuing a Master's in interaction design at Carnegie Mellon University as a crucial next step in my career. Prior to CMU, I spent five years working for the nonprofit Boston PIC where I was the Design Specialist & Executive Team Manager. I gained experience in education policy, nonprofit management, and public-private stakeholder engagement. In my last project, I led the implementation of UX methodologies to develop and launch an online application. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Linguistics with a minor in French from Boston University. Throughout my academic and professional experience, I have realized that regardless of language, culture, or race, people all over the world are finding a way to connect. Exposure to diverse cultures inevitably develops a sense of openness and acceptance and the possibilities of a better future are limitless when a generation is armed with a global perspective — a philosophy I believe that more and more companies are starting to embody. Since attending CMU, I have been laying the foundation for a human-centered design practice that combines research, strategy, and technical skill. My coursework covers topics such as design thinking, interaction design, service design, and rapid prototyping. My projects include designing a mobile application to help individuals choose birth control and designing a service for adult learners. Additionally, I have been working with a professor to research and analyze the design of nontraditional learning experiences As a designer, I will operate on the basis of a growth mindset where failure is not a setback but an opportunity to learn and improve. This is evident in how I collaborate with my teammates. They have described my collaboration style as external processing (working through problems together on the whiteboard) and asking the right questions that allow us to move the project forward. Ambiguity does not scare me. In fact, it motivates me to find clarity in the madness and turn those insights into tangible design decisions. I am not afraid to have a perspective on design. My practice is informed by my experience growing up as a low-income immigrant and woman. One thing I do not think design is doing enough of is considering how emerging technologies will impact our society and culture. As companies start to rely heavily on machine learning, I wonder how employers will play a role in these societal shifts. I am exposing myself to emerging technologies and developing an interdisciplinary design practice at CMU, but I am eager for the chance to work with a company that values a highly collaborative and human-centered design process to address our largest social and economic problems. I see design as a vehicle for me to help shape the future in a way that looks, sounds, and feels more diverse and more equitable.
Maria Jose Lozano Palacio
Stanford UniversityStanford, CA
Tiffany Marte
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew York, NY
Gabriella Johnson
University of California-DavisAntioch, CA
Bao Ngo
University of Maryland-College ParkRockville, MD
Tranee Peevy
Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental MedicineLos Angeles, CA
Drew Farr
University of Hawaii-West OahuEwa Beach, HI
Ejimogu Acholonu
University of Washington-Seattle CampusSeattle, WA
Jordan Janda
Grayslake North High SchoolLindenhurst, IL
This is Finnley my 4-year-old Goldendoodle and he has influenced my life more than I could have ever imagined. He introduced me to the dog training world and I started an account (@finnley.doodle) on Instagram, where we built a large platform and made many connections and inspired other dog trainers my age. This interest in dog training has opened up more opportunities and has landed me an amazing job where I have gained lots of experience. He also inspired me to start my own business (Finnley's Tugs) on Etsy, selling dog toys and accessories out of recycled t-shirt material.
Jada Bryant
Palm Harbor University HighPalm Harbor, FL
Alex Egan
Cuba City HighCuba City, WI
I am a survivor! I battled with my brother, Eric, to overcome TCell ALL Leukemia. I was diagnosed at the age of 10 and received 3 years of therapy. I completed treatment in October 2015. Eric was diagnosed 2 weeks after I was. We experienced many months of separation while receiving his bone marrow transplant in 2012. The treatments were hard on myself and my family. I often felt ill and missed a lot of school over the 3-year treatment. I had many treatments and hospital stays. I remember when Eric and I were hospitalized at the same time and used walkie-talkies from our rooms to communicate. For the cancer treatment, I had surgeries to place and remove a port that helps administer chemotherapy. The chemotherapy ruined my gallbladder, so I had surgery to remove it. I consider my scars from surgery my badges" as they are memories of the strength and trials I endured. There were some things to look forward to during my treatment years. I attended Step One Camp for 2 years, where all participants are cancer patients during my treatment years. I also enjoyed 2 years of horse camp with this same group. I had the privilege of being the Boy of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Wisconsin in 2016. During this time, I was able to represent Leukemia childhood cancer. I gave motivating speeches at functions that told of both my and my brother Eric's cancer treatments and outcomes. During my treatment, I continued with schooling, participated in my brother Eric's Make-A-Wish to the Probowl in Orlando, Florida, played soccer, hunt, fish, and farm with my family. Treatment has strengthened me, and I am staying strong doing things I like. I have enjoyed being on the Trap Shooting Team during high school. I have found success with this sport. The first year with the sport, I competed in State and National competitions. The last year with Covid did not allow us to have a State or National Tournament. However, I had a great accomplishment; I finished 1st in my conference and 3rd at the state level. I have learned and profited from trapping during the winter months in Wisconsin. I enjoy 4-wheeling and snowmobiling in my free time. I work on our family farm, raising cattle, crops, donkeys, llamas, horses, and alpacas. I am motivated to continue to gain experience that interests me and in which I can make a lifetime goal and occupation. I obtained my Comercial driver's license last summer while still attending high school. I completed 2 different courses through Southwest Tech while in my Junior and Senior high school. I will be attending Southwest Technical College in the Fall. I am enrolled in the welding program and look forward to starting! I also will be on their Trap Shooting team.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 31, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jun 15, 2021.

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