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Chris Ford Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Chris Ford
4 winners, $2,750 each
Application Deadline
Apr 22, 2024
Winners Announced
May 22, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
3.0 or higher
Field of Interest:

Many of the brightest minds of tomorrow are unable to afford to pursue their college degrees and life goals due to the rising costs of college.

Tuition and fees alone now average $9,400 per year at public 4-year institutions and private nonprofit institutions charge an average of $37,600 per year for tuition and fees. In addition to living expenses, these costs can discourage students from pursuing their dreams. 

This scholarship aims to support students who show advanced learning capabilities but have limited resources to afford the cost of higher education.

Any Black high school senior with a general interest in business and a GPA of 3.0 or higher may apply for this scholarship, but students in Ohio or Indiana are preferred. 

To apply, tell us about yourself and how you’ll help the world through your future career.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 18, 2023
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through your future career.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Robinson Baptiste
Trinity Preparatory SchoolOrlando, FL
As an individual deeply committed to giving back to the community and making a positive impact on the world, I am driven by a strong sense of purpose and a desire to contribute to the well-being of others. Throughout my life, I have always sought out opportunities to support and uplift those around me, whether through volunteering, mentoring, or simply lending a helping hand whenever needed. One of the ways I envision making a significant difference in the world is through a career in finance. Finance, for me, is not just about numbers and profit margins; it is a powerful tool that can be used to create positive change and improve people's lives. My passion for math and analytical thinking has naturally drawn me towards this field, but it is the potential to leverage my knowledge and skills to benefit others that truly motivates me. In finance, there are countless opportunities to make a difference, from helping individuals and families achieve financial stability to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams. As someone who values community and social responsibility, I am particularly interested in exploring avenues where finance intersects with social impact investing, sustainable development, and philanthropy. One way I plan to make a positive impact through my career in finance is by advocating for ethical and responsible investment practices. By directing capital towards socially responsible initiatives and companies that prioritize environmental sustainability, human rights, and community development, I hope to contribute to building a more equitable and sustainable future for all. Furthermore, I am eager to use my financial expertise to empower underserved communities and address systemic inequalities. Whether through financial education programs, microfinance initiatives, or access to affordable credit and investment opportunities, I believe that everyone deserves access to the tools and resources they need to thrive economically. Beyond individual actions, I am also committed to fostering a culture of corporate social responsibility within the finance industry. By promoting transparency, accountability, and ethical behavior, we can work towards creating a financial sector that serves the greater good and works towards the betterment of society as a whole. In summary, my ambition is to leverage my passion for finance and mathematics to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the world. Through my future career, I aspire to not only drive financial success but also to promote social change, empower communities, and create a more just and equitable world for future generations.
Axel Flambert
Mundy'S Mill High SchoolJonesboro, GA
Please allow me to introduce myself and discuss how I hope to use my future job to change the world. Being from Haiti and now living in Jonesboro, Georgia, the possibilities and challenges of adjusting to two very different environments have moulded my life. At the age of eighteen, the events that caused me to leave Haiti because of growing threats to our lives have strengthened my resolve to make a significant contribution to the world. My objective is to work as a financial analyst in the future. My application for bachelor's degrees in finance is a reflection of my interest in comprehending and negotiating the intricacies of the financial industry. As someone who is not the first in my family to attend college, I want to shatter stereotypes and open doors for future generations. I hope to have a beneficial influence in a few different ways through my work as a financial analyst. First and foremost, I want to offer a new viewpoint to the industry by utilizing my distinct background and experiences to offer creative concepts and solutions. Second, I'm dedicated to spreading financial literacy, especially in areas where it might not be readily available to people. One of my main goals is to enable people to make wise financial decisions. I also want to be a forerunner in the financial sector's diversification. I am driven to support the representation of different voices in business as a person of mixed ethnicity. My goal is to make the financial world more diverse and equal by dismantling obstacles and promoting inclusiveness. In addition, I am passionate about leveraging technology to make financial services more accessible and user-friendly for all individuals, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. By embracing innovative solutions, such as mobile banking and digital platforms, I aim to bridge the gap between traditional financial institutions and underserved communities. Ultimately, my ultimate objective is to empower individuals from all walks of life to take control of their financial futures and thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. I intend to get involved in community service and charity outside of my career. Through my professional experience, I aim to make a meaningful contribution to projects that tackle societal issues and foster constructive transformation. Making a real and long-lasting difference in people's lives is my goal, whether it is through community development projects, educational programs, or mentoring schemes. Essentially, my path is about leveraging my position and abilities to make a positive impact on the world, rather than just focusing on my own achievements. I think I can contribute significantly to good change by fusing my love of money with my dedication to social impact. In addition to expressing my goals, my vision demonstrates my conviction that a better future may be shaped by education and employment.
Anna-Eve Stokes
Stockbridge High SchoolEllenwood, GA
My name is Anna-Eve Stokes, and I am currently a senior at Stockbridge High School. Throughout my high school years, I have been actively involved in various extracurricular activities, serving as the vice president of both the World Languages Club and the National Honor Society. Alongside my academic pursuits, I maintain a commendable 3.8 weighted GPA. My diverse interests include baking, marketing, real estate, community service, and entrepreneurship, all of which have shaped my aspirations for the future. As I look ahead to my college years and beyond, my overarching goal is to make a positive impact on the world through my career. At the heart of this vision lies my passion for baking and entrepreneurship. To me, baking is more than just a hobby; it's a transformative experience that brings people together and fosters connections. I envision owning my own bakery, where I can not only delight customers with delicious pastries but also create meaningful experiences that nourish the soul. However, my ambition extends beyond the confines of the kitchen. I see entrepreneurship as a powerful tool for social change, a platform through which I can address pressing community needs. With my bakery as a cornerstone, I intend to leverage my passion and resources to uplift and empower others. Currently, I am actively engaged in laying the groundwork for my future endeavors. Through volunteering at local schools and participating in community events like science fairs at Centennial Academy, I seek to foster connections and contribute meaningfully to my community. Additionally, I find joy in sharing my love for baking with family and friends, using homemade treats as a means of spreading happiness and building bonds. Looking ahead, I am committed to expanding my impact. My bakery will not only offer delicious food but also serve as a hub for community engagement. I envision hosting workshops and events that promote culinary education and empower aspiring bakers to pursue their dreams. Furthermore, I am passionate about using my resources to address social issues. Through real estate investment and my bakery, I plan to revitalize underserved neighborhoods and establish a non-profit organization dedicated to providing food assistance and promoting food security in my community. My commitment to making a positive impact is unwavering. I believe that change begins at the grassroots level, and I am determined to play my part in building a more inclusive and compassionate society. Through my dedication to baking, entrepreneurship, and community service, I hope to leave a lasting legacy of kindness and positivity that extends far beyond the walls of my bakery.
Jaya Wartson
Dixon High SchoolDixon, CA
From a young age, my ambition has been to leave a positive mark on as many lives as possible, and this pursuit has been the guiding force throughout my life. Initially drawn to the idea of attending a four-year university, my aspirations for a major evolved over time. Initially, dentistry captured my interest, followed by a fascination with sports science. However, it was during my sophomore year that I was introduced to the field of children and adolescent psychiatry, igniting a passion that lasted until I was introduced to entrepreneurship at the age of 15. Well, I should say I started to take entrepreneurship seriously. My entrepreneurial spirit emerged when I founded my first venture, Helping Hand, at the age of 11. This venture, offering services such as dog-walking, babysitting, and plant-sitting, was not just a means of earning pocket money; it was my first launch into the world of business. Through careful planning and dedication, I invested in business cards and distributed them throughout my neighborhood with the help of my family. It was not until I was approached by a neighbor, one of my clients at the time, asking to start a pool cleaning business together that I would eventually fully realize the potential of entrepreneurship. Initially motivated by financial gain, I soon discovered a deeper calling within entrepreneurship. Despite my initial aspirations toward psychiatry, I began to recognize the inherent value I could bring to people's lives through business ventures. Whether it was providing older clients with a taken-care of pool for family gatherings or offering employment opportunities to those in need, I realized the profound impact that even small acts could have on others. This realization transformed my understanding of my career path. I came to see that regardless of the profession I pursued, my ultimate goal remained constant: to make a positive difference in people's lives. Whether it was promoting dental hygiene, enhancing sports safety, or addressing mental health concerns, my underlying motivation was always to serve others. Additionally, my entrepreneurial journey taught me the importance of giving back to the community. Inspired by the support and mentorship I received from my neighbor-turned-family friend, I aspire to pay it forward by investing in the next generation. Through financial assistance and mentorship, I hope to empower young individuals to pursue their dreams and make their own positive impact on the world. In short, my journey from childhood aspirations to entrepreneurial endeavors has been driven by a desire to bring value to others. While my career path may have evolved over, my commitment to making a positive impact remains unwavering. Through entrepreneurship and beyond, I am dedicated to leaving a lasting legacy of compassion, support, and empowerment in the lives of those around me.
Danielle Lowe
Benjamin E Mays High SchoolAtlanta, GA
As a first generation college student, I am incredibly proud of all that I have accomplished so far. Despite the challenges that come with navigating higher education as a first-gen student, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of some amazing organizations that have helped me along the way. One such organization is the National Beta Club, which has allowed me to connect with other high-achieving students and develop leadership skills that will serve me well in the future. Additionally, I am a member of the TRIO Upward Bound program, which has provided me with invaluable academic support and resources as I work towards my college degree. Becoming a billionaire before the age of 30 is a daunting goal, but it is certainly not impossible. I believe that with the right mindset, determination, and strategy, it is achievable. My goal is not just to accumulate wealth, but to make a positive impact on the world through my business ventures and non-profit organization. First and foremost, I plan to achieve this goal by starting my own cosmetics and apparel business. I have always been passionate about beauty and fashion, and I believe that there is a huge market for these industries. By creating my own brand, I can bring my unique vision to life and cater to the needs of my customers. To achieve success in this competitive industry, I plan to focus on innovation and quality. My brand will offer products that are not only stylish and trendy but also safe and sustainable. I will invest in research and development to create new formulas and designs that stand out in the market. I will also prioritize ethical and eco-friendly practices, such as using recycled materials and reducing waste. In addition to my business, I also plan to start a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering young people. As someone who has faced many obstacles on my journey, I understand the importance of having support and resources to achieve one's goals. My non-profit organization will provide mentorship, education, and resources to young people who may not have access to them otherwise. I believe that by investing in our youth, we can create a brighter future for everyone. To make a positive impact on the community and future, I plan to focus on several key areas. Firstly, I want to prioritize diversity and inclusivity in all of my ventures. I believe that everyone deserves to feel seen and valued, regardless of their race, gender, or background. By promoting diversity and inclusivity, I hope to create a more accepting and welcoming world for everyone. Secondly, I want to prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our world, and I believe that businesses have a responsibility to take action. In my cosmetics and apparel business, I will prioritize using eco-friendly materials and reducing waste. In my non-profit organization, I will educate young people about the importance of sustainability and empower them to take action in their own communities. Finally, I want to prioritize giving back to the community. As someone who has been fortunate enough to have support on my journey, I believe it is important to pay it forward. Through my non-profit organization, I plan to partner with local charities and organizations to make a positive impact on the community. Additionally, I plan to donate a portion of my business profits to charitable causes that align with my values.
Michael Lewis II
Lewis & Clark CollegeSan Leandro, CA
Life is funny sometimes. I grew up as a coach's kid. My father coached at my high school for almost 30 years. And he is a retired police officer. So that gives me a bit of a different view of life than some of my classmates and peers. While other kids are thinking about college fun, I'm thinking about future financial goals. That's not to say that I don't want to have a good time, but I am stepping out and taking a bit of a different path than most of the kids around me. I grew up having conversations about investing, insurance policies, deferred compensation plans and having a great career. I have a plan for building wealth and having a great career. Under my father's guidance, I earned the honor of being our school's defensive player of the year and I was voted as a 1st team all-league selection at defensive end. But unlike most successful athletes, I am choosing to play at a smaller school that does not offer football scholarships. I had to get into school on my merit as a student first, and an athlete second. And while many of my classmates are picking colleges based on the number of students or reputations for how fun they are, I chose a school that will put me in a position to be great AFTER graduation. I plan on playing football and studying economics next year at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. No huge stadiums. No bright lights. No television coverage. Just playing for the love of the game and getting a great education. Lewis & Clark College is about 15 minutes from the Nike, Adidas and Under Armor Headquarters, as well as several accounting firms in that Portland area. I was told by the football staff at Lewis & Clark that those companies offer internships to members of the football program. So, I can earn valuable job experience with internships in the off-season when I am not playing college football. Eventually, I want to own commercial residential real estate as a business and a supplement to my career in finance. My experience in the finance world will help guide me in that direction. I want to leverage the earnings the commercial real estate to purchase small single-family rental homes in Ohio, Michigan or Tennessee. I will look for areas where a single large employer has a large workforce. Those employees will need quality places to live at fair prices. So, having a college degree will not only help me academically, but it will help the communities that I wish to serve with the business that I seek to build. This year, my senior project at Saint Mary's is building and coding an app that will keep track of my college class assignments, schedules for non-scholastic events, and assignment deadlines. Building this app will assist me in making sure that I stay on task with my football practice schedule, my game and travel schedule, and my academic schedule. It was important to me to create something that will help me to be successful in my immediate future, not just get a passing score for the project. In the future, I plan on going back to my high school and giving the younger kids ALL this information on wealth building, managing time, managing finances, and creating a business with an eye toward service to our community. I would love to coach and mentor as well. We call ourselves a Saint Mary's family. And if we all help each other we can all succeed.
Madison James
New York UniversityAlpharetta, GA
My name is Madison and I am a high school senior excited to embark on my journey in higher education and ultimately, my career. From a young age, I have always been driven to make a positive impact on the world and contribute to the betterment of society. This desire has only grown as I have learned about various social and environmental issues and witnessed firsthand the inequalities and challenges faced by marginalized communities. I plan to make a positive impact on the world through my future career by using my skills and knowledge in the business world to create sustainable and equitable solutions to these issues. As a business major, I believe I have the ability to not only contribute to the financial success of a company, but also to use my influence to implement positive change and promote sustainability and social justice. One way I envision making a positive impact through my career is by becoming involved in socially responsible investing. This involves investing in companies that not only generate financial returns, but also prioritize social and environmental impact. By supporting these types of companies, I believe I can contribute to the growth of businesses that are actively working towards making a positive impact on the world. Additionally, I hope to use my knowledge and skills in business to advocate for policies and initiatives that promote sustainability and social justice. This could include working with government agencies or non-profit organizations to develop and implement policies that address issues such as climate change, income inequality, and discrimination. In my future career, I also hope to use my business skills to help create and support businesses that are focused on addressing social and environmental issues. For example, I may work with entrepreneurs to help them start and grow businesses that provide environmentally friendly products or services, or that employ and empower marginalized communities. I believe that business has the potential to be a powerful force for good in the world, and I am excited to be part of this movement towards more sustainable and equitable practices. In order to make the most positive impact possible, I plan to continuously educate myself on social and environmental issues and stay up to date on the latest research and best practices in this field. Furthermore, I plan to use my personal and professional networks to connect with and learn from others who are also committed to making a positive impact on the world. By collaborating and sharing knowledge and resources, I believe we can amplify our efforts and create even greater positive change. I understand that making a positive impact on the world is a complex and ongoing process, and I am committed to being a part of this journey for the long term. I believe that by using my skills and knowledge in the business world to create sustainable and equitable solutions, I can make a meaningful and lasting difference in the world.
Schnolder Montour
Valencia CollegeKissimmee, FL
As I embark on my journey toward a future business career, I am driven by a deep desire to make a positive impact on the world. I firmly believe that business has the power to shape societies, drive innovation, and address pressing global challenges. Born and raised in a small town, I was exposed to the struggles and aspirations of my community from an early age. Witnessing economic disparities and environmental issues around me, I developed a strong sense of responsibility and a burning desire to contribute to a better world. This desire led me to pursue a degree in business, where I gained a comprehensive understanding of various disciplines such as finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. In my future career, I plan to make a positive impact on the world by integrating sustainability and social responsibility into business practices. I firmly believe that businesses can thrive while also being responsible stewards of the environment and actively working toward social justice. By promoting sustainable practices, ethical decision-making, and fostering inclusive workplaces, I aim to create a business environment that prioritizes long-term societal benefits over short-term gains. One of the critical challenges we face today is the urgent need to address climate change and reduce our ecological footprint. Through my future business career, I aspire to drive sustainability initiatives by integrating renewable energy sources, implementing circular economy principles, and adopting eco-friendly practices. I envision working towards creating business models that prioritize resource efficiency, minimize waste, and actively contribute to a greener and more sustainable future. In addition to environmental sustainability, I am deeply committed to promoting social justice and equality. I believe that businesses can be powerful agents for positive change by actively working towards equitable practices and fostering diversity and inclusion. I intend to advocate for fair labor practices, gender equality, and equal opportunities for underrepresented groups. By creating inclusive workplaces and supporting social initiatives, I aim to contribute to a society that values and respects the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. Furthermore, innovation and entrepreneurship are integral drivers of progress and change. Through my future career, I aim to foster a culture of innovation and support budding entrepreneurs who are working on impactful solutions. By leveraging technology, encouraging creativity, and nurturing talent, I hope to contribute to the development of groundbreaking ideas and initiatives that address societal challenges and create sustainable value for all stakeholders. In conclusion, as I embark on my future career in business, I am committed to making a positive impact on the world. By integrating sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical practices into business models, I aspire to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future. Through my endeavors, I hope to inspire and empower others to join me in creating a world where businesses thrive while actively addressing global challenges. Together, we can build a brighter future for generations to come.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 22, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 22, 2024.

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