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Cocoa Diaries Scholarship

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Cocoa Diaries
1 winner$527
Application Deadline
Sep 22, 2021
Winners Announced
Oct 22, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

“Black women can do anything. We’ve proven that time and time and time again.” - Tarana Burke

The racial and gender injustices that prevail in our society today create a unique plight that Black women experience on a daily basis. 

Often disregarded in the world of academia, entrepreneurship, and social justice, it’s critical that the voices and aspirations of all Black women are uplifted much more frequently than they are. 

Today, Black women make 63% of what white men make and hold just 1% of high-paying engineering jobs. Cocoa Diaries seeks to provide bright-minded Black women the opportunity to excel past the oppressive status quo set by racism and sexism, propelling them toward their goals.

The Cocoa Diaries Scholarship and mission is by Black women, for Black women. Addressing the issues of racial and gender injustice starts within, and we would like to give you the chance to change the world with a little push. 

To apply, please write about your experience as a Black woman and how this experience has shaped who you are today. Please also mention how you’ll use this in your fight for social activism and uplifting other Black women. 

Applicants involved in social activism, have volunteer or work experience, and who maintain an active commitment to providing safe spaces and uplift other Black women are preferred.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Impact
Published May 18, 2021
Essay Topic

Please write about your experience as a Black woman. How has this experience shaped who you are today? Please also mention how you’ll use this in your fight for social activism and uplifting other Black women.

250–500 words

Winning Application

Nkiruka Ukaegbu
University of California-IrvineSacramento, CA
Varying types of adversity have shaped me to become the person I am today and although the hardships felt insurmountable at the time, they all substantially contributed to my growth as an individual. One of the most prominent hardships in my life that I have faced is being the most disrespected person in this society, a black woman. Growing up around people that did not look like me I constantly felt out of place. My self-confidence was minimal, self-expression was stifled, and there was the looming thought of needing to be twice as good to be considered just as capable. This feeling only grew when I transferred to UC Irvine. I faced a lack of social support since I moved hours away to a school where I was part of the 2% of students that looked like me. Instead of allowing it to be a hindrance, I used it as a way to make new friends and network. I joined clubs such as: the Nigerian Student Association, the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students, and became a board member for the Black Psychology Student Association. These experiences allowed me to turn my fears into productive solutions which also helped future students find their place. Although I questioned whether I was capable of juggling all my responsibilities, I found solace in knowing that being a second-generation student and a racial/ethnic minority were more so stepping stones that allowed me to develop the grit I needed to find solutions and persevere. My desire is for undergraduates who are pursuing a degree in Psychology to know there is a space for them to learn and flourish and so far I believe my club is taking the steps to do this for our peers. We have hosted meetings and I created/moderated a panel that essentially analyzed the implications of being black and how to remain informed and motivated despite any barriers we may experience. I also spoke during an event in which I informed black individuals on campus about mental health resources and ways they can preserve their inner peace as they face personal tribulations. My club hosted a panel for black students, especially black women, on campus about safe/consensual sex. Our voices are often stifled and we felt that it was important for black women on campus to have a space where they felt safe, heard, and can seek help if necessary. Being a part of this club has given me the humbling opportunity to help other students in their personal growth and educational journey, which in turn has helped me become a better leader and advocate for black individuals.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Sep 22, 2021. Winners will be announced on Oct 22, 2021.

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