For DonorsFor Applicants

Debra Victoria Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,500
Application Deadline
Feb 24, 2024
Winners Announced
Mar 24, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate student
3.0 or higher
Single-parent household

Debra Victoria Thomas-Banks was a strong advocate of the importance of education and the opportunities it presented. 

Debra Victoria was a single mother and often worked eighty hours a week to fund her daughter’s education. Debra sadly passed away due to ovarian cancer in 2021 but her daughter has kept her legacy alive by supporting students from single-parent homes.

This scholarship aims to honor the legacy of Debra Victoria by supporting underrepresented students from single-parent households so they can complete their education.

Any undergraduate Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color (BIPOC) student from a single-parent household with a 3.0 GPA or higher may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us how living in a single-parent household has impacted your career goals and how you plan to pursue your goals after college.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published September 24, 2023
Essay Topic

Discuss how living in a single-parent household has shaped your career goals and how you plan to pursue those goals during and after your time at college.

400–600 words

Winning Application

javontae bascomb
Seattle Central CollegeAUBURN, WA
Watching my mother complete her degree as a single parent with no car, no partner, and working a job making $16 an hour after being laid off from a well-paying job while taking care of 3 kids was an experience I will never forget. As a teen back then, I could not truly appreciate the work ethic she had to have to do what she was doing. I thought, "This is just the typical life as an adult with kids". No adults I knew seemed to be truly happy so my mother did not stray too far away from my cognitive schema of what an adult life looked like. The struggle, the tiredness, and the constant lack of patience all seemed normal to me. Nothing out of the ordinary, this is the life that's waiting for me in adulthood, so I thought. Now that I am an adult who is in school and working full time, I have a newfound respect for what my mother was doing as a single parent pursuing her degree as I could not even imagine having to add on the additional challenges she was facing to my own life right now. Watching someone do the impossible changes you. It may not be immediate, but eventually, it catches up to you and influences your choices and commitment to further growth and development. I always wanted to be a doctor growing up but for some reason, this goal always seemed unattainable. I was positive I did not have the money, time, or intelligence to pursue a career like this so I settled for a major I believed to be easier and still struggled even with all the support imaginable. Sitting in a cold hospital bed after a devastating mental health episode was extremely humbling for me. Previously, I thought I was the unstoppable golden child who was to meet no roadblocks. I believed life would be easy for me and quickly realized, no. Life has no favorites and I must work my tail off to pursue the career of my dreams. My mom's journey was, and always will be the fuel I need to keep me on track. Her path to success did not come easy, so why would it come easy for me? Yes, our circumstances were different, but having a good work ethic is a circumstance that will never lose value. Without having seen what my mom went through to graduate college, I can not guarantee that I would still be trying to cross my finish line 6 years into my journey of getting my bachelor's. She showed me that anything is possible if you truly commit and utilize all your resources. Proving to me, that being a physician is an achievable goal. I believe I owe it to my mother and community to prevail through all adversities I face to be able to contribute to society in a meaningful way both in college and out of college. Work ethic is not just applicable in school but in everyday life. Who are you and what will you do when facing adversity, pain, and exhaustion? Do you quit, or keep fighting the finite fight? If there's anything I learned growing up with my mom, it's that you fight. You fight for your education, fight for your worth, and help fight for those who can not fight for themselves. I believe this will be achievable for me as a physician and I owe it to my upbringing for making this path a possibility for me.
Shania Hampton
Grand Canyon UniversityCincinnati, OH
Being in a single-parent household had revealed the struggles and hardships of the one parent who is present as well as the strain that can occur on the children under that roof. As my mom was usually the only one present for most of my life it had been difficult for her, and she often struggled at times falling short of what was expected from her as a mom. Often parents who are forced to handle things on their own are less than prepared for the financial, and physical challenges ahead. Much of the time my mother would simply give up and leave the home for days on end because she felt it was easier to pretend like she didn't have the responsibility of being a parent. There are many seasons when my sibling rarely is or suffered at home, my mom would tell us if we wanted to eat then we had to make sure we went to school. So we would go even if we were unwell. We also never received Christmas gifts or new things for school. Being a single parent can mentally affect you and cause you to feel overwhelmed. As a single mother today, I want to equip my babies with as much worldly wisdom as I possibly can. So that they can know that they are capable of amazing feats. I want to support them in everything that pursues and everything that they're passionate about. First and foremost I want them to know that they are loved and do more for me than I could ever do for them. I don't want them to think that their births were anything besides blessings to me, as I often felt like a mistake as a child. I want to see them succeed and I want them to know that their mother would've given their last breath to see them reach whatever mountain top.
KeShaun Mays
Newberry CollegeCameron, NC
Living in a single-parent household has taught me that my mom is one of the strongest people I know. My mom has sacrificed so much to make sure I had everything I needed to be successful. She sacrificed to make sure I was able to play every sport that I wanted to play and attend any and every extra-curricular activity. There was never enough time in the day for my mom to do what she wanted to do because she was always looking out for me. Working 12hrs shifts at least 4 days a week was very tough on her but fortunately my grandmother was a big help as well but it was still tough. When I was 11yrs old my grandmother had to have a knee replacement. When she came home from the hospital I was helping to care for her. I was her nurse and physical therapist while at home. At that point I knew that I wanted to help others as well. I have also been through other traumatic events in my life. Three of my grandparents, my two paternal grandparents and my maternal grandmother have all had cancer. I have seen what the effects of cancer can do to a person. Because they have had to endure this type of sickness myself and other family members took on the roles of caretakers. Once gain I learned that caring for people is what I wanted to do. I learned that in order to care for patients you have to listen to them and analyze what is wrong with them. Sometimes you also have to empathize with them as well. I like to also think that I have a way with kids and I know that you have to be patient with them. My family has inspired me and have shaped my plans to pursue a career in a healthcare field. I did not always know that is what I wanted to become but as I got older and had to endure these things I quickly learned that I wanted to care for people that may not always be able to care for themselves.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 24, 2024. Winners will be announced on Mar 24, 2024.

This scholarship has been awarded, but we have hundreds more!
Find a perfect scholarship now