For DonorsFor Applicants

Dr. Ruth Lewis Knight Memorial Scholarship for Educators

2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
May 1, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
Black/African American
Career Goals:
Public school teacher or principal

Dr. Ruth Lewis Knight was an outstanding teacher, program administrator, and award-winning principal in the Chicago Public School system.

After retiring from CPS, Dr. Knight worked with the New Leaders Program to train school administrators. Throughout her life, Ruth was passionate about education and helping underserved children access education.

This scholarship aims to honor Dr. Ruth Lewis Knight’s legacy by supporting future teachers and principals who hope to impact the lives of public school students.

Any African American high school senior who plans to study education and become a public preschool, elementary, or high school teacher may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us why you’re passionate about becoming a public school teacher.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published January 24, 2022
Essay Topic

Why are you passionate about becoming a teacher of students in our public schools?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Terry Burrel III
Cypress Springs High SchoolCypress, TX
I've had some incredible teachers along the way, some I have considered to be true super heroes to the next generation of leaders. Although I have had some really wonderful teachers, there is one teacher in particular that has stood out from the pack. She has touched so many hearts including mine. It’s also safe to say that when you stepped into her classroom there was never a dull moment. Ms. Russel from the first day I had met her, was always powerful, upbeat, and a true people person. She is a person some would say “never meets a stranger”. She really cared about everyone, not because you were one of her students, but because she really cared for you as a person. She was also a great communicator; every time I stepped into her class in the mornings; whatever the lesson was going to be for that day, she was going to give it to you in a way that was straight forward, understandable, and relatable. No matter how tough the lesson was you could count on her to make it make sense every time. Having Ms. Russell as a teacher was such a good thing for me. I was on the fence about going into education as I thought about attending college and what I wanted to do in my career and she single handedly solidified it. As I was getting some feedback from others that wanted to be and were educators like church and family members and friends of the family; they were just giving me mixed results stemming from there own teaching experiences. After having a great conversation with Ms. Russell one day, she put all of my worries to rest saying that "the personality and people skills I possessed were more than enough to become an exceptional educator." With those really heart warming words of encouragement I was now certain that I am ready to pursue a long and fulfilling career in the education Field The reason why I am so patinate about being a teacher is because of the teachers like Ms. Russell. I feel that she has had one of the greatest impacts on my life along with many other student. I feel like if I do half of what she did for me I could give students the passion to become a teacher while touching may hearts just like how Ms. Russell has done for me.
Azaria Josey
Gordon State CollegeForsyth, GA
Teaching has always been a passion of mine since the second grade. As I get older, my mission is to teacher in public schools to ensure that students get the best possible experience and education. As a senior in public school, I wish I’ve had more passionate teachers and not teacher who are just “doing their jobs”. I want to shape the minds of the future generations to come. Especially minorities who don’t get the opportunity to experience amazing education. I want to expand the public school system and shape the way we teach students. Public schools lose the engagement of students because sometimes they fail to learn about their students and their interest, so they can better assist and teach them. Public schools should cater to different learning styles and formulate different strategies to better educate students. People ask me all the time why I want to be an educator? I love kids and I always loved when my 2nd grade teacher would go above and beyond for us. She helped me overcome a lot of hurdles that no other teacher would and could. She ensured everyone got it and understood. She took the ‘No Child Left Behind’ very seriously and ensured that we were given the proper educational experience. Everyday I research something new and prepare myself for the classroom. Some people say to slow down and just wait until you actually become a teacher. I simply respond and say “ Why would I wait when I can prepare myself to be the best possible teacher in the world for my future students to come”. I work hard everyday so when I tell my students anything is possible I have evidence to show them. Passionate isn’t even the best word to describe my love and desire to be a teacher in the public school system. My current teachers told me that education is the best position for me to be in based on who I am as a person. I carry that with me everyday and I strive to demonstrate hard work and display my love for students, learning, and the public school education system. I have actually taken advantage of my schools dual enrollment program and I am current in route to my elementary education degree and it makes me feel happy as I get closer and closer to my passion. I believe that I will shape future passionate educators and change the way of public schools.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2022.

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