Everyone deserves the chance to obtain a high-quality education, but unfortunately for many students, money is a limiting factor.
Even though financial aid is awarded to 86% of first-year, full-time students, many students still have to go out of pocket or apply for loans to pay for their education, which can make their financial troubles increase drastically.
As a small solution to the $1.8 trillion dollar student debt crisis, the Charles R. Ullman & Associates Educational Support Scholarship is open to all students based in North Carolina in any field of study.
To apply, please write about why you think it’s important for people to engage with their communities, ways in which you’ve helped your own community, and how you hope to continue providing for your community through your career.
The first-place winner of the scholarship will receive a $2,000 award, the runner-up will receive a $1,000 award, and the second runner-up will receive $500
Essay, Drive, Purpose, Community Engagement, Intent
Why do you think it is important for people to be involved in their communities? How have you helped your own community in your life so far? How do you plan to help your community through your future career?
Central Carolina Community CollegeHolly Springs, NC
One day everything was normal and the next day everything was shut down. I couldn’t do my regular activities, such as swimming, AWANA, BSF, choir, or Sunday school. I also wasn’t allowed to go anywhere, hug my friends, or volunteer at Y-Guide's spring outing. Quarantine had started. Suddenly, masks were required to go into stores; everything was different. Covid-19 did affect me, but ultimately I overcame Covid-19’s negative grasp on my life.
One thing that Covid taught me is that people need each other. We are not meant to be apart from each other. Many people have developed mental health issues, depression, and anxiety because they had to be isolated. This could all be solved if people were more involved in their community.
People need, more than ever before, to be involved in their communities so they can gain an understanding of needs, help others, and have fun. First, they can gain an understanding of the community's needs. Every community has weak spots which can be solved if people come together to brainstorm. Second, they can help others. Once they know the needs of the community, people can find ways to fix these problems. This can include gathering different teams, organizing fundraisers, and completing projects. Finally, getting involved in communities can help people have fun. People need to spend time with other people, and it is fun to work on projects together.
Not only will getting involved with their community help others, but the community will help them. Sometimes people do not want others to be burdened to help them if they need meals or help with mulch or other projects. However, as people get more involved with their community, they learn that people love helping others and they don't see it as a burden, but as a joy to serve.
One way I have helped my own community in my life so far is by volunteering with rescues. I have started getting animal experience hours by volunteering with NC State's Turtle Rescue Team (TRT). I never knew I could love turtles as much as I do. They all have different personalities and I love watching them and caring for them. I am a foster/rehabber for the TRT. I take in injured turtles that need to be rehabbed. I will soak them, feed them, clean their habitats, and medicate them if necessary. This has been an amazing experience. Not only am I gaining animal experience hours, but I am having fun and helping my community through an amazing non-profit organization.
My goal is to attend NC State’s veterinary school after undergraduate school. As of right now, I want to work with horses. As I gain knowledge and skill at NC State, by studying animal science and biochemistry, I see myself contributing to the needs of the equine industry community by improving equine nutrition, equine care, and awareness.
First, I see myself contributing to the needs of the equine industry community by improving equine nutrition. Horses add around 2 billion dollars of economic value to the state of North Carolina, which is among the top 10 in the population of horses. This money comes from races, shows, rescues, and recreation. The most important element of equine care in these categories is nutrition. Equine nutrition interests me. I can see myself researching nutrition for horses to help the equine industry community have healthier, stronger horses.
Second, I see myself contributing to the needs of the equine industry community by improving equine care and health. I was a camp counselor at a horse camp for two years in middle school. One rescued horse in the camp, Manny, was a retired racehorse who won several races. His racing name was Man with a Plan. In one of his races, he landed wrong and broke his ankle. His owners took him to the vet, who told them he wouldn’t be able to race again because of the limitations of his ankle after the surgery. After hearing this news, his owners left Manny at the veterinary hospital to be put down. However, a vet tech saved him, had his ankle fixed, and gave him an amazing, healthy life. I want to help horses as this vet tech did. I want to learn how to fix injuries so horses can live lives with the best care and health available.
Finally, I see myself contributing to the needs of the equine industry community by improving communication to bring awareness. At NC State, I will be learning new skills that I want to share with the community. Partnering with different counties of North Carolina to share the latest information is an important action that would not only be educational but fun and exciting. Being partners with the community, in all the different counties, will help bring awareness to best practices, the latest research, and why it's so important to do things a certain way. Helping NC State build trust within all the counties and communities of people, will help spread awareness that will spark change quicker, thus enabling the agricultural industry across the state to become stronger and healthier.
I am excited to contribute to NC State’s philosophy, careful thought, and deliberate action (“Think and Do”), as I gain knowledge in my studies of animal science and biochemistry and then give back to my community. I am also excited to help meet the needs of the equine industry community during and after college, by improving equine nutrition, equine care, and awareness.
Being a part of a community is more than just being a part of your location. In our digital age your community can reach much further than you could ever realize. This is why Ralph Waldo Emmerson’s wise words are so important. “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions, for they become habits, watch your habits for they become your character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” You never know who you are impacting and it might even be your own future.
My community has always been there for me. I love having grown up in small, rural, Granville County. It will be with me wherever life takes me. It isn’t because of the location, although I do like our trees and sunsets. It is the people that make a difference. Every person counts. You never know how far one pebble’s ripples will reach when skipping a rock on the water. Positive efforts in a community works the same way. You don’t know how far they will go or who will benefit from them.
My English teacher, Mr. Moore, had me read a book called, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. Then we had to do a project of the five people we thought we would meet, that impacted our lives. In my project, a lady by the name of Meg Strong is pictured. Even though I have told her, I still doubt that she fully understands her impact on my life, as well as several kids in our community. She ran the SGAA soccer league my whole life. It is a volunteer position that requires a lot of a person. Had I not been introduced to soccer, I believe I would have stayed lost my whole life. It gave me a place to feel like I belonged. It gave me a coach that I could vent to about personal issues going on in my life. I learned about responsibility to myself and my team. I learned about respect, to coaches, referees, teammates, and opposing teams. Without volunteers like Meg, and others, these organizations would not be able to function and reach out to the next generation. In my project, I was able to tell Meg in heaven that I grew up, became a professional athlete, and started an organization for kids in rural areas that needed to learn these life lessons through sports. In real life, I asked her to escort me for my senior night onto the field for my last home game. She never had any kids of her own, but she has many kids in her wake of influence; I am just one. It was definitely an emotional night and I am so glad I had the chance to show my appreciation for her community service in that special way.
Being 16, I am just getting started on being able to give back to society. From a young age though, I have been involved in raising money and volunteering for the Miracle League of Franklin County. It is a non-profit organization that allows children with special needs to be able to play baseball. We serve several counties (Franklin, Granville, Vance, etc) since the closest one other than ours is in Wake county, over 40 minutes of driving one way for many families. I help kids bat, and run bases. I would volunteer for their Fall Festival, even on the years that it fell on my birthday.
Even my part time job is serving my community. I work for the Town of Butner helping with assessments for sports leagues, and helping take care of the athletic park I was fortunate enough to play on. I remember being excited when the Granville Athletic park was built. Now I am one of the people employed to keep it nice for everyone. Often, kids will come up to me and ask if they can try to score on me. They have heard that the teen with the blue hair, “blueberry” is a really good goalkeeper. I stop most goals, but let one go in from time to time, so they know that no matter who the keeper is, if they keep trying they can score. Confidence is all kids need sometimes.
I see myself giving back to the community by volunteering as a coach or a referee for these foundational leagues. I can see me still taking time to help keep our fields clean and nice for the next generation of athletes. I can see myself staying involved in the Miracle League, and maybe starting a similar organization in which kids with special needs can play soccer. There is so much to learn from sports that can help you with life skills. It helps with self-control. It helps with teamwork, and working together for the win, not just the glory of one person. It teaches you about forgiving the mistakes of others, and being forgiven yourself for mistakes. Sports are able to break social barriers. I myself have played soccer in a Spanish league, and was the only person who didn’t speak Spanish. I was accepted and respected because I spoke soccer. I can see myself creating and preserving the opportunities I was given for the next generation.
University of North Carolina WilmingtonGreensboro, NC
Community: something I think is so cool and a big passion of mine. Technically, a community is a group of people; however, it is so much more meaningful than that. I think community is essential to overall mental health. To me, community can be described as the people in your corner that are there for you through whatever you go through. We are not meant to struggle alone, that is why God created community. Jesus, the Son of God, came to Earth to serve, not to be served. I think that Jesus’ journey on Earth gives us purpose for our lives and gives us perspective on why it is important to be involved in the community.
It is common knowledge that some people are more well off than others. I think that fact is a perfect reason for why community is so important. No, money does not mean happiness; however, those with money are able to contribute to the less-fortunate populations, whether it be financially, emotionally, or physically. I believe that serving others in any community is essential because it creates unity. Serving not only benefits the one being served, but also the ones serving.
I have experienced the true high of serving several times, with the most eye-opening being in Jamaica. I, along with other high school students, traveled to the Jamaican Deaf Village twice to serve the deaf residents. I think it is so important to use your capabilities and gifts to serve others and let them know that they are loved. I have also been to Wilmington, NC, Washington, D.C., as well as Mars Hill, NC to serve those less fortunate. I also enjoy working with the food bank and reaching out to the less privileged here in Greensboro, NC. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities to serve and to have experienced the many joys of serving.
I plan to help my community in the future in college, throughout my career, and anywhere I end up. As a student at UNCW, I will get involved in several outreach groups to meet people at the college as well as serve those outside of the college. As a finance major, I strive to use my career to help others. Most people would say they don’t like math; however, I fall into the small category of those who do like math. I want to combine my love for math and passion for serving in the field of finance. I want to originally be a Certified Public Accountant and eventually be a Chief Financial Officer, both which involve working with people. I want to spread joy to anyone I encounter and do my part in serving the community.
Building relationships and empowering communities are two powerful skills I have built upon in my experiences as a school engagement coordinator and English as a Second Language Tutor. As a speech-language pathologist, I can continue to apply that knowledge to better connect to people who are learning to improve their communication. Restricted communication manifests in a myriad of ways, but developmental delays and language barriers both pose challenges to people’s daily lives and relationships. As a speech-language pathologist, I will have the privilege to alleviate some of the difficulties that stem from these diverse obstacles in communication.
Serving in AmeriCorps for the past two years was a lesson in resilience and compassion. As a School Engagement Coordinator, I mentored underserved elementary students at two different charter schools in Western North Carolina. During my first year I accompanied the 3rd-grade teaching assistant when she pulled a small group of students who struggle with math, When the teaching assistant was unable to complete the year, I stepped in as their small group instructor. One student had difficulty focusing every morning. When he did focus, he would get easily frustrated with concepts he couldn’t comprehend immediately. I would get the rest of the group started and take him aside to point out that trying his best is what I needed, not perfection. When he set aside frustration and just attempted the problem, he would usually get the problem correct anyway. I would remind him of my expectations every day and by the end of the year, he could more easily get past his frustration and complete his work and tests successfully. As I continued my second year with AmeriCorps, I saw that same need for persistence in the class of 3rd graders I assisted with as well as with the students I observed in the speech therapy room.
Every Thursday for a year and a half, I tutored Veronica, a middle-aged English as a Second Language student. She quickly grasps the English concepts I teach her and truly enjoys improving her language skills. Veronica does lament that even though class is easy for her, she’s trying to improve her speaking and comprehension skills so she can better understand people at work. After each book lesson, we always catch up on each other’s lives to improve the spoken language components. She offers me incredible food and tells me she wants to own a food truck one day. Another struggle is her pronunciation of some sounds. As a Latina woman, she often switches the g and j sounds so that they sound like the Spanish sounds and has difficulty pronouncing the th sound. I asked the speech-language pathologist that I observe what I should do to improve these sounds for Veronica and she suggested I use a mirror to demonstrate what the sounds should look like in your mouth when you make them. The first time I showed her, you could see her face light up as she realized she could make the movements needed for those sounds. Working with her on a weekly basis was an incredible way to be involved in her life and our community.
I hope to combine my love of connecting with people and creating change in communities with my fascination with linguistics and teaching by becoming a speech-language therapist. Working with elementary school students who may be struggling to communicate effectively made me want to help children who are at this important stage in their linguistic development. Tutoring Veronica allowed me to understand how the daily struggle to communicate and be understood in your nonnative language is pervasive for countless people. The daily impact of limited communication can be disheartening, but positive relationships and a supportive community can empower the person to achieve their communication goals. I want to be a part of that change and support system as a speech-language pathologist. It's the small positive relationships that are built within a community that empowers it and makes it thrive.
I have continued to build my community as a research assistant in the Social Communication and Neuroscience Lab at East Carolina University. I am aiding in their investigation of the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. The project is examining the influence of Parkinson’s on language processing. I review grant proposals and create literature reviews in order to advance the project. My work in the lab has helped me further understand how the inability to communicate can affect our behavior and health as humans. I want to gain in-depth knowledge of the human body and speech mechanisms and the most effective methods of therapy and treatment that center the patient and who they are through the lab and my graduate coursework. This knowledge will prepare me to be an empathetic and patient speech-language pathologist after graduating with an MS in speech pathology.
After I graduate from my master's program, I hope to be accepted into a craniofacial graduate fellowship that assesses and treats children with cleft and lip palates, pediatric speech disorders, and craniofacial anomalies. I think supporting children early on in their journey to clearer communication is crucial to their mental well-being later on and I want to be a part of that. Many pediatric disorders also require the patients to learn or relearn how to eat effectively. I think providing this service is essential to children’s physical health and growth. Early intervention is the key to ensuring a child’s health at the onset of these disorders and as they grow older. Working with and learning from strong pediatric patients in this graduate program and beyond will add to the resilience I have fostered throughout my life. I plan to finish my graduate fellowship successfully and continue to work in the hospital setting to care for pediatric patients. I aspire to compassionately care for and give therapy to children with a variety of speech disorders in my community and look forward to learning how to do so at East Carolina University.
Serving those around you is one of the most important things that anyone can do. I have traditionally assisted others through volunteer positions, such as serving as an assistant basketball coach for a local youth league, packing food for the homeless at Brown Bag Ministry, and educating students about recycling and composting at NC State. This past June, I was blessed with the opportunity to work for North Carolina News Daily, a local online newspaper. Originally hired to provide editing services, I would soon find myself playing a larger, more important role in uplifting my community.
George Floyd was murdered a few days before I began working. While this was not the first time a traumatizing event like this has happened, I couldn’t help but feel shocked and scared during those 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and the days that followed. Soon after, the police murder of Rayshard Brooks was reported. As a young Black teen, my heart felt like it was sinking.
Working for a newspaper, I didn’t feel right not saying anything about these atrocities going on, or doing anything to help. My boss felt the same way, and with her help, I was able to begin the most meaningful project of my summer.
While most businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to do something to support our Black community. I was tasked with writing one article highlighting Black-owned businesses in North Carolina. However, I didn’t think that one article alone would effectively showcase the diverse array of Black-owned businesses within our state.
Fortunately, I had been given the power to perform this project as I saw fit. So, I turned this one article into a series of 6 articles, each featuring up to 25 Black-owned businesses from different sectors. By doing this, I could help both the local economy and hopefully lessen the racial wealth gap that exists today.
Because the pandemic impacted businesses differently, finding & verifying information was more difficult than expected. I was thankful to have a co-worker help out, taking care of 2 of the articles. The first of the 6 articles—25 Black-Owned Restaurants in NC—was published on June 19. The “Juneteenth” piece was a huge hit! At our weekly team meeting, I was pleased to find out that my work had gotten the most public attention out of all the articles published that week.
Over the next seven days, the remaining articles were published. Seeing my work being presented for everyone to see filled me with pride, but the subject and meaning of these articles really moved me. I also saw the power that engaging with others has—the impact of my first conversation with my boss led to 135 businesses being promoted! Knowing that I had been a big part of something that could help them out was very fulfilling.
The highlight of the series for me happened when I was calling a cleaning business in Clayton, to make sure they were still open. When answered, I told them that I was putting together an article to highlight Black-owned businesses across the state. They thanked me, and the man on the line told me, “We really appreciate what you are doing.”
This response definitely made me a bit teary-eyed. I knew that all this work I was doing mattered. I knew that people’s lives would be positively impacted by my work. I knew that I was making a difference in the world.
Though this year has been filled with much despair, especially for the Black community, there have still been positives, beacons of light in the darkness. I was one of these beacons of light. That fact alone was enough to lift my previously sunken heart, and my spirits.
I’m proud of the work I accomplished this summer, but I know that this is just the beginning. Prejudices against minorities are still prevalent in today’s society. As an aspiring engineer, I’m intent on creating practical solutions to solve global problems, which include the issues of inequality and racism.
I’m going to continue to showcase Black excellence; whether through articles like I did this summer, by continuing to excel in my courses, or by sharing my personal experiences with those around me. By sharing my culture and my personality with others, I hope to build relationships. I want to show how we are all unique and help people see the value and complexity we all offer. I think this starts with open dialogues and engaging with all types of people. This is what helps prevent injustices and prejudices from occurring in the future. I will continue to support and promote this kind of inclusive community in the future.
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The application deadline is Apr 30, 2022. Winners will be announced on May 31, 2022.
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