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Eleven Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $5,000 each
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2024
Winners Announced
Jun 14, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Race or Ethnicity:
BIPOC student
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate student
Field of Study:
STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math)

The Eleven Scholarship is founded through our commitment to create a better tomorrow for all. We believe access to higher education is crucial to creating a better, more equal world.

In order to create a more promising future, the next generation of game-changers must be empowered to think critically, use creative problem solving, and seek out opportunities for growth. 

This scholarship aims to inspire high school seniors and undergraduate students who are pursuing degrees in STEM fields. 

Any BIPOC high school senior or undergraduate student pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics may apply for this scholarship but first-generation students focusing on the Technology, engineering, or mathematics aspect of STEM are preferred. 

To apply, tell us about a time when you faced a challenge, how it affected you, and what the experience taught you.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published January 30, 2024
Essay Topic

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, in what ways did you “turn it up to 11” (i.e. going above and beyond) in overcoming the challenge and what did you learn from the experience?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Amori Shelling
The furthest back that my memory travels into my childhood was when I became consciously aware as a toddler. I recall gaining this consciousness in a motel with only my mother, my two-month-old brother, and my seventeen- year-old sister. As a toddler, I could only put together what I understood; which was that my father wasn't present, and we were no longer sleeping in a house at night. My mother and father had split after only two years of being married due to the verbal abusive that my father put her through, to the point where she contemplated suicide. She fled with my siblings and I after meticulously waiting for the moment my father left the house. We ended up 8 hours away in the small town we currently reside in, where we made our temporary residence in a $30 a night motel. From there, my mother worked relentlessly, along with the help of my grandfather who resided in this town, to retain an apartment in low-income housing. Fifteen years later, we reside in a house that my mother owns. My brother and I are A-honor roll, Honor Society high school students who appreciate our mother's efforts every single day. My mother raised us with our heads held high despite our financial situation, and continuously reminded us that we were destined for greatness despite what our father believed. My mother has been present for my educational growth from the moment she enrolled me in preschool as a two-year-old. From there, she pushed me to attend the most difficult classes and maintain A's in every single one of them. I wouldn't have been able to succeed if it wasn't for the strength that my mother had for the both of us. I'll never understand how a woman could endure being homeless and own a home less than 10 years later with two high-achieving students to speak for. My mother can "turn it up 11" for us, so I am doing the same for her. My main motivation in life has been to avenge my mother and the struggles she has had to grapple with for the past 17 years of my life. She has had to raise my brother and I single-handedly with a current annual income of around $27,000. The amount of unmet financial needs in our household has crushed my mother, and I intend to repay her with a promising education and a future life where I can provide for her and I. With this in the back of mind, there will be no time for distraction and I will attend college with a strong and dedicated mindset to accomplish my goal. I have always done everything I could to promise this future for us, such as maintaining an almost perfect academic record and a college-4-point GPA of 3.9166. I apply for a different scholarship whenever I can and I've applied to 5 colleges, in which three I've been accepted to. I cannot waste any time, and I barely have time because of my job and schoolwork I have to maintain at the same time. I take only Dual Credit and Advanced Placement classes for my senior year of high school, while working over 20 hours a week to save money for college. I promised myself that all of my hard work would not be in vain, and I hope that the administrator of this scholarship helps to ensure this. I intend to show my mother how much I love her, and show my father that he was never needed.
Corey Farrow
University of Virginia-Main CampusManassas, VA
Joe Bernal
Citrus CollegeBell, CA
Jackeline Ventura
Las Positas CollegeTracy, CA
Sophie Agbekpenou
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew York, NY
David Tejuosho
University of LouisvilleRiverdale, GA
“That sounds like a great idea!” Miriam, the co-founder and executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance, said. “We’d be happy to host it on our website.” No sweeter words had been sung to my ears. I almost couldn’t resist the urge to jump and scream—an act that would have undoubtedly left me with a torn suit and a dazed audience. This was a milestone in October to a journey that began in June. Rejection after rejection after rejection. My college reaches had shown me why they are called reaches. I had no backup plan. Not because I didn’t apply to safeties—I applied to multiple—but because I was an undocumented student. When most schools said “100% financial need meet,” they didn’t mean me. I was not eligible for their scholarships or grants or loans or work-study. In April, as a low-income student, my chances of going to college weren’t looking good. After about a week of wallowing in self-pity, I decided to begin my college search and application process again—from scratch—with the small number of schools that were still accepting applications. I searched through the jungle of information, much of which was not publicly available information, for specific policies on undocumented students. After a mentally destabilizing time for me, I secured admissions with a fairly affordable cost of attendance. Regardless, my experience was not fun. It was unduly burdening, and I was determined to ensure other students like me didn’t go through what I did. I began by mentoring a fellow but junior undocumented student through the application process. While the experience was good, with her having just received a full-ride admission to Washington University in St. Louis, I felt like I could and should reach more students. Late in June, I realized that the biggest problem for me was information and misinterpretation of admissions/financial aid policy. Having discussed with my friends, this wasn’t a me problem. Thousands of students around the country were most likely struggling with the same problem. I decided that to tackle the problem, I would create a centralized database/information resource for undocumented students. I got to work immediately, extracting the emails for admissions offices for a few hundred schools to an excel sheet, creating the questions to be asked, designing the webpage where the information would be displayed, and finally reaching out to the schools whose contact information I had. Using mail merge, I sent personalized emails to schools, stored replies in an excel sheet in the same workbook, and created an access query to merge relevant information. I then exported the information to a text file and created a program to extract the information from the text into HTML files for each school. I then created a presentation and reached out to schedule a meeting with the President's Alliance, and there I was, pitching the plan I had conceptualized and was executing myself. There are many ways to exhibit leadership. Taking the initiative is my way.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 30, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 14, 2024.

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