Filipino-American Scholarship

Funded by
Lee Cortez
Learn more about the Donor
$1,500
1 winner every year
Open
Next Application Deadline
Jan 16, 2023
Next Winners Announced
Feb 16, 2023
Education Level
Undergraduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Experience:
Must have community service experience
Ethnicity:
Must be Filipino
Education Level:
Must be an undergraduate student
Experience:
Ethnicity:
Education Level:
Must have community service experience
Must be Filipino
Must be an undergraduate student

Filipinos have a long history and large presence in the United States, yet they remain underrepresented in many fields.

Only 37% of Filipinos in the US complete a Bachelor’s degree, and only 9% complete a postgraduate degree. These figures are even lower among U.S.-born Filipinos. A Harvard Kennedy report states that U.S.-born Filipinos are less likely to obtain a college degree compared to their Filipino immigrant counterparts and other U.S.-born Asian Americans. 

In order to boost the representation of Filipinos in academia and the workforce, it is critical that Filipino-Americans have the resources they need.

This scholarship seeks to support any Filipino-American who is interested in community service. 

To apply, please write a 350-word essay telling us about your story and the impact you would like to make on the Filipino-American community.

Published March 25, 2022
$1,500
1 winner every year
Open
Next Application Deadline
Jan 16, 2023
Next Winners Announced
Feb 16, 2023
Education Level
Undergraduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

Please write a 350-word essay telling us about your story and the impact you would like to make on the Filipino-American community.

300–400 words

Winning Application

Monica Samson
University of Massachusetts-BostonSaugus, MA
“Tiis lang nang konti anak. Dasal ka lang. May bukas pa naman.” (Just be patient with your suffering, my daughter. Pray to God. Tomorrow is a new day). This is a phrase I’ve heard most of my life from my lola (grandmother). My mom brought me to America in 2010 right before I turned eighteen. She is a teacher who got a sponsorship in Maryland. I initially did not want to leave the Philippines. I had my lola, my friends, and my family. My dream was to do medical missions as a nurse with 10-15 medical personnel in rural areas. Administer routine check-ups and spend time with tribes teaching for two weeks. My mom was adamant that life in America would be better. When we arrived, we rented a room in another Filipino’s house. I slept on an air mattress while my mother slept on a twin bed for 3 years. I told myself, “tiis lang nang konti.” In 2013, my aunt in Florida gave me the opportunity to live with her rent-free while I applied for Physical Therapy Assistant school. It was a 16-month accelerated program that I took while working multiple jobs. I wanted to be independent and, on my feet, sooner than nursing school. I graduated top of my class in 2015 and started working. I finally had enough money to save. However, amidst all the new expenses I found out my grandmother back home was very sick and needed to have dialysis. I wanted to go back to the Philippines very badly, but my finances were not enough. My family here were all strapped for cash. I heard my lola over the phone saying, “tiis lang nang konti. Dasal lang tayo. May bukas pa naman.” I vowed to work more and send money back. Filipino grit and resilience at its finest. My lola passed away shortly after. It was heartbreaking. This fueled my fire to work hard and pursue my dream of being a nurse. I think about my dream and my lola’s words ever so often. I told myself I will go back to school for accelerated nursing and get one step closer to sharing my dream to the betterment of the Filipino American community. This scholarship money will go towards my nursing school and the eventual medical mission. “Tiis lang nang konti. Dasal lang. May bukas pa naman.”
Emma De Leon
Tulane University of LouisianaSaint Cloud, FL
Growing up, my dad and my siblings were the only Filipinos I had in my daily life. There was little Filipino representation in the pop culture I grew up with, but that has changed. The Disney movie Raya had me in tears by the time the credits rolled. Bruno Mars has always held a special place in my heart, and H.E.R. and Olivia Rodrigo have been added to my list of new favorite Filipino music artists. Most recently, Hailee Steinfeld in “Hawkeye” and Jacob Batalon as Ned in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” represent Filipinos in the huge cinematic world of Marvel. Hearing Ned’s lola speak Tagalog in the movie was an unforgettable experience. Pop culture representation is so important, but I yearn for Filipino representation in educational and STEM environments where it is lacking. At my tutoring job at Mathnasium during high school, I was proud to represent Filipinos as an educator. When a new-hire was added to the team, we laughed at the kids who insisted we resembled sisters… because we were both Filipino. As a young student, I wished I had a Filipino role model, and a few years ago, I finally met my cousin who is now that role model. Kami was trained as a molecular biologist and is now a science communicator and edits for the Asian Scientist Magazine. Furthermore, she manages @pinoyscientists on Instagram where the experiences of Filipino scientists are shared with the world. Kami is the representation I needed as a child. As I continue my studies at Tulane University, I hope to amplify Filipino pride, especially in the sciences. I am currently a freshman co-representative of Tulane’s Women in Science organization. With leadership experience in this group and my membership in the Asian-American Student Union, I will help found a Filipino club. In this group, I know I will meet other Filipino scientists who can support each other in their educational journey. Doing so feels full-circle given that the first Filipinos in North America settled in Southern Louisiana, not far from Tulane.
Tawni Miranda
University of Missouri-St LouisSt. Louis, MO
I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri to two full-Filipino Parents. My mother's family in the Philippines is impoverished by US standards, but an average family in Manila. Because of this, I have been taught from a young age the privilege I have been born in the US; to have enough food to eat every day, new clothes, air conditioning, and WiFi. These are luxuries my cousins in the Philippines do not have, therefore my focus was to be on succeeding in school to give back to my parents and family. Since graduating high school, I have been searching for this way to return thanks to my mother. My mother came to the US in her twenties for better opportunities. My father passed away from a heart attack in 2011 when I was 12 years old. He was an airplane mechanic for many years and did a great amount of traveling in his lifetime. They moved from New York to St. Louis for a safer and more affordable life as they brought me into the world. I often saw my father stressed about finances as my mom quit her job to take care of me and he worked out of town. I do not want their struggles to go to waste. Today, I am in the process of finishing my undergraduate degree in political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and I am looking toward JD programs. I chose political science because after my father's death, my mother was unemployed and we experienced significant financial hardship. We both continue to suffer from depression to this day due to this loss; my father was the light of our lives. We relied on food stamps and social security for several years as she searched for a new job. I started working when I turned 15 and helped my mom pay bills. In our experience, there were not sufficient mental health and financial resources available, and this depression carried on to larger health problems in both of us. I believe the financial and emotional stresses my family experienced could have been avoided with more efficient social programs. Public policies regarding housing, food, and mental health should enrich our society and help raise healthier and more productive citizens. I am going to be a political voice for the Filipino community and improve social conditions for low-income families like my own.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jan 16, 2023. Winners will be announced on Feb 16, 2023.