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First Generation POH Scholarship Fund

Funded by
user profile avatar
Jonathan Persaud
1 winner$1,700
Application Deadline
May 5, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 3, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
West Indian or Caribbean (including Guyana)

Education can help give anyone of any background the chance to chase their dreams.

Not everyone has the kind of support system that encourages their educational ambitions. That’s why the First Generation POH Scholarship Fund is seeking to support a first generation student of West Indian or Caribbean descent in their educational journey. 

International students from the West Indies or Caribbean (including Guyana) attending school in the United States or first generation US citizens with parents of West Indian or Caribbean descent are encouraged to apply if they are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, earning their degree in the STEM field. 

To apply, write about how being West Indian/Caribbean has had a positive impact on your life and how you plan to use your education to help the West Indian/Caribbean community.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 8, 2021
Essay Topic

How has being West Indian/Caribbean impacted your life positively? Once you graduate, how will you use your new degree to help the West Indian/Caribbean community? 

400–600 words

Winning Application

Alexis Crichlow
North Carolina State University at RaleighCharlotte, NC
Being the daughter of two West Indian parents has been a blessing in my life. My parents and older sister are from Trinidad and Tobago, specifically Tobago. I'm blessed to have parents that prioritized maintaining a connection between me and my family's home country. These connections were maintained by continuously incorporating Trinidad and Tobago's lifestyle, food, music, and history into my life. Spending weeks or months in Tobago for either Christmas or summer break has allowed me to make fun and happy memories with my cousins and family. In addition to developing a love for the beach, marine life, curry goat, and Peardrax, I developed something that many Americans don't have: an appreciation for the little things in life. Whenever I visited Tobago, I stayed with my aunt and my cousins in the countryside village of Mt. St. George. When I was 10, my aunt and I were running errands. One of the places we stopped was the school where she worked as a teacher. Seeing the noticeable differences between the school and my school in America was probably my first culture shock. I remember thinking to myself, "There's no television, computers, whiteboard, or projector... and there's no air conditioning?" Instead, it was a traditional classroom with a chalkboard at the front of the room. My aunt explained that it's because the school doesn't have the resources. She also told me that Trinidad and Tobago, and other countries in the Caribbean, are not first-world countries, so they have less access to resources and necessities. Since then, I've been grateful for all of the opportunities and resources available to me. Eight years later, the world is in a pandemic. In addition to having limited medical resources, from personal protective equipment to cots for ill patients, Tobago also faced the challenge of continuing education in a pandemic. Many American schools successfully switched to distance learning, my high school included. However, in Tobago, my aunt (who is now a principal) and other teachers didn't have the luxury of simply holding class over Zoom. Switching to distance learning was challenging because most of the students in her class didn't have access to a computer or wifi at home. I want to help change that. Once I graduate and am in my desired career, I plan on giving back to the organizations and people who've influenced me the most. I want to improve access to technology, and other Science Technology Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M) resources, for students in Tobago by donating to charities, non-profits, or even by having a scholarship or foundation of my own. We live in a world where technology is becoming very advanced, and I want to help the Caribbean Community not get left behind. Students in Tobago and throughout the West Indies have the potential to have a bright future and do amazing things. I know this because I see it in my own family, from my older cousins who became healthcare workers to my five-year-old cousin Xyon, who loves to learn and do his homework, especially math. I want to help improve educational and medical access to technology in Trinidad and Tobago so that the country's access to resources won't hinder the potential of future generations.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 5, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jun 3, 2022.

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