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Focus Forward Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Apr 10, 2022
Winners Announced
May 10, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate sophomore, junior, or senior
3.0 or higher
Student Debt:
Must have at least one student loan

The United States has a combined student loan debt of $1.73 trillion, which grows at a rate of six times that of the national economy. 

Many students in the United States come out of college with debt. Others struggle to even make it through college because of the tremendous cost. However, scholarships can help students cut down on this cost.

In order to help alleviate some of the stress of student debt, the Focus Forward Scholarship looks to award two undergraduate students currently in their sophomore, junior, or senior years. These students may apply if they have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have at least one student loan. Preference will be given to women, minorities, and students attending state universities. 

To apply, share a bit about your career goals and how this scholarship can bring you closer to achieving them.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published November 6, 2021
Essay Topic

Tell us a little about your career goals and how this scholarship will help you achieve those goals.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Mekhia Baker
Kean UniversitySouth Brunswick Township, NJ
My name is Mekhia Baker, and I am a senior studying finance at Kean University with a minor in Africana Studies. My involvement at Kean University includes Student Government Association, the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., the Leadership Institute, the President of Kean University's Student Council, and various other organizations. My academia is critical, so I pride myself on keeping a high GPA. My goal is to continue inspiring young boys and girls who look like me to show them that they can achieve despite the obstacles put against them. Finance is a male-dominated field, and boundaries are put up against me as a black woman. Pursuing a finance degree allows me to dive into the principles of finance, corporate financial management, macroeconomics, microeconomics, banking, investments, international business, and managerial accounting. This allows me to have multiple realms of finance to pursue. I hope to branch off from the company I will be working for and contribute to the company's success. After making a solid contribution to a company, I aspire to create my own company, take my knowledge, and contribute to my own company. I would like to own various businesses in the entertainment industry, health, and Philanthropy. Specifically, I long to hold a streaming service within the music industry. Music is my passion, and I would love to impact that. Giving back to the community is extremely important to me. I want to create a health clinic specifically in poverty areas because health is a massive issue in low-income neighborhoods. Black and brown people face an enormous disparity economically within America. This should not be an issue, but unfortunately, it is the reality we face. My goal is to put some action on this issue by building homeless shelters, hosting re-occurring feedings, and creating clubs for boys and girls. When people reach a certain level in life, they tend to forget where they came from and keep their money to themselves. Instead, when you achieve a certain level of success, you should give back to those in need. Along with giving back to those in need, it is essential to pass on the knowledge you have learned to others. What good is knowledge if you only hold it to yourself? I am a big advocate for grooming future leaders and passing on the knowledge you have learned to others. A true leader allows others to lead and display what they can do. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have obtained that allowed me to express what I am capable of and have shaped me into the person I am today. Giving someone a chance is the first step in achieving their full potential. The Focus Forward Scholarship would allow me to do precisely what the title states, focusing forward on my future. The stress of student loans can hinder goals an individual may have and refrain someone from taking on opportunities. If granted the opportunity to receive this scholarship, this would be a stress relief on my student loans and allow me to push forward to a bright future.
Anna Darville
University of Illinois at ChicagoSkokie, IL
I first found my passion for engineering at a women in stem event hosted by the American Heart Association. Women in all different STEM fields were in one building to describe their careers. My eyes widened with curiosity at each table I approached. I didn’t know that there were so many opportunities for me in the world of STEM. ChickTech was also introduced to me and blossomed my love for data analysis. With the help of these organizations, I was able to find my passion for data analysis in mechanical engineering. Once I began my mechanical engineering studies, I knew I wanted to give back. I became a Lead Facilitator for Girls Who Code my freshman year of college and absolutely loved it. Seeing elementary and middle school girls’ eyes light up and they completed coding games confirmed that I could help grow the next generation of women in STEM. When my Mom lost her job in January of 2021, my parents and I panicked. My father is handicapped and unable to work, so my mom was the sole provider for my family. I was not even halfway through my college career and tuition needed to be paid. Determined to continue my education, we took out a loan to pay for the next two semesters. While I now live at home instead of on-campus, I am grateful a loan was available so I could continue my education. Receiving the Focus Forward Scholarship would allow me to minimize my student loan debt and continue on the path of becoming a mechanical engineer. In my mechanical engineering career, I hope to combine my passion for data analysis and engineering with that of the environment to create machines that are more environmentally friendly. Cutting down CO2 emissions of the machines used for mining and construction sites and creating powerful rechargeable batteries to minimize fuel necessities are the goals that I aim to contribute to in my career. In addition to my engineering career, I am passionate about aiding the next generation of students. As a member of Pi Tau Sigma (Mechanical Engineering Honor Society), we value leadership, technical skills, and service in the engineering realm and my college’s community of Chicago. This means aiding Chicago students with tutoring and mentoring to ensure they have the opportunity to reach their highest potential. I am dedicated to helping kids to have the resources they need to discover and follow their passions. This scholarship would help me to pursue that dream of giving back to the organizations that have helped me and that I have worked with to continue to inspire the next generation of women in STEM.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 10, 2022. Winners will be announced on May 10, 2022.

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