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Future Black Leaders Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Thomas Porter
1st winner$1,004
2nd winner$1,003
3rd winner$1,003
Application Deadline
Mar 31, 2021
Winners Announced
Apr 30, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

Talent is often evenly distributed, but opportunity is not.

Inequality of opportunity in America adversely impacts the Black community in many different realms, particularly with educational opportunities. Opportunities to thrive in education can be exceptionally scarce, and education is one of the most powerful determinants of access to greater career opportunities. 

Currently, the college retention rate for Black students is 52.1% compared to the national college retention rate of 76%. Black students, particularly those of low-income areas, face additional obstacles that can prevent them from enrolling or completing their degree programs. Black students must be supported and encouraged to obtain higher education in order to combat the repressive barriers that face our community. 

As a step in the right direction for change, the Future Black Leaders Scholarship will be awarded to one Black undergraduate student who has large ambitions for their college and working careers. 

To apply, please describe your community and volunteer engagements, express why this scholarship to you, and talk about your career aspirations after college.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Drive, Impact, Purpose, Intent
Published January 8, 2021
Essay Topic

Describe your extra-curricular, volunteer, and/or work activities.

Describe your financial situation and how this scholarship would impact you.

Upon graduation, what are your career goals and aspirations? 

100–500 words

Winning Applications

Andrew Atkerson
Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
Sydney Beavers
The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlington, TX
Currently, I am involved with Acts4Rwanda and Whole Youth Services Inc., two incredible organizations that support human welfare and strive to bring communities together. In both of these groups, I have organized donations, participated in events and fundraisers, spread awareness, and acted as a mentor for numerous children. I am also participating in an on-campus research internship to gain even more hands-on knowledge into the field. Last year, on the week before Thanksgiving break, all on-campus classes had transitioned back to remote learning due to the possibility of more COVID-19 cases emerging. During this same week, I discovered that I had to pay off $2500 in fees before I would be able to register for the upcoming spring 2021 semester. Unfortunately, I was unable to get on a payment plan or take out any additional loans but instead was told that I needed to pay the total amount upfront. This left me with only seven weeks to reach this amount. After this, I decided to move back home for the remainder of the semester and work as much as possible. However, when I got back home, I found out that I was fired from my job while I was away at school. Without my knowledge, the leave of absence that I had requested weeks before my leave of absence was never approved or denied by management. Therefore appearing as a “no call, no show” on my next scheduled day within their system. Luckily, I was able to pay off all my expenses but to do so, I had to join DoorDash and use about 90% of my savings. Currently, I am working towards rebuilding my finances. However, I also have to pay roughly the same amount of fees for this semester as well. Also, paying for my schooling is especially harder to afford because my major requires eight more credit hours than the average required of most graduates. After I graduate, I plan to take multiple exams and gain at least four years of field experience to receive my professional engineering license. My biggest goal, however, is to start an engineering consulting firm so I can primarily recruit interns and employees that self-identify as underrepresented minorities, whether that is of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, age, etc. As a woman of color in the predominately white, male field of STEM, diversity has become extremely important to me and I would like for my business endeavors to represent that as well. That is why I would also like to involve communities in the making of my designs. I want to push the opportunity to offer work to homeless civilians, nonviolent rehabilitating criminal offenders, or families in poverty by inviting them to help add art to my designs in exchange for work. If selected for this scholarship, I will continue to apply the same diligence to my studies as I have till now, making education and service to others my main focus. Thank you for your consideration.
Deja Daniel
Howard UniversityAtlanta, GA
Well, considering I am a college freshman, you would think that I would not have the cache to adequately answer the first question, but au contraire mon frère. During my short time as a college student, I am already serving as an intern in the Constitutional Review Committee of the Howard University Student Association Senate to tirelessly advocate for self-proposed legislation that would establish a Scholarship for deserving Howard University student activists. I have been involved in Revolt, Incorporated where I dedicate my time to enrich the community by serving on the Community Service Committee, empower women by serving on the Events Committee, educate the youth by serving on the Public Relations Committee, and organize information as the newly elected Secretary. Furthermore, I am a part of the Model United Nations Team representing the country of Nigeria. During the conference, I successfully collaborated with other African Delegations to ensure an intracontinental plan for the current pandemic by passing my resolution piece, which resulted in being awarded the Committee Leadership Award. The biggest thing I have done this past year that made a difference in not just my community, but communities all over the country (and the world for that matter), was working as a Community Mobilizer to serve on the winning campaign in the historic election in Georgia that contributed to a transcendent Capitol Hill victory that had a cataclysmic impact on the world. My journey to get here is one where my mother decided to leave me with no financial help, forcing me to sleep on the floor in my grandmother’s tiny, one-bedroom apartment. Thus, the Future Black Leaders Scholarship will impact me by affording me the means to greatly assist my family financially and provide a stable flow of income once I begin my career in the lucrative field of law, especially considering that me and my special needs, autistic brother live solely off the support of my single dad’s income alone as our mother does not provide for me or my brother. My education will be the inspiration for my brother to pursue higher education. Upon graduation, my career goals are to work for a Law Firm to establish a successful trial record defending those who have been wrongfully prosecuted because they are a systemically vulnerable group. Once established as a best-in-class lawyer in my field, my goal is to ascend upwards on the hierarchy of corporate leadership, becoming a Partner of the Law Firm. After years of diligent service as an attorney, my ultimate goal is to be appointed as a judge to uphold the laws of the land in a way that benefits all while exercising judicial sensitivity to the many prejudices of our legal system. I am at a point in my life where I now seek to know are judges supposed to be our morality compass or merely referees in the game? This is why I believe by receiving my Law Degree, I will have a solid foundation to answer that question.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 31, 2021. Winners will be announced on Apr 30, 2021.

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