For DonorsFor Applicants

Hearts on Sleeves, Minds in College Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Apr 1, 2024
Winners Announced
May 1, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate student
3.0 or higher
Financial Status:
Black/Native American

Everyone should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, regardless of their financial or cultural background. 

Unfortunately, historical discrimination has led to continued inequality in academia and career opportunities, especially for the African American and Indigenous American community. In order to create a more representative and diverse workforce, it’s crucial that students are supported throughout their educational journeys. Lifting others up creates a better world for us all!

This scholarship seeks to support African American and Indigenous American students with big dreams for the future so they can afford to pursue higher education.

Any African American and Indigenous American, low income high school senior or undergraduate student who has at least a 3.0 GPA may apply for this scholarship.

Compassion and understanding for the world around us is important! To apply, tell us how veganism intersects with another social justice that you are passionate about? What are the overlaps between both movements and how does this affect your everyday life? 

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Boldest Profile
Published December 4, 2023
Essay Topic

How does veganism intersect with another social justice that you are passionate about? What are the overlaps between both movements and how does this affect your everyday life? 

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Mariah Colbert
Ridge Point H SMissouri City, TX
The intersection between veganism and my passion is easy to connect. My passion for women's rights has grown over the last four years. Following COVID-19, I started to become more and more educated about women's rights issues and the unequal treatment of women in the work environment. Additionally, by volunteering at a women's shelter, running the women in STEM club at my school, joining the young leaders planned parenthood in my area, and taking online women's leadership classes I have learned and educated myself about issues surrounding women's rights. The intersecting between veganism and women's rights is rooted in the understanding of systems of oppression and the fact that both movements share common ground in advocating for justice, equality, and compassion. Here are just a few ways the two movements are connected. Both movements bring attention to the exploration and objectification of living beings. Within the women's rights movements, it involves addressing objectification, gender-based violence, and unequal treatment. Similarly, veganism challenges the exploration of animals for food, clothing, testing, and more. In regards to the environment, both movements acknowledge the environmental consequences of their issues. Animal agriculture, which contributes highly to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and pollution, affects marginalized communities. Women, especially in developing countries, often bear the brunt of environmental degradation. Veganism with its effort to push for sustainable living, aligns with the women's rights movement to mitigate these detrimental environmental issues. Economic factors play a large role in both movements. In the womens rights movement addressing and fighting economic inequality is a key component. With the vegan movement, they recognize the economic impact of the meat and dairy industries, which tend to exploit workers and consumers. Supporting ethical sustainable practices in both contribute to a more equitable society. Both movements emphasize the importance of promoting health and well-being. Women's rights advocates work to ensure that access to healthcare and challenge social expectations related to body image. Veganism, through a plant-based diet, aligns with promoting health and reducing the risk of many diseases. Both share a clear concern for human well-being. Lastly, both veganism and women's rights share a common foundation of empathy and compassion. Both movements encourage humans to consider the impacts of their choices on others and challenge societal norms that could harm people. They both embrace compassion as a guiding principle. In my everyday life, these intersections manifest in my consumer choices, and advocacy for policy changes, and make me more committed to fostering inclusive and equitable spaces. For example, although I am not vegan seeing a movement that stands for the health of beings makes me support their lifestyle. By recognizing and addressing these intersections, others and I can learn to work together toward a more just and compassionate work that uplifts all.
Alyssa Molock
Sussex Technical High SchoolGreenwood, DE
As a Black Woman who has aspirations to go into the medical field and has future goals to become a Physician assistant, I am deeply concerned about the treatment of people who look like me in healthcare settings – whether it is in a hospital bed or in a doctor's office. I am highly passionate about making a difference in how Black women are negatively treated in healthcare, and hope to promote Health Equity among women in the Black Community. At first glance, it would be odd to compare Veganism to Health Equity among Women of Color, more specifically Black Women. However, the two topics are more similar than one may think. Veganism is a way of life for many individuals, and it is for a good reason. It is a lifestyle that seeks to minimize harm to animals and promote sustainable living through plant-based diets. On the other hand, Health Equity is the pursuit of equal access to quality healthcare and the removal of health disparities among different populations. It is not widely known, but Black women often face disproportionate disparities in healthcare access and outcomes compared to non-Black women, due to various socioeconomic and systemic factors. The intersection of veganism and health equity can be found in plant-based diets which are used to improve overall health and reduce the burden of chronic diseases that disproportionately affect Black women. Health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, are high among the population. By promoting veganism and improving access to nutritious plant-based foods in underserved communities, we can work towards reducing health disparities and achieving health equity for all. To be fair, I am not vegan, but I have taken the initiative to cut animal products, especially dairy out of my everyday palate, which is highly influenced by those who practice Veganism. After all, I am also a Black woman, and I need to be aware of my health. Each day after school, I work as a Clinical Support Technician at my local hospital and see firsthand the consequences of unhealthy eating on patients' weight, health, and overall well-being. Many of the Black female patients on my floor in the hospital come in with the previously listed diseases. It makes me more aware of my aspirations to become a Physician Assistant in the future who can advise their patients on proper nutrition before they reach a state of no return. Veganism is one of the first steps to having a healthy diet, and Health Equity among Black women is a concept that goes hand in hand with it.
Ann-Marie Brown
St John's University-New YorkQueens, NY
Destiny Bennett
University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro, NC
My mother came from a poor household with four other siblings, and two parents who were still kids themselves. In her junior year of high school, at the age of seventeen, her childhood was cut short when she became an unexpected teen mother, taking care of me by herself until she met my father when I was three years old. Both my mother and grandmother had shorter childhoods than expected because of their new responsibilities as a mom. My mother takes a lot of attributes from my grandmother, as I do from her. My grandmother was born in 1969, became pregnant at fifteen, and became a mother at sixteen, she continued to have her fifth child at the age of 25. Both my mother and grandmother sacrificed so much in their lives to provide for the ones they loved. They ensured, no matter the situation, their households' were fed each night, and clothes were on their family's backs. My grandmother is slowly losing her ability to walk on her own due to the sacrifices made for her children. My mother took on the role of being there and caring for her until she moved to Pennsylvania with my Grandfather, where she is now. My mother has learned to make the same sacrifices as her mother did to support their family. Many times my mother had to be the breadwinner of the family when my father struggled to keep his job. Despite going through family mental and physical strife and loss. My mother pursued her college career and she eventually graduated in 2016. Both my mom and grandmother have inspired made me to look forward to being a mother and having a child of my own and to be okay with making sacrifices. Sleeping fewer hours to get enough money so I can buy what they want for Christmas or so they can do school sports. So they can enjoy a life better than mine had as my parents tried to do for me. My mother was able to do so much while having a child, while being a child herself, just like my grandmother. I am confident I'm able to do the same with any opportunity that comes my way. During COVID-19 my family life became very stressful, uncomfortable, and felt at times unsafe. It escalated to the point of trauma triggers that result in hard-to-manage panics. I developed depression, anxiety, and trauma from harsh school to intense family situations. I was in a weakened state of mind where I felt like doing nothing as if I was trapped in a non-stop cycle with every day being the same. It was a rough period for many my age, a brutish year for the world. I was lucky enough to have a school that allowed few students to come back with many health precautions within classrooms. It allowed me to feel better as I got to see my classmates and a few friends. I was able to create long-lasting relationships to help soothe my depression and anxiety. I will never be able to get over my trauma triggers, as they still happen, but it is easier to put my dark thoughts at bay because of my relationships. Watching my mother overcome her difficulties as I overcome mine, is inspiring. After going through what felt like agony, I'm very hopeful and happy for my future and where I'm going.
Edgar Rios
The University of Texas at AustinEl Paso, TX
When I was a child, the taste of meat never appealed to me, and this unexpected preference guided me toward embracing a vegan lifestyle. Unlike other kids with Hispanic or Native backgrounds, I didn't share the same enjoyment for our traditional dishes that were deeply rooted in our culture. This disconnect from my culinary heritage often frustrated and angered my mother. Little did she know, my journey towards a plant-based diet had already begun to take shape. One particular memory stands out vividly in my mind. I attended a party where, in line with the customs of my family's ranch, a live goat was brought in and eventually slaughtered for the feast. Witnessing this process left me traumatized and utterly bewildered. At just five years old, the connection between the living animal and the food on my plate became painfully clear. From that point onward, a significant shift occurred within me, and I developed a strong aversion to consuming meat. As I grew older, my aversion transformed into a genuine concern for the ethical implications surrounding the mass production of meat. I delved into learning about factory farming and the horrifying conditions that animals endure to satisfy our appetites. The stark reality of meat shops and the systematic killing of animals deeply disturbed me. I couldn't bear the thought of contributing to such a system. However, I also recognized the complexity of the issue. While the ethical implications weighed heavily on my conscience, I understood that completely eradicating the consumption of animal products was not a realistic solution. Throughout history, humans have relied on animal products for sustenance, and cultural traditions tied to meat consumption run deep. I found myself grappling with the dilemma of wanting to advocate for the well-being of animals while also acknowledging the necessity of providing sustenance for a growing population. My journey toward veganism became a quest for balance. I began exploring alternative dietary choices, incorporating plant-based proteins into my meals and gradually reducing my consumption of animal products. These changes allowed me to align my values with my dietary choices without eliminating an entire food group. During this transition, I discovered the incredible variety and deliciousness of plant-based cuisine. I learned to appreciate the vibrant flavors and creative combinations that vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains had to offer. This newfound passion for plant-based cooking inspired me to experiment in the kitchen, developing my recipes and eagerly sharing them with friends and family. Today, I proudly identify as a vegan. This label encompasses not only my ethical beliefs and deep concern for animal welfare but also my unwavering commitment to sustainable living. By choosing a plant-based lifestyle, I believe that even in my small corner of the universe, I am making a positive impact on the world. My journey toward veganism was driven by a combination of personal experiences and ethical concerns. From my childhood distaste for meat to the profound impact of witnessing animal slaughter, my path led me to question the ethics surrounding mass meat production. Although I understand the practical challenges of eliminating the killing of animals, I have found a way to align my values with my dietary choices by embracing a vegan lifestyle. This journey has opened my eyes to the joys of plant-based cuisine and has given me a profound sense of fulfillment, knowing that my choices reflect my commitment to living compassionately.
Hannah Henris
Brandeis UniversityThe Bronx, NY
Veganism is inseparable from my roots as a Ghanaian since many Ghanaian recipes are originally vegan. This is partly because of famines that occurred in Ghana that led to the Ghanaian people having to adapt more plant-based, high carbohydrate and high vegetable diests without much meat. As someone who grew up eating a lot of meat, veganism is difficult but important for me as someone who understands the intersection of the history of culture and veganism. I understand that by eating vegan, I'm eating closer to what my ancestors ate. Not just eating vegetables but being able to incorporate traditional Ghanaian herbs and seasonings is highly important to me. Through social media, I have others to inspire me to be vegan and still eat the things that I grew up with. The foods that I was made fun of for growing up are now being recognized in the vegan community. I also love how I am able to progress in my journey to eating healthy, balanced meals and now have a better understanding of why the Ghanaian diet is healthy. I've often heard growing up that Ghanaians don't eat healthy but I refuse to believe that, I believe that is a Eurocentric lie that has been told to many ethnic communities that has prevented the vegan movement from expanding and progressing because there is no real veganism until all cultures are included. Especially since because of the way ethnic cultures are almost ignored when it comes to their cuisines, their cuisines, at least from what I've seen in Ghanaian cooking, there is more emphasis on fresh vegetables and herbs than in American cuisine. As someone who is interested in medicine and the power of diet and food to reverse certain medical complications, I am interested in exploring through my mother and social media the traditional herbs that help with pain, joints, menstrual cycles, and hormones. I believe that is a neglected part of modern medicine which is belittled because of the Eurocentric nature of medicine. I would love to share with the rest of this essay some of my favorite Ghanaian vegan recipes, some of which I've adopted from vegan Ghanaian influencers such as @eatwithafia on Instagram. One of my favorites is spinach stew with yams, another is hibiscus drink called sobolo, another is millet porridge called hausa koko, another is a fermented corn meal dinner called kenkey. I would love for all vegans to explore African vegan foods as well because it has a rich history and rich taste.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2024.

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