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Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship

1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Apr 15, 2024
Winners Announced
May 15, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Has financial need and has overcome adversity

Education is the cornerstone of personal and societal growth, fostering innovation and progress. By supporting students with scholarships, we enable the realization of their academic potential, regardless of financial constraints. Such initiatives cultivate a generation equipped to tackle global challenges, fostering a more equitable and prosperous future.

The Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship aims to support high school seniors or current undergraduate students who have overcome adversity on their path to pursue higher education.

Any high school senior or current undergraduate who has overcome adversity may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us about yourself and your goals and how you have overcome adversity.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Bold Points, Essay
Published October 16, 2023
Essay Topic

Please tell me about yourself and your goals. How have you overcome adversity in your past and how has this adversity contributed towards your goals and dreams? 

400–600 words

Winning Application

Yami Payne
Coastal Alabama Community CollegeDaphne, AL
Growing up in a challenging environment shaped my resilience and determination. My mother's battle with cancer and the financial strain it brought compelled me to take on two jobs while navigating high school. Balancing work, academics, and familial responsibilities was daunting, especially with ADHD and being a minority in STEM. However, these adversities fueled my drive to succeed. My mother's illness instilled in me a deep appreciation for life's fragility and the importance of perseverance. Witnessing her resilience in the face of adversity inspired me to remain steadfast in pursuing my dreams. Despite the overwhelming responsibilities, I prioritized my education, recognizing it as a pathway to a better future for myself and my family. Living with ADHD presented its own set of challenges. I struggled with maintaining focus, organizing tasks, and managing time effectively. However, instead of allowing it to hinder me, I learned to embrace my unique cognitive style. I developed coping mechanisms, such as breaking tasks into smaller steps and utilizing visual aids, to enhance my productivity and academic performance. Being a minority in the STEM world brought its share of obstacles. I often felt like an outsider, grappling with imposter syndrome and encountering stereotypes and biases. However, I refused to let these barriers deter me. Instead, I used them as fuel to propel me forward. I became an advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM, striving to create opportunities for underrepresented individuals and challenge systemic inequalities. Throughout my journey, I have learned the power of resilience, adaptability, and perseverance. Adversity has strengthened my resolve and shaped my goals and dreams. I am passionate about using my experiences to make a positive impact in the world. I aspire to break down barriers, inspire others, and contribute to meaningful change. My ultimate goal is to pursue a career in electrical engineering, specializing in renewable energy systems. I am driven by a desire to combat climate change and promote sustainability. Through innovation and technological advancements, I hope to contribute to a greener, more equitable future. Moreover, I am committed to advocating for marginalized communities and promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM. I believe that everyone, regardless of background or identity, should have access to opportunities and resources in the field of science and technology. By actively engaging in mentorship, outreach, and advocacy initiatives, I aim to create a more inclusive and equitable STEM community. In essence, my past adversities have shaped my resilience, determination, and commitment to making a difference. They have fueled my passion for learning, growth, and social impact. As I embark on the next chapter of my journey, I am confident that my experiences will continue to guide me towards achieving my goals and making meaningful contributions to the world.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 15, 2024.

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