For DonorsFor Applicants

Johnson Dale Women's Empowerment Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Sep 1, 2023
Winners Announced
Oct 1, 2023
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate
New York
Black/African American

Johnson’s spirit for education and helping others was instilled by her maternal grandmother, a matriarch who diligently worked and attended an adult program for continuing education.

Johnson’s grandmother valued education, integrity and selflessness, traits that she greatly encouraged in her family. In honor of her grandmother’s legacy, the Johnson Dale Women's Empowerment Scholarship will support Black/African American women who are passionate about their education and are engaged in some form of philanthropy.

Black/African American women in New York are eligible to apply if they are high school or undergraduate students. To apply, create a video or write an essay that explains your philanthropic efforts and the lessons you have learned from your experience giving back.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Passion, Impact
Published March 8, 2023
Essay Topic

In a video or essay submission, tell us about your philanthropic efforts. What have you learned from giving back, and how do you plan to continue that mission in the future?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Nnenna Okorie
Boston CollegeThe Bronx, NY
In May 2023, I went with 25 peers on a school service trip to Kingston, Jamaica. Leading up to our departure, we prepared with weekly discussions. These meetings were centered on developing our active listening and vulnerability skills, learning more about the history and culture of Jamaica, and more. Despite this preparation, though, I was not prepared for the powerful impact that my time in Jamaica had on me. The main place where we did our service work was at the Holy Family Primary School. We were teacher’s aides in the classroom. I worked with 60 students in the infant department part of the school, who were between 3 and 6 years old. As soon as I entered the classroom, I was overwhelmed by a sense of unconditional love. I was a foreigner to these children in so many ways, and yet they cheerfully greeted me every morning and embraced me in assuring hugs. They offered me their snacks during snack time and invited me to play with their slimes during playtime. At recess, they plucked flowers from the small bushes nearby and handed them to me as a gift. Some of these children came from violent and tragic circumstances, but that did not affect their warm treatment toward me at all. I was constantly in awe at their eagerness to welcome me into their lives. Another location that we provided service to was a community senior center. Here, Christian Sisters took care of elders whose families abandoned them. In addition to helping the Sisters clean the physical space and prepare meals for the residents, our role was to come with our authentic selves and simply be there with the elders. We danced with them, listened to stories about their lives, played cards with them, and more. These efforts were continued at various Mustard Seed Communities around the island. Christian Brothers looked after the most vulnerable populations of society at Mustard Seed: children abandoned at birth because of their physical and intellectual disabilities, young men born with HIV, and young mothers dealing with teen pregnancies. We wanted to remind all these folks that they were more than their suffering. They deserve to laugh and make friends and experience joy, too. I created countless fond memories with the people I met in Jamaica, ones that I will cherish forever. During the preparation meetings for this trip, we were told that our time in Jamaica would not be a “privileged experience.” We would not have access to our phones, we would not reside in a 5-star hotel, and many of us would be uncomfortably hot in the tropical Caribbean climate. But during my time there, I found myself feeling so much privilege. I felt the love from all the people I met, not their pain. I am endlessly grateful for my experiences in Jamaica. Moving forward, I am dedicated to leading with love. I do not want to perform charity work in the future. Rather, it is imperative to me that I continue to involve myself with service and community engagement work. Attending this trip has taught me about what it means to understand the realities of these marginalized groups, support them, and truly be in solidarity with those around me. I also gained so much insight into the beauty of Jamaican culture, thus furthering my cultural competency skills and ability to connect with people from different backgrounds. These are lessons that I plan on carrying with me not only for the remainder of my college experience, but throughout my life and all my future endeavors.
Jedeen Witter
SUNY at AlbanyThe Bronx, NY


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Sep 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on Oct 1, 2023.

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