"Giving back is bigger than football. It’s always been a part of my heart." - JuJu Smith-Schuster
Pittsburgh Steelers and former University of Southern California WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is dedicated to giving his all on the field for his teammates, and off the field for his community. In 2019, he created The JuJu Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of youth initiatives and lifting the spirits of those in need.
Today, JuJu and his foundation are partnering with Bold.org to help students achieve their educational dreams. The JuJu Foundation Scholarship will help four students who are facing economic hardship to pay for their education with $5,000 each.
All current high school and undergraduate students studying in the US who face financial challenges in paying for their education are welcome to apply.
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State BerksWyomissing, PA
After being told that I screwed up my senior year and wouldn't amount to anything, I raised my grades and graduated with a 4.0. After being told that I wasn't qualified enough to work anywhere, I picked up two after school jobs and still maintained my grades. After being told that I was only good enough for community college, I got accepted into the architecture program at Penn State University, a program that ranks 13th in the country.
I have been driven my entire life to prove others wrong and more importantly, to prove my parents wrong. My parents were always the ones to tell me that I wasn't good enough for success, to be surprised at my accomplishments rather than proud of them. When I scored high on the SATs, they told me that they must have graded wrong or given me someone else's scores. When I told them that I got a badge for my Home Depot apron because a customer wrote a good review about me, my parents told me that they probably give those badges out to everyone and that it was nothing to be proud about.
I've worked twice as hard all my life to convince my parents to be proud of something, yet nothing I've done has ever impressed them. Most recently, they have been tearing down my goal in life; to become a successful architect.
Although I come from a family of architects, my grandfather, two uncles, and an aunt being architects in India, my parents told me that it was a meaningless career that makes no money. They have told me that I could be doing so much more with my life if I went to med school or law school. I am tired of them treating me like a dissapointment and I'm dedicated to proving them wrong.
I am dedicated to graduating with honors from Penn State and starting my own architecture firm. I am dedicated to making a name for myself and an income that supports me and a family. I am dedicated to reaching a level of success where my accomplishments are undeniable. I am dedicated to my future.
Hope is my everything and the prospect of creating change inspires and drives me. In life, I want to help people. This is why I decided to pursue a career as a social worker. This Fall, I will be entering the Social Work program at California State University Long Beach. My goal is to receive my bachelor’s degree in social work. With this degree, I plan on dedicating my life to helping individuals, children, and families who are suffering from poverty, mental illnesses, and societal injustices. I am truly passionate about the career path I have chosen because I believe that as a social worker, I can make a tangible difference in people’s lives and in the world. Majoring in social work will provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to help those in my community, and in neighboring communities.
As a child, I would pray that I would have the opportunity to make meaningful change and help people in the world. I would tell my family and friends that I would be President of the United States, but as I grew older, I began to realize that meaningful change does not always have to be at such a large scale. Instead, I came to the profound realization that meaningful change can be made in my community and in my city. Long have I witnessed and recognized suffering and done nothing about it. To live my life and continue to do nothing for those that need help would be to not live at all. The idea of helping even just one person inspires me and gives me the confidence to pursue and accomplish my goals.
I love learning and acquiring new skills. Growing up as the youngest of four, I learned something new every day, from Algebra equations to sneaking snacks when my mother was not looking. My siblings have been the most influential people in my life since I was born, and the days spent with them were never unproductive. I have always been a good student because of them. I was able to adapt easily and quickly. Now that I have grown up, I have the indispensable need to learn something new.
I am the youngest of four children raised by a single mother. I remember playing around in a motel room with my older brother doing things that children do, not realizing that was the only form of shelter my mother could afford for us. Even though my mother had to choose between paying the cable bill and putting food on the table, she never let a birthday go past without getting us a present. She never gave up no matter what happened. Her sacrifices have allowed me to chase my dreams and reach for an impossible future.
As time went on, I developed a fondness for machines and technology. Even streets and the interstate amaze me. Imagine the brilliant minds that sat down and strategically designed all the remarkable things we take for granted. When I started high school, I took a coding class that altered my way of thinking. I want to figure out what makes a phone work or what makes a clock tick. I realized that I want to work towards a career in computer or robotic engineering. Technology is evolving every day, but there will always be a desire to reinvent and improve. There is always going to be something new to learn. I genuinely want to help build the next wave of machines that would be able to detect diseases before they spread, help the elderly live easier, or even a device that keeps children's minds at ease while their parents are away. There is so much space for change and opportunity.
Technology is everywhere, but diversity is not. Talent is distributed evenly in the world, but opportunity is not. Inequality of opportunity is frequent in the Black community in everything from access to quality education, safety from police brutality, career progression, and much more.
Growing up in poverty, you are expected to make use of what you have. Often people become the product of their environment, creating generational curses. Breaking my family's curse is what drives me. I know that I do not want my future generations to grow up the way that I did. I strive to be the change in my community and my family. Everyone has ambition, purpose, and potential, but not the resources. Everyone has a dream, but there are so many obstacles in front of them that they give up. I refuse to be the girl with wasted potential. I am going to pave my path and write my future.
Southern New Hampshire University- OnlineAlbuquerque, NM
Family, what inspires me to be better everyday is my children and my beautiful wife. My family gives me a determination that cannot and will not be stop because I am determined to be great!
I was raised in poverty, I slept on the street early in my life, as a child to be specific. My mother and father were both addicted to drugs, and always somehow barely got by, by living in motels, in abandoned house, at times living at friends, or relatives due to my mother, and/or father not being able to provide for me, or my older brother. We both later found out we were in foster care unknowingly as children.
We had an extremely hard life growing up and the only thing I can think now as an adult is, "How could you live that way? How could you let your children sleep on the street or walked throughout the night just trying to find somewhere to rest our heads?". I am now 27, going on 28, and I am a father of 3. My oldest being my son, Dylan, age 7 today, whom has profound hearing loss and is also on the spectrum. My second oldest, my daughter, Lily, age 4 who is also on the spectrum. Then lastly, my youngest son, Jaxson, age 8 months.
I believe that people are only presented with the challenges in life to overcome them and become stronger from it. I have forgiven my mother and father for my childhood because it made me whom I am today. I am a strong and loving father and husband which very few can say in this generation. I have worked hard in life to be where I am today, which is a, "Diesel Technician/Inspector", but unfortunately during my normal tasks as a technician/inspector I was injured.
I injured my back on the job causing a herniated disc and chronic pain in my nerves at my L3 & L4 vertebrae and disc. I've pushed and continue to push for recovery, but have come to realization that I can no longer perform at my best in my field of work, so I've decided to go back to school to better prepare myself for mine and my family's future.
I did this by now going to college for, computer engineering, that way I can use my brain, not my body for hard labor like I've been doing for the past 4 years. I went to school to get to where I am and I think it's time to move forward in life instead of remaining idle.
It is my hope, that this gives you a better understanding of who I truly am. Not it as a father, or husband, but as a human being. We each decide our paths and it's up to each and every individual to face their challenges in life and conquer them!
Thank you, for your time and undivided attention to better understand whom I am. It's truly an honor.
The application deadline is Jun 30, 2021. Winners will be announced on Aug 8, 2021.
How will scholarship application information be used?
What is the scholarship award?
The scholarship award is $20,000.
When will the scholarship winner be chosen? How will they be notified?
The winner will be publicly announced on Aug 8, 2021. Prior to the announcement date, we may contact finalists with additional questions about their application. We will work with donors to review all applications according to the scholarship criteria. Winners will be chosen based on the merit of their application.
How will the scholarship award be paid?
We will send the award check to the financial aid office of the winner’s academic institution or future academic institution in their name, and in the name of their institution (depending on the school’s requirements). If the student's academic institution does not have a financial aid office, the student will receive the funding directly.
How will my scholarship application be verified?
Before we award the scholarship, the winner will be required to verify their academic enrollment status by providing a copy of their most recent transcript.
How should I get in touch with questions?
If you have any questions about this scholarship or the Bold.org platform, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.
Does the scholarship have terms and conditions?
Yes. The terms and conditions for this scholarship can be found here.
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