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Kenyada Me'Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Cermonia Thomas
4 winners, $1,000 each
In Review
Application Deadline
Jun 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Jul 1, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
2.5 or higher

Paying for higher education is expensive, and not everyone has the resources to afford a college education. 

As a result of this, there are students that never pursue their desired career path, choosing instead to find jobs right out of high school, enlist in the military, etc. The Kenyada Me’Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship seeks to give students of underrepresented minorities the opportunity to earn higher education without a financial burden that would otherwise stop them. 

This scholarship is specifically for BIPOC students who are in their senior year of high school. To be considered for this scholarship, you must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. In your application, write about the one change would you make to the world and why.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published February 29, 2024
Essay Topic

What one change would you make to the world and why?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Schnolder Montour
Valencia CollegeKissimmee, FL
In the field of law and political science, one African American pillar who has significantly influenced my perspective and understanding is Thurgood Marshall. Marshall's immense contributions to the legal field, particularly in the realm of civil rights, have left an indelible mark on the pursuit of justice and equality. Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, dedicated his career to dismantling racial segregation and advocating for equal rights under the law. As a young lawyer, Marshall played a pivotal role in landmark cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, where he successfully argued that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. This groundbreaking decision paved the way for desegregation and marked a significant turning point in the fight against racial discrimination. Marshall's unwavering commitment to justice and his belief in the power of the law to effect social change resonate deeply with my passion for law and political science. His strategic approach to litigation, meticulous preparation, and persuasive arguments set a high standard for legal advocacy. Marshall's brilliance in crafting legal strategies and his ability to navigate the complexities of the legal system demonstrated the transformative potential of law in shaping societal norms and challenging injustices. Beyond his legal acumen, Marshall's unwavering dedication to fighting for marginalized communities and championing equal rights serves as an inspiration. As an African American pillar in the legal field, Marshall confronted institutionalized racism and confronted the injustices of his time head-on. His courage, resilience, and determination in the face of adversity exemplify the qualities necessary for effecting meaningful change within the legal and political sphere. Marshall's influence extends beyond his work as a lawyer and jurist. His appointment to the Supreme Court marked a historic milestone in the representation of African Americans in positions of power and influence. Marshall's presence on the Court was a testament to the importance of diversity and inclusion within the legal profession and the broader political landscape. As an aspiring lawyer, Marshall's legacy reminds me of the responsibility to strive for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pursuit of justice. Moreover, Marshall's commitment to using the law as a tool for social progress resonates deeply with my aspirations. His unwavering belief in the transformative power of the legal system inspires me to advocate for underrepresented communities and work towards creating a more just and equitable society. Marshall's dedication to promoting equal rights, challenging systemic discrimination, and ensuring access to justice serves as a guiding principle in my pursuit of a legal career. In conclusion, Thurgood Marshall's immense contributions to the legal field and his unwavering commitment to justice have profoundly influenced my perspective and aspirations within the realms of law and political science. As an African American pillar, Marshall's groundbreaking work in advancing civil rights and advocating for equal protection under the law has left a lasting impact on the pursuit of justice and equality. His strategic legal advocacy, dedication to marginalized communities, and representation as the first African American Supreme Court Justice serve as a constant reminder of the power of law in effecting meaningful change. Marshall's legacy continues to inspire and guide my journey in advocating for justice, equality, and the protection of fundamental rights.
Kamani Pryor
Savannah College of Art and DesignDouglasville, GA
Issa Rae is a talented actress, writer, and producer who has made significant contributions to the representation of African Americans in film and television. Her groundbreaking work has paved the way for other African American creatives to break into the industry and tell their own stories. Rae began her career creating and starring in her own web series, "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl." The series was a critical and commercial success and led to her being discovered by Hollywood executives. She went on to create and star in the HBO series "Insecure," which has received critical acclaim and numerous awards for its realistic portrayal of the lives of young African Americans. One of the ways in which Rae has influenced the film industry for African Americans is by creating opportunities for other creatives. She has used her platform to produce other shows and films that feature African American talent both in front of and behind the camera. For example, she executive produced the HBO series "A Black Lady Sketch Show," which was created by and stars an all-black, all-female cast. This show provided a platform for up-and-coming African American comedians and writers to showcase their talents. Rae has also been vocal about the need for more diversity in Hollywood. In interviews and speeches, she has emphasized the importance of creating opportunities for people of color in all aspects of the industry, from writers and directors to actors and producers. By speaking out and using her platform to advocate for change, she has helped to raise awareness about the lack of diversity in the industry and encouraged others to take action. Another way in which Rae has influenced the film industry for African Americans is through her authentic portrayal of black characters and experiences. In her shows and films, she presents nuanced and complex characters who are not defined by stereotypes or caricatures. Instead, they are fully realized individuals with their own hopes, dreams, and flaws. This representation is important because it allows African Americans to see themselves reflected on screen in a way that is not often seen in mainstream media. Rae's work has also helped to expand the boundaries of what is considered "black" film and television. She has created shows and films that explore a range of themes and genres, from romance to comedy to drama. This diversity of storytelling is important because it shows that African Americans are not limited to telling stories about race and racism. Instead, they have the ability to tell stories that are universal and relatable to all audiences. In conclusion, Issa Rae has had a significant influence on the film industry for African Americans. Through her work as a writer, producer, and actress, she has created opportunities for other creatives, advocated for more diversity in the industry, and presented authentic and nuanced portrayals of black characters and experiences. Her work has helped to expand the boundaries of what is considered "black" film and television and has paved the way for other African American creatives to break into the industry and tell their own stories.
Jordan Bennett
Mansfield Timberview High SchoolArlington, TX
My educational goal is to attend college and work toward obtaining an engineering degree. I love cars and I am an avid race car fan. From a very young age, I have studied the way that they are designed, the speed, the roar of the engine, aerodynamics, the varying colors, and the computer systems they house. Someone once said, if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life; as a result, I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am passionate not only about the idea of an actual car but about truly learning the business of the automotive industry. This is a true passion of mine. My career as a race car driver can allow me to build towards my ultimate dream of opening my own car manufacturing plant focusing on designing high-end race and luxury cars. In thinking about my future, I tend to consider opportunities afforded to me that many are not able to even dream about. Poverty is very real and it comes in many forms including, insufficient food, access to basic utilities or transportation, lack of education, and even life on the street. I believe that I can use my passion to influence others through example and building business relationships that see a benefit in building profitable communities and the impact that can have on their financial goals. In reviewing the life stories of the rich and famous, there appears to be a greater drive to help those in other countries, however, I plan to focus on those we drive past each day. In opening a business of my own, I would like to partner with non-profit and public service organizations to invest in continued education as well as bring about awareness services are available to the public. Often, communities are not aware of where they can turn to for assistance and with that knowledge, they are one step closer to pulling themselves out of a bad situation. I would also like to provide the necessary training to allow for employment opportunities for those interested in car manufacturing through internships and mentoring. Working alone cannot stamp out poverty but working together as a community can go a long way to end this plague. Obtaining a scholarship would mean so much to me and my family because it makes carrying the weight of this financial burden a bit lighter and I will be able to focus solely on my education. It would also provide me with the ability to pursue my chosen career after college and realize success at a faster rate so that I can not only be of help to those with a greater need by continuing to pay it forward. I hope that you will consider me a good candidate for this scholarship opportunity.
Keyonna Davis
Young Womens Leadership AcadSan Antonio, TX
We often overlook the phenomenon of mental health in children and ignore their pleas. Some children want love, some children want stability, and some just want a listening ear. Through my own journey, I realized that despite my pain I could be there for them. I could be the one listening ear they needed who would believe them. I sat and pondered on all the stories I've heard from the children I've met, and have come to the realisation that being a resource of expression is all that people need. I've never had that resource. I've never had someone who I could come to that would openly listen without judgmental undertones. I never had someone who was willing to listen and hear my side. Every single trail of finding help ended up with me being labeled. I often heard the mummers of “ troubled,” “disrespectful,” and “crazy” escape the mouths of those around me. Growing up I´ve always had problems pertaining to my behavior and my relationship with my mom. We could never see eye to eye which led to many arguments. My home and school life had been affected by this as well as my social life. My grades started falling as well as I had begun to experience the early stages of depression. At first, I felt isolated, ignored, and abandoned, but now I've realized this experience is what made me. Over time, I've molded into a goal-oriented individual and have used my past to shape my future. I've put more effort into my learning, and have gained a sense of responsibility. This experience is the foundation for my interest in studying psychology in college and has furthered my knowledge on the lack of mental guidance in our lives . I’ve always felt like I never had enough support to work through my problems.I lived in a single parent home which made it very hard for my mother to balance all of her responsibilities. I've heard the perspectives of young adults who have expressed the yearning for recognition, and with this I want to be the entity of free expression for them. I want to prove to them that there is always someone willing to hear you and listen. Going to study this field will open the doors for many others to peruse a career which will bring more awareness to mental health. Going into this field will not only bring about comfort to my younger self , but it will also set the tone of just how important it is to take care of your mental health.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 1, 2024.

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