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Mary P. Perlea Scholarship Fund

Funded by
1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Jun 1, 2022
Winners Announced
Jul 15, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate student
Underrepresented or disadvantaged (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, single mom, etc.)

Mary P. Perlea was a beloved mother and a strong advocate of the importance of education. 

Mary received her master’s degree in engineering in Romania and believed that higher education is the most important experience in one’s life. Mary would have wanted to leave behind a legacy of helping young students access higher education.

This scholarship seeks to honor Mary P. Perlea’s legacy by supporting underrepresented or disadvantaged students so they can reach their full potential.

Any undergraduate student who is part of an underrepresented or otherwise disadvantaged community, such as BIPOC students, LGBTQ+ students, single moms, etc., may apply for this scholarship, but students pursuing STEM are preferred. 

To apply, tell us about the challenges you have overcome in life and how you hope to use your education to help other underserved or underrepresented students.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published February 7, 2022
Essay Topic

What challenges have you had to overcome throughout your life due to who you are or where you come from? How do you plan on using your education to give back to others who are underserved or underrepresented?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Virginia Johnson
Tuskegee UniversityKnoxville, TN
No Children Allowed By: Virginia Johnson I will never be able to have biological children, and that fact hurts. It hurts so much, but not nearly as much as the medical malpractice that resulted in me undergoing two needless surgeries. At the age of twenty-seven, I had a total hysterectomy due to endometriosis. As an African American female, I underwent inadequate medical treatment for years for the endometriosis, until my family found an out-of-state specialist who was able to help me. My pleas for help fell onto deaf ears because of my gender and ethnicity, but I was able to overcome my medical obstacles, and I plan to complete my undergraduate degree at Tuskegee University and enter into the Master of Public Health program there. Tuskegee is famous for the horrible syphilis experiment that poor black farmers were subjected to from 1932 to 1972. African Americans often receive inadequate health care, and I know from my own experience that we need advocates to help us navigate thru medical fields. I hope to truly make a difference in the lives of the people and animals that I will be able to help once I obtain my Master’s degree. I have also had to overcome challenges associated with anxiety and depression due to my journey with endometriosis. The pain was so intense until I grew depressed and lost hope that anyone would be able to help me. I suffered from anxiety and fear that my voice would not be heard. I was accepted into vet school early while a college junior, but I had to withdraw due to surgeries and health problems. I have had to overcome the stigma of withdrawing and going back to complete my senior year of undergrad studies. I used this change to steer me towards helping others. African American females with endometriosis are often misdiagnosed, and effective treatment is often delayed. Vital reproductive organs of these females are often damaged beyond repair and infertility results. I want to use my education and my personal experiences to help these females. I hope to bring an awareness of endometriosis to my African American sisters and offer them help and relief so that they do not suffer needlessly. I also want to give back by one day adopting children and giving them hope that someone loves them and believes in them. I hope to instill in my children that they are valuable and that they have a lot to offer and give back to others, and I hope that one day, for African American women like me, children will be allowed.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jul 15, 2022.

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