For DonorsFor Applicants

Next Young Leaders Program Scholarship

1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Jan 30, 2022
Winners Announced
Mar 7, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” - Dolly Parton

In all industries, natural leaders are essential in cultivating a successful, welcome, and prosperous environment in which all people benefit. Very rarely is an extremely successful company lacking a figure that workers look up to because of their leadership qualities. 

As innovation and technology are becoming more prevalent, leaders around the world must be encouraged to continue pursuing their dreams to bring their vision to light and lead the way for the future. 

To contribute to the advancement of leadership for the future, the Next Young Leaders Program Scholarship will be awarded to one very ambitious and impactful student who has stellar leadership qualities and displays excellence in and out of the classroom.

The Next Young Leaders Program is a program led by Agha Haider, who is focused on providing high school seniors with an opportunity to navigate the college process, receive a virtual mentorship, and a scholarship towards their college education.

All high senior (graduating in 2022) are eligible to apply for this scholarship. To apply, please describe an example of your leadership and write about what being a leader means to you.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Intentional, Leadership
Published October 28, 2021
Essay Topic

Please describe an example of your leadership. Include what being a leader means to you and how you will apply what you learned to your time beyond high school/college.

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

August 2021

Ryan Haigh
Daniella Antoine
Hannah Coe
Chloe Middleton
Bazya Smith
Leah Elesinmogun
Jenna Powers
Marcello Borromeo
Dominga Perez
Esther Mackey
Yazmin Wilson
Sean Russell
A'Maya Miller
afua siaw
Olivia Gilbert
Cosette Curtis
Kimberly Ramirez
Ashley Dawn

Winning Application

Chiaka Duruaku
Williams CollegeWilliamstown, MA
For a long time, I felt that I was as important to the environment as a broken feather fallen from a bird in flight; I didn't believe that my small, light motions would truly change anything I came into contact with. My parents are African and Caribbean immigrants who were taught that children were to “be seen but not heard”, and I suppose they imposed this onto my siblings and myself. I didn't believe in my legitimacy and dignity as a young brown girl with wild ideas in a seemingly white, automatized world. I didn't believe that I could be a leader. However, I began to realize that, just like a feather in the wind, I could be a contributor in something life-changing. My influence, as I found, didn't necessarily have to be earth-shattering; if I could make one person’s life brighter, I was surely doing enough as a leader. When I joined the ABC Food Tours organization last summer, I discovered the true meaning of social justice and community engagement. I was impassioned by the idea of empowerment through education. If children could begin to understand the 'why' and 'how' behind their relationships with food, I thought, they would no longer quietly take what they were given. They would wake up to the possibilities around them. I met with food insecure middle school students, teaching them about nutrition, mental health, and food equity for nearly 80 hours. These children, mostly Black or Brown, felt joy, envy, insecurity, and despair, but had yet to have the words to describe how they felt in the world. Noticing this free falling in front of me, I used my desire to change the education system as fuel. The final day of my service with ABC Food Tours, virtual counselors like myself journeyed to 181 to visit the children there. I met children like Brohema and Kylie for the very first time. Of course, I had taught them for several weeks that summer. However, with the authentic conversations that we were able to have showed me the impact that I had made on them. They were happy to see us virtual counselors, who, when in person, were finally real to them. Everything that we taught them in the past weeks solidified. One girl lamented, "you guys should've been in person the whole time." This girl had a very difficult time staying still. I could tell that she was disillusioned by the pandemic, and found little joy in watching teenagers stare at her through a computer screen. However, she commented, she felt herself learning when we were with her one one one or joined her in-person. In other words, she thrived when her guides were able to tap into who she was and what she wanted from them. She thanked us for making her summer more interesting, and for listening to her. I didn't know that I could influence people the ways in which I evidently had. In that summer, I changed one classroom full of students-- and myself. I was a part of a bird in flight-- even if just for a little while. Because of this, I believe that being a leader is as much an internal journeys one which impacts others. Leaders shouldn't be known for their stoicism or hard demeanors; leaders should notice what gaps there are, and adjust themselves to fill them. I wasn't the kind of leader that I saw portrayed on television; yet I lead. Yet I made people better. I realized what kind of leader that I was.
Yda Francesca Oliveros
San Jose State UniversityHayward, CA
Many of our leadership experiences first begin in our families. I was blessed to be in the leadership position of being a younger sister to a brother with autism. Born ten years after he was, I never fully comprehended much of a difference between us. Growing up, I became more aware of his life compared to mine and, most of all, how the outside world viewed him. I then realized the life we lived as siblings and the vitality of being a leader in his life. Our mom and dad devoted much of their time teaching Mitchell simple tasks and motor skills while tending to his hyper-fixations. I followed in their footsteps and caught on to the importance of the balance of assertion and the value of support, leading me to be one of the most influential leaders in his life. I was a natural teacher and advocate, slowly becoming a leader and not even knowing it. Every time I lead my brother in tasks, from speaking in public to reminding him how to wash his hands, he taught me about compassion, patience, and advocacy- the foundation of what it means to be a leader. Every day as I lead my brother, he serves as a catalyst that shifted my viewpoint and shaped me to look further beneath the surface of an individual. Being a leader to Mitchell has taught me to show and treat others with the care and respect I want my brother to receive equally. I hold compassion in my heart and carry this trait as I take on other leadership positions as club officers, in medical internships, and in managing my small businesses. My brother lacked some motor skills that I possessed, and if I wasn't keeping composure helping him, frustration in both of us arises. When I think of the word patience, I think of those situations and hear my brother say, "Slow down, I'm almost there." To be a leader, you need to remember that it's not always about you. You're part of a team that moves up as one, and by putting yourself first, the wheels begin to fall off. One of the biggest lessons my brother has taught me was to stand up for what I believe. Talking to a friend, I opened up about Mitchell, and he decided to mock my brother ignorantly. He told me, living with him must be a burden and began to shake, speaking gibberish, deeming him inhumanely. In our society, what people haven't experienced firsthand becomes stigmatized, and the victims become dehumanized. As an advocate for my brother, I knew I had to help break the negative narrative and help increase the advocacy for the autistic community. I looked to social activism and began spreading awareness about the autism spectrum and slurs being used to disregard autism. By being a leader, you commit to standing up for your beliefs, being a voice for the unheard. There were times where I struggled with accepting Mitchell's situation. Now looking back, seeing my impact on him, he has equally helped me grow into a strong-willed woman filled with an openness to learn- the leader I am today. Through being amid countless health professionals in my brother's life, I strive to be a part of the numerous compassionate women of color leaving their marks on the world as leaders in healthcare. As I enter college and my future career, I aspire to expand my parents' care home that houses adults with disabilities similar to my brother's to promote wellness for diverse communities, significantly in the underrepresented.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jan 30, 2022. Winners will be announced on Mar 7, 2022.

This scholarship has been awarded, but we have hundreds more!
Find a perfect scholarship now