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Yohannes Academic Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$2,000
Application Deadline
Jul 17, 2022
Winners Announced
Aug 17, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
African American
First-generation student
Financial Status:

Students of color have made great strides in higher education in recent years, but there is still a prevalent gap in degree attainment. 

45% of white 25 to 29-year-olds hold a bachelor’s degree or higher as compared to only 29% of Black adults in the same age range. African American students still face barriers when pursuing higher education, especially students who are low-income and/or first-generation.

This scholarship seeks to support low-income African American students in Pennsylvania who have a history of self-improvement or beating the odds.

Any first-generation college, low-income African American senior graduating from a high school in Pennsylvania may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us about a time when you overcame an obstacle and how that experience will help you in the future.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published June 19, 2022
Essay Topic

Please tell us about an obstacle you overcame and how you will apply that experience toward future endeavors.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Henry Olango
Pennsylvania State University-Main CampusErie, PA
The shots rang out. To many it was just another conflict in Sudan, but to my family it was the end of the world. My family fled on foot walking for days after having most of the people in their village murdered. I could vividly smell the stench of dead bodies when my mother described it to me. It was hell on Earth and my family lived it. When my family lived in refugee camps, they saw hundreds of people lying on their deathbed from malaria. But the illnesses did not just affect people around them, they slowly crept into our family. Which is the reality my family faced before coming to the U.S. from South Sudan. A reality that affected me growing up in America. At a very young age, I realized what it took for my family to be here today. They came to the U.S. with nothing but the clothes they wore on their backs. The transition to America was not kind, and how could it have been for two parents, 7 kids, many who were not their own. The culture of the U.S. did not suit my parents. Because of the difficulty of learning all of the little things at once from how to get a driver's license. To having experienced the stressors associated with being a minority. Which exacerbated the situation of these newly arrived Americans. Then soon after my parents were separated and my single mother worked 2 jobs. My mother needed my help. So, at a young age, I decided that I would become a man that could support his family. I help take care of and discipline my siblings. Since none of my other siblings would. I read mail for my dad because he doesn’t understand English. I work so I can get school supplies, and take care of my paralyzed brother & his children. But the trials and tribulations don't end there. Drug addiction is slowly taking away my family members. When my brother was shot in the head and paralyzed from the waist down it instilled unnecessary fear in me. I’m here today, shaped by countless blessings and adversity. I’ve lived in poverty most of my life. But, I still move forward because my mother has instilled in me the importance of striving for excellence in education. Since a lack of a formal education and obstacles is what limited my mother’s potential. Without an education, countless doors that were in her reach remained closed. My mother sacrificed a lot to get me where I am today and her hard work can only secure us so much. So it is my duty to open all the doors that were closed to her. The American dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of what they face, can attain their own version of success. So, I know it is not born in wealth or handed to you. I would like to imagine the American dream is in me. A boy who has lived in poverty most of his life and raised in a household of ten by a single mother. That is using education to become an engineer for many reasons, some greedy, but coming from nothing, I can afford to be a little greedy. Although I’m a sapling I believe I will grow to be a great tree, but that vision can’t be achieved if I don't plant my roots in a diverse and nurturing environment. So, the torch that has been carried by my mother, Victoria Angelo, is now in my hands and with it I shall achieve greatness.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 17, 2022. Winners will be announced on Aug 17, 2022.

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