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Normandie Cormier Greater is Now Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Normandie Cormier
1 winner$599
Application Deadline
Feb 1, 2022
Winners Announced
Mar 9, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Financial Status:
Enrollment Status:
Plans to enroll in a 4 year accredited institution in fall 2022

Many minority students from first-generation/low-income backgrounds face systemic roadblocks while navigating through the college admissions process.

Seeing that 16 to 24-years-old students who come from low-income families are seven times more likely to drop out than those from families with higher incomes, it's important that we provide more resources to this underserved group.

As a minority college student from a low-income background, I often felt eluded from academic resources and opportunities to pursue higher education. Living with a single mom who worked many jobs to make ends meet, we often wondered about covering the financial burden of paying for college.

Thankfully, I was able to graduate high school with a college degree, 17 full rides, and more than $8 million in scholarships! Now, I help students attend their school of choice, score well on standardized tests, and graduate college debt-free.

To help mitigate the educational opportunity gap and student debt crisis, the Normandie Cormier Greater is Now Scholarship will support two disadvantaged students, like myself, who has huge aspirations for their life and is willing to work through anything to achieve them. This scholarship is only a small part of my purpose to make academic and scholarship support more accessible for all students.

To apply for this scholarship, you must: 

  • Be a United States citizen or hold a permanent resident visa card.
  • Be a graduating high school senior (or home-school student) at the time of your application
  • Plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate course of study toward a bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year college/university in the United States
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Must exhibit exceptional leadership/service in school or community and have the drive to make a change in the world.
  • Demonstrate financial need

As part of applying, please write about a time when you overcame adversity and how it’s influenced the person you are today.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Disadvantaged Student, Ambition, Impact, Drive
Published April 16, 2021
Essay Topic

Write about a time when you overcame adversity. How has that experience shaped who you are today, your expectations for yourself, and your personal goals?

100–500 words

Winning Application

Elda Abayneh
Cornell UniversityAurora, CO
A simple gold wedding ring sits on my finger, but within its presence lies a vitalizing, multifaceted narrative. The ring transports me to Ethiopia: Addis Ababa, 1999. My sweet mother smiles; her ring shimmers as the beaming sun radiates upon her calm face. Becoming a Christian in an anti-Protestant society, she faced immense injustices as her father strived to kill her. Disowned by her family, she was left with a ring, a visa, and 500. While fleeing to the land of the free, fear gripped her mind as she pondered her circumstances: “Am I qualified to live in America?” Tears escaped from her eyes as she examined the dimming ring. However, as she took steps onto American soil, determination implanted within her heart. Though struggling to learn English, my mother completed community college. While raising two headstrong babies, she accomplished her dreams of becoming a nurse. She took the rough carbon rock in her way and transformed it into a gleaming diamond. She had finally accomplished the American dream. Sixteen years after her transition, it is now 2014 in Aurora, Colorado. My mother sits me down inside of our brightly-lit home. My 10 year-old-eyes widened as she pulled off the wedding ring from her finger and slid it onto mine. She whispered, “This is why I came to America.” As I heard her story, my ears tingled with fascination. Gazing at my mother, I saw courage flicker within her brown eyes. Looking down at the stunning ring, I wondered: “Can I mirror the courageous tenacity my mother formed?” Frightened by this confrontation, I resorted to isolation as my slight stutter and Ethiopian accent hindered my speaking abilities. Unknowingly, the seeds of curiosity germinated within my heart. As I continued to wear my ring, I allowed myself to explore my range of courage. When asked to lead worship and teach bible studies at my local church, I felt the roots of dauntlessness tug on my heart. I taught and led worship for three years as my heart for children expanded. As my mother’s bravery, endurance, and tenacity influenced my actions, I desired to pass the baton of these values into other children's lives. Energized, I stepped into leadership roles within my community. Awakened by my mother’s injustices, I desired to educate others about the austerities victims face. By joining the Justice Education Project, I taught youth the flaws in the criminal justice system. I became the Co-Marketing Leader and spoke at webinars that provided solutions to systemic racism. In addition, I helped publish our book, "First Steps Into Criminal Justice Activism: For Youth". As I wear the ring of my mother’s affliction each day, I am reminded of the igniting joy of courage it carries. The seeds of my mother’s dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism have sprouted into a fruitful tree in me. I am no longer restricted to the barriers of anxiety; my newfound courage will write its own narrative for the rest of my life.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on Mar 9, 2022.

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