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Olivia Woods Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Angela Darling
1 winner$1,050
Application Deadline
Mar 1, 2023
Winners Announced
Apr 1, 2023
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:

Reading opens up horizons for everyone. 

At times, it creates worlds of wonder, unlimited by the imagination. Other times, it educates and strengthens knowledge. But most of all, reading connects. No matter where the reader comes from, for that moment in time, they connect with the writer and are able to see the world through another’s eyes. Olivia Woods was an avid reader and instilled a deep curiosity and passion for reading into her daughter, who went on to fall in love both with reading and writing. The Olivia Woods Memorial Scholarship will support someone who believes reading is important and has had a book transform their life in some way.

Low income students of any educational level are eligible to apply.

To apply, write about a book that influenced you and why it had this effect on you.

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

What is a book that has transformed your life? Why and how did it make such an impact on you?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Micah H.
Jones County Junior CollegeLaurel, MS
“Women, on the other hand, had to wield their intellects like a scythe, hacking away against the stubborn underbrush of low expectations.” - Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures I remember the first time I read the book, "Hidden Figures." It showed the determination of three black women: Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan. They were working for NASA in STEM while facing racism and discrimination for being people of color and women. They were known as "computers", calculating and formulated ways to get man to the moon. I was inspired because I knew at a young age that I also had an interest in computer science. I didn't realize the statistics regarding black women in this field would be so shocking. Computer science is, without a doubt, in high demand in the market today, and is known as one of the leading jobs with the highest pay. According to “,” only 7% of black women are employed in a computer and information science occupation. When I heard about this disproportionate amount in ninth grade, I knew there needed to be change. Towards the end of 2019, I applied for a grant to create a STEM program called "Adventures in 3D Printing" for underrepresented minority girls in my community. Coming from a rural area in the deep south of Mississippi, I knew we would reach financial problems if we did not take this chance with some form of financial aid. Luckily, a couple of months later, I was awarded the grant, but I reached another big problem. COVID-19. The pandemic was nothing less than unexpected. I planned to hold "Adventures in 3D Printing" face-to-face in June, but the initial idea needed to change due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. My mom, female STEM professionals, and I worked together to culminate a COVID-friendly form of the program. Instead of "Adventures in 3D Printing" starting in June, we waited until December as we saw cases decreasing. Every morning, there were temperature checks and sanitizer available. To ensure that we were social-distancing the girls, we split them into two groups depending on their ages. The coding activities would require little to no physical touch with another participant. I also wanted to stay mindful of the pressures young girls tackle with school life and now a pandemic. So, in addition to coding and 3D printing centers, my team and I implemented a self-esteem curriculum for the participants. It focused on telling and reminding the girls that their voice matters and their worth is priceless! And lastly, the program was a major success! I am beyond grateful for the women who were passionate about my program and dedicated their time to help me bring it to full fruition. It is because of the hard work and dedication I have for this cause, that helped me realize that my job is not over. I want to continue living a life that impacts others like Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan. For this world to truly see all the benefits of diversity in the workplace, we need to continue targeting and exposing minority groups because, without opportunity, there is no better future. Let us all strive to create a better future despite the odds like the three "Hidden Figures." “Their dark skin, their gender, their economic status--none of those were acceptable excuses for not giving the fullest rein to their imaginations and ambitions.” - Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on Apr 1, 2023.

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