For DonorsFor Applicants

Papi & Mamita Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Mar 12, 2022
Winners Announced
Apr 12, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Must be an undergraduate or graduate student
Must be Black or Latinx
Must be a first-generation college student

First-generation college students, especially those who are Black or Latinx, have to overcome many obstacles to complete a college degree.

When compared to white and Asian students, Black and Latinx students are underrepresented when it comes to obtaining Bachelor’s degrees. Only 21% of Black adults and 16% of Latinx adults hold Bachelor’s degrees, leading to disparities in top fields.

This scholarship aims to help underrepresented first-generation college students pursue their undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Any Latinx or African American first-generation college student who’s working on an undergraduate or graduate degree may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us about yourself and how you hope to benefit the world through the completion of your college degree.

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

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through pursuing your college degree.

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

Winning Application

Sandy Esparza
Mount Saint Mary's UniversityLos Angeles, CA
Twenty-four years ago, I was a slave, held captive just five miles from the University campus I attend today. As a young naïve girl, desperate for love and acceptance, I fell victim to the unforgiving streets of South LA. At fourteen years old, a 45-year-old woman became my trafficker. What followed was the complete mental and emotional destruction of everything I knew to be true. My self-worth and value were the most affected. Kept under lock and key, forcibly drugged on a daily basis, denied food, water, and showers. I was given a new identity complete with a new name and birthdate. For the next ten months, I was bought and sold to the highest bidder for sex. The lies she told me had become my personal truth and they kept me in bondage even when the door was wide open for me to free myself. After a terrifying escape, I shamefully fell into the shadows of LA's forgotten children community. A runaway, drug addict, juvenile delinquent, and lost soul. I spent my teenage years in survival mode and angry with the world for my misfortune. I bounced around from foster homes, juvenile halls, and group homes. Eventually, I stopped going to school. I lost my faith in humanity after seeing and experiencing unimaginable suffering at the hands of traffickers and buyers. Once I turned eighteen and exited the foster system, again a victim. I was trafficked through strip clubs until I was twenty-one. Many near-death experiences brought me to a ledge. A second escape from a ruthless underground world saved my life. At twenty-one, I picked up the pieces and attempted to rebuild. I didn't want to be a victim anymore, and I fought tooth and nail to drop that identity. I started from nothing, learning life skills, job skills, self-control, independence, and responsibility. I went back to school to get my high school diploma and enrolled in junior college. Rebuilding was challenging. On most days, I felt defeated. I decided to attend therapy and go through the process of unpacking and grieving all that had been holding me captive. The adversity I endured kept me in bondage for years until I chose to fight for my life and future. Choosing forgiveness and healing changed my family tree. It gave my children the healthy, thriving mother they deserve; it gave me back my life, it birthed purpose and calling, it set me free. Currently, I'm a Survivor Advocate at ZOE International. This organization works in rescue and restoration for foster youth in Los Angeles that have been victims of sex trafficking or are current victims of trafficking and exploitation. I'm also a speaker and trainer at The Power Project, an organization focused on prevention and awareness of human trafficking. At both organizations I am the only Latinx leader that hosts workshops and trainings in Spanish as a bridge for our Latinx, at-risk, and vulnerable communities to be educated and empowered. It is my dream of being a Social Worker in the city of Los Angeles, and being a woman who brings value, leadership, and healing to our city, that gives me such a zest for life. My long-term goal is to attend graduate school and attain an LCSW degree with the end goal of private practice specializing in sexual trauma, sexual abuse, trafficking, and exploitation. I'm passionate about helping survivors thrive and find a healthy life after suffering. They must know that there is hope and healing at their fingertips. My desire is to make an impact as I go into the darkness and lead others to light.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 12, 2022. Winners will be announced on Apr 12, 2022.

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