Penny Collins Scholarship

Funded by
Queens Of Joy
Learn more about the Donor
3 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Aug 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Aug 31, 2021
Education Level
High School

While the world has seen great progress with women’s rights and gender equality over the past century, there is more to be done.

Today, there is still quite a large gap between men and women when it comes to income, wealth, debt, poverty levels, discrimination, abuse, domestic responsibilities, and the opportunity to take on leadership roles –– all of which are greater difficulties for women of color. 

As one small step toward moving the world in the right direction, The Penny Collins Scholarship will support Black women on their educational journey. The award will be given to three young Black high school senior women who plan to spend their careers being a part of the solution to make the world a better place. 

To apply, please write about the ways you can address challenges that arise because of intersectionality in the US workforce.

Diversity and Inclusion
Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Purpose
Essay Topic

What are some ways you can address challenges that arise because of intersectionality in the workforce?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Tamia Smith
Girard Acadmeic Music ProgramPhiladelphia, PA
Grace Stanley
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityTallahassee, FL
I have wanted to be an Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) since I was a little girl. I love babies and want to help mothers during the most trying time of their life, when they are giving birth to their children. My desire to serve as an OB/GYN has increased since reading numerous reports that state African American women receive disparate hospital care, often resulting in death. I will be a doctor that is receptive to the needs of my patients. The issue of intersectionality arises within my desired field of medicine because there are some doctors who provide care but believe racial stereotypes. As such, they believe that African Americans are less likely to feel pain and refuse to prescribe the pain medications their patients request. Not only will I believe my patients when they express discomfort or pain during the childbirth process, I will also advise my peers to not succumb to stereotypes and treat all patients equally. I plan to sponsor intercultural community classes that prepare parents for their new roles. Early cross-cultural exposure eases racial tensions and improves interracial interactions. I want my "Mommy and Me" classes to make a difference for our participants, both personally and professionally. I look forward to attending Florida A & M University, a Historically Black College/University (HBCU).I know that while I am there I will receive education and development from an Afrocentric perspective, something that I very much look forward to. Not only will I take African American history classes, but African American history is infused in every class. For once, I will be part of the majority, not a minority. I know that as I serve as a OB/GYN I will encounter someone who does not want to be treated by an African American woman. It is my hope that should that happen, I will be able to maintain my composure and help them see that I am an excellent doctor who is focused on providing them the best care possible. Hopefully, my reputation will proceed me. The best way for me to address the issue of intersectionality in the workplace is to serve as an example in everything that I do. I want to set a standard of excellence that surpasses race or gender. I hope to be the one who helps others see the numerous ways that we all interconnect, rather than be focused on the divisions that divide us.
Maya Taylor
Kennesaw State UniversityDouglasville, GA
My mother taught me that if a person has been blessed with gifts or knowledge, then God gives us a responsibility to help others. My mom regularly volunteers with our local food pantry, organizing canned food drives, and donating items to women’s shelters. As I served my community, I began to notice a common thread: many people who needed help also needed mental health services. This realization fueled my desire to work in mental health. I also developed a passion for working with people who experience food and housing insecurity. I began volunteering more with the food pantry and helping my mom organize and deliver canned food drives. In the richest nation in the world, no one should be without housing or food. My goal is to pursue a career in the mental health and counseling fields, specifically working with adolescents and teens. I've had this goal since I was in the 10th grade. I have accepted admission to Kennesaw State University where I have declared psychology as my major. I've read several articles and books about mental health and I am currently taking AP Psychology to better prepare me for my initial college classes. Since elementary school, I have always been the person that my peers gravitate toward when they are upset or need to talk. As I grew older, I understood that I had a gift for being impartial, trustworthy, and giving good advice when asked. I also became highly interested in what made people who they were. Was it genetics? Upbringing? Social conditioning? Why do people do the things that they do? How do you know when a person’s struggles are a consequence of their environment and decisions versus having legitimate mental health issues that skew their decision-making processes (or both)? COVID has highlighted the need for more mental health resources for young people. I love to socialize, and I have plenty of friends, but I have been attending school digitally since COVID began. Not being able to see my friends at school or socialize with them like I used to has been hard for me. While I have a very supportive family that tries to balance being safe with allowing me to socialize in different ways (mostly virtually), I realize that many of my peers don’t have the options or support that I have. After completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I want to go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology or school psychology (maybe both!). I think that it is important to have good counselors for families and children to come to when they are struggling with mental health. Additionally, many people do not understand mental illness and associate it with a stigma, particularly in the African American community. My goal is for communities to have more public education about various mental health issues (whether situational or biological) to help remove the stigmas which prevents people from seeking help. It is also important that counselors know what community and financial resources are available outside of themselves and school to help young people. I want to be the person who helps to open up education and resources about mental health to make things better.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Aug 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Aug 31, 2021.

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