For DonorsFor Applicants

Peter and Nan Liubenov Student Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Jun 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Jul 1, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
Work or volunteer experience

The Liunbenov family is a part of the powerful educational community that strives for the gift of knowledge.

They are committed to helping students become successful adults and thriving human beings who will play a productive and influential part in society. The Peter and Nan Liubenov Student Scholarship will be awarded to a BIPOC high school senior who demonstrates sensitive awareness of others and chooses to take the moral high ground. This scholarship will support students who work to balance their academics with integrity and the desire to become a lifelong learner.

BIPOC high school seniors are eligible to apply if they have volunteering or work experience. To apply, write about how you see yourself as a positive force in your community and how social norms shape your thinking.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published February 29, 2024
Essay Topic

How do you perceive yourself to be a positive force in society both now and in the future? How do the parameters of current social norms shape this thinking?

400–600 words

Winning Application

osamede uzzi
Blackman High SchoolMurfreesboro, TN
As a child, Jack and the Beanstalk was my favorite book. It envisioned a guy who had magical seeds, and when planted, it sprouted beyond what the human eye could ever imagine. Though a classic fairytale, this story teaches a valuable lesson: that planting a seed in your community can bring wonders unlike any other. Within my community (Rutherford), I strive to be like Jack. For starters, I’m quite active within and outside my church walls. As I serve as a vital, media team member who displays scriptures, creates visuals, and regulates the sounds systems, I’m providing a skillset for the betterment of service, as well as delegation to assist my pastor. But beyond these walls, we as a church supply core goods and the gospel though our outreach ministries. And we do it locally, around the spring valley region. In a recent outreach, I came across a woman needing a mattress. Her previous one had broken, and we wanted to go above and beyond, eventually gifting her a bed larger than her request. It meant the ‘absolute world’ to her. Because of experiences like these, I’ve grown to appreciate the little things more. As I've developed a more nuanced understanding of the Rutherford community, time after time, I'm left with enriched feelings beyond words. Since this pivotal moment, I've started to serve other communities within school-related organizations. For two years through JROTC, I have presented the colors at the American Legion World Series to a multitude of veterans and patriots. From this opportunity, I, and a couple of my buddies, were recognized by a WWII veteran for our act. On our trip, we polished fighter jets, and before this trip, cleaned headstones at the Stones River National Cemetery. What I thought to simply be another act of kindness was much more to others. The smiling faces, appreciativeness, and completed work has all kindled a fire in me to never stop giving. Moreover, to give abundantly. In my senior year, as I’ve enrolled in Youth Leadership Rutherford (YLR), EPIC (a freshman mentoring club), and National Honor Society, the doors to serve Rutherford have been plentiful. As I’m off to college, even though I’d be hours away, I still hope to benefit every community I cross paths with, just like the one of Jack. In these four forthcoming years, I plan on pursuing a B.S in Finance. With a thought-out plan of joining four revolutionary clubs, that serves as a catalyst toward my career development, I'll pursue leadership positions that pour into the UTK, financial community. I hope to inspire this generation’s next emerging leaders through my diligent efforts of mentorship and sacrifice.
Dhivya Sampath
University of PennsylvaniaSouthampton, NY
When I was in the fifth grade, my best friend came out to me as bisexual. She’d expected rejection, but all she got was confusion—I had no idea what “bisexual” was. She explained to me that not all girls marry guys: some marry those of other gender identities. And that’s when I realized that I'm bisexual. But living with this truth was nowhere as easy as realizing it was for me. In the fifth grade especially, most people had never even thought about the possibility of sexually-diverse relationships. All we’d ever seen on TV were boys with girls, so realizing I was bisexual was an incredibly isolating experience. Even as we grew older and started getting exposed to the idea of homosexuality, bisexuality was still this unknown, mysterious thing that people didn’t understand. At first, I was defensive. If anyone made assumptions or even asked me questions about my sexuality, I immediately assumed they were trying to belittle or demean me, and I shut them down. I never gave people a chance to learn what I wished they just knew. Then, in the eighth grade, that same friend came out to me again. This time as genderqueer. And again, she was met with confusion. So far, I’d learned about different sexualities and the generally-known concept of being transgender (a person who was born physically as one gender but identifies as another), but I didn’t know that people could identify as neither, or both. Yet again, she explained it to me, and I realized that I too was genderqueer. Furthermore, what I realized was that my lack of knowledge was not purposeful, and I had no intention of offending her when I asked about her gender—so why was I so defensive of it myself? Why didn’t I help others understand too? When this friend of mine had helped learn so much about myself twice just by explaining her own experiences to me, how many could I have helped, just by answering a question or being more open? From then on, I tried to follow my friend’s example, and tried my best to educate myself and others. I found myself becoming someone people felt like they could talk to and confide in. To some people who I once wrote off as homophobic, I became the first person they came out to. People who once threw around the word “gay” as an insult or joke began to tell others off for doing so after I explained to them that I found it hurtful. Eventually, after entering the 9th grade and joining my high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, I restarted an old tradition they had of doing “GSA PSAs” (Gay Straight Alliance’s Public Service Announcements) over the loud speaker once a week, sharing information and current events to help increase school-wide awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and introducing words that were once shied away from, like “gay”, into the school atmosphere. Eventually, in my junior year, I became the president of the club, after having been vice president the previous year. Every year, I’d help organize campaigns such as one for National Coming Out Day and National Day of Silence. I also create posts for and run our Instagram account. I’ve learned from that friend that instead of getting offended by ignorance, we should take it as an opportunity to educate others, because as long as we’re all open to learn, we should all be open to teach.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 1, 2024.

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