For DonorsFor Applicants

Reach For Your Future Scholarship

Funded by
1st winner$1,200
2nd winner$1,000
3rd winner$800
Application Deadline
Feb 29, 2024
Winners Announced
Mar 31, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school junior or senior

One of the biggest hurdles students face when pursuing their dreams is that of finances.

College is expensive, and students from low-income backgrounds especially don’t always have the resources to pursue an upper level degree. No one should be restricted from pursuing their dreams simply because of the financial burden. The Reach For Your Future Scholarship seeks to help female students in Alabama who come from a low-income background. 

Female high school juniors and seniors in Alabama are eligible to apply if they come from a low-income background. To apply, write about what pursuing higher education means to you and how this scholarship will help you achieve your future goals.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Boldest Profile, Passion
Published June 24, 2023
Essay Topic

What does pursuing higher education mean to you? How will this scholarship help you pursue your career goals?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Maddilyn Register
Eufaula High SchoolEufaula, AL
Branazia Chambliss
University of Alabama at BirminghamJacksonville, AL
Mika De Ridder
Carroll High School Career CenterSKIPPERVILLE, AL
I am a hard-working student, fully dedicated to pursuing my educational goals and making the most of this scholarship's opportunities. As I firmly believe in the power of education, I am constantly striving to bridge my passion for learning and my desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Growing up, I faced numerous challenges that have shaped my character and fueled my determination. From a young age, I experienced severe anxiety, which was amplified by the absence of my biological father in my life due to his prolonged battle with drug addiction. Unfortunately, this pattern continued as my brother also struggled with addiction. With my mother as my only support system, our low income and the distance from our family in Belgium created a sense of isolation throughout my childhood. These circumstances, along with the weight of my family's struggles, led me to battle anxiety and depression. However, over the past six years, I have dedicated myself to overcoming my fears, shedding my introversion, and embracing my true potential. Fueled by the belief that your past does not define your future, I have worked tirelessly to prove to myself and others that I can achieve great things. Receiving this scholarship would be an incredibly significant milestone, bringing me one step closer to realizing my dream of becoming an international social worker. The impact of being granted this scholarship extends beyond personal accomplishment; it symbolizes the gateway to making a definite difference in the lives of children like myself and vulnerable children worldwide. With a profound understanding of their struggles, I am driven to provide support, guidance, and opportunities to those who need it most. Not confined by geographical boundaries, my ambition is to create positive change on a global scale. Battling against misfortune, I have developed persistence as my constant companion. Despite the challenges that may arise, I am committed to working diligently and relentlessly to pursue my career goals. Through unwavering dedication, I am determined to excel in my studies and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become a competent and compassionate international social worker. The significance of receiving this scholarship, from a personal and professional standpoint, cannot be understated. It would allow me to fulfill my ambition of helping children in need and empower them with a sense of hope, resilience, and self-belief. By harnessing the transformative power of education, I aspire to break the cycle of despair that has plagued many young lives. In conclusion, being selected as a scholarship recipient would profoundly impact my journey. It represents an invaluable opportunity to realize my dreams, prove my capabilities, and inspire others who have faced similar hardships. With this scholarship, I can emerge as a beacon of hope, spreading positivity and making a lasting difference in the lives of children worldwide.
Leslye Rios Jarquin
The University of AlabamaAlbertville, AL
Pursuing a higher education means so much to me because it is a dream that I want to accomplish. I am a first-generation Mexican-American. I want to pursue higher education because my parents did not have the resources to do so. My parents come from a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico. They came to the United States to build a better way of living. Even though they did not go to school they tried to provide the best they could for me and my two sisters. I want to set an example for my younger sister, she is eight years old. I want her to see the hard work I have done and for her to want to do her best just as I am doing. I want to set an example for her and for generations to come. Pursuing a higher education is so important to me because I want to do something in my life. There have been many times when I have been emotionally let down because many people say, "You can't do it" or "You're not good enough." I want to show them that I can do it and that I am good enough. Pursuing a higher education means so much to me because I want to be the first person in my family to go to college. Ever since I was a child, I have always seen movies of people graduating and seeing those people on screen made me want to be just like them. I want this opportunity because it is something that will benefit me in life. I know that there are many jobs that pay well and that you do not need schooling but I want to put in the extra effort because I want to be an inspiration to low-income minority students. As a Mexican-American school is very important because of our parents not being able to make it past the 5th grade because of money. I do not want money to be an issue when wanting to go to college. If I am granted this generous scholarship, I know that it will help me achieve my career dreams. I am scared to go to college because I do not want to put financial pressure on my parents. My parents work hard enough but I want to become financially independent so that they will not have to worry about the cost of college. College is very expensive and that is why it is a hard dream to achieve. I have always wanted to go into Pre-Med Studies or Architectural Engineering. I am still undecided because I just enjoy both fields in different ways. Hopefully, you all will consider me when choosing the winner of this generous scholarship. I know that if I am given this scholarship I will put it to good use. If given this scholarship I will be closer to achieving my dreams.
Nancy Chen
Vestavia Hills High SchoolVestavia Hills, AL
As a female, I faced many hardships along my journey. During the robotics of my sixth-grade year, our coach wanted people to practice driving ㅡ I bravely volunteered. The entire class had eyes on me as I walked up to the starting line. I reached for the gray controller with flashing green lights. The controller felt heavy and uncomfortable in my small hands. I awkwardly pushed the worn-out gray joystick forward and backward. The robot jerked left and right on the ground. I tried grabbing the yellow star, a game element. It worked! I carefully raised the metal arms that held the yellow star like a precious dream coming true. The star fell out with a thud. Silence. My shoulders sank. My eyes fell to the floor. A couple of boys scoffed and snickered in the corner. You are just a girl. You cannot drive. The discrimination did not stop in middle school. Throughout my high school career, during tennis matches, boys would often scoff, “You just got beaten by a girl!” During tennis camps, I would often get looked down upon for being a girl. Spectators would raise their eyebrows and uncross their arms after they saw me play and win points. During robotics competitions, I would represent my team in the elimination selection. Other teams would often skip over me and choose a lower rank team represented by a male. The list goes on. That moment has continued to haunt me every time I sit in front of the steering wheel of my car. I got the same nervousness from the time I attempted to drive a robot. I take a deep breath before starting the engine. Although I still have not entirely overcome the traumatic experience from sixth grade, I persevere through the dark shadows of the past and drive forward toward a better future. In higher education, I strive to better understand the world around me and gain knowledge to overcome the incident in middle school. I hope to gain experience and skills to stand up against those who mocked me and help future young girls who also struggled like me in a male-dominated field. I wish to be that support that encourages other people to be brave, which I was missing when I needed it. To be able to help people who are in a similar situation would mean the world to me. I aspire to be someone that people can lean on. Instead of worrying about what I cannot change, I focus on what I can change. I completed extra research on building techniques and fundamentals. I taught myself how to code in C++ through YouTube tutorials and reached out to experts for advice. I connected with judges for specific feedback on my engineering notebook and found examples online. Although I cannot control people’s stereotypes of me, I can control how I handle the situation and how I go forward. Rather than dwelling in the past, I look to the future. With this scholarship, I can pursue my goal of becoming a strong independent woman who inspires others to do the same. I can keep my head high and my eyes shining with pride as I step into the male-dominated field of engineering.
Esmeralda Serna-Perez
University of Alabama at BirminghamCenter Point, AL
Being Latina, my cultural background has been integral to my identity, positively shaping me. Growing up, I was taught to embrace my heritage, celebrate my culture, and be proud of my roots. My Mexican side has always been on full display. I would often get stared at, but pride in my identity has helped me to develop a strong sense of self, a deep appreciation for diversity, and a commitment to social justice. What does pursuing higher education mean to me? It means breaking barriers, defying expectations, and seizing opportunities that were not readily available to previous generations. It means equipping myself with knowledge and skills to create a better future for my community and for myself. Pursuing higher education is my chance to make a tangible impact and be the change I wish to see in the world. This scholarship would play a vital role in helping me pursue my career goals. As a student from a low-income family, financial barriers often played a large role in hindering my educational journey. With the support of this scholarship, I can focus on my studies without the constant worry of school pricing. It would alleviate the financial burden and grant me the freedom to fully immerse myself in my education, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. By pursuing a career in the legal system, specifically as an Immigration Lawyer, I aim to address the social justice and legal disparities that disproportionately affect Latino communities. I am aware of the challenges and obstacles faced by Latinos in the United States – language barriers, cultural differences, and systemic inequities that contribute to disparities in legal outcomes. With this scholarship, I can invest in my education and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to bridge these gaps, ensuring that all members of my community have access to the care they need to thrive. Additionally, as a first-generation college student, I understand the unique challenges minority students face when pursuing higher education. I plan to give back to my community by becoming a mentor and role model for other young Latinas. Through sharing my experiences and providing guidance and support, I hope to inspire and empower the next generation of Latinos to pursue their dreams and create a positive impact in their communities. Pursuing higher education means an opportunity for personal growth, a chance to address social justice issues, and a means to uplift and empower my community. This scholarship would be a game-changer, enabling me to focus on my studies, equip myself with the necessary tools, and work towards a more just and equitable society. Through my education at UAB, I hope I honor my cultural heritage and create a better future for all.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 29, 2024. Winners will be announced on Mar 31, 2024.

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