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Recent Immigrant Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Mar 31, 2020
Winners Announced
May 4, 2020
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
US Immigrant:
Post-2010 with plans to live & work in US

America is a nation of immigrants, and much of our growth can be attributed to those born elsewhere. Immigrants start companies, innovate, and create jobs at significantly greater rates than the rest of the U.S. workforce, accounting for 15% of the workforce but 25% of entrepreneurs and 25% of patent-holding inventors. A different report showed that 71% of the tech workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign born!

We certainly need to continue the national discussion around the desired nature and proper amount of U.S. immigration. That being said, immigrants are a self-selecting group of people that are willing to jump over the hurdles associated with relocating; they are typically prepared to put in the hard work required to improve their family's prospects. Coming to America is often tremendously beneficial for the immigrants themselves, but it yields enormous benefits for our country as well.

This scholarship is open to any high school student who immigrated to the United States on or after January 1, 2010 and plans to live & work here.

Selection Criteria:
Drive, Ambition
Published January 10, 2020
Essay Topic

Please write an essay that addresses all of the following points:

  • Describe your background and how you ended up in the U.S.
  • Why are you optimistic about living and working in the U.S.?
  • How does the U.S. compare to your home country? Feel free to discuss what you like about both places.
500–1000 words

Winning Application

Pragya Jha
Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne, FL
A fruit juice stall, the fox, and an astronaut The rain beating against the tin roof on the humid night. Mom in the hot kitchen making dinner. You would find me waiting, with my little doll in my hand, at the door of our small rented house; waiting for dad to get back from work. Because, it was a Friday. And that meant that dad would put me on his Honda motorcycle and take me to the local bazar in Jamshedpur. I was like the greedy fox from the Panchatantra: where instead of chasing sheeps, I chased the arrival of Fridays. I awaited the moment my father came home from work, so he could take me to the juice vendor. The juice stall was my favorite place – a small wooden cart laden with rainbows of different fruits. One could smell the intoxicating concoction of all from a distance, as if they were one giant cocktail. And then the mesmerizing sugarcane machine – which glistened as the freshly flattened stalks of sugarcane formed a flow of clear sugarcane juice. My eyes feasted on the sight before me – moving wildly to comprehend the mountain of fruit that lay on the stall. Weirdly shaped bright yellow fruits, round green fruits with pink insides, fruits bigger than my hand - they left me wondering where they all came from? Did they grow on trees or magically appear on the cart? In this chaotic cornucopia, what caught my attention was a glimpse of the brightest red I had ever seen. An alien looking fruit - looking as if it had traveled from outer space. Never before had I seen such a fruit. At that moment, 4-year-old me knew I wanted that specific one. I waved my little arms, pointing to the strange fruit, ‘’Papa, I want this one!’’ My father took out his black wallet from his back pocket of his jeans, drew out a 50 rupees note, and handed it to the man. And a quick 5 minutes later, I was the happiest girl in the world, clutching my dad from one hand, and downing a red juice from the other. Little did I know the importance of that 50 rupees note then. The immense value it held to my family at that time. The more useful ways that note could have been used - to pay a part of my school fees, to pay a part of the house rent, or to buy 2 packets of milk for next week. My father’s consultancy job, with no guarantee of payments on time, would leave my parents wondering if they could meet the ends this month. Yet, in this dire situation, my father’s attachment was not to the material bill, but rather to the happiness and joy it brought to a 4-year-old me. My father's drive to complete his dreams finally brought him to the U.S. in 2013. His success also brought me closer to America. Closer to my dreams of becoming an astronaut. I would never forget my birthplace country India; my family, my childhood, my memories, and my initial struggles will always keep India in my heart. But America was the dream country that I always imagined to study in - the country that would propel me to space. Watching my father work late nights to face his challenges head on, I realized that success was no wish come true nor did it have shortcut. He became my main driving force – encouraging me to finish that astronomy project at 2 am or study for a U.S. history test. Reminding me to be passionate about my dreams. Reminding me to fulfill a promise I made to myself as a child – a promise to touch the stars, to become an astronaut, to gaze deep into space from the ISS. Reminding me to stand strong with my dream through middle and high school when people questioned its legitimacy. His sacrifices brought me 1000 miles closer to my dreams, but now it is in my hands to continue this journey. A journey on the rocket of curiosity to take off into the mystery of space. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it cannot kill a human because it possesses the power of its execution. Besides, a cat has nine lives – but I only have one. And I intend to live it fully curious.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 31, 2020. Winners will be announced on May 4, 2020.

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