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Rev. Ethel K. Grinkley Memorial Scholarship

3 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Jun 17, 2024
Winners Announced
Jul 17, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
First-generation college student
Community service

Rev. Ethel K. Grinkley was a devoted servant of God and a beacon of love and community service.

Ethel had a mission of building a Christian community rooted in fellowship and unconditional love, a goal that is being carried out by Ethel’s Place, Inc. and passed on to the next generation of students who possess Ethel’s vision of a compassionate and inclusive society. 

This scholarship aims to honor the life of Rev. Ethel K. Grinkley by supporting students who aspire to pursue careers that resonate with Ethel’s principles of love, devotion, and community service. 

Any Christian high school senior who attends church, participates in community service, and will be a first-generation college student may apply for this scholarship opportunity.

To apply, tell us about yourself and how you plan to impact the world through love, faith, and community service.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Faith
Published February 29, 2024
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through principles of love, faith, and community service.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Caitlin James
Clemson UniversityEASLEY, SC
“To whom much is given, much will be required.”(Luke 12:48) My goal in life is to serve others. Life can be very difficult to get through. I have first hand experience with this; my mom died in a domestic violence incident when I was 8.5, and I was placed in foster care, leaving all of my belongings and friendships behind. My biological parents did not have a college education or a steady income. I was eventually adopted by my foster mom, a single lady who was a teacher at a local elementary school. Many people came alongside me when I was going through a hard time. No one could bring my mother back, but people would spend time with me, which really helped alleviate some of my pain. I had a mentor in elementary school who would just sit with me, and she was able to help me be calm and focused during school. I had a family friend who would spend time each week tutoring me in math, which inspired my interest in engineering. My grandparents would spend time with me each week, taking me on long bike rides and driving me to appointments. My mom and I worked daily on getting my school work completed. Other family friends would include us in their family vacation plans, and one couple even took me on a trip to Europe. I was given much, and I know that much is required of me. I have spent the last ten years growing in my experiences of helping others. The judge who presided over my adoption gifted me with a dog, and my mom and I used to take him to our local nursing home. I was able to use an animal given to provide comfort to me to provide comfort to others. My grandfather and I serve quarterly at the soup kitchen. I learn new cooking skills while also helping others, and my grandfather takes me around the eating area as he visits with different folks. I have been serving at my church with a group of girls for the past 6 years, starting when they were in 1st grade and going all the way through with them - now they are in 6th grade. I have gotten up each Sunday morning to worship, play games, and have small group time. Our church has a strong foster/adopt ministry, so I have been able to take my experiences of foster care and adoption and help the younger girls experiencing that in their own families. I plan on serving throughout college and making it a way of life for the future. I am going to pursue a degree in civil engineering. As an engineer, I can partner with organizations and help create community centers and green spaces in areas that are under resourced. I can be someone who recognizes a need and steps in. I would love to mentor a younger student and provide support, just as my mentor supported me. I am confident that the skills I acquire through education will help me grow into someone who can model “to whom much is given, much is required”. Gun violence totally disrupted my life, but I have the opportunity to not let it destroy me, and instead to let it shape me.
Nehmiah Ives
Bethune-Cookman UniversityWinter Haven, FL
Jordyn Williams
Sumter AcademyWEDGEFIELD, SC
What would Jesus do? I have learned that if I were to ever find myself in a dilemma or even an everyday interaction, I should take a moment to ask myself, “What would Jesus do?” Jesus taught us to love one another and ourselves, and when I set out into the world, I plan to take that value with me. I will enter adult life with the love I received, hold it close, and pass it on to all I encounter. I will continue to take the time to notice a person’s feelings and behaviors in hopes that I can somehow brighten their day. I will express my negative emotions healthily to limit the amount I let anger and irritation choose my actions. Giving into emotions like that rarely has a positive impact on anyone. An irritable person is less likely to think of others or the struggles that others may be going through. I never want to be that person or to set an example to those younger than me to be that person. Being in church has taught me many valuable things. When I was younger, I would go to church ready to tell my faith-filled brothers and sisters about an issue I was having at school with my peers. Each time, they would advise me not to judge them, for they are lost and have not yet learned that the Lord loves them. They said to try to befriend them and to help them find their way to the Lord. At that time, I took those words with a grain of salt, but now that I’m older, I know we live in a world of lost individuals. Some have never been taught of the Lord, and just as I have learned to do, I teach and spread awareness to anyone with an open ear. I tell those who want to listen that sin is skin-deep, while the Lord’s love for us knows no bounds. I don’t tell them they need a church to find the Lord but that they need a Bible, an open heart, and an open mind. Some people I have told this to have progressed and tried to find their place with the Lord, while some still need more time. Knowing what I know now, I don’t judge; I ask the Lord to help guide them to Him. The kindness that the Lord has provided me with, I try to pass to others in many ways. I find that I prefer to lend a helping hand. I help in small ways, such as lending a helping hand to someone carrying something, offering to help someone clean up, helping a friend with homework, or even donating some of my clothes. While things like this feel small, I’ve found that the effect can be prominent. The person I helped carry something with is now my friend, and we help the people we work with and each other with different activities. That friend I helped with homework graduated, and she is becoming a teacher. As for the donated clothes, they are spreading far and wide, hopefully helping to clothe those in need. Kindness goes a long way; all people need to do is open their hearts to the idea.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 17, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 17, 2024.

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