For DonorsFor Applicants

Sikora Drake STEM Scholarship

Funded by
3 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Nov 1, 2022
Winners Announced
Dec 1, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Field of Study:
Female identifying, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or first-generation

Many fields benefit from having a diverse workforce that brings in different perspectives.

Unfortunately, systemic barriers prevent many demographics from being accurately represented in different sectors, especially those that require advanced degrees. Women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and first-generation students all face unique obstacles in higher education and the workforce, making support for diverse voices critical.

This scholarship aims to support minority students so they can pursue higher education in STEM.

Any first-generation, BIPOC, female identifying, and/or LGBTQ+ student who is pursuing a degree in STEM may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us why you’re pursuing the degree and why diversity in the workplace is important.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published July 26, 2022
Essay Topic

Please share why you are pursuing the degree of your choice and explain why diversity in the workplace is important to you.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Rajni Gurung Aryal
Tarrant County College DistrictFort Worth, TX
Passion and compassion stand as the core rationales underpinning my love for nursing. The bond I developed with my patients while working in the USA as a certified nursing assistant significantly Influenced my drive and energy to pursue a nursing degree. I am a mother of two from Nepal but currently residing in the USA as a first-generation student. My passion for delving into the health spectrum gets hinged on the support I got from the nurses I assisted and the motivation from my parents. The nurses who worked along had immense dexterity and acumen in the nursing realm and consequently instilled in me apposite nursing skills that I would wish to enlighten by pursuing a nursing degree. Further, the nurses I assisted were well versed in evidence-based practice, a maxim I wish to seek advanced knowledge on by pursuing a nursing degree. Equally significant, I wish to give back to society of America by helping advance nursing practice in America and helping patients in need of health services. Glory to the ill status quo of my country Nepal, getting further education in nursing will assist me in improving our country's health situation and consequently uplift our country's health setting. As such, my goal of pursuing a degree in nursing evinces through offering quality healthcare while upholding the contemporary axioms of nursing practice, such as evidence-based practice techniques. Diversity bears scrutiny as a core foundation for success at the workplace since it facilitates a spectrum for changing ideas and amassing synergies to beat deadlines and goals at the workplace. Diversity also stands the test of time credit to its role in boosting customer morale and inculcating the drive to efficiency and effectivity amongst employees. Employees' disposal to understand customers' needs gets hinged on workplace diversity due to the complexity and equivocality of understanding customer needs; embracing diversity would demystify the plethora of reservations that customers propose. The importance of diversity evinces through teamwork and maintenance of morale in the workplace. Thus, diversity in the workplace stands indispensable credit to its anchorage of success at the workplace. For instance, in the health sector, understanding the requirements of patients demands adherence to intricate prospects of diversity. A patient's problem may be addressed by a nurse who understands their cultural background to fit the diversity requirements. Another major benefit of workplace diversity is a higher innovative power. Diversity brings together people with different intellectual capacities together. The synergy of the different team players with ranging intellectual capacities aids significantly in bolstering the creativity of employers. As significant, diversity aids in devising appropriate maxims for solving problems adroitly. The basic tenets of strategic decision-making manifest through uphold of the core axioms of diversity. Apt decision-making depends on adherence to the maxims of diversity which embraces the functionality and inclusivity at the workplace.
Jada Sinanan
Florida International UniversityMiami, FL
I grew up in a home where my mother was hesitant to take me to the hospital when I broke my arm because she didn't know if she could afford a cast. The day I fractured my arm, I slept the night without a splint until she couldn't bear to see me in agony. Seeing the panic in my mother's eyes broke my heart. I felt guilty for playing and breaking my arm, although I was only in the second grade. Since then, I've never been more dedicated to ensuring that families in poverty have access to affordable healthcare. Being a teenage first-generation girl of divorced, low-income immigrants led me to develop my own experiences with mental illness. Depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, substance abuse, and suicide occur in my ancestry. I am passionate about treating people because I have first-hand experience with losing loved ones to mental illness. I want nothing more than for people to recognize when they need help and have someone they trust to aid them. As a psychiatrist, I want to provide my patients with the highest quality of life and low-cost wellness care. To achieve my goal of becoming a psychiatrist, I must be college educated. A psychiatrist must earn a bachelor's degree, four years of medical school, and a four-year residency. Some psychiatrists also complete fellowship programs and additional training. It takes approximately twelve years to become a psychiatrist. I love psychology and study it in my free time. Becoming a psychiatrist is undoubtedly a difficult task to complete. However, I feel I can accomplish this ambition. I discovered I desired a career in psychology when I enjoyed being attentive to my friend's struggles and offering them a list of solutions to improve their mood. I appreciate taking the time to create a comfortable environment for my peers. When I grow up, I want to observe my patients and develop precise treatment plans to alleviate my patient's mental distress. I passed the AP Psych exam and am part of the Psychology Honor Society. According to Prevalence Data 2022- Mental Health America, 19.86% of adults are experiencing mental illness. Equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans, and 4.91% are experiencing severe mental illness. 7.74% of adults reported having a substance abuse disorder. 5.71% of adults reported having an alcohol use disorder. 4.58% of Americans have thoughts of suicide, an estimated 11.4 million people- an increase of 664,000 people from last year's data set. 15.08% of youth (ages 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode. 10.6% of youth (over 2.5 million) cope with severe major depression. Mental health awareness is essential for patients because they deserve care, understanding, and compassion. They need rehabilitation. Caring for patients as they recover and assisting families through difficult times provide me with optimism for the future. I suffer from mental illness and understand how strenuous it is to cope. However, it is possible to recover and live a healthy life. Our job as medical professionals is to deconstruct the stigma of mental illness and support others in need. I desire to achieve this in my medical career. In the medical field, diversity is crucial because representation matters. Patients develop deeper trust when they feel like they can relate to the people treating them. Racial, gender, disability, and age representation in the workplace shows that everyone matters. No one's struggles would be left unheard. If patients see people that look like them and can relate to them, they will feel more comfortable letting that person treat them. We can create more diversity in workplaces by giving everyone equal opportunities!
Julianna Aguilar
Eastern Virginia Career CollegeKing George, VA


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Nov 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on Dec 1, 2022.

This scholarship has been awarded, but we have hundreds more!
Find a perfect scholarship now