For DonorsFor Applicants

Willie Mae Rawls Scholarship

2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Feb 16, 2022
Winners Announced
Mar 17, 2022
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Must be an undergraduate student at an HBCU
Must have community service experience
Must be studying religion

Willie Mae Rawls was a woman of faith and a source of inspiration to her family. 

During her life, Willie spread positivity and love through her faith and was the face behind many breakthroughs in her family.

This scholarship seeks to honor the legacy of Willie Mae Rawls by current undergraduate students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Any undergraduate student studying at an HBCU who is interested in serving others (via community service, volunteer work, their faith, or studies in religion) may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us about yourself and how you hope to use your faith to make a positive difference in the world.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published October 24, 2021
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through your faith.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Lindsey Adams
North Carolina A & T State UniversityUpper Marlboro, MD
The desire to be a passionate servant to the community and implement a change in atmosphere was much greater than the convenience of remaining complaisant. From my timid childhood to transitioning into an assertive adult, I have shared a common goal; to provide assistance and support to their community. A personal goal of mine is to confront the challenges of all people, especially the African-American community, by highlighting the significance of educational and economical development, mental and physical health, and international and political awareness and involvement. I aspire to become a catalyst that ignites the spark of change. Growing up, I was taught the significance of academic excellence while stressing the importance of being “more than just a GPA.” Because of that influence, I have continued to find new ways to lend a helping hand to those in need while maintaining at least a 3.6 GPA. I have made it a goal to complete at least 100 hours of community service each year. Recently, I devoted my entire winter break, the months of November of 2020 to January 2021, to help students with their academic needs. Within these three months, I was able to provide 68 hours of service and 223 total within the last 24 months. Students and parents were faced with many obstacles, from technology issues to lack of motivation in students, due to the pandemic. I held group tutoring sessions weekly via zoom Monday through Friday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I also organized virtual social events to help students maintain their morale in such challenging times: movie nights via Netflix Party, educational game nights, college awareness night, and holiday decorating sessions (stockings, gingerbread houses, thanksgiving cards). In addition to tutoring students and orchestrating social events, I held webinars to teach parents how to use the online features of their students’ portal to stay on top of their child(ren)’s progress. As a result, I witnessed increased community engagement. I plan to become a pharmacist. I will create internship opportunities for minorities, focusing on Black young women and men, to explore healthcare and STEM fields. I refuse to remain silent while the voices of discrimination, exploitation, and injustice reverberate. It is not my intent to simply follow trails. It is my purpose to create new paths and dismantle boundaries that exclude the unheard.
Julien Odom
Claflin UniversityDurham, NC
I have participated in several leadership and community minded programs that exist to promote the education and well-being of students of African descent. Some of these programs include the Young Leaders Academy of Baton Rouge Inc., the NAACP Youth Development Program, and the UNCF Portfolio Project). These programs taught me leadership skills, the importance of education, and the importance of service to your community. The Young Leaders Academy of Baton Rouge Inc. is a program for young African American males to help shape and mold them to become productive citizens, local leaders, and always serve their community. My biggest takeaway from the Young Leaders Academy was community service, being my brother’s keeper, and commitment. Cultural identity is significant to people of color, because our culture was stolen due to colonization and assimilation. The NAACP Youth Development Program was a partnership between NAACP Snohomish County Branch and Everett Community College's Diversity and Equity Center. It was designed to meet the specific needs of students of African Descent. I will always be grateful for the understanding of cultural worth and value. Lastly, the UNCF Portfolio Project not only taught me the value of higher education but taught the value of representation in education. It is imperative for me to learn from individuals who look like me as well as being surrounded by those who look like me. Which is why I have applied to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This program took me through the college application process, taught me how to search and apply to scholarships, and opened my mind to possibilities of different career paths by giving me the opportunity to network with people of color in different career fields. Nevertheless, I am most grateful for the mentorship aspect of the program. Each participant in the program was assigned a mentor and even though, I have completed this program I am still able to reach out to my mentor for guidance. These mentors took time out of there day every Saturday for eleven weeks to help guide us through the entire process. Mentors reviewed college essay statements, wrote letters of recommendation, and were just there to talk to. This is another example of how service to the community is vital to ensure the success of young people. How I plan to make positive impact on the world through my faith is to following the teachings of Jesus Christ for he was about service, brotherhood, and fairness. I want to be a mentor, community leader, and advocate to those who are unrepresented & underprivileged, provide educational resources to Black students to invest in their futures and to spread the knowledge and resources in the Black community all because to be apart of America's social order!


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 16, 2022. Winners will be announced on Mar 17, 2022.

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