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Writing With a Purpose Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Carl Lamarre
2 winners, $823 each
Application Deadline
Jul 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Aug 2, 2021
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” - Arthur Schopenhauer

In such a socially dynamic world, thoughtful journalism is essential to develop an inclusive society.

The most passionate journalists, especially those who’ve witnessed various modern inequities first hand, see their writing as a mechanism of hope for people across the globe. True journalism is an art form, one that requires countless hours of thought, observation, and introspection to produce work that matters. 

The Writing With a Purpose Scholarship exists to inject hope and encouragement into African American college students looking to break into the field of journalism. The winner will receive a $1,000 award, and the runner up will receive a $500 award.

You must be a high school senior or an undergraduate African American student looking to get into journalism. 

To apply, from a journalist’s perspective, please conduct a short case study on yourself. Describe a defining moment in your life and highlight its significance for your audience in this journalistic case study.

It’s a plus if students are first-generation, are journalism majors, have volunteering experience, and have a creative writing portfolio.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Purpose, Intent, Ambition
Published February 9, 2021
Essay Topic

From a journalist's perspective, please conduct a short case study on yourself. Describe a defining moment in your life and highlight its significance for your audience in this journalistic case study.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Arrick Wilson
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia Beach, VA
In the fall of 2017, I faced one of the biggest and toughest obstacles in my life, and this obstacle that shook me to the core was that my mother developed breast cancer. When I heard that my mother had cancer, I began to have a fear of my mother's death. I was just a young fourteen-year-old timid freshman who was starting my first year in high school, and when I came to High School it was very hard for me. Starting in High School, I didn’t have that many friends because I was coming from a different Middle school than other students. As a student, I was struggling because I wasn't the best student, and I would always have bad thoughts about my Mom. The Fall semester was one of the hardest times in my life. I never told any friends or teachers about what my Mom and my family were going through. I tried to stay positive and always put my best foot forward in school. Being the kid with the complicated emotions of his mom being sick didn’t exactly fit into my peers' lives— it was heavy for me, how could I ask my friends to shoulder that burden with me? But there was always something off, and my AVID teacher, Mrs.Echols, had seen what I had been trying to hide from others— I was discouraged and unhappy about how my current situation was affecting my life. I was reluctant to tell my teacher because I didn’t want anyone to treat me differently. I then agreed to share the news with my class. After, she told them I came into the classroom with fear and worry in my heart, but I was met with hugs and applause from my classmates. From that day forward I was focused to bring my grades and make my mom proud. At the end of the school year, I brought my grades up to a 3.6 GPA, was awarded Student of the Year for my AVID class, and joined a variety of school activities. In the year 2018, my mother won her year-long battle with cancer and was healed of Breast Cancer. My life was changed forever, because of my situation. I evolved into a person who became driven with a purpose. Through my mom’s journey, I learned: in life, you have to persevere through everything, that time is not promised to anyone, and that I have to live my life with ambition, integrity, and focus. My mom’s journey also taught me that you should never give up, no matter the odds, no matter the circumstance, and continue to persevere and fight.
Kalei Nash
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityOrlando, FL
In the middle of my eighth grade year, I was identified as a person with a disability. Initially, I was told that I had a processing disability, and later found out that it was specifically a learning disability, with some ADHD mixed in. Even though I was eligible for extra help, and had to work twice as hard as my friends, I never allowed that to stop me from excelling in school, nor would I use it as a crutch to not go over and beyond my very best! I made it a priority to set goals for myself, educationally and personally. Goals are important because they become the object of a person's ambition and/or effort. The love of dance, was my first passion as a kid growing up. Throughout my high school career, my efforts paid off, as I had the privilege of participating in my school’s dance magnet, and competing in multiple dance competitions throughout the state of Florida. During the summer months, I shared my love of dance by working with my studio’s dance camp and teaching small children the art of dance, which was no easy task!!! I embraced the passion of my 1st dance teacher and wanted to provide quality dance instruction to urban girls, who would otherwise not be able to afford such formal training. My hope was that one day they too would be able to use dance as an outlet to overcome the many barriers that life would throw at them, as it had done for me. Because I have such passion for giving back to the generation coming up behind mine, I also signed up to volunteer to work with prekindergarten students on the spectrum of autism. I understood what it felt like to be different and wanted to help children learn how to turn their challenge into triumph, from an early age. Working alongside the teacher, I helped 4 year old students in using creative play to develop communication/social skills, which can be extremely hard for this population of children. While teaching them, I learned a lot about my own strengths and vulnerabilities. Their ability to trust, combined with their willingness to take risks, inspired me to reflect inward and celebrate the best parts of myself while continuing to strive for greatness. As an African American college student, breaking into the world of Journalism, I am super excited about the opportunities that lie before me. On my continuous journey of pursuing my goals, I am looking forward to earning a college degree. With this given opportunity, I will continue to be an advocate for giving back to my community, specifically to young people, like myself, who often set goals but feel as if they’re constantly unnoticed and considered a minority in society. I want to represent those voices and be the example for others to continue to keep persevering and following their dreams. As Michelle Obama once said, “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Aug 2, 2021.

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