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Chloe Adams

1415

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

As an African-American girl determined to be the first in my family to attend college, my search for scholarships will help to make this dream a reality. I will be studying political science, to help equip myself with the knowledge to become a lawyer and advocate for justice. My journey is determined by a desire to break generational cycles and uplift my community. The path ahead is challenging, but I am determined to create change and inspire others. This pursuit is not just for me, but for my family and the countless others who will benefit from the barriers I hope to break.

Education

Wingate University

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2028
  • Majors:
    • Political Science and Government
  • Minors:
    • Law

North Lincoln High School

High School
2020 - 2024
  • GPA:
    3.5

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General
    • Political Science and Government
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      My long-term career goals start with earning a degree in political science, which will lay the foundation for my ambitions. I aspire to become a lawyer dedicated to advocating for wrongfully convicted African-Americans, fighting for justice and equality in the legal system. Alternatively, I aim to secure a position in government, where I can influence policies and drive systemic change. Whether in the courtroom or the halls of government, my ultimate goal is to create a more just and equitable society.

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Politics

      Hines Scholarship
      College represents more than just an academic pursuit for me; it is a profound symbol of change, hope, and empowerment. Growing up as the youngest of six siblings, I have watched my five older sisters navigate life without the benefits of higher education. Like my parents, they have faced numerous challenges, often exacerbated by the lack of a college degree. My mother and father, despite their immense wisdom and resilience, never had the opportunity to attend college. Witnessing their struggles has deeply influenced my desire to break this generational cycle. The decision to pursue a college education is driven by a multitude of factors, all deeply personal and intertwined with my family's history. Being the first in my family to attend college is not merely about obtaining a degree; it is about setting a new precedent and showing my sisters and future generations that higher education is attainable and transformative. I want to inspire them, and others in similar circumstances, to dream beyond the limitations that have traditionally bound us. My ambition to become a lawyer is rooted in a deeply personal experience that has profoundly shaped my life. My father was wrongfully convicted, an injustice that exposed the systemic flaws in our legal system, particularly affecting African Americans. His ordeal revealed to me the critical need for passionate and dedicated advocates who can fight for those unjustly accused and convicted. I want to be that advocate. By becoming a lawyer, I aim to champion the rights of wrongfully convicted African Americans, ensuring that their voices are heard and their lives are restored. Furthermore, I am acutely aware of the importance of representation. As an African American woman, I have often felt the pressure of societal expectations and the weight of invisibility. My journey through college and into the legal profession is not just for personal fulfillment; it is also about visibility and representation. I want to be a role model for other African American women, demonstrating that we can and should occupy spaces of influence and power. It is crucial for young African American women to see themselves reflected in positions of authority, to know that their voices matter, and to feel empowered to use them. College, for me, is a gateway to achieving these goals. It is the first step towards acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to effect real change. Education is a powerful tool that can dismantle barriers and open doors previously closed to us. It will equip me with the critical thinking and legal expertise needed to navigate and challenge the complexities of our judicial system. Moreover, the college experience itself is invaluable. It offers a unique environment to engage with diverse perspectives, to learn from both peers and professors, and to grow intellectually and personally. It is a place where I can refine my understanding of justice and advocacy, and develop a network of like-minded individuals committed to similar causes. In conclusion, attending college is not just a personal aspiration but a profound statement against the systemic limitations that have historically constrained my family and community. It is about breaking cycles, advocating for justice, and empowering African American women. By becoming a lawyer, I intend to fight for those who have been wronged and ensure that our voices are no longer silenced. College is the first step on this journey, and I am determined to take it, not just for myself, but for my family, my community, and the future generations that will follow.
      Nell’s Will Scholarship
      Growing up as an African American in today's world has meant confronting systemic inequalities that permeate every aspect of life, including the justice system. My father's wrongful conviction happens to be a strong example of this injustice, and its aftermath has profoundly shaped my family's journey, especially in financial terms. When my father was incarcerated, my mother became the sole provider for six children—my twin brother, four older sisters, and me. Overnight, our household income drastically decreased, plunging us into a precarious financial situation. My mother was now faced with the daunting task of ensuring our basic needs were met while navigating the complexities of raising a large family on her own. As I prepare to begin my first year of college, the decision to study political science is deeply rooted in my experiences. Witnessing the devastating impact of systemic injustice firsthand has fueled my passion for understanding and challenging these issues through education and advocacy. Political science offers me the academic foundation to explore the mechanisms of power, policy-making, and social change—tools I believe are crucial for dismantling the inequities that continue to affect marginalized communities like mine. The financial strain caused by my father's incarceration has posed significant obstacles to my aspirations for higher education. My twin brother and I dream of attending college to pursue our respective passions and contribute meaningfully to society. However, the financial burden on my mother has made this dream seem increasingly distant. Scholarships, like the one I am applying for, offer more than just financial relief; they represent hope and opportunity. By alleviating the financial pressures on my family, this scholarship would allow me to pursue my education without compromising on my goals and aspirations. Beyond personal ambitions, my desire to study political science is driven by a commitment to effecting positive change in the world. I aspire to use my education and experiences to advocate for policies that promote equity and justice for all. The injustices my family has faced have ignited a fire within me to challenge the status quo and work towards creating a more inclusive and fair society. In conclusion, while the journey shaped by my father's wrongful conviction and its financial repercussions has been strenuous, it has also fueled my determination to make a difference. This scholarship represents an opportunity not only to ease the financial burden on my family but also to empower me to pursue my dreams and contribute to meaningful societal change. I am eager to start this next chapter of my life, confident that with dedication and support, I can contribute to a future where justice and equality are accessible to all, regardless of race or background.
      CEW IV Foundation Scholarship Program
      Growing up as an African American in a predominantly white county has profoundly shaped my worldview and life ambitions. My earliest memories are marked by the tragic and unjust event of my father's wrongful conviction when I was very young. This incident not only tore my family apart but also exposed me to the harsh realities of racial injustice at a very young age. My father's conviction was not based on solid evidence but rather on the color of his skin. His absence left a void in our family that was impossible to fill. My mother found herself as the sole provider for me, my twin brother, and our four older sisters. The financial burden was overwhelming. My mother took on multiple jobs, working long hours just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Despite her tireless efforts, we often faced periods of financial instability that made our situation even more precarious. Living in a predominantly white county, I often stood out in my schools and community. This visibility often subjected me to overt and covert forms of racism. In elementary school, I experienced exclusion and name-calling from classmates. These experiences, were just the beginning. As I entered high school, the discrimination became more pronounced and institutionalized. Teachers frequently doubted my abilities and set lower expectations for me. I recall numerous occasions where my twin brother and I were unjustly singled out for disciplinary actions, while our white peers were given leniency for similar behaviors. These experiences deeply affected me and instilled in me a strong sense of injustice and a desire for change. Witnessing my father’s wrongful conviction and enduring daily acts of discrimination fueled my determination to understand the roots of these injustices and to fight against them. All of my experiences and memories are what have led me to pursue a degree in political science in college, where I hope to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make a difference. I believe that college will be an enlightening journey. It will provide me with the theoretical and practical tools to analyze and address the systemic issues that perpetuate racial injustice. I strongly believe my studies will help me understand the complexities of our legal and political systems and how they often fail minorities. Through the coursework, internships, and my future involvement in activist organizations, I know I will become increasingly committed to advocating for the wrongfully convicted and fighting against racial discrimination. My goal is to use my education and experiences to enact meaningful change. I want to work towards reforming the criminal justice system to ensure that no one else has to endure the pain and suffering that my family went through. This includes advocating for policies that address racial biases, providing legal support to those wrongfully convicted, and raising awareness about the deep-seated impact of systemic racism. Racial injustice has undeniably shaped my life. It has presented significant challenges that have tested my resilience and strength, but it has also given me a powerful sense of purpose. I am determined to be a voice for those who have been silenced by a prejudiced system. My journey is driven by a desire for justice and equity, and I am committed to fighting for a future where racial injustice is a thing of the past. Through my studies and future career, I aim to honor my father's struggle and ensure that his suffering, and that of many others, was not in vain.
      Ryan T. Herich Memorial Scholarship
      As I approach adulthood, the weight of responsibility feels heavy. I'm Chloe Adams, a senior in high school, and I'm facing the challenges of life as a young Black woman with big dreams. Growing up with my twin brother Cameron, we've dealt with a lot, but we're determined to overcome it and create a better future for ourselves and our family. Growing up, I saw the criminal justice system's flaws firsthand. My dad, who was the heart of our family, was wrongly convicted of a crime he didn't commit. It was devastating. Not only did we miss him terribly, but it also put a huge financial strain on us. His record made finding work impossible, so my mom had to work extra hard to keep things going, not only for me and my twin brother. But also for our four older sisters. Even though things were tough, my mom always taught us to be strong, never give up, and value education. She made so many sacrifices for us, and that's why Cameron and I are so focused on learning and empowering ourselves. In high school, I found my passion for political science. I realized it's a way to make a difference and fight for people who are treated unfairly. One of my aspirations is to attend college and pursue a degree in political science. My focus goes beyond personal aspirations; my mission is to fight for justice. Having personally witnessed the trials and tribulations that my family has undergone, as well as the stories of many others who have gone through similar ordeals, it has become glaringly apparent to me that the system is in dire need of repair. To fight for the rights of those unjustly incarcerated, I intend to apply my education in a manner that specifically addresses the systemic issues faced by African Americans, drawing upon the personal connection I have through my father’s own experiences. College applications were coming up, but I knew money was tight. My mom was already doing everything she could to keep us afloat, and the idea of adding college costs on top of that felt impossible. It was like my dream was right there, but I couldn't reach it. I wasn't going to give up. I knew money was tight, but I was determined to find a way. I spent hours researching scholarships, writing essays, and helping babysit kids in my community. It was a lot of work, but slowly, I started getting support from different places. It felt like I was finally getting closer to realizing my dream of college. Graduation is coming up, and I can't believe how far I've come. It wasn't easy, but I never gave up. I'm so grateful for my family and everyone who helped me along the way. I'm proof that you can achieve your dreams, no matter what. Looking ahead, I am filled with a sense of purpose and anticipation for the challenges and triumphs that await me. Armed with the knowledge, skills, and passion to effect change, I am committed to leveraging my education to advocate for justice, equality, and empowerment for all. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” With every step I take, I am determined to wield this weapon with precision and purpose, forging a brighter and more just future for generations to come.
      Alicea Sperstad Rural Writer Scholarship
      In today’s society, where my perspectives as an African American teenage girl are often overlooked or dismissed, I recognize writing as an indispensable means of self-expression, enabling me to make my voice heard and challenge the status quo. The act of writing serves as an incredibly potent outlet for me, providing me with the means to express and convey my thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Through this medium, I can reclaim my narrative and assert my presence in spaces where I am often marginalized, thereby empowering myself. Writing provides me with a platform to confront and challenge prevailing narratives, especially in a society that frequently fails to acknowledge the complexities of my identity and the unique challenges I encounter as a young black woman. By utilizing different literary genres such as poetry, prose, and personal essays, I possess the capacity to effectively communicate the intricacies of my encounters, thereby shedding light on crucial issues like racial inequality, gender discrimination, and social injustice. By using my words, I can give a louder voice to those who have been silenced and actively support the pursuit of impactful transformation. Growing up as an African American girl, I've encountered countless instances where my voice was disregarded or invalidated simply because of my race or gender. Whether it was being talked over in classroom discussions, overlooked for leadership opportunities, or subjected to harmful stereotypes, I've often felt like my perspective was invisible in mainstream discourse. However, through writing, I have found a means to reclaim my agency and assert my identity on my terms. The act of writing provides me with a valuable opportunity to document my experiences and engage in critical analysis of the ways systemic oppression manifests in my daily life. The ability to process the complexities of my identity and navigate the world with a sense of purpose and resilience is something that this enables me to do. When I share my stories and fearlessly speak my truth, I can disrupt societal expectations and motivate others to wholeheartedly embrace and celebrate their own identities without hesitation. Additionally, writing not only serves as a means of empowerment but also allows me to develop and express my voice, fostering a sense of belonging within a community of individuals who face similar challenges. Through the use of online platforms, I can engage with a diverse community of writers, activists, and allies who are dedicated to the important task of dismantling systems of oppression and fostering the development of a more inclusive society. Together, we can amplify our collective voices and effect meaningful change in our communities and beyond. As an African American teenage girl, writing is not just a hobby or a form of self-expression—it is a form of resistance. It is a way for me to reclaim my power and challenge the status quo, asserting my right to be seen and heard in a world that often seeks to silence me. Through my words, I can shape narratives, challenge stereotypes, and advocate for justice, paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive future for future generations. Writing is my weapon of choice in a society that often seeks to diminish my worth, empowering me to stand tall and speak my truth with unwavering courage and conviction.
      A Man Helping Women Helping Women Scholarship
      I became a member of the "Young Feminist Voices" club at my school in 2022. Our club aimed to raise awareness about the challenges that teenage girls face in today's society. We held multiple presentations during school to speak out about being a female in today's society. During one of our presentations, we discussed various topics, including the dress code. We highlighted the issue of the dress code being disproportionately enforced on female students, while male students were allowed to wear clothing such as "wife beaters" without a problem. It concerned us that a female student could be called out for "distracting" others if she showed a bit of stomach or shoulder, while male students faced no such scrutiny. We also touched on the topic of societal and social pressures faced by young adolescents. It's no secret that social media has a significant impact on the mental health of teenage girls, with many striving to match the idealized images they see online. This often leads to unhealthy eating habits, excessive makeup use, and even photo editing to conform to the perceived beauty standards of society. As a young woman myself, I can personally attest to the immense pressure to conform to these unrealistic expectations. It's challenging not to get lost in your thoughts when society seemingly demands that you change your appearance to fit in with the crowd. Another topic we spoke about during our presentation was teenage pregnancy. In this generation, whenever people find out that a teenage girl is pregnant, she is now labeled a slut and a whore. However, whenever they find out that a teenage boy is expecting a child, they praise him for staying in the child’s life instead of leaving. This goes to show how girls are held to ridiculously increased standards, but the standards are lowered sufficiently for teenage guys. Another purpose for the young feminist voices club was to raise awareness for women in society as well. We spoke about rape, harassment in the workplace, unequal pay, systematic disadvantages when it comes to promotions, full legal protection in certain countries, domestic violence, and more. However, not only did we speak of domestic violence against women, but we were also able to raise and donate over $500 to our local domestic violence shelter. Joining this club has influenced my plans because I want to make sure that young girls and women are treated fairly in this society. As a teenage girl navigating the complexities of adolescence, my ambition goes beyond personal success—it's about becoming a force for change in the lives of those who face adversity due to their gender and the systemic biases that lead to wrongful imprisonments. I want a future where legal advocacy becomes a catalyst for empowerment, breaking down the barriers that unfairly confine and restrict opportunities. The stories of pioneering African American women in the legal field have inspired me. Figures like Constance Baker Motley and Thurgood Marshall have paved the way for justice, leaving footprints that guide my path. Their legacies are a testament to the transformative impact a single individual can have in the pursuit of equality and justice. This journey is not only personal but a dedication to creating a more just and inclusive society where every young woman can thrive, unburdened by the limitations imposed by societal norms.
      Chris Ford Scholarship
      Growing up as an African-American teenage girl, my life took an unexpected turn when my father was wrongfully incarcerated during my childhood. This unjust event shook our family's foundation. Although my mother and father weren’t married or even dating when my brother and I were conceived, his imprisonment left my mother undeniably alone in raising us, as well as her other four children. My father was released from prison when I had just begun kindergarten, and even though he's no longer in prison, the financial strain that was placed on my mother during his incarceration has not lessened. It's no secret that people with criminal records have a hard time finding employment after being released, and this is the harsh reality of my life now. My mom has to find a way to put my twin brother and me through college on her own for the next four years. Witnessing my mother's tireless efforts to make ends meet, I felt a deep sense of admiration and gratitude. Despite the challenges she faced, she never lost sight of her determination to provide us with opportunities for a better future. Her sacrifices became a driving force in my life, fueling my ambition to pursue higher education and make a difference in the world. As I approached the pivotal decision of choosing a college major, I found myself drawn to the field of criminal justice. Inspired by my father's wrongful conviction and fueled by the hardships my family endured, I am determined to become a lawyer and advocate for those who have been unjustly treated by the legal system. Being raised by a single mother has made me who I am today. Seeing her financial struggles throughout my life is why I want to fight for the rights of women, who often face discrimination and inequality, and to seek justice for the wrongfully convicted African Americans like my father. I fully grasp that the journey to college will undoubtedly be riddled with challenges, yet my determination will never waver. I'm acutely aware of the relentless effort required to excel academically, as well as the necessity to vigorously pursue numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities to lessen the burden on my family. Despite the daunting obstacles, I will maintain my focus on the ultimate goal, recognizing that my education is not just a conduit to personal success but also a powerful tool to bring about meaningful societal change. I am prepared to face these hurdles head-on, fortified by the knowledge that every step I take is a stride toward a brighter future for both myself and my community. As I begin this journey towards my bachelor's degree in criminal justice, I am filled with a sense of purpose and determination. I am driven by the belief that every individual deserves access to justice and equality, regardless of their race, gender, or socioeconomic status. I am committed to using my education and privilege to advocate for those who have been marginalized and oppressed by an unjust system. My mother's resilience and perseverance have shaped me into the person I am today, and I am determined to honor her sacrifices by making a difference in the world. With her unwavering support and the strength of my convictions, I know that I can overcome any obstacle and make a meaningful impact in the fight for justice.
      Onward and Upward Scholarship
      As an African American teenage girl, my dream is to become a beacon of hope and justice for wrongfully imprisoned people of color, while also advocating for women's rights and equality in our society. Growing up in a community where many faced systemic injustices, I witnessed firsthand the disparities in our legal system. These experiences ignited a passion within me to pursue a career in law, where I can work towards dismantling these oppressive structures. The first step in my pursuit of this dream is embarking on an educational journey. My main goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from a reputable college, and I am fully committed to making it happen. By participating in this foundation, I will gain the expertise and abilities needed to grasp the complexities of the legal system and its far-reaching consequences on marginalized communities. I am committed to excelling academically, as I believe education is the key to unlocking doors of opportunity. While I understand the importance of theoretical knowledge, I acknowledge that it is not enough on its own to bring about meaningful change. As a result, I intend to enhance my education by gaining practical experience by participating in internships. By participating in these internships, I will have the opportunity to gain firsthand exposure to the intricate operations of the legal system, which will enable me to observe and understand the various challenges and injustices encountered by marginalized individuals. I aspire to participate in these experiences, as I believe they will provide me with valuable insights that can greatly influence my future advocacy initiatives. My plan, after completing my undergraduate studies and gaining practical experience through internships, is to pursue a law degree by attending law school. By enrolling in law school, I will not only enhance my understanding of legal principles but also acquire the necessary credentials to become a practicing lawyer. I am fully aware that the process of going through law school will be rigorous and demanding, but I am fully prepared to face these difficulties with determination. During the duration of my legal education, my primary goal is to prioritize courses and seek out opportunities that are in line with my deep passion for social justice. I aim to focus my specialization on criminal law, specifically advocating for individuals of color who have been wrongfully imprisoned. In addition, it is important to note that my dedication to promoting women’s rights and equality extends beyond just the legal profession, encompassing various aspects of society. While starting this journey, I am aware of the potential challenges that may come my way. As an African American woman, I am acutely aware of the systemic barriers that exist within the legal profession. However, I refuse to let these obstacles deter me from pursuing my dreams. Instead, I view them as opportunities to challenge the status quo and pave the way for future generations of aspiring lawyers. My ultimate goal is to achieve personal success and leverage my privilege and platform to uplift those who have been marginalized and oppressed by society. I am convinced that by working as a lawyer to defend wrongly incarcerated people of color and advocating for women’s rights and equality, I can help build a fairer and more equal world for everyone.
      Curtis Holloway Memorial Scholarship
      My childhood was spent in a bustling household led by a single mother, a warrior in her own right, who single-handedly raised six spirited children, my twin brother and myself included. The journey wasn't smooth; financial hardship was our unwelcome, persistent shadow, and the burden of providing and caring for us all rested squarely on my mother's capable but overburdened shoulders. Yet, in the face of every challenge, she stood unwavering and unyielding, a lighthouse of strength and resilience amidst our stormy seas. Her actions, steeped in love and fierce determination, became my most treasured education. She imparted lessons not found in textbooks but in the very essence of her being—lessons of perseverance, unwavering determination, and the power of facing life's adversities with a steadfast heart. My mother's incredible determination, her unyielding resolve to provide for us, her children, in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, has been the bedrock of my entire childhood and the essence of the values I hold dear today. Her tireless efforts and selfless sacrifices have been a living lesson in resilience and perseverance, teaching me the vital lesson that surrender is never an option no matter how formidable the obstacles before me. Her example has been a guiding light, showing me that overcoming life's hurdles is not just a possibility, but a certainty with enough grit and determination. Although I’m not the oldest child, I have witnessed firsthand the sacrifices my mother has made to ensure that we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. Despite the financial constraints, she always emphasized the importance of education as a pathway to a better future. It is because of her unwavering belief in the power of education that I am determined to break the generational cycle of none of us going to college. My twin brother, raised in the same environment, has faced his own set of challenges. However, witnessing my mother's resilience has inspired him to strive for a better future as well. He looks up to her as a role model, just as I do, and together we are determined to make her proud by pursuing higher education. The sacrifices my single mother made to keep our ship afloat served as a poignant reminder of the resilience that runs in our veins. In my junior year of high school I began babysitting for family and neighbors after school, on weekends, and whenever I was free, to save up money to help my mom pay for my upcoming college education. The possibility of becoming the first in my family to earn a degree became a source of pride, but it's coupled with the reality that the journey will be paved with financial hardship. My decision to go to college is not just about personal fulfillment; it is about breaking the cycle of poverty and creating opportunities for future generations. Despite the financial hardships we have faced, my family's love and support have been unwavering. Together, we have weathered the storms and emerged stronger and more resilient. My mother's tireless efforts and unwavering determination have shaped me into the person I am today, instilling in me the belief that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. As I embark on this journey to break the cycle of poverty and pursue higher education, I carry with me the lessons of resilience and determination that my mother has imparted to me. She is not just my biggest influence; she is my guiding light, leading me toward a brighter future.
      Spaghetti and Butter Scholarship
      My childhood was spent in a bustling household led by a single mother, a warrior in her own right, who single-handedly raised six spirited children, my twin brother and myself included. The journey wasn't smooth; financial hardship was our unwelcome, persistent shadow, and the burden of providing and caring for us all rested squarely on my mother's capable but overburdened shoulders. Yet, in the face of every challenge, she stood unwavering and unyielding, a lighthouse of strength and resilience amidst our stormy seas. Her actions, steeped in love and fierce determination, became my most treasured education. She imparted lessons not found in textbooks but in the very essence of her being—lessons of perseverance, unwavering determination, and the power of facing life's adversities with a steadfast heart. My mother's incredible determination, her unyielding resolve to provide for us, her children, in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, has been the bedrock of my entire childhood and the essence of the values I hold dear today. Her tireless efforts and selfless sacrifices have been a living lesson in resilience and perseverance, teaching me the vital lesson that surrender is never an option no matter how formidable the obstacles before me. Her example has been a guiding light, showing me that overcoming life's hurdles is not just a possibility, but a certainty with enough grit and determination. Although I’m not the oldest child, I have witnessed firsthand the sacrifices my mother has made to ensure that we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. The sacrifices my single mother made to keep our ship afloat are a reminder of the resilience that runs in our veins. During my junior year of high school I began babysitting for family and neighbors after school, on weekends, and whenever I was free, to save up money to help my mom pay for my upcoming college education. The pursuit of scholarships was a testament not only to my achievements but also to the tenacity born from overcoming life's obstacles. The possibility of becoming the first in my family to earn a degree is my goal, but it's coupled with the reality that the journey will be paved with financial hardship. Despite the financial constraints, my mother always emphasized the importance of education as a pathway to a better future. Because of her unwavering belief in the power of education, I am determined to break the generational cycle of none of us going to college. My twin brother, raised in the same environment, has faced his own set of challenges. However, witnessing my mother's resilience has inspired him to strive for a better future as well. He looks up to her as a role model, just as I do, and together we are determined to make her proud by pursuing higher education. The decision to go to college is not just about personal fulfillment; it is about breaking the cycle of poverty and creating opportunities for future generations. Despite the financial hardships we have faced, my family's love and support have been unwavering. Together, we have weathered the storms and emerged stronger and more resilient. My mother's tireless efforts and unwavering determination have shaped me into the person I am today, instilling in me the belief that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. As I begin this journey to break the cycle of poverty and pursue higher education, I carry with me the lessons of resilience and determination instilled in me. She is not just my biggest influence; she is my guiding light, leading me toward a brighter future.
      Mental Health Importance Scholarship
      High school is a whirlwind of stress and expectations, and as a senior, I've come to appreciate the importance of prioritizing my mental health amidst the chaos. The pressure to excel academically is relentless, with every grade feeling like a step towards an uncertain future. Balancing this with the daunting task of applying to colleges and seeking scholarships can be overwhelming at times, leaving me feeling overstimulated and emotionally drained. During this hectic period, I've come to understand the critical importance of setting aside personal time to foster my psychological well-being. As the burden of academic responsibilities increases and the pressing due dates for college submissions mount, I've developed a set of strategies to effectively manage the pressures. Engaging in tranquil walks amidst the greenery, committing my inner reflections to paper, or losing myself in activities that bring me joy, these instances of quietude are my sanctuary. They grant me the opportunity to step back, alleviate stress, and rejuvenate my spirit, ensuring I'm prepared to face the next set of challenges with a rested mind and renewed energy. Recognizing the signs of burnout and overwhelm has become second nature to me. When I start to feel the familiar pang of anxiety creeping in, I know it's time to hit pause and prioritize self-care. Sometimes it's as simple as stepping away from my desk and taking a few deep breaths, reminding myself that it's okay to take breaks and recharge. Other times, I turn to meditation and mindfulness exercises to quiet the relentless chatter in my mind and ground myself in the present moment. Amidst the hustle of senior year, with all its deadlines and expectations, I've put in the work to draw some clear lines in the sand for myself. I've been picking and choosing what I give my time to, making sure I'm only saying 'yes' to the stuff that lights me up inside. It's been pretty amazing to learn the power of 'no', to feel like I'm the one calling the shots on how I spend my days and who gets a piece of my energy. I know that there's always going to be that voice in the back of my head pushing me towards that shiny idea of being perfect, making me think I should be piling more on my plate. But this year has led me to self-prioritize and stop chasing perfection as if I’m running on a treadmill that's going way too fast. Steering through the rough seas of high school has been a lesson in endurance and autonomy. Dedicating time to my mental well-being has armed me with an arsenal of strategies to stand firm against the gales of life's challenges. As I begin this new phase of my journey, I carry with me the invaluable lessons gleaned from prioritizing self-care. Amid life's chaotic whirlwind, I've come to realize that safeguarding my mental well-being is paramount—it serves as a steadfast anchor, grounding me amidst the turbulence of daily existence. This profound understanding has illuminated the importance of nurturing myself holistically, ensuring that I am equipped to navigate whatever challenges lie ahead with resilience and clarity of mind.
      Sunshine Legall Scholarship
      I became a member of the "Young Feminist Voices" club at my school in 2022. Our club aimed to raise awareness about the challenges that teenage girls face in today's society. We held multiple presentations at our school where we spoke on many different societal issues today for females. During one of our conversations, we touched upon the topic of societal and social pressures faced by young adolescents. It's no secret that social media has a significant impact on the mental health of teenage girls, with many striving to match the idealized images they see online. This often leads to unhealthy eating habits, excessive makeup use, and even photo editing to conform to the perceived beauty standards of society. Another topic we spoke about during our presentation was teenage pregnancy. In this society, whenever people find out that a teenage girl is pregnant, she is now labeled a slut and a whore. However, whenever they find out that a teenage boy is expecting a child, they praise him for staying in the child’s life instead of leaving. This goes to show how girls are held to ridiculously increased standards, but the standards are lowered sufficiently for teenage guys. Another example of these extremely high standards set for teenage girls during teenage pregnancy would be abortion. If a teenage girl were to get an abortion instead of having the baby people would make fun of her and throw it in her face because she chose to have an abortion but if she were to keep the baby as I said earlier, she would still be called many horrible names. In this society, there’s no real way for a teenage girl to win. Another purpose for the young feminist voices club was to raise awareness for women in society as well. We spoke about rape, harassment in the workplace, unequal pay, systematic disadvantages when it comes to promotions, full legal protection in certain countries, domestic violence, and more. However, not only did we speak of domestic violence against women, but we were also able to raise and donate over $500 to our local domestic violence shelter. As a teenage girl navigating the complexities of adolescence, my ambition goes beyond personal success—it's about becoming a force for change in the lives of those who face adversity due to their gender and the systemic biases that lead to wrongful imprisonments. I want a future where legal advocacy becomes a catalyst for empowerment, breaking down the barriers that unfairly confine and restrict opportunities. The stories of pioneering African American women in the legal field have inspired me. Figures like Constance Baker Motley and Thurgood Marshall have paved the way for justice, leaving footprints that guide my path. Their legacies are a testament to the transformative impact a single individual can have in the pursuit of equality and justice. This journey is not only personal but a dedication to creating a more just and inclusive society where every young woman can thrive, unburdened by the limitations imposed by societal norms.
      Scholar Budget Define Your Dream Scholarship
      As an African American teenage girl, my dream is to become a beacon of hope and justice for wrongfully imprisoned people of color, while also advocating for women's rights and equality in our society. Growing up in a community where many faced systemic injustices, I witnessed firsthand the disparities in our legal system. These experiences ignited a passion within me to pursue a career in law, where I can work towards dismantling these oppressive structures. The first step in my pursuit of this dream is embarking on an educational journey. My main goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from a reputable college, and I am fully committed to making it happen. By participating in this foundation, I will gain the expertise and abilities needed to grasp the complexities of the legal system and its far-reaching consequences on marginalized communities. I am committed to excelling academically, as I believe education is the key to unlocking doors of opportunity. While I understand the importance of theoretical knowledge, I acknowledge that it is not enough on its own to bring about meaningful change. As a result, I intend to enhance my education by gaining practical experience by participating in internships. By participating in these internships, I will have the opportunity to gain firsthand exposure to the intricate operations of the legal system, which will enable me to observe and understand the various challenges and injustices encountered by marginalized individuals. I aspire to participate in these experiences, as I believe they will provide me with valuable insights that can greatly influence my future advocacy initiatives. My plan, after completing my undergraduate studies and gaining practical experience through internships, is to pursue a law degree by attending law school. By enrolling in law school, I will not only enhance my understanding of legal principles but also acquire the necessary credentials to become a practicing lawyer. I am fully aware that the process of going through law school will be rigorous and demanding, but I am fully prepared to face these difficulties with determination. During the duration of my legal education, my primary goal is to prioritize courses and seek out opportunities that are in line with my deep passion for social justice. I aim to focus my specialization on criminal law, specifically advocating for individuals of color who have been wrongfully imprisoned. In addition, it is important to note that my dedication to promoting women’s rights and equality extends beyond just the legal profession, encompassing various aspects of society. While starting this journey, I am aware of the potential challenges that may come my way. As an African American woman, I am acutely aware of the systemic barriers that exist within the legal profession. However, I refuse to let these obstacles deter me from pursuing my dreams. Instead, I view them as opportunities to challenge the status quo and pave the way for future generations of aspiring lawyers. My ultimate goal is to achieve personal success and leverage my privilege and platform to uplift those who have been marginalized and oppressed by society. I am convinced that by working as a lawyer to defend wrongly incarcerated people of color and advocating for women’s rights and equality, I can help build a fairer and more equal world for everyone.
      Margalie Jean-Baptiste Scholarship
      As an African American teenage girl, my aspirations are driven by a fervent desire to become a beacon of hope and justice for wrongfully imprisoned individuals of color, while simultaneously advocating for women's rights and equality in our society. Growing up in a community where systemic injustices were rampant, I bore witness to the glaring disparities within our legal system. These formative experiences ignited a passion within me, propelling me towards a career in law where I could work tirelessly to dismantle these oppressive structures. The initial step in my pursuit of this noble dream involves embarking on an educational journey. My primary objective is to attain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from a reputable college, and I am wholly dedicated to achieving this goal. Through this educational foundation, I aim to acquire the necessary expertise and skills to comprehend the intricate workings of the legal system and its profound impact on marginalized communities. I firmly believe that education serves as the key to unlocking doors of opportunity, and I am committed to excelling academically. Recognizing that theoretical knowledge alone is insufficient in effecting meaningful change, I plan to supplement my education by participating in internships. These invaluable experiences will afford me firsthand exposure to the complexities of the legal system, enabling me to witness and understand the myriad challenges faced by marginalized individuals. I eagerly anticipate these internships, as I believe they will provide me with invaluable insights that will inform my future advocacy endeavors. Following the completion of my undergraduate studies and the accumulation of practical experience through internships, my next step is to pursue a law degree by attending law school. By enrolling in law school, I aim to deepen my understanding of legal principles and attain the credentials necessary to practice law. Though I am mindful of the rigorous demands of legal education, I approach this challenge with unwavering determination. Throughout my legal education, my primary focus will be on courses and opportunities aligned with my fervent passion for social justice. I intend to specialize in criminal law, with a particular emphasis on advocating for individuals of color who have been wrongfully imprisoned. Additionally, my dedication to promoting women’s rights and equality extends beyond the confines of the legal profession, permeating various facets of society. As I begin this transformative journey, I am cognizant of the potential challenges that lie ahead. As an African American woman, I am keenly aware of the systemic barriers entrenched within the legal profession. However, I refuse to allow these obstacles to deter me from pursuing my aspirations. Instead, I view them as opportunities to challenge the status quo and pave the way for future generations of aspiring lawyers. Ultimately, my overarching goal is to achieve personal success and utilize my privilege and platform to uplift those who have been marginalized and oppressed by society. Through my work as a lawyer, defending wrongly incarcerated individuals of color and advocating for women’s rights and equality, I endeavor to contribute to the creation of a fairer and more equitable world for all.
      Francis E. Moore Prime Time Ministries Scholarship
      Winner
      As a teenage girl, my journey has been marked by adversity, but it's adversity that fuels my determination to make a difference. Growing up, my family faced the harsh reality of wrongful imprisonment when my father was unjustly incarcerated. Although my mother and father were never together, his imprisonment led my mother single-handedly to raise my twin brother and me. During the years my father was confined behind those unyielding walls, I was but a child, naive to the depth of his trials and tribulations. His struggles, a distant reality, were veiled from my youthful comprehension. Yet, as the hands of time have ushered me into my eighteenth year, my eyes have been pried open to the harsh truths that incarceration bestows upon a person. Witnessing the aftermath of prison's grip on him has been a revelation, stirring within me a profound awakening. It is this very awakening that has ignited a fire in my soul, compelling me to transform the anguish my father endured into a catalyst for purpose, for change, and for hope. Throughout high school, I dedicated myself wholeheartedly to my academic pursuits. I selected courses that promised to construct a robust groundwork for the ambitious future I envisioned. My mother, in the face of financial pressures, became a paragon of tireless effort and unwavering commitment to ensure that my twin brother and I had the resources we needed to thrive. Her relentless dedication and the sacrifices she made served as a powerful lesson in resilience and perseverance, deeply ingrained these values within me. Witnessing her strength and resolve only fortified my determination to not merely succeed, but to excel in honor of her efforts. As graduation approaches, I am overwhelmed with a pressing need to chase after my dreams. After being accepted into many schools, the decision of where I continue my education is crucial as this decision will affect the education I gain while pursuing my bachelor's degree in criminal justice, viewing it as a pivotal step towards my ultimate ambition of specializing in wrongful conviction law as a lawyer. The journey before me may seem intimidating, yet I will not allow trepidation to be an obstacle. My father's steadfast resilience and his unshakeable faith in justice, despite numerous adversities, serve as my wellspring of courage. After his incarceration, my father instilled in me the strength and determination that propels me forward to champion the cause of justice. In my pursuit of justice, I am driven by a desire to ensure that no family has to endure the pain of wrongful imprisonment. I am determined to challenge the systemic injustices that disproportionately affect marginalized communities, and to be a voice for those who have been silenced by a flawed system. But my journey is not just about seeking justice for others—it's also about reclaiming my narrative. My father's imprisonment does not define me, but it has shaped my determination to create a better future, not just for myself, but for those who have been denied justice. Although my father is my number one inspiration, individuals like Bryan Stevenson, who tirelessly advocate for justice and challenge the inequalities embedded in the legal system, inspire my journey as well. Their courage in the face of adversity serves as a beacon of hope, reminding me of the transformative impact one person can have on the lives of many.
      Michael Mattera Jr. Memorial Scholarship
      In 2021 when I was 15 I went to the mall with a couple of friends. We had such a good time. Before we left we sat down and had frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog. A couple of minutes before we started to leave everyone in the mall began screaming and running and like everyone else my friends and I began running in the same direction as everyone else. Once my friends and I realized what was going on we ran to the closet store to wait for our parents. We began heading toward the store as we heard the worker allowing people to come in by saying “Come in! Come in!” but whenever we got close to the entrance of the store the worker blocked the entrance from us and yelled “No not you!” and didn't allow us in the store. Instead of going to a different store, we decided to head outside and try to find our parents but whenever we tried to exit the mall we were stopped and grabbed by five officers and accused of being a part of “those people who started the brawl”. We were escorted outside and questioned about who started the brawl and why the brawl had started. We were in the police car for over an hour while the officers went through our phones without letting us call our parents and tell them where we were. This was the same year Marvin David Scott III was killed by the police. Being a 17-year-old African-American teenager living in a world where I have to wonder if the next time I see a police officer will they serve and protect me or if they will fear and harm me is what has pointed me in the direction of a career in law. It's my goal to become a lawyer and address the systemic issues that plague the African American community, particularly wrongful imprisonments. Witnessing the devastating impact of unjust incarceration on families within my community has fueled my commitment to dismantling racial disparities within the legal system. Individuals like Bryan Stevenson, who tirelessly advocate for justice and challenge the inequalities embedded in the legal system, inspire my journey. Their courage in the face of adversity serves as a beacon of hope, reminding me of the transformative impact one person can have on the lives of many. My pursuit is not merely about securing legal victories; it is about restoring dignity, reuniting families, and reshaping the narrative for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. It is about creating a legal landscape where the presumption of innocence is upheld, and justice is blind to the color of one's skin. As a teenager with aspirations reaching beyond the confines of adolescence, I see myself not only as a future lawyer but as a beacon of hope. I am committed to fostering opportunities for young women, providing them with the knowledge and skills to defy societal constraints. Education becomes the cornerstone of my advocacy, a means to empower individuals to challenge and overcome the adversity they face. Becoming a lawyer is not just a career choice; it is a declaration of intent to stand against injustice. I am inspired by the belief that my voice, amplified through the legal system, can contribute to a fair and equitable society.
      C.L. Scholarship of Black Women in Engineering
      Simone Biles' assertion, "The best kind of people are the ones who inspire others to be better," reverberates profoundly within me, sparking an intimate exploration of what constitutes genuine greatness. As a teenage girl navigating the complexities of adolescence, my ambition goes beyond personal success—it's about becoming a force for change in the lives of those who face adversity due to their gender and the systemic biases that lead to wrongful imprisonments. I want a future where legal advocacy becomes a catalyst for empowerment, breaking down the barriers that unfairly confine and restrict opportunities. The stories of pioneering African American women in the legal field have inspired me. Figures like Constance Baker Motley and Thurgood Marshall have paved the way for justice, leaving footprints that guide my path. Their legacies are a testament to the transformative impact a single individual can have in the pursuit of equality and justice. This journey is not only personal but a dedication to creating a more just and inclusive society where every young woman can thrive, unburdened by the limitations imposed by societal norms. Furthermore, my determination extends beyond gender advocacy to address the systemic issues that plague the African American community, particularly wrongful imprisonments. Witnessing the devastating impact of unjust incarceration on families within my community has fueled my commitment to dismantling racial disparities within the legal system. Individuals like Bryan Stevenson, who tirelessly advocate for justice and challenge the inequalities embedded in the legal system, inspire my journey. Their courage in the face of adversity serves as a beacon of hope, reminding me of the transformative impact one person can have on the lives of many. My pursuit is not merely about securing legal victories; it is about restoring dignity, reuniting families, and reshaping the narrative for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. It is about creating a legal landscape where the presumption of innocence is upheld, and justice is blind to the color of one's skin. As a teenager with aspirations reaching beyond the confines of adolescence, I see myself not only as a future lawyer but as a beacon of hope. I am committed to fostering opportunities for young women, providing them with the knowledge and skills to defy societal constraints. Education becomes the cornerstone of my advocacy, a means to empower individuals to challenge and overcome the adversity they face. Becoming a lawyer is not just a career choice; it is a declaration of intent to stand against injustice. I am inspired by the belief that my voice can contribute to a fair and equitable society. Growing up my household was led by my single mother who had to raise four other kids besides my twin brother and me. The journey wasn't smooth; financial hardship was our unwelcome, persistent shadow, and the burden of providing and caring for us all rested squarely on my mother's capable but overburdened shoulders. My mother's incredible determination, to provide for us in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, has been the bedrock of my entire childhood and the essence of the values I hold dear today. Her tireless efforts and selfless sacrifices have been a living lesson in resilience and perseverance, teaching me the vital lesson that surrender is never an option no matter how formidable the obstacles before me. This scholarship is an investment in breaking the shackles of limited opportunity, an investment in creating change within the justice system, and an investment in advocating for the rights of girls and women. I am not only seeking an education; I am seeking the power to make a meaningful impact on the world.
      Kenyada Me'Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship
      In my family, the pattern of higher education is conspicuously absent. I am a teenage girl hoping to become the first in my family to break free from this cycle, to not only attend college but to strive for success as a lawyer advocating for the wrongfully imprisoned African Americans and a champion for the rights of girls and women treated indifferently due to their gender. Growing up in a household led by a single, hardworking mother, the constraints of limited resources have been a constant companion. However, these challenges have fueled my determination to chart a different course. My twin brother and I, bound by a shared vision of education as a catalyst for change, are on the cusp of embarking on our college journey. This scholarship is not merely a financial reprieve; it is the bridge to our aspirations, an opportunity to defy the limitations that have defined our familial narrative. The desire to break free from the generational cycle of non-college attendance is not just personal; it is a pledge to rewrite the narrative for generations to come. My dream of attending college is a beacon of hope, a testament that education is the key to dismantling the chains that bind us. It signifies the metamorphosis from a legacy of limited opportunities to a legacy of endless possibilities. Yet, my ambitions extend beyond personal achievement. I yearn to become a lawyer with a purpose — a voice for the voiceless, fighting to liberate wrongfully imprisoned African Americans. The justice system, though designed to be impartial, often fails those who are most vulnerable. I aspire to be an instrument of change, advocating for justice and equality within a system that should protect all its citizens. Moreover, my passion transcends the courtroom to advocate for girls and women who endure indifference and discrimination based on their gender. It is an unfortunate reality that, even in the 21st century, disparities persist. I envision myself as an advocate, striving to empower and uplift those who are marginalized, ensuring that every young girl and woman is given the respect and opportunities they rightfully deserve. This scholarship is not only a gateway to my dreams but a beacon of support for my mother, who shoulders the immense responsibility of putting both her daughter and son through college. The financial strain is palpable, and this scholarship is a lifeline that will not only relieve her burden but also validate the sacrifices she has made for our education. As a family, we are united in our pursuit of breaking barriers, and this scholarship is the catalyst that will propel us toward a brighter future. In conclusion, my journey is not merely about personal success but about breaking chains and building futures. This scholarship holds the potential to be a transformative force, not only for me but for generations to come. It is an investment in breaking the shackles of limited opportunity, an investment in creating change within the justice system, and an investment in advocating for the rights of girls and women. With this scholarship, I am not only seeking an education; I am seeking the power to make a meaningful impact on the world.
      Lindsey Vonn ‘GREAT Starts With GRIT’ Scholarship
      Growing up as a young African American girl, I always felt like I was in the shadows. It felt as if I was surrounded by this bubble of racism, like a constant, heavy fog that I couldn't shake off. They told me to stay humble, to let the haters have their say, and not to stir the pot. "Don't give them the satisfaction," they'd say. "Keep your cool, and they'll tire themselves out." So I tried to make myself invisible, to fly under the radar. But deep down, I knew that wasn't the answer. It was like I was giving them a free pass, letting them think they could walk all over me and I'd just take it. That's not right, and it's not fair. I was just feeding into their twisted game by staying silent. Over time, as the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, this whole thing started gnawing at me. It was like waking up to a major truth bomb—every single time I kept my mouth shut, it was like I was telling myself I didn't matter. My silence? It was practically a standing ovation for all those wrongs that just keep twisting our world into something ugly. And I'm so over it. We need to be the heroes in this story, the ones who aren't afraid to call out the hate and fight for what's right. It finally hit me and I realized that I was done with being silent. The hardest blow that hit me happened during my teenage years and that’s when I finally decided I was done being the punching bag and I needed to find the strength of my voice. That was the pivotal moment when I understood that being a victim of the pervasive racism around me wasn't the only role I could play. There was a power within me, to raise my voice and enact change. With this newfound realization, I began to assert myself and take a firm stand for my community. I actively confronted and challenged the racist comments and actions I faced, refusing to let them slide by unopposed. It was a transformative period where I transitioned from passive to proactive, from silent to outspoken, in the fight against the injustices that I and others faced. Growing up, I never knew what I wanted to go to college for, or even what I wanted to do with my life after high school. All of the racist comments and actions I dealt with while in school and the real world are what led me to the decision to continue my education in criminal justice so that I could use my voice to speak up for those who couldn't. I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless, to use my platform to challenge the systemic injustices that had plagued our society for so long. However, not only did I decide that speaking up was the reason for my devotion and continuing education to criminal justice, but also witnessing the devastating impact of unjust incarceration on families within my community has fueled my commitment to dismantling racial disparities within the legal system. Individuals like Bryan Stevenson, who tirelessly advocate for justice and challenge the inequalities embedded in the legal system, inspire my journey. Their courage in the face of adversity serves as a beacon of hope, reminding me of the transformative impact one person can have on the lives of many. Although my journey to finding my voice is just beginning, I believe that it won't end soon.
      William A. Stuart Dream Scholarship
      As a teenage girl navigating the complexities of adolescence, my ambition goes beyond personal success—it's about becoming a force for change in the lives of those who face adversity due to their gender and the systemic biases that lead to wrongful imprisonments. I want a future where legal advocacy becomes a catalyst for empowerment, breaking down the barriers that unfairly confine and restrict opportunities. The stories of pioneering African American women in the legal field have inspired me. Figures like Constance Baker Motley and Thurgood Marshall have paved the way for justice, leaving footprints that guide my path. Their legacies are a testament to the transformative impact a single individual can have in the pursuit of equality and justice. This journey is not only personal but a dedication to creating a more just and inclusive society where every young woman can thrive, unburdened by the limitations imposed by societal norms. Furthermore, my determination extends beyond gender advocacy to address the systemic issues that plague the African American community, particularly wrongful imprisonments. Witnessing the devastating impact of unjust incarceration on families within my community has fueled my commitment to dismantling racial disparities within the legal system. Individuals like Bryan Stevenson, who tirelessly advocate for justice and challenge the inequalities embedded in the legal system, inspire my journey. Their courage in the face of adversity serves as a beacon of hope, reminding me of the transformative impact one person can have on the lives of many. My pursuit is not merely about securing legal victories; it is about restoring dignity, reuniting families, and reshaping the narrative for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. It is about creating a legal landscape where the presumption of innocence is upheld, and justice is blind to the color of one's skin. As a teenager with aspirations reaching beyond the confines of adolescence, I see myself not only as a future lawyer but as a beacon of hope. I am committed to fostering opportunities for young women, providing them with the knowledge and skills to defy societal constraints. Education becomes the cornerstone of my advocacy, a means to empower individuals to challenge and overcome the adversity they face. Becoming a lawyer is not just a career choice; it is a declaration of intent to stand against injustice. I am inspired by the belief that my voice, amplified through the legal system, can contribute to a fair and equitable society. This scholarship will help me reach these goals because growing up my household was led by my single mother who had to raise four other kids besides my twin brother and me. The journey wasn't smooth; financial hardship was our unwelcome, persistent shadow, and the burden of providing and caring for us all rested squarely on my mother's capable but overburdened shoulders. My mother's incredible determination, to provide for us in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, has been the bedrock of my entire childhood and the essence of the values I hold dear today. Her tireless efforts and selfless sacrifices have been a living lesson in resilience and perseverance, teaching me the vital lesson that surrender is never an option no matter how formidable the obstacles before me. This scholarship is an investment in breaking the shackles of limited opportunity, an investment in creating change within the justice system, and an investment in advocating for the rights of girls and women. I am not only seeking an education; I am seeking the power to make a meaningful impact on the world.
      Bald Eagle Scholarship
      Growing up in a household where my single mother raised six kids, including my twin brother and me, life wasn't easy. Financial struggles were a constant companion, and the weight of responsibility fell heavily on my mother's shoulders. Despite the challenges, my mother became my beacon of strength and resilience, teaching me invaluable lessons about perseverance and determination. My mother's incredible determination, her unyielding resolve to provide for us, her children, in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, has been the bedrock of my entire childhood and the essence of the values I hold dear today. Observing her relentless pursuit to ensure that the necessities were always within reach, often putting aside her desires and comforts for our well-being, has deeply ingrained in me a sense of profound gratitude and boundless admiration for her. Her tireless efforts and selfless sacrifices have been a living lesson in resilience and perseverance, teaching me the vital lesson that surrender is never an option no matter how formidable the obstacles before me. Her example has been a guiding light, showing me that overcoming life's hurdles is not just a possibility, but a certainty with enough grit and determination. Although I’m not the oldest child, I have witnessed firsthand the sacrifices my mother has made to ensure that we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. Despite the financial constraints, she always emphasized the importance of education as a pathway to a better future. It is because of her unwavering belief in the power of education that I am determined to break the generational cycle of none of us going to college. My twin brother, raised in the same environment, has faced his own set of challenges. However, witnessing my mother's resilience has inspired him to strive for a better future as well. He looks up to her as a role model, just as I do, and together we are determined to make her proud by pursuing higher education. The decision to go to college is not just about personal fulfillment; it is about breaking the cycle of poverty and creating opportunities for future generations. My mother's sacrifices have fueled my ambition to pursue higher education, not only for myself but also for my siblings and future family. I want to be able to provide for them and give them the opportunities that my mother could only dream of. Despite the financial hardships we have faced, my family's love and support have been unwavering. Together, we have weathered the storms and emerged stronger and more resilient. My mother's tireless efforts and unwavering determination have shaped me into the person I am today, instilling in me the belief that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. As I embark on this journey to break the cycle of poverty and pursue higher education, I carry with me the lessons of resilience and determination that my mother has imparted to me. She is not just my biggest influence; she is my guiding light, leading me toward a brighter future.
      Redefining Victory Scholarship
      In the tapestry of my family's history, the pattern of higher education is conspicuously absent, a generational cycle waiting to be disrupted. I am a teenage girl with a fervent ambition: to become the first in my family to break free from this cycle, to not only attend college but to strive for success as a lawyer advocating for the wrongfully imprisoned African Americans and a champion for the rights of girls and women treated indifferently due to their gender. This scholarship stands as a pivotal instrument in transforming my dreams into reality, carrying the weight of aspirations that extend far beyond my own. Growing up in a household led by a single, hardworking mother, the constraints of limited resources have been a constant companion. However, these challenges have fueled my determination to chart a different course. My twin brother and I, bound by a shared vision of education as a catalyst for change, are on the cusp of embarking on our college journey. This scholarship is not merely a financial reprieve; it is the bridge to our aspirations, an opportunity to defy the limitations that have defined our familial narrative. The desire to break free from the generational cycle of non-college attendance is not just personal; it is a pledge to rewrite the narrative for generations to come. My dream of attending college is a beacon of hope, a testament that education is the key to dismantling the chains that bind us. It signifies the metamorphosis from a legacy of limited opportunities to a legacy of endless possibilities. Yet, my ambitions extend beyond personal achievement. I yearn to become a lawyer with a purpose — a voice for the voiceless, fighting to liberate wrongfully imprisoned African Americans. The justice system, though designed to be impartial, often fails those who are most vulnerable. I aspire to be an instrument of change, advocating for justice and equality within a system that should protect all its citizens. Moreover, my passion transcends the courtroom to advocate for girls and women who endure indifference and discrimination based on their gender. It is an unfortunate reality that, even in the 21st century, disparities persist. I envision myself as an advocate, striving to empower and uplift those who are marginalized, ensuring that every young girl and woman is given the respect and opportunities they rightfully deserve. This scholarship is not only a gateway to my dreams but a beacon of support for my mother, who shoulders the immense responsibility of putting both her daughter and son through college. The financial strain is palpable, and this scholarship is a lifeline that will not only relieve her burden but also validate the sacrifices she has made for our education. As a family, we are united in our pursuit of breaking barriers, and this scholarship is the catalyst that will propel us toward a brighter future. In conclusion, my journey is not merely about personal success but about breaking chains and building futures. This scholarship holds the potential to be a transformative force, not only for me but for generations to come. It is an investment in breaking the shackles of limited opportunity, an investment in creating change within the justice system, and an investment in advocating for the rights of girls and women. With this scholarship, I am not only seeking an education; I am seeking the power to make a meaningful impact on the world.
      Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
      Growing up, I witnessed the struggles of young women in my community who faced hardships simply because of their gender. These experiences stirred a sense of responsibility within me, sparking the desire to pursue a legal career focused on dismantling the barriers that limit the potential of countless young women. I want a future where legal advocacy becomes a catalyst for empowerment, breaking down the barriers that unfairly confine and restrict opportunities. The stories of pioneering African American women in the legal field have inspired me. Figures like Constance Baker Motley and Thurgood Marshall have paved the way for justice, leaving footprints that guide my path. Their legacies are a testament to the transformative impact a single individual can have in the pursuit of equality and justice. This journey is not only personal but a dedication to creating a more just and inclusive society where every young woman can thrive, unburdened by the limitations imposed by societal norms. Furthermore, my determination extends beyond gender advocacy to address the systemic issues that plague the African American community, particularly wrongful imprisonments. Growing up in a small town, I was usually the only African-American in my class. I was never directly racially targeted in the school setting, but there were subtle things that’d be said or done to me by my peers that I’d never speak up against because it would be disguised as a “joke”. I want to make sure that not only African Americans but everyone of color knows it’s okay to speak up and use your voice no matter who will judge or dislike you. However, outside of school, I’ve lived around injustice and discrimination in the law enforcement and justice system. Seeing things like that firsthand has strongly pointed me toward becoming a lawyer who fights for justice and equality. Individuals like Bryan Stevenson, who tirelessly advocate for justice and challenge the inequalities embedded in the legal system, inspire my journey. Their courage in the face of adversity serves as a beacon of hope, reminding me of the transformative impact one person can have on the lives of many. My pursuit is not merely about securing legal victories; it is about restoring dignity, reuniting families, and reshaping the narrative for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. It is about creating a legal landscape where the presumption of innocence is upheld, and justice is blind to the color of one's skin. As I step into the future, I embrace the challenges ahead, fueled by the vision of a world where young women flourish and no one suffers the chains of wrongful imprisonment.
      Concrete Rose Scholarship Award
      In 2021, when I was 15, I went to the mall with a couple of friends. We had such a good time. We had been there for almost four hours, so before we left we decided to sit down and eat the frozen yogurt we bought from Sweet Frog. A couple of minutes before we started to leave everyone in the mall began screaming and running, so we also began running in the same direction as everyone else. Once my friends and I realized what was going on we ran to the closet store to wait for our parents. We began heading toward a Books-a-Million store as we heard the worker allowing people to hide out in his store by saying “Come in! Come in!” but whenever we got close to the entrance of the store the worker blocked the entrance from us and yelled “No not you!” and didn't allow us in the store. Instead of going to a different store, we decided to head outside and try to find our parents but whenever we tried to exit the mall we were stopped and grabbed by five officers and accused of being a part of “those people who started the brawl”. We were escorted outside and questioned about who started the brawl and why the brawl had started. We were in the police car for over an hour while the officers went through our phones without letting us call our parents and tell them where we were. This was the same year Marvin David Scott III was killed by the police. Being a 17-year-old African-American teenager living in a world where I have to wonder if the next time I see a police officer will they serve and protect me or if they will fear and harm me is what has pointed me in the direction of a career in law. I think this scholarship will help me achieve my goals because not only do I want to continue my education in law and criminal justice, but I also want to be able to help my mom put two kids through college for the next four years. I want to make sure that people like me and other minorities are treated fairly under the law. My father has always told me ¨if you’re waiting for something to change, become the change you want to see”. I’m writing this essay the same year 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was killed by the police. And I believe it’s time to become the change.
      West Family Scholarship
      I became a member of the "Young Feminist Voices" club at my school in 2022. Our club aimed to raise awareness about the challenges that teenage girls face in today's society. During one of our presentations at the school, we discussed various topics, including the dress code. We highlighted the issue of the dress code being disproportionately enforced on female students, while male students were allowed to wear clothing such as "wife beaters" without a problem. It concerned us that a female student could be called out for "distracting" others if she showed a bit of stomach or shoulder, while male students faced no such scrutiny. During our conversation, we touched upon the topic of societal and social pressures faced by young adolescents. It's no secret that social media has a significant impact on the mental health of teenage girls, with many striving to match the idealized images they see online. This often leads to unhealthy eating habits, excessive makeup use, and even photo editing to conform to the perceived beauty standards of society. As a young woman myself, I can personally attest to the immense pressure to conform to these unrealistic expectations. It's challenging not to get lost in your own thoughts when society seemingly demands that you change your appearance to fit in with the crowd. Another topic we spoke about during our presentation was teenage pregnancy. In this society, whenever people find out that a teenage girl is pregnant, she is now labeled a slut and a whore. However, whenever they find out that a teenage boy is expecting a child, they praise him for staying in the child’s life instead of leaving. This goes to show how girls are held to ridiculously increased standards, but the standards are lowered sufficiently for teenage guys. Another example of these extremely high standards set for teenage girls during teenage pregnancy would be abortion. If a teenage girl were to get an abortion instead of having the baby people would make fun of her and throw it in her face because she chose to have an abortion but if she were to keep the baby as I said earlier, she would still be called a slut. In this society, there’s no real way for a teenage girl to win. Another purpose for the young feminist voices club was to raise awareness for women in society as well. We spoke about rape, harassment in the workplace, unequal pay, systematic disadvantages when it comes to promotions, full legal protection in certain countries, domestic violence, and more. However, not only did we speak of domestic violence against women, but we were also able to raise and donate over $500 to our local domestic violence shelter. Joining this club has influenced my future plans because I want to make sure that young girls and women are treated fairly in this society. I believe that furthering my education in the law career would help me achieve that goal.