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Javier Sarmiento

7805

Bold Points

26x

Nominee

6x

Finalist

2x

Winner

Bio

Hello, my name is Javier Sarmiento and I am a Black male from Harlem, New York. I am a First-generation college student. I am passionate about Racial Injustice. I live on food stamps and in public housing. My goal is to become a professional journalist who will use my writing and digital skills to improve the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. Throughout my lifetime, The media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative. This coverage casts Harlem as high-crime, violent and drug-ridden. While this is true, there are many other worthy stories to share about Harlem. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and great people who give back to the community. A Journalism degree will provide me the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. Outside of academics, poetry, blogging, volunteering, and basketball are my passions. Recently, my Poem, A voice from Harlem was awarded an Honorable mention in the rhyming poetry category in the 90th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. I want my writing to inspire and motivate others that anything is possible in life and to give a different perspective on things. This past summer, I was selected to the National Association for Black Journalists Student Projects, (NABJ) a small group of students selected to produce multimedia stories covering the annual NABJ convention & other breaking news. I want to create a difference in the world and leave a legacy to be remembered.

Education

Buena Vista University

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
  • GPA:
    3.4

CUNY Stella and Charles Guttman Community College

Associate's degree program
2017 - 2019
  • Majors:
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
  • GPA:
    3.2

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Broadcast Media

    • Dream career goals:

      NBA Player

    • Social Media Manager

      Black Student Union
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Author

      Amazon
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Member

      Society for Collegiate Journalists
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Writer & Editor

      The Tack Online
      2020 – 20222 years
    • Blogger

      WordPress/ Sunshine Blogger Award
      2017 – Present7 years
    • Student Member

      National Association for Hispanic Journalists NYC Chapter
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Student Member

      Society for Professional Journalists
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Student Member

      New York Association for Black Journalists
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Writer & Editor

      Society for Collegiate Journalists National Honor Society
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Writer/I won first place in the collegiate Sports Writing category in the Robert L. Vann contest.

      Pittsburgh Black Media Federation
      2021 – 2021
    • Admin of the Scholarship editing, writing, feedback group/I help students like myself write and edit essays.

      Groupme
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Member

      National Association for Hispanic Journalists
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Assistant Opinion Editor

      The Tack Online
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Writer & editor/Part of a small group of students selected to produce multimedia stories covering the annual NABJ convention and other breaking news.

      National Association for Black Journalists 2021 Student Multimedia Projects
      2021 – 2021
    • Member

      National Association for Black Journalists
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Blogger

      The Harlem Hopeful website
      2020 – Present4 years
    • Blogger

      My Passion for Basketball website
      2017 – Present7 years
    • Host

      Sports Talk with Javier Podcast
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Participant

      United Men of Color
      2017 – 20192 years
    • Participant

      Black Student Union
      2020 – 20222 years
    • Food Servant

      Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
      2017 – 20203 years

    Sports

    Basketball

    Club
    2017 – Present7 years

    Awards

    • Sportmanship award

    Golf

    Varsity
    2015 – 20161 year

    Basketball

    Intramural
    2017 – Present7 years

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2014 – 20162 years

    Research

    • Other

      Facebook — Participant
      2021 – 2021

    Arts

    • The Bookfest

      Poetry
      My poetry book "Stories of a Harlem resident", won third place in the 2023 Spring Bookfest Awards!!!
      2023 – 2023
    • Independent publisher

      Writing
      I wrote, edited, formatted and published my first book of poetry, "Stories of a Harlem Resident".
      2022 – 2022
    • FACES; BVU’s fine arts & literary magazine

      Poetry
      A couple of my poems were published in the first online edition of FACES; BVU's fine arts & literary magazine
      2021 – 2021
    • Writer’s Digest Writing Competition- Honorable Mention

      Poetry
      Honorable Mention in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.
      2021 – 2021
    • Central Park East High School

      Drawing
      2012 – 2013

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen — Food Servant
      2017 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Mary P. Perlea Scholarship Fund
    I live in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. In my inner-city community of Harlem, New York, I have witnessed police brutality firsthand. I remember a time when I was coming home from school and when I entered the building, someone was running and a police officer was behind the person, handcuffed him, and beat him until he lay unconscious. Over-policing is something I witness daily in my neighborhood, as police cars patrol the streets throughout the day and night. Much of the time, the police will park in one spot and stay there for an hour, two hours, or more. My community is a predominantly Black and Hispanic area. This area of the city is where policing is at its highest. There are police on the buses and subways, near parks and buildings; they are everywhere. My neighborhood is over-policed and brutalized by law enforcement. Community members are terrified of encounters with police. Currently, I live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when the food will run out or if I will have enough to pay rent. To make ends meet, I even sold my Xbox 360. Though I missed having this escape, it was more important to have a full stomach. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. I come from a background of poverty and hardship, but I am determined to obtain a college education and not only change my circumstances but uplift my community. I plan to give back to others by establishing an independent press in my community. I would use my degree in journalism to create jobs. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my community, so I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. My independent press will seek to publish a wide array of perspectives and have a policy of equal opportunity and inclusive hiring practices. I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model—flexible work hours and paying a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Many people in my community depend on government assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. In addition, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people worldwide, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me.
    Bold Optimist Scholarship
    From seeing community members getting brutalized by police, to kids begging for food, to police presence in every area of the neighborhood, to witnessing close friends get shot in cold blood due to a misunderstanding, to seeing your family struggle to pay bills. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. These situations impact your mental health, as you believe there is no hope for your community and accept things for what they are. However, even in the darkest times, there is always sunshine. Staying optimistic through tough times has taught me that it is a journey, not a sprint finding your real purpose in life, and how to use your experiences to inspire others with their journey. Adversity requires determination, commitment, hard work, and perseverance to overcome. Adversity is a true testament to your character because everyone goes through it, but strong-willed people push through and keep going. Some things happen for a reason, and you got to deal with it. God never makes accidents and mistakes, so it is in my best interest that He says "my son, it is not your time right now. Your time will come.” Persevering through tough times defines who we are.
    Snap Finance “Funding the Future” Scholarship
    As an Afro-Latino male, child of immigrants, and first-generation college student, I thoroughly understand how important it is to receive a quality education. I am a journalism major. I have chosen to pursue journalism because it will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities and explain the complicated realities of life in an inner-city. When you tell someone's story, you give a voice to someone who wouldn’t have one if their story wasn't told for everyone to hear. Storytelling can save lives and make a difference in justice being served. Growing up in Harlem, New York, I have witnessed people struggle, persist, and achieve. Throughout my lifetime, the media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative. The media coverage of Harlem is consistently focused on crime, violence, and the rampant problem with drug abuse. While the realities of crime, violence and drug abuse are indeed present in Harlem, the mainstream media's concentration on these issues to the exclusion of stories about successes and growth creates a one-sided, shallow understanding of the complex community Harlem is. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem and change the perception of inner cities across the country. My goal is to share stories and foster conversations between law enforcement and community members to help create a safer environment for my community. I plan to use my education to make a difference in the world by establishing an independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in the world, so through this endeavor, I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members and people worldwide. My independent press will seek to publish a wide array of perspectives and have a policy of equal opportunity and inclusive hiring practices; beyond companies’ typical calls for diversity. I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model—flexible work hours and paying a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Furthermore, I want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, 44% of workers have less than a high school diploma. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put people in a position to succeed and excel. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people worldwide, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me. Through these goals, I wish to not only improve the world's perception of Harlem but also extend this notion to inner cities across the world.
    Bold Art Matters Scholarship
    The African Burial Ground National Monument is my favorite piece of art. The African burial ground has a rich, illustrious history about the ancestors and how they lived. The food they ate, the labor they did, etc. The African slaves were forced to be in slavery and take part in it. Numerous lives, generations were affected by it and the repercussions were unimaginable. As I walked through the burial ground, I saw surprising things and unconventional things I haven’t seen before. I didn’t know babies died before the age of 2. As well as, the average livelihood of an African adult was 30 years old, which is sad. As a minority—particularly a Black man, one of the most brutalized and targeted groups in the United States, This monument means to me that we as a country have come a long way, but still have work to do regarding the mistreatment of African-Americans, who have experienced 400 years of institutionalized racism that continues till this day. From the innocent lives of African American brothers and sisters taken by members of law enforcement to peaceful protesters being met with pepper spray from the army and military to being denied equal rights for the color of your skin.
    Artists and Writers in the Community Scholarship
    1. When I was 14, it was the first time I had been to an art museum. Up to that point, I didn't go because of the lack of support and resources. I was on a class trip and was told to look around and gather the information that you will use for an upcoming project. I spent the entire time looking at paintings from Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo Devinci, and more. One artifact that resonated with me was the African Burial Ground. The African burial ground has a rich, illustrious history about the ancestors and how they lived. The food they ate, the labor they did, etc. The African slaves were forced to be in slavery and take part in it. Numerous lives, generations were affected by it and the repercussions were unimaginable. As I walked through the burial ground, I saw surprising things and unconventional things I haven’t seen before. I didn’t know babies died before the age of 2. As well as, the average livelihood of an African adult was 30 years old, which is sad. As a minority—particularly a Black man, one of the most brutalized and targeted groups in the United States, I learned from this experience that we as a country have come a long way, but still have work to do regarding the mistreatment of African-Americans, who have experienced and faced 400 years institutionalized racism that continues till this day. 2. Ms. Cooper was the best and favorite high school teacher that I've had. She taught the Personal Finance class and it was one of the best classes I've had in my high school career. In my senior year of high school, I faced the academic adversity of summer school math. If I didn’t pass the math course, I would have to repeat the grade. I am not a math whiz in any sense, so each year I would have to try my hardest during the summer session or I would be held back. I had to stretch my brain to solve complicated math questions that required me to show my work and explain my answers. Also, I had to grow my critical thinking and problem-solving skills in ways that were challenging for me. Without a doubt, those summers spent in math class were incredibly difficult. But I was determined. I overcame the challenge math posed through dedication and persistence. I went to tutoring after school and spent hours and hours studying at home. In addition, I went to Ms. Cooper's office during her office hours to receive the extra push in classes. I did everything I could to get better and to improve. As a result, during my senior year of high school, I passed my math classes with high scores, one with an 85 and the other with an 80. I ended up graduating that summer and felt incredibly proud of that achievement. The most important life lesson I learned from her was that adversity requires determination, commitment, hard work, and perseverance to overcome. Adversity is a true testament to your character because everyone goes through it, but strong-willed people push through and keep going. 3. To enrich the arts in my community, I would create an art project where professional artists come to the area and listen to community voices to understand and share their stories. The event will be an open dialogue for asking and answering questions, showcasing your talent to people who do this as a career so they can mentor them to become successful painters in their own right. Because there is poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color, like myself, in my community, I believe this event can bring positive change and steer people into a career that they haven't thought about before. Art can be used to change the world and impact lives. As an Artist, Painting is like a calming activity, one that people use to get their thoughts together while also expressing themselves. For the general public, photos are an especially unique way to capture tension, inspiration, and emotions because the medium itself lacks motion and words. A painting can bring people sadness, joy, excitement, astonishment: all different emotions depending on the person’s interpretation. Artistry can be used as a tool of social change, as a painting can inspire people to do better or know that someone is going through the same thing as them. It allows us to tell our story and shows others our framing of the world around us. 4. When I found out that I was rejected by all of my top transfer colleges, I was devastated. I felt like a failure. I spent the past five months looking for a school that had everything that I wanted in my college experience; a small school, supportive environment, athletics, and affordability. In this instance, I had to find another school that was near the bottom of my list and go with it because the fall semester was going to begin in a couple of weeks. I chose Buena Vista University, a college in Storm Lake, Iowa as it had an excellent digital media program and fit all my required needs. However, I would have to spend the year remotely because of COVID-19 and that devastated me. While I was disappointed about remote learning at home, I decided to make the best of the situation as I could, which started by becoming an active member and leader in the BVU student body. I joined the Black Student Union, and am a staff writer for The Tack Online, BVU’s multimedia news organization. Recently, I earned BSU’s distinction as “MVP for 2021” and was named The Tack’s Opinion Editor for the 2021-22 staff. I won the Robert L. Vann award for sports writing, an Honorable mention in the rhyming poetry category in the 90th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and I am a member of NABJ ( National Association for Black Journalists) as well as a member of NAHJ ( National Association for Hispanic Journalists). Furthermore, This past summer, I participated in NABJ Student Projects, a small group of students selected to produce multimedia stories covering the annual NABJ Convention & other breaking news. Throughout this process, I improved my mindset going forward and that will help guide my life and career.
    Tyde Memorial Scholarship
    As an Afro-Latino male, child of immigrants, and first-generation college student, I thoroughly understand how important it is to receive a quality education. I need this scholarship as it would help me complete my journalism degree without a significant financial burden on my already struggling family. My family has always struggled to comfortably meet all of our basic needs. I currently live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when food will run out or if there is enough money to pay rent. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. I come from a background of poverty and hardship, but I see education as a pathway not only to a better life for myself and my family but also my community in Harlem, New York. I am close to my goal of attaining a bachelor’s degree, and this scholarship could help me finish. This scholarship would impact my future life because as I transition into being a journalist, I will be able to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities and explain the complicated realities of life in an inner-city. When you tell someone's story, you give a voice to someone who wouldn’t have one if their story wasn't told for everyone to hear. Storytelling can save lives and make a difference in justice being served. In addition, I would be able to use my degree in journalism to create jobs. There is a shortage of job opportunities, so I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. My independent press will seek to publish a wide array of perspectives and have a policy of equal opportunity and inclusive hiring practices. I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model—flexible work hours and paying a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as only 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Receiving this scholarship will enable me to follow my dream and build a great future for my family and community. I am a hardworking student and am committed to achieving great results.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    My educational goal is to become a professional journalist and use my digital and writing skills to improve the lives of people in my hometown of Harlem, New York. Growing up in Harlem, I have witnessed people struggle, persist, and achieve. However, the media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative throughout my lifetime; it consistently focuses on crime, violence, and drug abuse. While those realities are indeed present, there are many other worthy stories to share about Harlem. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and most importantly, great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I wish to show this side of Harlem to the people. A journalism degree will provide me with the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. As a future journalist, I recognize that I will have the power to facilitate discussions about difficult topics, for example, between local police departments and community members. My mother is my inspiration and is why I chose to pursue higher education. Before coming to the United States, my mom worked on a farm in Honduras. She sold food and clothes on the street to provide for her family. After arriving in the 1970s, she worked hard to ensure that the needs of her growing family were met. For instance, when I was in high school, my mom worked seven days a week as a home attendant. Even when she had to walk through dangerous snowstorms, she would still put on her boots and head to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. Ultimately, she worked so hard that she became a crucial and indispensable asset to her bosses. This kind of intense work ethic, though admirable, often left her burned out since she never had any breaks. When she arrived home, she would be restless sitting at the table with her eyes half-shut struggling to catch a breath. Despite this, she always managed to get up early the next day to go to work. I adore and respect my mother for her tireless efforts, and her fight for our basic needs inspired me to seek a better life for my family. I see my vision impacting the world positively in the future as it will bring more awareness to the issues occurring in inner cities across the world. There is poverty, crime, homelessness, police brutality, and a severe lack of resources for people of color, like myself, that hinders people from succeeding and achieving. You can’t get ahead if nobody is there to help you up to bring you forward. I wish to not only improve the world’s perception of Harlem but also extend this notion to inner cities across the world.
    Hobbies Matter
    As a minority—particularly a Black man, one of the most brutalized and targeted groups in the US— I enjoy writing poetry. Poetry is an art form and by using it, it can change the world and impact lives. As a poet, poetry is like a calm activity to get your thoughts together and express yourself. For readers and the general public, poetry is a great way to escape from the world’s problems and relax your mind and body. This is important mainly because with negative stories in the media and bad things being done, we as people need a release/break from it. Poetry can bring people sadness, joy, excitement, astonishment, etc. It can inspire people to do better or know that someone is going through the same thing as you. I recently was awarded Honorable Mention in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Out of 3,000 entries, My poem was selected as the winner. My winning entry was a poem called “a voice from Harlem”. The poem details my experience as a minority in Harlem and the obstacles that surround me and my community daily. From seeing community members getting brutalized by police, to kids begging for food, to police presence in every area of the neighborhood, to witnessing close friends get shot in cold blood due to a misunderstanding. These situations impact your mental health, as you believe there is no hope for your community and just accept things for what they are. However, even in the darkest times, there is always sunshine. In the future, I want my poetry to reach millions of people across the globe and inspire others to pursue their dreams despite life's obstacles. I want to use poetry to solve the world's problems and be a catalyst for social change.
    Papi & Mamita Memorial Scholarship
    As an Afro-Latino male, child of immigrants, and first-generation college student, I thoroughly understand just how important it is to advocate for access and opportunity in my community. I plan to make an impact with my college degree by establishing an independent press in my community and in different states across the world. I would use my degree in journalism to create jobs. There is a shortage of job opportunities, so I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. My independent press will seek to publish a wide array of perspectives and have a policy of equal opportunity and inclusive hiring practices. I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model—flexible work hours and paying a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Furthermore, I want to provide community members with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as 25% of Harlem residents have less than a high school diploma. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. In addition, A journalism degree will provide me with the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. As a future journalist, I recognize that I will have the power to facilitate discussions about difficult topics, for example, between local police departments and community members. My ultimate goal is to share stories and foster these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people on a local level, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me. Through these goals, I wish to not only improve the world's perception of Harlem but also extend this notion to inner cities across the world.
    Theresa Lord Future Leader Scholarship
    Hello, My name is Javier Sarmiento, I am a Black male from Harlem, New York. I am a first-generation college student. I am in my senior year enrolled at Buena Vista University, and am a digital media/distributive major. My educational goal is to become a professional journalist and use my digital and writing skills to improve the lives of people in my hometown of Harlem, New York. Growing up in Harlem, I have witnessed people struggle, persist, and achieve. However, the media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative throughout my lifetime; it consistently focuses on crime, violence, and drug abuse. While those realities are indeed present, there are many other worthy stories to share about Harlem. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and most importantly, great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I wish to show this side of Harlem to the people. A journalism degree will provide me with the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. As a future journalist, I recognize that I will have the power to facilitate discussions about difficult topics, for example, between local police departments and community members. My ultimate goal is to share stories and foster these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. Due to the pandemic, I have spent the past year as a student at Buena Vista University in northwest Iowa, taking classes online from my home in Harlem, New York. This means that I join all of my classes synchronously via Zoom, despite the time difference. In some of my courses, I have been the only remote student, as my classmates attend the face-to-face classes in Iowa. While the past year has been challenging, and not how I imagined my college years, I have done my best to make the most of the situation and remain fully present in my learning. Despite these challenges, I am a fully engaged student, eagerly contributing to discussions, asking questions, offering examples and experiences, and participating fully in learning. I work hard academically, which is reflected by my 3.3 GPA. In addition, I have found ways to be an active member and leader in the BVU student body. I joined the Black Student Union, and I am a staff writer for The Tack Online, BVU’s multimedia news organization. Recently, I earned BSU’s distinction as “MVP for 2021” and was named The Tack’s Opinion Editor for the 2021-22 staff. I won the Robert L. Vann award for sports writing, an Honorable mention in the rhyming poetry category in the 90th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and I am a member of NABJ ( National Association for Black Journalists) as well as a member of NAHJ ( National Association for Hispanic Journalists). I am proud of these accomplishments, and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Throughout this process, I learned that adversity requires determination, commitment, hard work, and perseverance to overcome.
    Larry Darnell Green Scholarship
    Coming from a single-parent household, My mom has done so much for me and my family that it can’t be placed into words. Before coming to the United States, my mom worked on a farm in Honduras; She sold food and clothes on the street to provide for her family. After arriving in the 1970s, she worked seven days a week as a home attendant to ensure that the needs of her growing family were met. Even when she had to walk through dangerous snowstorms, she would still put on her boots and head to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. Ultimately, she worked so hard that she became a crucial and indispensable asset to her bosses. This kind of intense work ethic, though admirable, often left her burned out, especially since she never had any breaks. When she returned home, she would be restless— sitting at the table with her eyes half-shut struggling to catch a breath. Despite this, she always managed to get up early the next day to go to work again. I respect and adore my mother for her tireless efforts; her fight for our basic needs inspired me to seek a better life for my family. My mom has supported me throughout my educational journey, so I am forever grateful to have her in my life. I plan to give back to my community in the future by establishing an independent press in my community. I would use my degree in journalism to create jobs. There is a shortage of job opportunities, so I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. My independent press will seek to publish a wide array of perspectives and have a policy of equal opportunity and inclusive hiring practices. I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model—flexible work hours and paying a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. In addition, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as only 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. I want to do my part to bring positive change to the community that desperately needs it.
    Bold Passion Scholarship
    As a minority— particularly a Black man, one of the most brutalized and targeted groups in the US— I am passionate about social justice. In my inner-city community, I have witnessed police brutality firsthand. I remember a time when I was coming home from school and when I entered the building, someone was running and a police officer was behind the person, handcuffed him, and beat him until he lay unconscious. This impacts people like me the most out of other groups simply for the color of our skin and the racism that has been ingrained into our country’s policing and legal systems. The fact that I can name 17 people who look like me whose lives were taken by the hands of law enforcement speaks volumes to the amount of work we still have left to do. The cruel murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Elijah McClain, Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Michael Brown, Tony McDade, Rashard Brooks, Johnathan Price, David McAtee, and countless others is why this issue is so important. Racism is so deeply embedded in our country that many people don’t flinch or cringe at the idea of it. Many are even unaware that systemic racism exists and that our system must change. Unless you are a person of color, you won’t understand what it is like to be black in America. This is about the innocent lives of African American brothers and sisters being taken by members of law enforcement. I challenge everyone to open their eyes to new people, places, and perspectives; and realize that social change needs to occur.
    Giving Back to the Future Scholarship
    As a minority who has experienced poverty, I recognize that it is important to give back to the community. My family has always struggled to comfortably meet all of our basic needs. I currently live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when food will run out or if I will have enough money to pay rent. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. Thus, I give back in many ways. I have engaged actively in my local community by attending events and board meetings where I join discussions about pertinent community issues. I also volunteer. I regularly serve food to the needy and homeless, as well as give my time to the youth in basketball to improve their skills and provide mentorship. Because there is poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color, like myself, in my community, I strive to make a difference. Giving back is important for our people because of the neglect and lack of support that we receive, many of us aren’t able to succeed as much as our privileged counterparts. You can’t get ahead if nobody is there to help you up to bring you forward. I plan to use my platform to give back to my community 3-5 years down the line by establishing an independent press in my community. I would use my degree in journalism to create jobs. There is a shortage of job opportunities, so I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. My independent press will seek to publish a wide array of perspectives and have a policy of equal opportunity and inclusive hiring practices. I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model—flexible work hours and paying a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. In addition, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as only 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. I want to do my part to bring positive change to the community that desperately needs it.
    The Final Push Scholarship
    Winner
    Getting to this point in my college career, so close to finishing, has not been easy. COVID-19, remote learning, financial challenges, and learning obstacles. But, I am determined to complete my degree. Furthermore, I have sought to exceed expectations, despite obstacles, doubters, and stereotypes about my community and myself. As a minority living in an impoverished, under-educated community where 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma, as well as witnessing drugs, violence, and police brutality, the odds to succeed are not in my favor. For this reason, I knew I didn’t want to be remembered as a statistic, as another person with a bright future flustered away due to unfortunate circumstances. My family has always struggled to comfortably meet all of our basic needs. I currently live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when food will run out or if I will have enough money to pay rent. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. I come from a background of poverty and hardship, but I see education as a pathway not only to a better life for myself and my family but also my community in Harlem, New York. I am close to my goal of attaining a bachelor’s degree, and this scholarship could help me finish. I hope to make an impact by eventually establishing an independent press in my community. I would use my degree in journalism to create jobs. There is a shortage of job opportunities, so I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. My independent press will seek to publish a wide array of perspectives and have a policy of equal opportunity and inclusive hiring practices. I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model—flexible work hours and paying a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Many people in my community depend on government assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. In addition, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as only 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people locally, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me.
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    My future goal is to become a professional journalist and use my digital and writing skills to improve the lives of people in my hometown of Harlem, New York. Growing up in Harlem, I have witnessed people struggle, persist, and achieve. However, the media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative throughout my lifetime; it consistently focuses on crime, violence, and drug abuse. While those realities are indeed present, there are many other worthy stories to share about Harlem. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and most importantly, great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I wish to show this side of Harlem to the people. A journalism degree will provide me with the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. As a future journalist, I recognize that I will have the power to facilitate discussions about difficult topics, for example, between local police departments and community members. My ultimate goal is to share stories and foster these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people on a local level, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me. Through these goals, I wish to not only improve the world’s perception of Harlem but also extend this notion to inner cities across the country.
    Bold Motivation Scholarship
    As a minority living in an impoverished, under-educated community where I witness drugs, violence, and police brutality, the odds to succeed are not in my favor. In my inner-city community, I have witnessed police brutality firsthand. I remember a time when I was coming home from school and when I entered the building, someone was running and a police officer was behind the person, handcuffed him, and beat him until he lay unconscious. There are police on the buses, the subways, near parks, and buildings—everywhere. My neighborhood is over-policed and brutalized by law enforcement. Community members are terrified by encounters with police. I want to bring positive change to my community by starting an independent press. It is a start in the right direction. Many people in my community depend on government assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma and are unemployed. Because of the neglect and lack of support that Harlem community members receive, many of us aren’t able to succeed as much as our privileged counterparts. You can’t get ahead if nobody is there to help you up to bring you forward. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. My community motivates me to want to do better so that I can help people like me. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people on a local level, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me.
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    Due to the pandemic, I have spent the past year as a student at Buena Vista University in northwest Iowa, taking classes online from my home in Harlem, New York. This means that I join all of my classes synchronously via Zoom, despite the time difference. As the only remote student in many of my classes, I expected to have a much worse college experience compared to my peers attending class face-to-face. While the past year has been challenging, and not how I imagined my college years, I have done my best to make the most of the situation and remain fully present in my learning, as well as make contributions even if it meant having to participate from a thousand miles away. As a remote student, I was unable to physically socialize with my classmates, thus leading me to believe that it was impossible to get involved in most extracurricular activities, or truly experience campus life. Because of this preconceived notion, I was devastated to have my college experience taken away from me. Despite this challenge, I received numerous awards, like making the Dean’s list in fall 2020. Additionally, I found ways to lead and be active in the BVU student body. I joined the Black Student Union and became a staff writer for The Tack Online, BVU’s multimedia news organization. Throughout these activities, I earned the respect of my peers and was selected to become a member of BVU’s chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists. More recently, I earned BSU’s distinction as MVP for 2021 and was named The Tack’s Opinion Editor for 2021-2022. I am proud of these accomplishments and excited for the opportunities that lie ahead, but most of all, I am proud to have overcome this obstacle and improved my mindset going forward.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    My career goal is to become a professional journalist and use my digital and writing skills to improve the lives of people in my hometown of Harlem, New York. Growing up in Harlem, I have witnessed people struggle, persist, and achieve. However, the media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative throughout my lifetime; it consistently focuses on crime, violence, and drug abuse. While those realities are indeed present, there are many other worthy stories to share about Harlem. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and most importantly, great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I wish to show this side of Harlem to the people. A journalism degree will provide me with the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. As a future journalist, I recognize that I will have the power to facilitate discussions about difficult topics, for example, between local police departments and community members. My ultimate goal is to share stories and foster these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people on a local level, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me. Through these goals, I wish to not only improve the world’s perception of Harlem but also extend this notion to inner cities across the country.
    Jimmy Cardenas Community Leader Scholarship
    During the past year and a half, I have been determined to earn my four-year college degree. In 2020, I was excited to be accepted to a private college—Buena Vista University. However, because of the pandemic, I have spent the past year as a student at BVU, which is in northwest Iowa, taking classes online from my home in Harlem, New York. This means that I join all of my classes synchronously via Zoom despite the time difference, or do them asynchronously. Not exactly the small college experience I had imagined. But, I was determined not to quit or give up. In some of my courses, I have been the only remote student, as my classmates attend the face-to-face classes in Iowa. While the past year has been challenging, and not how I imagined my college years would be, I have done my best to make the most of the situation and remain fully present in my learning. As a remote student, I was unable to physically socialize with my classmates, get involved in most extracurricular activities, or truly experience campus life. I thought I couldn't do anything, and I was devastated to have my college experience taken away from me. Despite this challenge, I received numerous awards, like making the Dean’s list in fall 2020. Additionally, I found ways to lead and be active in the Buena Vista University student body. I joined the Black Student Union and became a staff writer for The Tack Online, BVU’s multimedia news organization. Last semester, I also produced the first episode of my original podcast. Throughout these activities, I earned the respect of my peers and was selected to become a member of BVU’s chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists. Furthermore, I was selected to be a part of the National Association of Black Journalists student projects, a small group of students selected to produce multimedia stories. I am proud of these accomplishments and excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. My resilience helped me to overcome the obstacles posed by remote learning and COVID-19, but the circumstances have also increased my leadership. A year ago, during the pandemic, I led a Black Lives Matter protest in my hometown Harlem, New York, and it was something to behold. People were chanting, “no justice, no peace” and putting their fists in the air. I got up to the microphone and said, “This moment, right now, is historic. The world is watching us. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH! We are told this is the ‘land of the free’ but we are not free. We are still in handcuffs, 400 years later.” My community is predominantly Black and Hispanic and is in an area of the city where policing is at its highest. There are police on the buses, the subways, near parks, and buildings—everywhere. My neighborhood is over-policed and brutalized by law enforcement. Community members are terrified by encounters with police. Thus, the protest was a way for the community members to make their voices heard and clear. If nobody is talking about the issues that impact people of color in our country and community, how can we expect to create positive change? How could you live in a community and world where your voice isn’t being heard at all? This needs to change, and I plan on being a part of that movement, starting with using my college education to help make changes in the community that raised me into the man I am today.
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    My career goal is to become a professional journalist and use my digital media and writing skills to improve the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. Growing up in Harlem, I have witnessed people struggle, persist, and achieve. However, the media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative throughout my lifetime; it consistently focuses on crime, violence, and drug abuse. While those realities are indeed present, there are many other worthy stories to share about Harlem. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and most importantly, great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem as well as change the perception of inner cities across the country. A journalism degree will provide me with the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. As a future journalist, I recognize that I will have the power to facilitate discussions about difficult topics, for example, between local police departments and community members. My goal is to share stories and foster these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. As a journalist, I also plan on establishing an independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. I dream of using my education to create positive changes in the lives of people on a local level, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but also give back to those who are just like me.
    Bold Passion Scholarship
    I am passionate about social injustice because I am a minority, a Black man. I witnessed police brutality firsthand. I remember a time when I was coming home from school and when I entered the building, someone was running and a police officer was behind the person, handcuffed him, and beat him until he lay unconscious. This impacts people like me the most out of other groups simply for the color of our skin. I can name off 17 names of people whose lives were taken by the hands of law enforcement, and it is really, sad. The cruel murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Elijah McClain, Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Michael Brown, Tony McDade, Rashard Brooks, Johnathan Price, David McAtee, and countless others is why this issue is so important. Black and Brown men, women, and children of all ages are not afforded the courtesy of patience by police. The very communities that are over-policed and brutalized by law enforcement; the communities with every right to be terrified by encounters with police are expected to remain calm and collected in these situations. It shouldn’t be this way, but sadly it is. Racism is deeply embedded in our country that people don’t flinch or shift at the idea of it and that must change. Unless you are a person of color, you won’t understand what it is like to be black in America. This is about the innocent lives of African American brothers and sisters being taken by members of law enforcement. I challenge you to open your eyes to new people, places, and perspectives; and realize that social change needs to occur.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    I give back in many ways to my community through acts of service to help others. I have engaged actively in my local community by attending events and board meetings where I join in discussions about community issues. I also volunteer. I regularly serve food to the needy and homeless, as well as give my time to the youth in basketball to improve their skills and provide mentorship. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. Because there is poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color, like myself, in my community, I strive to make a difference. The voices of minorities need to be heard. If nobody is talking about the issues that occur in the community, how can we expect to create positive change? How could you live in a community where your voice isn’t being heard at all? This needs to change, and I am doing my part to bring positive change to the community that desperately needs it.
    Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship
    Due to the pandemic, I have spent the past year as a student at Buena Vista University in northwest Iowa, taking classes online from my home in Harlem, New York. This means that I join all of my classes synchronously via Zoom, despite the time difference. In some of my courses, I have been the only remote student, as my classmates attend the face-to-face classes in Iowa. While the past year has been challenging, and not how I imagined my college years would be, I have done my best to make the most of the situation and remain fully present in my learning. As a remote student, I was unable to physically socialize with my classmates, get involved in most extracurricular activities, or truly experience campus life. I thought I couldn't do anything, and I was devastated to have my college experience taken away from me. However, I was wrong. I found ways to turn the situation around and make the most of my experience. Despite the challenge of being remote, I received numerous awards, like making the Dean’s List in fall 2020. Additionally, I found ways to lead and be active in the BVU student body. I joined the Black Student Union and became a staff writer for The Tack Online, BVU’s multimedia news organization. Last semester, I also produced the first episode of my original podcast. Throughout these activities, I earned the respect of my peers and was selected to become a member of BVU’s chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists. Furthermore, I was selected to be a part of the National Association of Black Journalists student projects, a small group of students selected to produce multimedia stories. I am proud of these accomplishments and excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.
    Loan Lawyers 2021 Annual Scholarship Competition
    I am a Black male and a child of immigrants. Before coming to the United States, my mom worked on a farm in Honduras. She sold food and clothes on the street to provide for her family. After arriving in the 1970s, she worked seven days a week as a home attendant to ensure that the needs of her family were met. Even when she had to walk through dangerous snowstorms, she would still put on her boots and head to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. Ultimately, she worked so hard that she became a crucial and indispensable asset to her bosses. This kind of intense work ethic, though admirable, often left her burned out, especially since she never had any breaks. When she returned home, she would be restless; sitting at the table with her eyes half-shut struggling to catch a breath. Despite this, she always managed to get up early the next day to go to work again. I respect and adore my mother for her tireless efforts; her fight for our basic needs inspired me to seek a better life for my family. My family has always struggled to comfortably lead a normal life. I currently live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when food will run out or if I will have enough money to pay rent. To make ends meet, I recently sold my XBOX 360. Though I missed having it as an escape from all my hardships, it was more important to have a full stomach. Even so, my college experience is not the first time I have battled these circumstances. I come from a background of poverty and hardship, but I am determined to obtain a college education and improve not only my circumstances but also uplift my community. Gaining financial freedom would not only mean getting out of poverty and becoming independent, but it would allow me to help my mom so she doesn't have to work sleepless nights anymore. My mom has supported me throughout my educational journey, so I am forever grateful to have her in my life. I can achieve financial freedom in the future by attaining a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree will allow me to establish an independent press that will create jobs for my fellow community members. Many people in my community depend on government assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as only 19% of residents in Harlem are college graduates and 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43%. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed.
    Terry Crews "Creative Courage" Scholarship
    I am an Afro-Latino college student who wants to use the power of photography to advance social justice. I use photography to give a voice to the voiceless. Photography, like other art forms, can be used to change the world and impact lives, which is something I strive to do in my artwork. As a photographer, taking photos is like a calming activity, one that I use to get my thoughts together while also expressing myself. For the general public, photos are an especially unique way to capture tension, inspiration, and emotions because the medium itself lacks motion and words. A photo can bring people sadness, joy, excitement, astonishment: all different emotions depending on the person’s interpretation. In terms of photography as a tool of social change, a photo can inspire people to do better or know that someone is going through the same thing as them. It allows us to tell our story and shows others our framing of the world around us. The life experience that shaped my vision is witnessing police brutality firsthand. I remember a time when I was coming home from school and when I entered the building, someone was running and a police officer was behind the person, handcuffed him, and beat him until he lay unconscious. In addition, my mother shaped my vision. My mom worked on a farm in Honduras and sold food and clothes on the street to provide for our family. I respect and adore my mother for her tireless efforts. My artistic dream for the future is for my photos to reach millions of people across the globe and inspire others to pursue their dreams despite life's obstacles. I want to use photography to solve the world's problems and be a catalyst for social change.
    Jillian Ellis Pathway Scholarship
    All my life, I have sought to exceed expectations despite obstacles, challenges, doubters, and stereotypes about my community and myself. As a minority living in an impoverished, under-educated community where I frequently witnessed drugs, violence, and police brutality, the odds to succeed are not in my favor. For this reason, I knew I didn’t want to be remembered as a statistic, as another person with a bright future flustered away due to unfortunate circumstances. Thus, I pushed through these obstacles and achieved an associate degree, becoming the first person in my family to graduate from college. Despite the many obstacles deterring me from this goal, I completed the degree and so much more in my college education, including numerous awards and distinctions. For three consecutive summers of high school, I faced the academic adversity of summer school math. If I didn’t pass the math course, I would have to repeat the grade. I am not a math whiz in any sense, so each year I would have to try my hardest during the summer session or I would be held back. I had to stretch my brain to solve complicated math questions that required me to show my work and explain my answers. Also, I had to grow my critical thinking and problem-solving skills in ways that were challenging for me. Without a doubt, those summers spent in math class were incredibly difficult. But I was determined. I overcame the challenge math posed through dedication and persistence. I went to tutoring after school and spent hours studying at home. In addition, I went to the teacher's office during their office hours to receive an extra push in classes. I did everything I could to get better and to improve. As a result, during my senior year of high school, I passed my math classes with high scores, one with an 85 and the other with an 80. I ended up graduating that summer and felt incredibly proud of that achievement. I went to summer school for three years consecutively, but I never lost faith in myself. My goal is to become a professional journalist and use my writing and digital skills to improve the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. Growing up in Harlem, I have witnessed people struggle, persist, and achieve. However, the media coverage of Harlem has been largely negative throughout my lifetime; it consistently focuses on crime, violence, and drug abuse. While those realities are indeed present, there are many other worthy stories to share about Harlem. We have great restaurants, parks, businesses, and great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem and change the perception of inner cities across the country. A journalism degree will provide me with the tools to share vital stories about the diverse experiences that can be found in Harlem and other communities like it. Journalists have the power to facilitate discussions about difficult topics, for example, between local police departments and community members. My goal is to share stories and foster these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. Ultimately, with the career advancement that a journalism degree will provide me, I will be able to give back to my community by establishing an independent press that ensures workers are well cared for, thus nurturing growth and security in my community that desperately needs it.
    AMPLIFY Black Entrepreneurs Scholarship
    I am currently in the process of establishing an independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I hope to be able to create jobs for my fellow community members. Since my ultimate goal is for each employee to have a healthy work/life balance through a stable, well-paying job, I intend on establishing a few key concepts in terms of my business model. Positions will be made available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, gender, or sexuality. The work hours will be flexible, and everyone will be paid a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the existing minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. Moreover, many people in my community depend on government assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community by providing members with stable, enjoyable jobs that would reduce and hopefully abolish their need for government assistance. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue or even begin their post-secondary education, as only 19% of residents in Harlem are college graduates and 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43%. I want to implement a program like Walmart's "live better u" where employees’ educational expenses are covered. In addition, Harlem’s unemployment rate is 11%, compared to the citywide unemployment rate of 9%. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Once my press is established, I will focus on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through farm-to-table initiatives. I would also like to look into building homeless shelters, community centers, and affordable housing. My long-term goal for this project is for everyone to have the opportunity to work a stable job and live comfortably knowing that they are accepted in the workplace and don’t have to worry about working a second or third job. The majority of community members in Harlem are in poverty and there is an abundance of drugs, violence, and police surveillance surrounding the area, preventing most people from living a stable and happy life. With this funding, I will be able to have a head start on my business and impact lives on a local level, allowing me to help not only those who need it the most but those like me.
    Pandemic's Box Scholarship
    The pandemic affected my life positively in that I exceeded my self-expectations. As a remote student, I was unable to physically socialize with my classmates, get involved in most extracurricular activities, or truly experience campus life. I thought I couldn't do anything, and I was devastated to have my college experience taken away from me. Despite this challenge, I received numerous awards, like making the Dean’s list in fall 2020. Additionally, I found ways to lead and be active in the Buena Vista University student body. I joined the Black Student Union and became a staff writer for The Tack Online, BVU’s multimedia news organization. Last semester, I also produced the first episode of my original podcast. Throughout these activities, I earned the respect of my peers and was selected to become a member of BVU’s chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists. Furthermore, I was selected to be a part of the National Association of Black Journalists student projects, a small group of students selected to produce multimedia stories covering the annual NABJ Convention & other breaking news. More recently, I earned BSU’s distinction as MVP for 2021 and was named The Tack’s Opinion Editor for 2021-2022. I am proud of these accomplishments and excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. Though this past year has been challenging, I have embraced this challenge and managed to overcome the obstacles posed by remote learning and COVID.
    Imagine Dragons Origins Scholarship
    As a child of immigrant parents, I know the value of hard work. Before coming to the US, my mom worked on a farm in Honduras and sold food and clothes on the street to provide for her family. After arriving in the United States in the 1970s, she worked hard to ensure that the needs of her growing family were met. For instance, when I was in high school, my mom worked seven days a week as a home attendant. Even when she had to brave walking through snowstorms, she would still put on her boots and head to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. Ultimately, she worked so hard that she became a crucial and indispensable asset to her bosses. This kind of intense work ethic, though admirable, often left her exhausted and burnt out, since she never had any breaks. When she arrived home, she would be exhausted, and sit at the table with her eyes half-shut and struggling to catch a breath. Despite this, she always managed to get up early the next day to go to work. I adore and respect my mother for her tireless efforts, and her fight for our basic needs inspired me to seek a better life for my family. My family has always struggled to lead a normal life and comfortably meet all of our basic needs. Currently, I live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when in the month the food will run out or if I will have enough money to pay rent. To make ends meet, I recently sold my Xbox 360. Though I missed having this escape, it was more important to have a full stomach, so I could better focus on my studies. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. I come from a background of poverty and hardship, but I am determined to obtain a college education and improve not only my circumstances but also uplift my community. To do so, my goal is to become a professional journalist who can use media to better the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. Growing up in Harlem, I became accustomed to seeing people struggle, face adversity, and yet persist and achieve. For many years now, Harlem has been associated with a lot of negative media coverage. The news media’s consistent coverage of only the bad has created an external view of Harlem as crime-ridden, violent, and filled with drug abuse, but while those things are indeed present, there are many other stories worthy of sharing about Harlem. We have excellent restaurants, parks, stores, and most importantly, we have great people and a community that bands together to care for one another. As a journalist, I want to show this human side of Harlem and tell the stories of the people who struggle and persist, who work hard and achieve, and who make the community what it is. Ultimately, I hope to change the perception and the realities of inner cities across the country, starting with my hometown. I have chosen to pursue journalism because it will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities and explain the complicated realities of life in an inner-city. Journalists have the power to provoke and facilitate discussions about difficult topics, such as creating dialogues between local police departments and community board members on how to bridge the gap and improve the relationships between law enforcement and the community. My goal is to share these stories and facilitate these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community and shine a light on the positive side of Harlem and then other inner-city communities. After gaining experience as a journalist, I plan on establishing an independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I would be able to create jobs for my community members. These positions will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, gender, and sexuality. The work hours will be flexible, and everyone will be paid a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope that this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. My ultimate goal is for each employee to have a healthy work/life balance through a stable, well-paying job. Moreover, many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue their education, as only 19% of residents in Harlem are college graduates and 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma, compared to the nationwide college graduation rate of 43 percent. Lastly, Harlem’s unemployment rate is 11%, compared to the citywide unemployment rate of 9 percent. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Once my press is established, I will focus on working on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through-to-table initiatives. Ultimately, I want my career to be worth my mother’s and my sacrifices and be a tool for me to create positive change in my community and similar communities across the United States. Most importantly, I want to give back to the place and the people who taught me that overcoming adversity is possible through determination, commitment, hard work, and perseverance. I watch these attributes in action every day in the streets and storefronts of Harlem, and these are lessons that guide my life and career.
    Jameela Jamil x I Weigh Scholarship
    Each year, my school holds a community service event, and I am always eager to get involved. This year, I chose to help the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in New York. It is the largest nonprofit emergency food program in New York City, and the second-largest soup kitchen in the United States; Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen serves an average of 1,000 meals each weekday. Giving back to others is one of the core values I hold dearly, as I have volunteered in my community many times before. But this year, an interaction made it memorable and more impactful. I, like many other volunteers, was serving food to those in need when one man reached out for his plate. I gave him his food, and he stopped to talk to me just briefly. He said, “‘Thank you for providing food because I am homeless. I live in the parking lot and struggle to provide for myself." That moment moved me. His simple gratitude opened my eyes and It made me think about the millions of homeless people that are on the street every day, struggling to provide for themselves. It made me think about my current situation as I am no stranger to food insecurity myself. Currently, I live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when in the month the food will run out or if I will have enough to pay rent. To make ends meet, I recently sold my Xbox 360. Though I missed having this escape, it was more important to have a full stomach. That man’s comment reminded me to be grateful, even when there seems little to be grateful for. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. I come from a background of poverty and hardship, but I am determined to obtain a college education to not only change my circumstances but also uplift my community. After the conversation at Holy Apostles, I started to take more initiative to make a greater impact in my community. I now attend community board meetings to hear issues from our community members and offer my input. I regularly help with serving food to the needy and homeless, as well as give my time to the youth in basketball programs teaching young people skills, and providing mentorship. In the future, I plan to start my own business that fights hunger on local, national, and international levels. Many cities, especially inner cities, lack reliable and affordable grocery stores, which disproportionately affects people of color. I know change is possible, and I can be the start of it. Ultimately, I want to use my career to give back to the community where I grew up. Most importantly, I want to give back to the place and the people who taught me that adversity requires determination, commitment, hard work, and perseverance to overcome. And most recently, it has taught me gratitude for what I have and what I can accomplish. I see that lesson every day in the streets and storefronts of New York. It is a lesson that keeps me going and one that will help guide my life and career.
    Deborah's Grace Scholarship
    Sweat ran down my forehead, and I could feel the weight of my backpack as I maneuvered through the heat and humidity of Harlem. I was headed where no high school student wanted to go in the summer: school. For three consecutive summers of high school, I faced the academic adversity of summer school math. If I didn’t pass the math course, I would have to repeat the grade. I am not a math whiz in any sense, so each year I would have to try my hardest during the summer session or I would be held back. I had to stretch my brain to solve complicated math questions that required me to show my work and explain my answers. Also, I had to grow my critical thinking and problem-solving skills in ways that were challenging for me. Without a doubt, those summers spent in math class were incredibly difficult. But I was determined. I overcame the challenge math posed through dedication and persistence. I went to tutoring after school and spent hours and hours studying at home. In addition, I went to the teacher's office during their office hours to receive the extra push in classes. I did everything I could to get better and to improve. As a result, during my senior year of high school, I passed my math classes with high scores, one with an 85 and the other with an 80. I ended up graduating that summer and felt incredibly proud of that achievement. I went to summer school for three years consecutively, but I never lost faith in myself. Not a lot of people would keep going in my situation and would give up. But not me, I am wired differently. I face adversity daily in my neighborhood. Things such as crime, gun violence, police brutality, and drug abuse permeate life around me. But I’ve learned that when life throws us curveballs, it is how we manage them that defines who we are in adverse situations. Ultimately, the struggle and the hard work make the accomplishment even sweeter. I even did a celebratory dance when my name was called to receive my diploma at graduation. After all of the hard work, that moment was something I will not forget for a while, and it also helps to remind me that I can conquer any of life’s curveballs that get thrown my way. My career goals align with this life philosophy. Growing up in Harlem, I have become accustomed to seeing people struggle, face adversity, and yet persist and achieve. That is why my goal is to become a professional journalist who will use the skills learned to improve the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. For many years now, Harlem has been associated with a lot of negativity in the media. This bad reputation is correlated with high rates of crime, gun violence, and drug abuse. On the contrary, there’s so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, stores, and, most importantly, we have great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this human side of Harlem. The stories of the people who struggle and persist, who work hard and achieve. I hope to change the perception of inner cities across the country by focusing on Harlem first. Journalism will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. My resilience kept me going during the summer math struggles and that will help guide my life and career.
    Education Matters Scholarship
    Sweat ran down my forehead, and I could feel the weight of my backpack as I maneuvered through the heat and humidity of Harlem. I was headed were no high school student wanted to go in the summer: school. For three consecutive summers of high school, I faced the academic adversity of summer school math. If I didn’t pass the math course, I would have to repeat the grade. I am not a math whiz in any sense, so each year I would have to try my hardest during the summer session or I would be held back. I had to stretch my brain to solve complicated math questions that required me to show my work and explain my answers. Also, I had to grow my critical thinking and problem-solving skills in ways that were challenging for me. Without a doubt, those summers spent in math class were incredibly difficult. But I was determined. I overcame the challenge math posed through dedication and persistence. I went to tutoring after school and spent hours and hours studying at home. In addition, I went to the teacher's office during their office hours to receive the extra push in classes. I did everything I could to get better and to improve. As a result, during my senior year of high school, I passed my math classes with high scores, one with an 85 and the other with an 80. I ended up graduating that summer and felt incredibly proud of that achievement. I went to summer school for three years consecutively, but I never lost faith in myself. Not a lot of people would keep going in my situation and would give up. But not me, I am wired differently. I face adversity daily in my neighborhood. Things such as crime, gun violence, police brutality, and drug abuse permeate life around me. But I’ve learned that when life throws us curveballs, it is how we manage them that defines who we are in adverse situations. Ultimately, the struggle and the hard work make the accomplishment even sweeter. I even did a celebratory dance when my name was called to receive my diploma at graduation. After all of the hard work, that moment was something I will not forget for a while, and it also helps to remind me that I can conquer any of life’s curveballs that get thrown my way. My career goals align with this life philosophy. Growing up in Harlem, I have become accustomed to seeing people struggle, face adversity, and yet persist and achieve. That is why my goal is to become a professional journalist who will use the skills learned to improve the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. For many years now, Harlem has been associated with a lot of negativity in the media. This bad reputation is correlated with high rates of crime, gun violence, and drug abuse. On the contrary, there’s so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, stores, and, most importantly, we have great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this human side of Harlem. The stories of the people who struggle and persist, who work hard and achieve. I hope to change the perception of inner cities across the country by focusing on Harlem first. Journalism will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. Overall, I want to use my career to give back to the community where I grew up.
    Darryl Davis "Follow Your Heart" Scholarship
    As a child of immigrant parents, I have learned the value of hard work. My mom worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to fend for herself and us. Arriving in the United States in the 1970s and having a growing family, she worked hard to ensure that all our needs were met. For instance, when I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked seven days a week. Even if there were snowstorms sometimes, she would still show up to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. In other words, she was working so hard that she had become a crucial asset to her bosses. Nevertheless, she was overworking herself since she did not have breaks. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and struggling to catch a breath. Even so, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing my mother’s work ethic, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. I adore her for being there for us. My family struggles to lead a normal life like typical families do; meeting all the basic needs comfortably. Indeed, living in public housing and surviving on food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. As a child, such a lifestyle meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, a full stomach was more important to me than anything else in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without a spectrum of challenges. Some of these challenges include poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. My goal is to become a professional journalist who will use the skills learned to improve the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. For many years now, Harlem has been associated with a lot of negativity by the media. This bad reputation is associated with a high rate of crime, gun violence, and drug abuse. On the contrary, there’s so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, and stores and great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem and change the perception of inner cities across the country. Journalism will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke and facilitate discussions about difficult topics, such as creating dialogues between local police departments and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. My goal is to share these stories and facilitate these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. In the future, I plan to give back to my community by establishing an independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I would be able to create jobs for my community members. These positions will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, gender, and sexuality. The work hours will be flexible, and everyone will be paid a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope that this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. My ultimate goal is for each employee to have a healthy work/life balance through a stable, well-paying job. Once my press is established, I will focus on working on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through-to-table initiatives. I would also seek to build homeless shelters, community centers, and affordable housing. Harlem's ever-changing climate can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. A university education will provide me with the tools and knowledge to undertake such projects, share important stories, and show the world that Harlem isn’t dangerous, but is a welcoming, community-minded place.
    Mortar 2021 Scholarship
    As a child of immigrant parents, I have learned the value of hard work. My mom worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to fend for herself and us. Arriving in the United States in the 1970s and having a growing family, she worked hard to ensure that all our needs were met. For instance, when I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked seven days a week. Even if there were snowstorms sometimes, she would still show up to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. In other words, she was working so hard that she had become a crucial asset to her bosses. Nevertheless, she was overworking herself since she did not have breaks. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and struggling to catch a breath. Even so, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing my mother’s work ethic, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. I adore her for being there for us. My family struggles to lead a normal life like typical families do; meeting all the basic needs comfortably. Indeed, living in public housing and surviving on food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. As a child, such a lifestyle meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, a full stomach was more important to me than anything else in Harlem, New York. My future goal is to become a professional journalist who will use the skills learned to improve the lives of people in my hometown Harlem, New York. For many years now, Harlem has been associated with a lot of negativity by the media. This bad reputation is associated with a high rate of crime, gun violence, and drug abuse. On the contrary, there’s so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, and stores and great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem and change the perception of inner cities across the country. Journalism will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke and facilitate discussions about difficult topics, such as creating dialogues between local police departments and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. My goal is to share these stories and facilitate these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. I am qualified to receive this scholarship because I am a hardworking student, and I am committed to achieving excellent results. I have lived in public housing and on food stamps, at times not knowing if the food would run out. This scholarship will save me from this hard life and enable me to focus more on my studies.
    "Wise Words" Scholarship
    “ When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” This quote is important to me because as a child of immigrant parents, I have learned the value of hard work. My mom worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to fend for herself and us. Arriving in the United States in the 1970s and having a growing family, she worked hard to ensure that all our needs were met. For instance, when I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked seven days a week. Even if there were snowstorms sometimes, she would still show up to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. In other words, she was working so hard that she had become a crucial asset to her bosses. Nevertheless, she was overworking herself since she did not have breaks. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and struggling to catch a breath. Even so, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing my mother’s work ethic, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. I adore her for being there for us. My family struggles to lead a normal life like typical families do; meeting all the basic needs comfortably. Indeed, living in public housing and surviving on food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. As a child, such a lifestyle meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, a full stomach was more important to me than anything else in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without a spectrum of challenges. Some of these challenges include poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. For many years now, Harlem has been associated with a lot of negativity by the media. This bad reputation is associated with a high rate of crime, gun violence, police brutality, and drug abuse. Not to mention that only 19% of residents in Harlem are college graduates and 25% of residents have less than a high school diploma, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43 percent. Nevertheless, I pushed through these obstacles and achieved an associate’s degree, and became the first person in my family’s generation to graduate from college and receive a degree. Even with such a background of life problems, just like my mother, what drives me is my willpower to overcome challenges and remain resilient even in the most hopeless situations. While my livelihood is based in a context of pessimism (Harlem), I always look for the positive side of such a context.
    Writing With a Purpose Scholarship
    A defining moment in my life to date is a couple of years ago, I became the first person in my family’s generation to graduate from college and receive a degree. Growing up in Harlem, I knew the neighborhood has always been portrayed in a negative light by the media. This bad reputation is associated with a high rate of crime, gun violence, police brutality, and drug abuse. For this reason, I knew I didn’t want to be remembered as a statistic as another person with a bright future flustered away due to unfortunate circumstances. I went to the graduation ceremony and saw all my classmates, professors that I spent time with during my time at Guttman community college. I was emotional because of the adversity I faced daily. It was a blessing that I made it to this point; a first-generation graduate. This achievement taught me that I am persistent and determined no matter the obstacles headed my way. I can conquer anything if I put my mind to it. It is important to realize that only 38% of adults in Harlem are college graduates and 25% have not completed high school, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43 percent. With this in mind, I overcame the odds imposed by my circumstances. In the future, I hope to establish an independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I would be able to create jobs for my community members. These positions will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, gender, and sexuality. The work hours will be flexible, and everyone will be paid a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope that this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. My ultimate goal is for each employee to have a healthy work/life balance through a stable, well-paying job. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community. offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Once my press is established, I will focus on working on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through-to-table initiatives. I would also seek to build homeless shelters, community centers, and affordable housing. Harlem's ever-changing climate can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. A university education will provide me with the tools and knowledge to undertake such projects, share important stories, and show the world that Harlem isn’t dangerous, but is a welcoming, community-minded place.
    Elevate Black Entrepreneurs Scholarship
    Growing up in Harlem, I knew the neighborhood had always been portrayed in a negative light by the media. Across the US, inner cities like Harlem have reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs, but there’s so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, and stores and great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem and change the perception of inner cities across the country. Journalism will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke and facilitate discussions about difficult topics, such as creating dialogues between local police departments and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. My goal is to share these stories and facilitate these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. In addition, I hope to establish an independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I would be able to create jobs for my community members. These positions will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, gender, and sexuality. The work hours will be flexible, and everyone will be paid a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope that this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. My ultimate goal is for each employee to have a healthy work/life balance through a stable, well-paying job. I became interested in entrepreneurship because I wanted to make a difference in my community. What inspired me to pursue my business idea is that many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue their education, as only 38% of adults in Harlem are college graduates and 25% have not completed high school, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43 percent. Finally, Harlem’s unemployment rate is 11%, compared to the citywide unemployment rate of 9 percent. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Once my press is established, I will focus on working on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through-to-table initiatives. I would also seek to build homeless shelters, community centers, and affordable housing. Harlem's ever-changing climate can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. Getting this scholarship will enable me to follow my dream and build a great future for my family and community. I am a hardworking student, and I will commit myself fully to achieve great results. Since my life has been difficult living in public housing and on food stamps, not sure when food might run out, the scholarship will save me from this hard life and enable me to focus more on my studies. A university education will provide me with the tools and knowledge to undertake such projects, and show the world that Harlem isn’t dangerous, but is a welcoming, community-minded place.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    My greatest achievement to date is a couple of years ago, I became the first person in my family’s generation to graduate from college and receive a degree. Growing up in Harlem, I knew the neighborhood has always been portrayed in a negative light by the media. It has a reputation for gun violence, gangs, and drugs, but there’s so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, and stores and great people who give back to the community. For this reason, I knew I didn’t want to be remembered as a statistic as another person with a bright future flustered away due to unfortunate circumstances. I went to the graduation ceremony and saw all my classmates, professors that I spent time with during my time at Guttman community college. I was emotional because of the adversity I faced daily. It was a blessing that I made it to this point; a first-generation graduate. This achievement taught me that I am persistent and determined no matter the obstacles headed my way. I can conquer anything if I put my mind to it. In the future, I hope to establish my independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I would be able to create jobs for my community members. These positions will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, gender, and sexuality. The work hours will be flexible, and everyone will be paid a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope that this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. My ultimate goal is for each employee to have a healthy work/life balance through a stable, well-paying job. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue their education, as only 38% of adults in Harlem are college graduates and 25% have not completed high school, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43 percent. Finally, Harlem’s unemployment rate is 11%, compared to the citywide unemployment rate of 9 percent. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Once my press is established, I will focus on working on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through-to-table initiatives. I would also seek to build homeless shelters, community centers, and affordable housing. Harlem's ever-changing climate can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. A university education will provide me with the tools and knowledge to undertake such projects, share important stories, and show the world that Harlem isn’t dangerous, but is a welcoming, community-minded place.
    "Your Success" Youssef Scholarship
    Growing up in Harlem, I knew the neighborhood had always been portrayed in a negative light by the media. Across the US, inner cities like Harlem have reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs, but there is so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, and stores and great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem and change the perception of inner cities across the country. Journalism will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke and facilitate discussions about difficult topics, such as creating dialogues between local police departments and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. My goal is to share these stories and facilitate these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. I participate in numerous extracurriculars in my school. I joined the Black Student Union, which is about Black student involvement on campus, bringing awareness to social justice issues that affect minority communities. I am a staff writer for The Tack Online, Buena Vista University's multimedia news organization. Recently, I earned BSU’s distinction as “MVP for 2021” and was named The Tack’s Opinion Editor for the 2021-22 staff. I am passionate about racial injustice. A year ago, during the pandemic, I attended a Black Lives Matter protest in my hometown Harlem, New York and it was something to behold. People were chanting “ no justice, no peace” and putting their fists in the air. One of the leaders of the rally asked if anyone would like to say something, and I volunteered to do it. I got up to the microphone and said” This moment right now, is historic. The world is watching us. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH! We are told this is the “land of the free” but we are not free. We are still in handcuffs 400 years later.” My work with the student newspaper as well as in my classes is evidence of that. I recently had a journalistic writing course where I focused my reporting projects on issues of racial justice. In the future, I hope to establish my independent press. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue their education, as only 38% of adults in Harlem are college graduates and 25% have not completed high school, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43 percent. Finally, Harlem’s unemployment rate is 11%, compared to the citywide unemployment rate of 9 percent. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Once my press is established, I will focus on working on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through-to-table initiatives. I would also seek to build homeless shelters, community centers, and affordable housing. Harlem's seasons can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. A university education will provide me with the tools and knowledge to undertake such projects, share important stories, and show the world that Harlem isn’t dangerous, but is a welcoming, community-minded place.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    Growing up in Harlem, I knew the neighborhood had always been portrayed in a negative light by the media. Across the US, inner cities like Harlem have reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs, but there is so much more to the community than that. We have great restaurants, parks, and stores and great people who give back to the community. As a journalist, I want to show this side of Harlem and change the perception of inner cities across the country. Journalism will provide me with a platform to share stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke and facilitate discussions about difficult topics, such as creating dialogues between local police departments and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. My goal is to share these stories and facilitate these conversations to help create a safer environment for my community. I act locally to help make a difference by connecting with my community through community events. I go to community board meetings to hear what issues the members of the community have and give my input as well. I regularly help with serving food to the needy and homeless, as well as give my time to the youth in basketball to improve their skills and provide mentorship. This has a major impact on me because there is poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. Additionally, there is a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. In the future, I hope to establish my independent press. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so through this endeavor, I would be able to create jobs for my community members. These positions will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, gender, and sexuality. The work hours will be flexible, and everyone will be paid a living wage because it is impossible to survive on the minimum wage. Employees will be able to set their hours, and they will have paid vacations and holidays. I hope that this system will allow employees to spend more time with their families and develop their skills and life outside of work. My ultimate goal is for each employee to have a healthy work/life balance through a stable, well-paying job. Many people in my community depend on public assistance like food stamps and EBT cards to survive. I believe that establishing an independent press that offers equal employment opportunities will greatly benefit my community. Furthermore, I also want to provide employees with the opportunity to continue their education, as only 38% of adults in Harlem are college graduates and 25% have not completed high school, compared to the citywide college graduation rate of 43 percent. Finally, Harlem’s unemployment rate is 11%, compared to the citywide unemployment rate of 9 percent. By creating jobs and offering employees educational opportunities, I will put my community in a position to succeed. Once my press is established, I will focus on working on community outreach projects, such as opening supermarkets that have high-quality food for low costs through-to-table initiatives. I would also seek to build homeless shelters, community centers, and affordable housing. Harlem's ever-changing climate can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. I want to see Harlem do better, not fall further into chaos and disaster. I know change is possible, and I can be a part of that positive change.
    3LAU "Everything" Scholarship
    My mother is my everything. She worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to fend for herself and us. Arriving in the United States in the 1970s and having a growing family, she worked hard to ensure that all our needs were met. For instance, when I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked seven days a week. Even if there were snowstorms sometimes, she would still show up to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. In other words, she was working so hard that she had become a crucial asset to her bosses. Nevertheless, she was overworking herself since she did not have breaks. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and struggling to catch a breath. Even so, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing my mother’s work ethic, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. I adore her for being there for us.
    Art of Giving Scholarship
    Winner
    Due to the pandemic, I have spent the past year as a student at Buena Vista University in northwest Iowa, taking classes online from my home in Harlem, New York. This means that I join all of my classes synchronously via Zoom, despite the time difference. In some of my courses, I have been the only remote student, as my classmates attend the face-to-face classes in Iowa. While the past year has been challenging, and not how I imagined my college years, I have done my best to make the most of the situation and remain fully present in my learning. It can be easy to get lost or feel discouraged as a remote student since I am unable to physically socialize with my classmates, get involved in most extracurricular activities, and truly experience campus life. While I would love to be on campus, my financial situation, coupled with the effects of the pandemic, has prevented that. In the plainest terms, I simply cannot afford to live on campus. Currently, I live on food stamps and in public housing. I never know when in the month the food will run out or if I will have enough to pay rent. To make ends meet, I even sold my Xbox 360. Though I missed having this escape, it was more important to have a full stomach. My college experience has not been the first time I have battled these circumstances. I come from a background of poverty and hardship, but I am determined to obtain a college education and not only change my circumstances but also uplift my community. Despite these challenges, I am a fully engaged student, eagerly contributing to discussions, asking questions, offering examples and experiences, and participating fully in learning. I work hard academically, which is reflected by my 3.2 GPA. In addition, I have found ways to be an active member and leader in the BVU student body. I joined the Black Student Union, and I am a staff writer for The Tack Online, BVU’s multimedia news organization. Recently, I earned BSU’s distinction as “MVP for 2021” and was named The Tack’s Opinion Editor for the 2021-22 staff. I am proud of these accomplishments, and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Getting this scholarship will enable me to follow my dream and to build a great future for my family and community. I am a hardworking student, and I will commit myself fully to achieve great results. I have lived in public housing and on food stamps, at times not knowing if food would run out. This scholarship will save me from this hard life and enable me to focus more on my studies.
    JuJu Foundation Scholarship
    My mom is my most significant inspiration. She worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to fend for herself and us. Arriving in the United States in the 1970s and having a growing family, she worked hard to ensure that all our needs were met. For instance, when I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked seven days a week. Even if there were snowstorms sometimes, she would still show up to work because her bosses had entrusted their homes to her. In other words, she was working so hard that she had become a crucial asset to her bosses. Nevertheless, she was overworking herself since she did not have breaks. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and struggling to catch a breath. Even so, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing my mother’s work ethic, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. I adore her for being there for us. I do not come from a wealthy family, and we sometimes struggle to lead a normal life like typical families do; meeting all the basic needs comfortably. Indeed, living in public housing and surviving on food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. As a child, such a lifestyle meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, a full stomach was more important to me than anything else in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without a spectrum of challenges. Some of these challenges include poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. Growing up in Harlem, I’ve been made aware that the city is often portrayed negatively by the media. Without a doubt, such inner cities like Harlem have bad reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs. Even with such a background of life problems, just like my mother, what drives me is my willpower to overcome challenges and remain resilient even in the most hopeless situations. While my livelihood is based in a context of pessimism (Harlem), I always look for the positive side of such a context. Without a doubt, being the journalist that I am, I want to show there is more about Harlem than meets the eye. It has excellent restaurants, museums, parks, and stores. Consequently, I want to change the narrative surrounding the city. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members. Driven by my willpower to overcome hurdles, I will play this journalist role to clean the name of my city.
    John J. DiPietro COME OUT STRONG Scholarship
    LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. His achievements are overwhelming, some of which include being a four-time NBA champion, a four-time finals MVP, a four-time NBA MVP, and an NBA Playoff Points Leader. But James’ life before the NBA was strikingly different. James has been an incredible inspiration in my life, particularly because he grew out of the environment and surroundings that I am currently living in and went on to become one of the most successful NBA players in history. I live in low-income housing, and struggle to find resources to help me grow out of this environment. I relied on public assistance and food stamps throughout my childhood. Reading about James’ story on how he overcame his struggles living without a father and only a single mother on food stamps gives me an indescribable hope for my future. James bounced between houses, living in as many as six locations in a single year. He was absent from school often. “I saw drugs, guns, killings; it was crazy,” James said. Luckily, a youth coach named Frank Walker, suggested that James live with him in a single-family house in suburban Akron. Finally, James would be able to live a stable life at last. He played Amateur Athletic Union basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars and attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. In his senior year of high school, he was named Ohio's Mr. Basketball and USA Today All-USA First Team and Gatorade National Player of the Year for the third consecutive year. Later, James was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 1st overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. James signed a seven-year $90 million endorsement deal with Nike in 2003 as an 18-year-old. He was named the Rookie of the Year, averaging 20.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game. James recently opened a school for the unprivileged, low-income children in his hometown Cleveland, Ohio. It is called the I Promise Academy. Many successful people, never go back to the communities to contribute. But, building a school for kids to learn and have fun is one of the best ways to have a lasting impact on the community. Some people criticized it, like saying it should have been a private school. Regardless of the criticisms, the school is an exceptional resource for disadvantaged students. The kids of Cleveland now have educational resources because of James and his generosity. Despite negative pundits, he has always been my role model. It's not often you see a person of color rising above poverty to success, and positively impacting their community. In mainstream media, African Americans are frequently degraded and portrayed as lazy and uneducated. Additionally, injustices plague the community like mass incarceration, racism, and police brutality. But when a kid sees someone like them succeed, it makes them believe they can overcome these unfair conditions of society. Kids start imagining themselves becoming the next person to cure cancer, the next person to change the world for the better. It makes them believe. It gives them hope. LeBron James is a great ambassador for basketball. A lot of people can relate to being on the poverty level and working endless nights to achieve success. James is not just a basketball player, he is a leader. The most important thing in life is giving back and inspiring others to do the same. James has surpassed that goal many times over. I have applied James’ lessons of hard work, dedication, and discipline to achieve my goal of becoming a journalist. Growing up in Harlem, I am aware that the city is portrayed in a negative light by the media. Inner cities like Harlem have bad reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs. As a journalist, I want to show that there is more to Harlem than this negativity. We have great restaurants, parks, and stores. We also have great people who give back to the community. I want to change the narrative surrounding the city. Journalism will allow me access to platforms where I can report stories about people who go above and beyond for their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members, and this is what I intend to do. I experienced living on the poverty level, so I know how desperate you can get when you are simply trying to survive. I will use my platform as a journalist to shape a better future for generations to come.
    Undiscovered Brilliance Scholarship for African-Americans
    I’m Javier Sarmiento Jr., a black man born and raised in Harlem, New York, and a remote student at Buena Vista University. I am a junior at BVU pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communications and Digital Media. I haven’t come from much. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. Education can lead a path to a brighter future for me, my family, and my community. I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. Through my study of journalism, I will be allowed access to platforms where I can report stories about people who are going above and beyond for their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members, and this is what I intend to do. At present, I go to community board meetings to hear what issues the members of the community have and give my input as well. I regularly help out with serving food to the needy and homeless, as well as give my time to the youth in basketball to improve their skills and provide mentorship. After graduation, I plan to start up a business where people can apply and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to successful establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, and gender. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. Furthermore, I plan to open supermarkets that have high-quality food for residents keeping costs low by bringing food from farms. I would build shelters for the needy and homeless and construct buildings that are affordable for low-income families. There is a shortage of centers for the elderly when harsh winters and summers hit, so I will invest in cooling centers for our most vulnerable citizens. Harlem's seasons can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. I want to see Harlem do better, not fall further into chaos and disaster. I know change is possible, and I can be a part of that positive change. Without vision, we rob ourselves of our potential. The potential to do good in the world, to follow a purpose bigger than ourselves, and to help others rise above and achieve their visions of change. I have a long yet fulfilling road ahead of me. Studying to be a journalist is a future that shines bright.
    Carlos F. Garcia Muentes Scholarship
    My life has been defined by helping others and shaped by the stories of the people around me. My mother worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to provide for herself and her family. Arriving in the United States in the 1970's and having an increasing family, she worked to make sure we had enough to get by. When I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked 7 days a week. Even if there was a snowstorm, she would still show up to work because people were depending on her at home. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and out of breath. But, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing this work ethic my mom had, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. I haven’t come from much. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. I live in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. My desire to help people led me to want to be a journalist. Growing up in Harlem, I’ve been made aware that the city is often portrayed in a negative light by the media. Inner cities like Harlem, or Brooklyn have bad reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs.As a journalist, I want to show there is more to Harlem than that. There is a lot more than meets the eye. We have great restaurants, museums, parks, stores, etc. I want to change the narrative surrounding the city. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. Many of these issues stem from discrimination, both through outright racism and less obvious institutionalized forms of prejudice. Journalism will allow me access to platforms where I can report stories about people who are going above and beyond to help their communities. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members, and this is what I intend to do.
    Charles R. Ullman & Associates Educational Support Scholarship
    I connect with my community is through community events. I go to community board meetings to hear what issues the members of the community have and give my input as well. I regularly help out with serving food to the needy and homeless, as well as give my time to the youth in basketball to improve their skills and provide mentorship. This has had a major impact on me because there is poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. Additionally, there is a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. Education can lead a path to a brighter future for me, my family, and my community. I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. As a journalist, I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. After graduation, I plan to be involved in my community and start up a business where people can apply and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, and gender. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. Furthermore, I plan to open supermarkets that have high-quality food for residents keeping costs low by bringing food from farms. I would build shelters for the needy and homeless and construct buildings that are affordable for low-income families. There is a shortage of centers for the elderly when harsh winters and summers hit, so I will invest in cooling centers for our most vulnerable citizens. Harlem's seasons can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. Journalism will allow me access to places to report stories where people are giving their time to help others, but aren't receiving enough attention. As well as having discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members.
    First-Generation, First Child Scholarship
    As a first-generation, firstborn student, my childhood was rough. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. I live in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. I am the first person in my family’s generation to attend college. As a minority living in poverty and witnessing drugs, violence, and police brutality, the odds to succeed are not in my favor. For this reason, I knew I didn’t want to be remembered as a statistic as another person with a bright future flustered away due to unfortunate circumstances. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. I remember going to a National Black Male Retreat in Ohio and learning how many students are struggling on a day-to-day basis with fundamental necessities. Many of these issues seem to stem from discrimination, both through outright racism and less obvious institutionalized forms of prejudice. I study communications to help voices be heard, and each story to be told, regardless of where you come from. Communications and journalism will allow me access to platforms where I can report stories about individuals going above and beyond to help their fellow neighbors. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members, and this is what I intend to do. After graduation, I plan to start up a business where people can apply and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to successful establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, and gender. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. Furthermore, I plan to open supermarkets that have high-quality food for residents keeping costs low by bringing food from farms. I would build shelters for the needy and homeless and construct buildings that are affordable for low-income families. There is a shortage of centers for the elderly when harsh winters and summers hit, so I will invest in cooling centers for our most vulnerable citizens. Harlem's seasons can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. I want to achieve my dreams and help out the community that raised me into the man I am today.
    AMPLIFY Digital Storytellers Scholarship
    I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. One particular story that has inspired me; Zaevion Dobson, who shielded 3 friends from being shot in an act of senseless violence. Dobson’s bravery cost him his life. This story struck a chord in me because Zaevion was in high school when he sacrificed his life at the young age of 15. As a journalist, I hope to be able to share inspirational stories, like Dobson’s, throughout my career. In life, nothing is given, and each story we tell shows who we are and why we do what we do. I study communications to help voices be heard, and each story to be told, regardless of where you come from. Telling stories that highlight acts of bravery and selflessness has always been my dream. My writing will differentiate from the sea of information online because as an Afro-Latino, I have a unique perspective. Unless you are a person of color, you won’t understand what it is like to be black in America. I plan to tell stories in a first-person narrative based on my own experiences and observations.
    African-American Journalism Scholarship
    My desire to help people led me to want to be a journalist. Growing up in Harlem, I’ve been made aware that the city is often portrayed in a negative light by the media. Inner cities like Harlem, or Brooklyn have bad reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs. As a journalist, I want to show there is more to Harlem than that. There is a lot more than meets the eye. We have great restaurants, museums, parks, stores, etc. I want to change the narrative surrounding the city. I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. One particular story that has inspired me; Zaevion Dobson, who shielded 3 friends from being shot in an act of senseless violence. Dobson’s bravery cost him his life. This story struck a chord in me because Zaevion was in high school when he sacrificed his life at the young age of 15. As a journalist, I hope to be able to share inspirational stories, like Dobson’s, throughout my career. In life, nothing is given, and each story we tell shows who we are and why we do what we do. I study communications to help voices be heard, and each story to be told, regardless of where you come from. Telling stories that highlight acts of bravery and selflessness has always been my dream. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. I remember going to a National Black Male Retreat in Ohio and learning how many students are struggling on a day-to-day basis with fundamental necessities. Many of these issues seem to stem from discrimination, both through outright racism and less obvious institutionalized forms of prejudice. Communications and journalism will allow me access to platforms where I can report stories about people like Dobson. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members, and this is what I intend to do. The stories we share allow us to bring awareness to these issues by discussing them with community leaders and working with citizens to determine how we can make Harlem a better place to live for everyone, not just those with financial means. The voices of minorities need to be heard. If nobody is talking about it, how can we expect to create positive change? How could you live in a community where your voice isn’t being heard at all? This needs to change, and I plan on being a part of that movement. As a minority student enrolled in a predominantly white university, I want to share my experiences with others who haven’t seen what I have seen. I challenge you to open your eyes to new people, places, and perspectives; and realize that social change needs to occur. To move forward as a society, we have to keep up with the times. As LeBron James once said, “A lot of people kind of use the analogy that Black Lives Matter is a movement… When you’re Black, it’s not a movement, it’s a lifestyle.” The Black Lives Matter movement is not a moment lasting only a couple of months before life returns to normal. This is a persistent issue that stems from a long history of systemic racism and violence in America. I want to see Harlem do better, not fall further into chaos and disaster. I know change is possible, and I can be a part of that positive change. Without vision, we rob ourselves of our potential. The potential to do good in the world, to follow a purpose bigger than ourselves, and to help others rise above and achieve their visions of change.
    Future Black Leaders Scholarship
    I connect with my community through community events. I go to community board meetings to hear what issues the members of the community have and give my input as well. I regularly help out with serving food to the needy and homeless, as well as give my time to the youth in basketball to improve their skills and provide mentorship. This has had a major impact on me because there is poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. Additionally, there is a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. I need this scholarship because I enjoy education, as it can be the path to a brighter future for me, my family, and my community. I am a hard-working student and I will commit myself to effectively take advantage of the opportunity that this scholarship will provide me. Living in public housing and on food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This is the daily reality I face every day. After graduation, I plan to start up a business where people can apply and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, and gender. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. Furthermore, I plan to open supermarkets that have high-quality food for residents keeping costs low by bringing food from farms. I would build shelters for the needy and homeless and construct buildings that are affordable for low-income families. There is a shortage of centers for the elderly when harsh winters and summers hit, so I will invest in cooling centers for our most vulnerable citizens. Harlem's seasons can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. I have personally experienced living in a low-income family, so I know how desperate you can to be simply survive. I’ve seen firsthand the lack of resources available to help struggling community members, and I want to change that. My community has done so much for me, so it is important I repay them by using my platform as an journalist to shape a better future for generations to come.
    Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
    I became the first person in my family's generation to graduate from college!
    Aspiring PR Professionals Scholarship
    My life has been defined by helping others and shaped by the stories of the people around me. I haven’t come from much. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. I live in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. My desire to help people led me to want to be a journalist. Growing up in Harlem, I’ve been made aware that the city is often portrayed in a negative light by the media. Inner cities like Harlem, or Brooklyn have bad reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs. As a journalist, I want to show there is more to Harlem than that. There is a lot more than meets the eye. We have great restaurants, museums, parks, stores, etc. I want to change the narrative surrounding the city. I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. One particular story that has inspired me; Zaevion Dobson, who shielded 3 friends from being shot in an act of senseless violence. Dobson’s bravery cost him his life. This story struck a chord in me because Zaevion was in high school when he sacrificed his life at the young age of 15. As a journalist, I hope to be able to share inspirational stories, like Dobson’s, throughout my career. In life, nothing is given, and each story we tell shows who we are and why we do what we do. I study communications to help voices be heard, and each story to be told, regardless of where you come from. Telling stories that highlight acts of bravery and selflessness has always been my dream. Communications will allow me access to platforms where I can report stories about people like Dobson. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members, and this is what I intend to do.
    Gabriella Carter Music and Me Scholarship
    The song "Victory Lap " by Nipsey Hussle is special to me for various reasons. The song inspires me to keep going despite the obstacles in my way. The first two stanzas of the song really gets me going when the chorus starts with "woah, oh, woah, oh, woah, oh, Like the beginning of "Mean Streets" , Like the beginning of "Mean Streets" Like the beginning of "Mean Streets". " I'm prolific, so gifted, I'm the type that's gon' go get it, no kidding, Breaking down a Swisher in front of yo' building, Sitting on the steps feeling no feelings." As a minority living in poverty and witnessing drugs, violence, and police brutality, the odds to succeed are not in my favor. I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be in college and the ability to achieve something higher as many people don't have opportunity because of their current circumstances. This song gives me a introspective view on life that nothing is impossible with hard work and determination. I am a talented, hard-working individual striving to make a life-changing impact on my community and future generations to come. Moreover, I was going through the death of my idol, Kobe Bryant and that song spoke to me in a way that made things better for the moment. Death is a hard thing to swallow, and if you have dealt with the passing of a loved one or relative, the feeling doesn’t and will never go away. The feeling of never seeing that person again and enjoying time with them. You can’t get that back. Their spirit lives on in your heart and mind.
    Amplify Continuous Learning Grant
    There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area. What I would like to do is start up a business where people can apply to and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience and gender. I would use the grant to learn how to network with others, which will allow me the opportunity to acquire support from city officials that will lead to life-changing impact on my community. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. What I hope to achieve with this business is for people to feel empowered and liberated. It is good to have a support system to motivate and inspire others with their journey in life and beyond. I want to provide people with opportunities to work and get their education as only 38% of adults are college graduates and 25% of adults have not completed high school, which is lower than the citywide rate in New York of 43% percent. In addition, the Harlem unemployment rate is 11% percent, higher than the citywide rate of New York with 9% percent. Many people are without and in need of jobs and I want to put them in the position to get jobs and succeed with them.
    Impact Scholarship for Black Students
    I’m Javier Sarmiento Jr., a black man born and raised in Harlem, NY, and a remote student at Buena Vista University. I am a junior at BVU pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Digital Media. My life has been defined by helping others and shaped by the stories of the people around me. I haven’t come from much. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. My desire to help people led me to want to be a journalist. Growing up in Harlem, I’ve been made aware that the city is often portrayed in a negative light by the media. Inner cities like Harlem, or Brooklyn have bad reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs. As a journalist, I want to show there is more to Harlem than that. There is a lot more than meets the eye. We have great restaurants, museums, parks, stores, etc. I want to change the narrative surrounding the city. I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. One particular story that has inspired me; Zaevion Dobson, who shielded 3 friends from being shot in an act of senseless violence. Dobson’s bravery cost him his life. This story struck a chord in me because Zaevion was in high school when he sacrificed his life at the young age of 15. As a journalist, I hope to be able to share inspirational stories, like Dobson’s, throughout my career. In life, nothing is given, and each story we tell shows who we are and why we do what we do. I study communications to help voices be heard, and each story to be told, regardless of where you come from. Telling stories that highlight acts of bravery and selflessness has always been my dream. Communications and journalism will allow me access to platforms where I can report stories about people like Dobson. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members; and this is what I intend to do. I want to see Harlem do better, not fall further into chaos and disaster. I know change is possible, and I can be a part of that positive change. Without vision, we rob ourselves of our potential. The potential to do good in the world, to follow a purpose bigger than ourselves, and to help others rise above and achieve their own visions of change.
    Justricia Scholarship for Education
    I haven’t come from much. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my video games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. I live in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, crime, homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. I remember going to a National Black Male Retreat in Ohio and learning how many students are struggling on a day-to-day basis with fundamental necessities. Many of these issues seem to stem from discrimination, both through outright racism and less obvious institutionalized forms of prejudice. I enjoy education, as it can be the path to a brighter future for me, my family, and my community. I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. As a journalist, I hope to be able to report inspirational stories throughout my career. In life, nothing is given, and each story we tell shows who we are and why we do what we do. I study communications to help voices be heard, and each story to be told, regardless of where you come from. Telling stories that highlight acts of bravery and selflessness has always been my dream.
    Gabriella Carter Failure Doesn't Define Me Scholarship
    A failure that I am thankful for was when I was playing basketball and I ended up losing on a last-second shot. It was tough, I competed hard that entire game and put everything out there. One of the players made a layup before me getting the ball and it set up for an exciting finish. I got the ball, raised and shot it. It RIMMED OUT. That was a tough loss. But I thought to myself, it’s just one game. I’ll get another chance when the time comes. You can’t get too high or low, just in the middle. Looking back on it now, it taught me perseverance. Everything is not going to go my way and I will have to learn to deal with failure. Successful people often attribute their failures to their success. This event has influenced me into becoming who I am today because I am even-keeled, persistent, determined, and will achieve my dreams of becoming an NBA player, playing against the top players in the world. Also, to give back to my community, because success is more than personal gain. Some things happen for a reason, and you got to deal with it. God never makes accidents and mistakes, so it was probably in my best interest that He said "my son, it is not your time right now. Your time will come.” Persevering through tough times is what defines who we are. Adversity is a true testament of your character because everyone goes through it, but the strong-willed people push through and keep going. It is a journey, not a sprint to find your real purpose in life and how to use your experiences to inspire others with their journey.
    Support Small Businesses Scholarship
    There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area. What I would like to do is start up a business where people can apply to and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience and gender. The work hours will be flexible, and the pay will be good. Nobody will be on minimum wage because it is tough to survive like that. You can choose your own work hours, so if you want to work in the morning or evening, it can be done. Also, there will be paid vacations and holidays so you can spend time with your family. I want everybody to live serenely and be protected on the grounds that because a significant number of our locale individuals work truly to keep the local stable. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. What I hope to achieve with this business is for people to feel empowered and liberated. It is good to have a support system to motivate and inspire others with their journey in life and beyond. I want to provide people with opportunities to work and get their education as only 38% of adults are college graduates and 25% of adults have not completed high school, which is lower than the citywide rate of 43% percent. In addition, the unemployment rate is 11% percent, higher than the citywide rate of New York with 9% percent. Many people are without and in need of jobs and I want to put them in the position to get jobs and succeed with them.
    Annual Black Entrepreneurship Grant
    I’m Javier Sarmiento Jr., a black man born and raised in Harlem, New York and a remote student at Buena Vista University. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area. What I would like to do is start up a business where people can apply to and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience and gender. The work hours will be flexible, and the pay will be good. Nobody will be on minimum wage because it is tough to survive like that. You can choose your own work hours, so if you want to work in the morning or evening, it can be done. Also, there will be paid vacations and holidays so you can spend time with your family. I want everybody to live serenely and be protected on the grounds that because a significant number of our locale individuals work truly to keep the local stable. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. What inspired me to start it is seeing community members struggling to survive on a daily basis. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, Crime, Homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. Comparatively, I haven’t come from much. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. What I hope to achieve with this business is for people to feel empowered and liberated. It is good to have a support system to motivate and inspire others with their journey in life and beyond. I want to provide people with opportunities to work and get their education as only 38% of adults are college graduates and 25% of adults have not completed high school, which is higher than the citywide rate of 43% percent. In addition, the unemployment rate is 11% percent, higher than the citywide rate of New York with 9% percent. Many people are without and in need of jobs and I want to put them in the position to get jobs and succeed with them. I want to see Harlem succeed and do better, not fall further into chaos and disaster. I have this vision because I know change is possible, and I can be the start of that. Without vision we rob ourselves of our potential and the potential to do good in the world, to follow a purpose bigger than ourselves, and to help others rise to achieve their own visions of change.
    Giving Thanks Scholarship
    My mother has been with me throughout the difficult times and has unconditional love for me. My mother worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to provide for herself and her family. Arriving in the United States in the 1970s and having an increasing family, she worked to make sure we had enough to get by. When I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked 7 days a week. Even if there was a snowstorm, she would still show up to work because there were people depending on her at home. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and out of breath. But, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing this work ethic my mom had, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. She is my friend, my spirit, my influence towards success. She is the best mom a son could ever ask for. I love you forever, mom.
    Low-Income Student Scholarship
    ‘’’ Congrats, Javier!!!”’ I became the first person in my family’s generation to graduate from college and receive a degree. I was struck with emotion because my mom had been waiting for this moment for a long time. My mother worked on the farm in Honduras and sold food, clothes on the street to provide for herself and her family. Arriving in the United States in the 1970s and having an increasing family, she worked to make sure we had enough to get by. When I was in high school, my mom got a job as a home attendant and worked 7 days a week. Even if there was a snowstorm, she would still show up to work because there were people depending on her at home. She had a look of exhaustion that would be evident when she arrived home, with her eyes half shut and out of breath. But, she managed to get up early the next day to go to work. Seeing this work ethic my mom had, I knew I wanted a better life for my family. This achievement taught me I am persistent and determined no matter the obstacles headed my way. A minority living in poverty and witnessing drugs, violence, and police brutality, the odds to succeed are not in my favor. For this reason, I knew I didn’t want to be remembered as a statistic as another person with a bright future flustered away due to unfortunate circumstances. I live in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, Crime, Homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. Reflecting on my own community, there is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so I could start up a business where people can apply to and begin work there. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. I also hope to open supermarkets that have high-quality food for residents and keep costs low by bringing food from farms. I would build shelters for the needy and homeless and construct buildings that are affordable for low-income families. There is a shortage of centers for the elderly when harsh winters and summers hit, so I will invest in cooling centers for our most vulnerable citizens. I’ve seen firsthand the lack of resources available to help struggling community members, and I want to change that. I want to see Harlem do better, not fall further into chaos and disaster. I know change is possible, and I can be a part of that positive change. Without vision, we rob ourselves of our potential. The potential to do good in the world, to follow a purpose bigger than ourselves, and to help others rise above and achieve their own visions of change. I have personally experienced living without, so I know how desperate you can get when simply trying to survive. My community has done so much for me, so it is important I repay them by using my platform as a journalist to shape a better future for generations to come.
    First Generation College Student Scholarship
    Going to summer school for three consecutive years while I was in high school. The first year was painful as my math grade was 60 so I had to get that credit up. The next year, the same thing occurs. I failed math and had to get the credit back up in summer school. The following year, I thought I did well but was four points short on my regent's exam. I had to go to summer school to get that exam score up again. I overcame this challenge by going to tutoring after-school and spending hours upon hours studying. Also, I went to the teacher's office during their office hours to receive the extra push in classes. During my senior year of high school, I passed my math classes with high scores, one with an 85 and the other with an 80. I ended up graduating that summer and was more pleased with myself than ever. I went to summer school for three years consecutively and never lost faith in myself. Not a lot of people would keep going in my situation and would give up. But not me, I am wired differently. I face adversity head-on daily and conquer it. That is the heart of a champion right there. Life throws us curveballs but it is how we manage them that defines who we are in adverse situations. I even did a celebratory dance when my name was called to receive my diploma. It was something I will not forget for a while, so I can remind myself that I can conquer anything thrown my way.
    WiseGeek Life Isn’t Easy Scholarship
    I haven’t come from much. Living on public housing and food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. I live in Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community, with many people striving to build a better life for themselves. However, a better life does not come without its challenges. Poverty, Crime, Homelessness, and a severe lack of resources for people of color like myself. My desire to help people led me to want to be a journalist. Growing up in Harlem, I’ve been made aware that the city is often portrayed in a negative light by the media. Inner cities like Harlem or Brooklyn have bad reputations for gun violence, gangs, and drugs. As a journalist, I want to show there is more to Harlem than that. There is a lot more than meets the eye. We have great restaurants, museums, parks, and stores. I want to change the narrative surrounding the city. As an Afro-Latino, I empathize with the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement. Every opportunity I have has been through the grace of the Black community. The system of the patriarchy limits the potential of everyone when we don’t validate Black lives and value them as equal. I love hearing stories about people who were underestimated but prevailed against the odds and became successful. I want to report on these narratives, to show the world that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. One particular story that has inspired me; Zaevion Dobson, who shielded 3 friends from being shot in an act of senseless violence. Dobson’s bravery cost him his life. This story struck a chord in me because Zaevion was in high school when he sacrificed his life at the young age of 15. As a journalist, I hope to be able to share inspirational stories, like Dobson’s, throughout my career. In life, nothing is given, and each story we tell shows who we are and why we do what we do. I study communications to help voices be heard, and each story to be told, regardless of where you come from. Telling stories that highlight acts of bravery and selflessness has always been my dream. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because of a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunities. I remember going to a National Black Male Retreat in Ohio and learning how many students are struggling on a day-to-day basis with fundamental necessities. Many of these issues seem to stem from discrimination, both through outright racism and less obvious institutionalized forms of prejudice. Communications and journalism will allow me access to platforms where I can report stories about people like Dobson. Journalists have the power to provoke discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members; and this is what I intend to do. The stories we share allow us to bring awareness to these issues by discussing them with community leaders and working with citizens to determine how we can make Harlem a better place to live for everyone, not just those with financial means. The voices of minorities need to be heard. If nobody is talking about it, how can we expect to create positive change? How could you live in a community where your voice isn’t being heard at all? This needs to change, and I plan on being a part of that movement. There is a shortage of job opportunities in my area. What I would like to do is start up a business where people can apply to and begin work. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age, race, work experience, and gender. The work hours will be flexible, and the pay will be good. Nobody will be on minimum wage because it is tough to survive like that. You can choose your work hours, so if you want to work in the morning or evening, it can be done. Also, there will be paid vacations and holidays so you can spend time with your family. I want everybody to live serenely and be protected because a significant number of our locale individuals work truly to keep the local stable. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. I also hope to open supermarkets that have high-quality food for residents keeping costs low by bringing food from farms. I would build shelters for the needy and homeless and construct buildings that are affordable for low-income families. There is a shortage of centers for the elderly when harsh winters and summers hit, so I will invest in cooling centers for our most vulnerable citizens. Harlem's seasons can be deadly to already at-risk demographics, so it is necessary to protect the elderly and homeless from dangerous weather conditions. I have personally experienced living without, so I know how desperate you can become to simply survive. My community has done so much for me, so it is important I repay them by using my platform as a journalist to shape a better future for generations to come.
    WiseGeek Lifelong Learners No-Essay Grant
    WiseGeek Mental Health Well-Being No-Essay Scholarship
    Scholarcash Role Model Scholarship
    My name is Javier Sarmiento Jr and I am enrolled in Buena Vista University as a transfer student pursuing my bachelor's degree in Communications and Digital Media. Buena Vista has a strong communications program. The majority of students end up doing internships that lead to employment at major companies such as ESPN, Fox Sports, and for professional football organizations like the Minnesota Vikings. My life has been defined by helping others, shaped by the stories and people around me. Across the many moments of my life adults pushed me to understand who I am and the impact I can have for the world. Through learning about and championing Black Lives Matter, I've learned and pushed to become a journalist to bring more insight and awareness to the movement. The reason I like helping people and that often led me wanting to be a journalist is I empathize with the Black community and everything that they are and have been going through. Every opportunity I have has been through the grace of the Black community, and the system of patriarchy limits the potential of everyone when we don't put Black people first. For my next steps I seek employment into the media industry, and to get there I must meet focus with preparation so my grades match determination. LeBron James is my role model for many reasons. LeBron James is such a powerful and inspirational figure in my life, it would be an honor to be in his presence and chat. I live in low-income housing, and it is a daily battle every day. There is a lack of resources for people of color like me, police brutality, violence, and drugs. LeBron grew up in poverty and dealt with many challenges to get him where he is today. Growing up on public assistance in public housing is a very difficult task, something me and him faced as kids. I have the utmost respect for LeBron because I have experienced what he has, growing up in low-income housing on food stamps trying to survive another day. LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes in the world and one of the best people too. He has a generous heart that not a lot of people talk about. Being one of the most recognizable faces in the world, everyone has an opinion on LeBron, good and bad. On top of this, LeBron recently opened a school for underprivileged, low-income kids in his hometown in Cleveland, Ohio where he grew up and lived. That was one of the most beautiful things you will see. Many successful people, do not go back to their communities to contribute. Building a school for kids to learn and have fun is the best thing you could ask for. Some people criticized it, saying he did not have to make it public. But it does not matter what others say or think, it was for the kids who do not have the resources like others do. Additionally, LeBron is a role model when others try to degrade and disrespect him. A person of color rising above poverty to success and influencing people's lives, you do not see that often. In mainstream media, African Americans are portrayed as lazy, dumb, hood rats, etc. Not to mention the injustices that plague the community as a whole, like mass incarceration, racism, etc. But, when a kid sees someone like them succeed, it makes them believe they can do it too. It makes the kid imagine becoming the next person to cure cancer, the next person to cure AIDS, the next person to change the world for the better. It makes them believe. Furthermore, in the present time, society needs someone to lead us to a better tomorrow and LeBron exemplifies that in every category. He receives a lot of hate from outsiders but continues to do what he feels is right. When he spoke in an interview about speaking out against the president for attacking his friend and colleague Stephen Curry, a ton of backlash ensued his way. Along with the backlash, came a lot of support from the world. I was one of those supporters, feeling happy he stood up to those who told him to "shut up and dribble". He fought for what he believed in and did not let no one stop him. LeBron has inspired a generation of kids to chase their dream despite the circumstances surrounding them. Lastly, LeBron James is a great ambassador for basketball and the world. He is an inspiration to me because of his struggles growing up without a father and with a single mother on public assistance. A lot of people could relate to being on the poverty level and working your way up towards success. LeBron is not just a basketball player; he is a leader. I have personally experienced living without, so I know how desperate you can be to simply survive. My community has done so much for me, so it is important I repay them by using my platform as a journalist to shape a better future for generations to come.
    #BlackLivesMatter Scholarship
    How my education can change the world My name is Javier Sarmiento and I am enrolled in Buena Vista University as a transfer student pursuing my bachelor's degree in Communications and Digital Media. Buena Vista has a strong communications program. Majority of students end up doing internships that lead to employment to major companies such as ESPN, Fox Sports, and for professional football organizations like the Minnesota Vikings. My life has been defined by helping others, shaped by the stories and people around me. Across the many moments of my life adults pushed me to understand who I am and the impact I can have for the world. Through learning about and championing Black Lives Matter, I've learned and pushed to become a journalist to bring more insight and awareness to the movement. I never came from much. Living in public housing on food stamps means never knowing when food will run out or if there is enough to pay rent. This meant selling any gaming system for groceries. Though I missed my games, I wanted a full stomach more than anything. I’m from Harlem, New York. Harlem is a small community; many people are striving for better as they go to work, school, etc. As things change, some things remain the same. Poverty. Crime. Homelessness. Lack of resources for people of color like myself. The reason I like helping people and that often led me wanting to be a journalist is I empathize with the Black community and everything that they are and have been going through. Every opportunity I have has been through the grace of the Black community, and the system of patriarchy limits the potential of everyone when we don't put Black people first. For my next steps I seek employment into the media industry, and to get there I must meet focus with preparation so my grades match determination. I picked Buena Vista because right now I am not able to concentrate in the environment of Harlem, as I worry about things like being away from home and police brutality. Buena Vista is a good place to study that’s filled with great people as I have visited and had great experiences there. As an Afro-Latino male in a predominately Hispanic and Black area, I have seen a lot of things. Policing is something I witness daily, as police cars patrol the neighborhood throughout the day and night. There are police on the buses, police on the subways, police near buildings and parks, they are everywhere. It makes you feel trapped. Reflecting on my own community, there is a shortage of job opportunities in my area, so I could start up a business where people can apply to and begin work there. It will be called Javier’s Climbing the ladder to success establishment and will be available to anyone, regardless of age and gender. Many people in my community are on public assistance and depend on food stamps and EBT cards to survive. This will benefit the community greatly because people could be doing something productive and help their families out. I also hope to open supermarkets that have high quality food for residents and keeping costs low by bringing food from farms. I would build shelters for the needy and homeless, and construct buildings that are affordable for low-income families. Telling the stories who have risen to success despite difficulties has always been my dream. Living in the inner city in New York, I have seen dreams shattered because a lack of support for basic needs as well as limited educational opportunity. I remember going to a National Black Male Retreat in Ohio and learning how many students are struggling on a day to day basis. Many of the issues seem to stem from discrimination, both through outright racism and less obvious institutionalized forms of prejudice. l love hearing stories about people who were underestimated and under supported and still became successful. I want to report on these narratives to show the world that everyone deserves equal opportunity to reach their full potential. I heard a story about a kid named Zaevion Dobson, who saved 3 people of being shot, but whose bravery cost him his life. This story struck a chord in me because Zaevion was only 18 and in high school. This made me want to help other’s stories be heard, and be told. In life, nothing is given, and each story we tell shows who we are and why we do what we do. I plan to study Journalism to help voices be heard, and each story be told, regardless of where you come from. Communications will allow me access to places to report stories where people are giving their time to help others, but aren't receiving enough attention. As well as having discussions with the local police department and community board members on how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members. The stories we share allow us to bring awareness to these issues by discussing them with community leaders and working with residents to determine how we can make Harlem a better place to live for everyone, not just those with financial means. The voices of the residents need to be heard because if nobody is talking about it, how can we expect to create positive change? How could you live in a community where your voice isn’t being heard at all? This needs to change, and I plan on being a part of that movement. I have personally experienced living in a low-income family, so I know how desperate you can to be simply survive. I’ve seen firsthand the lack of resources available to help struggling community members, and I want to change that. My community has done so much for me, so it is important I repay them by using my platform as an journalist to shape a better future for generations to come.
    500 Bold Points No-Essay Scholarship