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Simone Braithwaite

3935

Bold Points

16x

Nominee

3x

Finalist

2x

Winner

Bio

”Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” — Booker T. Washington Hi! My name is Simone and my true passion in life is to be of service to others. Throughout my high school and college career, I have strived to serve the communities I work in the best way I know how: by engaging in civic activism and advocacy for marginalized groups. Being in a community with others makes it possible to bridge gaps across difference and adversity. I know that my life's purpose is to provide aid where I can, which is why I am to become a social and community service manager. Winning a scholarship would not only mean furthering my education but giving me a unique opportunity to embody change and equity through service. Being able to afford school also means following through on my degrees in Psychology and Community and Justice studies. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood has taught me about the impact of kindness and care. I was homeless for a good portion of my childhood, and oftentimes all my family could rely on was the dedication to community service that others had. I want to pay that kindness forward to people who need a helping hand and to interrupt vicious cycles of poverty. Scholarships are not justice money; they are the platform on which bright futures stand on.

Education

Guilford College

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Community Organization and Advocacy
    • Psychology, General

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Civic & Social Organization

    • Dream career goals:

      Social and Community Service Manager

    • Supervising Debate Coach

      Science Park High School Debate Team
      2020 – Present4 years
    • Sales representative/sales assistant

      Nordstrom
      2020 – 20211 year

    Sports

    Dancing

    Club
    2016 – 20204 years

    Research

    • Urban Studies/Affairs

      Bonner Scholars Program — Community organizer and site coordinator
      2020 – Present

    Arts

    • Science Park Speech and Debate

      Performance Art
      Poetry performance videos
      2016 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Quaker Cupboard at Guilford College — Team member
      2021 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Newark Students' Union — Community Organizer/Planner of events
      2016 – 2020
    • Public Service (Politics)

      New Jersey Community Advocacy Group — Activist/Lobbyist
      2016 – 2018
    • Volunteering

      Reading Connections — Teacher and literacy mentor
      2020 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Guilford College Farm — Assistant farmer
      2020 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Baton Rouge Magnet High School — Supervising coach
      2020 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Giving Back to the Future Scholarship
    Winner
    In high school, I struggled with poverty, food insecurity, and housing insecurity. When it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning and I ran late for school when I was absent because I didn’t have transportation, or when I would come to school bruised, no one would say a word. I was marked with the scarlet letter of delinquency. I had to depend on myself for things adults in my life failed to provide for me. Being a Black girl was hard and when I turned 18, I made a promise to myself that I would never let anyone make me feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved again. College for me means having the ability to give back to vulnerable communities. I have only been a Black woman for a year, but it has taught me that I don’t have to be helpless, that there is a community in kinship ties for me, and that I don’t have to be resilient to survive. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and serve the Black children of color in my community after school programs, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was given a need-based scholarship from the Bonner Foundation, an organization that contributes to changing the status quo through community service. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours for each. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of neglected communities. It was this opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. My educational career as a college student will provide me with the knowledge that I need to be a leader and a community organizer. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After I took that role, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to work at Science Park High School, my alma mater, as an assistant debate coach. There I taught advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. My education will further my ability to live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    The biggest problem facing the world right now is the lack of compassion people have for one another. That is the root of all social ills that affect marginalized communities, communities worth advocating for and empathizing with. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you through a career as a social worker. Compassion is unity and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Allyship begins and ends with a commitment to be against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any group of people. It is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. Those who lie outside our subject position, lie outside our scope of justice. Fostering solutions to inaccessibility in urban communities has become an important project of social work and service. At my college, I am a Bonner Scholar, and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, I created my own book club open to all high school students that were focused on teaching them how to critically think about the world, and cultivated food to give out to the homeless. The change I want to see starts with the will to be of service to every place you feel needed. I want to be a social worker to see change in communities, countries, and the world, to be empathetic. I live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed and learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Nasir Abbas Rizvi Memorial Scholarship
    My mother taught me that love started with care for your family, and family is everything. She lived with 15 other family members up until 1999 and three years later, she had me. With my younger brother, my mother had experienced pregnancy-related health complications during us being evicted from our apartment building. We lost everything and for two years rotated from short stays in hotels to staying with family to being in a homeless shelter. Even through this time though, I managed to hide from my school that I was experiencing housing and food insecurity. Because my mother was an undocumented immigrant, it was hard to access government assistance, but we managed to move to the sanctuary city I was born and went to school in, Newark, New Jersey. While I went to one of the most academically challenging schools in Newark, I aided my mother in caring for my younger brother and household. For most of my high school career, I watched my mother struggle financially. Yet, I would always try to think about how her philosophies about family could help our situation. it is the ties you create with your community and the social networks that support you when you need it. As a first-generation student, I sought out the community with those in my situation. I created a club-support group for first-generation students in my high school. It also gave me a passion to serve communities and being an activist for underserved populations. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated for communities. It was this unique opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I did most of my service hours online, but I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After I took that role, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to go back to my roots and work at Science Park High School as an assistant debate coach teaching advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. As a first-generation student, I was taught empathy at a very young age. I live in community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Stefanie Ann Cronin Make a Difference Scholarship
    Community work is the hallmark of change in this society. It is seen everywhere, thousands of people rallying together to support a cause or to help a certain demographic. What gives me hope for the future is the reason why I volunteer my time to help those who need it the most, compassion in community care. The ways in which we invest in each other shape the outcomes of the world, regardless of if it is intentional or not. When food insecurity is met with blame, when the school-to-prison pipeline leads to high levels of minority youth being incarcerated when the prison industrial complex strips away formerly incarcerated people, when mental health is ignored in minority groups, we lose as a society. What gives me hope is that the new generation of advocates, helpers, organizers, and rebels are coming together to transform the ways that oppression manifests now. There are people in organizations that may not even be ever heard of, doing the work that communities need to progress. Community compassion is the ability to aid groups of people to autonomy and agency. I worked at the Newark Youth Court in New Jersey during my time in high school and it has been one of the most rewarding service opportunities I have experienced to date. In the Newark Public School system, social workers within schools refer students to the youth court, instead of juvenile detention centers, for misconduct. These children of color have been ignored and abused by systematic factors beyond their control, but the Youth Court gives them an opportunity to thrive. The students have their voices heard by a group of their peers—other Newark students—and are referred to Big Brother Big Sister programs, community service, and/or counseling services in the area. This program has saved so many lives that could have been lost in the vicious cycle of poverty and incarceration. It is organizations like this and like so many other restorative and transformative justice efforts that guide society’s young people into fulfilling lives. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. I am now a second-year Bonner Scholar, where we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I volunteered at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. They were sold at our farmers' market and most importantly, used for our Crop Caravan, a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities. What gives me hope about the future is seeing community compassion that keeps society equitable and cohesive. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth rallying for and empathizing with. My hope is in the works of future helpers, advocates, organizers, and rebels to transform society into an equitable place for all.
    Bold Study Strategies Scholarship
    In high school, I was a very inefficient student in the context of studying. I would use strategies of rote memorization, but for classes that you could not just commit to memory, like math or science, I did poorly. As a college student, I have learned that the best way to study is learning all of the perspectives on the topics you need to study for from all angles. Go further than just the study guide your teacher has given you and watch random YouTube videos about it, look up study guides online, any relevant information helps a lot. I know the feeling when you study for an important test and when you take it, none of what you have seen on the study guide is there. To combat that, just watching a video about microbiology or balancing chemical equations while you are eating dinner or on the way to school helps! Also, the more you invest your time into a topic, the more interested you get. I've caught myself rambling to my friends about Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalytic thought when I was taking my Psychology 101 course just because I was so interested in it from what I learned outside of the class! Even the small things that you learn can help. Even if you're just taking a class because it is a requirement, that is more reason why you should learn to love it. It kept the information relevant, and it really helped me learn to love school, because it didn't come naturally to me at all, especially for STEM subjects. Now I know that with a bit of interest, I can take any class at my university and actually enjoy it.
    Bold Creativity Scholarship
    Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for and empathizing with. When we categorize people in terms of in-groups and out-groups, we can absolve ourselves from the responsibility of helping others, because they do not belong in our community. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Community is unification and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Community begins and ends with your commitment to pushing back against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any community, regardless of their geographical location. With that, the changes I want to see in my community, country, and the world are revolutionary but simple; I want to create a reality where the motivation for service is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. I want to create a change that calls for innovative solutions for problems plaguing macro or micro-communities. Those who lie outside our positional views, lie outside our scope of justice. Creativity is imperative in problem-solving to keep the problems of accessibility relevant to those who can make the most change. Creativity helps me find my voice in solutions for those who are continuously silenced. The problems a lot of urban communities face in these places are accessibility and fostering solutions to inaccessibility becomes an important project of social work and service. Finding help for marginalized communities requires creativity thinking about solutions to best serve them.
    Bold Dream Big Scholarship
    My dream life looks like being financially stable enough to fully support my community and give back to those who made me who I am today. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for. I am Bonner Scholar and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, and created my own book club open that focused on teaching how to critically think about the world. Training and volunteering invigorated me to advocate for those who were in my position; it presented an opportunity for me to reach the communities that need it most. A service that caught my eye though was a service site that was added to our list of community-building opportunities in the last week of August. I will be tutoring program to work as a teacher's aide in a transition school for refugee and immigrant students in grades K-5 that don’t know how to speak English. My dedication to educational equity inspired me to service a vulnerable community that may need guidance in adjusting to being in a foreign place. I can’t wait to start working with my students this year. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and serve the children of color, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them to be themselves. My dream life is will be I can help others reach their dreams.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    A characteristic of myself that I value most is my ability to empathize with other people. It drove me to the passions I have today: community activism and advocacy for marginalized groups. As a first-generation student, I was taught empathy at a very young age. The ability to feel for one another, regardless of your social position, is the important drive for greatness for each other. I live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Allyship is unity and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Allyship begins and ends with your commitment to pushing back against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any community, regardless of their geographical location. It is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. Those who lie outside our subject position, lie outside our scope of justice. Fostering solutions to inaccessibility in urban communities has become an important project of social work and service. I worked at the Newark Youth Court in New Jersey during my time in high school and it has been one of the most rewarding service opportunities I have experienced to date. In the Newark Public School system, social workers within schools refer students to the youth court, instead of juvenile detention centers, for misconduct. These children of color have been ignored and abused by systematic factors beyond their control, but the Youth Court gives them an opportunity to thrive. The students have their voices heard by a group of their peers—other Newark students—and are referred to Big Brother Big Sister programs, community service, and/or counseling services in the area. I committed to Guilford College as a Bonner Scholar, and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, and created my own book club open that focused on teaching how to critically think about the world. Training and volunteering invigorated me to advocate for those who were in my position; it presented an opportunity for me to reach the communities that need it most. It taught me the importance of mentoring and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program. I was touching lives in powerful ways, and that’s all I could ever ask for. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and serve the children of color, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them to be themselves. As a sophomore, a service that caught my eye though was a service site that was added to our list of community-building opportunities in the last week of August. I will be tutoring program to work as a teacher’s aide in a transition school for refugee and immigrant students in grades K-5 that don’t know how to speak English. My dedication to educational equity inspired me to service a vulnerable community that may need guidance in adjusting to being in a foreign place. I can’t wait to start working with my students this year.
    Bold Mentor Scholarship
    Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for. I committed to Guilford College as a Bonner Scholar, and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, and created my own book club open that focused on teaching how to critically think about the world. Training and volunteering invigorated me to advocate for those who were in my position; it presented an opportunity for me to reach the communities that need it most. It taught me the importance of mentoring and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program. I was touching lives in powerful ways, and that’s all I could ever ask for. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and serve the children of color, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them to be themselves. As a sophomore, a service that caught my eye though was a service site that was added to our list of community-building opportunities in the last week of August. I will be tutoring program to work as a teacher’s aide for math, social studies, English, and science in a transition school for refugee and immigrant students in grades K-5 that don’t know how to speak English. My dedication to educational equity inspired me to service a vulnerable community that may need guidance in adjusting to being in a foreign place. I can’t wait to start working with my students this year.
    Bold Future of Education Scholarship
    That is the root of all social ills that affect marginalized communities, communities worth advocating for and empathizing with. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Something that would make the world better is a bigger push for educational equity. Education equity gives citizens a fighting chance to be successful in areas of academics or their personal lives. It gives people the opportunity to climb the social ladder and presents an opportunity for them to be prepared for life outside of the educational system. The biggest problem facing the world right now is the lack of compassion people have for one another. I joined the Newark Students' Union to learn how to become a community organizer, a helper, and an advocate for silent voices by coming up with a unique solution to the education crisis we had. There was state control of the public schools, which led to problems with funding allocation, school regulation, and resources; the state body that had administrative power over the schools of the city was complacent in creating solutions to inaccessibility in our education system. There was lead in the school water, low retention, and graduation rates, and a scarcity of textbooks. At meetings, I proposed instead of protesting at school, we should go directly to the source of the problem. So, I organized a sit-in at our governor's, Phil Murphy, Phil Murphy's office, to demand a discussion about Newark Public Schools (NPS). Eventually, at the end of my junior year, we manage to successfully gain local control of the schools again and elected NPS's first superintendent in over 30 years. I committed to Guilford College as a Bonner Scholar, and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of neglected communities. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, and I created my own book club open to all high school students that were focused on teaching them how to critically think about the world. As a sophomore, I knew a lot of the service opportunities that would be open to me for the fall semester. One that caught my eye though, was a service site that was added to our list of community-building opportunities in the last week of August. I will be tutoring program to work as a teacher’s aide for math, social studies, English, and science in a transition school for refugee and immigrant students in grades K-5 that don’t know how to speak English. My dedication to educational equity inspired me to service a vulnerable community that may need guidance in adjusting to being in a foreign place. I can’t wait to start working with my students this year.
    Bold Great Books Scholarship
    My favorite book is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. It explains the social ills that plague society in the ways that it oppresses marginalized communities, especially in the prison system. She warrants that the prison system has become a new system of racism and xenophobia in the ways that its over-policing Black and brown bodies. From extra-judicial murders to longer sentences for similar crimes to white people and the unjust high rates of death penalties for African American men, the prison system has become a tool for mass incarceration, that strips the rights of millions of people in the US. Formerly incarcerated people are not allowed to vote, find it hard to get jobs, and are isolated from the rest of society. This is my favorite book because it fueled my passion for activism. I worked at the Newark Youth Court in New Jersey during my time in high school and it has been one of the most rewarding service opportunities I have experienced to date. In the Newark Public School system, social workers within schools refer students to the youth court, instead of juvenile detention centers, for misconduct. These children of color have been ignored and abused by systematic factors beyond their control, but the Youth Court gives them an opportunity to thrive. The students have their voices heard by a group of their peers—other Newark students—and are referred to Big Brother Big Sister programs, community service, and/or counseling services in the area. This program has saved so many lives that could have been lost in the vicious cycle of poverty and incarceration. It is organizations like this and like so many other restorative and transformative justice efforts that guide society’s young people into fulfilling lives.
    Bold Great Minds Scholarship
    A person who I want to embody in my life is Ella Baker. She was the backbone of the civil rights movement at its height. She organized peaceful protests for the voting rights of African Americans, and she even created some of the activism organizations that still exist today, like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) headed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She mostly worked behind the scenes in these organizations, filling the administrative roles that were needed for a good organization. She was a help, an advocate, and an organizer, which I aspire to be in my life. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was given a need-based scholarship from the Bonner Foundation, an organization that contributes to changing the status quo through community service. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours for each. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of neglected communities. Ella Baker was the catalyst for a movement that she worked in silence for. I don’t want to be the face of a movement, but I do want to be a backbone for communities in need.
    Bold Financial Freedom Scholarship
    The most helpful piece of advice I ever received came from my Honors English teacher my freshman year. As a popular teacher, many seniors came to him to get advice on their personal statements, scholarship essays, and to write recommendations for college applications. What he told me is that a dream school isn’t a school that you’ve always hoped to attend, but a school that has always wanted you to attend. Those who give you the most money care the most about your educational potential. I applied to schools that gave full merit-based scholarships, schools that gave scholarships for my special interests, and schools that accept my credits as an International Baccalaureate student. Coming from a family who has spent most of our years in homeless shelters, paying wasn’t an option, so I settled on the school with the least loans, until I was offered a full scholarship by Guilford College based on my special interest in community activism. At my college, I am a Bonner Scholar, and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, I created my own book club open to all high school students that were focused on teaching them how to critically think about the world, and cultivated food to give out to the homeless. The change I want to see starts with the will to be of service to every place you feel needed. I want to see the change in communities, countries, and the world, to be empathetic. Guilford is now my dream school because it’s an institution that supports my academic and career goals of being a social worker.
    Bold Deep Thinking Scholarship
    The biggest problem facing the world right now is the lack of compassion people have for one another. That is the root of all social ills that affect marginalized communities, communities worth advocating for and empathizing with. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Compassion is unity and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Allyship begins and ends with a commitment to be against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any group of people. It is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. Those who lie outside our subject position, lie outside our scope of justice. Fostering solutions to inaccessibility in urban communities has become an important project of social work and service. At my college, I am a Bonner Scholar, and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, I created my own book club open to all high school students that were focused on teaching them how to critically think about the world, and cultivated food to give out to the homeless. The change I want to see starts with the will to be of service to every place you feel needed. I want to see the change in communities, countries, and the world, to be empathetic. The ability to feel for one another, regardless of your social position, is the important drive for greatness for each other. I live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Bold Wise Words Scholarship
    The wisest words I have ever heard are from my 5th-grade teacher who paraphrased a quote for me when I wasn’t doing too well in school. He said that even if I may not be ready for the day, it cannot always be night. This meant a lot to me in my later years. I was being rushed through life and was not ready to encounter it. To not be ready for the day as it closely approaches represents time moving regardless of one’s stubborn refusal to stay in place. My grandmother had just passed away. Grief engulfed me and I felt a heaviness that I had not experienced before. The heaviness seeped into the first month of school. It took me a while to get back on track, but in this, I realized that feelings that may seem overpowering will continue while the world around them passes by quickly. The night was over, and I started to face the day with confidence. I used my experience as motivation to be perseverant in my goals. I focused my energy on making my days as fulfilling as possible, especially through community work. At my college, I am a Bonner Scholar, and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. I realized that the day was in my passion for community. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for and empathizing with. That is my day, and in that, I am no longer anticipating the night.
    Studyist Education Equity Scholarship
    Education equity gives citizens a fighting chance to be successful in areas of academics or in their personal lives. It gives people the opportunity to climb the social ladder and presents an opportunity for them to be prepared for life outside of the educational system. At my college, I am a Bonner Scholar and we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I worked as a debate coach for an urban debate league, teaching inner-city children from grades 7-12 advocacy and public speaking skills that they will need in college, and I created my own book club open to all high school students that were focused on teaching them how to critically think about the world. As a sophomore, I knew a lot of the service opportunities that would be open to me for the fall semester. One that caught my eye though, was a service site that was added to our list of community-building opportunities in the last week of August. I will be tutoring program to work as a teacher’s aide for math, social studies, English, and science in a transition school for refugee and immigrant students in grades K-5 that don’t know how to speak English. My dedication to educational equity inspired me to service a vulnerable community that may need guidance in adjusting to being in a foreign place. I can’t wait to start working with my students this year.
    #Back2SchoolBold Scholarship
    Winner
    Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina to be a Bonner Scholar. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours for each. As a second-year Bonner Scholar, I already knew a lot of the service opportunities that would be open to me for the fall semester. The one that caught my eye though, was a service site that was added to our list of community-building opportunities in the last week of August. It was a tutoring program to work as a teacher’s aide in a transition school for refugee and immigrant elementary school children that don’t know how to speak English. My #Back2School moment was inspired by the will to help others and to be of service to a vulnerable community that may need guidance in adjusting to being in a foreign place. I can’t wait to start working with my students this year.
    3Wishes Women’s Empowerment Scholarship
    My existence as a Black woman is paradoxical. I exist in excess yet am still not enough. I don’t know how to blend in, my body is a political playing field and I write in the margins of my body and the footnotes of my subjectivity for every instance in which I am footnoted. That is to say, adultification, neglect, and disregard marked what I would call my girlhood. To be a Black girl is to feign resilience. In my high school years, I struggled with abuse, undiagnosed mental health issues, body issues, and homelessness. Yet, when it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning and I ran late for school, when I was absent because I didn’t have transportation, or when I would come to school bruised, no one would say a word. I blended in with the other pathologized delinquent children. I had to depend on myself for things adults in my life failed to provide for me. I left feeling desolate and defeat by the time my adulthood snuck up on me. Being a Black girl was hard and when I turned 18, I made a promise to myself that I would never let anyone make me feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved again. I have only been a Black woman for a year, but it has taught me that I don’t have to be helpless, that there is community in kinship ties for me, and that I don’t have to be resilient to survive. That refuge in the absolute embracement of my subjectivity is all I need. To be a Black woman is to fake resilience to keep from falling apart. Black women fight for Black women because no one else will. Black women fight for Black girls in a society that refuses to legitimize their existence. I learned this early on in my girlhood, but as soon as I had the advocacy skills and the agency to do so, I set out on my own mission to be a community organizer for Black women. I created mutual aid funds for Black women experiencing financial instability, I am creating a Black girl-centered book club and mental health support group via Bonner Scholars program, a community service-based scholarship that requires 140 hours of service each semester and 240 hours for two summers. I volunteered at my city’s biggest women’s center, Shani Baraka Women's Resource Center in the Central Ward of Newark. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and go back to serve the Black girls of my city with self-care after school programs, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them. My Black womanhood taught me that I will never let a Black girl or woman feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved. It taught me that the fight for Black feminism holds space for intergenerational Black mothering as well as a space for creating futures of community efforts to be affirmed.
    Pandemic's Box Scholarship
    Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was given a need-based scholarship from the Bonner Foundation, an organization that contributes to changing the status quo through community service. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours for each. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of neglected communities. It was this opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. I volunteered at my city’s biggest women’s center, Shani Baraka Women's Resource Center in the Central Ward of Newark. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and go back to serve the students of color in my city with self-care after school programs, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm. It was used in our farmers' market, dining hall, and our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We taught about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After, I decided that since virtual service is effective for the time being, I decided to go back to Science Park High School, my alma mater, as a debate coach. There I taught advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th graders understand policy and philosophy. The community represents a social network of love and compassion. It is what keeps society cohesive above all, it is what is needed to further the missions of justice in the status quo. When I think about what makes me want to be a public servant, it is because of all the times I was supported by a community when I needed it most. Throughout high school, I experienced housing, food insecurity, and family health issues; without the support, I receive from members of the community, I do not know where I would be today. The change I want to see starts with the will to be of service to every place you feel needed. Allyship is the ability to feel for one another, regardless of your social position, is the important drive for greatness for each other. I live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for and empathizing with. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Allyship is unity and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Allyship begins and ends with your commitment to pushing back against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any community, regardless of their geographical location. It is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. Those who lie outside our subject position, lie outside our scope of justice. Fostering solutions to inaccessibility in urban communities has become an important project of social work and service. In my high school years, I struggled with abuse, undiagnosed mental health issues, body issues, and homelessness. Yet, when it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning and I ran late for school, when I was absent because I didn’t have transportation, or when I would come to school bruised, no one would say a word. I blended in with the other pathologized delinquent children. I had to depend on myself for things adults in my life failed to provide for me. I left feeling desolate and defeat by the time my adulthood snuck up on me. Being a Black girl was hard and when I turned 18, I made a promise to myself that I would never let anyone make me feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved again. I have only been a Black woman for a year, but it has taught me that I don’t have to be helpless, that there is a community in kinship ties for me, and that I don’t have to be resilient to survive. That refuge in the absolute embracement of my subjectivity is all I need. To be a Black woman is to fake resilience to keep from falling apart. Black women fight for Black women because no one else will. Black women fight for Black girls in a society that refuses to legitimize their existence. I learned this early on in my girlhood, but as soon as I had the advocacy skills and the agency to do so, I set out on my own mission to be a community organizer for Black women. I created mutual aid funds for Black women experiencing financial instability, I am creating a Black girl-centered book club and mental health support group via Bonner Scholars program, a community service-based scholarship that requires 140 hours of service each semester and 240 hours for two summers. I volunteered at my city’s biggest women’s center, Shani Baraka Women's Resource Center in the Central Ward of Newark. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and go back to serve the Black girls of my city with self-care after school programs, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them. My Black womanhood taught me that I will never let an underrepresented child or adult feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved. It taught me that the fight for equity holds space for intergenerational mothering as well as a space for creating futures of community efforts to be affirmed.
    AMPLIFY Immigrant Students Scholarship
    My mother taught me that love started with care for your family, and family is everything. She came to the United States from Guyana when she was twelve years old. She lived with 15 other family members up until she had me. With my younger brother, my mother experienced pregnancy-related health complications during our eviction from our home. For two years we rotated from short stays in hotels to stay with family to be in a homeless shelter. Even though this time, I managed to hide from my school that I was experiencing housing and food insecurity. Because my mother was an undocumented immigrant, it was hard to access government assistance, but we managed to move to the sanctuary city I was born and went to school in, Newark, New Jersey. While I went to one of the most academically challenging schools in Newark, I aided my mother in care for my younger brother and household. Then I realized. Family is not just your biological kin; it is the ties you create with your community and the social networks that support you when you need it. As a first-generation student, I sought out the community with those in my situation. I created a club-support group for first-generation students in my high school. We found that we all had similar life experiences and that provide solace in those I could relate to. It also gave me a passion to serve communities and being an activist for underserved populations. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. My mother had only gotten her GED, and now she tells me constantly how proud she is that I am a second-year Bonner Scholar. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated communities. It was this opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, and most importantly, used for our Crop Caravan, a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities. I taught others about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. Then, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to go back to my roots and work at Science Park High School, my alma mater, as an assistant debate coach. I taught key advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. As a first-generation student, I was taught empathy at a very young age. The ability to feel for one another, regardless of your social position, is the important drive for greatness for each other. I live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Imagine Dragons Origins Scholarship
    My mother taught me that love started with care for your family, and family is everything. She came to the United States from Guyana when she was twelve years old. She lived with 15 other family members up until 1999 and three years later, she had me. I would be her only child for ten years. We had a stable home life until that time. With my younger brother, my mother had experience pregnancy-related health complications during us being evicted from our apartment building. We lost everything and for two years rotated from short stays in hotels to staying with family to being in a homeless shelter. Even through this time though, I managed to hide from my school that I was experiencing housing and food insecurity. Because my mother was an undocumented immigrant, it was hard to access government assistance, but we managed to move to the sanctuary city I was born and went to school at, Newark, New Jersey. While I went to one of the most academically challenging schools in Newark, I aided my mother in care for my younger brother and household. For most of my high school career, I watched my mother struggle financially. Yet, I would always try to think how her philosophies about family could help our situation. Then I realized. Family is not just your biological kin; it is the ties you create with your community and the social networks that support you when you need it. As a first-generation student, I sought out community with those in my situation. I created a club-support group for first-generation students in my high school. We found that we all had similar life experiences and that provide solace in those I could relate to. It also gave me a passion to serve communities and being an activist for underserved populations. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. My mother had only gotten her GED, and now she tells me constantly how proud she is that I am a second-year Bonner Scholar. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated for communities. It was this unique opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I did most of my service hours online, but I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After I took that role, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to go back to my roots and work at Science Park High School, my alma mater, as an assistant debate coach. There I taught key advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. As a first-generation student, I was taught empathy at a very young age. The ability to feel for one another, regardless of your social position, is the important drive for greatness for each other. I live in community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Darryl Davis "Follow Your Heart" Scholarship
    In high school, I struggled with poverty, food insecurity, and housing insecurity. When it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning and I ran late for school when I was absent because I didn’t have transportation, or when I would come to school bruised, no one would say a word. I was marked with the scarlet letter of delinquency. I had to depend on myself for things adults in my life failed to provide for me. Being a Black girl was hard and when I turned 18, I made a promise to myself that I would never let anyone make me feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved again. College for me means having the ability to give back to vulnerable communities. I have only been a Black woman for a year, but it has taught me that I don’t have to be helpless, that there is a community in kinship ties for me, and that I don’t have to be resilient to survive. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and serve the Black children of color in my community after school programs, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was given a need-based scholarship from the Bonner Foundation, an organization that contributes to changing the status quo through community service. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours for each. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of neglected communities. It was this opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. My educational career as a college student will provide me with the knowledge that I need to be a leader and a community organizer. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After I took that role, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to work at Science Park High School, my alma mater, as an assistant debate coach. There I taught advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. My education will further my ability to live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Finesse Your Education's "The College Burnout" Scholarship
    Vacation Nightmare 1. Bodies (Intro) - Jazmine Sullivan 2. Welcome to the Party - Pop Smoke 3. Gang over Luv - Brent Faiyaz 4. WUSYANAME - Tyler The Creator (feat. NBA Youngboy & Ty Dolla $ign) 5. Netflix and Dusse - Smino 6. Got Friends - Goldlink (feat. Miguel) 7. TOKYO - BROCKHAMPTON - The College Copout
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    My experience with mental health has taught me the value of community and that support networks can transform lives. What makes a support group authentically beneficial is its emphasis on empathy and parallelism. People feel most comfortable when they are understood, and support groups offer a unique opportunity for empathetic identification to occur. When I was younger and before I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, I attended a support group for adolescent girls with depression. Interpreting the world from a seemingly foreign perspective than your peers can feel like the worst type of ostracization for a teen. When I was in the group, the girls really made me feel like the mental health issues I struggled with were not felt in isolation. They contributed to my understanding and coping mechanisms to my manage my disorders and find ways to navigate the world with them. My mental health disorders have also taught me the importance of patience and kindness. One’ breaking point could be casually hurtful words, a mean look, or just feeling that others around them are annoyed by their presence. My experience with mental health taught me that I will never let an underrepresented anyone feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved. It taught me that the fight for equity holds space for intergenerational mothering as well as a space for creating futures of community efforts to be affirmed. In my network, discovered that we all had similar life experiences and that provide solace in those I could relate to. It gave me a passion to serve communities and being an activist for underserved populations. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. My mother had only gotten her GED, and now she tells me constantly how proud she is that I am a second-year Bonner Scholar. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated communities. It was this unique opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I did most of my service hours online, but I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After that, I took on my most important project to date; being a part of the Trevor Project in the role of a hotline operator. The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 as a suicide prevention program for LGBTQIA+ teens and children. Training and volunteering invigorated me to advocate for those who were in my position; it presented an opportunity for me to reach the communities that need it most. It taught me the importance of mentoring and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program. I was touching lives in powerful ways, and that’s all I could ever ask for. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and go back to serve the children of color, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community, of my city with self-care after school programs and support groups, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them to be themselves. Support networks have only ever benefited my life and made me flourish in ways I didn't know I could. I would not be who I am today without the in-group relationships I made with people of common struggles. Support networks function as a place of refuge and community-building by nature. In every aspect of my identity, they equipped me with the tools to make friends, find help when I need it, rally for justice, and serve a community. For that, I will always support the missions that support groups uniquely offer because in no other space can you be authentically yourself. Support groups manifest in every safe space one may find in life, and that is why they make the most intimate difference to people's lives.
    Ruth and Johnnie McCoy Memorial Scholarship
    In high school, I struggled with poverty, food insecurity, and housing insecurity. When it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning and I ran late for school when I was absent because I didn’t have transportation, or when I would come to school bruised, no one would say a word. I was marked with the scarlet letter of delinquency. I had to depend on myself for things adults in my life failed to provide for me. Being a Black girl was hard and when I turned 18, I made a promise to myself that I would never let anyone make me feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved again. College for me means having the ability to give back to vulnerable communities. I have only been a Black woman for a year, but it has taught me that I don’t have to be helpless, that there is a community in kinship ties for me, and that I don’t have to be resilient to survive. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and serve the Black children of color in my community after school programs, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was given a need-based scholarship from the Bonner Foundation, an organization that contributes to changing the status quo through community service. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours for each. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of neglected communities. It was this opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. My educational career as a college student will provide me with the knowledge that I need to be a leader and a community organizer. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After I took that role, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to work at Science Park High School, my alma mater, as an assistant debate coach. There I taught advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. My education will further my ability to live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    Bold Generosity Matters Scholarship
    Generosity is compassion, empathy, and advocacy for communities or individuals that face issues that one can aid them with. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Allyship is unity and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Allyship begins and ends with your commitment to pushing back against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any community, regardless of their geographical location. It is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. Those who lie outside our subject position, lie outside our scope of justice. Fostering solutions to inaccessibility in urban communities has become an important project of social work and service. Generosity is the motivation for service is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. I want to create a change that calls for innovative solutions for problems plaguing macro or micro-communities. Gen is imperative in problem-solving to keep the problems of accessibility relevant to those who can make the most change. Creativity helps me find my voice in solutions for those who are continuously silenced. The problem a lot of disadvantaged communities face in these places is accessibility and fostering solutions to inaccessibility becomes an important project of social work and service. Finding help for marginalized communities requires generosity to best serve them.
    Bold Hope for the Future Scholarship
    Community work is the hallmark of change in this society. It is seen everywhere, thousands of people rallying together to support a cause or to help a certain demographic. What gives me hope for the future is the reason why I volunteer my time to help those who need it the most, compassion in community care. The ways in which we invest in each other shape the outcomes of the world, regardless of if it is intentional or not. When food insecurity is met with blame, when the school-to-prison pipeline leads to high levels of minority youth being incarcerated when the prison industrial complex strips away formerly incarcerated people, when mental health is ignored in minority groups, we lose as a society. What gives me hope is that the new generation of advocates, helpers, organizers, and rebels are coming together to transform the ways that oppression manifests now. There are people in organizations that may not even be ever heard of, doing the work that communities need to progress. Community compassion is the ability to aid groups of people to autonomy and agency. I worked at the Newark Youth Court in New Jersey during my time in high school and it has been one of the most rewarding service opportunities I have experienced to date. In the Newark Public School system, social workers within schools refer students to the youth court, instead of juvenile detention centers, for misconduct. These children of color have been ignored and abused by systematic factors beyond their control, but the Youth Court gives them an opportunity to thrive. The students have their voices heard by a group of their peers—other Newark students—and are referred to Big Brother Big Sister programs, community service, and/or counseling services in the area. This program has saved so many lives that could have been lost in the vicious cycle of poverty and incarceration. It is organizations like this and like so many other restorative and transformative justice efforts that guide society’s young people into fulfilling lives. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. I am now a second-year Bonner Scholar, where we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester. I volunteered at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. They were sold at our farmers' market and most importantly, used for our Crop Caravan, a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities. What gives me hope about the future is seeing community compassion that keeps society equitable and cohesive. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth rallying for and empathizing with. My hope is in the works of future helpers, advocates, organizers, and rebels to transform society into an equitable place for all.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    Support groups often are the foundation of the intimate relationships people of minority groups find solace in; they hold space for those with common hardships or struggles and are an important part of understanding one's place in the world writ large. The most important area in which they are best at is bringing people together to quell feelings of loneliness and isolation, connecting people with resources that they would not have been able to access otherwise, and fostering a community in which they can most relate to. What makes a support group authentically beneficial is its emphasis on empathy and parallelism. Support groups offer a unique opportunity for empathetic identification to occur. When I was younger and before I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, I attended a support group for adolescent girls with depression. Interpreting the world from a seemingly foreign perspective than your peers can feel like the worst type of ostracization for a teen. When I was in the group, it was a relief that I didn't struggle in isolation. They contributed to understanding my disorders and finding ways to navigate the world with them. Support groups members and facilitators have valuable knowledge of resources to with your experiences. I would not be who I am today without the in-group relationships I made with people of common struggles. Support groups function as a place of refuge and community-building by nature. They equipped me with the tools to make friends, find help when I need it, and serve a community. For that, I will always support the missions that support groups uniquely offer because in no other space can you be authentically yourself. Support groups manifest in every safe space one may find in life, and that is why they make the most intimate difference to people's lives.
    Deborah's Grace Scholarship
    The quote that I follow to guide me in life is in a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. In it she writes “Say to them, say to the down-keepers, the sun-slappers, the self-soilers, the harmony-hushers, ‘Even if you are not ready for day it cannot always be night.’” This was especially influential for me when I discovered it at 17; I was being rushed through life I and was not ready to encounter it. To not be ready for the day as it closely approaches represents time moving regardless of one’s stubborn refusal to stay in place. My grandmother had just passed away. Grief engulfed my summer, and I felt a heaviness that I had not experienced before. It was at that time, that I learned the meaning of true resilience. The heaviness seeped into the first month of school. I could barely keep track of my racing thoughts, let alone last night’s homework assignment. “Even if you are not ready.’” It took me a while to get back on track, but in this, I realized that feelings that seems overpowering keeps one at a standstill, while the world around them passes by quickly. The night was over, and I started to face the day with confidence. I used my experience as motivation to be perseverant in my goals. I focused my energy on making my days as fulfilling as possible, especially through community work. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. I am now a second-year Bonner Scholar, where we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated communities. It was this unique opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I did most of my service hours online, but I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. I realized that the day was in my passion for community. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for and empathizing with. That is my day, and in that, I no longer anticipate the night.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    My experience with mental health has taught me the value of community and that support networks can transform lives. What makes a support group authentically beneficial is its emphasis on empathy and parallelism. People feel most comfortable when they are understood, and support groups offer a unique opportunity for empathetic identification to occur. When I was younger and before I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, I attended a support group for adolescent girls with depression. Interpreting the world from a seemingly foreign perspective than your peers can feel like the worst type of ostracization for a teen. When I was in the group, the girls really made me feel like the mental health issues I struggled with were not felt in isolation. They contributed to my understanding and coping mechanisms to my manage my disorders and find ways to navigate the world with them. My mental health disorders have also taught me the importance of patience and kindness. One’ breaking point could be casually hurtful words, a mean look, or just feeling that others around them are annoyed by their presence. My experience with mental health taught me that I will never let an underrepresented anyone feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved. It taught me that the fight for equity holds space for intergenerational mothering as well as a space for creating futures of community efforts to be affirmed. In my network, discovered that we all had similar life experiences and that provide solace in those I could relate to. It gave me a passion to serve communities and being an activist for underserved populations. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. My mother had only gotten her GED, and now she tells me constantly how proud she is that I am a second-year Bonner Scholar. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated communities. It was this unique opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I did most of my service hours online, but I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After that, I took on my most important project to date; being a part of the Trevor Project in the role of a hotline operator. The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 as a suicide prevention program for LGBTQIA+ teens and children. Training and volunteering invigorated me to advocate for those who were in my position; it presented an opportunity for me to reach the communities that need it most. It taught me the importance of mentoring and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program. I was touching lives in powerful ways, and that’s all I could ever ask for. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and go back to serve the children of color, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community, of my city with self-care after school programs and support groups, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them to be themselves. Support networks have only ever benefited my life and made me flourish in ways I didn't know I could. I would not be who I am today without the in-group relationships I made with people of common struggles. Support networks function as a place of refuge and community-building by nature. In every aspect of my identity, they equipped me with the tools to make friends, find help when I need it, rally for justice, and serve a community. For that, I will always support the missions that support groups uniquely offer because in no other space can you be authentically yourself. Support groups manifest in every safe space one may find in life, and that is why they make the most intimate difference to people's lives.
    Jillian Ellis Pathway Scholarship
    Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for and empathizing with. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Allyship is unity and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Allyship begins and ends with your commitment to pushing back against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any community, regardless of their geographical location. It is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. Those who lie outside our subject position, lie outside our scope of justice. Fostering solutions to inaccessibility in urban communities has become an important project of social work and service. In my high school years, I struggled with abuse, undiagnosed mental health issues, body issues, and homelessness. Yet, when it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning and I ran late for school, when I was absent because I didn’t have transportation, or when I would come to school bruised, no one would say a word. I blended in with the other pathologized delinquent children. I had to depend on myself for things adults in my life failed to provide for me. I left feeling desolate and defeat by the time my adulthood snuck up on me. Being a Black girl was hard and when I turned 18, I made a promise to myself that I would never let anyone make me feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved again. I have only been a Black woman for a year, but it has taught me that I don’t have to be helpless, that there is a community in kinship ties for me, and that I don’t have to be resilient to survive. That refuge in the absolute embracement of my subjectivity is all I need. To be a Black woman is to fake resilience to keep from falling apart. Black women fight for Black women because no one else will. Black women fight for Black girls in a society that refuses to legitimize their existence. I learned this early on in my girlhood, but as soon as I had the advocacy skills and the agency to do so, I set out on my own mission to be a community organizer for others. I created mutual aid funds for those experiencing financial instability, I am creating a people of color-centered book club and mental health support group via Bonner Scholars program, a community service-based scholarship that requires 140 hours of service each semester and 240 hours for two summers. I volunteered at my city’s biggest women’s center, Shani Baraka Women's Resource Center in the Central Ward of Newark. I am a Community and Justice Studies major so I can go on to a Social Work master’s program and go back to serve the children of color in my city with self-care after school programs, juvenile detention diversion programs, and developing a community for them. My Black womanhood taught me that I will never let an underrepresented child or adult feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or unloved. It taught me that the fight for equity holds space for intergenerational mothering as well as a space for creating futures of community efforts to be affirmed.
    Maida Brkanovic Memorial Scholarship
    My mother taught me that love started with care for your family, and family is everything. She came to the United States from Guyana when she was twelve years old. She lived with 15 other family members up until 1999 and three years later, she had me. I would be her only child for ten years. We had a stable home life until that time. With my younger brother, my mother had to experience pregnancy-related health complications during us being evicted from our apartment building. We lost everything and for two years rotated from short stays in hotels to stay with family to be in a homeless shelter. Even though this time though, I managed to hide from my school that I was experiencing housing and food insecurity. Because my mother was an undocumented immigrant, it was hard to access government assistance, but we managed to move to the sanctuary city I was born and went to school in, Newark, New Jersey. While I went to one of the most academically challenging schools in Newark, I aided my mother in care for my younger brother and household. For most of my high school career, I watched my mother struggle financially. Yet, I would always try to think about how her philosophies about family could help our situation. Then I realized. Family is not just your biological kin; it is the ties you create in your community and the social networks that support you when you need it. As a first-generation student, I sought out the community with those in my situation. I created a club-support group for first-generation students in my high school. We found that we all had similar life experiences and that provide solace in those I could relate to. It also gave me a passion to serve communities and being an activist for underserved populations. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. My mother had only gotten her GED, and now she tells me constantly how proud she is that I am a second-year Bonner Scholar. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated communities. It was this unique opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I did most of my service hours online, but I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After I took that role, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to go back to my roots and work at Science Park High School, my alma mater, as an assistant debate coach. There I taught key advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. As a first-generation student, I was taught empathy at a very young age. The ability to feel for one another, regardless of your social position, is the important drive for greatness for each other. I live in a community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.
    "Wise Words" Scholarship
    The that I follow to guide me in life is in a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. In it she writes “Say to them, say to the down-keepers, the sun-slappers, the self-soilers, the harmony-hushers, ‘Even if you are not ready for day it cannot always be night.’” This was especially influential for me when I discovered it at 17; I was being rushed through life and was not ready to encounter it. To not be ready for the day as it closely approaches represents time moving regardless of one’s stubborn refusal to stay in place. My grandmother had just passed away. Grief engulfed my summer, and I felt a heaviness that I had not experienced before. It was at that time, that I learned the meaning of true resilience. The heaviness seeped into the first month of school. I could barely keep track of my racing thoughts, let alone last night’s homework assignment. “Even if you are not ready.’” It took me a while to get back on track, but in this, I realized that feelings that seem overpowering keep one at a standstill, while the world around them passes by quickly. The night was over, and I started to face the day with confidence. I used my experience as motivation to be perseverant in my goals. I focused my energy on making my days as fulfilling as possible, especially through community work. I committed to Guilford College in North Carolina, on a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively leads missions of social justice. We are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated communities. It was this opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm. It was used in our farmers' market, and most importantly, our Crop Caravan. This is a program where we donate fresh food to homeless communities. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club. We taught about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy options in underserved communities. I took training sessions on how I could be a better environmental activist. Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for and empathizing with. That is my day, and in that, I no longer anticipate the night.
    Social Change Fund United Scholarship
    In the excess of the five centuries of anti-blackness, disenfranchisement, and oppressive conditions leave a deep scar in Black communities that are often addressed by being ignored. The scarring represents the goal of white supremacy; to mentally and emotionally exhaust, drain, and exhort the Black community. Trauma becomes a generational cycle where those who need mental health resources the most are the least likely to receive it. The Black community writ large, especially Black children, face barriers to diagnosis and treatment of mental health or neurobehavioral disorders because of the ignorance of a society that thrives off marginalization and benefits from leaving these communities without access to resources. With, my utopian vision for optimal mental health care in the Black communities looks like an ethic of empathy and advocacy, not for performative quick fixes like emergency mental health programs, but long-term networks that keep the Black community thriving despite anti-Blackness. Community is unity and togetherness and begins and ends with a commitment to pushing back against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any community. It is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. Fostering solutions to mental health crises in Black communities has become an important project of social work and service. The lack of mental health resources isn’t just an example of racism, but the driving force of it. Awareness of what Black communities need in context to mental health would improve every aspect of social life. My utopia looks like an intervention for Black neurodivergent people before it is too late. Throughout high school, I struggled with undiagnosed mental health issues because my counselors and my school social worker didn’t see me as a Black girl needing help; they saw me as a delinquent, like everyone else failing in their junior or senior year, even though I was the valedictorian of my middle school. Mental health services are the impetus of transforming the ways in which we view young Black children. I was pathologized at an early age and being characterized as loud, angry, bad because inside and outside of my community, there was no framework to accept that Black children can have complex emotions absent the ways they are stereotyped. When society adopts a safe space for which Black people can get adequate access to healthcare, we are not only saving individual lives but quite literally the health outcomes for an entire race. According to the Kaiser-CDC study, people who experience trauma at a young age are the most at risk for heart disease and other health problems, not because of their actions, but solely because of experiences. Trauma is a social justice issue because it is a health epidemic. Every time a counselor misses a symptom of ADHD, a psychotherapist misdiagnoses a Black person with a conduct disorder instead of PTSD, a Black parent writes off the behaviors of their children as disrespect and not depression, we lose as a community. Social justice in ensuring that the most vulnerable populations get the resources they need to thrive. When broken mental health systems are leading children to unnecessary placement in special education programs, the school-to-prison pipeline, and a litany of health problems, we need to step in. There needs to be mental health professionals trained to be ethnically aware and in control of their biases. There needs to be community and school support systems, so children and adults don’t feel ashamed or hopeless when trying to find help. Most of all, there needs to be a genuine dedication to undoing generational harms and rebuilding broken Black communities in the light of acceptance and empathy.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    Where there is a need for solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity, there is a community worth advocating for and empathizing with. When we categorize people in terms of in-groups and out-groups, we can absolve ourselves from the responsibility of helping others, because they do not belong in our community. I want to challenge the notion that community starts and ends with those in the closest proximity to you. Community is unification and togetherness, which drives social change whether it is in small towns, or whole continents. Community begins and ends with your commitment to pushing back against oppressive systems that continue to dehumanize and disadvantage any community, regardless of their geographical location. With that, the changes I want to see in my community, country, and the world are revolutionary but simple; I want to create a reality where the motivation for service is driven by compassion, the type that saves lives. I want to create a change that calls for innovative solutions for problems plaguing macro or micro-communities. Those who lie outside our positional views, lie outside our scope of justice. Creativity is imperative in problem-solving to keep the problems of accessibility relevant to those who can make the most change. Creativity helps me find my voice in solutions for those who are continuously silenced. The problems a lot of urban communities face in these places are accessibility and fostering solutions to inaccessibility becomes an important project of social work and service. Finding help for marginalized communities requires creativity thinking about solutions to best serve them. Before college, I was a part of the Newark Students' Union (NSU) in order to find solutions to the problem facing our school system. We advocated for change in administrative practices for schools in the city of Newark which has been marked by poverty and disadvantage. There was state control of the public schools, which led to problems with funding allocation, school regulation, and resources; the state body that had administrative power over the schools of the city was complacent in creating solutions to inaccessibility in our education system. There was the lead in the school water, low retention, and graduation rates, regular school closings in June because the classrooms have no air conditioning and a scarcity of textbooks. I joined the NSU to learn how to become a community organizer, a helper, and an advocate for silent voices by coming up with a unique solution to the education crisis we had. We had to find ways to grab the attention of the local grassroots groups, the city of Newark, and the State government in order to make it known we urgently needed change. At meetings, I proposed that instead of protesting at school, we should go directly to the source of the problem. So, I organized a sit-in at our governor's, Phil Murphy, Phil Murphy's office, to demand a discussion about Newark Public Schools (NPS). Eventually, at the end of my junior year, we manage to successfully gain local control of the schools again and elected NPS's first superintendent in over 30 years. This revolutionary accomplishment empowered me to be the change I want to see in the world writ large. I committed to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the condition that I will be rewarded a need-based scholarship under the Bonner Foundation, an organization that actively contributes to changing the status quo. I am now a second-year Bonner Scholar, where we are required to do 140 hours of service each semester and two summers of service as 240 hours each time. This was especially difficult, as I was admitted into the freshman class at the height of the pandemic. But, while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a laundry list of health and political forms of destruction, it also made politicians and activists realize the fragility of most underdeveloped and un-advocated for communities. It was this unique opportunity for me to help people from hundreds of miles away, that caused me to have the service outreach of those people my locational scope of community-building. I did most of my service hours online, but I was able to serve multiple communities at once, including my home city. The first service was working at the Guilford College Farm, where I picked and packaged organic fruits and vegetables. These are used to be sold at our farmers market, used in the salad bar of our cafeteria, and most importantly, to be used for our Crop Caravan. It is a program where we deliver and donate fresh food to homeless communities around Greensboro. It taught me the value of farm work and food justice, which led to my administrative role in the Food Justice Club at Guilford. We held meetings to teach people about food insecurity, food deserts, and programs that promote healthy food options in underserved communities. I also took training sessions to learn how I could be a better environmental activist for those who face food insecurity. After I took that role, I decided that since virtual service is efficient and effective for the time being, I decided to go back to my roots and work at Science Park High School, my alma mater, as an assistant debate coach. There I taught key advocacy and public speaking skills in an Urban Debate League, volunteering my time to help the 7-12th grade students understand policy and philosophy. The change I want to see starts with the will to be of service to every place you feel needed. I want to see the change in communities, countries, and the world, to be empathetic. The ability to feel for one another, regardless of your social position, is the important drive for greatness for each other. I live in community with others, not only to help where I am needed but to learn how to be a better person and activist.