It comes with great pleasure to announce the continuation of our scholarship program for the 2022 year! This year, we increased our scholarship awarding by 108%, providing $25,000 in scholarships and introducing two new scholarship opportunities for Women of Color and student parents. Along with an increase in funding, we have also reflected on the intention and impact of our scholarship program, aiming to provide more than mere financial support.
Scholarship Program Mission
We understand that Central Valley students, especially those who are underserved, face a myriad of obstacles during their educational journeys that inevitably interfere with academic performance. And we also understand that traditional markers of success (like high grade point averages) are rooted in whiteness, elitism, and a myth of meritocracy. Rather than centralizing on academic history, we focus solely on a student's potential to succeed.
The goal of our scholarship program is not only to provide financial support to some of the most underserved Central Valley students, but to also change the narrative of the “ideal” scholarship candidate and challenge other educational institutions to do the same.
In our applications, we’re asking students to be honest, to be vulnerable, and to dive deeply into our questions. Our questions are designed for students to begin to develop a sense of critical consciousness, in which students understand who they are, how systemic forms of oppression have created challenges specific to their identities, and how their experiences have created a high level of intelligence that goes beyond institutional academics.
When selecting scholarship winners, our criteria is based on identity, need, and potential for growth - deliberately selecting students that are often overlooked.
We've updated our scholarship requirements to the following:
Must be enrolled at a community college, vocational school, or undergraduate university during the fall semester/quarter of 2022.
Must have graduated from a high school, continuation school, or G.E.D school in the San Joaquin Valley by August 31st, 2022.
This means, for the first time since our founding, undergraduate students are eligible to apply for our scholarships. More specifically, undergraduate students who have received a high school diploma or equivalent from a school in the San Joaquin Valley are eligible to apply.
Inclusivity and accessibility are paramount values in our organization, and as such, we have made an effort to make our applications as accessible as possible. In our applications, we do not ask for proof of social security or citizenship, we do not have a grade point minimum (or GPA) requirement, and only one of our seven identity scholarships requests a letter of recommendation.
If you’d like to check if you qualify, please complete this short form.
We are awarding $1,500 scholarships to students with the following identities:
Students with disabilities
First Generation students
Women of Color
Since we’re expecting an increase in applications, we wanted to create an increase in opportunity; thus, this year, two winners will be selected for each scholarship. In addition, we will select one winner for our $4,000 Inspire Award.
The Woman of Color Scholarship
This year we are introducing two new scholarship opportunities: the Woman of Color Scholarship and the Student Parent scholarship.
The Woman of Color scholarship was developed with the understanding that our society is greatly divided across gendered and colored lines, meaning women of color become one of the most marginalized in our society. This scholarship was created to recognize the discrepancy in experiences to higher education many women of color face while also reflecting on how one’s intersectionality can be a place of empowerment and growth.
We use the general term “Woman of Color” to describe women-identifying folks who carry cultural and ethnic identities that are not solely white. For purposes of this scholarship, we define women as all who experience life through the lens of women in body, spirit, and identity, in present, future and fluid. Trans women are women, and as long as they meet our other requirements, they are eligible to apply to this scholarship.
The Woman of Color scholarship is in recognition of Kathleen Burke (she/her) and Ralph Davis (he/him). Thank you for your support and belief in Woman of Color in the Central Valley.
The Student Parent Scholarship
We created the Student Parent scholarship with the understanding that student parents face a myriad of obstacles in their trajectory towards higher education. From dealing with unaccommodating professors, to the lack of safe and accessible housing options, from having to navigate ableist practices and norms embedded in academic institutions; student parents face a unique struggle in which they’re not only focusing on supporting themselves, but also their children.
As stated by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, there were over four million student parents enrolled in college between 2019 to 2020 in the United States. Of these four million, 52 percent of student parents dropped out of college before attaining their degree. Across the nation and in the Central Valley, there is a dire need to support, advocate, and accommodate student parents. Our Student Parent scholarship is one method we use to support student parents in the Central Valley.
The Student Parent scholarship was created by Maria Del Pilar Manriquez (she/they), a Central Valley Scholar and graduate of UC Berkeley.
Learn More and Apply
To learn more about our scholarships, please visit centralvalleyscholars.org/scholarships.
If you’d like to contribute to our scholarship fund, please click here.