The Essay must be about only ONE African American who has influenced you to continue to pursue an education to graduate and post graduate heights. The essay must contain 1500 to 2500 words. This will allow us to listen to you and your goals. This African American does not have to be famous. It is only important that he or she inspire you to continue your education. Suggested individuals include writers, poets, relatives, educators, someone in the arts, medical or legal profession, etc.

The student must compose and submit his or her own original essay. Only one essay per applicant. There will be no coaching of any kind. The essay must be original.


What to write:

  • Tell us about the African-American and how that person influenced you to continue your education.
  • Include your goals, objectives, aspirations


Before you begin

  • Make an agreement with a teacher or other trusted adult that you will take the time to complete the essay. Meet with that teacher or adult periodically for updates.
  • Provide your teacher and principal with their appropriate form early to give them sufficient time to complete it and return it to the committee.
  • Begin writing the essay well before the deadline. Spend some time alone, free  from distractions, to think about the special African-American person who has inspired you to seek a higher education.
  • List ideas and thoughts you want to portray in this individual.
  • Ask yourself, what is it about this person that drives or compels me to accomplish my goals.


As You Write

  • Don’t be afraid to begin. Write freely and save the editing for later.
  • Be yourself. Write about what is genuine and true for you.
  • Imagine that you are writing a letter to a special friend (someone you haven’t seen in a while) and you can’t wait to tell this person how he or she has influenced you to continue your education beyond high school.
  • Keep the focus simple. Avoid large, fancy words and stale beginnings.
  • Write about a singular moment or instance that made a difference in your concept of your education and desires for the future.
  • What specific things in the African American’s life influence you about them
    • Give specific details about the African American
    • Details not often known or seen
  • Details about their childhood; important situations; a turning point for them
  • Describe their family life: siblings, friends, school, abilities exhibited; give a word picture of their life
  • Discuss how does that influence you
  • Use events, feelings, ideas.
  • Be creative in your presentation
  • NO plagiarism allowed.
  • Avoid direct quotes, poems, etc. for they will not be considered part of the 1500 to 2500 word requirement.


After you finish evaluate your essay on the following levels and check off each one

  • Is it grammatically correct, properly punctuated, interesting to read?
  • Have you followed directions carefully, avoided clichés, prepared it to the best of your ability.
  • Be sure to put your name in the upper right-hand corner of every page of your essay, application form and attachments
  • Center the title (whom you are writing about) on your essay
  • Be sure to do a word count to make sure you meet the word count requirement, 1500 words to 2500 words


Points to Remember:

  • ALL package submission items MUST BE TYPED.
  • Essay: Use “Times Roman”, 12 pitch font, DOUBLE SPACE

  • Reminder: Only one essay per applicant
    • Completed packages must be SUBMITTED ONLINE no later than March 31, 2024 at 11:59 P.M.

Submit Application