Akintoye Akindele, majoring in Business, is a DiversityJobs Scholarship Finalist

[M]y parents are from Africa. They migrated to the United States about three decades ago. I am the youngest of three children. I was born in the hardened neighborhoods of Detroit Michigan where I witnessed my parents make the most of very difficult circumstances. In the process they lifted themselves up and gave my siblings and me a happy home filled with love, joy, security, and a future of promising possibilities. 

I am currently an undergraduate student at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. However, I aspire to go beyond that and pursue a law degree. I am striving to become an accomplished attorney and advocate, employing the law not only to earn a decent living, but also advocate on behalf of underprivileged people in society. Coming from an under-privileged neighborhood, and managing to see past my circumstances as an African American male in the inner city, I understand the importance of giving back. 

Additionally, my unique family background has afforded me the opportunity to travel around the world and to experience different cultures and other people’s circumstances. Visiting my homeland in Africa, I have come to realize why my parents constantly lecture to me about taking advantage of the opportunities I have and to appreciate why I am blessed to be an American citizen. To see members of my extended family remaining positive, hopeful, and happy despite their circumstance, further put things into perspective for me. Seeing kids my age working to support their families, begging for money, and simply looking for a small ration of food to get through the day has kept me humble. These experiences have made me realize how much many of us take for granted in our otherwise sheltered life in America.

My life’s success will not be measured by my individual status economically, but by the impact I am able to make in communities like my own. A business degree along with being an attorney will allow me to provide financial and emotional support to the youth of struggling communities who were not blessed with the family support that I may have had. I understand that I am lucky. I easily could have become overwhelmed by the circumstances and temptations of my community, but I was fortunate enough to have a solid foundation. Therefore my ultimate desire is to be a resource to those just like me, and change as many lives as I can. In my eyes, the purpose of my education is to have the ability to educate others. My experiences, and the things that I have learned have already inspired me to show others who simply do not know the opportunities that are out there. Young students are often blind to what the world has to offer, and it is my job to expose different opportunities to them and provide the necessary support for them to attain success.’s scholarship program is proud to announce Akintoye Akindele as one of the finalists for its December 2012 application deadline. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.