DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists announced – help us choose a winner!

[D]iversityJobs is proud to announce the nine finalists for our current scholarship award, which include future business leaders, auditors, engineers, medical and healthcare professionals, teachers, and researchers.   We received thousands of quality applications, but are incredibly impressed with the passion, integrity, and honesty that these nine finalists exemplify in their essays.

Now we need your help in choosing the one scholarship award winner!  The final selection process will involve three different factors:

  1. outside voting
  2. comments left by visitors
  3. the DiversityJobs scholarship committee’s final review of the essays on January 30th.

Please help us with our selection by voting for your favorite essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options on the left side of the essays) and by leaving comments or clicking on the ‘star’ icon above the comments section.

Akintoye Akindele, Business, University of California, Berkeley

akintoyeVisiting 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. 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.

Click to read Akintoye’s entire essay and vote!

Garrett Voge, Accounting and Management Information Systems, University of Arizona

GarrettVogeI have been working on my senior honor’s thesis, which revolves around analyzing the stock market returns to see if institutional investors value LGBTQIA+ progressive policies differently than the common investor. In researching this topic and attending the Out for Undergraduate Business Conference (OUBC), I have realized the need for action with regards to corporate America and the LGBTQIA+ community. Although I am entering a field that already is highly regarded for its Corporate Equality Index scores, I feel that I will be able to make a difference in the community as a whole as well.

Click to read Garrett’s entire essay and vote!

Nakeida Duncan,  Business and Human Resources, University of Phoenix

nakeidaduncanI initially started when I was a Private serving on active duty in the Army. I was told that a degree would be a way to advance through the ranks and so I signed up for school the very next day. I had only finished one course when I received news that I would be deployed. Upon my return from Iraq I started my education again. I made it through about five courses before I found out that I was pregnant. I developed a severe and very serious condition called pre eclampsia which ultimately resulted in me going into pre term labor. I took a short leave of absence to watch over my very sick child. She eventually died…The moral of my story is that I have fallen, stumbled, tripped, but somehow I have always found a way to get back up and never quit.

Click to read Nakeida’s entire essay and vote!

Dionna Littles, Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

dionnalittlesMaking the decision to become an engineer was much easier said than executed. I have experienced multiple difficulties including…discrimination…within the college of engineering. As a first year student, I was determined to obtain a summer internship opportunity and gain work experience. I received an offer from Dow Chemical Company, but they required me to complete three co-op terms. Because I was unsure about working during school semesters, I sought out the advice of an engineering co-op advisor. Unfortunately, he only provided me with words of discouragement explaining “How is possible that a freshman obtained an internship with Dow? What did you say to them to get this job? A freshman has never bothered me before with questions.”

Click to read Dionna’s entire essay and vote!

Tosin Ola-Weissmann, Nursing and Business Administration, University of Phoenix

tosinolaI realized that healthcare is heavily influenced by the decisions made in the board room. Nurses and patients are affected by these decisions, and we need more nurses on the executive level to steer positive changes.  Healthcare can be better and more affordable…My life has not been easy with sickle cell disease, and yet, accomplishing my goal of graduation after years of hard work will be a moment of unspeakable joy. I will be able to advance my nursing career, teach nursing students, and influence healthcare management.

Click to read Tosin’s entire essay and vote!

Khalilah Mitchell, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mira Costa College

khalilahmitchellConducting the research and development for an artificial renal system and kidney is something that I seek to do at some point during my lifetime.  Both my parents suffer from renal failure, kidney failure. They are on dialysis…it’s expensive and they will inevitably die. People that are on dialysis won’t live very long – it doesn’t fix the problem forever.  But creating an environmentally safe artificial renal system is something that would benefit many people in so many countries. It would add to the quality of life…Being able to donate that legacy to other women and other people from minority families…that’s what I stand for.

Click to watch Khalilah’s video essay and vote! 

Luke Nelson, Anthropology, University of Arizona

lukenelsonWhen I tried to come out to my best friend my junior year of high school, he beat the living hell out of me and told me to “go wear dresses and make-up”…It was in this act that I decided to focus my education in finding an end to the discrimination of gays. I am currently…pursuing a bachelor’s of science in anthropology with an emphasis in human biology to search for answers as to why homosexuality exists from a cultural and biological perspective. I hope to find some sort of hard evidence to support the LGBTQIA+ creed that homosexuality is NOT a choice…I may not be the most overtly diverse individual, but I believe that with my research I can lead an army in the war against hate.

Click to read Luke’s entire essay and vote!

Karina Levesque, Human Services Management, University of Phoenix

karinalI had a career as a fine dining chef. I created meals for customers that were amazingly simple and yet extraordinarily delicious…I would match wines with each dish. Not only would I match them, I would also drink them. So much so that I created an alcohol and drug dependent monster out of myself…I lost my family, friends, home, car, jobs, and myself…I ended up in a halfway house with a case manager that had more faith in me than I ever had for myself. He made me realize that I am worth something, a force to be reckoned with. After 4 months of treatment and then a year of sobriety I decided a career change was in order. I wanted to be a case manager for people with substance abuse addiction.

Click to read Karina’s entire essay and vote!  

Jennifer Monroe, Pharmacy, University of Arizona

jennifermonroeI have always dreamed of being in the Medical field so I could help people who are less fortunate than myself. I dreamt of myself having many professions; from a doctor to a surgeon.  One day, these dreams were crushed…when I was 11 years old, I was walking home from school when I was hit by an impaired driver who ran a red light. Ever since that day, I have had an ongoing tremor in my dominant arm…I am very limited in what I can do now but that experience has only furthered my dream in having a profession in the medical field…I can no longer be a doctor nor a surgeon. I aspire to be a Pharmacist because they actually do help people in ways that an average person cannot.

Click to read Jennifer’s entire essay and vote!