A leader assists others in finding a clear path to reach their goals. They are invaluable for what they can do for a school or organization. The community, employers and particularly colleges look for leaders that can offer direction, inspiration and advice to fellow classmates.
Full-Ride Leadership Scholarships
What's a full-ride scholarship? It allows students to attend college without going into debt as they traverse the many classes and subsequent costs that come with this worthy goal.
Many leadership scholarships offer full rides to a particular college. This is because the college is hoping to attract students that will add to their student body and future alumni.
A good leader can be a benefit to the community as well as the college and that is honored with lucrative funding to get a student who shows impressive character traits to graduation debt free. Leadership scholarships are awarded to students who show exceptional qualities, whether in the classroom, on the athletic field or as a volunteer.
B. Davis Scholarship
High school juniors and seniors and those who are already enrolled in college can apply for this $1,000 annual award. Write a 1,000-word essay on the current year’s topic to enter for consideration. Only one scholarship is awarded each year.
Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship
This is one of the few scholarships that is open to all high school years, from freshmen to seniors. Applicants must be active in some way to fight against HIV/AIDS, providing education and/or otherwise committed to combating this disease. Students should show how they have taken on roles in public service or how they have been a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The main caveat is that students must be 27 years old or younger. Students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher can apply. There are five awards of $5,000 each awarded each year.
Marcia Silverman Minority Student Award
Minority students who are looking to expand their interests in public relations should take advantage of this lucrative annual award. Only one $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has shown a passion for the industry and is ambitious to be a part of the larger public relations community.
Applicants must be an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Highlight any leadership roles you have had in school or in the community or while employed to gain an edge for this competitive scholarship.
John D. Graham Scholarship
If you show a prowess for academic pursuits as well as a passion for public relations, then you should gather your info and submit an application to this annual college scholarship. Students who are members of the Public Relations Student Society of America and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 can apply.
The three annual awards of $3,000 each are open to high school students who are entering or already enrolled in their first year of a college program.
Humanity Rising Service Challenge
Have you implemented a fantastic idea of how to solve a problem in your community or shown effective leadership in a community service organization or charitable foundation? Highlight your accomplishments in a brief essay for a chance to be awarded one of 12 scholarships valued at $2,000.
Applicants must have participated in community service in some way and have personal accounts of how they made a difference.
Albert Shanker College Scholarship Fund
This abundant annual scholarship goes to 200 need-based New York City public high school graduates who apply. Each scholarship is worth $1,250 a year for a student attending a four-year college program to reach a total of $5,000.
To meet eligibility for this scholarship, applicants must meet Pell Grant requirements for financial need. It is made available through the United Federation of Teachers. Contact a UFT representative at your school for more information.
Samuel E. Wilson Volunteer of the Year Scholarship
Those who care about their community are worthy of this $2,000 award given to two lucky applicants each year. It is available to high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students who are United States citizens.
If you have made an impact on one individual or an entire group of people in your community, then you should apply to this kind-based scholarship.
AXA Achievement Scholarship
High school seniors who demonstrate an impressive academic achievement at school, in their community or in the workplace are eligible for this scholarship that has a wide range of awards.
Eligible students can vie for anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 if they are enrolled in a full-time program at a two- or four-year college. A letter of recommendation by an employer, instructor or other unrelated adult is needed to apply.
Business Leaders Scholarship Award
Already making inroads as a successful graduate of a business school or program? This merit-based scholarship is intended to help students who are pursuing a degree in the vast field of business gain an edge. Students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or doctorate level program can apply.
The amount is $1,500 for those who are doing well academically in a qualified business program.
Coca-Cola Scholars Program
Students who have a track record in leadership and academic excellence should take time to apply to this refreshing, nearly full-ride scholarship created by the Coca-Cola company. The $20,000 scholarship is awarded each year for the four-year program.
Candidates must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA at the end of their junior year and show that they are planning on pursuing a degree at an accredited postsecondary education institution within the United States.
Columbus Citizens Foundation College Scholarship
For students with a rich family history rooted in Italian heritage, this rewarding scholarship can seriously offset college tuition costs. Students need to meet a few requirements aside from having family that hails from the Old Country. The eligibility requirements for the Columbus Citizens Foundation College Scholarship include:
- The per person income within the student’s household is less than $25,000.
- The student can show significant charitable or community contributions.
- Have a minimum of a 3.25 GPA.
FSCNY Scholarship Program
High school seniors who hail from the New York counties or New York City can apply to this regional scholarship. Candidates must show serious academic achievement or significant improvement as well as leadership at school through involvement with groups or planned events.
Applicants for this $2,500 to $7,500 scholarship need to have completed a minimum of 150 hours of community service for each year that they have been in high school.
LEAGUE Foundation Scholarship
High school seniors who identify as transgender, bisexual, gay or lesbian can apply once they have been accepted to a two- or four-year college within the United States. A minimum GPA of 3.0 and involvement with community service are a must to be awarded this $1,500 scholarship.
Live Out Loud Educational Scholarship
Students who are part of the LGBT community and show strong leadership and civil service skills and live in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area are invited to apply. Graduating seniors in high school who have good academic credentials, community service involvement, guidance skills and can show a financial hardship, can get this $1,000 scholarship to offset tuition and fees.
National Federation for the Blind Scholarships
Legally blind high school seniors who plan to take on a full-time course load at a college in the United States can apply for this scholarship. Awards vary between $3,000 and $12,000.
Each year, the federation awards more than $120,000 to blind scholars who have impressive academic and personal achievements, so they can pursue professional aspirations.
Princeton Prize in Race Relations
This scholarship was set up to support and encourage youth who have demonstrated a serious commitment to advancing the cause of positive race relations. The award ranges up to $1,000 and is for those who are currently enrolled in high school grades nine through 12.
To be considered, students need to have been actively involved in a volunteer capacity or activity within the last year of applying. Show how you have made an impact in school or with a community organization involving race relations and/or education.
Ronald McDonald House Charities U.S. Scholarship Program
The national charity created this scholarship for students who live in a community that has limited access to educational and/or career opportunities for rising stars and who are deeply involved in the community.
Candidates need to live in one of the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ local chapter’s geographic area and be a legal resident of the United States. The $1,000 scholarship is for high school seniors who plan to attend a two- or four-year college with a full course load.
Foot Locker Scholar Program
Athletes who excel in their sport as well as in their class work can vie for this scholarship that is awarded to 20 students each year. This can be considered to be a full-ride scholarship.
The $20,000 scholarship is for students who have not only demonstrated academic excellence and athletic prowess but have found time to volunteer or otherwise make a difference in their school or community. Good leadership skills and a diverse resume can offer an edge to a student for this competitive scholarship.
Prudential Spirit of Community Award
What makes this community-service oriented scholarship unique is that it is open to a wide age range of students. Students in fifth grade through high school seniors are invited to apply who meet civic service requirements for the Insurance company’s college tuition fund.
Highlight any volunteer service or activity that you have completed in the last year in order to vie for a $1,000 to $5,000 scholarship. There were 10 awards given in 2019 to students who showed a passion for leadership and helping their community.
This is open to United States citizens. If you live overseas, but your parent or legal guardian is a registered voting resident of the United States, then you are eligible to apply as well.
New York Times College Scholarship Program
Students in the New York City school system, including public, private and parochial, can apply for this $7,500 scholarship. It is renewable for each winner for up to three years.
To be considered for this profitable college tuition subsidy, students must show financial hardship and/or personal obstacles that they overcame. A strong academic record and moving essay will help you score this city-centric scholarship.
The New York Urban League Whitney M. Young, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Native American, Asian, Latino and African American students who have graduated or achieved their GED can apply. To earn the $1,500 to $5,000 scholarship from this Urban League, applicants need to show excellent character and proven leadership skills.
Write a moving and touching essay that highlights your characteristics. Gather letters of recommendations that show who you are as a community leader or skills as an organizer and passion for civic duties. Students must have a cumulative average of 80 in their high school or a cumulative GED level of 250.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.