STEMphian Scholarship 

in honor of Akin Anjonrin-Ohu


BACKGROUND

We, the founders of the STEMphian Scholarship, graduated from public high schools in Tennessee, mostly in Memphis, and became friends at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While there, most of us received our bachelor’s degrees in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field before going on to earn various graduate degrees. Today, we are integrated circuit designers, business owners, software development architects, and US Navy Officers. This proves that while there are many systematic barriers facing young Black students from Memphis who are interested in a career in STEM, it is possible to push through those barriers. We benefited from mentorship and support from many people on our journey and would like to be a resource for the next wave of talent coming out of Memphis.

We created this scholarship because we believe that careers in STEM offer practical and engaging career options with good salaries and benefits, job security, and independence. However, we continue to see a relatively low percentage of Blacks in STEM fields. As Black men successfully and happily employed in our fields, we hope to support those whose interests and skills will benefit our industries and economy. We hope that the STEMphian Scholarship can lift some of the financial burden of graduating with a STEM degree, and that our commitment to mentoring all of our scholarship winners will ensure access to the networks and opportunities youth will need to succeed.

 

PURPOSE

The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) reports that Blacks in the United States account for approximately  8% of bachelor’s degree-holders in STEM fields, 8% of Master’s degree-holders, and an even smaller  5.5% of PhD-holders. Given that Blacks make up about 13% of the entire US population, these statistics tell a story of our under-representation in STEM higher education. 

 

Furthermore, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that only 37% of eligible Black college-aged students are enrolled at accredited 4-year institutions. Of these, less than half graduate within 6 years. Black youth need good support systems in order to gain access to and graduate from institutions of higher education. Getting into college is only half the battle: to graduate, we must have the resources–financial, academic, and professional–to succeed.

 

We want to support Black students in Memphis because we believe in your talent, and we want to see you succeed in the university and beyond. The more Black representation in STEM, the faster our community can create opportunities for future generations of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians–ultimately helping to repair bridging long-standing educational and socioeconomic disparities.

 

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/black-scientists-disparities-representation-stem-science

 

https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/pdf/coe_cpb.pdf

 

https://nces.ed.gov/programs/raceindicators/indicator_red.asp

 

QUALIFICATIONS/ELIGIBILITY

Graduating senior from a high school in Shelby County (public or private)

Identify as Black or African American

Intend to pursue a STEM major at a 4-year institution

3.0 cumulative GPA

https://www.act.org/content/act/en/research/reports/act-publications/condition-of-stem-2013/stem-majors-and-occupations/stem-majors-and-occupations.html

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Complete STEMphian Scholarship application found here

Submit an essay based on one of the essay prompts found in the application (350 word minimum)

Submit high school transcript

Five finalists will be asked to schedule an interview during the week of May 1-7

The scholarship will be awarded to a single individual based on the merits of their application, essay, and interview. This is not a need-based scholarship.

 

AMOUNT

 

$2000/academic school year ($1000/semester). Can be renewed 3 times for a total of $8000 over 4 years. 

 

RENEWAL CRITERIA

 

Proof of enrollment after first semester of college

Official transcript at the end of each academic school year

Maintain 3.0 GPA (if your GPA drops under 3.0, you will have 1 academic school year to bring it up to or above 3.0 without losing your scholarship)

 

Questions? Email scholarships@goldensoilfoundation.org.

APPLY

***Please note a GMAIL account is needed to apply***