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NAACP Scholarship, Award and Fellowship Opportunities

Written by Azeemen

Get to Know the POISE Foundation

POISE Foundation was incorporated in 1980 in the state of Pennsylvania as a public charitable foundation. Over the past 36 years, POISE Foundation has grown from an initial capitalization of $164K to a present value in excess of $7M. during this same period, POISE has returned to the community that nurtured it more than $10,000,000 in grants and scholarships to deserving organizations and families in the Pittsburgh area and throughout the United States. Historically, grants have been provided to organizations fostering improved conditions in the areas of: Aging, Arts and Culture, Children and Youth, Education, Health and Human Services, and Urban Affairs / Economic Development.

POISE expanded its scholarships from post-secondary to include pre-k through 12th grade (serving Allegheny County). In 2012, the Foundation shifted its focus on two primary goals, convening an effort to build a sustainable Black community in the Pittsburgh Region and Strengthening Black Families. The Foundation now focuses its unrestricted grant making to support organizations that do their work through a family lens where the whole family is strengthened and provided opportunities to develop more positive family interactions.

POISE Foundation’s scholarship program is designed to help families at various levels through the education process. Through its various scholarship programs, the Foundation assists families with tuition, fees, and other related costs, in order to provide opportunities to seek the education best suited for their children. The Foundation typically receives more applications than they have funding to support. Accordingly, scholarships are very competitive. Furthermore, recipients of scholarships are only eligible once during the calendar year.

The types of scholarships POISE Foundation provides are:

  • Pre-K Scholarships
  • K-12 Scholarships
  • Opportunity Scholarships
  • Post-Secondary Scholarships

POISE Foundation’s Post-Secondary Scholarship Program is funded through various endowed scholarship funds of the Foundation. Support can be awarded to two year ad four year universities, post-secondary technical and trade schools, and limited funding for graduate studies.

Many of the scholarship funds are based on donors restrictions such as student’s major, institution, grade point average, etc. One of the Foundation’s Post-Secondary Scholarship Program is called the NAACP Scholarship.

Get to Know the NAACP

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans by a group including W.E.B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington and Moorfield Storey.

The NAACP’s mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. The vision of the NAACP is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

The NAACP Scholarship Programs

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has two scholarship programs. These NAACP scholarship programs are the Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship and the Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students.

POISE Foundation provides scholarship administration for the National NAACP Scholarship Program. Each year the NAACP provides scholarships to outstanding students. The NAACP’s Scholarship Committee determines the most outstanding individuals to receive these awards. The NAACP does not provide financial aid to individuals, only scholarships through generous donations.

To apply for an NAACP scholarship, you will need the following materials:

  • Copy of your NAACP membership card or membership application
  • Official academic transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers or professors in the major field of specialization (Willems only)
  • A one-page essay
  • Your student aid report
  • Evidence of acceptance or full-time enrollment

The Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship

The Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship was established in the memory of the late Agnes Jones Jackson who was a long time NAACP member from the San Francisco branch.

There are 20 to 40 Agnes Jones Jackson scholarships available every year. Each scholarship amounts up to $2,000.

To be eligible for this NAACP scholarship, applicants must meet all the following criteria:

  • All students:
  • Must be a current member of the NAACP.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must not have reached the age of 25 by the application deadline.
  • Must be currently enrolled or accepted to an accredited college or university in the United States.
  • Must demonstrate financial need based on the federal poverty guidelines. Click here to see the guidelines.
  • Graduating High School Seniors and Undergraduate Students:
  • Must be full-time student.
  • Must possess a grade point average of 2.5 (C+) on a 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate Students:
  • May be full or part-time student.
  • Must possess a 3.0 (B) average on a 4.0 scale.

For further details on this NAACP scholarship program, go to the Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship webpage.

Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students

The Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students is awarded annually to a male, U.S. citizen who attends an accredited institution in the United States and is majoring in one of the following fields: Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematical Sciences.

There are 20 to 40 Hubertus W.V. Willems scholarships for male students available every year. Each of these scholarships are worth up to $3,000.

To be eligible for this NAACP scholarship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • All students:
  • Be a male majoring in one of the following fields: Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematical Sciences.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be currently enrolled or accepted to an accredited college (excluding proprietary schools) in the United States.
  • NAACP membership and participation is highly desirable.
  • Must demonstrate financial need based on the federal poverty guidelines. Click here to see the guidelines.
  • Graduating High School Seniors and Undergraduate Students:
  • Must be full-time student.
  • Must possess a grade point average of 2.5 (C+) on a 4.0 system.
  • Graduate Students:
  • May be full or part-time student.
  • Must possess a 3.0 (B) average on a 4.0 system.

For further details on this NAACP scholarship program, go to the Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students webpage.

To apply for NAACP Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship or Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship, go to the POISE Foundation website at www.poisefoundation.org/naacp-scholarships.

Students are not eligible to receive both scholarships. All decisions of the committee are final and cannot be appealed.

The NAACP Branch Scholarships

Every NAACP Unit provides scholarship programs. Below are some of them.

  • Dallas NAACP / SSC Services for Education Scholarship

Each year, the Dallas NAACP Branch in partnership with SSC Services for Education accepts scholarship applications from recent high school graduates in the Dallas area who plan to attend a community college or four-year college or university. The scholarship award is $2,000 each. Contact [email protected] for questions, or visit www.dallasnaacp.org.

  • Salem-Keizer NAACP Scholarships

The Salem-Keizer NAACP Branch awards four scholarships: 4-year education program scholarship at Western Oregon University; 4-year science / pre-medical scholarship at Western Oregon University; One-year scholarship at a 2 or 4-year college you will attend; One-year scholarship at a career or technical school you will attend. Salem-Keizer NAACP Scholarship recipients will be announced at the African-American Youth Leadership Conference (AAYLC). Visit www.aaylc-or.org/naacp-scholarships for more information.

  • Bloomington-Normal NAACP Scholarship

Each spring, the Bloomington-Normal NAACP Branch awards scholarships to minority high school seniors in the Bloomington / Normal area who plan to attend a community college or four-year college or university. Go to https://bnnaacp.org/naacp-scholarship-information to see the details.

Find your local NAACP Unit at www.naacp.org/find-local-unit/ to search for other NAACP scholarship programs.

Note: Members of the National NAACP Board of Directors, SCF Trustees, National Youth Work Committee, the NAACP Scholarship Selection Committee, employees and their spouses or families to the first degree of consanguinity are not eligible to apply for or receive this scholarship.

The NAACP Awards & Fellowships

Besides scholarships, the NAACP also offers awards and fellowships to colored people in the United States. The following is a list of the NAACP Awards and Fellowships:

  • NAACP Awards
    • Spingarn Medal: Given annually to an individual of African descent and American citizenship for outstanding achievement.
    • Thalheimer Award: Given to branches and unites for outstanding achievements.
    • Montague Cobb Award: Established to honor individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact in the field of health. This award is given annually.
    • Foot Soldier In the Sands Award: Given annually to attorneys for their generous contribution of legal expertise to the NAACP on a pro bono basis.
    • Juanita Jackson Mitchell Award for Legal Activism: Awarded annually to an NAACP Unit for exemplary legal redress committee activities.
    • William Robert Ming Advocacy Award: Awarded annually to a lawyer who exemplifies the spirit of financial and personal sacrifice for the NAACP.
  • NAACP Fellowships
    • E.B. Du Bois Public Policy Internship / Fellowship Program

The NAACP is in search of highly qualified and motivated individuals to serve as interns and fellows. These individuals will conduct sophisticated legislative and public policy research on some of the most pressing civil rights and social justice challenges facing the nation.

Project assignments will touch upon all aspects of the social justice advocacy agenda, including but not limited to civil rights issues, criminal justice, economic development, education, environmental justice, health policy, international affairs, labor, voting rights, and youth engagement.

Successful candidates should have a record of outstanding academic achievement, and must have the ability to manage complex projects. Read more on the W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship and apply here.

    • Law Fellows Program

The NAACP Law Fellow Program is designed to give students who have completed at least one year of law school the opportunity to work for the summer at NAACP Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. Contact the NAACP Legal Department for more information.

Go to the NAACP Awards & Fellowships webpage at www.naacp.org/awards/ for further details.

If you’re ready to join, become an NAACP member here.

Learn more about the NAACP at www.naacp.org, or go to www.poisefoundation.org to find out more about the POISE Foundation.

About the author

Azeemen

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