True to our mission of expanding opportunities, SCC offers Opportunity Scholarships. Through these scholarships, we work closely with low-income Black and Latino disconnected youth --- disconnected because they are mistrustful of adults and do not have ties to communities such as school or work. We help them realize their dreams, partner them with trusted mentors, and give them opportunities for a hopeful future to grow up to become Citizens of the World.
Unfortunately, while many of these youth aspire to go to college leading to meaningful careers, they face many barriers in reaching these life goals.
The vast majority are the first in their families to go to college. Their biggest barriers are awkwardness and lack of social skills due to their disconnection. They lack knowledge of how the application process works, what the matriculation expectations are once they are admitted, and how financial aid works. Because they are the first in their families to go to college, they have no role models to emulate and no one to turn to for help when obstacles arise. When obstacles inevitably arise, such as the inability to travel back and forth to school, book money, and medical emergencies, they become overwhelmed and drop out. It creates a never-ending cycle of failure.
SCC created the Opportunity Scholarship to meet these needs. There is no formal application process, such as written application or interview; nonetheless, Executive Director Sudi West and SCC staff, will thoughtfully meet with and discuss a student’s specific needs. Since many of these students have attended our after-school, college prep and workforce programs, they trust SCC staff as Credible Mentors.
An Opportunity Scholarship is likely to be $1,000 and will be given directly to the student. Flexibility to meet individual student needs is key. Opportunity Scholarships may be used to assist with books, bus tickets and other travel expenses, unexpected medical expenses, laptops, pay for vocational training, and cover emergency bills for car repairs, among a variety of options.
SCC promises that each Opportunity Scholarship recipient will sign a covenant, be carefully screened, regular check-ins performed and longitudinally tracked for many years in the future. We measure re-connection success when a student returns to the Center to work, attends one of our many community events, shares a meal or volunteers, and models for younger students and mentors them, passing along intra-generational knowledge, breaking the twin cycles of failure and poverty.
Opportunity Scholarships are SCC’s deliberate effort to re-engage disconnected youth as well as break down racial barriers and advance racial healing and equity.
See a Sample Opportunity Scholarship Covenant here:
Every student is asked to sign one.
Every year, SCC offers a “traditional” college scholarship. This scholarship, ranging from $1000-$2000 is open to all DC residents and funds are sent directly to the school designated by the student. A student’s financial need and unique family circumstances factor into our decision-making. Along with downloadable application form, the following required documents must be included to be eligible for scholarship consideration:
Personal Essay: Include an essay (1-3 pages) to tell us about you. The essay can be either a college essay or English paper about yourself, or an essay on this topic: “Describe a challenge you have faced in your education, and what you learned from it.”
Two (2) Letters of Recommendations: Submit TWO LETTERS OF SUPPORT from teachers, mentors, counselors or other people who know about your qualifications for this scholarship.
School Transcript: An official, current SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT and any TEST SCORES must be sent directly from your school’s records office to the email or address below.
Students will be contacted for an interview.
Download the application form here: