While our application is open, we’ve asked our current scholars and alumni to share why they’re happy they filled out the Pullman Foundation Scholarship application. It is an extensive process (see our application page), but it is worth it. Nina Mercado, Denison University,’19, shares her reasons below.
I’m a recent Pullman Scholar (sophomore in college)- but my gratitude for filling out this application never gets old. First off, as many first-generation students feel, it’s almost a blindfolding experience where you know things are real and can happen, but you haven’t really seen it yet. What I mean is, I applied to a good amount of scholarships and I was ready to accept loans because I was giving up. I thought I was a really good student and no one else was seeing that. It wasn’t until my school counselor persuaded me to fill out one more application, the Pullman Foundation Scholarship. The prompts were easy to write, there were only 3-4 essays from what I remember, and the interview was over the phone. It was such an easy experience. But I put my heart and soul into it because I knew I deserved it — and so did the Pullman Foundation.
I feel comfortable talking to Megan if I ever have problems and I still keep in contact with some of the scholars I’ve met at the symposiums. It’s a relaxing yet encouraging atmosphere and I’m so glad to be a part of it two years later. Pullman doesn’t seek perfectionists, they seek students who are willing to work their hardest to achieve what they’ve envisioned. They invest in us. It’s almost like having an extra parent in the sidelines cheering throughout the year, which believe it or not, can be very helpful in times you feel down. Thank you, Pullman! You’re an amazing group of people and I wouldn’t change you for the world!
“People do not know that we’ve been in business for 66 years. One of the foundation’s roles back in the 1950’s was to ensure that people of color and women had money to go to college. It is one of a hand full of foundations that’s doing this kind of work,” Redmond said.
While our application is open, we’ve asked our current scholars and alumni to share why they’re happy they filled out the Pullman Foundation Scholarship application. It is an extensive process (see our application page), but it is worth it. Michael Glynn, Marquette University,’17, shares his reasons below.
Applying for the Pullman scholarship made a huge difference in my life. Just before my senior year of high school, my father passed away, and I did not think I would be able to afford college. With help from the Pullman scholarship, as well as a few other scholarships, my college dream came true, and I was able to attend Marquette University. I will always be grateful to the staff at the Pullman Foundation who were generous enough to support me through college. I have had great experiences throughout my time at Marquette, but none of that would have been possible if it were not for the generosity of the Pullman Foundation. In addition to that, the Pullman Foundation has offered me amazing networking abilities with both current and former scholars. Each year I look forward to attending the annual symposium because I always learn something new and meet great people. I am so happy that I decided to apply for the Pullman scholarship because I know that this is an organization that I will be involved with throughout my life, and I cannot wait to give back and still remain involved with the Foundation even after graduation.
If you’re a current Pullman Scholar or Pullman Scholar Alumn(a/us) and would like to share your reason why you’re happy you applied, please email Katie Desir at Kdesir@pullmanfoundation.org.
The 2015-2016 George M. Pullman Educational Foundation Annual Report is live on our website! Click here to read what we accomplished as a Foundation this year with the help of the Pullman Scholar Community.
Dejah Powell, Cornell University, ‘18, creates an environmental program for students who live on the south side of Chicago.
After realizing the lack of exposure and resources about the environment for young people, especially those of color in the inner city, Dejah Powell, ’18, decided to do something. She started a program, Get Them to the Green (G2G), hoping to introduce and educate students about the field of environmental studies and sciences. Maybe even introducing them to a career path they’d never know about otherwise.
But what did this all stem from? We asked Dejah right before her summer program was held and she happily shared her vision with us.
Pullman Foundation: Why did you want to start Get Them to the Green?
Dejah Powell: My experiences like participating in a research program in the Bahamas through the Shedd Aquarium, volunteering on a nature reserve in Nicaragua, and now studying Archaea at Stanford University grew the realization that it was exposure and lack of available and existing resources that limited other young people, especially young people of color in the inner city, from opportunities in the environment.
Through Get Them to the Green, I hope to begin that introduction of educating and exposing students to the field. I’d like to think that maybe I wouldn’t be studying what I am now, a topic that I absolutely love if it weren’t for those experiences immersed in nature. So through G2G, we’re trying to open that door and let the students decide if it is something they’re interested in.
Pullman Foundation: We know you previously attended the Clinton Global Initiative Conference, how did that influence your decision to start G2G?
Dejah Powell: The most inspiring thing about the Clinton Global Initiative Conference (which I recommend to anyone who’s interested in social entrepreneurship and making a change) is meeting students from across the world who are dedicated and committed to their projects. There were students working on providing accessible drinking water to villages abroad, students developing apps to decrease sexual assault on college campuses, young people my age starting organizations that bought trucks and provided free showers to the homeless in San Francisco. I was really nervous I would never be able to deliver on Get Them to the Green, but the conference was the catalyst I needed to realize that I could do this. The conference was resourceful and provided me with the knowledge and inspiration to get G2G going.
Pullman Foundation: What kind of support do you need to guarantee success for your three-tier goal for G2G?
Dejah Powell: In order to accomplish all three goals, we depend on grants and donations right now. I’ve applied for a couple grants and that will give us an idea about the direction we’ll take within the next months after the summer camp.
After the summer camp (goal 1), we want to take pieces of the curriculum and hold workshops within schools (goal 2). We will then visit them during the school year to expand our reach and hopefully ignite an interest to incorporate some of that material into their future curriculum.
Then, we want to bring community gardens and aquaponics systems to schools and get students learning and engaging with science right at their fingertips (goal 3). I visited The Sweetwater Foundation, an amazing organization in Chicago directed by Emmanuel Perez, and would love to work and partner with them to make connections to some of the schools we’ll work with in the future.
We also need more dedicated people who are interested in helping our organization grow; educators, scientists, organizers, writers to help with grants, social media representatives, and innovative minds. We’ll accept help from any and all of the roles that could come together to help G2G achieve our goals. We’re very small now, but I’m excited to expand!
Do you know future Pullman Scholars? They seize opportunities, create their own futures and are persistent in the pursuit of their dreams. If you or students are coming to mind, have them apply for our need-based, merit-based scholarship.
The Pullman Foundation Scholarship provides up to $40,000 over four years of scholarship and educational support. Read our recent press release to learn more about our program and our newest class of Pullman Scholars.
If you’re a future Pullman Scholar, click here to apply!