Charles Cheesman's Student Debt Reduction Scholarship

Funded by
Cheesman Family
Learn more about the Donor
$10,000
1st winner$5,000
2nd winner$5,000
Awarded
Winners
2
Finalists
6
Application Deadline
Apr 1, 2022
Winners Announced
May 1, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate or graduate student, college graduate
Race/Ethnicity:
African American or Hispanic/Latino
Debt Status:
Has student loan debt
Background:
Was/is a first generation student
Education Level:
Race/Ethnicity:
Debt Status:
Background:
Undergraduate or graduate student, college graduate
African American or Hispanic/Latino
Has student loan debt
Was/is a first generation student

Student debt can be crippling to dreams of saving, investing, home ownership, starting a business and other life ventures.

The average college debt among student loan borrowers in America is $39,351, but many borrowers owe even more than that. With that in mind, the Charles Cheesman Student Debt Reduction Scholarship seeks to reduce student loan costs for African American or Hispanic/Latino first generation students, who are currently in college or have graduated with student loans. Workers who are no longer students but are still working to pay off student loans are eligible.

To apply, write about your educational pursuits, life goals, community service, accomplishments, etc. Explain what you will do with the money you save because of this scholarship.

Published January 15, 2022
$10,000
1st winner$5,000
2nd winner$5,000
Awarded
Winners
2
Finalists
6
Application Deadline
Apr 1, 2022
Winners Announced
May 1, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

Tell us a little about yourself, your educational pursuits, career/life aspirations, community involvement, and major accomplishments. What will you do with the money you save by paying down your student loan(s)?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Empress Louree
Johnson & Wales University-ProvidenceBrooklyn, NY
I have always aspired to be a judge growing up because I loved to see how much a change these leaders make in a community. I come from Brooklyn, NY where crime is at an all-time high and I have always strived to go a separate route. There are many hardships that I've faced on a daily basis to defer me from greatness. Some were the lack of resources at my school and others were the excessive amount of gang and gun violence I had to work through. I feel that seeing the outcome of the individuals in my community has often left me discouraged with no hope. One day, it dawned upon me that mental illness is a huge factor in the failure of my community and I have to do something about it. Especially since I've watched my mother combat depression growing up. I will eventually become a Forensic Psychiatrist in the future regardless of how long it may take me. Luckily, I have always been a strong individual and I never let anything come in the way of my success. I was determined enough to manage to receive an Associate's Degree at age 17 before my high school diploma. While juggling between high school and college classes, I also made time to give back to my community. During the start of Covid-19 up until my graduation, I was dedicated to tutoring children who needed the extra help but couldn't afford it. I would help children with their homework and broke down difficult topics. I assisted my local NYPD Community Center by handing out masks to people in my community and informed them on how to stay Covid-Free. In addition to that, I helped out at the pantry that my grandmother's church hosted in order to give back essentials during a great time of need. Since I knew paying for college was going to be a determining factor in my success, I did everything in my power to save my mother from expenses. Unfortunately, after receiving all the scholarships that I could have possibly received, I still ended up in debt of about $25,000. Due to this, I have decided that I will have to defer from my education and transfer to a SUNY school so that I can lessen any future debt. With the money I save by paying down my student loans, I will save as much as I can in order to invest in medical school. Hopefully, by then I will find some way to pay it off but if not, I will work as hard as I can to take borrow the least amount of money. I have discovered a program that SUNY offers for pre-med students like myself. I hope to be admitted so that I can have the highest chance of someday getting into med school and pursuing my career. As, of right now, I am very proud of all I have accomplished at the age of 18 and I am sure there is more to come.
Roland Davis
The University of Texas at AustinAustin, TX
My name is Roland Davis and I am attending The University of Texas at Austin studying Finance with a certification in Computer Science. I am involved in several organizations on campus ranging from the University Chess Team, Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males, founded an investing group, co-founded an NFT project, and am currently en route to joining a fraternity. I try to keep myself occupied around campus but things will start to slow down soon when I begin my Spring 2022 internship at a tech startup here in Austin. I'm a first-generation student and an only child, so everything that I've endured and found out in the last 3-4ish years about college, internships, resumes, interview processes, etc, has been on my own accord. I wouldn't have even been able to attend college at all if I hadn't received scholarships in high school, so I've paved the way for myself and am thankful that I've made it this far. I set a goal my freshmen year in college to graduate with a 3.80+ GPA and as I ease into my senior year with a ~3.71, I'm gonna do the best I can to finish near my goal. And with that academic goal, I've also made goals to be more extroverted to an extent/social, construct better study habits (has improved greatly since high school), and just try to let a good number of people see and experience who I am as a person in, arguably, the most interactive time of my life. I aspire to live a life that no one in my family has built for themselves yet and hope to make my parents and most importantly, myself, proud of everything that comes with that. I plan to graduate with my degree next year, work in banking, start aggressively investing, and start to financially stabilize myself at a young age. This scholarship would help me start reaching my financial goals while I am still in school, which is something I never thought would be possible. Being presented with a scholarship of this magnitude would allow me to start paying my loans off immediately and pay off a huge portion before I graduate next year. I know how interest works on loans, how people are still paying them off in their mid to late years of life, how it sometimes takes years before people even start touching their principal balance, etc. I've always hated loans with a passion and every time I think of them my mind always wanders back to the times I had with my dad my freshman year in high school. I would always ask him how I was going to pay for college, and loans were his solution always. This constantly frustrated me and forced me to fund my schooling myself by either saving or acquiring scholarships, and that's exactly what I pushed myself to do. If I were presented with this scholarship and able to save a bit of my money, I would definitely just use it to stock up on food/pay rent a lot faster monthly, help my family, and invest whatever is remaining. Being a finance major, I've gradually let personal finance, investing, and financial literacy, in general, consume my life -- all for the best of course. This scholarship would allow me to prioritize and fixate attention on the things in life that matter to me the most: family, health, and finances. I think everyone deserves to have those three areas stable in their life and this aid would be the first step in touching these areas for me in a major way.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 1, 2022. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2022.

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