The Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate several key traits that inspired Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. These traits include: fostering a sense of peace over conflict, spreading compassion rather than prejudice or hatred, and engaging in community through participation. This award was created to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life inspired millions. His message of nonviolence and equal rights for everyone still resonates today.
This award is open to minority students who are pursuing a degree in criminal justice or a related degree. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for this award. Students must show a desire and need to either continue their current education or further their education at the graduate level. A member of the American Correctional Association must recommend students.
In order to apply for this award, student must have an ACA member complete a nomination form. The nomination form can be found at the following website: http://www.aca.org/ACA_PROD_IMIS/Docs/Award%20Forms/aca_mlk.pdf. It is a relatively brief form that asks the nominator to fill out their name, ACA membership number, and their e-mail address. Additionally, the form requires the name of the student being nominated for the award as well as some simply biographical information about the student.
In addition to the nomination form, students interested in applying for the award must be sure to submit a completed application package. In order to do so, students must provide proof attendance (or acceptance) at an undergraduate or graduate program. Only students who attend four-year colleges or universities are eligible to apply for the award. Students must be sure to indicate the name of their current college, as the funds will be sent directly to the student’s institution. Students will also be required to submit transcripts or some other proof of solid academic achievement during the application process. Another piece of the application requires students to submit a letter indicating that they have unmet financial need. Lastly, applicants are required to demonstrate a commitment to the values and morals that guided Dr. King’s life.
Applicants can show how their life goals ad values overlap with Dr. King’s through completing the required 250-word required essay. Students must write some of their reflections about the philosophy and ideals demonstrated by Dr. Martin Luther King and how these qualities have influenced their own lives. This is the student’s opportunity to show that they are passionate about the ideals and values that Dr. King dedicated his life to promoting.
All applications must be received prior to the June 1, 2016 deadline. The application can be submitted online or may be sent to the following address: ACA, Attn: Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award Committee, 206 N. Washington Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314. The amount of the scholarship award varies, but the maximum award is $1,000. The scholarship money can be used to cover the costs of textbooks, tuition, or a number of other approved expenses related to obtaining a higher education.