VAHA Scholarships Are Now Available for Valencia Students


Monday, February 7, 2022

A Message Carmen Laguer Diaz and Lauren Thomas, Co-chairs of the Valencia African Heritage Association

In celebration of Black History Month, the Valencia African Heritage Association (VAHA) proudly announces a new Scholarship Series.

Thanks to the Harry J. and E. Mary Hobbs Teaching Chair in Nursing endowment, VAHA has created the 2021-2022 VAHA Presents: Black Health and Wellness Initiative project. As part of the initiative, we plan to offer more than $14,000 in scholarships to Valencia College students. All scholarships honor Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020), a civil rights leader who inspired us to get in “good trouble, necessary trouble” and enact change.

There are two types of scholarships being offered throughout spring 2022. The “Woke Scholarships” and the “BIG Trouble Scholarships.”

Woke Scholarships

The Woke Scholarships will be given to select students for their participation in event programming. More information on these scholarships will be available as part of our spring semester event programming. 

BIG Trouble Scholarships

The BIG Trouble Scholarships seek to encourage the creativity and knowledge of Valencia students following 2022’s National Black History Month’s theme: Black Health and Wellness.

There are three main opportunities to get “BIG Trouble” Scholarships totaling $1,031 for each of the six recipients:

1. Impact on BIPOC Women’s Health

Number of Recipients: One
Theme: BIPOC Women’s Health
Application Due Date: Friday, March 4, 2022
Award Date: Friday, March 25, 2022

There is a disproportionate impact on health and wellness in women that belong to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. This scholarship will be awarded to the student who is able to demonstrate the best commitment in the advocacy of BIPOC women’s health and wellness.

For this scholarship, each applicant must submit an essay (250-350 words) in which they discuss what they have done, are doing or plan to do to advocate for BIPOC women’s health and wellness. This includes studies, undergraduate research, pathways to healthcare for underserved communities, conversations with BIPOC women, volunteering and more.

2. T-shirt Design Contest

Number of Recipients: One
Theme: #musicsaves
Application Due Date: Friday, March 18, 2022
Award Date: Friday, April 15, 2022

Every June, VAHA celebrates Black Music Month and Juneteenth. This year we would like our T-shirts to be designed by our students. The scholarship winner’s design will be used for our 2022 Black Music Month events and flyers. All designs will accompany the text: “#musicsaves” and/or “Music brings Healing.”

3. Creative Scholarships 

Following Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s (ASALH) 2022 Black History Month theme Black Health and Wellness, we will be awarding one scholarship per creative category as seen below:

Theme: How has music saved you or a loved one?

Spoken Word/Poetry (no more than five minutes)
Number of Recipients: One

Application Due Date: Friday, May 6, 2022
Award Date: Friday, June 3, 2022

Qualifying entries will use the topic: “How has music saved you or a loved one?.” All entries will be uploaded in the application in auditory and/or visual format. Whether spoken word or poetry, all entries must have an auditory component and be uploaded through the application.

Musical Performance (no more than five minutes)
Number of Recipients: One
Application Due Date: Friday, May 6, 2022
Award Date: Friday, June 10, 2022

Qualifying entries will use the topic: “How has music saved you or a loved one?.” All entries will be submitted in audiovisual format. If there are lyrics, students should provide an additional document with the text or have the videos closed captioned.

Essay (350 – 500 words)
Number of Recipients: One
Application Due Date: Friday, May 6, 2022
Award Date: Friday, June 17, 2022

Qualifying entries will use the topic: “How has music saved you or a loved one?” All entries will be submitted in text format (.doc, .docx or .pdf).

Theme: 2023 Black History Month: Anti-Black Violence and Resistance

Number of Recipients: One
Applications Due: Friday, May 6, 2022
Award Date: Friday, June 24, 2022 

For the visual category, we seek entries on the 2023 Black History Month theme of Anti-Black Violence and Resistance in the Diaspora in visual form. Students are invited to use any visual medium as the canvas to display Resistance against Anti-Black Violence. Mediums include but are not limited to digital art, painting, drawings, sculptures, graffiti, textile work, chalk work, photography and mixed art.

For any questions, contact VAHA at infoVAHA@valenciacollege.edu.

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