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The Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL) has guided individuals, families, and regional government through systemic challenges over the past 80 years. In that time, GWUL has impacted over five million lives, using the approaches of social work, advocacy, and other disciplines. As a staple in our community, GWUL works tirelessly for a just and more equitable society, serving residents in Washington, DC, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, MD. GWUL manages and administers programs in: education; employment training; housing and community development; health promotion; financial literacy; and emergency assistance. Our mission is to ensure everyone in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is on the road to self-sufficiency through a variety of innovative programs. In doing so, it’s essential to increase the economic empowerment of the Black community to share equally in the responsibilities and rewards of full citizenship.

As an important and long-standing manifestation of its mission, the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL) and its young professionals’ auxiliary, Thursday Network (TN) are committed to awarding educational opportunities through scholarships for college-bound students. In conjunction with numerous corporate sponsors, GWUL has facilitated the distribution of more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 300 young adults to financially support their freshman year at any accredited four-year college or university in the United States. Scholarship recipients have matriculated to a diverse and elite range of higher education institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, local colleges, Ivy League, and other colleges/universities, as well as the Job Corps and other special post-secondary education and trade establishments.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the Greater Washington Urban League will award several scholarships to deserving high school scholars and college students, ranging from $1,000 to $8,000. All scholarship disbursements are for tuition and will be delivered directly to the bursar’s or student accounts office of the student’s school for the fall term 2020.

About GWUL’s Young Professionals’ Auxiliary,

Thursday Network:

Thursday Network is the young professionals’ auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL) and supports community service and civic engagement efforts in the Washington Metropolitan area. Thursday Network’s vision is to be a catalyst for change in the Greater Washington community by serving as a training ground for our members to improve community and self. For the 2019-2020 term, Thursday Network’s pillars reflect the most urgent needs of the community. The pillars are Community Engagement, Political Advocacy, Social Determinants of Health, Youth Empowerment, and Economic Security. Through the leadership of the Community Service Committee, Thursday Network has developed several outreach efforts that benefit children, youth, the elderly, and the environment.

Monumental Sports Scholarship
LINK Strategic Partners Scholarship
Safeway Scholarship
Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship
Charlotte Elizabeth Yancey Eights Scholarship

Charlotte Elizabeth Yancey Eights Scholarship

Gerardo Hernandez

Bell Multicultural High School

Yancey Eights Scholarship ($8,000)

Lauryn Renford

Thurgood Marshall Academy

Monumental Sports Scholarship ($8,000)

Aria Jackson

Archbishop Carroll High School

Link Strategic Partners Scholarship ($5,500)

Salim Muhammed

Wheaton High School

Safeway Scholarship ($2,500)

Maritza Mundo-Barillas

Wheaton High School

Safeway Scholarship ($2,500)

Jessica Amaya-Zuniga

Bell Multicultural High School

Safeway Scholarship ($2,500)

Kyla Alston

Barrie School

Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship ($2,000)

Kalkidan Haille

E.L. Haynes High School

Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship ($2,000)

Beni Lavodrama

Phelps ACE High School

Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship ($2,000)

Andrea Golli

James Hubert Blake High School

Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship ($1,000)

Julianna Kophi

Frederick Douglass High School

Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship ($1,000)

Huzeyfa Telha

Theodore Roosevelt High School

Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship ($1,000)

Dominique Johnson

McKinley Technology High School

Thursday Network “I EMPOWER” Scholarship ($1,000)


In order to be eligible to receive a Greater Washington Urban League Scholarship, one must:

  • January 31, 7:00-8:00pm- Scholarship Information Session at GWUL

  • February 15, 11:30am-2:30pm-Application Submission Session at GWUL

  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 based on a 4.0 scale;

  • Attend or be enrolled in a four-year college or university in the Fall of 2020;

  • Demonstrate a commitment to community service;

  • Demonstrate financial need

  • Adjusted gross family income must follow provided guidelines;

  • Be Black/African American, African, Afro-Caribbean, and/or Afro-Latino;

  • February 16, 11:30am-2:30pm-Application Submission Session at GWUL

The application submission sessions are for applicants in need of computer and WIFI access to submit their applications.  We recommend applicants bring their application materials (e.g. essays and financial information) on a flash drive or saved to a cloud server or in their email.  The submission sessions are not for applicants to work on writing their essays and no essay writing assistance will be provided.

  • Be a permanent resident and/or attend college in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County (MD), or Prince George’s County (MD); and

  • Complete and submit all application materials online no later than February 28, 2020.


Your application will not be considered complete unless it includes each of the following documents and is submitted by February 28, 2020.

  • FAFSA Application-

  • Scholarship Essay Writing-


To submit to the online portal, the application and all required documents must be submitted at one time. Do not submit your application online until you have all materials ready to upload. Incomplete applications do not save online and will not be accepted.

All documents except the essays should be submitted as PDF files; essays should be submitted as Word documents. The official college transcript and faculty recommendation letter must be submitted on the school’s letterhead; the community service recommendation letter must be submitted on the organization’s letterhead.

Complete all sections of the application as instructed within the fillable boxes (be sure to download the application to your desktop before typing information). You are responsible for making sure all application materials are submitted no later than February 28, 2020.

Submit all completed application materials online at:


2020 scholarship recipients will be notified by March 6, 2020. All scholarship recipients are expected to:

  • Participate in a mandatory photo shoot and videotaping at GWUL Headquarters in Mid-March 2020*

  • Attend the Greater Washington Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial Gala and Reception on April 3, 2020;

  • Attend the Greater Washington Urban League Annual Meeting in June 2020*;

  • Write a thank you letter to their scholarship funder and;

  • Participate in at least one community service activity with Thursday Network, the young professionals’ auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League.

Thank you for applying to the 2020 Greater Washington Urban League Scholarship!

*Exact dates will be communicated to scholarship recipients

Due to the large number of applicants, we will not accept applications after February 28, 2020, no exceptions. Questions about the application process may be sent to



Race/Ethnicity (select all that apply)

Permanent Address:

Current Address: (Only if different from above)

SECTION II: EDUCATION (college applicants)

Year in school (*Please select your undergraduate classification as of the Fall 2020 Semester.)

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List all academic honors, awards, and extracurricular activities from the past 3 years.

Name of Honor/Award/Activity
Short Description
Fri., June 20
The Academy, L.A
Book It
Thu., June 19
Bamboo, Santa Barbara
Book It
Sat., June 28
Cheers, Santa Cruz
Book It
Wed., July 6
The Roxy, San Francisco
Book It

List all work (including after-school/summer jobs, volunteer positions, internships) from the past 3 years.

Employer Name
Dates of Employment
Approx. Hours per Week

Total number of community service hours over the past 3 years: 

List at least four community service projects or programs from the past 3 years

Name of Community Service Activity/Progr
Short Description
Hours of Servic

Provide two letters of recommendation. One of those letters must come from a faculty member and one from anyone who has had oversight or a supervisory role in your community service activities. Parents, guardians, or other family members may not submit a letter on your behalf. In the spaces below, please indicate your recommenders.

Recommender Name
(College Applicants)

Please provide the following information. All information received will be kept confidential and will be used only for the purpose of assessing your financial need.

You may submit a typed statement describing any major changes in your family’s financial situation. This is optional and does not replace submitting one of the financial documents outlined below.


Do you currently have work study?    

A.) List all grants/scholarships you currently receive and will have for the 2020-2021 school year

Grant/Scholarship Name
Award Amount

B.) Current total loan amount (if applicable): $

C.) Your most recent Student Aid Report (SAR) or 2018 or 2019 Federal Tax Return*

*Black out any sensitive information, such as social security number (please refer to the attached samples).

*For the SAR: include the entire SAR, not just the first page with the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Question 85. “Parent’s Adjusted Gross Income” must have a numerical value; if it is blank or says “Transferred from the IRS ,” you cannot submit the SAR and must submit the Federal Tax Return.

*For Federal Tax Return:  include only pages one and two of Federal Tax Return Form 1040.

Maximum Adjusted Gross Income

Household Size


















The National Urban League (NUL) has a history of providing direct services to communities in need. In honor of this commitment, the Greater Washington Urban League Scholarship Applicant must describe how he/she would assist a community in need and how he/she has served his/her community by writing two essays addressing the following questions:

Essay #1

Black buying power currently stands at over $1.2 trillion and is on the road to hit about $1.5 trillion by 2021. This collective buying power means that nearly $2 trillion will be flowing through black America annually very soon, making us the centerpiece for various researchers, marketers, advertisers, and other campaigns designed to influence black spending patterns. However, less than around 3% of the current black buying power is spent in black-owned enterprises. Explain the systemic issues that have contributed to this trend. Identify strategies that will help the black community better accumulate and utilize its economic strength.

Essay #2

Social responsibility is an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large.  Explain how you would apply your degree of study to a critical societal issue related to one of the four National Urban League's Empowerment Goals: Jobs, Education, Health and Housing.  Be explicit and detailed in the alignment of your selected goal and issue (e.g. the issue of underage vaping within the goal of Health). In addition, reflect on what it would take to positively impact the issue (from the levels of individual, community, organization, and society).  Be sure to address all four levels.

For a detailed description of the Four Empowerment Goals, visit: 

Essay Instructions:

  • Each essay response should be submitted as a Word document, no longer than 1000 words, double-spaced.

  • Font should be 12-point Times New Roman and Normal margins (1-inch top/bottom and left/right).

  • Do not write your name or any personal identifier within your essay documents.

Your essay will be evaluated for clarity of expression, use of proper grammar, and punctuation, and the extent to which you address each of the items in the questions above.

The Greater Washington Urban League and Thursday Network define plagiarism as “a direct violation of intellectual and academic honesty." Although it exists in many forms, all plagiarism refers to the same act: representing somebody else’s words or ideas as one’s own. This can take the form of taking material from other sources, including the Internet, and deliberately failing to give credit in your essay to the original source. Therefore, it is very important that you properly document sources in your essay responses with verifiable citations. You may include citations in the footnotes of the Word document or on a separate “References” page. Citations do not count in the 1000-word limit.

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