Take a Chance! Apply for the Dell Scholars ProgramPosted by AVID Center on 10/1/2019
The Dell Scholars program is more than just a scholarship, more than just money.
Dell Scholars receive:
- A $20,000 scholarship available for at least six years to lessen loans and debt
- Ongoing support for the emotional, financial, and life challenges that may impede college completion
- A Scholars Resource Network that connects students with resources to deal with stress, debt, and managing a variety of life circumstances
- A laptop, textbook credits, tutoring, and other ongoing supports
- Webcasts and communications on timely topics that students need to know about during their college journey
Unlike some scholarship programs that emphasize GPA, the Dell Scholars program focuses more on students who have overcome adversity and faced challenges, who have pushed themselves academically by taking rigorous courses, and who have clear college goals.
To be eligible for the Dell Scholars program, applicants must:
- Participate in a program-approved college readiness program in grades 11 and 12, including AVID
- Plan to enroll full-time at an accredited higher education institution in the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in the fall directly following high school graduation
- Be eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant in first year of college
- Demonstrate a need for financial assistance
- Earn a minimum of a 2.4 GPA
- Be on track to graduate from an accredited high school in the current academic year
I met all the requirements. I was a part of AVID, planned to go to Baylor University, and had a 4.2 GPA. Also, I lived without my mother for most of my life. I lived with my aunt and four other relatives growing up. My aunt supported us with less than $30,000 per year. You can learn more about my story from the speech I gave at the 2019 AVID Summer Institute in Dallas.
Even though on paper I looked like the perfect candidate for the scholarship, I still didn’t think I had a chance, but a few months after submitting my application I was selected as the first Dell Scholar from Odessa, Texas. The scholarship committee could tell that I had worked hard to be college-ready despite the challenges I faced.
The scholarship helped my family in more ways than I expected. My aunt didn't have to help me with college, the Dell staff called to check on me throughout college to make sure I was doing alright, and I wrote so many papers and reports on the Dell laptop I was awarded with as a part of the scholarship.
The Dell Scholars program really made a difference in my life, and I encourage AVID seniors everywhere to submit an application, especially young men. Typically, far fewer male students apply, but, as my story shows, male students have just as much of a chance to be selected as anyone—but not if they don’t apply.
So, if you're a student reading this, please apply for the Dell Scholars program! You'll have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so take a chance on yourself. The application is open now through December 1, 2019.
If you are an AVID teacher, do your best to encourage your AVID seniors to apply. This scholarship can open many doors for them. Don’t let your students sell themselves short. It starts with you.
Because of my AVID teacher, and with help from the Dell Scholars Program, I was able to graduate with my bachelor’s degree from Baylor University. I had always worried I wouldn’t succeed; I thought I’d end up as another statistic, but I learned that my success was more than just a possibility, and statistics were just numbers, not my destiny. All I had to do was take a chance on myself and believe.
To learn more about the Dell Scholars program, visit https://www.dellscholars.org/scholarship/.
De Kwaan Wynn is a proud AVID alum and Dell Scholar. He graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Computer Science at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. He loves helping others with his story and traveling!