A Helpful Look at the William C. Parker Diversity Scholarship

Hadeel Abdallah, Staff Reporter

The William C. Parker Scholarship, or colloquially known as the Diversity Scholarship, is given from the University of Kentucky to a handful of deserving students every year. Awards have values ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 and depending on the applicant’s ranking they have the chance to receive the award.

Asia Payne, the director of the William C. Parker Diversity Scholarship program, has emphasized on the various areas that students should focus on while applying for the scholarship.

“The objects we look for in applications are GPA, test scores, and students’ contribution to diversity,” Payne said. “However the biggest piece of the application would definitely be the essay that students have to write.”

Payne also highlighted that students should show in their essays how their contribution to diversity and how who they are can make UK a better place.

“In terms of deciding scholarship recipients, contribution to diversity is the main thing we look at,” she said.

Leadership and involvement are also two major qualities that students should have to receive the scholarship.

“We want students who have shown leadership skills both inside the classroom and outside the classroom. That goes along with their activities as well, because part of being a successful student and a successful Parker scholar is also getting involved,” Payne said.

However, getting involved does not mean neglecting one’s school work.

“Students should try to find that good balance between schoolwork and leadership. We look for students who have been successful while being involved and being leaders. That is what we hope will transfer over to UK,” Payne said.

Students that receive the scholarship are also encouraged to join clubs that the University of Kentucky so generously offers.

“We encourage students to join something that they enjoy,” Payne explained. “It can be student government, a fraternity, a sorority—just something they are passionate about. We also strongly recommend for students to join something that relates back to their major.”

Ms. Payne herself has been a part of clubs such as the Black Student Union and the National Association of Black Journalists.

“I was able to find a small community of people that helped support me through my college process,” Payne said. “Joining clubs is encouraged because it is easier to meet others who share a similar passion. It helps you network, and you can receive internships and all sorts of benefits through them.”

Even though the scholarship is not offered to every student that meets the requirements and applies, it is ensured that each applicant receives consideration and fair treatment.