Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

Class of 1968 Endowed Scholarship

Sponsored by the University of Washington Alumni Class of 1968 in honor of their 50th Class Reunion, the Class of 1968 50th Reunion Student Assistance Fund Endowed Scholarship supports hardworking students in need of financial resources.

2020-21 Scholar

Rachel Izuagbe

Class of 2022, Public Health major

Rachel Izuagbe is a junior at the University of Washington. While born in Lacey, Washington, Rachel was raised by her parents that immigrated from Nigeria. She quickly became aware of how discrimination impacts communities of color in health and education. Her parents’ ability to work hard and overcome barriers inspired her to value her opportunities and pursue a degree in Public Health to address social injustice in health care systems.

Through public health, Rachel has been able to work as an intern with the Washington State Department of Health to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 education and vaccines. She has worked with incarcerated, homeless, and Black populations to center their worries and experiences for collaboration and equitable health outcomes. Within public health, she hopes to use an anti-racist and community focused foundation to create equitable health systems that prioritize positive health outcomes for Black, Indigenous and communities of color that have been neglected.

Beyond this field, Rachel also values accessibility to higher education for low income and students of color. She has prioritized education by creating SteadyGo, a mentorship program for high school students to work with current college students. Her program works to ensure equitable access to college readiness material closing the academic gap.

Her professional goals include working in a public health agency that prioritizes community. As a public health leader, she wants to change health systems to become a collaborative force that works with different sectors to ensure that health programs and policies are equitable. Her personal goals include pursuing a Master’s in Health Services at the University of Washington and expanding her mentorship group throughout Washington state.

Rachel’s near and long-term goals:

My longer term goals are to pursue my Master’s in Health Services where I can learn more about health systems. I wan to pursue an oversight/administrative role in public health in order to make changes at a system level.

Rachel’s advice for future applicants:

Don’t be afraid to have a lot of people read your essays and give you feedback. Tell your stories that connect to the prompts. Be vulnerable, so those reading it can really know who you are.

2019-20 Scholar

Linda Vong

Class of 2021, Computer Science major

A proud daughter of Teochew and Hakka refugees from Vietnam, Linda grew up in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of South Seattle. She is an undergraduate at the UW majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Education, Learning & Society. She also builds curriculum and tech and teaches with Geeking Out Kids of Color (GOKiC). Passionate about the intersections of multicultural education, equitable tech, storytelling, and social action, Linda seeks to expand the ways that each of us sees, listens, questions, and understands ourselves, others, and the worlds around us.

Linda seeks to pursue this overarching goal in a multitude of ways. She enjoys youth development, especially with programs like GOKiC that address digital inequity by developing understanding of critical race and gender theory and tech skills as tools for antiracist, antisexist social action. She also hopes to leverage her experiences and learnings to influence some level of reform on undergraduate tech curriculum to cultivate schooling experiences and spaces that feel affirming and empowering, especially to folks with marginalized identities. Additionally, Linda hopes to leverage her education in tech to democratize reliable, low-cost internet access, and build technologies that are well-informed, responsible, and challenge the status quo.

Aside from those pursuits, Linda also enjoys learning about wealth redistribution, the dynamics of generational trauma, and the subversive nature of rest. One of her favorite quotes is from Mary Church Terrell, “And so, lifting as we climb…”

Linda’s advice for future applicants:
Reflect on your story – who and where you come from, who you are now, and who you hope to be. Find the core values that drive you, and authentically share specific past experiences, current pursuits, and goals for the future that demonstrate them.