By Veleka Finch
Black Americans helped build the backbones of commerce, community organizing, science, education, arts and entertainment in our nation – holding true to what distinguishes African-American culture while overcoming obstacles to a rightful belonging in the diverse nation that is the United States of America.
The rich and unique history of Black Americans is made of measureless acts of dedication, persistence, and bravery. Like the Black leaders who supported a sit-in in San Francisco that pushed the national disability rights movement forward. Or the Black community members who marched for 200 nights in a row for equal housing rights. Or the Black students who launched a historic, five-month student union strike that led to the wider acceptance of students of color into college.
There are countless additional examples – including stories that are known around the world – and others that are stories still waiting to be told. In February and March, Regions Bank encourages students to share the inspiring story of a Black American individual in the tenth annual Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest.
“Our teams at Regions are working every day to create more inclusive prosperity, and Riding Forward provides a powerful opportunity to share the stories of Black Americans whose legacies are helping pave the way for current and future generations to succeed,” said Abbas Merchant, head of Corporate Marketing for Regions Bank. “In their essays, students can recognize any Black American who serves as an inspiration. It may be a person who is known worldwide – or it may be a relative or a community member whose dedication and commitment are worthy of recognition. We look forward to reading every story, and we encourage students to apply soon.”
To date, Regions has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to nearly 300 students through the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest. Here’s how this year’s contest works:
Through Mar. 31, high school seniors and undergraduate college freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are residents of (or who are currently enrolled in accredited colleges located in) states with Regions branches are encouraged to submit 500-word essays honoring a Black American who has been an inspiration in the applicant’s life.
Essays will be judged by an independent panel, with winners announced by Regions later this summer. Winning essays will also be published on Regions.com.
Scholarships will include a total of 15 awards of $5,000 each for high school winners and 15 awards of $3,500 each for winners who are currently enrolled as college students.
One high school winner and one college winner will be selected from each of the 15 states served by Regions branches.
Additional information, winning essays from 2020’s contest, eligibility details, official rules and an online contest application can be found at www.regions.com/ridingforward.
No purchase or banking relationship is required to enter the contest.