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Catherine Gayle Williams Scholarship

Catherine Williams Bio

CATHERINE WILLIAMS graduated as valedictorian from North High School in 1932 but could not afford to go directly to college. She found a job as a stenographer at Polk County Welfare and quickly scaled the ranks. She simultaneously attended college, earning degrees in psychology and sociology. She later served as Deputy Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Social Services. At this point, Catherine became the highest-ranking African American female in State Government. Catherine has received numerous awards and honors. At the time of her death in May 2020, she was a 60-year member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. Des Moines Alumnae Chapter.

Criteria is as follows:

An African American student must meet these qualifications:

  • Graduating high school senior, undergraduate student, or graduate student at an accredited two-or-four-year college, or university.

  • Enrolled full-time/part-time or accepted to an accredited college, university, or certification/credential program in Iowa.

  • Applicants must have a grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 system or its equivalent from your most recent transcript. 

  • Submit two letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or professionals outlining your past and/or current civic activities that demonstrate cultural awareness, cultural humility, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

  • Applicants should pursue a degree in one of the following fields of study: Human Services, Social Work, Counseling, Psychology, Sociology, Education or Health.

  • Submit a one-page letter outlining how you see yourself as a catalyst for change both as a student and future leader in the field of study.

  • Award amount will depend on financial need, and type of degree program, (Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate).

Select the link to access the appropriate scholarship application - APPLICATION DEADLINE MAY 26, 2024

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