Scholarship Overview

Merit & need-based scholarships awarded to graduating BIPOC high school seniors pursuing post-secondary programs & degrees in Arts or STEM.

Kevin Flores an Ignite ARts & STEM STEM scholarship winner.
Kevin Flores, Scholarship Recipient 
Student artist posing with her work

Our Scholarships

The Problem

The numbers paint a stark picture

  • Only 8% of STEM workers in the US are Black or Hispanic, while they make up over 26% of the overall workforce (National Science Foundation, 2021).
  • Despite a 17% growth in Arts jobs between 2016 and 2022, BIPOC workers remain grossly underrepresented in the Arts workforce. While they make up over 40% of the U.S. population, BIPOC individuals hold only 18.5% of Arts occupations. This translates to a gap of over 21 percentage points, showcasing a persistent and concerning disparity.
  • First-generation college students face significant barriers to entering STEM fields, with graduation rates 20% lower than continuing-generation students (National Center for Education Statistics, 2022).
  • Limited access to arts education and mentorships further widens the gap for BIPOC artists. (Institute of Cultural and Artistic Development)

This lack of diversity stifles creativity and innovation. Studies show that diverse teams generate more creative solutions and tackle complex problems more effectively when the richness and diversity of the teams experiences are included. Underrepresentation reinforces existing power structures and perpetuates systemic inequalities within the Arts and beyond. That's where Ignite Arts and STEM steps in.

Scholarship Qualifications

Do I qualify? Here's what's considered:

  • Is there a need?
    This is a merit & need-based scholarship.
  • Is the applicant a BIPOC high school senior?
    Only graduating BIPOC high school seniors are considered.
  • Is the applicant pursuing a program or degree in the Arts or STEM?
    Applicants must be pursuing post-secondary programs or a degree in Arts or STEM.
  • Other considerations:
    Demonstrated ability to make a significant impact on their community, desire to learn & coach-ability.
attendees having a great time at the IAS gala event

Arts Scholarship

APPLICATION DEADLINE - Apr 13, 2024

WINNERS ANNOUNCED - May 13, 2024

Do you see the world through a kaleidoscope of colors, rhythms, or emotions just waiting to be expressed? Are you a first-generation BIPOC high school senior with a burning passion for visual, studio, or performing arts? Imagine a world where every vibrant color, every bold stroke, every whispered melody finds its voice. Ignite Arts & STEM believes that's the world BIPOC artists deserve. But the reality is, for many, that canvas remains blank, their artistic dreams overshadowed by systemic barriers. Ignite Arts and STEM wants to help transform your artistic vision into reality with the Palette & Purpose Scholarship.

In order to broaden the perspectives reflected in art, it’s critical to uplift artistic BIPOC students. That's where Palette & Purpose comes in. This scholarship is not just granting financial aid, the goal is to dismantle these barriers and ignite the vibrant futures of BIPOC artists. This scholarship is more than just ink on paper – it's a key that unlocks doors to opportunity, and community.

This isn't just a scholarship, it's a masterpiece in the making. We believe your brushstrokes deserve a chance to paint a brighter future for yourself and the arts. Come, let's fill the world with your colors.

To apply, tell us your story. In your essay, please address all the following:

  • Unleash your muse: Tell us what ignites your creative fire. What compels you to express yourself through the arts?
  • Impactful brushstrokes: How do you envision your artistic career shaping the world? Dream big and paint your vision for a brighter future.
  • Literary whispers: How have books you've read influenced your artistic goals? Let their words guide your artistic compass.
  • Your deeper vision: We want to understand your **educational roadmap**. Explain in detail how this scholarship program will become the bridge connecting your artistic ambitions to reality. How will this scholarship fuel your journey towards making a meaningful impact?

Optional:

Creative crescendo: Go beyond words! Showcase your passion through an original piece – a melody that stirs the soul, a poem that paints vivid landscapes, a painting, drawing or photograph that captures the essence of humanity. Let your art speak volumes!

Eligibility Requirements

  • Race: BIPOC
  • Background: First-generation post secondary student
  • Experience: Non-profit or volunteering experience
  • Education Level: High school senior (2023-2024 school year)
  • Field of Interest: Visual, studio, or performing arts
  • GPA: 2.4 or higher
  • Residency: US Citizen in the Greater Los Angeles Area
Student art show at gala

Arts Scholarship Winner Essay Excerpts

"In filmmaking/directing, I want to showcase the diversity of all different people and create a space where the less represented can feel more represented. I am always fascinated by films but I find it hard to connect deeply because I am watching people that don't look like me. I know that I will benefit the film industry by boosting diversity for people of color and including more representation when it comes to lgbtq+ community and the disabled community. I hope that my music will allow people to reach deep in themselves and allow the emotions they don't express to be expressed."

-Dai'Mariana Hutchinson

"What keeps me returning to my easel whenever I want to create art is remembering the unforgettable memories I have made as an artist. Hearing the young black girls' awe over which print of my paintings looked like them in their favorite hairstyle. I aim to make people and my community feel appreciated and represented through art. I love creating every day, but as a mentor and leader in the community, doing something you love is good–but doing something you love that has purpose is even better."

-Jima Chester

STEM Scholarship

APPLICATION DEADLINE - Apr 13, 2024

WINNERS ANNOUNCED - May 13, 2024

Do you see the world through a kaleidoscope of scientific curiosity and artistic expression? Ignite Arts and STEM sees it too. But there's problem: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities are dramatically underrepresented in STEM fields, despite their boundless potential.

This lack of diversity stifles innovation. Studies show that diverse teams generate more creative solutions and tackle complex problems more effectively. That's where Ignite Arts and STEM steps in.

Through the Code Breakers & Changemakers Scholarship, we are not just awarding money, we are igniting a revolution. We're empowering first-generation BIPOC high school seniors with the financial and moral support they need to shatter stereotypes and rewrite their futures.

To apply, tell your story. In your essay, please address all the following:

  • Fuel your fire: Share your passion for STEM. What ignites your curiosity? What challenges do you long to tackle?
  • Impact blueprint: How do you envision your STEM career impacting the world? Weave your aspirations into a tangible vision.
  • Literary landmarks: How have books you've read shaped your STEM goals? Let them guide your narrative.
  • Your deeper vision: We want to understand your **educational roadmap**. Explain in detail how this scholarship program will become the bridge connecting your ambitions to reality. How will this scholarship equip you to turn your STEM passion into reality and fuel your journey towards making a meaningful impact?

Optional:

Creative spark: Got a song in your heart, a film in your mind? Showcase your passion through an original creative piece – a short film, a poem, a song – anything that speaks volumes about your STEM fire!

Eligibility Requirements

  • Race: BIPOC
  • Background: First-generation post secondary education student
  • Experience: Non-profit or volunteering experience
  • Education Level: High school senior (2023-2024 school year)
  • Field of Interest: STEM
  • GPA: 2.4 or higher
  • Residency: US Citizen in the Greater Los Angeles Area
Guests enjoying the student art show at the gala

STEM Scholarship Winner Essay Excerpts

"I am passionate about STEM because of the potential it has to make a positive impact on the world. STEM allows us to create solutions to global problems, from developing new technologies to improving health care and education for ALL people. I plan to make a positive impact on the world through my STEM career by creating solutions that make a difference in people's lives or lifestyle. STEM, overall, is the reason why the world has evolved!"

-Jayleen Manjarrez

"STEM has the potential to make a positive impact on the world in a variety of ways, and I am particularly interested in using it to combine the arts and technology in innovative and impactful methods."

-Alessandra Soriano