Skip to Content
Win a $2,000 scholarship for fewer words than you text in a day

Win a $2,000 scholarship for fewer words than you text in a day

October 31, 2019 at 11:00am

According to textrequest, Americans send and receive an average of 94 text messages a day with the standard text consisting of 7 words—that’s 658 words sent daily in text messages.

What if you could win up to $2,000 toward tuition, a meal plan and $500 for books for fewer words than you exchange daily writing text messages?

You can.

Sponsored by the MLK Breakfast Endowment, Barnes & Noble and Chartwells, the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services invites undergraduate FIU students of all majors to apply for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Scholarship by submitting an original 500-word essay.

The essay must demonstrate students’ knowledge of the life, work and ideals of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and incorporate this year’s theme—Advocating for Liberty and Justice for All.  

To be eligible, students must be Florida residents and have less than 75 credits.

The first-place recipient will win $2,000 toward tuition, plus a meal plan and $500 book advance. Second place will receive $1,500 toward tuition, plus a meal plan and $500 book advance. And third place will be awarded $1,000 toward tuition, plus a meal plan and $500 book advance.

Essays are submitted via Academicworks and reviewed by a subcommittee of individuals from the MLK Commemorative Celebration committee.

“The committee is looking for originality and passion about the work MLK did,” says Bianca Bovo, coordinator of Multicultural Programs and Services and MLK Awards subcommittee chair. “The committee is not looking to read a biography on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but instead tie-in personal experiences to the theme and how they relate to the legacy left by MLK.”

Arijana Zagic was among the 89 students that applied last year. In addition to the financial aid allure, the criminal justice major identified with the ideals promoted by the scholarship.

“When I found out I won this scholarship, I was in absolute shock!” says Zagic, whose essay won first place.

In addition to receiving awards at the MLK Reception and Awards Ceremony, winners are invited to the Annual MLK Commemorative Breakfast in January featuring prominent keynote speakers.

Last year, Zagic had the opportunity to meet Donovan Livingston who became an internet sensation after his convocation speech to Harvard Graduate School of Education went viral.

The 2020 keynote speaker will be Yusef Salaam, criminal justice reform activist and recipient of the 2016 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Salaam is a board member of the Innocence Project and was most recently featured in the Netflix award-winning series "When They See Us"—based on the true story of the Central Park Five.

“You lose nothing by applying, and you’re able to express yourself and your values within your essay," Zagic says. “Don’t let this opportunity go to waste!”

Applications are due Nov. 8.

For details, visit

Winners will be notified by Nov. 22.