Two Polk State students receive scholarships for essays on unity

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Isiah Fedee and Joy Obilor-Okereafor were honored with scholarships from the Polk State College Foundation during the College’s annual Unity Day event for their essays on unity and community.

Each received scholarships worth up to $500. Applicants for this scholarship must have an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or greater and submit written responses about their educational and career goals, community service, and the Civil Rights movement.

“This scholarship…, will provide me with financial peace of mind,” Obilor-Okereafor said. “It will also restore my faith in the likelihood that I will succeed if I keep trying. I have applied for many scholarships but have been turned down numerous times, which has crippled my confidence and courage.”

Obilor-Okereafor aspires to a career as a traveling respiratory therapist and touted the College’s Respiratory Care Program, which is one of the top programs of its kind in the state of Florida.

She wrote in her essay that as a first-generation-in-college student, she values the affordable, efficient path to achieving academic success without sacrificing the quality of her education.

“I [have chosen a path] that entails staying in school longer and taking more classes in order to achieve my goals but at a lower cost, as opposed to going to a university and finishing sooner, but paying more money,” she explained.

Polk State’s tuition is approximately one-third the cost of universities. Additionally, the Polk State Foundation awards about $1.2 million in scholarships each year.

Fedee echoed appreciation for his scholarship and Polk State’s affordability.

“Any scholarships or grants that I can earn can significantly help me succeed in college,” he said. “I can cut some hours from my job and have [more] time to study and practice the material given to me by my professors.”

He is pursuing an Associate in Science in Network Systems Engineering with a concentration in Security and is motivated by recently landing a spot on the Dean’s List.

“That gave me the confidence to believe that achieving in college is possible if I stay on track, continue to have self-discipline, work on my time management, and invest in my education,” Fedee said.

When asked about unity and civil rights, both students shared their perspectives.

“If people were to unite to challenge the obstacles and negativity that stands in the way of a goal,” Fedee wrote, “a beautiful outcome be the outcome.”

“We won’t have any problems if we are kind to one another,” Obilor-Okereafor reflected, “and realize that we all bleed the same.”