Scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Founded in 1978 to foster and strengthen a sense of unity among social, fraternal, business groups and associations — the West Indian Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the identity, history and unique cultural heritage of West Indians and to educate the community in these traditions.

The West Indian Foundation, Inc. encourages a strong and stable economic status for West Indians and all minorities in the Greater Hartford community through promotion of arts, education, economic and skill development, as well as the preservation and perpetuation of West Indian culture.

As education is a key focus of the Foundation, our tagline “Educating today for a better tomorrow” is the underpinning of our scholarship program.  In the spirit of our rich history, the West Indian Foundation is pleased to announce its annual scholarship program.  There are four scholarship opportunities:

  • Fitzroy and Mildred Parkinson Memorial Scholarship
  • Keith L. Carr, Sr. Technical and Vocational Scholarship
  • Marcus Garvey Scholarship
  • West Indian Migrant Farm Worker’s Memorial Scholarship

 

Each scholarship opportunity is named for a significant contributor to the West Indian community here and/or abroad.  We are proud to continue the legacy of education and service by awarding scholarships to people from within the community.

Before submission of an application, it is strongly recommended that applicants carefully review their application packet for completion, grammar, spelling and content.  Incomplete applications will be subject to automatic disqualification.  Any questions, pertaining to the application should be emailed to info@westindianfoundation.org.

Completed applications must be postmarked on or before March 1.

Please mail the completed application to:

West Indian Foundation, Inc.
Attn: Scholarship Committee
32 Wintonbury Avenue
Bloomfield, CT  06002

Background

The late Fitzroy N. Parkinson was one of the founding members of both the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, Inc. in 1950 and later in 1978, the West Indian Foundation, Inc. and served for many years as Treasurer for both organizations. He demonstrated a steadfast belief in the commitment to education and community service. Mr. Parkinson worked for many years as the Food Service manager of the O.J. Thrall tobacco farm and was instrumental in launching the West Indian Migrant Scholarship program, assisted by His Excellency Howard Felix Cooke, the then Governor General of Jamaica.

The late Mildred (Derr) Parkinson, wife of Fitzroy H. Parkinson, a resident of Hartford for over 50 years, retired from Mount Sinai Hospital, Hartford after many years of service as a Registered Nurse.  She was a graduate of Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina; a graduate of the Hartford Seminary Black Ministers program and had attended the University of Pennsylvania.  Mrs. Parkinson fully supported her husband in his efforts, playing a pivotal role in encouraging, promoting and assisting him in his endeavors.

Scholarship Focus

The Fitzroy and Mildred Parkinson Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior of West Indian heritage graduating from an accredited high school in Connecticut who demonstrates an acute commitment to the community through service and education.

 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be a high school senior graduating from an accredited high school in Connecticut
  • Applicant must hold a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher, on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicant must be applying to and/or accepted to an accredited 4-year college or university.
  • Evidence of community service engagement and leadership in education.

Application Requirements

A complete application packet must include the following:

  1. One (1) letter of recommendation: one letter written by applicant’s current high school teacher, guidance counselor, principal or professor.
  2. A current transcript from your graduating high school(s)
  3. A 300-word (minimum of 250-word) essay responding to the statement, “Describe your most meaningful achievements and how they relate to your commitment to community service and education.”
  4. A resume that details your community service experiences, employment, and extra-curricular activities (include varsity, junior varsity, clubs student government, etc.).

Applications must be submitted by March 1st of each year to be considered.

Application forms may be obtained from participating organizations, by downloading from the website at www.westindianfoundation.org or by emailing info@westindianfoundation.org

Applicants must be a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States of America.

Background

Keith L. Carr, Sr. , O.M. ( December 24, 1930-January 7, 2008)

 

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mr. Carr joined the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, Inc. in 1963 and served in many capacities including Chairman of Publicity and Public Relations, Planning and Development Committee, Assistant Manager of Operations, Secretary for thirteen(13) years and President for three(3)years. An avid supporter of culture and the arts, he also served as Chairman of the West Indian Independence Celebration Committee. Mr. Carr served as Secretary, Vice President and President of the West Indian Foundation, Inc. from 1980 to 1994 and as Executive Director from 1985 to 2005, overseeing the daily activities of the Foundation in collaboration with the Board of Directors. These activities include fundraising and fiscal management of the organization. In 2005, after 40 years of public service, Mr. Carr retired as the Executive Director of the West Indian Foundation.  Mr. Carr committed his life to building bridges and transforming the Greater Hartford community working with various community and civic organizations until his death in 2008.

Scholarship Focus

The Keith L. Carr, Sr. Technical & Vocational Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving high school graduate who will pursue continued studies in a technical or vocational trade (e.g. electrician, advanced manufacturing, computer tech).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must have graduated from an accredited high school in Connecticut or obtained a GED certificate.
  • Applicant must be applying to and/or accepted to an accredited technical or vocational school.

 

Application Requirements

A complete application packet must include the following:

  1. One (1) letter of recommendation: one letter written by applicant’s current teacher, employer, community person – someone who can speak to the applicant’s vocational passion.
  2. A current transcript from your graduating high school(s) or a GED certificate.
  3. A 300-word (minimum of 250-word) essay responding to the statement, “Discuss how your interest in vocational studies developed and describe your experience in the field.”
  4. A resume that details your community service experiences, employment, and extra-curricular activities (include varsity, junior varsity, clubs student government, etc.).

Applications must be submitted by March 1st of each year to be considered.

Application forms may be obtained from participating organizations, by downloading from the website at www.westindianfoundation.org or by emailing info@westindianfoundation.org

Applicants must be a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States of America.

Background

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940)

Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican-born political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator. He was the founder and first President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL, commonly known as UNIA). Ideologically a black nationalist and Pan-Africanist, his ideas came to be known as Garveyism.   Garvey was born to a moderately prosperous Afro-Jamaican family in Saint Ann’s Bay, Colony of Jamaica and apprenticed into the print trade as a teenager. Working in Kingston, he became involved in trade unionism before working briefly in Costa Rica, Panama, and England. Returning to Jamaica, he founded UNIA in 1914. In 1916, he moved to the United States and established a UNIA branch in Harlem. Emphasizing unity between Africans and the African diaspora, he campaigned for an end to European colonial rule across Africa and the political unification of the continent. He envisioned a unified Africa as a one-party state that would enact laws to ensure black racial purity. Although he never visited the continent himself, he was committed to the Back-to-Africa movement, arguing that many African-Americans should migrate there. UNIA grew in membership and Garveyist ideas became increasingly popular. However, his black separatist views—and his collaboration with white racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to advance their shared interest in racial separatism—divided Garvey from other prominent African-American civil rights activists such as W. E. B. Du Bois who promoted racial integration.

Scholarship Focus

The Marcus Garvey Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving high school senior of West Indian heritage graduating from an accredited high school in Connecticut who demonstrates an acute commitment to

community and civic engagement.

 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be a high school senior graduating from an accredited high school in Connecticut
  • Applicant must hold a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher, on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicant must be applying to and/or accepted to an accredited 4-year college or university.

 

Application Requirements

A complete application packet must include the following:

  1. One (1) letter of recommendation: one letter written by applicant’s current high school teacher, guidance counselor, principal or professor.
  2. A current transcript from your graduating high school(s)
  3. A 300-word (minimum of 250-word) essay responding to the question, “Using Marcus Garvey as an example, if you had the authority to change your school in a positive way, what specific changes would you make?”
  4. A resume that details your community service experiences, employment, and extra-curricular activities (include varsity, junior varsity, clubs, student government, etc.).

Applications must be submitted by March 1st of each year to be considered.

Application forms may be obtained from participating organizations, by downloading from the website at www.westindianfoundation.org or by emailing info@westindianfoundation.org

Applicants must be a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States of America.

Background

From 1943 to 1947, under the terms of intergovernmental agreements with British West Indian governments, the U.S. government recruited and transported approximately seventy thousand Jamaicans, Barbadians, and Bahamians to the United States for agricultural employment. The stimulus for the agreements came from American farmers, especially large growers, who complained to the federal government that they were experiencing a shortage of farm labor. Many rural men and women entered the armed forces during World War II, while others escaped the low wages of farm work for the better wages offered in the expanding defense industry. As men and women deserted the farms, farmers became increasingly concerned about their dwindling supply of labor, and although there was no severe scarcity of domestic workers, the federal government was convinced to create an emergency program to alleviate labor shortages on farms.

Concurrent with American growers’ struggle to recruit labor, the Caribbean was experiencing extreme economic devastation and political upheaval. In the late 1930s, high levels of unemployment and sociopolitical unrest led to riots throughout the Commonwealth Caribbean. Colonial administrations had only begun to propose remedies to the problems that gave impetus to the riots when World War II began. Additionally, wartime restrictions on shipping created food shortages and devastated the tourist industry in the Bahamas and on other islands, thereby exacerbating the already high levels of unemployment. These conditions encouraged Caribbean administrations and colonial authorities in Great Britain to support the American plan to transport West Indians to the United States for farm work.

Scholarship Focus

The West Indian Farm Workers Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior graduating from an accredited high school in Connecticut who is a direct descendant of a West Indian Migrant Farm Worker.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be a high school senior graduating from an accredited high school in Connecticut
  • Applicant must hold a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher, on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicant must be applying to and/or accepted to an accredited 4-year college or university.

 

Application Requirements

A complete application packet must include the following:

  1. One (1) letter of recommendation: one letter written by applicant’s current high school teacher, guidance counselor, principal or professor.
  2. A current transcript from your graduating high school(s)
  3. A 300-word (minimum of 250-word) essay responding to the question, “How has your family background affected the way you see the world?”
  4. A resume that details your community service experiences, employment, and extra-curricular activities (include varsity, junior varsity, clubs student government, etc.).
  5. A notarized Statement of Proof of relationship to a West Indian Migrant Farm Worker to the United States.

Applications must be submitted by March 1st of each year to be considered.

Application forms may be obtained from participating organizations, by downloading from the website at www.westindianfoundation.org or by emailing info@westindianfoundation.org

Applicants must be a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States of America.