Refugees Connecting Our Community Union Scholarship




YEAR 2019-2020



Provided by: A. Ray Olpin University Union

Value: $5,000

Number of awards: 1

Application deadline: Friday, February 8th, 2019 by 5 p.m. (MST)



The mission of the Union Scholarship Fund is to promote and recognize students’ commitment to creating an inclusive campus community. The University Union strives to promote an inclusive campus community by cultivating an environment that serves students by providing social, cultural, leadership, and co-curricular opportunities. The Union acknowledges and recognizes students within our campus community for their dedication and commitment to creating an inclusive environment.



The Union Scholarship Fund provides one (1) scholarship of $5,000 to assist refugee students in accomplishing their academic goals. The purpose is to identify and recognize students whose community engagement and service have, or will contribute to the overall mission of the Union. This includes students who are or will be associated with the different community service activities within the Union. These opportunities can include but are not limited to involvement with an office or event(s) in the Union.

This scholarship is open to students with refugee backgrounds:

The Refugees Connecting our Community Scholarship committee defines community engagement as, the process of working collaboratively with community groups and individuals to address issues that impact the well-being of those groups. For purposes of this scholarship and application, we also have a broad interpretation of the definition of community to mean the University of Utah, the Salt Lake City area, or your own neighborhood.

This scholarship is open to students with refugee backgrounds. In addition, the scholarship committee recognizes the nuances in the legal definition of a refugee. As such, the Refugees Connecting Our Community Scholarship has a broad understanding of who is considered a refugee. This includes anyone who fits the broader definition as “someone who has been forced to flee [their] country because of persecution, war or violence”. Additionally, we also extend the understanding of a refugee to anyone who has experienced the intergenerational effects of the refugee and migrant diaspora. This includes having family members who are refugees and they themselves not falling under the legal definitions. Moreover, for the purpose of this scholarship, who is considered a refugee will be up to the applicant and their own definition and understanding of the word.



  • This scholarship is available to refugee students currently at the University of Utah as well as incoming students anticipated to enroll for the 2019 fall semester
  • Candidates must take a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits, or if you are a graduate student, you must have full-time status according to your respective graduate program.
  • Candidates must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 from the University of Utah or prior institution.
  • Candidates financial need will be assessed.
  • Many students who are selected to receive a University scholarship after May 12, 2015, are required by state law to certify under penalty of perjury that they are eligible to receive the scholarship as a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country who is lawfully present within the United States. Students who have both graduated from a recognized Utah high school and who are awarded a scholarship funded by a private donor are not required to certify their lawful presence before receiving a privately funded scholarship. (This scholarship is a privately funded scholarship.)
  • Students who are required to certify their lawful presence in the United States must also be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for verification of their lawful presence within the United States. Once the University submits information to DHS for verification this federal agency may have the legal right to share information with other government agencies. If you do not know whether you are lawfully present within the United States you should seek the advice of an immigration attorney before accepting a University scholarship that requires certification and verification.



The recipients of the scholarship are expected to attend the annual Union Scholarship Celebration event during the evening of Thursday, April 4th, 2019. The celebration helps promote the scholarship on a community level and will be the time when the recipients are publicly awarded their scholarship.



Teresa Pond, M. Ed.

Assistant Director of Program Coordination

University of Utah University Union

200 S. Central Campus Dr.

Room 255

Salt Lake City, UT 84112

(801) 585-0628

Supplemental Questions
  1. How did you hear about this scholarship opportunity?
  2. Please attach your resume when submitting your application.
  3. Please describe your relationship to the refugee community and your current and future intent to serve this community.
  4. Please write an essay which addresses your educational and career goals, your familial and personal background, and the reason why you believe you are qualified for this scholarship.
  5. Applicants may choose to provide an optional letter of recommendation, but are not required to.
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