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  Silas Purnell Scholarship



The Silas Purnell Scholarship Fund was established by the Board of Directors of the EOA Foundation in 2000. Initial support was provided by two Foundation board members and the Illinois Chapter of EOA. Silas Purnell worked for Talent Search at the Ada S. McKinley Community Center, Chicago. He served needy and deserving students for 34 years and is known nationally as an advocate for equal access for low-income and first-generation students. He is directly responsible for thousands of students gaining access to, and succeeding in, higher education. Silas has many alumni who participated in his Talent Search Program in Chicago who have gone on to accomplish great things in higher education and in the private sector throughout the nation.


One award of $1,000 to each MICHIGAN and MINNESOTA. Each year one or more chapters are eligible to receive this scholarship.  The scholarship awards are distributed based on the existing chapter rotation schedule. The applicant selected by the Chapter Scholarship Committee will be the recipient for that Chapter.  No further review occurs. 


The student applicant must meet the following criteria to apply:


  1. Be a current or former TRIO or EOP student;
  2. Demonstrate financial need as defined by TRIO criteria, financial aid award letter or other documentation of family financial status;
  3. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale; and
  4. Demonstrate involvement in co-curricular and/or community activities; and

The Nominator MUST be a current member of EOA and MICHIGAN or MINNESOTA at the time of the scholarship deadline. 

Application Materials: 

The applicant must submit the following (PDF) materials in order for their application to be considered complete: 
Nomination Form (from TRIO/EOP professional - must be EOA member)
- Letter of Recommendation from Nominator
- Copy of unofficial academic transcript, including current semester schedule
- Signed Photo Release Form and an uploaded headshot.
- Student essay (double-spaced and not exceeding 2 pages) describing:
1. The impact of TRIO or educational opportunity program on your education.
2. A specific description of your plan to obtain your baccalaureate degree.
3. Why the EOA Silas Purnell Scholarship is important to you?

NOTE: Applications must be completed in one session. Applicants are NOT able to save their progress and return to it later. It is advised you prepare all application materials prior to applying as the system will time you out for inactivity and all progress will be lost and unrecoverable. 

Click link below to apply!

(Nominator must be an EOA member within that state Chapter in order for the applicant to be eligible.)

MINNESOTA: (Due March 2, 2020)

MICHIGAN: (Due March 2, 2020)

                               Silas Purnell Scholarship Recipients                             

2020 Seth Ellison Monroe Community College Upward Bound
Ingri L. Ramirez Martin Augsburg University SSS
2019 April White Northeast Iowa Community College Ryan Knight   Purdue Fort Wayne 2018 Zana L. Danner Carl Sandburg College Tronica Joab Mount Mary University SSS 2017 Jorge Umana Emporia State University TS Yayra Tamakloe Kent State University McNair 2016 Utah Ogbonna North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn, MN
     2015    Janae Chunn Pontiac Academy for Excellence, Rochester, MI
  Carolina Brito Lake Michigan College, Dowagiac, MI
  2014 Stephanie Miller TRIO Student Support Services, Iowa Central Community College

EOA Foundation

The EOA Foundation provides scholarships and awards to TRIO and educational opportunity program students in the ten-state region served by EOA.


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