How To Write A Grant Application Essay

Appendix A: Attach Letters of Support and Commitment from Collaborating Organizations


Father Mark O'Reilly
Our Lady of Guadeloupe Catholic Church
123 Guess Road
Durham, North Carolina 27704
Telephone (919) 477-6789
E-mail: fathermark@yahoo.com

July 4, 2000

Dear friends:

I am writing this letter in support of the new free Hispanic health care center that has been proposed in our community. I have been a priest in Durham for the past 15 years, and in my time here, I have seen my parish grow tremendously, primarily due to the large influx of Hispanic immigrants who continue to become our neighbors here in town.

As a priest, I am privy to many of their difficulties, and it strikes me time and again how many of these problems are due to a lack of adequate health care. Many do not have money to go to the doctor. Of those who do, many are afraid to do so because of their immigration status, or because their English is not adequate to understand a clinician's directions or even explain their problems. Many of these people I have accompanied to local clinics and served as their translator; but if I did this for every person who needed this in my parish, I would no longer have time for anything else.

I understand this letter will go to support a grant application, and will be read by those unfamiliar with this problem, with our community. Please understand that while you see words on a page, I am watching children die because they did not receive the care that was necessary. The need is urgent, and the time to act upon it is now.

I have the highest confidence in those who are running this new clinic. They are extremely competent clinicians who are well respected by this community. They can get things done. Most importantly, they are passionately dedicated to this cause. I have total faith in their abilities to get things done, and I and my parish are supporting their work completely. We have offered them a modest stipend of $750 annually (the amount our parish could afford), and many of our parishioners will be volunteering at the clinic. I urge you to support their efforts as well. If I can be of any further service, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Yours in Christ,

Father Mark

Julie Nielson


Human Relations Department
Big Drug Corporation
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27707
Jnielson@gw.com

June 29, 2000

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing in support of the new free clinic that is being proposed in our area. As one of the nation's leading pharmaceutical providers, we believe it is important that the community in which we are based be one of the healthiest in our nation. It is to that end that we have pledged our support to this new clinic. It is part of our mission to "give something back" to the community that graciously houses us.

Although we have not yet finalized the specifics of our donation to the new clinic, we hope to be a regular benefactor, probably through donations of our products. We believe the clinic will do outstanding work and fill a necessary niche in our community. We hope that you will join us in supporting this worthy endeavor.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at (919) 383-1234.

Sincerely,

Julie R. Nielson

Human Relations Associate
Big Drug Corporation


Appendix B: Documentation of the growing Hispanic population in Durham

December 21, 1997
The News & Observer
Estimate alarms Hispanic advocates
By NED GLASCOCK; STAFF WRITER

RALEIGH -- The U.S. Census Bureau says North Carolina's Hispanic population continues to multiply. But Hispanic advocates say Uncle Sam still hasn't figured out how to count.

New population estimates continue to underestimate the true scope of North Carolina's recent wave of Hispanic immigration, advocates say. They worry that the apparent underestimation could mislead policy-makers about the level of state and local resources needed to address the influx.

The Census Bureau estimates that 134,384 Hispanics lived in the state in July 1996, an 11 percent increase over 1995 and 73 percent more than in the 1990 census.

However, the new figure falls far below the estimate of 205,000 made by state health officials in 1996, said Katie Pomerans, Hispanic ombudsman in the Office of Citizen Services, a wing of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

"A lot is at risk," Pomerans said. "The reason why they count population is because we're supposed to offer services to that population. You plan for growth that way - for the number of schools you need, the number of parking spaces you need. But nobody knows the actual figure, even after they count it."

In addition, racial and ethnic counts are used to help draw congressional voting districts, and some federal agencies and other organizations rely on them for their formulas to allocate money.

In the Triangle, the apparent discrepancy between official figures and reality is pronounced in Durham, where estimates by local Hispanic groups put the population about 8,000. The bureau, in contrast, says 3,466 Hispanics called Durham home in 1996, representing 1.8 percent of the county's population.

"It definitely doesn't have anything to do with reality," Pomerans said. "They're grossly undercounting there, and it makes no sense."

Although the Census Bureau says Durham's Hispanic population grew by 11 percent from 1995 to 1996, the number of Hispanic children in the Durham public schools jumped by 25 percent over the same time frame, from 562 to 705, she said.

Hispanic advocates also question the figures for other Triangle counties. The Census Bureau reported: - 11,227 Hispanics in Wake County, or 2.1 percent of the county's population. That figure is a 15 percent increase from the year before and a 103 percent rise since 1990.

2,508 Hispanics in Orange County, or 2.3 percent of the population. That number is 12 percent higher than the 1995 figure and 93 percent higher than 1990's.

Overall, Hispanics make up a tiny fraction of the state's population - 1.8 percent of the state's 7.3 million residents in 1996, according to the bureau. Still, even that percentage is on the increase: In 1990, Hispanics made up 1.2 percent of North Carolina's population.

Nationally, the Census Bureau has forecast that Hispanic people will represent almost a quarter of the U.S. population by the year 2050, up from one-tenth currently.

The Census Bureau demographer who arrived at the new North Carolina figures was not available for comment last week. Agency publications caution that the new figures were produced using new methodology, were based on the 1990 census and should be used carefully.

"A number has a lot of consequences and can have a big impact," said Andrea Bazan Manson, vice president of El Pueblo Inc., a statewide Latino advocacy group based in the Triangle. Manson said the group often uses estimates of 250,000 to 300,000 for Hispanics in the state. "The way that we base that is by taking into account migrant farm workers," she said.

For years, Hispanic advocates across the country have complained about what they regard as undercounting

Whether the census data for North Carolina are accurate or not, the trend of growth in Hispanic numbers is undeniable and can still help guide policy-makers, said Susan Brock, a migrant health coordinator with the nonprofit N.C. Primary Health Care Association.

"[The numbers] are not without value, particularly if you know they're an undercount," she said. "I don't know that any data [are] perfect."

Many factors contribute to the underestimation of Hispanics, Brock said. Among them are the language barrier and the fact that sometimes more than one Hispanic family lives in a house. Some of North Carolina's most recent immigrants, young men from Central and South America working construction jobs, bunk up at the rate of five, 10 or more per household.

In addition, undocumented immigrants are reluctant to come forward and be counted.

Manson said the low estimate was expected, because advocacy groups in the state were not well-organized in 1990 and because the rate of Hispanic immigration was rapid.

"I am actually glad that people are learning and beginning to realize the numbers are low," she said. "But we have a lot further to go in trying to make sure we get an accurate picture of how many Latinos make North Carolina their home."

Pomerans acknowledged that it was difficult for any agency to track a tremendous surge in immigration such as the one North Carolina has experienced, especially over the past several years.

"We have to just hope that with the next census, it's better done," she said. "A lot of that depends on the help of the community and educating people about the importance of responding to the census."


February 22, 1998

The News & Observer
Spanish lessons (Part A) (First of two parts)
By Ruth Sheehan and Ned Glascock; Staff Writers

Lured by the prospect of good jobs in a humming economy, Latino immigrants have flocked to the Tar Heel State in record numbers this decade, literally helping build the new North Carolina as they forge new lives.

But this historic demographic shift is placing a large burden on state and local governments - a burden for which nearly every agency and branch of government is ill-prepared and under equipped.

Although Latinos remain a small fraction of North Carolina's overall population - about 2 percent - the U.S. Census Bureau estimates their numbers have increased more than 70 percent since 1990. Hardly a town has gone unchanged.

Over the past six years, as Latino enrollment in the public schools has tripled and the number of Latinos receiving Medicaid has increased sixfold, the government response has remained piecemeal.

Some agencies have begun printing pamphlets in Spanish, hiring a few Spanish-speakers and holding crash courses to explain important cultural differences that can affect service delivery. But there is no coordinated strategy.

"It is not as if this wave of immigration is some big surprise at this point," says Katie Pomerans, a liaison for the Spanish-speaking community with the state Department of Health and Human Services. "It's a fact. It's a reality. We are behind the curve, well behind the curve on this one."

Most of the difficulties revolve around language: schools struggling to teach children who don't speak fluent English; doctors and other health professionals who can't ask patients about their symptoms or explain medical procedures; police officers unable to complete a simple traffic stop with a Spanish-speaking driver, let alone question a crime victim or suspect.

Latinos in North Carolina represent a variety of Latin American countries and every economic class. But it is the wave of working-class migration mainly from poor areas of Mexico and Central America - and even other parts of the United States - that poses the biggest challenges for government.

Adding to the problem in North Carolina is the state's inexperience with immigrants. Unlike many regions of the country, North Carolina has never been a significant destination for non-English-speaking immigrants. And the answers for how to deal with this unprecedented influx of new residents - some legal, some not - have proved elusive.

Government agencies in North Carolina are playing catch-up, says Aura Camacho Maas, a member of the state Human Relations Commission and founder of the Latin American Resource Center in Raleigh.

"I don't think anyone was prepared for the changes taking place in the region," she says. "The first reaction from many different sectors was to ignore it. But I think we've evolved quite a bit from that.

"People are beginning to address those issues now. But it will take a while. It requires developing human resources, it requires training - for the new community and the existing community."

Government's struggle to match the rapid pace of change plays out in the classroom, the courthouse and the health clinic in nearly every community in North Carolina. Here is a collection of snapshots from the front lines.

Among schoolchildren: Mary Mason's specialty is language. But these days, she's preoccupied by the numbers.

As coordinator of the English as a Second Language program at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, Mason sees the demand arcing upward in what is perhaps the most crucial interface between new Latino immigrants and the state: the public schools.

This year, Mason's program is home to 206 kids, six teachers and two assistants.

Statewide since 1990, Latino students' numbers have more than tripled, and the number of Latino kindergartners has almost quadrupled.

The Wake County public schools have nearly doubled their ESL teaching positions in the past year, and the pace is so frantic that some new ESL teachers are sent into the classroom while they're still training for certification.

"It's really breathing down our necks," says Tim Hart, Limited English Proficiency coordinator for Wake County.

"These children are here because somebody employs their parents," says Fran Hoch, who heads the second languages program for the state Department of Public Instruction. And they're not the children of migrants, she says. They're here to stay.

"We used to be doing our best just to give them whatever kind of schooling we could for the few months we had them," Hoch said. "Now they are part of our accountability. If we don't serve them, they become part of our dropout rate."

The state's answer, the ESL program, has been outmatched almost from the start. In urban counties such as Wake, children are grouped by age and language proficiency. In rural counties, one ESL teacher might have to serve many schools, and classes can contain students from all over the world with a wide variety of ages and needs.

The younger the child, the easier it is to pick up English - and the easier to learn a new language in a normal classroom environment. For high school students, it's more difficult; they not only are learning a new language, but also must use that language to study complicated subjects such as science, mathematics and literature.

Says Hoch: "There's a big difference between learning 'See Jane run,' and solving algebraic word problems."

The state does not track dropout rates for ESL students. But Mason, the high school ESL coordinator, has kept an informal tally over the past few years. The boys, she says, have the hardest time. Of the last 26 she's taught, only two had graduated by May.

"The prospects are not good for these kids," she says.

Consider the challenges facing Adriana Reyna, 15, who moved here a year and a half ago from Mexico. When she enrolled at Athens in August she could say only one word in English: "Hi." Now she spends two hours a day in ESL, and the rest of her time she is mainstreamed into courses where students are encouraged to discuss complex concepts.

Reyna has no idea what her classmates are talking about.

"I say nothing," she says. "I only listen."

On the job: Inside the cramped, concrete-block duplex in Durham, Tom O'Connor listens intently to the Honduran woman with the long brown hair.

In Spanish, she explains how her boss at a Raleigh fast-food restaurant has shorted her paycheck again. And although she's a full-time worker, she receives no health benefits.

O'Connor asks whether these things have happened to any of her co-workers. Her face creases with an expression that's part grin and part grimace.

"Solamente a los hispanos," she says. Only to the Hispanics. "Creo que es que somos hispanos." I think it's because we're Hispanics.

O'Connor takes notes. He will look into it.

As executive director of the non-profit N.C. Occupational Safety and Health Project, O'Connor's job is to be an advocate for ill-treated workers. More and more, his cases involve workers from Mexico and other countries south of the border.

But truth be told, neither O'Connor nor the state labor department has a handle of this segment of the work force.

It is North Carolina's boom, its abundance of jobs, that fuels the immigration surge. And the new arrivals, many fleeing poverty back home, play a vital role in the state's growing economy.

Anyone driving past a construction site need only look to confirm that Hispanics make up a large and growing percentage of the workers erecting the new subdivisions, office buildings and shopping malls that mark North Carolina as a player in the New South. They take some of the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs - slaughtering chickens, paving highways, logging trees.

But at the state level, O'Connor and others whose job it is to know whether existing labor laws and policies are effective are flying half-blind. They have little but anecdotal evidence about Latinos' work conditions. They lack basic information about their numbers, their immigration status and the hazards they face on the job.

Now, N.C. State University researchers - teaming up with O'Connor's advocacy organization, the state Department of Labor, labor activists and others - are undertaking an ambitious study of the state's Hispanic work force.

The preliminary results raise as many questions as they answer, says Jeffrey Leiter, a professor of sociology and anthropology at NCSU, who is helping lead the research.

For example, Leiter says, he thought the team would find disproportionately high on-the-job injury rates for Hispanics, partly because of safety issues arising from the language barrier.

But an unexpected pattern emerged from the information on large work sites the team pieced together from federal and state databases: In certain job categories, a surprisingly low percentage of Latino employees reported workplace injuries.

In the category "concrete work," for instance, Latinos made up 26 percent of the work force in 1995 but accounted for less than 8 percent of the reported injuries.

"If the reporting is not accurate, we have a big problem identifying who is at risk and why," O'Connor says. "We can't understand what the problems are and how to reduce injuries.

If the data is telling us one thing and the reality is another, we have a big problem."

Leiter's team of students and researchers will soon conduct field interviews to determine whether Hispanic workers are less likely to report injuries. Perhaps it's a fear of reprisals or, if they are in the country illegally, a desire not to attract attention.

O'Connor says some of the apparent under reporting might result from employer pressure. Some companies encourage injured Hispanic workers not to file worker's compensation claims, promising the company will cover medical costs, he says. Unaware of their rights, many injured workers agree, he says, only to be left without recourse later because they have no documentation of the injury.


Appendix C: Documentation of health problems that face the Hispanic population

May 10, 1996

The News & Observer
Rubella outbreak hits Latinos hard Illness, fear twin foes in Chatham
By Ben Stocking; Staff Writer Page: A1

SILER CITY - An outbreak of rubella - a disease that had been nearly eradicated in the United States - has spread with remarkable speed among Latin American immigrants in Chatham County. Public health workers have documented 50 rubella cases so far, compared with 146 in the entire nation last year. To contain the outbreak, health workers have been going from home to home, business to business trying to persuade immigrants to be immunized. Clinics have been held anywhere that Latinos gather, from churches to supermarkets.

"Gaining their trust has been hard," said Maria Rangel-Sharpless, an epidemiologist with the state Division of Maternal and Child Health. "We've had to overcome a lot of obstacles."

Nearly four weeks into the outbreak, state and county health officials are confident that it is almost contained. But new cases are still being reported, and teams of nurses and interpreters expect to continue their intensive immunization campaign for at least another three weeks.

Below are some common scholarship essay questions.  You can use these as a great starting point for a pesonal statement.  Some of these essay questions are used in the Maricopa Scholarship Database.

  • What life experiences have shaped who you are today and what challenges have you overcome in achieving your education (i.e. financial, personal, medical, etc.)?
  • Explain why you need financial assistance.
  • Describe your academic and career goals and your plans to achieve them and discuss any of your extracurricular/volunteer activities (both on and off campus) that you may perform.
  • Describe an event in which you took a leadership role and what you learned about yourself.

This is a sample essay to help guide you when you are writing essays for scholarships. Keep in mind that all scholarship applications are different, so you may have to design your essay to meet those specific requirements. 

Paragraph I
(State an overview of what you are going to talk about in the essay. If the essay is about you, give a brief description of your experiences, goals, aspirations, family background, etc. Touch on why you want the scholarship.)

For as long as I could remember, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. I have been responsible for the care and feeding of pets ever since I was in the second grade. In high school, I participated in the 4-H club as well as the Junior Humane society. To reach my goals, I realize that I must pursue an eight year college education which will begin with the Fall 2010 semester. I am very excited about my future and feel that with the opportunity your scholarship will provide, I can help many animals.

Paragraph II & III
(Go into more detail on one of the topics listed in paragraph I. For example, elaborate on your previous experiences, family and financial situation, volunteer work, employment, academic career, future goals, college plans, etc.)

My love for animals has been encouraged by my family and friends. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with the local animal shelter and provide basic care to the stray animals. With the help of my biology teacher, I was able to start a 4-H club on campus. Many of the other students on campus developed an interest in the animals and now our club has 100 members. My family also has many animals for which I provide care, including basic needs as well as first aid. I find that I enjoy that aspect of pet ownership best. Unfortunately, my family cannot afford to pay for my entire education, so I hope to use my skills and love of animals to help me pay for college.

Paragraph IV
(Conclude your essay with a wrap-up of why you should be considered for the scholarship; how do your goals match those of the organization, etc.)

Your organization stands for what I believe in. Like your organization, I hope to help animals for the rest of my life. To reach my goals, I need as much help as possible. I already have the moral support of my family and friends, but that is not quite enough to make my dream come true. I hope that your organization can help me reach this dream by awarding me your scholarship.

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