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2024 HBCU Puissance Althea Gibson Scholarship Application

Dear Applicant,

In 2013, we founded The HBCU Puissance Scholarship with a desire to help students like you offset the financial responsibilities of attending college. As HBCU alums, we uniquely understand and appreciate how our schools are connected by a legacy of rich history and shared values. We want to do all we can to incentivize joining the next generation of our HBCU family - especially when there may be options that are less expensive and closer to home.

pu·is·sance - noun: great power, influence, or prowess.

Since our launch over 10 years ago, hundreds of alums across the globe have financially invested in this scholarship program and continue to support our students along their journey. Past winners of the HBCU Puissance Scholarship have gone on to illustrious careers and, if selected, we hope to add you to our list of distinguished students who have been supported by this program.

The Althea Gibson Tennis Scholarship, which is funded by the generosity of the USTA, will be awarded to an incoming HBCU student with a demonstrated passion for tennis and a commitment to excellence in academics.

To that end, we invite you to complete and submit an application for consideration by the Puissance Scholarship Executive Board by March 9 or 23, 2024 (varies based on student's USTA region.) Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements:

> Must be an incoming freshman at an HBCU (starting school in Fall 2024)
> Must be currently based in the United States, within the USTA's Eastern OR Southern Section. The Eastern Section includes New York State, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Connecticut. For additional details on the boundaries visit the USTA's Eastern Section website. The Southern Section includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee. For the additional details on the boundaries, visit the USTA's Southern Section website.
> Must have played high school tennis OR will be playing collegiate tennis
> Must submit a completed application by the deadline

The application timeline is as follows:

November 24, 2023 - Scholarship application is open

December 16, 2023 - Virtual info session for creating a compelling application; all interested students are invited to attend (the session will be recorded and posted on our website)

Southern Section Timeline
March 9, 2024 - Deadline for scholarship applications (Southern Section)
March 10-15, 2024 - Virtual interviews for scholarship finalists (Southern Section)
March 17, 2024 - Scholarship winners notified (Southern Section)
March 30, 2024 - Scholarship award ceremony held in Birmingham, AL; winner(s) expected to attend (Southern Section)
Eastern Section Timeline
March 23, 2024 - Deadline for scholarship applications (Eastern Section)
April 1-5, 2024 - Virtual interviews for scholarship finalists (Eastern Section)
April 12, 2024 - Scholarship winners notified (Eastern Section)
April 20, 2024 - Scholarship award ceremony held in NYC; winner(s) expected to attend (Eastern Section)

Award amounts vary from year to year. Should you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].


Part 1: Applicant Details

Personal Information

Contact Information

Parent/Guardian Information

Education Details


Part 2: Scholarship Application

The scholarship application consists of 3 parts: your resume, your transcript, and your personal essay. If you'd like, you may include a photo of yourself. Headshots are optional at the application phase; however, if you are selected as a winner you must be prepared to provide a photo.
Resume - please include an up-to-date copy of your resume. We will review your resume for extracurricular activities, job experience, community service work, etc.
Transcript - please upload your most recent transcript. While unofficial transcripts are acceptable, ensure that your school information is visible. We will review the grades from your whole high school career. There is no minimum GPA to be considered for the scholarship.
Essay - please write an original statement that answers your selected prompt in 500 words or less. You need only choose one question to answer; you do not need to answer all three. We will review your essay to gain an understanding of who you are and what you hope to achieve. In addition to answering the essay prompt, you may wish to use your essay to share anything else you'd like us know that is not covered in your resume and/or transcript. Remember to check your essay for grammar, spelling, typos and clarity before submitting.
Prompts (select one):
1.) Explain the legacy of Althea Gibson and how she inspires your tennis career.
2.) What is the future of HBCU tennis programs and why should black people embrace tennis as an athletic pursuit?

Upload your resume here.

Upload your high school transcript here.

Upload your personal essay here.

Upload a headshot or photo of yourself. (Optional)


Part 3: Applicant Confirmation

I certify that I have checked the information provided within this application. I understand that my application will not be considered if it is incomplete.
I confirm that the information provided within this application is accurate and all written responses are my original work. If needed, my transcript can be verified by my school.