Leadership Scholarship Program

Unicycling Society of America Leadership Scholarships are awarded annually to qualifying post-secondary students. Leadership is the key selection criterion used by the scholarship selection committee.

The scholarship program was started in 2004 and has awarded in excess of $25,000 to deserving unicyclists.

Scholarship Purpose:

  • To reward those students who have demonstrated leadership and other contributions to the sport of unicycling
  • To acknowledge significant achievements at the national and international levels
  • To increase recognition of unicycling as sport and art
  • To encourage and recognize continuing participation and leadership  in unicycling throughout college
  • To provide financial assistance for post-secondary students

Awarding of the scholarships take place at each North American Unicycle Competition and Convention (NAUCC).

The 2017 USA Leadership Scholarship Application Form can be found here.

The submission deadline for this year’s scholarship is Friday, June 16, 2017.

USA Scholarship Chairperson: Amanda Grzych (scholarship@uniusa.org)

FAQs

Q. What kind of person are you looking to award a scholarship to?

A. Our intent is to recognize and encourage leadership, excellence, and achievement. Involvement beyond a personal level is a prerequisite. We expect applicants to be actively involved in the unicycling community at the national level and this involvement should be current. Applicants should be respected by and involved with their peers. Transformational leaders, those who redefine our sport, are particularly appreciated. These attributes are weighed by the scholarship committee as we evaluate applications. The scholarship is also intended to encourage and reward continuing participation and contributions while pursuing higher education.

Q: When is the scholarship application deadline?

A: Applications, along with supporting information including references, must be submitted by Friday June 16, 2017.

Q: Do I have to attend NAUCC to receive a scholarship? I can’t attend this year.

A: Yes. Scholarships will only be awarded to those attending this year’s NAUCC. If you can’t attend this year, you are welcome to apply in a later year. Applicants should be seen and heard and act as role models at NAUCC. Attendance at NAUCC also provides a means for scholarship committee members to meet and observe the candidates. Ideally, applicants are competitors at NAUCC, but this is not a hard requirement.

Q. How much is the scholarship and how many will be awarded?

A. The number of scholarships and the amount awarded could vary depending on the applicant pool and the amount of money donated. In all likelihood, not all applicants will receive a scholarship. We expect to award several scholarships to first time recipients. The committee may also decide to award one or more smaller scholarships to a prior year’s recipient. Scholarships will be dispersed in two payments with the second half payment after successful completion of a semester and registration for the next. The committee may decide not to offer any scholarships in a given year if no suitable candidate(s) exist.

Q. Who is on the scholarship committee?

A. The committee consists of three dedicated members (USA Treasurer, USA President/Vice-President, and USA Scholarship Chair) and three annually selected members that are significantly involved in the sport and approved by the USA Board. The Scholarship Chair is currently Amanda Grzych who was appointed by the President of the USA, with the support of the USA officers. A list of committee members for each year is available on request.

Q. How can I be selected as a committee member for a given year?

A: If you feel you can represent a certain aspect of unicycling or otherwise contribute by being part of the committee, please contact Amanda Grzych (scholarship@uniusa.org) by  June 16, 2017.  Annual committee members are selected based on their objectivity (no personal connection to applicants), presence in the unicycle community, and their attendance at NAUCC.

Q. Is the scholarship only for new high school grads?

A. No. Applicants must have completed high school or have a GED, but are welcome and encouraged to apply even if already attending a higher-education institution, including 2-year and 4-year colleges, technical schools, and graduate schools.

Q: I have other scholarships. Does this affect my ability to earn a USA Leadership Scholarship?

A: No, applicants will be assessed independently from other scholarships.

Q: Is the scholarship only available to high academic achievers?

A: No, academic excellence is not considered during the selection process. All we require is that you are accepted to a college, university, or other post-secondary education institution.

Q. How is the scholarship funded?

A. The scholarship is funded by donations from private parties, clubs, and companies that give back and help support out unicycle community. We appreciate any and all donations. A list of donors will be posted at the NAUCC.

Q. Does an applicant have to be from the United States?

A. No, the USA is a North American organization and applicants from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central American, and the Caribbean countries are accepted.

Q. Is there a financial needs-based test?

A. No. Financial need is not considered during the selection process.

Q: Are the standards different for repeat award candidates?

A: Yes, repeat award candidates are expected to show continuing leadership since last awarded a scholarship.

Q: I decided to not attend college as I planned. Do I get to keep the scholarship?

A: If you do not intend to pursue higher-education as planned, you must return the scholarship.  Transfers to an institution not stated on your application will be reviewed by the committee before approval to keep the scholarship is granted.

Q: I am not associated with any sanctioned unicycle clubs; can I still get a scholarship?

A: Yes, you can still qualify. We expect you to show leadership and make contributions to the sport in other ways. Consider starting a club in your area.

Q: What can I do to improve my chances at earning a scholarship?

A: There are many ways you can contribute to our sport. These could include assisting other riders in learning skills, helping with unicycling events, performing, creating videos, or participating in discussion forums. If you are part of a club, ask your leader how you can help. Volunteer to help at NAUCC & Unicon.

**Most importantly, spend some time and thought into constructing a quality scholarship application package. Have a good set of supporting material including recommendations and references, newspaper or web articles or videos, or any promotional material you may have produced. This is not a time to be shy. State your case. Get people to vouch for you. Submit your application electronically (not hand-written) and make sure your spelling is accurate and your writing has clarity and is well structured.**

Q: Are there things I could be doing that could hamper my ability to earn a scholarship?

A: Yes. It is important that applicants serve as a positive role model and portray unicycling in a positive light. Some selection committee members may look askance at certain activities. Some items that have been issues in the past include:

– Destruction of property at unicycle events or in videos
– Obscene or vulgar behavior or music in music or at events

Q:  Is there an appeals process for declined applications?

A: No, all decisions made by the selection committee are final. Applicants who are not chosen are encouraged to re-apply next year.

Q: Can I get a copy of a financial report of the scholarship fund?

A: Yes, a summary financial report is freely available. A complete report with donor names and amounts donated is available on a need-to-know basis. The complete report is supplied annually to the USA President and USA Treasurer.

 

Additional Questions

Amanda Grzych (scholarship@uniusa.org)