2014-2015 Diversity Scholarship Competition

The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region is pleased to announce an essay competition and scholarship award focused on increasing awareness of the need for blood donors to support the blood transfusion needs of the diverse communities served across the region.  All students within the Penn-Jersey Region are encouraged to participate.

The student whose essay is judged the winning entry will  receive a scholarship for $2,500. The winner will be invited to attend the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Region Annual Meeting on June 18, 2015 to receive the award. 

The competition was developed in celebration of the blood donor recruitment activities of high school students.


It is vital that the blood supply reflect the diversity of our community to best meet the needs of hospital patients. A diverse blood supply helps ensure that a wide variety of blood types are available for those in need.

Additionally, it is possible for a patient of one ethnicity to have a rare blood type that cannot be matched by donors from any other ethnic group. This increases the need for a diverse blood supply to ensure that such rare types are available for those in need.

Genetically similar blood is best for those who need repeated or large volumes of blood transfusions for various illnesses like Sickle Cell and other blood, heart and kidney diseases.

Whether a donor is Black, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, Native American or from another ethnic population – every blood donation matters!

 Essay Question

“How have you been effective in diversifying the pool of eligible blood donors at your high school? Cite specific strategies and tactics used to recruit blood donors that are in minority racial and ethnic groups?"

Please include an effective personal statement tied to your experiences with the American Red Cross Blood Services and your high school blood program that emphasizes your  accomplishments and creativity in blood donor recruitment. Identify  any challenges that you  faced and how you overcame them and provide details of your tangible recruitment results.


Applicants to the Sickle Cell Essay Competition must:

  • Be a graduating high school senior who attends school in the area covered by the Penn-Jersey Region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia Counties or the State of New Jersey).
  • Attend a high school that sponsors a blood drive with American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region.
  • Be actively involved in the planning and/or recruitment of blood donors during their senior year of high school.

High school students of American Red Cross employees or students who serve on the Penn-Jersey Region Board of Directors are not eligible to participate in the essay competition.

Additional Requirements

  • Essay must be between 400-500 words with word count listed at top corner of essay page
  • State essay question as a header at top of page, followed by essay 
  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman 12 Point Font
  • Letters of Recommendations

Letters of Recommendations

  • Two letters of recommendation must be submitted. Endorsements may be submitted from a Guidance Counselor, Department Head, Faculty Advisor, Teacher, Principal, Vice Principal or Key Club/Student Council Advisor.
  • Letters must include:  applicant’s full name, verification of residency, school enrollment, and confirmation of active involvement in Blood Services.

The following questions must be answered by the endorsers:

  • How was the applicant involved in Blood Services?
  • How long have you known the applicant? In what capacity?
  • What are the applicant’s strengths and abilities? Cite examples.
  • Describe applicant’s academic potential. What is the applicants distinguishing characteristics?
  • How does the applicant stand apart from others students?

General letters of endorsement that do not respond to the specific questions will not be considered.

Students may submit essay and application either online electronically or via US Postal Service.

Instructions for Essay/Application Submission Online - by Monday, April 27, 2015

  • CLICK HERE to submit online electronically. 
  • Submit in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF) via the web application form.
  • Two letters of recommendation

Instructions for Submitting via REGULAR US Postal Service by Monday, April 27, 2015

In one envelope submit:

  • Completed application form (Download Here)
  • Response to essay question
  • Two letters of recommendation

Submit via US Postal Service to: 
     Qiana Riley
     American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region
     700 Spring Garden Street
     Philadelphia, PA l9123-3594

Entries and Awards

The Selection Committee is comprised of American Red Cross board members, staff and community representatives who will determine the essay competition honoree.

The student whose essay is judged the winning entry will receive a scholarship check for $2,500. The award will be presented to the honoree at the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Region Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 18, 2015.


Acceptance of the essay competition scholarship award constitutes permission for American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region to use the recipients name, biographical information and photos for publicity purposes.

Click here to submit your application online.