MALA Scholarship Program

*Scholarship recipients for the 2019-2020 application cycle will be announced on September 30, 2020.  

Even as academic choices expand, higher education remains the preeminent tool for empowering new generations of leaders and change-makers.

MALA is thrilled to launch the “Muslim American Journeys” Scholarship competition for the third year in a row! This competition is open to young storytellers pursuing higher education as a means to build stronger communities, cultivate diverse perspectives, and enact positive change. This scholarship aims to empower rising leaders to pursue these objectives, while continuing to shape the diverse fabric of American society.

Scholarships: $1,000 grand prize, 2 $500 second prizes, 5 third prizes of $300 each.

* Thanks to the generosity of our donors, MALA is planning to offer additional scholarship prizes for the 2019-2020 application cycle.  Be sure to check this page regularly for updates!

Application: To apply, submit a short essay (600-1000 words), accompanied by a photograph of yourself, describing your individual journey under one of the following themes:

  • Identity: How do you choose to define yourself? Tell us a story of an experience that influenced your individual identity journey. How has your identity evolved?
  • Freedom: How do you navigate America’s open society with its inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Tell us a story of what freedom means to you.
  • Immigration: What did you leave behind when you came to America? How you are seizing opportunities to live in freedom in America? Tell us a story!

Deadline: March 1, 2020 (winners announced by April 1, 2020)

Eligibility: To apply, you must be:

  • A United States residents with a story to share
  • At least 18 years old
  • Enrolled in (or planning to attend in the next year) a college or university in the United States (undergraduates at two-year and four-year institutions, and graduate students, are all welcome)

NOTE: by applying for the “Muslim American Journeys” Scholarship, you give MALA your permission to publish your essay and photo online in our Story Collection – and we will try to publish as many of them as possible! View our Story Collection here.

Judging Criteria:

  • Literary Quality—grammar, syntax, general flow and quality of writing
  • Connection to Essay Prompts—How does the essay address the prompt(s) listed above?
  • Voice—Does the story bring a unique and thoughtful voice to the MALA Story Collection?
  • Relevance to MALA’s Mission—Does the essay embody MALA’s mission and values?

Submit Your Application and Essay Below

MALA Scholarship Application Form

*By submitting this entry, I agree that the submitted essay is my own original work and that the information I have provided in my application is truthful and accurate. I hereby grant MALA the right to reprint my essay and photograph on its website as part of the “Muslim American Journeys” project and in any other print or online publication it chooses. Read our full Terms of Service here. *