Posing Questions about the Mayor’s Leadership Scholarship Criteria

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The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council is offering two $1,000 Leadership Scholarships for students entering post-secondary education.  Students that reside in Sault Ste. Marie are eligible to submit an application until June 30, 2021.  Winners will be announced shortly after, on July 7, 2021.

One of the two scholarships will be given to someone who identifies as a “marginalized person”, and the second will be available for “applicants that do not wish to be considered as a part of the marginalized person application pool.”

There are three factors in the selection criteria process.  You must be a student entering post secondary education, you must be a Sault Ste. Marie resident, and if you self-identify as a marginalized person, an additional 250 word essay must be completed.

Section A of the application goes on to offer examples of “marginalized people.”

“1. Racialized people: a common term that is being used now for people from racially marginalized groups, is BIPOC, which stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour.

2. LGBTQ2S+

3. People with physical/mental/developmental disabilities- applicants may have different physical/accessibility needs

4. Immigrants/Refugees”

This additional essay question asks: “How does being marginalized contribute to your leadership and growth?”

A shared post on Facebook questions the need for this additional essay question.  Normally in these application processes, checking a box that states you identify as a marginalized person is enough.

Marginalization is a deeply personal, lived experience. To ask someone to pinpoint how being marginalized contributes to leadership and growth is an extremely challenging question to answer, and further, what purpose does it serve to the city to have people prove this?

Marginalized communities already have to jump through hoops to gain equal opportunities as other groups.

Let’s pose a question: How does being a non-marginalized person contribute to your leadership and growth?

Shouldn’t both scholarship pools have to account for their leadership and growth?

A link to the application can be found here.