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In 1982, one J.P. McCaskey High School graduating senior who had also attended Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School was awarded a $500 postsecondary educational scholarship. It was the first and only award presented that year by King Elementary teachers; they had just begun to operate and fund a scholarship program for their former students at the urging of Principal Ray Smith.

What launched in 1982 expanded into a robust community-fueled organization that, in 2020, awarded scholarships totaling $175,000 to 29 seniors from throughout the School District of Lancaster. The tradition continues in 2021, the 40th year the community scholarship program will invest in the future of the city’s graduating high schoolers. Overall, the enduring commitment of volunteer organizers, supporters, and donors has generated nearly $1 million in scholarship money for 411 McCaskey seniors since 1982.

The organization is about “empowering students to fulfill (King’s) dream,’’ according to the website, mlkjrfund.org. It provides scholarships for McCaskey graduating seniors “who have been accepted to an accredited higher education program and have demonstrated financial need” and who “reflect Dr. King’s ideals of commitment to school, community, family, and faith.” Applications for 2021 scholarships are available at mlkjrfund.org today through April 9, 2021.


MLK Scholarship Application Guide 2021:

Application Deadline: Friday, 4/9/2021 before 11:59PM

Please email MLKLancasterPA@gmail.com with any questions at all.

Application Link (You must use a Gmail account to complete this application.): https://tinyurl.com/yyvxzoj7   

NOTE: Due to the current capabilities of Google Forms, you MUST ‘submit’ your application in order for any changes to be saved. You CAN edit your application after you submit it. To edit, you must click on ‘Edit your response’ immediately after you submit your application for the first time (as seen in the image below). This will bring you to an editable version of your application. Copy and save the URL, and then use this URL to re-enter your application at any time. 

We will not review your application until you have answered ‘yes’ to both the first and last question of the application. Please select the ‘not yet’ answer choice until your application is finalized with all questions answered and all files uploaded. 

To be a candidate for the MLK Scholarship, applicants must:

  1. Be a student of McCaskey High School Campus: JP McCaskey or McCaskey East, Lancaster, PA
  2. Demonstrate financial need, as determined by the MLK Scholarship Committee
  3. Complete the MLK Scholarship Application, in its entirety, accurately and truthfully
  4. Have a minimum 2.5 (unweighted) GPA if you plan on attending Thaddeus Stevens and a minimum 3.0 (unweighted) GPA for all other institutions. 

Here is a link to a PDF of the full application, if you wish to review it before completion: https://tinyurl.com/yysxmprt

Below are the files you will need to email to us (MLKLancasterPA@gmail.com) before your application to the MLK Scholarship is complete (Deadline – Friday, 4/9/2021). Please send all of the files in one email (unless you are waiting on a file from an institution and your application is otherwise complete). Please title your files using your first initial, last name, and the appropriate file name. Example file names are listed below for each file type, using the example name of Sara Smith.

  1. An essay (typed, double-spaced, maximum 500 words, proofread carefully) 
    1. File title: SSmith-Essay
    2. PROMPT:  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”’ Respond to this quotation and discuss how it applies to your life. In other words, what are you doing for others now and what do you hope to do for others in the future? Also, discuss your motivation for helping others and why you deserve a scholarship in Dr. King’s name.
  2. A copy of your most recent high school transcript and current mid-year report card (File title: SSmith-Transcript).
  3. A copy of all received Letters of Acceptance to colleges, universities, or other accredited post-secondary programs (File title: SSmith-Acceptance1, SSmith Acceptance2, etc). 
  4. A copy of all received financial aid award notifications (File title: SSmith-FinAid1, SSmith FinAid2, etc).
  5. A copy of the page of the FAFSA Student Aid Report that provides your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) (File title: SSmith-EFC).
  6. A copy of your SAT or ACT score report, if taken (File title: SSmith-SAT or SSmith-ACT). 
  7. Three letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf.
    1. Two from teachers, counselors, coaches, or activity advisors and one from an adult who knows you well (clergy, employee, community leader, close family friend. Not a family member). 
    2. Letters must be submitted to MLKLancasterPA@gmail.com by Friday, 4/9/2021 by 11:59PM
    3. Please provide the email address (MLKLancasterPA@gmail.com) to your recommenders for letter submission and request they provide your full name in the subject line and include your full name in the title of the file.

***Applications received by the Scholarship Committee that are missing any of the requirements by the due date (4/9/2021) will not be considered. All information and materials submitted are confidential and will be used by the Scholarship Committee only for the purpose of selecting scholarship recipients.

Again, please email MLKLancasterPA@gmail.com with any questions at all.