About Knicks Poetry Scholars

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Knicks Poetry Scholars program is a partnership between the New York Knicks and Urban Word NYC that awards full tuition scholarships to the University of Wisconsin, Syracuse University, St. John’s University, and Mercy College to college bound high school seniors in the tri-state area. This competition aims to celebrate the value of outstanding students who demonstrate leadership qualities, community engagement, and a fresh perspective. Students who want a chance to win a full tuition scholarship will 1) apply to the schools of their choice, and after acceptance, 2) write an essay entitled the “Reason I Write” and submit it and a resume/CV and small portfolio of poems.

For more information or to enter to win email: knicksscholars@urbanwordnyc.org or signup@urbanwordnyc.org or call 212-352-3495. Please visit Urban Word’s website for more information. www.urbanwordnyc.org

Students are provided with a twelve-week “Creatively College Bound” college prep workshop series where they receive step by step guidance throughout the college and scholarship application process. The complete application includes an essay, poetry portfolio and CV. Special “boot camp” sessions will also be provided for students to not only fill out applications to our partner schools, but also work on their essays and portfolios.

Program Timeline

Free Creatively College Bound Workshops:


In Manhattan at Urban Word NYC (242 W. 27
th Street btw. 7th & 8th Ave.)
Fridays, Sept. 20-Dec. 13 [4:30PM-6:30PM]
In Brooklyn at El Puente (211 South 4th Street @ Havermeyer)

Dates Pending

Creatively College Bound is geared towards High School juniors & seniors who want their creative critical voice to soar over the tedium of the college application process. Using spoken word and hip-hop as inspiration, we will write high-quality college application essays and explore numerous scholarship opportunities. This workshop will put you on track to get into college, and to GET MONEY.


Free
Knicks Poetry Scholars Application Boot Camps

In Mahattan at Urban Word NYC (242 W. 27th Street btw. 7th & 8th Ave.)
Fridays, Nov. 15, 22, and Dec. 6: 6:30pm-9:30pm
Saturdays + Sundays Nov. 16 + 17, Nov. 23 + 24, Dec. 7 + 8: 3:00PM-6:00PM

Application Boot Camps are an opportunity to come submit applications to our partner schools, and ALL FEES are WAIVED. Apply to schools and get a chance to win a full tuition scholarship!

 

The Reason I Write Essay Contest

DEADLINE for APPLICATION to SCHOOLS: DECEMBER 9 (OCT. 1 for Univ. of Wisconsin)
DEADLINE for Essay + Portfolio: JANUARY 15


The
Knicks Poetry Scholars program consists of an essay contest entitled “The Reason I Write,” accompanied by a resume/CV and a poetry portfolio. After a student is awarded admission into the various partner schools, she will then be eligible for the contest. All interested students will submit their college applications to the partner schools of their choice by December 9th (Oct. 1st  for University of Wisconsin). Urban Word NYC will send packets to the admissions contact at each school, with all fees waived. Once all of the partner schools share with Urban Word NYC their acceptance list, students will be notified and have the opportunity to attend special sessions to complete their essay and portfolio (if they have not already done so).  


Following this series, a select group of educators, teaching artists, community leaders, and other distinguished professionals meet to closely evaluate and rank each application using the criteria below. Upon reviewing all of the essays and portfolios, Urban Word NYC will submit a ranked list of the top 20 (if applicable) students recommended in order of scores, as well as copies of their essays and portfolios. At that point, each college/university partner will have the opportunity to rank the students as well, to pick their top 5 choices for the scholarship. College/University partners will also have the opportunity to interview their prospective top choices. Judging criteria is as follows:


*Essay (60% overall)

-Topic: The Reason I Write (60%)
-Originality (20%)
-Craft/Cohesiveness/Professionalism (20%)

*Curriculum Vitae (20% overall)

-GPA (30%)
-Civic engagement/Community service (40%)
-Extracurricular activities (20%)

 *Poetry Portfolio (20% overall)

-Originality/Bravery (50%)
-Form and craft (50%)


Rules:
-Students must be a high school senior or transfers 21 years old or younger
-Participants must be residents in the Tri-state area for at least one year

 

Community Partners and Sponsors
Mercy College   The University of Wisconsin - Madison   Urban Word
St. John's University   Syracuse University