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Silas Purnell Scholarship


The Silas Purnell Scholarship Fund was established by the Board of Directors of the EOA Foundation in
2000. Initial support was provided by two Foundation board members and the Illinois Chapter of EOA.

Silas Purnell worked for Talent Search at the Ada S. McKinley Community Center, Chicago. He served needy
and deserving students for 34 years and is known nationally as an advocate for equal access for low-
income and first-generation students. He is directly responsible for thousands of students gaining access
to, and succeeding in, higher education.

Silas has many alumni who participated in his Talent Search Program in Chicago who have gone on to accomplish great things in higher education and in the private sector throughout the nation.


One award of $1,000 to each Indiana and Iowa. Each year one or more chapters are eligible to receive this scholarship.  The scholarship awards are distributed based on the existing chapter rotation schedule. The applicant selected by the Chapter Scholarship Committee will be the recipient for that Chapter. 


The student applicant must meet the following criteria to apply:

  1. Be a current or former TRIO or EOP student;
  2. Demonstrate financial need as defined by TRIO criteria, financial aid award letter or other documentation of family financial status;
  3. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale; and
  4. Demonstrate involvement in co-curricular and/or community activities; and
  5. Reside in the EOA region, and in the state that is eligible for the award.

The Nominator MUST be a current member of EOA at the time of the scholarship deadline. 

Application Materials: 

The applicant must submit the following (PDF) materials in order for their application to be considered complete: 
Nomination Form (from TRIO/EOP professional - must be EOA member)
- Letter of Recommendation from Nominator
- Copy of unofficial academic transcript, including current semester schedule
- Signed Photo Release Form
- Student essay (double-spaced and not exceeding 2 pages) describing:
1. The impact of TRIO or educational opportunity program on your education
2. A specific description of your plan to obtain your baccalaureate degree
3. Why the EOA Silas Purnell Scholarship is important to you

A digital headshot photo of applicant must also be on file with the Nominator in case applicant is selected as a recipient. 

NOTE: Applications must be completed in one session. Applicants are NOT able to save their progress and return to it later.

Click link below to apply!

(Nominator must be an EOA member within that state Chapter in order for the applicant to be eligible.)

INDIANA: (Due March 29, 2019)

Iowa: (Due March 16, 2019)

                               Silas Purnell Scholarship Recipients                             

  2018 Zana L. Danner Carl Sandburg College Tronica Joab Mount Mary University SSS 2017 Jorge Umana Emporia State University TS Yayra Tamakloe Kent State University McNair 2016 Utah Ogbonna North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn, MN
     2015    Janae Chunn Pontiac Academy for Excellence, Rochester, MI
  Carolina Brito Lake Michigan College, Dowagiac, MI
  2014 Stephanie Miller TRIO Student Support Services, Iowa Central Community College

EOA Foundation

The EOA Foundation provides scholarships and awards to TRIO and educational opportunity program students in the ten-state region served by EOA.


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