Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

One U Thriving

Centers & Offices

MLK Youth Leadership Awards

The University of Utah’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Leadership Award honors outstanding students from across the State of Utah, grades 7 through 12, for their dedication to the beliefs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through community service and leadership. Each Awardee is honored during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week held at the University of Utah.

This year, U Alumni is pleased to announce that we are offering University of Utah tuition scholarships to up to four high school seniors in addition to the traditional awards. Students in grades 7-11 can still be nominated and selected for the traditional award. 12th-grade candidates will be evaluated separately, and the selection committee will offer the award and scholarship to up to four students. Please review the specific requirements and details for awards below.

Nomination Process and Form

This year’s theme is “Becoming the Beloved Community,” a term that was first coined in the early days of the 20th Century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who popularized the term and invested it with a deeper meaning which has captured the imagination of people of goodwill all over the world.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community was not devoid of interpersonal, group or international conflict. Instead he recognized that conflict was an inevitable part of human experience. But he believed that conflicts could be resolved peacefully and adversaries could be reconciled through a mutual, determined commitment to nonviolence. No conflict, he believed, need erupt in violence. And all conflicts in The Beloved Community should end with reconciliation of adversaries cooperating together in a spirit of friendship and goodwill.

To address this theme of “Becoming the Beloved Community,” the YLA committee requests that nominated students submit their applications addressing the following:

A community is a group of people who are responsible to each other and support one another through activities that build on common interests while maintaining respect for community members’ unique differences. Think about your community both at home and in your school and please answer each part of the question below:

Have you seen people or groups of people excluded or not included in your communities?

  • Please give example(s) of how people are excluded from your communities.
  • How did it make you feel?
  • How do you think it made them feel?

What could your communities do to be more welcoming and inclusive of all people?

  • What would you change to make your communities more welcoming and inclusive?
  • What would you be willing to give up or sacrifice to have your communities be more welcoming and include everyone?

Nomination Requirements

Students and nominators must submit the following by November 15, 2021. The Selection Committee will not review incomplete submissions.

  • A letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, employer, or community member (no recommendations from family or friends).
  • Essay or video submitted by the student based on the theme of MLK Week and the prompt above. The essay should highlight their community service and leadership.

Scholarship Details

  • The MLK YLA Committee may select a maximum of four high school seniors to receive a tuition scholarship from U Alumni.
  • Scholarships will be $4,000 per student for the 2022-2023 academic year ($2,000/ semester).
  • This scholarship is for the student’s first year attending the University of Utah.
  • The student must enroll at the University of Utah by August 2022 to receive the funds.
  • Scholarship funds are for tuition expenses only
  • Students in grades 7-11 who receive the award may reapply, as a new applicant, during their senior year of high school to receive a scholarship.
  • There is no financial need requirement for the scholarship.
  • There is no academic requirement for the student.
  • All scholarship disbursement will go through U Alumni. Students will be required to complete the necessary paperwork with U Alumni.
  • All scholarship funds are subject to approval from U Alumni.



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