PUSH Excel Scholarship Program


Only the Cirilo McSween Scholarship will be awarded in 2014.

The PUSH Excel Scholarship Program was created to assist young people who are qualified but lack the financial resources to attend college. The goal of the program is to develop servant leadership potential in the scholarship students and encourage a spirit of social justice and social change.

College is the key to economic freedom for all Americans, yet a college degree is becoming less and less affordable for the average student in the U.S. Over the past several years, PUSH Excel has awarded over three million dollars to deserving students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country. PUSH Excel Scholars attend a variety of institutions and we take pride in the fact that ninety percent of PUSH Excel Scholars graduate from college.

PUSH Excel makes a number of awards each year through five named scholarships: Jesse Jackson Fellows, Ora Lee Sanders, Cirilo McSween, Presidential Choice and GM Scholars. Scholarship recipients will be selected from the pool of applicants who apply for a particular scholarship and meet the minimum criteria provided in the guidelines. There are no geographical limitations--applicants are selected from across the nation.

Applicants should apply for the scholarship that best fits their particular situation. You may apply for only one scholarship in a particular year and, if awarded a renewable scholarship, may not apply for a different scholarship in subsequent years. Applications will be evaluated by a committee of educators and corporate executives.

Staff or board members of an of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition or its affiliates and children or immediate family members of staff or board members are not eligible to participate in the PUSH Excel Scholarship Program.

Scholarship recipients are required to participate in the scholarship event at the Rainbow PUSH annual conference and will agree to cooperate with the scholarship committee to promote the PUSH Excel Scholarship Program by participating in various events and public relations activities. There are also a number of additional requirements PUSH Excel asks scholarship recipients to agree to regarding their involvement with the organization that will be explained when a scholarship offer is made.

Jesse L. Jackson Sr. Fellows Scholarship

Sponsored by Toyota

Jesse L. Jackson Sr. Fellows Scholarships are awarded to motivated and dedicated high school students who demonstrate academic excellence and outstanding character. Selected fellows will receive a one-time award of $5,000.00. The award will be paid directly to the college or university that the student will be attending.

The Jesse L. Jackson Sr. Fellows Scholarship is a one-time award. There is no possibility for renewal.

Eligibility and Requirements

Must be a U.S. citizen.

Must be a senior attending high school and must graduate in the spring of 2013.

Must be accepted at an accredited four-year degree program at a college or university in the U.S. for the academic year beginning in the fall of 2013.

Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Must demonstrate that you are academically prepared to attend college and succeed, and that you have the ability to overcome obstacles to achieve your academic and personal goals.


The Jesse L. Jackson Scholarship will not be awarded in 2014.

Cirilo McSween Scholarship

Sponsored by New York Life

The Cirilo McSween Scholarship is awarded to students who are majoring in business, achieve academic success and play an active role in their community. Scholarships are given in honor of New York Life’s first African American agent, Cirilo McSween, who joined the company in 1957. Mr. McSween, who passed away in 2008, was a member of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s board of directors and a renowned civil rights activist who worked closely with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The scholarship award is $2,500.00 and may be renewed for up to four years. The award will be paid directly to the college or university that the student will be attending.

Eligibility and Requirements

Must be a senior attending high school and must graduate in the spring of 2014

Must be a U.S. citizen.

Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Must demonstrate that you are academically prepared to attend college and succeed, and that you have the ability to overcome obstacles to achieve your academic and personal goals.

Must indicate any school-based extracurricular involvement and/or community-service involvement.

The 2014 application process for the Cirilo McSween Scholarship is now closed.

The Cirilo McSween Scholarship is renewable for up top 4 years based upon the maintenance of a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Ora Lee Sanders Scholarship



The Ora Lee Sanders Scholarship is named for educator Ora Lee Sanders who believed that all children should have the opportunity to attend college. She believed that financial conditions should not be an obstacle to educational opportunity. This scholarship is open to all students who can demonstrate financial need, have a minimum grade point average of a 2.5, and play an active role in their community. The scholarship is $1,000 awarded for one year and may be renewed for up to four years. The award will be paid directly to the college or university that the student will be attending.

The Ora Lee Sanders Scholarship is renewable for up to 4 years based upon the maintenance of a minimum 2.5 grade point average.

Eligibility and Requirements

Must be a U.S. citizen.

Must be either a senior in high school who will graduate in the spring of 2013 and accepted to an accredited four-year degree program at a college or university in the U.S. for the academic year beginning in fall 2013, or be a current college student enrolled in an accredited four-year degree program at a college or university in the U.S. for the academic year beginning in fall 2013.

Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5.

Must demonstrate that you are academically prepared to attend college and succeed, and that you have the ability to overcome obstacles to achieve your academic and personal goals.


The Ora Lee Sanders Scholarship will not be awarded in 2014.

Presidential Choice Scholarship



The Presidential Choice Scholarship is a discretionary scholarship awarded to students who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to addressing social justice issues and engaging in advocacy, and to those individuals who understand and practice the gift of service. These students may not meet the requirements for the other scholarships, but their character, financial need, persistence and dedication to service make them deserving of recognition and aid. Scholarship recipients will receive $1,000.00 each year for four years, depending on their academic standing, achievements and/or the discretion of the president of PUSH Excel or the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The award will be paid directly to the college or university that the student will be attending.

The Presidential Choice Scholarship recipients will receive a $1,000 award for 4 years based upon the maintenance of a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Eligibility and Requirements

Must be a U.S. citizen.

Must be either a senior in high school who will graduate in the spring of 2013 and accepted to an accredited four-year degree program at a college or university in the U.S. for the academic year beginning in fall 2013, or be a current college student enrolled in an accredited four-year degree program at a college or university in the U.S. for the academic year beginning in fall 2013.

Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Must demonstrate that you are academically prepared to attend college and succeed, and that you have the ability to overcome obstacles to achieve your academic and personal goals.

The Presidential Choice Scholarship will not be awarded in 2014.