With the resurgence of the Covid outbreaks, including the variants that are proving to be extremely transmissible, it is the policy of SSF that no scholar, speaker, or alumni will be permitted to attend SSF events unless they have been fully vaccinated.

     Attendees at SSF events include scholars, staff, and alumni with small children that cannot receive the vaccine and several with immune-compromised health issues.

     This will be the standard policy for SSF until and if additional or new medical and legal guidance is available for best practices.

     If a scholar is unable to attend a mandatory event due to this policy, they must submit a waiver request pursuant to guidelines and fully explain factors including religious or medical facts supporting exemptions.  Scholar’s waivers that are accepted will be required to complete alternative or substitute programs, seminars, or events to fulfill the mandatory event attendance requirements.

    Current attendees for Boot Camp II are eligible for a $300.00 payment when they submit a copy of their Covid vaccine by July 19, 2021.  All attendees must submit Covid vaccine verification to attend Boot Camp II.  Those seeking waivers or exemptions should file documentation immediately.

2021 Smith Scholars

2021 Smith Scholars
(Updated to Reflect Student Acceptance of Awards – 4-27-21)

Michael Amaya-Daniel     Cleburne County High School
Dayland Barsh            Cleburne County High School
Miguel Canseco           Albertville High School
Bryan Cortes             Calera High School
Morgan Craig             Fruitdale High School
Zoey Dorsett             Albertville High School
Isaiah Henderson         Enterprise High School
Taylor Koins             Jackson High School
Denzyl Luciano           Curry High School
Aisha Nasser             Hubbertville High School
Kierra Pitts             J.U. Blacksher High School
Zachary Potter           Excel High School
Cesar Salazar            Montevallo High School
India Studamire          Center Point High School
Alexis Walker            Leeds High School

Smith Transfer/Full Scholar Awards – Full Funding/Program Participation

Dylan Barnowsky          Arab High School
Breanna Burpo            Fairfield High Preparatory School
Aeriel Fitzhugh          Excel High School
Katelyn Frazier          Fort Payne High School
Sarai Ray                Cherokee County High School
Allison Robinson         Pell City High School

Finalist Awards

Brendan Bechtel          Virgil I. Grissom High School
Madison Brown            Faith Christian High School
Fatima Flores            Chilton County High School
Eric Ford                Dadeville High School (Elite)
Brisa Godinez Garcia     Jemison High School
Cali Hess                Robertsdale High School
Emma Grace Johnson       St. Lukes Episcopal School
Timia Mckenzie           Jackson High School (Elite)
Mikiah Munoz             Kate Duncan Smith DAR High School
Jacob Price              BB Comer Memorial High School
Anakarina Reyes          Cherokee County High School (Elite)
Annabelle Robinson       Ranburne High School (Elite)
Katherine Robinson       Ranburne High School (Elite)

Semi-Finalist Awards

Autumn Black Winston     County High School
Yasmin Bolden            Shades Valley High School
Passion Bynum            Hatton High School
Josalyn Francis          Shades Valley High School
Hailee Hattery           Virgil I. Grissom High School
Wyatt (Earth) Millwood   Austin High School

Book Awards

Emma Chinchar            Guntersville High School
Colby Ennis              Athen High School
Ivanna Gaston            Ramsay High School

Recipients have received award letters indicating the amount of financial 
scholarship and conditions.  All scholarships are supplemental last dollar to 
prevent overfunding or reduction in institutional aid to assist more students and 
are subject to SSF guidelines and accountability requirements.

2020-21 Frequently Asked Questions





Most Common Questions on Application 

Where do I go on the Website to apply? Go to the Smith Scholarship Foundation Website: ( On the Home Page click on “Apply for the Smith Scholarship Here! 

How do I get back on the application? Once you have created an “Account”, remember that your “required” email address and password will be your “Keys” to return to the application. You can return to your application as many times as you desire. However, once you click on “Submit”, you cannot return to your application. Note: DO NOT click on “Submit” until you are completely finished with your application. 

Do I have to finish the entire application at one time? No… You do not have to complete it all at once, however make sure you remember that the deadline to submit your application is January 15, 2021. ALL ATTACHMENTS INCLUDING ALL LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION MUST BE UPLOADED OR EMAILED to the Foundation no later than January 15, 2021. Do not wait until the deadline. Past Applicants have experienced difficulty in uploading due to large numbers of applications at one time. 

What if I do not know the answers to some of the questions? If you are unsure of any of the questions, thoroughly review the “commonly asked questions” on the website and then contact the Smith Scholarship Office via email ( for further assistance. Only students and school personnel should submit a request, not family or friends of the applicant, as this scholarship is an accountability program. Parents and guardians should not call the office. Please do not call unless you have failed to receive a response within 48 hours. Be sure to remember your username and password to return to your application for submission. 

What if I do not have the Income Tax information for this year yet? FASFA 2020-21 uses 2019 Tax Information and the application can be filed starting October 1, 2020. If you are homeless or a ward of the state or receiving no support from your parents, please follow the FASFA rules carefully so you are properly classified for aid. It is imperative that students obtain homeless or “at risk homeless” and “unaccompanied” documentation to obtain “independent” classification. Contact your school or district homeless liaison. 

(Federal Student Aid and Homeless Youth:; Dependency Status:>fotw1920>help). 

The new FASFA form allows you to directly access IRS tax information while completing the new form. The FASFA application must be filed before SSF application is submitted and a copy of the Student Aid Report (“SAR”) attached. If possible, use the IRS information option to upload required information. If unusual circumstances prevent you from submitting the FASFA, including DACA status, contact SSF by email as soon as possible with written explanation of steps taken to complete, missing information and an explanation regarding such information. 

Can I mail the application in? No. The application is not formatted for print out. Therefore, if you have issues submitting your application, call us and we will help. Ask your school counselor to use a school’s computer as public libraries are closed. The application can also be completed on a smart phone or mobile device. If you have no way to complete the application, call us and we will make arrangements to assist. 

What if I do not have information for “Mother” or “Father”? Enter UNKNOWN and make notes on your Application, explaining your circumstances as directed on the Application instructions in significant detail to allow SSF to understand your current living arrangements and what events led to your situation. WARNING “Unknown” without accompanying explanation will not be accepted and your application will not be reviewed. 

What if I have not taken the ACT? List the date you are scheduled to take the ACT and follow up by providing your scores. You must take the ACT and provide scores to be eligible for this scholarship. Ask your counselor or Upward Bound representative for help in obtaining a waiver and registering. See No minimum ACT is required. Note: ACT plans to offer online testing options in 2021. 

Who should apply for financial aid? All applicants are required to apply for financial aid. All recipients of the SSF scholarship must complete all follow up information required by FASFA or their college before SSF will remit any payments. 

Why should I apply for financial aid? Financial aid is required to be eligible for SSF scholarships. Financial aid is available to assist students and families in meeting the costs of a college education. The total amount of funding by SSF may not cover all college cost. 

What if I have not applied for college admission? Apply now if possible and list the schools you plan to apply for later and why you have a preference for that institution. Apply for College ASAP. Utilize application fee waivers to avoid costs. Deadlines for University Scholarships are early so review scholarships offered by several institutions. The SSF Application requires that you apply to at least 3 other scholarships, including scholarships provided by each of your preferred institutions. 

Example. If you list 2 colleges as preferred, you must apply to each college and their scholarship program(s) and an additional outside scholarship. If you apply to 3 colleges and all 3 of their scholarship programs, you have met your minimal requirement of 3 “other” scholarships. 

Examples of College Scholarship Deadlines 

  • Auburn University has a December 1, 2020 deadline for freshmen who must apply using “AUSOM” and complete the admission application. (See Auburn website.) 
  • University of Montevallo – Admission application must be submitted before students qualify for college scholarships. 
  • Academic and Leadership: February 1, 2021 
  • Academic Recognition: February 1, 2021 
  • Freshman Leadership: February 1, 2021 
  • MLK: February 1, 2021 
  • Presidential: February 1, 2021 
  • Ambassador: February 1, 2021 
  • Troy – See Troy “Online Scholarships” and the Troy website for deadlines as they may vary by campus and scholarship type. 
  • USA – Requires Admissions Application to be completed by December 1, 2020. Some scholarships are automatic for freshman; others require a separate scholarship application. 
  • UAB – Requires students to submit admissions application and all required documentation by December 1, 2020 for all ACT and GPA scholarships. See “BSMART”, the Blazer scholarship management. 
  • UAH – UAH allows students to retake the ACT even after admission to increase scholarship eligibility. See the UAH website for deadlines. 

SSF has established new deadlines to try and encourage all students to qualify for both institutional or college provided aid and governmental aid both state and federal. 

Please visit college websites and contact scholarship personnel at your selected universities. Examples provided may not be updated and should not be relied upon. 

See SSF website for a list of additional scholarships that applicants should also apply for when seeking financial assistance for college. 

My experience with our current admins and counselors is perplexing. 

Maria Quintana Garcia, our Smith Scholar in her sophomore year at UAH, was persuaded between her junior and senior year of high school, to sideline her ambitions to become a mechanical engineer and attend Lawson State to become a mechanic by our senior counselor. While that choice would certainly be appropriate for some students, a student with Maria’s intellect and drive would have been utterly bored by such a choice. I hope you’ll share with your committee that I was unable to dissuade Maria from the counselor’s suggestion. While encouraging her to complete the Smith Scholarship, assisting with her document scanning, and reading her essays, I failed to mention that Smith only funds for four year, in-state universities. Luckily, Maria missed that detail and found herself at the Smith interview where she discovered she’d need to attend a four year school.  Finding a committee of adults who believed what I believed about her was finally enough to persuade Maria that she could succeed at a four year school and live out her dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. Her lived experience over the past year and a half proves our instincts were accurate. 

You may notice that if you go to our school, there is no counselor’s web page or scholarship listing. The annual fall college fair we once hosted at school no longer happens and colleges never seem to visit. I am unsure what has caused this change with the new administration and counseling team. I am glad to send you their contact info; however, I hear from most of my contacts that emails are not returned. 

Please feel free to contact me at this alternate email as many emails that are not SPAM wind up in SPAM on my school email. 

Debra New

County High School 

Scholar Connection


In addition to scholarship support, the Foundation offers a number of services and opportunities to Smith Scholars including:

  • ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: All Scholars who have graduated from college become part of the Alumni community and are eligible for opportunities such as graduate grants and Alumni regional gatherings. Alumni Scholars also give back by providing a diverse range of supports for Current Scholars such as career / internship connections and much more.

  • COLLEGE READINESS AND SCHOLAR SUPPORT TOOLS: Scholars have a personalized Scholar Tutoring from fellow schoars, as one on one Mentoring,  where they can find tips to aid in navigating through college.

  • FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIP COUNSELING: Staff members work with Scholars as requested to assess their financial aid strategy now and in the future.

  • SCHOLAR CARE AND HOUSING NEEDS: The Foundation ensures that Scholars raised in foster care or Low-Income situations are supported during their winter and spring breaks.

  • INTERNSHIPS: The Foundation offers Scholars meaningful internship opportunities, which are supported by companies throughout the city, as well as Smith Graduate Connection. These internships will provide experiences and skills that will help Scholars succeed in their careers post-college.

  • SUPPORT AND REFERRAL SERVICES: The Foundation provides 24/7 Mentoring support as well as assisting with REQUIRED University Counseling to a special College Counselor to assist Scholars facing emotional, personal, legal, or financial obstacles.

  • PERSONAL CONTACT: Smith staff keeps in regular contact with Scholars via email, phone, letters and cards, and social media.