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The Ruth Dereje Memorial Scholarship

“For all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.” 

Book of Ruth 3:11


Background: Ruth Dereje (Baptismal Name: WoleteGiorgis) was an incredible young woman who impacted so many people through her life of service: service to God, service to the Church, and service to her community. Sadly, her life on Earth was cut short on February 15, 2021, by cancer. Ruth’s story has continued to inspire and to motivate so many people across the world. This scholarship was founded to honor Ruth’s service-driven life and continued legacy.

Application due date:  June 30, 2022

Purpose: The Ruth Dereje Memorial Scholarship awards participants in undergraduate or graduate level based on demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, an express interest in pursuing higher education, and involvement with an Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church or related group (i.e Y.O.T.C.).

Criteria: The students eligible for assistance must be:

  • Attending a university with the aim of pursuing an undergraduate degree or graduate degree (MA/PhD/Doc.-degree. etc)

  • Holds a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

  • Affiliated with an Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church or related group (i.e Y.O.T.C.)

Guidelines: Scholarships will be disbursed in one lump payment in August of 2022.

Scholarship amount:

1st place – $1,000

2nd place – $500

3rd place - $250


Deadline: The application must be sent to by June 30, 2022, and must include:

  • an unofficial transcript with your GPA,

  • the essay,

  • and a recommendation letter from a member of the Church community (e.g. priest, deacon, Sunday school teacher, etc.)

***Please note: If one or more of these items are missing from your application, you may not qualify for the scholarship.

Renewal process: Previous scholarship recipients may re-apply in the subsequent years, but priority will be given to other applicants who have yet to receive an award.

Essay Question:

Think about your favorite saint and describe how their life has impacted the Ethiopian/Eritrean Church.  Questions to consider: Why is this saint celebrated? What is this saint’s contribution (ex: Saint Yared contributed Zema), How is this saint remembered?  Did this saint establish a monastery?


**The essay should:

  • Be between 2500-5000 words

  • Cite at least one primary source. EX: If the chosen saint is St. Täklä Haymanot, the his gädl (ገድል) should be cited in the essay.

  • Cite one secondary source. EX: Any writings about the Saint

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