The NYU MLK Scholars: Continuing Dr. King’s Legacy

New York University values students who commit to making a difference in the world. These agents of change are active within their local communities and on a much larger scale. As such, NYU has a scholarship program dedicated to this community of students known as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program (NYU MLK Scholars). The program is named after Dr. King as an honor to his commitment to community service and distinguished leadership. 

The NYU MLK Scholars Program includes students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. While on campus, students get together and share in the common goal of making our communities more socially and economically equitable. As members of a cohort, NYU MLK Scholars participate in structured activities. These opportunities include both domestic and international experiences. The program is very much in line with NYU’s commitment to providing our students with a global education.

Three students seated together. One of them is writing on paper and the other two are conversing.

Scholarship and Growth

During their cohort meetings, NYU MLK Scholars engage a variety of topics in dialogue. It is important for our scholars to not only excel academically but socially. Many of the conversations they have aim to identify ways to dismantle the pre-existing systems that promote social inequities. By bringing together a group of students from different cultural and educational experiences, the program challenges students to think in ways a traditional classroom is unable to replicate. The NYU MLK Scholars also pursue research opportunities and share their findings with their peers.

Community Service

Similar to the work they were doing prior to attending NYU, the NYU MLK Scholars continue to engage in community service activities. Our students partner with various organizations to support projects that align with their goals. Past projects include work with organizations such as Project College, Relay for Life, and New York Cares. Every year, our scholars engage current high school juniors and seniors in workshops that facilitate dialogue around Dr. King’s legacy in modern day.

MLK Week

In addition to the NYU MLK Scholars program, we have MLK Week on campus. MLK Week provides all members of the NYU community the opportunity to recognize people who are advancing the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Throughout the week, NYU hosts events that are free and open to the public in an effort to continue their engagement with the community. The week also provides everyone the opportunity to get together during the MLK Day of Service to engage in community service. NYU MLK Scholars participate in events throughout the week.

Student sitting in a library, reading a book, and smiling.

Our first interaction with NYU MLK Scholars typically occurs during the application. Many students write their essays about their passion for social justice and the impact they have made in their communities. For some, it’s a reflection of their identity and how that shapes their experience in the world. Others tend to spend their time outside of the classroom working to impact change within their communities.

Regardless of the specifics, there are a few core values that every NYU MLK Scholar shares. These values are excellence in academic achievement, distinguished leadership, and community service. We automatically consider all students who apply to NYU for scholarships like the MLK Program. There’s no additional step a student needs to take.