Our Scholarship

by Devon Luongo

Fearlessness isn’t the absence of fear, but rather the ability to embrace being deeply afraid and choose to risk anyway. Our scholarship was started with a simple objective: invest in and develop leaders with the courage to challenge themselves in ways they never thought possible.

Prior to scribbling some poorly drawn sketches on a napkin at Starbucks for this really smart kid I kind of knew from school – a decision that eventually lead to the two of us founding Brain Cradle out of the Harvard Innovation Laboratory – I studied entrepreneurship at Stanford. I have a bachelors in Economics from Vassar and a Masters in Software Engineering & Data Science from Harvard (technically I dropped out 1 course shy of the finish line when we got funding). If I hadn’t put in my 10,000 hours to become an expert in the field of business and Artificial Intelligence, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. I know people a lot smarter than me that developed skills I can't touch with nothing but internet access and determination, but my resume opens doors and that's invaluable.

Technical skills are a Jersey. They get you out out of the stands and onto the field. They grant us the opportunity to step into the arena with our childhood heroes and figure out who we really are and what we’re capable of. Once you’re in the game though, you’ll quickly realize that the most important skills, the abilities you rely on most, the talents that separate you from the pack are all learned and cultivated outside of the classroom.

For many of you, those skills and the powerful memories from which they‘re born, already exist in you. They live in those uncomfortably amazing experiences that leave an imprint that never goes away. The experiences we rarely talk about yet make us who we are. They define us, one way or another. How they define us depends on how you choose to use them. That's what our scholarship is all about.

Do you know who you're heroes are? Retrace their origin story back to the moment that triggered their transformation. You'll probably land on an abnormally challenging experience that required them to confront themselves and the world they lived in. A moment so profound it led them on a journey that ultimately called forth their highest self. While the details are probably quite unique, the common thread that ties all heroes together is a willingness to venture into unknown territory and confront their greatest fear. Only by summoning the courage to relive their most painful memory do they discover the source of their power and emerge as a true champion.

Our scholarship will be awarded to the person who best identifies their own hero’s journey. This isn't a competition to find the best story teller. It's not an intellectual exercise. We're looking to reward people for summoning the courage to actually do the work. Be real. Be raw. Be honest. Take off the mask and show us who you are.

Why it matters...

Brilliant technological ideas and opportunities are lost way too often, because low-income students with a passion for technology are unable to afford the digital resources they need to learn and the qualifications society values most. We want to empower highly motivated self-starters to leverage AI to make a difference in the world with a scholarship.

It’s no coincidence that Google searching “how to become a successful entrepreneur” returns this Neil Patel article as the official answer. Get gritty, challenge yourself, be passionate, take risks, trust yourself. Nobody has “the right answers” to the most important questions you’re asking yourself. Be fearless. Visualize your goals. Find great people. Inspire them. Help them find a sense of purpose in the work you’re doing together. Treat them as equals, because we all matter.

Success is derived from teamwork. Your job title doesn’t make you more or less important than anyone else. Choose to look at the world that way. It will make you a better person and a better leader. Act! Overly analytical conversations about who’s right and whose wrong are counterproductive. Approach everything and everyone from a place of curiosity. Ask questions with the intention of learning something new, not making a point. Spend time. It takes decades of hard work to become and overnight success.

We’re committed to opening up our network to everyone that inspires us.

Scholarship Amount



  • All applicants must be enrolled, or due to be enrolled, as a full-time student at an accredited US college or university for the semester that they are applying to receive the scholarship.
  • Applicants are not required to have a minimum GPA.
  • Applicants are not required to have a specific Major.
  • Domestic, international, and undocumented students may apply.
  • Students attending online universities are welcome to apply.

Required Application Details

  • Please write a 600-800 word essay exploring how you’ve overcome something challenging in your life which has enabled you to be where you are today. We’d also like to hear about your passion for AI and how a scholarship will help you advance this passion.
  • Please submit proof of enrollment or an acceptance letter in an accredited learning institution. You can check your school is accredited by clicking here.
  • We will accept a recent transcript, acceptance letter, or tuition bill. Please note: if you are in the process of applying for colleges and universities, please indicate your current school and submit a document with the schools you have currently applied to. If you are selected for the scholarship, we will ask you to provide proof of enrollment for your college or university at that time.
  • Please submit the form linked below.

Application Deadline

All applications must be submitted by January 1, 2020.

Winner Announcement

A winner will be selected and notified via email by January 15, 2020.

Additional Scholarship Details

  • The winning candidate will be selected by a panel of judges from Brain Cradle.
  • The scholarship is available on a yearly basis and is non-renewable.
  • Questions about Brain Cradle’s Technology Scholarship for Students from Low-Income Communities can be directed to braincradlescholarship@gmail.com.
  • The scholarship funds provided by Brain Cradle will be sent via check to the college or university. Funds are to be applied to qualified college expenses (including tuition, fees, books, and on-campus room and board) for the current academic year.

Privacy Policy

By submitting an application, we are granted permission to contact applicants regarding their application only, via their submitted email address and phone number. This information will be destroyed once the scholarship has been awarded and will not be sold or used for any marketing purposes.

Student Protections

  • No applicants will be contacted regarding anything other than their application.
  • Information pertaining to applicants can be destroyed at their request.
  • All information (proof of enrollment, essays, and email) relating to applicants is destroyed as soon as a winner is paid.
  • Applicants emails will not be used for any marketing purposes. Brain Cradle and its representatives will not knowingly sell, share, rent or otherwise transfer your information other than in accordance with the terms set forth in this Privacy Policy.
  • Applicants will not be asked to provide any sensitive information for their application or to claim their award if they are to win the scholarship.
  • There is no fee to apply to the scholarship or for the winning applicant to claim their award.
  • Applicants retain all rights to their essay.

Terms & Conditions

All submitted photos and essays must be original work of the applicant. Only one submission may be entered per student, per year. Duplicate entries will be disqualified. All scholarships are non-renewable. By submitting an application to Brain Cradle’s Technology Scholarship for Students from Low-Income Communities, you certify that all the information you have provided is original, accurate, and complete.