Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Paula E. Waters – Diamond In The Rough Scholarship Program!

The Paula E. Waters – Diamond in the Rough Fund is dedicated to providing educational assistance for deserving senior high school African-American male students from selected schools who plan to continue education at a two-or four year college, university or vocational-technical school. Scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited institution of the student’s choice.

Considering a two-year program? Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Professional certificates
  • Personalized attention
  • General education requirements
  • Less expensive
  • Groundwork for continuing education
  • In-demand skilled trade careers

We encourage you to review this website for in-depth information about the scholarship program, as well as helpful student resources.


Founded in 2004, Paula E. Waters-Diamond In The Rough Scholarship Fund (PaulaWaters-DITR) is an organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to deserving African-American male youth. The organization established the scholarship program and designed it to reward disadvantaged African-American male high school students who have potential and desire to further their education and who may otherwise find college or vocational-technical school unaffordable.

Click here to read more about President and Founder, Paula E. Waters.

The scholarship program is currently administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), an independent scholarship management company based in Nashville, TN.


Applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

        • Be a high school senior.
        • Be an African-American male.
        • Have a cumulative GPA between 2.0 and 2.99 (un-weighted, based on a 4-point scale).
        • Be enrolled or plan to enroll in an approved trade-related program at an accredited four-year or two-year college, vocational, or technical school, or other approved technical institute in the United States.
        • Be a student of:
          • Any public or charter school in Montgomery or Prince George’s County, Maryland;
          • Any public or charter school in the District of Columbia;
          • Any public or charter school in Arlington County, Fairfax County, Alexandria or Falls Church, Virginia; OR
          • Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

          No exceptions will be made.


  • Three (3) one-time scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $1,000 each. One (1) award is specifically meant for applicants going to vocational/trade school.
  • The scholarships can be applied to tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies and equipment required for course load at accredited, nonprofit two or four-year colleges/universities or vocational/trade schools in the United States.
  • Awards are not renewable.

Application Process

1. Click the “Apply Now” button (below) or go to https://aim.applyISTS.net/DITR (program key DITR) to create an AIM account using your e-mail address and chosen password

2. Log in to your AIM account to be taken directly to the Welcome page of the Paula E. Waters Diamond in the Rough Scholarship application

3. Complete all required fields in the online application and upload your most recent high school transcript and ACT/SAT scores

5. Click the Submit button on the Save/Submit page of the online application

NOTE: The status Complete will display on your AIM Home page when all forms have been submitted and all documents have been verified. Applicants are responsible for monitoring the progress of all application requirements to make sure their application is complete by 11:59 pm PT on May 31, 2021. Late submissions will not be considered.

The 2021-22 application period is February 1 – May 31, 2021.

Click the “Program FAQ” button below to learn more about the program and get answers to commonly asked questions.

Scholarships for Minorities


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2020 Recipients

Asongafac Asaha, Parkdale High School

Hasan Aquil, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

John Parker, Washington Latin Public Charter School

2019 Recipients

Damian Covington

Damian Covington, Roosevelt High School at MacFarland

2018 Recipients

Matthew Cooper

Matthew Cooper, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

2017 Recipients

Carlos Alexander, Washington Math, Science, Tech Public Charter School

Tyree Wheeler, Integrated Design Electronics Academy Public Charter School

Zaire Jackson, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

2016 Recipients

Brandon Langley

Brandon Langley, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

        • Eric Osei-ampedu, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
            • Malik Workman, Washington Math, Science, Tech Public Charter School

    2015 Recipients

    Ehigie Irabor, Woodrow Wilson Senior High School

    Romello S. West, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

    2014 Recipients

            • Aaron Richards
            • Dashawn Hiett
            • Jaquay Moss

    2013 Recipients

            • Gaffar Amzat
            • Justin Cheeks
            • Norbert Klusmann

    2012 Recipients

            • Calvin T. D. Allen-Crawford
            • Evan Armstrong

    2011 Recipients

            • Dairus Pugh, Central High School
            • Kendrick Craig, Cesar Chavez Public
              Charter School
            • Robert Gardner, Washington Math, Science,
              Tech Public Charter School

    2010 Recipients

            • Isaiah Simpson, New Brunswick High School
            • Paul Akinrotoy, Northwestern High School
            • Tyrome Miller II, Oxon Hill High School

    2009 Recipients

            • Antonio D. Mathis, Westinghouse High School
            • Bryon L. Johnson, Laurel High School
            • Jerome A. Mangroo, New Brunswick High School

    2008 Recipients

            • Keith Downs
            • Tyler Womble
            • Wayne Alford

    2007 Recipients

            • Darnell Corbin, New Brunswick High School
            • Paul Dunham, St. Peters High School
            • Terrence Smith, Westinghouse High School

    2006 Recipients

            • Collin Farrell, St. Peter the Apostle High
            • Ezra Wilson, New Brunswick High School
            • Rashaan Thomas, New Brunswick High School

    2005 Recipients

            • Caleb A. Harper, Westinghouse High School
            • James Robinson, St. Peter the Apostle High
            • Ricardo Sheard, St. Peter the Apostle High


    For assistance with the application process:

    Submit an inquiry to ISTS via:

    online contact form

    E-mail ISTS Program Support at:


    Call ISTS Program Support at:

    855-670-ISTS (4787)

    Monday-Friday/8am-5pm (CST)