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Howard Club of Southwest Florida Scholarship

Thank you for participating in the Howard Club of Southwest Florida, Inc. Scholarship Awards Program. The Scholarship Awards Program is open to students, in Southwest Florida, requiring financial assistance to successfully matriculate Howard University’s undergraduate or graduate programs (“Applicants”). The application review and scholarship selection process will be managed by the Scholarship Committee of the Howard Club of Southwest Florida, Inc. (“The Committee”). If you have any questions, please email


Available to new or continuing Howard University students, in southwest Florida meeting program requirements 

Seeking to attend Howard University in the fall. 

This year, the Howard Club will make available a new Lester Scholarship in honor of the Hon. Betty Joan Lester.

Applications to participate in the scholarship awards program will become available on October 15th, and must be completed by January 15th of the year.

Applications may be:

  • Picked up at local high schools 

  • Downloaded from the Howard Club website (scroll to the bottom of this page)

  • Submitted online (scroll to the bottom of this page)



The Howard Club Of Southwest Florida Inc., shall establish an endowed annual scholarship to be known as the Hon. Betty Joan Lester Scholarship. The Lester Scholarship is established to honor the memory of the Hon. Betty Joan Lester.  Betty Joan Lester was an outstanding graduate of Howard University, and a distinguished Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Judge Lester spent many hours coaching young minority lawyers on how to pass the NJ Bar Examination. She spent additional hours developing a community-based after-school program for underprivileged youth. Judge Lester had a love of English writing and placed a heavy emphasis on developing excellent writing skills and felt that good writing was an integral part of one’s individual success and accomplishments in life. 

The Lester Scholarship is made possible through the generous gift of her husband Althear Lester.


Application and Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a scholarship (“Scholarship Award”), you must be a graduating high school senior or recently graduated (in the last 2 years), a student currently enrolled at Howard University or a student enrolled in a Howard University graduate program that is a U.S. citizen or a legal resident. All Scholarships Awards shall be approved for use in an academic degree-granting program at Howard University.

To compete for a Scholarship Award, you must first complete the Application Form (“Application”) attached to this notice (you may use additional pages to complete your answers, if necessary). You must also provide other documentation as described below.  You must complete your Application and email it along with all requested supporting documentation to The Howard Club’s website at  in sufficient time for it to be received by The Committee by January 15th, or you may email it to The Committee Chairperson at

After you have submitted your application you may be requested to participate in an interview if The Committee has additional questions regarding your application that require clarification (“Interview”).  The Committee will notify you of the status of your Application for a Scholarship Award by March 15th.

Other Documentation

The following items must be included with your Application: (1) An official school Transcript; (2) A short Essay; and (3) Two Letters of Recommendation.​

  • Transcript – Your Transcript must be sent directly from your current or most recently attended high school to the address listed on the Application.


  • Essay - Your Essay must be limited to 500 words and should make a connection between higher education and your personal, academic and career aspirational goals and articulate how you plan to achieve those goals and how the Scholarship Award will fit into that plan. Your Essay should show:​

  • Engagement – discuss extracurricular volunteer, internship, work or research experiences or other experiences that add to your academic pursuits;

  • Leadership – discuss your role in or contribution to any experiences discussed; and

  • Sense of Purpose – provide evidence of having a sense of direction and an understanding of how that sense of direction has developed through past experiences.​

  • Letters of Recommendation - Your Letters of Recommendation may come from many sources: teachers, counselors, ministers, community members, employers, etc. Letters of Recommendation may not come from a family member. One of your Letters of Recommendation should come from a volunteer experience. The Letters should also provide context for assessing your potential for managing college-level studies at Howard University.

​Financial Need

Financial need is an important component of your Application and of your Scholarship Award eligibility. In determining financial need, The Committee will not rely solely on fixed family income levels, but will incorporate a composite of criteria that includes:

  • Other sources of funds or scholarships available to you;

  • A parent’s, guardian’s, or relative’s ability to supplement a portion of your tuition and/or other education-related expenses;

  • Your ability to defray a portion of your tuition and/or other education-related expenses through part-time jobs or internships.

  • Ultimately the decision on financial need will be based on a comparative assessment of how all Applicants address the criteria above.

​Application Review and Scoring

To complete its Application review process, The Committee will review, rank and score all applications and subsequently notify you of the status of your application.  The Committee will weigh several criteria when evaluating your request for a Scholarship Award.  These criteria will include:

  • Scholarship – excellence in academic performance

  • Essay – a demonstration of aspirational goals and interests

  • Service and Leadership – evidence of a commitment to support the world around you

  • References – evidence that you have impressed others to champion you.

  • Financial Need – demonstration of the need for the scholarship award

The Committee may request that you participate in an Interview to clarify on one or more areas of your Application or supporting documents. 

Procedures for the Maintenance of Scholarship Awards

To secure the initial release of the funds (generally equal to 50% of the Scholarship Award for the academic year) for your first semester and secure release of the balance of the funds to maintain your Scholarship Award for the second semester, you must write to The Committee at The Club’s Address and provide the documentation listed below:


  • By August 1st, to secure the disbursement of the initial funds for the first semester, you must provide documentation of your enrollment in the Howard University program for which your Scholarship Award is sought. 


  • By December 15th, to secure the release of the balance of the funds to maintain your Scholarship Award for your next semester, you must provide documentation that you have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.75 for your just competed semester and you are a continuing student enrolled in the second semester at Howard University.

Procedures for the Renewal of Scholarship Awards

You may also apply to have your Scholarship Award funded for the next academic year (a “Renewal”).  In order to be eligible for consideration of a Renewal of your Scholarship Award you must complete a new application summarizing your performance in the just-completed academic year (the “Scholarship Award Renewal Application”) The Scholarship Award Renewal Application is also attached to this notice but must only be completed and mailed to The Committee at the Club’s Address by January 15th. of each year after your initial Scholarship Award was approved.


The Scholarship Award Renewal Application will summarize your past year’s performance in the following areas:


  • Maintenance of at least a 2.75-grade point average;

  • Maintenance of the status of a student in good standing at Howard University;

  • Continuing ability to demonstrate leadership and community support activities;


If approved for Renewal of your Scholarship Award, you will be notified by March 1st. If you are approved for a Renewal the amount of your Scholarship Award may differ from the amount you received in the previous year.

Disbursement of Scholarship Awards

The amount of each Scholarship Award shall be at the discretion of the Howard Club of Southwest Florida, Inc. and be subject to the total funds available and the number of Applicants to receive Scholarship Awards each year.  Scholarship Awards will be disbursed directly to Howard University. The Scholarship Award must be used within 12 months of it being announced. 


Apply for the scholarship online or by downloading the pdf document and mailing the completed application along with supporting documentation to: 

Howard Club of Southwest Florida

P.O. Box 31 Tallevast, FL  34270

Questions? Contact the Scholarship Committee Chairperson

Charles H. Jones

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