buttonJohn and Kathryn O’Brien believe that America has always relied on and will continue to depend on the talents, hard work, and creativity of immigrants of all kinds.  Like America, our Minnesota State colleges thrive when the inspiration for education is accessible to immigrant students with high need and limited access to state and federal financial aid. This scholarship is available to degree-seeking immigrants, children of immigrants, and undocumented students with demonstrated need attending one of Minnesota State’s two-year colleges. 

Scholarship Qualifications

  • Be an undergraduate student enrolled in any Minnesota State two-year college;
  • Be a full- or part-time student with documented financial need;
  • Be an immigrant (born outside the US) or the child of immigrants (both parents born outside the US);
  • Have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
  • Note that:
    • Undocumented individuals are welcome to apply;
    • Preference will be given to applicants who are actively pursuing a degree/certificate;
    • PSEO students are ineligible.

Scholarship Requirements

  • Complete and submit the online application by November 1 at 11:59 PM for spring semester and by April 1 at 11:59 PM for fall semester. A $500 scholarship will be awarded each semester. 
  • Write a response to the following essay question (between 300 and 750 words in length): "Please tell us what a college education means to you and how this scholarship will help you succeed."
  • Submit a letter of application/personal letter. In this letter, describe your:
    • Academic goals
    • Career goals, and
    • Personal goals.
  • Submit a separate statement of financial need (describe why you need this scholarship).
  • Submit one letter of recommendation from college staff. A Letter of Recommendation can be submitted by your recommender later. Share the Letter of Recommendation Submission Form with them.
  • Submit a copy of your college unofficial transcript.


Contact LeadMN Associate Development Officer/Scholarship Manager Joyce Petsch at 651-203-9464 or scholarship@leadmn.org.