Essay Prompts

Below are 5 questions related to the book, Delores's Dream. Please first read the book, then choose ONE prompt that best resonates with you and your life experience. Your essay should be between 350 - 500 words. The deadline for submission is June 1, 2024. Please submit your essay in PDF format.

Prompt 1

Delores’s Dream of being a school teacher was interrupted when she was unable to go to college because of her families financial situation. However, she did not lose her desire to succeed despite that disappointment. How have you handled an unanticipated adversity or disappointment that may have interrupted a deeply held hope or dream?

Prompt 2

How did Delores’s knowledge and love of her cultural history and historical figures such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Paul Lawrence Dunbar inspire her to keep her Dream alive? Who are the figures in your life helping to keep your dreams alive? How are they inspiring you?

Prompt 3

Delores was also inspired by teachers who saw her academic promise and motivated her. Have you experienced similar inspiration and support for your success from a teacher or mentor? Please explain what the teacher or mentor did to motivate you to succeed.

Prompt 4

Delores’s family like so many Black families were part of what was called the Great Black Migration, leaving the South to flee racial oppression of Jim Crow laws and find new work opportunities in the North. Do you feel that a reverse migration (North to South) would change today’s political and economic environment? Please explain your choice why or why not.

Prompt 5

Delores had the opportunity to meet one of the greatest poets and writers in history. His name was Langston Hughes. She recited the poem Mother to Son to her son Ron Walker often when he was growing up. Why did she recite it so often and what meaning does it have for you?

Overview here ⇒
Overview of the Ron Walker Scholarship Initiative

Download the ebook here ⇒
You will need a password, provided by the person at your school who is the contact for this scholarship.

Essay prompts  here ⇒
Choose ONE of these 5 prompts to guide your essay response.

Submit your essay here ⇒
Submit your completed essay in PDF format.

My name is Ron Walker. For five decades I have been blessed and honored to serve in the noble profession of education. I started my teaching career in the city where I was born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a decade of classroom teaching, I was selected to be a member of the National Urban Fellows Program which took me to Boston, Massachusetts. I continued my work in education at Boston University then served as assistant principal in Belmont, Massachusetts public schools followed by becoming principal of the Peabody Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All of these amazing experiences prepared me for something very special: the founding of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) in 2007. COSEBOC’s mission is to advance the social, emotional, cultural, and academic development of boys and young men of color.

In the midst of this important work, I took time to write a book about my beloved mother, Delores Walker-Johnson. The book, Delores’s Dream, describes the life of a woman whose love for education permeated her entire being and spilled over onto the growth and development of her son, Ron Walker. It is a book that will inspire the reader to dream bold dreams and aspire to fulfill visions of hope.

Recently, I retired as the founding director of COSEBOC and was honored by two amazing celebrations in Philadelphia and Boston in gratitude for my work. I was blessed to receive gifts and proclamations from both cities and wonderful salutes from friends and family.

One of those gifts was a donation to establish the Ron Walker Scholarship Initiative, which I am officially announcing through this letter. The scholarship will be regifted to five students: two from the Boston Public Schools, two from the Cambridge Public Schools and one from the Woburn Public Schools.

Students interested in applying for each of the $500 scholarships must respond to a writing prompt which will be drawn from the book Delores’s Dream. Applicants will receive a special link to read the 60 page book. Applicants will then send their responses to the designated school district contact who will assist in the review of applications. The final date to submit your written statements will be February…. The winners will be announced on ……. It is my hope that each student who applies for this scholarship opportunity will be inspired by Delores’s Dream and that inspiration will be a spark for a successful education, career, and life.  I look forward to seeing your responses.


Ron Walker