A young African-American woman named Amanda Morrall has made history as the first person from Tulsa in the United States to be awarded the Obama Foundation Scholarship to pursue her studies at Columbia University.
Amanda Morrall is a Tusan native who secured a spot in the sixth cohort of Obama Scholars under the Obama Foundation. She made history as the first Tulsan and only the fourth American to be admitted into the Columbia cohort since the inception of the program.
The Obama Scholars Program aims to empower leaders who are already making a positive impact in their communities by providing them with opportunities for academic, skills-based, and hands-on training.
The program is conducted at the University of Chicago and Columbia University in New York City and candidates from around the world are considered for selection into the program.
Morrall was awarded the scholarship for her significant contribution to Tulsa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Duke University, where she was recognized as an Alice M. Baldwin Scholar and served as an Ex-Officio Board Member of the Sanford School.
She also earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California-Los Angeles, where she was a Luskin Ann C. Rosenfield Fellow. Morrall is the African American to run an endowed, private foundation in Tulsa city.
She said her goal is to transform philanthropy into a structure that is based on trust and driven by the community. In 2022, she led a strategic planning process at the Coretz Family Foundation in discussions to identify the needs of local nonprofits and the communities they serve.
Morrall also played a key role as the founding president of Blueprint 918 and served as a Tulsa Young Professionals Foundation Trustee, dedicating her efforts to promoting racial equity.
She has developed programs and events for esteemed institutions in the United States such as the White House, Duke University, The Aspen Institute, the University of California-Los Angeles, and the United Way.
Morrall stated that she aims to inspire others, regardless of their resources, to become philanthropists and make a difference in their communities. “It’s never about you. It’s always about community and the people you can support and help,” she said.