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The Wilson Pickett, Jr. / Brandon Miller Scholarship

The Wilson Pickett Jr./Brandon Miller Scholarship established April 2010 at Spelman College, continues to encourage and support young artist in education, entertainment and the love of music and the arts.


Students applying for the Wilson Pickett Jr./Brandon Miller Scholarship must demonstrate creative potential, academic achievement.



Pictured at left(L to R): Brenda Pickett, Ms. Delores Hill, (Mother of Brandon Miller), Scholarship Recipients, Lerell Ross & Alexandra Simmons with Max Pickett


Wilson Pickett Jr./Brandon Miller  High School Essay Contest





A major figure in the development of American soul music, Alabama-born Wilson Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the U.S. R&B charts and frequently crossed over to the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. He scored five No. 1 hits as well as several Top 40 singles including “Land Of 1000 Dances,” “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love,” “Mustang Sally,” “Funky Broadway,” “In the Midnight Hour” (which he co-wrote), and “Hey Jude.” The impact of Pickett’s songwriting and recording led to his 1991 induction into the esteemed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


The purpose of this essay contest is to illuminate the power the arts can have on people, culture and society.


2013-2014 Essay Topic Options


“The arts have been important to my family and my community because …” (please include discussion of your specific discipline)




“Considering lessons learned from the 1950s and 1960s, how can the arts positively impact a generation and change a nation?”


Awards and Recognition:


Two high school students will be granted cash awards of $250 upon being selected as authors of the best essays. The winning essays will become part of the permanent archives collection of the Wilson Pickett Jr. Legacy LLC.


Submission Requirements:


  • Essays must be submitted in English and not exceed more than 750 words in length

  • Students may submit only one essay

  • Essays must be typed and double-spaced

  • Essays must be submitted with a cover page that includes the student’s name, student classification as of the 2013-14 school year, the date, phone number, mailing address, email address and the student’s signature


All entries must be submitted by March 1, 2014.


How to Submit Your Essay:

  • Do not identify your name on anything other than the cover page

  • Email your completed essay to

  • All entries MUST submitted via email by March 1, 2014.


Evaluation Criteria and Process:


Essays will be judged on clarity, evidence of original research, writing style and significance.


Wilson Pickett Foundation representatives will evaluate the essays using the following criteria:

  • The essay shows a degree of creativity in crafting a thoughtful response

  • The essay reflects familiarity with primary sources related to the subject

  • The essay is well-researched, well-reasoned and adequately documented

  • The essay is written clearly, with correct spelling and grammar


Contest reviewers will see no identifying information about entrants/authors. An essay committee at the Wilson Pickett Legacy LLC will initially identify the essays that best meet the above criteria. The essay committee will then submit the highest-rated essays to members of the Wilson Pickett Scholarship Advisory Board, which will select the prize-winning essays. All decisions will be final.


The two selected scholarship recipients will be notified by MARCH 22ND.




To be eligible to submit an essay, students must:

Be a permanent Georgia residents AND currently enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade of a public, private, or parochial high school as of the contest deadline of March 1, 2014.




Be a permanent Georgia residents participating in a high school correspondence course or home schooling program, no younger than 16 years old and no older than 18 years old as of the contest deadline of March 1, 2014.


Special Notes:


Teachers: The Wilson Pickett Legacy LLC welcomes all submissions and invites you to announce this essay contest to your students. Feel free to encourage and assist them with editorial and research advice.

Students: Ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or other relatives, friends and neighbors how the music of Wilson Pickett impacted them and then consider creatively including what you have learned in your essay.



Please e-mail inquiries to


Thank you for your participation. Have a wonderful school year!

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