Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough to Be Keynote Speaker

Banquet recognizes 10 semifinalists and their families for 2018 ‘Full Ride’ Scholarship to Historically Black College

Dillard University President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, widely known as the ‘Hip Hop Prez’, will be the keynote speaker at the Tom Joyner Foundation Full Ride Scholarship banquet for the 10 semifinalists and their families.

Kimbrough became the seventh president of Dillard University in New Orleans, La. In 2012. He has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college, particularly for using social media to engage students using his catchy @HipHopPrez Twitter handle.

The semifinalists, chosen from an exceptional field of students from around the country, will be interviewed Saturday morning, and a single student will be announced next week. The winner, who will be the eighth full-ride scholar, will receive a scholarship that will cover full tuition, room and board (on-campus only) and books up to 10 semesters.

“These students are very impressive,” said Thomas Joyner, Jr., the Foundation’s president and CEO. “They have all accomplished so much that we know they’ll continue to do great things in college – and in life.”

The semifinalists are:

Daudreanna Baker, a future chemistry/pre-med major, Hazlehurst High School, Hazlehurst, Miss.

Lauren Bush, a future neuroscience major, Lake Norman Charter, Cornelius, N.C.

Morgan Bacon, a future nursing major, J.S. Masterman High School, Philadelphia, Pa.

Cailyn Clemons, a future biology/biomedical studies major, W.P. Davidson High School, Mobile, Ala.

Aliyah Gardner, a future biology major, Beaufort High School, from St. Helena Island, S.C.

Malkam Hawkins, a future electric engineering major, Providence Day School, Charlotte, N.C.

Shola Jimoh, a future pre-med student, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.

Bomani Kopano, a future mechanical engineering major, St. Paul’s School for Boys, Baltimore, Md.

Krupa Patel, a future biomedical engineer, Canton Preparatory High School, Belleville, Mich.

Alexis Washburn, a future biology major, Graham Brown School, Louisville, Ky.

Previous winners include Z’Kijah Fleming, who is attending Howard University, where she is majoring in business.  Morgan Brown, who is attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., pursuing a career in psychiatry; JoAnn Jones who is attending Winston Salem State University in Winston Salem, N.C., pursuing a career in nursing; Titus Ziegler Jr. of Atlanta’s Inman Middle School who served as a commander of the elite Junior ROTC Color Guard and Cheyenne Boyce of Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Spelman College in Atlanta was a Fulbright Scholar in Malaysia and now works at the Confucius Institute in Washington, D.C. Blaine Robertson of Reserve, La. graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a B.S. in mathematics, a B.A. in history with a minor in secondary education. The first winner, Britney Wilson of Brooklyn, N.Y., recently passed the New York Bar. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University. Ms. Wilson is working in the New York offices of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

To retain the scholarship, students had to meet the required academic standards each semester. Graduating high school seniors applied for the scholarship by going to BlackAmericaWeb.com. To be eligible, students had to meet the following criteria: 1) Be a United States citizen; 2) Be a current high school senior attending school in the United States. Each applicant must complete high school in the spring of 2017; 3) Have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 grade scale, excluding home school studies) and minimum SAT score of 1400 (combined math essay and verbal score) or ACT score of 30; 4) Applicants had to apply and be accepted to an HBCU by July 1, 2017; 5.) Applicants must have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service and extracurricular activities.

Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has raised in excess of $65 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges. It has assisted more than 29,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs. To learn more about the Foundation, go to TomJoynerFoundation.org.



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