Students Win National Scholarships

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Author: Hazel Scott

Release Date: Oct 05, 2018

Four Alabama State University students recently received HBCU scholarships.

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Four Alabama State University students received a financial boost for their college careers thanks to scholarships from the National Association of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Title III Administrators program.

There were 18 scholarship recipients nationwide and ASU received the most awards of any other school -- four ; with one bringing home the top overall prize of a $1,000 scholarship.

The scholarship recipients are:

·   Adriana Foster – The highest scorer of all HBCU applicants

    Senior, rehabilitation services

    $1,000

·  Autumn Pate

   Sophomore, political science major with a minor in English

   $500

·  Joseph Longmire Jr.

   Junior, rehabilitation services, addiction concentration 

   $500

·  Saroyah Johnson

   Junior, social work major

             $500
The scholarship program was open to students attending 97 HBCUs nationwide. To be eligible, applicants must have had at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA).

Applications were scored based on meeting the scholarship rating criteria that consisted of academic merit, an essay, evidence of campus involvement, leadership, community service and letters of recommendations. Veterans and active duty members were given bonus points for military service. Scholarships are offered once a year and former scholarship recipients cannot reapply.

Foster, a Mobile, Ala., native; beat 53 qualified applicants vying for the scholarships to claim the overall top spot.

“It’s really a blessing to win because the application process is competitive.  I wasn’t sure I was going to receive a scholarship because I didn’t hear anything for a while. I was getting worried and then I received confirmation that I won,” Foster said.

A graduating senior, Foster said her winnings will make a difference in her continued education.

“I won’t let the money or opportunity go to waste,” Foster said.  “My sister just came to Alabama State as a freshman. With my parents paying for both of our tuitions straight out of their pockets, a $1,000 really helps.”  

Pate, a Lake City, Fla., native, said the scholarship will help her to continue to pursue her scholastic endeavors.

“It was a great experience winning the $500. The scholarship will help me meet my financial needs. It came right on time,” Pate said.

Pittsburgh, Pa., native Johnson was excited and surprised that she won.

“I’m more than grateful for being awarded the scholarship. I actually thought I wasn’t going to win. I applied for the scholarship to get myself out there to see what different opportunities Alabama State University had to offer,” Johnson said.  “And I’m glad I did.”

Longmire, who is a native of Greenville, Ala., said he is humbled and appreciative to be selected.

“I feel wonderful about receiving the scholarship. The opportunity came across due to one of the professors in the Rehabilitation Department, Dr. Carmela Drake,” Longmire said. “When she sent the application I said, ‘OK, let me just try it out to see if I qualify; just to seize the opportunity.’ Once I received the letter I was so happy. What people fail to realize is that sometimes scholarships can be hard to come by and for you to have a professor or someone who has your best interest in mind and sees the potential in you that can be a lifeline.”

Outside of their studies, Foster and Pate are in the ACES Peer Mentoring Program, Johnson is the vice president of the Student Organization Services and an honor society inductee in the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Longmire is a Golden Ambassador and a member of the TRIO Services and the Rehabilitation Club.

Dr. Ronda Westry, ASU director of Retention/Academic Center for Educational Success (ACES), said these scholarships are about opening doors and offering opportunities.

“Their accomplishment is a testament to faith, scholarship and campus service. The ACES staff is proud of them," Westry said.

The National Association of HBCU Title III Administrators is a program that provides financial assistance to HBCUs to establish or strengthen their physical plants, financial management, academic resources and endowment-building capacity.