By: Deja L. Allen
Alexis L. Ritchie has been honored as the recipient of the first annual Windsor D. Ferguson Memorial Award at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).
The award was established by the children of Bishop Windsor D. Ferguson, Sr. at their respective historically black college or university (HBCU) alma maters to celebrate students from Broward County, Florida who uphold the educational values their father supported.
At FAMU, an award is given to an outstanding student pursuing a career in nursing and is sponsored by Sonya Ferguson in honor of her children who are alumni of the University. An additional award is also given to an outstanding student pursuing a career in music, sponsored by alumnus and former Marching “100” band member, Michael Ferguson.
Ritchie’s outstanding leadership experience and academic success made her a great candidate for this award. The honor student has previously served as a fundraising co-chairperson in the Big Sister Little Sister mentoring program and currently serves as an officer in FAMU’s Student Government Association as well as the Student Nurses Association.
The Windsor D. Ferguson Memorial Award Committee expressed their excitement on recognizing Ritchie as a student who embodies the meaning of the award in her success as an extraordinary student.
“The Windsor D. Ferguson Memorial Nursing Award is presented to Alexis Ritchie because her impressive application package demonstrated excellent leadership qualities, exceptional academic success and great traits of dad’s character,” said Cheryl Jones, daughter of Bishop Ferguson.
Ritchie, a fourth year nursing student, is currently working toward her goal of becoming a medical surgical nurse and then a pediatric nurse practitioner. She hopes to carry on the legacy of Bishop Ferguson by inspiring other students to continue pushing towards their dreams.
“I’m forever grateful for Mrs. Cheryl and her family for considering me for this award,” Ritchie said. “I will uphold this award with honor and continue the Windsor D. Ferguson’s legacy. I hope to inspire other students to understand that just because you don’t have money doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the goals set forth for yourself. With God everything is possible,” she added.
The Ferguson family has no doubt that Ritchie will continue to succeed.
“The awards are a way of honoring our dad, supporting our HBCUs, and recognizing and rewarding outstanding college students. Awarding Alexis with this award does all that. We have no doubts in her abilities to reach her career goals,” Jones said.