David E. and Mary J. Pollard came to Florida A&M University (FAMU) as students. Now, decades later, they are still leaving a mark at their alma mater. Through the David E. and Mary J. Pollard Scholarship, each year a scholarship is awarded to a STEM or Teacher Education student in their senior year. It was a lifelong dream of the Pollards to invest in the education of thriving FAMU students.
Students can apply for the David E. and Mary J. Pollard Scholarship by logging into the University’s scholarship portal at famuscholarships.com. The portal opened for the 2019-2020 academic year on April 15, 2019 and will remain open until May 31, 2019.
Nursing student Sasha Wright is the first recipient of the Pollard Scholarship. She received $3,750 for the fall semester and $3750 for the spring semester. Raised by a single mother, Wright works tirelessly to be a role model for her nine younger siblings. Though she struggled to maintain her coursework with a 45-minute commute to and from campus, she managed to earn a 3.2 GPA.
While her hard work was paying off, the reality of the increasing intensity of her program forced her and her family to consider the possibility of Wright getting a job to help relieve the financial burden. Soon afterward, she received news that she would be the first to receive the David E. and Mary J. Pollard Scholarship.
“Receiving this scholarship allowed me to get housing closer to campus and canceled the [financial] burden on my family,” Wright said. She now has more time to take advantage of the resources available on campus and has even seen an improvement in her grades. In October 2018, Wright had the opportunity to meet and thank the Pollards’ elder daughter, Dr. Stephanie L. Foster.
Foster described Wright as possessing “a unique combination of scholarship, demeanor, and purpose consistent with the ideals envisioned of Pollard scholarship recipients.”
Wright is grateful for the generosity of the Pollard family and she hopes to pay it forward one day. Following in the footsteps of the Pollards, she wants to establish her own scholarship for future FAMU nursing students, especially those who, like her, are first-generation college students.