(L-R) Kerra Kelly and Stephen Bowen
Two Florida A&M University (FAMU) students have been named among the 2021 White House Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) scholars.
Stephen Bowen of Tallahassee, and Kerra Kelly of McDonough, Georgia, are members of the eighth cohort of scholars announced by the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
The program recognizes 86 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, civic engagement and much more. Bowen is a third-year doctoral student pursing his Ph.D. in educational leadership in the FAMU College of Education.
“I am incredibly grateful and honored to be chosen as an HBCU Scholar. I look forward to representing the FAMUly,” said Bowen, assistant deputy commissioner of Data Systems, Florida Department of Education. “I am excited about the opportunity to learn and to grow from such a talented group of HBCU scholars.”
Kelly, a junior, biology pre-dentistry student, said she is excited to represent FAMU in the program.
“My growth at FAMU is a testament to the importance of HBCU’s to equitable outcomes in our country,” Kelly said. “I plan to contribute in a manner that is consistent with the heritage of FAMU by striking to support the next generation of HBCU students and administrators.”
Bowen and Kelly were selected from an applicant pool of more 200 students who submitted completed applications that included a transcript, resume, essay, and letter of recommendation. Applications also required the signature of their university president, adding a level of prestige to this application process.
“We congratulate our outstanding students on being selected as White House HBCU scholars as well as those students from other institutions. This is recognition of what they’ve accomplished and their potential in the years ahead,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “This experience will go a long way in preparing them for successful careers.”
Over the course of an academic school year, the HBCU Scholars will serve as ambassadors of the Initiative and their respected institution. The White House HBCU Initiative will provide scholars with information about the value of education as well as networking opportunities. Scholars can also share these resources with their fellow students.
Through their relationships with community-based organizations, and public and private partners, all of which are gained through this recognition, scholars will also share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.
“The HBCU Scholars announced today all have demonstrated remarkable dedication to their learning and exemplify the talent that our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have nurtured for generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The students who hold this honor are committed to creating a more just and equitable society through their civic engagement. They are leaders and change-makers in their communities, and I cannot wait to learn from them as they serve as ambassadors both for the White House Initiative and their institutions of higher education.”