FVSU Students Join the White House HBCU Scholars Initiative

by Jakoba Mildton Jr.

Posted on Oct 04, 2023

Two Fort Valley State University seniors have been named to the 2023 cohort of the White House HBCU Scholars Initiative.

Elisha Cloy, a senior Family and Consumer Science major from Bethesda, Maryland, and Jamyra Hayes, a senior Business Administration and Management major from Hamilton, Georgia, are two of 102 students from HBCUs nationwide named to this year’s cohort. Their selections mark the second consecutive year that at least two Fort Valley State University students have been chosen as White House HBCU Scholars.

“I thank FVSU for being a place of black excellence and a multitude of opportunities and to those that guided me in the application process,” Cloy said. “I am elated to expand my professional and personal development within this program.”

The HBCU scholars were selected from a competitive field of over 300 students. Applications also required the signature of their HBCU president or designated HBCU faculty, elevating this application process.

“To be an HBCU White House Scholar has a significant meaning to me,” Hayes said. “With the changes in legislation regarding affirmative action and the increasing need for resources at our institution, this position gives me a chance to express our concerns with federal officials and explore solutions to address the circumstances.”

Throughout the school year, HBCU Scholars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the U.S. Department of Education, and their respective HBCUs. Furthering the mission to Raise the Bar, students in this program are encouraged to lift their communities, unite others around student success, work to strengthen our democracy and grow our economy. HBCU Scholars will be offered professional and personal development and cross-university networking opportunities with an opportunity to explore, discuss, and improve issues specifically related to the HBCU community.

Hayes said that we must ensure that we uphold the principles upon which we were established and strive for the advancement of our diverse population through innovative learning.

“Through my participation, I plan to be the voice that “Empower the Possible” for Wildcat students, parents, faculty, and staff at THE Fort Valley State University.”

HBCU Scholars will also be invited to the 2023 HBCU Week National Annual Conference, which will be held on September 24-28, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Virginia. This year’s conference theme is “Raising the Bar: Forging Excellence Through Innovation & Leadership.” During the conference, HBCU Scholars will participate in conference sessions designed to engage a spirit of innovation, leadership, and personal and professional development. Most importantly, HBCU Scholars will have opportunities to engage with one another, initiative staff and partners, all to further showcase their individual and collective talent.

Program events are designed to enhance HBCU Scholars’ professional development and create post-graduation opportunities within non-profit, business, and federal agency partners to ensure that, as a nation, we remain globally competitive.

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