At The St. Louis American Foundation’s 2017 Salute to Excellence in Education gala, 26 students received scholarships – totaling over $620,000 – to help them pursue post-secondary education.
The program started 18 years ago, with the University of Missouri-Columbia as its first partner institution with a scholarship names for the president of the St. Louis American Foundation and publisher of The St. Louis American, Donald M. Suggs. This year, one undergraduate student named DeMario Malone, formerly of Hazelwood Central High School, will be beginning his studies at Mizzou with a full-tuition Suggs scholarship.
He plans to study biological sciences. Malone’s scholarship includes a study abroad option to study anywhere in the world for one semester. In previous years, Suggs Scholars at Mizzou have studied in China, London, Africa, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, Australia and Greece.
There were also two dissertation fellowships awarded to Mizzou graduate students, both of whose work is aimed towards uplifting minority communities. Jason McKinney is studying the resilience of black graduate students at primarily white higher education institutions. Oscar Perez, the other awardee, is working on developing a holistic, strengths-based psychological measurement system for Latino people.
Aside from the long-standing Mizzou scholarships, the St. Louis American Foundation has been awarding a scholarship to a St. Louis-area student attending Southeast Missouri State University for nine years. This year’s recipient, Ma’isah McMillan, a graduate of Ritenour High School, is pursuing a degree in health science. Missouri State University is also a partner school, and will host a Suggs Scholarship for Multicultural Leadership recipient Jeremy Townsend (a Hazelwood West grad).
Not all the scholarships are awarded to St. Louis natives – one student, Donovan Taylor from Memphis, Tennessee – will be using Suggs scholarship funds to attend Harris-Stowe State University’s 3+2 Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Engineering Degree Program, so he’ll transfer to Saint Louis University after spending his first three years at Harris-Stowe.
Another student who’s taking a non-traditional degree path is Amica Johnson, who is a mother of three teenagers. She is receiving the 2017 St. Louis Community College Suggs Scholarship, so she can go back to school full-time, while raising her kids, and study to become a registered nurse.
Jessica France, Mya Robinson, Jerrica Davis, Alejandro Rivas and Troy Scott, students at Fontbonne University, which is only in its second year of awarding Suggs Scholarships, will receive $2,000 scholarship, renewable each year at Fontbonne, along with peer support and tutoring as they matriculate into college.
At Webster University, two students are being given full-tuition Suggs Scholarships this year: Jovan McBride from Hazelwood Central High School, and Nicholas Land from Althoff Catholic High School in O’Fallon, Illinois.
Maryville University announced this year that it will be following in Webster’s footsteps and increasing the number of Suggs scholarships they offer from one to two starting in 2018, after only three years as a partner school in the program. This year’s scholarship recipient is Destinie Jones from Eureka High School.
At the end of the long list, the University of Missouri St. Louis is awarding one scholarship this year, their first year involved with the St. Louis American Foundation scholarship program. Their one scholarship will go to Felesha Clarke, a graduate of Lift for Life High School.
Look for profiles of this year’s Suggs Scholars in forthcoming editions of The American.