UNCF Scholarship Recipients Prep for Post-College Careers
“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”
– Thurgood Marshall
Like Thurgood Marshall, we understand the importance of a helping hand. We believe that every young person deserves access to opportunities that lead to success in a career and in life. In 2014, FedEx allocated more than $1.2 million toward diversity scholarships and education programs. As part of this commitment, we sponsored 20 four-year scholarships granted by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
Two recent recipients of these scholarships shared their college experiences with us and the impact it’s had on their lives.
Dana – Howard University
I am so honored to have been a recipient of the FedEx/UNCF Scholarship throughout all four years in college. I was humbled by the confidence in me to succeed. In May 2015, I graduated cum laude from Howard University, earning a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Business. I am grateful for the opportunities and resources that this award provided me. I thoroughly enjoyed my college experience, from the social aspect to the academic curriculum, especially once I began taking the classes within my concentration. The educational and social aspects at Howard prepared me for the real world. Securing internships, whether during the summer or the school year, was also very instrumental (and something my parents could not stress enough) to landing my first job out of college as well as my expanded knowledge of corporate America and the different components that are involved in running a business.
With FedEx and UNCF helping me with something as financially challenging as college tuition, I tried my best to show them it was not a waste of their time or resources. I worked hard in the classroom to do my best and, as a result, I was able graduate on time and receive honors while doing so – which makes me very proud. When talking about college tuition, ANY AMOUNT of money is incredibly helpful to reaching your ultimate goal of walking across the stage.
I am so thankful for the scholarship. It definitely made a difference throughout my collegiate career. Hopefully it will impact someone else just as much is it did me.
Marleca – Spelman College
I came to Spelman College as a first generation college student eager to learn. Everyone always told me how different college was from high school, and I was ready, but also nervous, about experiencing this difference. Despite growing up in a single parent, low-income household, I graduated in the top 5% of my high school class, and I was inducted into several honor societies. In college, I wanted to continue my involvement and excel academically.
As early as middle school, I realized how much I loved history and government. When I transitioned to high school, my love for history, government, and politics only deepened, as I took Advanced Placement United States Government and History and Advanced Placement Comparative Politics.
Despite my passion for politics, I was unsure of which major would best coincide with my dream to become an attorney. After talking to a few lawyers, I found that many of them had majored in political science. At the time of my decision to major in political science at Spelman, I was fairly unsure of how my love for politics and law would collide and serve as a stepping stone in being an attorney.
As I began taking classes within my major, it was very clear to me that I had made the correct decision. My undergraduate career has prepared me, both academically and socially, for my career. The courses within the political science department at Spelman are extremely reading and writing intensive. As a result of the demanding coursework, my reading comprehension and efficiency has increased significantly. As a first generation college student, my household simply did not have access to countless books and resources that my peers may have had. I did not necessarily understand the importance, as much as others, about reading and being able to accurately convey or summarize what I just read. My major taught me to do just that.
After reading several chapters, articles, and books relevant to each course, I had to learn how to synthesize large amounts of information, deduce what was important, and then analyze that information. These are skills that are not optional or preferred for aspiring attorneys, but their entire careers rest on their ability to read, comprehend, and analyze. I am grateful that Spelman has a curriculum that challenges its students through rigorous course work.
Finally, my major has allowed me to understand the importance of representation. The chair of the political science department always says, “If you are not at the table, you are probably on it.” As a member of the black community, I now understand that it is important to have our views heard, and it is important for us to be at the table when policy and laws are being made. After attending law school and passing the bar, I will be the first attorney in my family. I will not only be acting as a representative for members of my race but serving as an example to my family as a testament of hard work, dedication, and faith. My major has helped me, not only in regards to my future profession, but it has also changed the way that I see the world.
The UNCF/FedEx scholarship made this dream possible for me. My mom simply cannot afford to contribute to my education. My mom struggles to make ends meet financially within our home. This scholarship has removed some of the financial burden in attending college and has allowed me to focus on excelling academically. I will forever be grateful for the investment made towards my education that has altered my whole reality.