WASHINGTON (March 18, 2019) — Howard University announced the names of five students who received the inaugural Jamaica Howard University Affinity Network (JHUAN) scholarship awards during an awards ceremony on February 21, 2019. JHUAN was established as a collaboration between Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick and Jamaican Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks in an effort to identify opportunities to give back to Howard University, establish a fund for financial assistance, and serve as mentors to Jamaican students at Howard.
“As Howard alumni who have benefited from the university, it is important that we look for ways to give back,” says Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “The formation of the Jamaica Howard University Affinity Network, with the backing of Ambassador Marks, is very exciting. It is encouraging to see the amount of money that has been raised on behalf of Howard alumni to support our Jamaican students who have worked hard and many who have overcome some significant challenges to pursue studies at Howard.”
JHUAN was formally launched in the summer of 2018 with the formation of an executive committee. The network seeks to engage Howard alumni, friends and family of Jamaica in furthering their mission. Five JHUAN scholarship award recipients each received $5,000 in financial aid assistance for a total amount of $25,000. At the awards ceremony, Ambassador Marks, H.E. provided her congratulatory remarks.
“I look forward to hosting the awardees at the embassy and having our own mentoring session at the embassy to just talk about what it means to be international citizens,” says Ambassador Marks. “I’ve seen lots of clubs being formed but hardly any group comes together, taking out of their own pocket to start, and to see that you have raised just among yourselves $25,000 and putting on a major event- I know from here on it’s just great things and I’m humbled and happy to be a part of it.”
The inaugural JHUAN scholarship was awarded to Jamaican-born students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, enrolled full-time at Howard University as a sophomore or higher. This year, JHUAN awarded scholarships to Charise Simpson (sophomore), Narica Trevora Clarke (graduate student), Courtni Foster (junior), Danielle Miller (senior), and Giordanne Logan (senior).
Simpson, a sophomore majoring in biology with a double minor in chemistry and sociology from St. Andrew, Jamaica says her journey as a Jamaican student at Howard University has not always been easy.
“My grandmother, who was the foundation of my family, only received a fourth or fifth-grade education. But that didn’t stop her from supporting my large, extended family,” says Simpson. “When I was in my freshman year, she died which was really hard for me. I had a rough time going home to be with my family during that semester and I had to do a lot to make up for it. The fact that most of the members of the network are Howard alumni who have had similar experiences to me, makes me hopeful. I really like that the network is also working to build relationships between its alumni members and scholarship recipients. The idea of being mentored by someone who has been through the same things I have is really encouraging.”
JHUAN plans to award scholarships to students of Jamaican heritage on annual basis and will work to grow the scholarship fund in the coming years. In addition to scholarships, JHUAN will offer one-on-one mentorship pairings, networking opportunities, workshops, and webinars aimed at educating students on how to navigate life after graduation.
“Through scholarships, students will be able to ease the financial burden and focus more on academics,” says Marc-Maurice Frankson, a member of the JHUAN scholarship committee. “Our workshops and webinars covering areas such as financial literacy and career planning are aimed at raising awareness around topics not often discussed. We hope that early exposure will help students gain a better appreciation for life after college and empower them to be better positioned for success in their field of choice.”
For more information about the JHUAN scholarship, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow JHUAN on Instagram @JHUAN1867.
Source: Howard University