2011 Ron Brown Scholars Announced

May 26, 2011

Ron Brown Scholar Program Names 2011 Scholarship Recipients

Charlottesville, VA (May 1, 2011) – The Ron Brown Scholar Program, the nation’s leading scholarship program for African-American youth, today announced its 2011 class of Scholars. Of the more than 6,000 applications received this year, only 16 were awarded this honor.

Founded in 1996 and named in honor of the first African-American Secretary of Commerce, the Ron Brown Scholar Program provides students with the financial resources to attend some of the finest colleges and universities in the country, in addition to promoting outstanding service opportunities for the next generation of promising African-American leaders. “I am continually impressed by the thousands of students who apply to become Ron Brown Scholars,” said Michael Mallory, executive director of the Ron Brown Scholar Program. “This year’s group of finalists is one of our strongest classes ever, with more than half scheduled to graduate in the top one or two percent of their class.  These gifted young people all bring unique backgrounds and personal experiences to the Program but all share spectacular achievements in academics and a profound commitment to using their education experiences for the benefit of their communities and society as a whole."

Ron Brown Scholars are selected on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential, social commitment and financial need. Some key highlights of the program include:

  • More than half of Ron Brown Scholars attend Ivy League universities;
  • Two Ron Brown Scholars were elected to be the First Marshals of their Harvard University graduating classes, considered the highest honor bestowed upon an undergraduate;
  • One Ron Brown Scholar has been selected as a Truman Scholar and four Ron Brown Scholars have been selected as finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship;
  •  Ron Brown Scholars dedicate themselves to enriching lives in their local communities and worldwide. For example, nine Ron Brown Scholars have conducted AIDS research and community service with the Institute of Human Virology;
  •  With a 100% graduation rate, Ron Brown Scholars go on to succeed in a variety of leadership positions. From finance executives and top lawyers, to award-winning playwrights and Supreme Court Justice clerks, they have published books and documentaries, appeared as expert guests on radio and television, and been invited as speakers to numerous international conferences.

Applicants must proceed through a highly competitive selection process against thousands of other qualified candidates, culminating in an invitation to spend a weekend in Washington, D.C. for the final round of interviews. Ten to twenty winners are chosen at the conclusion of this weekend each year.

The 2011 Ron Brown Scholars are:

  • Dextina A. Booker (Brooklyn, NY) – The Secondary School for Law
  • Desmond C. Garner (Forkland, AL) – Alabama School of Math & Science
  • Kaila J. Gilbert (La Vergne, TN) – La Vergne HS
  • Malcolm D. Grayson (Fort Wayne, IN) – Northrop HS
  • Zachary T. Hall (Worcester, MA) – Abby Kelley Foster Charter HS
  • Brandon R. Hill (Eden Prairie, MN) – Eden Prairie HS
  • Esther O. Owolabi (Westchester, IL) – Fenwick HS
  • Hana C. Page (Lakewood, WA) – Clover Park HS
  • Keon K. Pearson (Toledo, OH) – St. Francis de Sales
  • Robert L. Poole, III (Kent, WA) - Kentridge HS
  • Qaren Q. Quartey (Gaithersburg, MD) – Watkins Mill HS
  • Maia Roberson (Reston, VA) – Oakton HS
  • Michael L. Robinson (Silver Spring, MD) Springbrook HS
  • Brianna R. Sullivan (Riverdale, IL) Thornton Township HS
  • Aubrey J. Walker (Altadena, CA) Polytechnic HS
  • Chanel E. Washington (Lakewood, WA) Lakes HS

    For information about the Ron Brown Scholar Program, visit or email

Ron Brown Scholar Program

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