2015 Ron Brown Scholars Named

    Charlottesville, VA (May 2015) – The Ron Brown Scholar Program, the nation’s leading scholarship program for African-American youth, today announced its 2015 class of Scholars. Of the approximately 5,000 applications received this year, 28 were awarded this honor.

    Founded in 1996 and named in memory 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 Scholars 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 to benefit 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:

    • To date, 368 Ron Brown Scholars named;
    • More than 110,000 applications since 1997;
    • More than 50% of Ron Brown Scholars attend Ivy League universities;
    • 99% graduation rate;
    • More than 50% complete graduate studies;
    • 100% involved in extensive community service projects;
    • 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, and five have joined forces to create the The Hidden Genius Project (Oakland, CA) which provides Oakland black male youths with the knowledge, skills, mentoring and experiences to obtain and create technological jobs in our global 21st century economy (www.hiddengeniusproject.org);
    • 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 with thousands of other qualified candidates, culminating in an invitation to spend a weekend in Washington, D.C. for a final round of interviews. Twenty or more winners are chosen at the conclusion of the selection weekend each year.

    The 2015 Ron Brown Scholars are:

      1. Jason Adulley, Bronx, NY, Regis High School                           
      2. Akintobi “Irvin” I. Akinseye, Frisco, TX, Frisco High School
      3. Andrew O. Bempah, Evanston, IL, Evanston Township High School
      4. Lena F. Blackmon, Vail, AZ, University High School
      5. Montell D. Brown, Cincinnati, OH, Oak Hills High School
      6. Caroline E. Haoud, Astoria, NY, Bard High School Early College Queens
      7. Melanie C. P. Horton, Upper Darby, PA, Commonwealth Connections Academy
      8. Desmond J. Howard,  Lexington, KY, Bryan Station High School
      9. Taylor L. Howell, Fayetteville, GA, Sandy Creek High School
      10. Javarcia D. Ivory, Clinton, MS, Clinton High School
      11. Bruke M. Kifle, Alexandria, VA, Thomas Alva Edison High School
      12. Devin B. Kilpatrick, Rome, NY, Rome Free Academy
      13. T'Angela J. Knight, Memphis, TN, Whitehaven High School
      14. Courtney R. Lewis, Kennesaw, GA, The Walker School
      15. Ayanna D. Martin, Collierville, TN, St. Mary's Episcopal
      16. Anthony D. Mayfield, Fort Worth, TX, Boswell High School
      17. Christopher D. McKinnis, Pinehurst, NC, Pinecrest High School
      18. Tristan J. McLaurin, Conway, MA, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School
      19. DivineAsia E. Miller, Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn Technical High School
      20. Andrew R. Moton, Stockton, CA, Tokay High School
      21. Zaria A. Noble, Denver, CO, Kent Denver High School
      22. Chidera C. Osuji, Stockbridge, GA, Dutchtown High School
      23. Jaylen J. Pittman, Montgomery, AL, LAMP Magnet High School
      24. Raymond E. Pryor, Aurora, CO, East High School
      25. Matthew W. Shearin, El Cajon, CA, El Cajon Valley High School
      26. Mojique D. Tyler, Brooklyn, NY, Bard High School Early College
      27. Auriel S. Wright, Macon, GA, Northeast High School
      28. Leah S. Yared, Rockville, MD, Rockville High School

    For information about the Ron Brown Scholar Program, visit www.ronbrown.org.