2017 Ron Brown Scholars Announced

    Charlottesville, VA (May 2017) – The Ron Brown Scholar Program, the nation’s leading scholarship program for African-American youth, today announced its 2017 class of Scholars. Of the nearly 5,000 applications received this year, 20 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, 416 Ron Brown Scholars named;

    *More than 120,000 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 2017 Ron Brown Scholars are:

    Chidinma P. Agbo, Norwalk HS, Norwalk, CA

    Sterling F. Alic, iPreparatory Academy, Miami, FL

    Isis P. Anderson, AF Amistad HS, New Haven, CT

    Delali H. Azamati, Poolesville HS, Gaithersburg, MD

    Jeyla M. Brown, Elizabeth Seton HS, Upper Marlboro, MD

    Carroll R. Fields, II, Home Schooled, Brooklyn, NY

    Kiara M. Gilbert, Myers Park HS, Charlotte, NC

    Sara Hailu, Levine Middle College HS, Charlotte, NC

    Keylonnie L. Miller, Strawberry Crest HS,  Seffner, FL

    John O. Okhiulu, Townview Science & Engineering Magnet, Dallas, TX

    Jerry W. Registre, North Rockland HS, Stony Point, NY

    Anthony J. Rucker, CICS Longwood,  Chicago Ridge, IL

    Rebecca M. Schmitt, Maynard H Jackson HS, Atlanta, GA

    Saaya A. Sugiyama-Spearman,  J.R. Masterman HS, Philadelphia, PA

    Alexander Tekle, Plano Senior HS,Plano, TX

    Frelicia N. Tucker,Aiken HS,Aiken, SC

    Quan T. Usher, Columbia HS,Decatur, GA

    Miriam I. Wahid,Cannon School,Salisbury, NC

    Jadal N. Williams,Huron HS,Ann Arbor, MI

    Tierra F. Wilson,Tahoma HS,Maple Valley, WA

    About the Ron Brown Scholar Program

    The Ron Brown Scholar Fund is a 501(c)3 public charity. Named for the late Secretary of Commerce and inspired by his dedication to public service, the Ron Brown Scholar Program was established in 1996 to advance the collective impact of extraordinary service–minded leaders through a family type network. The value of the scholarship is far more than the $40,000.00 awarded for college; in addition to these funds, each Scholar has the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities, regional meetings, conferences and receives mentoring. Since the Program was founded in 1996, more than $26 million has been raised to support 416 students who have received generous scholarships to America’s finest colleges and universities. All Ron Brown Scholars are involved in community service.