2016 Ron Brown Scholars Announced

Ron Brown Scholar Program Names 2016 Scholarship Recipients

Twenty-eight of nearly 5,000 Applicants Join Ranks of Prestigious African-American Scholar Program

Charlottesville, VA (May 2016) – The Ron Brown Scholar Program, the nation’s leading scholarship program for African-American youth, today announced its 2016 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, 396 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 2016 Ron Brown Scholars are: 

  • Jaquesta Adams, Hialeah Miami Lakes HS, Opalocka, FL
  • Paul Adams, II, Georgetown Prep, White Plains, MD
  • Adinawa Adjagbodjou, Denton HS, Denton, TX
  • Mati Alemayehu, Chamblee Charter HS, Stone Mountain, GA
  • Ethan Ambrose, Medgar Evers College Prep, Brooklyn, NY
  • Garry Archbold, Mater Lakes Academy, Miramar, FL
  • Benjamin Bennington-Brandon, Spotswood HS, Penn Laird, VA
  • Esther Brown, Bellaire HS, Bellaire, TX
  • Jordan Burstion, Jack Britt HS, Fayetteville, NC
  • Deja Chappell, Loveless Magnet HS, Montgomery, AL
  • Arinton Davis, West Forsyth HS, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Mamadou Diallo, A. Phillip Randolph HS, New York, NY
  • Menelik Graham, Auburndale HS, Auburndale, FL
  • Leesa Greenwood, Fort Walton Beach HS, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Kelly Hyles, HS for Math, Science & Engineering, Jamaica, NY
  • Alexander Iyabor, Kennesaw Mountain HS, Austell, GA
  • Hope Jackson, Ocean Lakes, HS, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Vernon Johnson, Judge Barefoot Law Magnet, Dallas, TX
  • Meagan Lane, The Madeira School, Bowie, MD
  • Eric Mason, Lanphier HS, Springfield, IL
  • Saaleha Medlock, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal, Union City, GA
  • Yasmeen Metellus, Pembroke Pines Charter HS, Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Katherine Powell, Whitney M. Young Magnet, Chicago, IL
  • Tyler Sims, Lee Senior HS, Marianna, AR
  • AynNichelle Slappy, Marshall HS, Albion, MI
  • Kai Tinsely, G.W. Carver Engineering & Science HS, Philadelphia, PA
  • Drew Tucker, Half Hollow Hills HS West, Wheatley Heights, NY
  • Maurice Ware, Saint Ignatius HS, Euclid, OH

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

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