FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – A mind is a terrible thing to waste, which is why the Fort Wayne community, and UNCF are stepping up to help young people reach their goals.
Formerly known as the United Negro College Fund, UNCF is supporting three local students.
Through community support, USA Funds, and the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, Donya Brown, LaMonica Coleman, and Dion Kimbrough are able to attend local and state universities, as well as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) of their choice.
Paul Harding High School graduate Dion Kimbrough, 21, is the first in his family to attend college. He’s majoring in exercise science at Indiana University and aspires to be an orthopedic doctor. He says when’s he finished with school, he wouldn’t mind returning to Fort Wayne to begin his medical career.
"[The scholarship] definitely allowed me to focus more on my school, instead of always worrying about how I'm going to pay my next Bursar bill, or whatnot, so it's definitely just eased away some of the stress that comes along with being a college student,” said Kimbrough.
South Side High School graduate LaMonica Coleman, 19, has dreams of going to grad school to be a pharmaceutical salesperson. Currently, she’s in her second year at Kentucky State University majoring in business.
"When I graduate, I want to give back to my community because I know how hard it is to have an education. Sometimes you feel like you're limited and you can't reach your means, but if financial-wise, it's taken care of, you can do so,” said Coleman.
Donya Brown, 21, graduated from Homestead High School, and currently goes to Clark Atlanta University, a UNCF member college. She’s majoring in social work, but says her end goal is to be a foster care advocate, author, and TV host.
However, as former foster child, Brown says she’s faced challenges when it comes to staying in school and supporting herself. The support from UNCF came just in time.
“I wouldn’t be in school,” said Brown. “If I didn’t receive the Fort Wayne, Indiana Scholarship, I would have taken off a whole semester due to my remaining balance. But, UNCF stepped in and they paid my remaining balance so I was able to stay in school, and I am very thankful for that,” said Brown.
The mission of Fort Wayne’s UNCF Leadership Council is to get local students of color to and through college.
UNCF has awarded over $20,000 annually to deserving Fort Wayne students.
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