In academic year 2021-2022, Bennett College was selected as one of twenty-eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country to launch the inaugural Strada HBCU Initiative, which included its first program, Strada Scholars. Now in the second year of the Strada HBCU Initiative’s eight-year commitment to participating institutions, Bennett College announces the 2022-2023 Strada Scholars.
Three freshwomen are selected each year. The 2022-2023 Bennett College Strada Scholars are Michelle Nelson, freshwoman from Kissimmee, Florida, majoring in Psychology; Zairen Jackson, freshwoman from Waldorf, Maryland, majoring in Elementary/ Special Education and Tamera Kemp, freshwoman from Fayetteville, North Carolina, majoring in Biology. These extraordinary students have been identified as changemakers who aim to make significant contributions on campus, within the community, and in their future careers.
According to Patricia Roe, Vice President for HBCU Initiatives at Strada Education Network, “We understand helping students and families with financial support allows scholars to be fully focused on their academics. The partnership with Bennett College is an investment in their work of building strong leaders and change makers for our communities.”
Strada Scholars are awarded a year-long collaboration with the Strada HBCU Initiative where they will receive leadership development, scholarships, and financial support towards the costs to participate in internships and leadership programs. Students have the opportunity to cultivate their networking skills, prepare for their career goals, and receive mentorship as the next generation of leaders.
Introducing the 2022-2023 Bennett College Strada HBCU Scholars
Michelle Nelson is a member of the Royal Court for Bennett College, where she hosts community service and social events each month. She is a part-time dance and vocal teacher at her local theatre during the summer. Michelle is an advocate for mental health and believes that “leadership is passion and compassion.”
Zairen Jackson is the founder of BEaUty Club, an initiative that aims to cultivate self-sufficiency and confidence in women. She is passionate about equitable education and providing underprivileged students with the same level of opportunity, care, and attention as their privileged counterparts.
Tamera Kemp is passionate about helping people to understand different options in medicine as she believes Black women are especially left out of research and underrepresented and unsupported in medical care. After receiving her certification, she now works in Emergency Medical Services one day a week in Thomasville, NC. She wants to start a club to focus on teaching students, on campus, basic life support to help teach them skills to learn to save a life. Tamera is also the CEO and founder of Pearl’s Skincare.
About Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people take advantage of education and training after high school that helps them secure a good job, do meaningful work, contribute to their communities, and lead a fulfilling life. Strada Education Network believes education and training after high school have the potential to be the most powerful and equitable ways to help all people thrive in their careers and lives.