Three Bennett College students have been selected for The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ ninth cohort of HBCU Scholars. Zairen Jackson ‘26, Trinity Cromwell ‘24, and Zakyha Jones-Walker ‘24 received this prestigious recognition for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, civic engagement and much more.
The Bennett Belles will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative on HBCUs and the U.S. Department of Education, and are encouraged to uplift their communities and peers, and work to strengthen the nation’s democracy and economy.
Students will have access to professional and personal growth programs, along with opportunities to network with students from different universities to address and improve issues concerning the HBCU community.
The HBCU Scholar Program also partnered with NASA to foster innovation and opportunity for the cohorts, where students will collaborate with each other to create ideas for commercializing technology based on NASA’s intellectual property. These innovations aim to benefit their campuses and surrounding communities.
HBCU Scholars will be invited to the 2023 HBCU Week National Annual Conference in September, where students will participate in conference sessions designed to engage a spirit of innovation, leadership, and personal and professional development while collaborating to showcase their collective and individual talents. Following the conference, students will also have the opportunity to participate in various programs and events designed to further enhance their professional development and post-graduation opportunities.
Zairen Jackson ‘26 hails from Waldorf, Maryland. She was selected as a Strada Scholarship recipient in 2022-2023 and was also named Bennett College’s Miss Sophomore 2023-2024.
Trinity Cromwell ‘24 is from Charlotte, North Carolina. She studied abroad in Singapore and is a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar. Trinity is also the recipient of the Uniting Women Spirit Award and Belles Beyond Borders Award.
Zakyha Jones-Walker ‘24 is a native of Hopewell, Virginia. Among her long list of internships, ambassadorships, scholarships, and leadership roles, Zakyha is also a two term Bennett College Student Government Association President and a Bennett College Board of Trustees member.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona states, “Our 2023 HBCU Scholars are talented students who embody the culture of excellence and inclusion championed by our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I’m thrilled to see the HBCU Scholars program continue to expand its reach and provide such exciting professional development, networking, and educational opportunities to some of our nation’s brightest and most promising young leaders.”
Congratulations to all students selected for the cohort!