Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alpha Phi Alpha creates scholarship

The UA chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha has come together to help create two book scholarships for black men at Paul W. Bryant High School and Central High School.

The Excellent Eight Scholarship has been created this year and was named in honor of the eight founding members of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Milton Nettles, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, said the goal of the scholarships is to encourage students to continue their education.

“This scholarship is going to serve as a motivating and mentoring mechanism,” Nettles said. “The aim of our goal in the future is to go out there and speak to the young men about the importance of college and acquiring a post-high school education.”

Currently, there are two scholarships set up, both worth $250. The scholarships are intended for male black high school students to use towards buying school books in their first semester at any college.

“We chose Paul W. Bryant High School and Central High School because they had the largest male African American population within a 10-mile radius, and a lot of the guys over there seemed to be unmotivated as far as attending college,” Nettles said.

Tammy Simmons, the 11th and 12th grade counselor from Central High School, said she was excited to see this opportunity for her students.

“Milton came in and introduced himself and was really excited about the scholarship they were offering,” Simmons said. “I was excited as well to know that the undergrad chapter was willing to provide some type of support services for the young men in the community.”

The $500 was raised by the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha. They put on fundraisers such as carwashes, social events and set up tables in the Ferguson Center.

“Right now, it’s solely funded by the brothers of my chapter,” Nettles said. “We have no alumni support. We raised all scholarship money ourselves right now by fundraising ventures that we organized through the brotherhood on campus.”

Each student had to meet certain criteria to enter the running for one of the two scholarships. According to the application, the criteria included a man of high, moral character, as well as a senior who is enrolled in high school, maintained an overall “B” average at the end of the first semester and has been accepted into a college.

The student had to turn in an essay that discussed the topic, “Leadership in Action: A Call to Service and Advocacy,” the acceptance letter from the college, two recommendation letters, a transcript and a resume.

“It will be a financial support for them in regards to purchasing a book or materials for school,” Simmons said. “Not only financially but morally and socially they will understand that there are organizations that are willing to assist them to further their education.”

Only four men submitted an application to apply for the scholarship, and their applications are currently being reviewed.

“Right now, numbers are low,” Nettles said. “This our initial attempt, and we only have four applicants total. That lets you know the dire need of both schools, because we presented it to the entire senior class.”

On Thursday, the two winners will be notified that they won each of the scholarships.

Nettles looks to the future and hopes for an increase of scholarships as well as the monetary value of each.

“As we get more money from our alumni and possible more sponsors, we hope to grow the fund to eight scholarships, four within each school and $500 each,” Nettles said.

The winners and their families will be invited to the Alpha Ball, occurring in a few weeks, where each recipient will be presented the scholarship.

“The concept of the scholarship is to give back to the Tuscaloosa community in a positive way but also to reach to the African American male population within the Tuscaloosa community,” Nettles said.

“I’m excited about it,” Simmons said. “I look forward to our boys having an opportunity year after year.

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