In General, Newsletter, Scholars, Scholarships on 05/30/2024 - 2:00 PM

2024 Inaugural Winners of the Patterson HBCU Scholarship for Carson Scholars

The 2024 recipients of the Patterson HBCU Scholarship for Carson Scholars have been selected!  Thanks to a collaboration between the Carson Scholars Fund and world-renowned author and philanthropist, James Patterson, nine Carson Scholars will receive scholarships to help offset the costs of higher education.  These students, all of whom will be starting college in the fall, are attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout the country. 

Keep reading to learn more about the inaugural scholarship winners!

Urenna Acholonu
3-time Carson Scholar
Bowie, MD
Hampton University

After noticing that her school planned various activities and field trips for English and arts classes but not for STEM classes, Urenna, along with a few classmates, decided to revive the Science National Honor Society at school.  She currently serves as the treasurer and helps fundraise for STEM-related trips and activities including trips to Johns Hopkins research labs and the National Museum of Health and Medicine.  Urenna also serves as a children’s Bible study leader at her church and the founder and leader of a step team for middle school students.  Due to her love for sports and medicine, she aspires to become a doctor specializing in sports medicine.


JahslynRose Bush
2021 Carson Scholar
Chattanooga, TN
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Jahslyn created a program for girls ages seven through twelve called Girl’s Empowerment Mentoring Session to enable them to learn how to love themselves and create community amongst other girls their age.  Through her school’s community service program, she led the decorating/aesthetics team for a Christmas party put on for children.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, singing and playing volleyball.


Isabella Ervin
2-time Carson Scholar
Ooltewah, TN
Tuskegee University

Isabella has dreamed of going to a HBCU since the day she decided that she wanted to go to college.  Throughout high school, she served as a leader in the Chattanooga Mayor Youth Council where she was responsible for volunteering and planning events for the community.  She also served as manager of the girls’ track team for two years.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading and practicing cosmetology and self-care.  Isabella has volunteered at the Chattanooga Food Bank, a local Iron Man race and at a children’s holiday event at the local recreation center.  She aspires to become an entrepreneur or a CEO before eventually pivoting to a role in politics.


Denim Fisher
3-time Carson Scholar
Baltimore, MD
Spelman College

Denim is a mental health ambassador for her school’s Mind Over Matters Mental Health Club through which she promotes understanding and support for mental health within her school community.  She coordinated an event for Autism Awareness Month and led a discussion on neurodivergent thinking and advocacy efforts.  Within her community, she worked for Healing Youth Alliance, an organization that aims to promote mental health awareness in the Black community and was given the opportunity to speak at a conference on the importance of therapy for Black men.  Denim also serves as a youth civic advocate for Beyond Youth Organizing, which allows her to collaborate with community advocates to implement the consent decree for the Baltimore Police Department, focusing on shaping a framework for inner-city youth.  She also holds an internship with the Smithsonian Research Center which allows her to explore various facets of environmental science and its intersections with social justice.


Trenyce Harvey
6-time Carson Scholar
Douglasville, GA
Alabama A&M University

As a senior dance student at her high school, Trenyce choreographed a group performance and fostered a collaborative environment among the team.  In addition to writing, designing and publishing the dance piece for her final performance at school, Trenyce coordinated performances at local events in the community.  It comes as no surprise that her favorite hobbies are dancing, singing and acting.  In the future, she aspires to pursue a career as a postpartum nurse in order to help others.


Micah Lee
4-time Carson Scholar
Riviera Beach, FL
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Micah served as the social media and event coordinator for Dwyer’s Hope Ambassadors club, whose mission is to spread love, positivity and kindness throughout the school.  He also served as the committee head for community service and the parliamentarian in the Student Government Association and the secretary for his school’s newly reestablished Black Student Union.  Micah plans to major in Civil Engineering and, no matter what, continue to remain an active member in his community.


David Riley, II
2-time Carson Scholar
Atlanta, GA
Morehouse College

David is a volunteer and mentor for the Chessology School for Chess Education, a comprehensive chess program for students aged five through thirteen.  He has dedicated more than 150 hours to tutoring and mentoring over 25 chess students and plays a key role in organizing chess tournaments, including an online international event.  David also volunteers for Plywood People, a nonprofit that trains and supports a global community of social impact leaders, by participating in and supporting entrepreneurial workshops.  He has also served as president of his school’s Computer Science Club and co-founder and vice president of a student group where fathers and sons read and discuss books on various subjects, including leadership and financial literacy. 


Benjamin Sledge
4-time Carson Scholar
Harrison, TN
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Benjamin is the outreach leader for the STEM Electric Car Club which allows students to take on the roles of designers, parts coordinators, project managers, marketing directors, engineers and drivers and exposes them to various engineering fields.  Benjamin’s leadership has provided the club with top scores on presentations and a sponsorship from Volkswagen.  He also serves as a leader in the 4K Microscopy Club, through which he has access to a medical-grade microscope to conduct studies and create lesson plans for elementary students with the microscope at the center of their focus.  Finally, he is a coordinator for the STEM Jubilee, an event designed to engage local elementary students in STEM through hands-on activities.  Benjamin plans to pursue a career as an electrical engineer to promote sustainability by improving renewable energies, creating faster electric vehicle chargers and a trash can that automatically sorts waste into recyclables or compost.


Andaiye Smith
3-time Carson Scholar
Laurel, MD
Howard University

Andaiye served on the executive board of her school’s Student Government Association (SGA).  This role allowed her to plan student activities, work with the student body and represent the SGA at monthly PTSA meetings, Board of Education meetings and county Student Council meetings.  She has also been co-captain of her school’s dance team for three of her four seasons and has co-led 15 dance performances at sports events and school-wide activities.  Andaiye is the owner and founder of her own business, Andaiye Smith Photography and Graphic Design, which she launched during the pandemic to provide creative solutions to small businesses and entrepreneurs.  She aspires to become a mechanical engineer and hopes to combine her academic studies with practical applications to address challenges within her community.


The Patterson HBCU Scholarship for Carson Scholars will once again be available to students graduating high school in 2025 and attending a HBCU.  Scholarship winners will receive a $5,000 award to be used toward tuition, books and/or room and board.  Recipients also have the opportunity to renew the scholarship for up to three consecutive years.  Please email for more information.

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