Center for Advancing Opportunity Awards Scholarships to HBCU Students and Alumni Studying Criminal Justice and Education

WASHINGTON, DC — The Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO) announced today the winners of the CAO Undergraduate Research Scholarship and CAO Doctoral Fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year. Each merit-based award is administered through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and is offered to undergraduate and graduate students obtaining degrees in fields of study related to CAO’s mission. This mission is to develop evidence-based solutions to the most pressing education, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice issues in fragile communities throughout the United States. The undergraduate scholarship provides students with up to $7,500 for the academic year, and the graduate fellowship provides $10,000 or more for the academic year. Awardees were selected for their academic success and passion for pursuing careers that will contribute to expanding opportunity.

2019-2020 CAO Undergraduate Scholarship Winners:

Jasmine King, Jackson State University (Pre-Law)
Hometown: Vicksburg, MS

“As a recipient of the research scholarship from the Center for Advancing Opportunity, I have an opportunity to focus on community engagement and involvement.”

Rozalyn Wingate, Howard University (Humanities)
Hometown: Lexington, KY

“The Center for Advancing Opportunity has given me an opportunity to rediscover my passions about myself, research, and educational development.”

CAO Doctoral Fellowship Winners:

Edward Bennett IV, Florida State University (Social Work)
Hometown: Parrish, FL

“The Center for Advancing Opportunity fellowship affords me an opportunity of a lifetime to pursue a doctoral degree in Social Work with a strong emphasis on education. Fusing these two disciplines will allow me to ameliorate the school-to-prison pipeline by engaging parents, families and communities in the child’s educational processes.”

Jennifer Bourgeois, Texas Southern University (Criminal Justice)
Hometown: Houston, TX

“As a Center for Advancing Opportunity Fellow, I am most excited about the guidance and support I will receive as I matriculate through the Administration of Justice doctoral program. I stand firm in knowing that as a fellow I will have support from the CAO network as I identify issues, and develop data-driven solutions, to remove barriers to opportunities in fragile communities.”

April Greene, Howard University (Criminal Justice/Education)
Hometown: Bowie, MD

“Through my Center for Advancing Opportunity fellowship, I am able to conduct research that directly impacts populations who need it most. This is an incredible opportunity!”

Precious Hardy, University of Missouri–Columbia (Education)
Hometown: East Saint Louis, IL.

“The Center for Advancing Opportunity is an extraordinary program and it has been an honor to be apart of it for three years. The continuous support allows me to write research papers and present my findings at national conferences.”

Phylicia Taylor, Jackson State University (Business)
Hometown: Lauderhill, FL

“The Center for Advancing Opportunity has truly been a blessing to me by allowing me to pursue my Ph.D. without the worry of a financial burden. The great thing about CAO is the network and academic support the organization provides to myself and other fellows.”

“All students deserve a quality postsecondary education to help them achieve their personal and professional dreams,” said Gerard Robinson, executive director of CAO. “Ensuring students who attend HBCUs, or earned a degree from one, have access to funding is one way CAO is advancing the talent pipeline to-and-through higher education.”