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

WASHINGTON, DC — The Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO) awarded the CAO Undergraduate Research Scholarship, administered through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, to three students currently attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The merit-based scholarship is offered to undergraduate applicants obtaining degrees in fields of study related to CAO’s mission of expanding educational, social and economic opportunities in fragile communities. The scholarship provides students with $7,500 for the academic year and connects them to leaders in their respective field of study. Recipients were selected for their academic success and passion for pursuing careers that will contribute to expanding opportunity.

The three scholarship winners are:

Tenesha Washington of Macon, Mississippi. Washington is a junior majoring in criminal justice at Florida A&M University. She hopes to “pay it forward toward the next generation as a positive social change agent and reaffirm that education is the most powerful tool in reforming our criminal justice system.”

Tyler Americo of South Charleston, West Virginia. Americo is a senior majoring in criminal justice at West Virginia State University. He is “looking toward the future of our country with a dynamic goal of socio-economic transformation, economic progress and success in overcoming boundaries to opportunity.”

Martez Hodges of Harvey, Illinois. Hodges is a junior majoring in education at Central State University. “Access to educational, social and economic resources is vital and necessary for the success, growth and development of our nation’s fragile communities,” he said. “CAO’s mission will lead us [students] in the right direction of solving the problems that plague our society today.”

“All people deserve a quality education to enhance their opportunities and help them achieve their dreams,” said Gerard Robinson, executive director of CAO. “Ensuring students who attend HBCUs have a voice in national conversations about issues that impact their communities is key. I am delighted to extend the scholarships to these students, and I am confident they will go on to be forces for change in their communities. We are proud to call these students CAO scholars.”

Each CAO Undergraduate Research Scholarship recipient may receive up to $7,500 per year to apply to their tuition and fees.