JoAnna Jones of Asheville, North Carolina, is the winner of the Tom Joyner Foundation® “Full Ride Scholarship” that will cover full tuition, room and board (on-campus only) and books up to 10 semesters.
Tom Joyner, the Foundation’s chairman and founder, announced his scholarship today during the Tom Joyner Morning Show, which airs on 100 stations and reaching a broadcast and digital audience of more than eight million listeners every week. Jones, a graduating senior from Asheville’s Buncombe County Early College High School, was selected from hundreds of applicants for the scholarship.
Jones plans to attend Winston Salem State University in Winston Salem, N.C. because of its science and nursing-related courses. The impressive18-year-old also is graduating with an Associates’ of Arts Degree from Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. She became inspired to pursue a career in the medical field after participating in the Minority Medical Mentoring Program, where she had a chance to shadow members of the medical field everyday after school. In her application essay, she discussed how doctors treated one patient who they learned had been overmedicated.
“I’m so grateful for this scholarship,” said Jones, who also worked as a lifeguard and a swim instructor. “I want to get into healthcare to make the people connections and to right by someone’s side when they’re going through the worst thing in their lives.”
Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated morning radio show, said, “JoAnna is one of those amazing students who will benefit from the nurturing and family atmosphere that HBCUs provide. She’s going to do great things in this world. I’m so glad the Foundation is going to be a part of her success.”
Stefanie Buckner, who wrote a recommendation for Ms. Jones, said, “JoAnna is a determined, goal-oriented, confident young lady that will be a leader in the health care profession in the very near future.” Julie Maimes, Jones’ science teacher, wrote, “JoAnna is the most exceptional student I have had the opportunity to teach in my career. She is diligent, responsible, dedicated to her education and committed to serving her community.”
Jones is the fifth Tom Joyner Foundation Full Ride Scholar. Previous winners includeTitus Ziegler Jr., of Atlanta’s Inman Middle School who served as a commander of the elite Junior ROTC Color Guard and Cheyenne Boyce of Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Spelman College in Atlanta and is currently a Fulbright Scholar in Malaysia where she is teaching English. Blaine Robertson of Reserve, La. is graduating from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a B.S. in mathematics, a B.A. in history with a minor in secondary education. The first winner, Britney Wilson of Brooklyn, N.Y., is graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University. Ms. Wilson will be working in the New York offices of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
To retain the scholarship, students had to meet the required academic standards each semester. Graduating high school seniors applied for the scholarship by going to TomJoynerFoundation.org. To be eligible, students had to meet the following criteria: 1.) Be a United States citizen; 2.) Be a current high school senior attending school in the United States. Each applicant must complete high school in the spring of 2015; 3.) Have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 grade scale, excluding home school studies) and minimum SAT score of 1300 (math and verbal only) or ACT score of 28; 4.) Applicants had to apply and be accepted to an HBCU by July 1, 2015; 5.) Applicants must have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service and extracurricular activities.
Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has raised more than $65 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges. It has assisted more than 29,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs. To learn more about the Foundation, go to TomJoynerFoundation.org.