Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) recent graduate Shereca Florestial received the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship (FDBS) from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) today. Florestial, from Kissimmee, Florida, who was a Health Information and Informatics Management major, received a $10,000 scholarship. “I’m really excited and I am living proof that you can go anywhere from FAMU,” said Florestial.
The program awards two $10,000 in scholarships each year to exceptional Historically Black College or University (HBCU) seniors who demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service, and unmet financial need. FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., said “This is our number one priority to support our students, especially those who have unmet need to complete their education. We have to help them identify the resources to help them get through. This makes a huge difference.”
The Frederick Douglass Scholarship was established by Tony Signore whose deep admiration was instilled in him in 1982 by the Jesuits at Fordham University. The Signore family designed and funded the program to recognize this historic leader, providing scholarship support to outstanding young women and men attending HBCUs. Signore said, “Florestial embodies clearly what Frederick Douglass hoped for. Her commitment to education and her perseverance is an inspiration to so many people.”
Signore was joined by UNCF Regional Director Warren Williams, who added, “We were so impressed by Shereca’s essay and her story of being a non-traditional student who came back to finish her degree after taking some time off.” Additionally, Florestial received a portrait of Frederick Douglass that each scholarship recipient is presented.
Applicants for the scholarship must be enrolled full-time as a rising senior at any accredited public or private four-year HBCU; possess a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale; demonstrate a commitment to community service; have a demonstrated unmet financial need as verified for their college or university; and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Mr. Signore and his family are strong advocates for HBCUs and they look forward to meeting the FDBS scholars and visiting their campuses.