Bellarmine University honored its second class of Louisville Century Scholars (LCS) during an award ceremony at the university May 19. The eight students, who are graduating this year from local high schools, received full tuition scholarships to attend Bellarmine in the fall.
The Louisville Century Scholars program reflects Bellarmine's commitment to access and affordability, creating talent pipelines to address the need for an educated, diverse and inclusive workforce while driving social and economic mobility in the community.
The scholarships cover the full cost of tuition and on-campus housing after other aid is applied.
“I’m so thankful and excited for this opportunity,” said Brianna Lea Thornton of Waggener High School. “This is the best option for me.”
Brianna plans to study Political Science and get heavily involved on campus.
“I’ve always known Bellarmine is a good school and I love that this is a small community, where students are appreciated. You’re not just a nameless face,” she said.
To be eligible, applicants from qualifying schools must have a strong grade point average and successful interview with a Bellarmine scholarship selection committee. While enrolled at Bellarmine, students will participate in program activities such as peer mentoring and community service.
Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine’s president, spoke at the ceremony, welcoming the students and their families to Bellarmine.
“I’m so glad you’re joining us,” said Dr. Donovan. “It was a highly selective process and you’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point. We’re going to hold you up as the best and the brightest Bellarmine has to offer. Whether you live on campus, or commute, Bellarmine is your new home. You’re a Knight forever.”
One in four students who start their undergraduate studies at Bellarmine are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, meaning their families need exceptional financial support to make college possible. Twenty six percent of Bellarmine’s incoming class in Fall 2021 identify as underrepresented minorities.
Students at the following Louisville high schools are eligible for the scholarship program: Butler, Central, Doss, Iroquois, Seneca, The Academy @ Shawnee, Waggener and Western. These schools enroll the highest local percentages of underrepresented students in the Louisville community.
Sarah Hitchings, principal of Waggener High School, said she was ecstatic for the three students from her school who received awards. As a Bellarmine alumna, she knows the quality education they will receive, she said.
“I told them it was like winning the lottery,” she said. “They’ll get an experience of a lifetime.”
Muslima Alokozai said she has wanted to come to Bellarmine since her first year at Central High. She attended a program on campus and immediately connected with the environment and the community, she said.
Muslima was born in Afghanistan, then moved to Russia, before her parents immigrated to the U.S. in search of better opportunities for their family.
At Bellarmine, she plans to study Neuroscience in the Pre-Dentistry track to become an orthodontist. She said she hopes she can be an inspiration to other young Afghanistan women who have dreams of pursuing college, too.
“As an Afghanistan woman, I’m very grateful to be here and have this opportunity,” she said.
Joshua O.D. Williams, Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, and Dr. Jordan Rose Wiehebrink, Director of Enrollment Strategy and Innovation, will support and mentor the scholars throughout their tenure at Bellarmine.
Rising high school seniors that are interested in applying for the scholarship may learn more about the opportunity online or contact Williams via email for additional information.
Louisville Century Scholars 2022 Cohort
William Harrison Clifford
Amina Abdullahi Ibrahim
Kiana M Jordan *
Joshua Tyler McGaughey
Abigail Rhiannon Rains
Brianna Lea Thornton*
Juan Carlos Ramos Vega
*Michael and Marilyn Gauss School of Education Scholars - an honorary recognition of LCS recipients pursuing a degree in education
Click here to see additional photos from the ceremony.