Fifty thousand dollars would go a long way for any college student. But as MPB's Ashley Norwood reports, for first-generation students at historically black Tougaloo College the difference could be life changing for generations to come.
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is awarding four $50,000 scholarships to high performing first-generation students at historically black colleges. Ronnell Brewer is one of this year's recipients. As the first in his family to go to college, he hopes his journey at Tougaloo will inspire his younger sister to pursue higher education as well.
"I'm just trying to be a positive role model to her so she will know that someone like her brother went to college and so she will have an easy pathway and know what to do. If she ever needs help she come back and look at me," said Brewer.
Fifty percent of the nation's college population is comprised of students whose parents never went beyond high school.The think tank, New America, says the number at historically black schools is even higher.
President Beverly Wade Hogan says HBCU's are very important because they help a lot of people get to college that otherwise wouldn't.
"These young people come to HBCU's and they are met where they are and taken to where they need to be to become successful in life," said Hogan.
Brewer says once he completes undergrad, he plans to pursue a graduate degree in Mass Communications.
"People I be around, they know that I'm trying to better myself with my education," said Brewer.
Tougaloo is the only private institution selected for the scholarship. Four students at the Tougaloo received the award. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.