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Rising Seniors Alleyah Caesar and Skylr Smith are Named HBCU Competitiveness Scholars

August 2020

Skylr Smith Named HBCU Competitiveness ScholarTwo Spelman students have been selected by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities as 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars.  Alleyah Caesar and Skylr Smith, both seniors, are among 44 students from 33 historically Black colleges and universities selected to receive the recognition.

Smith, a St. Louis, Missouri native and SSGA vice president, plans to use her major in political science and minor in education studies coupled with system thinking and dynamics to one day resolve the inequalities of education systems through policy-making.

"I am humbled to serve as one of the national representatives for our institution," said Smith. "I look forward to working with the program to provide more opportunities and resources for Spelman students."

Scholars are chosen based on their academic achievements, campus and civic involvement and ambitious spirits.

"The recognition of my hard work instills the confidence in me to work to the best of my ability in the interests of our institution," said Caesar. "I am more than grateful for this opportunity and hope to use this platform to advocate on behalf of many other first-generation college students."

Alleyah Caesar Named HBCU Competitiveness ScholarA history major and sociology minor, Caesar is an aspiring attorney who is passionate about restorative solutions for alleviating extreme rates of imprisonment. She hopes to translate this commitment into action by becoming a Public Interest attorney who engages with marginalized communities to increase resiliency in the face of mass incarceration. Previously, she worked towards that goal by interning at The Council for Court Excellence (CCE), a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization that makes policy recommendations for courts in the D.C. area.

Due to COVID-19, the Initiative plans to develop a robust calendar of virtual events for the scholars that will explore, exchange ideas and share best practices around leadership, professional development, career pathways and government resources.

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