Joy Applewhite becomes first Alcorn student to earn the ETS Presidential Scholarship

The ambition of one Alcorn State University senior is motivating her to reach incredible heights in her final year of college.

Joy Applewhite became the first Alcorn student to receive the Educational Testing Services (ETS) Presidential Scholarship for Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Students in September.

In recognition of ETS’s long-standing collaboration with HBCUs, the ETS Presidential Scholarship supports rising juniors and seniors who have established a record of outstanding academic performance in college, both overall and in their major field, and who exhibit an interest in leadership in their chosen field. The student must be recommended by the president of their college or university for their outstanding academic college performance.

A full tuition scholarship for one academic year is granted to four students attending private HBCUs and four students attending public HBCUs.

Being one of eight HBCU students to earn the scholarship took Applewhite by surprise. Part of her reasoning for applying for the scholarship was to inform other students of the opportunity.

“I applied with hopes of bringing attention to our school for future applicants,” said Applewhite. “After the initial feeling of surprise, I felt proud and happy. I shared with those who helped me to achieve the scholarship. I am extremely proud to be one of the four public HBCU students to receive this highly competitive scholarship.”

Earning the scholarship is a continuation of an amazing, and busy, year for Applewhite. This summer, she participated in the Pre-Law Scholars Summer Enrichment Program at Howard University’s School of Law. She recounts the internship as a wonderful experience, and one she feels provided her with unparalleled legal skills.

“I really enjoyed my experience at Howard. It gave me the same bubbly feeling I had when I visited Alcorn back in high school. I met wonderful, like-minded people that I will forever be connected to. My cohorts amplified the greatness of the Howard experience.”

With so much on her plate, Applewhite makes sure to complete all of her priorities. She said the key to managing her hectic schedule is not to worry about things that are beyond her control.

“It is truly a balancing act,” said Applewhite. “I try to keep a positive mindset and remind myself that I can only control what is within my power to control. Stress management is a major factor in my life, and I attempt to shut down and rest to allow myself to take a break or enjoy myself.”

Applewhite encourages her peers to pursue their dreams and strive for excellence.

“I encourage everyone to go after your dreams. You have to live your life and achieve your dreams for yourself. I never imagined I would be this far in my story, and I hope to continue to add more to it as I grow and mature.”