Collett Charlton named Apple HBCU Scholar, pursuit of excellence earns her a spot in prestigious Thurgood Marshall College Fund Program

When Collett Charlton compares her success as a student at Alcorn State University to her humble beginnings in rural Jamaica, she constantly realizes how blessed she is to have risen above the circumstances of her community to embark on her educational quest.

“I’m the first person in my immediate family to earn a full scholarship, attend college, and come to America, so being here is like a dream come true,” said Charlton. “I could have been working back home in one of the grocery stores; there are so many people who didn’t get the opportunity that I did. When I think about home, it inspires me to work hard not only for me but for them as well. I want to be a good representative of my hometown.”

So far, the senior computer science major is keeping her promise to make her community proud. She was recently selected as a recipient of the 2019 Apple and Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Initiative’s Apple HBCU Scholars Program.

Charlton will participate in a 12-week internship during summer 2019 and will receive up to $25,000 in need-based funding that will be applied to the academic year immediately following her internship period. Each scholar will have an Apple mentor throughout their experience, receive an opportunity to develop critical skills, enhance their resumes, and help launch their careers through the hands-on experience gained at one of the top tech companies in the world.

She will also serve as Apple’s campus ambassador at Alcorn. Her role includes participating in any Apple or TMCF activities that are hosted by the university.

The opportunity opens up a wealth of possibilities for Charlton. Her upcoming internship could be the catalyst for a career with Apple, which is something that she’s hoping for.

“Apple is definitely on my list of companies that I would like to work with. To be allowed to intern with them is like a dream come true. It is on my list because I want a career in technology, and Apple has a great reputation. Apple is a tech giant who cares a lot about the products it delivers to its customers.”

Participating in the internship will give Charlton insight into the working world of technology. She anticipates enhancing her skills along with becoming an expert in other aspects of the tech field.

“The experience will be beneficial because I will get hands-on experience and first-hand knowledge of what it’s like in the corporate world. I will not only get a chance to apply my classroom knowledge to assigned tasks but also I will learn new skills.”

Once Charlton’s career takes off, she hopes to take the knowledge she acquires and use it to benefit her people in Jamaica. She believes that with the right tools, they can achieve success.

“I would like to start several businesses to provide more employment opportunities for those back home. I also aspire to start a business that focuses on teaching computer literacy and coding so students can find jobs after high school. I think this alternative will help prepare them for a college computer program.”