Texas HBCU students become finalists in Propel Center scholarship program Photo: Adobe Stock Images

Four Texas HBCU students are finalists for the Propel Center 2022 Student Impact Scholarship program to the tune of $1 million. 

The global HBCU technology and innovation hub collaborated with Apple and Southern Company to support students interested in pursuing careers in agri-tech, energy and health, business, social justice, and arts and entertainment. 

The 89 finalists from 34 HBCUs had to be sophomores, juniors, seniors, or graduate students to qualify. The cohort is expected to receive $10,000 in academic scholarship funds and cutting-edge work-based learning opportunities. 

The names of the Houston area finalists are:

  • Huston Tillotson University – Ckyra Anthony, Idris Oyebamiji, and Samuel Oyetakin
  • Paul Quinn College– Darion Barrie
  • Texas Southern University– Joshua Gibson
  • Prairie View University– Devaughn Pryor

Propel Center hosted an Instagram (IG) live conversation with “HBCU Buzz” with Dr. Charles Gibbs, president of Propel Center-HBCU Consortium, and HBCU student scholarship winners discussing the benefits of the award.

“These students that have received this scholarship, one of the things that were a prerequisite is you have to commit to being mentored, and you have to commit to work-based learning experiences, which means we put boots on the ground, said Gibbs on IG Live. “We want to put you in positions where you can learn and understand corporate strategy. [To] understand where the workforce for the 21st century and beyond is going.”

In an official statement, Gibbs said this opportunity would level the playing field for Black scholars at HBCUs. Applicants were tasked with creating an infographic and video describing their career interests in one of the designated industry pillars aligned with Propel’s mission. 

Devaughn Pryor is a junior mass communications major at Prairie View A&M University. He said being a finalist for the Propel Center Scholarship will help him financially as he works to complete his degree.

“I’m from California, and I live off campus. I’m still fighting to pay in-state tuition, and it costs my family about $13,000 a semester,” Pryor said. “My parents have done their duty getting me to this point, and it wouldn’t be fair that they spend all this money to keep me in school when I know they are looking forward to retirement. It’s unrealistic, and taking out loans I can’t afford isn’t either. This scholarship helps relieve the stress. It means so much to me.”

The application process for the fall semester is closed, but Gibbs said prospective candidates for the center’s second cohort should anticipate the application reopening in the spring. 

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...