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Students Receive Financial Support, Make Alumni Connections through Our Time Has Come Scholarship Program
As an Our Time Has Come scholar, Abigail Covington ’19 had the opportunity to connect with a longtime supporter of Syracuse University students at the 2017 Coming Back Together (CBT) reunion. The triennial event draws black and Latino alumni back to campus to reengage with the University.
During one of several events in which alumni and current students meet, Covington had lunch with Dave Bing ’66, H’06, Detroit’s former mayor, NBA Hall of Famer and entrepreneur—and inaugural chair of the Our Time Has Come (OTHC) Scholarship campaign over 30 years ago.
“He told me what it was like to be at Syracuse back then and how his transition and role in shaping the lives of young people contributes to his philanthropy today,” says Covington, a writing studies, rhetoric and composition major in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Special opportunities to engage with alumni have been among the highlights of the OTHC Scholarship Program for Covington, who is one of 58 scholars this year. The program, through the Office of Multicultural Advancement, supports African American and Latino students through a variety of scholarships based on financial need.
“The Our Time Has Come Scholarship Program is funded by alumni and friends of the University who have an interest in helping diverse students,” says Assistant Vice President Rachel Vassel ’91, of the Office of Multicultural Advancement. “The scholarship can provide a much-needed boost to students with an unmet financial need, who may also be first-generation college students who would benefit from additional support.”
Students can find information on the program and apply using the online application site. The deadline to apply for the 2019-20 academic year is Friday, June 28. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
The scholarship program is designed to provide extra financial support so that students can focus on reaching their highest potential.
“Being an OTHC scholar has given me a deep appreciation and insight for the legacy of black and brown alumni at Syracuse University,” says Covington, a senior class marshal. “You begin to realize that you’re part of this tapestry that has deeply affected the overall student experience.”
Highlights of the program also include monthly leadership sessions and volunteer opportunities, says Angela Morales-Patterson, assistant director of alumni and donor engagement in the Office of Multicultural Advancement, who operates the program.
Also new for the program is the pairing of alumni mentors with students, based on their interests, and industry immersion experiences. Last year, the group of scholars visited Turner Broadcasting in New York City—with a tour organized by Multicultural Advancement Advisory Council Member Kristin Bragg ’93—and learned about internship opportunities.
“Our goal is to develop programs so that all OTHC scholars have an internship during the summer and a permanent job upon graduation,” Morales-Patterson says.
Along with the various opportunities, students build relationships with fellow scholars. “These students are very close, and that’s what we want to do—create a family—so they can build on their relationships here and beyond,” Morales-Patterson says.
Covington encourages students to apply to the program and be prepared to be involved.
“This program is not just a scholarship but an opportunity to network and develop leadership skills,” says Covington, who hopes to become a creative brand storyteller and strategist. “I would tell students to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”
For more information about the Our Time Has Come Scholarship Program, contact Morales-Patterson.