Today, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter announced the four winners of The Formation Scholars Award for the 2017-2018 academic year.
The establishment of the merit scholarship program was announced on April 24, in celebration of the one-year anniversary of LEMONADE, her critically-acclaimed and globally-lauded visual album, through her BeyGOOD initiative.
Current and incoming female undergraduate and graduate students at Berklee College of Music, including those enrolled at the college’s campuses in Boston and Valencia, Spain, Berklee online and Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Howard University in Washington, DC, Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City, and Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, were eligible for the scholarships.
The Formation Scholars award encourages and supports young women who are bold, creative, conscious, confident and unafraid to think outside the box. Students’ disciplines included creative arts, music, literature and African-American studies. All applicants maintain a 3.5 GPA or above and submitted a short essay stating how LEMONADE inspired their educational goals. All finalists and winners were selected by committees from the colleges and universities.
The winners are:
Berklee College of Music
Sadiya Ramos is currently studying dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She is originally from Suffern, New York. Ramos began dancing at the age of six under the guidance of Arthur Mitchell at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she was asked to perform with their ensemble at the Kennedy Center and the White House. By age eight, she was studying at Ballet Academy East’s pre-professional program with Darla Hoover. Ramos worked with François Perron at the French Academie of Ballet as a teenager, where she acquired the instruction needed to develop her individual style and improve her performance skills. She joined the Paul Taylor Teen Ensemble four years later to increase her knowledge of modern dance after her classical ballet training. During her time there, she performed as a soloist in an excerpt from Taylor’s Brandenburgs. While training with the Debbie Allen Dance Academy during the summer of 2015, Ramos was invited to perform with Allen’s dancers for the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics at the Los Angeles Coliseum for an audience of 62,000. She was also selected to dance on stage as Stevie Wonder performed at the event.
Maya Rogers is a songwriter and vocalist who believes in the power that music has to heal, connect us with one another, and help us understand ourselves more deeply. Maya has returned to school to study music therapy after recovering from a traumatic brain injury in 2013. She describes her recovery as the most frightening and fascinating time of her life, and music played a large role in her regaining the ability to read, write, play music, and sing. Maya will be the first student to graduate from Howard University with a certificate in Music Therapy, a program that was created with her in mind. In 2015, Maya created Her.Voice, a program empowering young girls through singing and creative writing. Maya received her bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music, and can be heard on television and in films such as Alpha Dog, Made In Hollywood, and Hearts of Christmas.
Parsons School of Design at The New School
Avery Youngblood is a recent Stanford University graduate, Class of 2016 and an undergraduate student in the AAS (Associates) Graphic Design program at Parsons School of Design at The New School, Class of 2018. From Dallas, Texas, and one of six children, she loves being with her family and her four dogs at home. As an undergraduate at Stanford she studied Linguistics and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Avery discovered that it was possible to translate her creative curiosity for design by focusing on language and the social interaction that takes place in our multicultural society, and the variety of platforms we use to connect with one another. As we reach across boundaries of race, gender, sexuality, religion, political stance, and so much more, Avery is prepared to take an active role in building relationships and reaching out to an audience that represents the diversifying voices of our social world through design and other creative outlets.
Bria Paige is a rising junior English major at Spelman College from Jackson, Mississippi. At Spelman, Bria is invested in her academics as she maintains membership in the Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program, Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, and is a Dean’s List scholar. In addition, Bria holds various leadership positions, including Spelman Student Government Association (SSGA) secretary of academic affairs and co-president of the English Club. Previously, she served as Sophomore Class Council president, managing editor of The BluePrint and treasurer of the English Club. Recently, Bria was selected as a UNCF Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, which will provide support and training towards her plan to pursue doctoral studies in English literature and Black feminist scholarship. Bria will attend the Mellon program’s summer institute at Emory University before returning to Spelman in the fall.
Founded in 2013 during the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, BeyGOOD is an extension of Beyoncé’s charitable heart. Through impactful dynamic partnerships, BeyGOOD’s mission is to set an example of giving back and paying it forward while empowering others to do the same with what they have in their own communities. BeyGOOD is built on the belief that we are all in this together and each and every one of us can make a difference by giving back.