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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Michelle Truong
Greetings from Northern California! My name is Michelle Truong and I am a rising senior at Syracuse University majoring in Public Relations and Marketing Management, with a minor in Spanish. My passion for using communications to foster community has led me to be very involved on and off-campus. I am currently the Vice President of Business for WJPZ-FM Radio, a resident advisor, a member of the Forever Orange Student Alumni Council, and a brother of the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. Being abroad last semester in Madrid I was not only able to immerse in various cultures, but also develop my fluency in Spanish. 

I first heard about TLF through Newhouse’s career center my freshman year and knew I wanted to apply to the scholarship to further my knowledge and network in public relations. TLF’s mission to increase diversity in the communications and marketing fields is something very important to me. Growing up, I didn’t have anyone in my family working in these fields so I didn’t have a lot of guidance. I will continue to stay involved with TLF because I want to encourage the next generation of minorities to break barriers and work in communications fields. The only way we can diversify content in media and  is to be a part of the teams that come up with the ideas.  


My past experiences include interning with CPM Mass Public, a communications agency in Spain, Walt & Company, a tech PR agency in Silicon Valley, and I just completed an internship with SXSW as a Startup Research intern. Working in entertainment/media has always been a dream of mine. Compared to when I was younger, there is a huge increase in diverse content, but this is just the beginning. Media and entertainment should display the social makeup of the world we live in and this is why I am pursuing my dual degree. 


Thank you to my mom for always supporting my dreams and to TLF for giving me this opportunity.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Jahdiel Wingard
My name is Jahdiel Wingard and I am currently a first year student at Central Michigan University, where I am pursuing my degree in English and Public Relations. I wanted to get my degree in English and Public Relations because I have a very strong passion for writing and communication. 

I first heard about TLF through the scholarship search engine FastWeb. I wanted to apply to the scholarship firstly because it was directly tied into my intended career path, but also because of the attached networking and learning that came with the planned conference. I believe in TLF’s mission because I recognize the lack of diversity in the field of PR and hope to help change that. With this scholarship, I am now able to save money that would’ve otherwise been spent on tuition, to pay for dues to enter Sigma Tau Delta and PRSSA, which will help to build my skills and network.

Once I earn my degree, I hope to either pursue my own career as a creative writer, or to help others pursue their own creative goals as a PR agent. I want to pursue these goals because creativity and diversity have always been the foremost important aspects in my career path. I believe that it is necessary to have a diverse array of voices in fields specific to communication, because otherwise we risk our communications not being able to reach everyone.

Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I strongly believe in the power of building a diverse network of people around me, especially in the field of PR. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it is necessary for us to be able to give a voice to minorities through minorities.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Mahita Tekumalla
Hi, My name is Mahita Tekumalla and I am currently a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where I'm pursuing a degree in digital marketing. I chose this path because I am very interested in the utilization of marketing tactics through social media and learning about the analytics and effects on consumers.

I first heard about TLF through my friend, Hannah Bae, who was a 2019 TLF scholar. After learning more about TLF and its strive for diversity and inclusion, I knew I had to be part of this community. TLF’s mission is very important to me because it opens doors and grants opportunities for marginalized students in business. I believe because of TLF and its opportunities, we can create more inclusive and welcoming workplaces. As a TLF Scholar, I am now able to network and build strong connections with other inspirational people in this industry that have similar passions as me. 


After college, I hope to have a career in marketing analytics in the fashion industry, while I continue to advocate for diversity and inclusion. I want to pursue these goals because I believe there should be more WOC in these industries. I am very passionate about bringing diversity into marketing because I am an avid believer that if we all were to surround ourselves with people who think differently and came from different backgrounds then there will be a positive impact on ourselves and society.  


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to thank TLF and its staff for giving me a chance to be part of an amazing and inspiring network and continue to stay involved with this organization. I think what TLF is doing for students like me is amazing and I couldn't be more grateful. I can’t wait to see this community and network continue to grow.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Kofi Aidoo
My name is Kofi Aidoo and I am currently a Senior at Brigham University where I am pursuing my degree in Advertising Communications. I wanted to get my degree in Advertising because I am passionate about bringing untold stories to light and adding new perspectives to help brands connect with people on a deeper level. 

I first heard about TLF through another student at my university. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I was hoping to connect with more multicultural students in Advertising. I believe in TLF’s mission because minority students can add so much value to help businesses reflect the community they are advertising to. With this scholarship, I am now able to focus more on my studies and dedicate more time to building my portfolio as well as projects advocating for marginalized groups of people. 

After I graduate I hope to work at an advertising agency as a brand strategist. I am passionate about social justice and I have a goal to bring a diverse perspective into the advertising industry because the ads we are exposed to shape how we view the world and can ultimately help shape society. 

Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I admire the brilliant and extremely creative minds and would love to collaborate on future projects. I think the work TLF is doing is important because they are providing resources and opportunities for those of us who do not usually have access to them. I hope that I can also give back to the future generations because of the support I am receiving today. 

I am grateful for my parents, mentors, and classmates who have guided me and helped inspire me to achieve my goals.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Sophia Peng
My name is Sophia Peng and I am currently a sophomore student at University of Washington, where I am pursuing my degree in Marketing and Information Systems at the Michael G. Foster School of Business. Business is a path where I feel like my ideas and knowledge can bring forth positive innovation to the world. 

I first heard about TLF through the Foster School of Business. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I felt so encouraged by an organization that dedicates itself to supporting underrepresented minorities in my passion for marketing. I believe in TLF’s mission because it aligns with mine: I will always have the goal of improving other people’s lives by connecting to the community. With this scholarship, I am now able to take charge of my own finances of adulthood and live out my parents’ American dream through my role as an aspiring successful first-generation business woman.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to be a marketing specialist for consumer brands. I would put forth positive messages through business. Marketing shapes the society we live in, whether it’s strategically providing an open story about a social/political movement or bringing attention to new technologies that assist everyday activities. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because I want to serve as a role model and mentor for other first generation students like me, who have faced obstacles in pursuing a degree.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because

they are an impactful organization that serves a greater purpose in business. 

Thank you to all my collegiate advisors for guiding me throughout the path to my marketing career, and to TLF for the scholarship and support that will help me achieve my goals in marketing.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient William Sullivan
My name is William Sullivan and I am currently a rising Junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where I am pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a Marketing emphasis. During high school, I took both a Marketing and Entrepreneurship course where I realized I could combine my creativity and business mindset, which led me to pursue a degree in Business Marketing.

I first heard about TLF through a former recipient sharing their experience on LinkedIn. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because TLF’s mission directly aligned with the kind of continued membership and network I have longed for. With this scholarship, I am now able to increase my knowledge of marketing fields, while increasing my skills through coursework, travel, and other related programs.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to have a career as an Account Executive at an advertising firm or have a marketing role at a mid-size company. Pursuing those goals are important to me because by being in those spaces, I will be able to help someone like me in the future. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because having people with different backgrounds and cultural heritage brings unique perspectives and ideas to the table. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to stay involved with TLF because it is extremely important to have a network of like-minded individuals that have shared experiences. The work TLF is doing is important because having that representation and support system will continue to inspire students to pursue careers in marketing, advertising, and public relations.


I would like to thank my family for pouring unconditional love, determination, and support into my life. My peers for constantly challenging me to become a better version of myself each day. As well as my mentors and professors for inspiring me to continue my work and attain my goals.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Nathan Peppers
My name is Nathan Peppers and I am currently a second year student at the University of Cincinnati, where I am pursuing a degree in Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and a certificate in Film and Media Studies. From a young age, I fell in love with the practice of content creation. I spend much of my time in photography and filmmaking. I hope my academic advancement in my respective majors will help me hone my skills at the highest level.

I first heard about TLF through a campus organization called Business Fellows. The coordinator found the application online and forwarded it to me. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because it sounded like a wonderful collective of world changers. TLF values development in areas that may not be comfortable. I love this mission because it forces me to become a better student and leader. With this scholarship, I am now able to offset the cost of my room and board on campus. This financial alleviation allows me to focus my spending on camera gear, which will ultimately lead me to development in my craft.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to feel confident in my abilities. Upon graduation, I want to have learned marketable skills that will propel me into my professional career. I believe that this sense of confidence will be a key factor in my future job search. Furthermore, promoting a diverse workplace can help lead to better ideas and tactics, and I want to be an example of that trend. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because you never know where personal connections will take you. I have already used TLF as a resource for my own personal internship search, and I believe it will go a long way. I think the work TLF is doing is important because our world is changing. Minority groups are growing and becoming a larger segment of the mass population. This means that it’s to stay up to date on trends so that we are effectively marketing to new clients.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Isabella Martinez
Hello! My name is Isabella Martinez, and I am a sophomore transfer student attending the University of California - Riverside. I will soon study Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Public Policy with a minor in Spanish. During my time in community college, I was President for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Club and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. 

My interest in public relations is undeviatingly correlated with my internship experience through the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project (CLYLP). I had the ability to operate under the Program Manager, Board Members on distinct projects encompassing in website content, social media campaigns, press releases, and alumni spotlights. Furthermore, I've had the opportunity to serve as an AVID Tutor at San Jacinto High School and interned for Congressman Raul Ruiz. Through involving myself in CLYLP and as an AVID Tutor, I have been able to expose local high school students, community college students, and friends to pursue career paths in marketing/public relations. 

I discovered The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) through the Ultimate Scholarship Book 2020. When I observed TLF's mission to raise the number of ethnic minorities in advertising and marketing through mentorship, scholarships, and job openings, I knew I should apply. Since America is a changing marketplace, it's imperative that all individuals from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds must be able to represent themselves through different mediums. I am gratified that TLF is at the forefront of contributing to this endeavor. Fortunately, this scholarship will satisfy my tuition and books for my first quarter as a UCR student. Once obtaining my degree, I desire to stay engaged and advocate to promote TLF's resources to the LatinX community. 

I want to acknowledge The LAGRANT Foundation, CLYLP, and my family for encouraging my academic and career endeavors.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Diontay Santiago
My name is Diontay Santiago. I am currently a Senior student at Fordham University, where I am pursuing my degree in Marketing. I want to get a Marketing degree because I want to utilize my communication skills and tell the stories of different brands.

I first heard about TLF through an email from my university. I applied for the scholarship because I wanted to alleviate the financial burden put on my family. Additionally, I knew that TLF could provide me with professional networks. I believe in TLF’s mission because placing minorities in marketing firms and more will subsequently increase the amount of representation that people of color will get in the media. With this scholarship, I can focus more on my education as opposed to helping my family make ends meet. 


Once I earn my degree, I hope to work in the entertainment industry. I want to pursue these goals because I want to be able to bring diversity in terms of race and perspective to these kinds of companies. Bringing diversity into these kinds of industries is important because it shows that people with backgrounds similar to myself are capable of good work. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I believe in their mission. I think the work TLF is doing is important because I don’t know many other organizations working to increase diversity in advertising, marketing, and public relations. From my perspective, the work that TLF does is truly unique and necessary.


I want to say thank you to TLF for giving me the opportunity to explain the circumstances that led to my current GPA. I’m very grateful for not being judged solely by my GPA, but also by my character.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Nicholas Polk
My name is Nicholas Polk and I am currently a rising junior at Sam Houston State University. I am pursuing a degree in Mass Communications with minors in general business and political science. What motivated me to study these areas was my desire to immerse myself within the diverse fields of marketing and public relations.

While searching on LinkedIn for opportunities for ethnic minorities, I noticed a post regarding TLF scholarship.TLF sparked my interest because it wasn’t just a monetary reward. TLF also provides mentorship opportunities from a community of media professionals. I believe in TLF’s mission because historically minorities haven’t been represented in public relations, advertising, or marketing. By obtaining this scholarship it will assist me in relieving some of the financial burdens of school and it will open the door for me to expand my professional network. 


Once I obtain my degree, I aspire to start my career in a communications or digital marketing position within the entertainment industry. My desire to enter this select industry stems from my belief that I can make an impact within it by promoting diversity, representation, and inclusion. I believe diversity in advertising, marketing, and public relations is essential because the professionals in these fields control what society consumes regarding their content. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I will continue to have an active role with TLF due to their passion for increasing diversity in the area of communication is vital. By mentoring and supporting students like myself, TFL is assisting in changing the face of media.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Sally Nguyen
My name is Sally Nguyen and I am currently a second-year student at The University of Oregon majoring in Advertising and minoring in Business Administration. I was fueled by art as a young girl, and when I entered college, I knew I wanted to continue being a creative. 

I first heard about TLF in one of my advertising courses. Juan-Carlos Molleda came into my class to share his journey and career path. He talked about his involvement with TLF and the opportunities the foundation provided for students of color. I knew then that I wanted to be part of the TLF family. I wanted to join a community that will motivate me to create change. 


I believe in TLF’s mission because I want to see more representation of women and people of color in the media. We bring our stories and experiences to the field; only we know how to guide our story. 


After college, I hope to become a strategist or designer and merge my passion for art with my mission to change the narrative of women and POC in the media. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because the start of change begins with having more women and POC in the work-streams of advertising. 


With this scholarship, I am empowered to enter the world of advertising. I’m grateful for the career and professional development opportunities and mentorship that will help me grow in this constantly changing industry. 


I want to continue to stay involved because I believe in the values and work TLF is doing. It’s important to empower students of color and encourage them to pursue their passion and overcome imposter syndrome. 


Thank you to everyone at TLF for investing in my future and seeing the potential in me. It means everything to me.

 
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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Naiima Miller
My name is Naiima Miller and I am currently a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where I am pursuing my degree in marketing. I chose to study marketing because I love analyzing how people think and how that leads them to consume. 

I first heard about the LAGRANT Foundation through one of the directors in the School of Business. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I saw that it wasn’t just a check, but it was a network dedicated to providing students with aide not only in school but in their careers. I saw a group of people that wanted to help diversify the marketing field, which is very important to me, and I realized that their mission was something I wanted to be a part of. As a result of earning this scholarship, I will be able to focus on my education more with less stress of financing it.  

Once I earn my degree, I hope to become the marketing director of a retail company where I can bridge my love of fashion and business. Bringing diversity into my future field of work is important because I believe that clothing brands need more representation on both the company side as well as their models and PR campaigns. Fashion has made huge strides in terms of diversity, but I feel like there is a lot more that needs to be done.  

 
Beyond receiving this scholarship, I want to stay involved with TLF because they are true to their mission and purpose. I believe that the work TLF does is promising and will lead to great achievements. 
 
I would like to thank the scholarship committee as well as the entire foundation for the work that they do and how they continue to create promising careers for students. 
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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Donnie Minor
My name is Donnie Minor Jr. and I am a Sophomore at Central Michigan University pursuing my degree in Communications receiving a minor in Advertising and Leadership.  I am pursuing these degrees because I enjoy creating a story line through digital media and images.  I ultimately am interested in working in the sports industry combining my love for sports with my communication/advertising degree. 

I first heard about TLF through a close friend that went to my high school. I wanted to apply for the scholarship so I could learn more about the industry and the many opportunities the LAGRANT foundation represents.  I believe in TLF’s mission because of how the organization gives minorities a chance to excel and assist with closing the “gap” pertaining to minorities in this field.   By receiving this scholarship,  it will assist me in paying for my college expenses  and potentially allow me to study abroad to obtain international experiences.  
 
Once I earn my degree, I plan to work in sports advertising that will eventually lead to an Advertising Technologist or Senior Advertising Director responsible for the promotion of sporting events and athletes.   Being able to combine advertising with my love for sports is something I have always wanted to pursue, and I really enjoy.  Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because it allows me to adequately represent the way minorities are seen in the media.
 
Beyond receiving this scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I would like to give back and help someone as I have been assisted.  I think the work TLF is doing is important because it is a unique foundation that assist with increasing the number of minorities in which we are underrepresented in the areas of marketing, public relations and advertising. 
 
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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Susan Guo
My name is Susan Guo and I am a rising junior at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business pursuing a degree in Global Business concentrating in Marketing and Consumer Insights as well as Digital Media and Technology. Creativity is a powerful tool we all have, pursuing this path allows for me to express my creativity to problem solve and communicate.  

I first heard about TLF through an email from my university’s career center. After looking into the scholarship more, I was interested in becoming part of the community of like-minded hardworking individuals who come from similar backgrounds, as well as the resources the Foundation generously invests in its members. With this scholarship, I am encouraged to remain passionate about marketing and optimistic about my future career path. Upon graduating, I hope to become part of a passion-driven corporate marketing team that also values everyone’s creativity. Diversity is especially important in my field of work because campaigns without diversity in thought and culture often overlook details that may boost a campaign’s success or determine a campaign’s failure. 


TLF builds a community that supports and provides resources for success to individuals of similar backgrounds and career pursuits. TLF’s mission is trusted and I believe being a part of this community will open many doors and my eyes to the world of marketing. 


I would like to thank Professor Jennifer O’Neil for writing my letter of recommendation and for walking me through and breaking down my many spontaneous thoughts into manageable steps.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Elijah Morris
My name is Elijah Morris and I am currently a 3rd year student at The University of Georgia where I am pursuing my degree in Business Marketing. I wanted to get my degree in Marketing because I’ve discovered that I want to be the person behind the perception of a company. Marketing and branding is the first contact that a company has with potential customers and I’ve always wanted to be a part of the process that creates that interaction. 

I first heard about TLF through my school’s career center and I saw applying as a great opportunity to not only as financial resource, but also as a way to become better connected in the business world. Especially the minority leaders in business. I believe in TLF’s mission because I have seen and experienced the plight that many minorities in America have to overcome to accomplish to arrive where there are in their careers and the Lagrant Foundation has been extending opportunity for minority students for years. With this scholarship, I am now able to pay for my fall semester of classes without taking out my first loan. I have paid for each of my semesters of college out of my own pocket to avoid debt by working several jobs as I attend school full time. As I am taking classes this summer, I wouldn’t have enough money to pay for my 2020 fall semester. The Lagrant scholarship has made this possible for me.  


Once I earn my degree, I hope to work as a branding director to develop my professional skills before I eventually start my own business. I want to pursue these goals because I have seen examples of entrepreneurs not only create successful careers for themselves, but also bringing diversity and opportunity by providing a supportive work place. This is important to me because I want to not only make it for myself, but facilitate a work space that provides equal opportunity. I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I want to perpetuate the work of diversity and opportunity there are helping to create. 


I would like to thank ALL of my past employers for investing in my future career by teaching and mentoring me. My church, Good Shepard PCA, has been a place of support and comfort for which I am very thankful.

 
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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Riley Moscicki
My name is Riley Moscicki and I am currently a junior at St. John Fisher  College, where I am pursuing a degree in media management. I wanted to pursue a degree in media management because I developed a passion for writing and research. 

My professor had heard about TLF at a public relations conference where the scholarship was being discussed. She recommended all of her students who qualified apply for it because of the great resources provided for recipients. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I knew receiving the scholarship would help me expand my network, build a successful communications career and open doors for me I would normally not get. This scholarship will not only help relieve the financial burden of school but help me develop my professional career with the valuable resources and tools offered by TLF. 


Once I earn my degree, I hope to pursue a career in the travel and tourism or the food and beverage industry but I am open to other ventures as well. I am interested in these industries because I have always enjoyed the joy of traveling, meeting new people, and connecting through food. Bringing diversity into my field of work is extremely important because it allows companies to better understand different markets and respect cultures better. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I want to continue their mission and help anyway I can. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it shows minorities that their opinion and knowledge is important and needed to better enhance the communications industry.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Jasmine Lubin
My name is Jasmine Lubin, and I am a rising senior at the University of Florida pursuing my degree in public relations with a minor in event management. 

I decided to get my degree in public relations because I wanted more opportunities in the communications field. Through classes and internships, I have realized the importance of public relations and communications which has led me to become passionate about my field and the change it can bring.


I don’t remember how I discovered The LAGRANT Foundation scholarship, but I’m grateful I did. When I learned about LAGRANT’s mission to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the public relations, advertising and marketing fields, I knew I wanted to be a part of an organization that sees our potential. I believe in TLF’s mission because I believe minorities can make a big difference in their communities and around the world and inspire others to do the same. I want to stay involved with TLF because of its passion to help minorities succeed. Bringing diversity into this field of work is important because we need to be inclusive in key messaging to internal and external audiences and use communication to uplift diverse voices and backgrounds.


With this scholarship, I am now able to put the amount towards my academic costs and have  active participation in promoting diversity and inclusion. After I graduate, I hope to work in corporate public relations in the hospitality, entertainment or fashion industry.


Thank you to everyone who has believed in me, given me opportunities in my field and mentored me. I would like to thank my parents and family who have always encouraged me and pushed me to be my best self. Lastly, I would like to thank TLF for choosing me as a recipient for this scholarship.

 
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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Xochitl Torres
My name is Xochitl Torres, I’m a fourth-year student at California State University, Long Beach. My passion for the entertainment industry, photography, and culture led me to pursue a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in American Studies. 

After obtaining my degree, I hope to work in the entertainment industry within digital marketing or creative advertising. Being a film enthusiast, I want to collaborate with other creatives on entertainment marketing campaigns to connect with audiences. I want to help in developing a brand’s voice on social media and promote compelling content that will encourage consumers to engage with it. Entertainment shapes our culture and the content we consume impacts our identities. By supporting diverse narratives that reflect our culture, and actively implementing business initiatives, the industry can continue to progress and be more inclusive.

As someone who is committed to having more authentic representation in media and increasing the amount of inclusive opportunities for ethnic minorities in marketing, I avidly support TLF’s mission and the resources they provide for students. I’m a TLF alum from last year and decided to reapply to the scholarship because of the professional development and relationships I’ve built with industry professionals and students.

I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because of the opportunities and professional development they offer. The foundation is dedicated to opening doors for minority students and genuinely want to help the recipients succeed in all their endeavors.  The work TLF delivers aims to diversify the fields of communication and marketing, a crucial approach to inclusive storytelling and opportunities for ethnic minorities.

Thank you to The LAGRANT Foundation for selecting me as a 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship recipient. Thank you to Kim Hunter, the TLF board members, Christopher Juarez, and Camille Frigillana for their efforts to increase the number of ethnic minorities in these industries and for their commitment to student’s professional growth.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Malik Larkin
My name is Malik Larkin, and I received The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) scholarship in 2019 and 2020. I received the award while pursuing my degree in Graphic Design at Maryland Institute College of Art. At Maryland Institute College of Art, I’m a campus leader, club president of MICA Start, and resident advisor. In my professional field, I do freelance as a graphic designer in the esports industry, as well as event photography and apparel design production. As I continue to pursue my creative aspirations, I’m on course to receive my degree in 2022, a feat that would not have been possible without the support of TLF.

I first heard about TLF after meeting the TLF Chairman & CEO Kim Hunter, right before I started my freshman year in college. Mr. Hunter shared this fantastic opportunity and message on increasing the number of diversity in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations. This scholarship had an impact on me while I was in school, but it has also affected my professional career. TLF gave me the motivation and encouragement needed to become a competitive commissioner and applicant in my internship job search. Most importantly, this scholarship has helped me grow as a person in many ways, such as last summer's workshop where I had the pleasure to network and learn from many leaders in the advertising industry from P&G, Citizen, and many more. Including networking with other recipients who were doing amazing things in their own space, from influencers, entrepreneurs, and other freelancers who looked like me.


As a proud alumnus, I hope to see TLF’s impact on future students for many more years to come. I am a strong proponent of its mission because diversity in the workforce is essential, and I continue to stay involved because of their passion and outreach to my fellow students. I believe it is vital to keep the work TLF is doing because of their rarity, and we will be able to do so with the support from you.


Please consider joining me in supporting The LAGRANT Foundation so that we can continue the great work of shaping the future of bright, diverse leaders!

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Madeline Song
My name is Madeline Song, and I am an incoming 3rd-year student at UCLA, where I am pursuing my degree in Communications. 

My goal is to become a leader in the advertising and marketing industry in an effort to progress diversity and help expand positive impact and representation. I have a particular interest in lifestyle brands and want to leverage the power of the media and social voice to elevate the concerns, beliefs, and cultures of underrepresented minorities in order to more accurately represent the world. I want to share stories and messages that resonate with diverse people in creative, inventive ways to increase inclusivity and help these brands generate greater success. 


The LAGRANT Foundation is an incredible resource that has helped me progress towards my goals. It is a unique program dedicated to increasing the success and visibility of minorities in the industry and creates an important pipeline for talent. I believe that if there are more people that look like me working in this industry, making decisions and serving as models for the rest of the multicultural world, then significant change will result. 

 

Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF to give back to the community that has helped get me to where I am today. I hope to inspire others to show that we can break the status quo and become positive leaders in this industry. 

 

I would also like to thank my mother, a professional in multicultural marketing, who opened my eyes to the possibilities I can pursue. I also want to thank Kim Hunter for his commitment to students like me and for introducing me to positive mentors, such as Soon Mee Kim, Executive Vice President of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Porter Novelli. Thanks to them, I am able to learn and grow personally and professionally every day.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Nia Larry
My name is Nia Larry and I am currently a senior Strategic, Legal and Management Communications student at Howard University, where I am pursuing my degree in Advertising and a minor in Graphic Design. I chose a degree in advertising because I am passionate about bringing people together through amplifying voices of communities and creating authentic connections that could change conversations.

I first heard about TLF through searching for scholarship opportunities supporting minority advancement in the advertising industry, so it was natural that I applied when I saw the positive things they were doing to create that space for opportunity.  Applying to this scholarship was important for me because it aligned with my vision of learning through networking and accessible resources. I believe in TLF’s mission because people of color have a significant impact on industries today and it is important to create leaders who can carry those innovations forward. With this scholarship, I am now able to supplement my education by paying for classes that will help expand my understanding of communications. 


Once I earn my degree, I hope to better my community with what I have learned and go on to find my place in a career that I love. It has always been a dream of mine to open my own agency, so it will take doing the groundwork to build that dream into a reality. Diversity and inclusion is important now more than ever because businesses often benefit from the culture and service of ethnic minorities without regard to respecting their experiences, and I want to help change that narrative. Our voices are valid and valuable.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because the network is inclusive and supportive. The work The LAGRANT Foundation is doing is important because it is invigorating the next generation of leaders. 


I thank TLF for helping me better myself and the communities around me.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Britney Huston
My name is Britney Huston, and I am a rising sophomore at Alfred State College, where I am pursuing a degree in Marketing. I chose this major because the marketing field is so versatile. The possibilities of who I can work with and for are endless!

I discovered TLF on scholarships.com. I wanted to apply to this scholarship because it catered to minority residents who are interested in pursuing a career that heavily involves communication skills in business. I believe in TLF's mission because it grants minorities a chance to gain experience and knowledge about the business world.


Beyond receiving this scholarship, I want to continue to build my relationship with TLF because the organization is key to opening many doors, and I want to give back to the foundation someday. I believe the work of TLF is essential for people like me because it reminds us there is a position of importance waiting for us in the world of business.


Once I obtain my degree, I want to pursue a career as a creative director and writer because I have a passion for creativity. Bringing diversity into my field of work is vital because ethnic groups already inspire and change marketing through their culture and entertainment; it's time we take on roles in the offices as well.


For starters, I would like to thank the universe for leading me to this opportunity. Secondly, I would like to thank TLF because I know the selection process can be complicated; I am thankful that I am a recipient. Thirdly, I would like to thank my family and friends for all of their love and support. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am today. Lastly, I would like to thank myself for being a go-getter and a strong, intelligent, black woman.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Darrell Kelly
My name is Darrell Kelly II and I have recently completed my Freshman year at Prairie View A&M University, where I am pursuing a degree in Marketing with a minor in Sports Administration. I have chosen to pursue these studies because I have held an interest in working within the professional basketball industry since I was 14. 

I first heard about The Lagrant Foundation through a mentor who previously won a TLF scholarship award while attending Howard University, prior to graduating in 2011. I decided to apply to the scholarship because the recent death of my father has put my family in a financial predicament, making paying for college more difficult. TFL’s mission aligns heavily with my own values of generosity and being of service to those in need. By creating more opportunities for minorities, TLF places more minority students in a position to inspire the following generation. With this scholarship, I am now able to transfer to my preferred institution, University of Houston in the Fall 2020 term. 


Once I earn my degree, I hope to begin my career in the NBA, possibly working for the Houston Rockets marketing department. In addition, I plan to develop a basketball program for young teenagers in Texas to further their basketball skills and successes. These ambitions that I have placed upon myself stem from childhood, as I have continuously held a passion for basketball, marketing, and serving my community. Encouraging diversity into my professional endeavors is critical because it eliminates stereotypes and ultimately provides options for everyone to climb the ladder to their own success, despite the boundaries that are imposed upon us as minorities. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I wish to continue to stay involved with TLF because their core values and mission will continue to improve the lives of future minority college students who need assistance throughout their collegiate career. It is vital to help those who struggle to help themselves achieve their own desires, specifically those in the business culture. I think the work TLF is doing is important because the majority of minorities, including myself, have not been taught nor assisted on how to reach professional endeavors in the business field.


 I want to genuinely thank TLF for awarding me with the scholarship that eases a financial burden on my mother and making my dream school into my new reality.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Calista Huynh
My name is Calista Huynh and I am currently a rising senior at Parsons: The New School for Design pursuing a degree in Strategic Design and Management with a minor in Alternative Fashion Strategies, also referred to as sustainable fashion. My major encompasses a unique curriculum with courses focused in design and business. 

I first heard about TLF through my university’s scholarship advisor. I applied because TLF’s values align with my own, and I was interested in the educational experiences focused in communications. I believe in TLF’s mission because I have a personal responsibility to create opportunities for young girls to see themselves as communicators, entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators. With this scholarship, I am now able to fund my tuition for my last year of school.


Upon graduation, my goal is to secure a job in a creative environment that holds the same values as I do, specifically within the field of fashion or retail tech. I aim to increase my experience in corporate social responsibility, communications, impact management, and innovation. I want to pursue these goals because I hope to build a career that focuses on issues important to me, including sustainability and innovative business strategies that value transparency and ethics. I value bringing diversity into my field of work because I hope to communicate to minority women aspiring in the fashion industry that their perspectives and voices matter despite the hardships.


I plan to stay involved with TLF because it has continued to support my career and students in need. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it is changing the norm for future generations in terms of how we define diversity and inclusion.


I would like to thank Amani Gheith for her guidance as well as Kim Hunter and TLF’s team.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Eduardo Olivares
My name is Eduardo Olivares and I am currently a second-year student at the University of Oregon where I am pursuing my degree in advertising and business administration. I wanted to get my degree in advertising and business because I want to work with a creative team and help inspire other people of color. 

I first heard about TLF through my academic advisor. I wanted to apply for the scholarship because I wanted to network with students all over the nation and build connections with the Lagrant foundation and all the companies they work with. I believe in TLF’s mission because they truly care about the success of all the recipients and are always there providing support and opportunities. 


With this scholarship, I am now able to pay for my college education and also continue to build my business. Once I earn my degree, I want to do something I love and give back to my community. I want to pursue these goals because my community has always been there for me and I want to inspire other young people that were in the same position I was in. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because we bring new perspectives and cultures that benefit everyone. 


I want to thank the TLF foundation for their efforts in diversifying the advertising and public relations workforce and continuing to fund the dreams of many young people of color.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Rene Horne
Greetings! My name is Rene Horne and I am a Junior at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. I recently transferred to Lamar in Fall 2019 after serving eight years in the United States Navy. Public Relations, my current major, was not my first major or even a choice. With the guidance of my department chair, Dr. Natalie Tindall, and supporting professors, the public relations profession was revealed to me and I was hooked instantly. 

TLF was introduced to me by way of school email and it caught my attention right away. After reading the testimonials from previous recipients and learning about the assortment of sponsors, I felt that TLF was unique compared to other scholarships and foundations. From its mission to its actions in communities, I believe in TLF’s approach to not just provide a platform for minorities but to also aid various communities nationally and globally through education and mentorship. 


Now that I am one of the great recipients of this scholarship, I plan to build interpersonal skills, widen my perspective on media involvement, and develop learning outcomes that produce positive results for my community and school. 


After completion of my degree, I hope to work alongside other communication professionals in the corporate and non-profit environments to create paths for all individuals to pursue their dreams regardless of race, gender orientation, and religious preference. Another privilege of being a recipient is having a wide arrangement of mentors along the way to assist with my growth especially during the current pandemic. 


I am incredibly grateful to my family and mentors in the Navy, Target and Lamar University for pushing me, even while I kicked and screamed along the way. 


Thank you TLF for this opportunity. I look forward to creating alongside this foundation.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Jennifer Gray
My name is Jennifer Gray and I am currently a student at the University of Houston, where I am pursuing my degree in Technology Leadership Innovation Management. I wanted to get my degree in Technology Leadership Innovation Management because I possess an eagerness and a growing knowledge and skillset for developing and managing organizations and teams to solve problems and achieve satisfying results. So far, pursuing this degree has enabled me to focus on building necessary foundational leadership skills in technology and marketing subject matter expertise, communication and branding.

I first heard about TLF through the MANDEF scholarship newsletter. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I felt that I could not only benefit from it financially, but also become a part of the TLF family and one day give back, in return. I believe in TLF’s mission because of the essential focus that the organization places on helping minority students enter undiversified professions through providing scholarships, career and professional development workshops, internships, and mentorship programs. With this scholarship, I am now able to cover a portion of tuition costs.  


Once I earn my degree, I hope to cultivate a successful career in both the fields of Marketing Branding and Technology and Public Relations within the tech space. I want to pursue these goals because I’d like to integrate skills of technology, creativity, project management, marketing, and writing into one to create valuable outcomes. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because it empowers the new generation of professionals to achieve greatness. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because of the mentorship, internship, and job placement programs that the organization offers. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it uplifts minority students to pursue their dreams.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Johnny Miao
Hi! I’m Johnny (Jiawei) Miao, currently a rising junior at Fordham University Lincoln Center, where I am pursuing my degree in Global Business with a concentration in Global Marketing and Consumer Insights. I chose to pursue this major because I wanted to develop both my analytical and creative skills in an environment that reflects the rapid globalization of the world.

I realized the purpose behind my drive to go into marketing and advertising at the 2019 New York Advertising Week. One of the presenters on stage showed a commercial from their marketing campaign entitled “Do What You Can’t.”  It inspired people to defy barriers and change the world for the better, starting from the individual and broadening to a global scale. That ad made me realize that I want to use my skills to create advertisements and marketing campaigns like that in the future—ones that can be motivating and impactful to the consumer while also building the brand.


So when I first heard about TLF through my academic advisor, I knew I wanted to apply for the scholarship to help me on my path in promoting progress and diversity through marketing and advertising campaigns. Now with the opportunity that this scholarship gives, I can achieve that purpose, while at the same time tying it to the similar goal of promoting diversity within those industries.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I know I’ll stay involved with TLF for its fantastic opportunities and progressive mission. The work TLF is doing is so important in bringing new perspectives and minority voices into the marketing, advertising, and public relations industries.


I want to thank TLF for this opportunity, Jennifer O’Neil for her reliable counseling, Father Vin for the constant introduction to new opportunities, and Dean Rapaccioli for her continuous encouragement.

 
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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Bianca Diaz
My name is Bianca Diaz and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Texas at San Antonio where I am pursuing a degree in Marketing. I have always been interested in the world of marketing and the psychology behind every decision. I hope to start an organization that grants marketing assets to rising small businesses and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. 

After viewing TLF’s mission, I knew instantly that I had to apply. Their mission emphasizes how much marketing affects society and, in a diverse country, it is important to have employees that reflect this same diverse demographic to ensure truthful, just practices. With this scholarship, I am now able to fund another semester of college on my road to graduating debt free. 


After earning my degree, I plan on obtaining my MBA and starting a career with a business (particularly in retail digital marketing) that values diversity and cultural awareness. An inclusive field is not only beneficial for the businesses and firms, but is beneficial for the communities directly affected by these firms. To gain consumer’s trust is only possible by addressing their needs and those who know these needs the greatest are the people who are just like them.


In addition to receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because their strive to create a more diverse work environment is crucial in maintaining marketing justice and reducing disenfranchisement. With their knowledge in which businesses are upholding these practices, I am able to reach out to companies I can trust will uphold their same values. 


I would like to thank my parents Maria and Delfino Diaz Jr. for their constant support and guidance as well as The LAGRANT Foundation for sharing a message that must continue to be shared in an ever-changing world.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Joshua Harris
My name is Joshua Harris and I am currently going into my sophomore year at Drake University, where I am pursuing my degree in digital media production and advertising. I wanted to pursue a degree in digital media production and advertising because I have a deep passion for visual storytelling. I want to express my creativity and spread diversity in a field that is lacking in black voices by developing and communicating stories that will resonate and impower diverse audiences.

I first heard about TLF through my school’s scholarship board. I wanted to apply for the scholarship because I thought The TLF Foundation was a great opportunity for me to get connected with people in my field of interest, while also learning ways I can start getting involved in my industry. I am eager to build relationships and meet with like-minded individuals that share similar career ambitions to my own. I believe in TLF’s mission because I understand the importance of providing minorities with a voice in media and allowing them to share their vison. With this scholarship, I am now more confidante in my ability to find internships and connect with organizations within my desired industry.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to work for an advertising agency or write and direct screenplays for major film studios by the likes of Disney. I want to pursue these goals because I want to utilize my talents of visual communication to be a voice for change within my community. Bringing diversity into my industry is important because minority voices are often neglected within media and I believe that this problem has been detrimental to upcoming minority youth. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I hope to stay involved with for TLF for many years to come.

 

 

 
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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Alexandra Bouras
Hello! I’m Alexandra Bouras, and I'm a senior at California State University, Fullerton. CSUF has been a fantastic place for me to learn and pursue my Communications degree with an emphasis in PR. I truly believe that words have incredible power, and I’m working to be able to change the world with mine.


I first found out about TLF through my university. I was impressed that there was a scholarship out there that was not only specific to my major, but also placed importance on uplifting my identity. Fast forward from my first application as a wide-eyed college freshman to now being a third-time scholarship recipient, I am incredibly grateful to have had TLF alongside me every step of the way. Mr. Hunter and the TLF team’s generosity has provided me with so many opportunities over the past three years which have allowed me to network and build lasting connections with mentors and peers who share the same vision as I do. I believe in TLF’s mission because this foundation creates a strong and caring community among those who may have otherwise struggled to get their foot in the door in this competitive industry.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to continue working in PR and journalism in the music scene. Art is a huge part of our culture, and it’s important to bring diversity into that field of work to make sure that we are being given more than just one voice and one vision.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I would like to thank and stay involved with TLF since they have helped me immensely along my college career. I think this foundation is doing incredible work, and I am so excited to see what amazing things this team and the alumni accomplish together in the future.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Kiara Davis
My name is Kiara Davis and I am currently a junior strategic communications major at Hampton University. I chose this major because I have a love for writing and a great interest in the advertising, marketing and public relations industry. I also love how it allows for free use of creativity as well as collaborate with other creative individuals.

I first heard about TLF through a friend of mine, Jordyn Edwards, who also attended Hampton University and was a 2018 scholarship recipient. I wanted to apply to the scholarship not only because of the money, but because of the resources and networking opportunities. In the future, I hope to be able to support minorities in this field as TLF has done for me. Thanks to this scholarship, I am now able to fund business ventures that I have planned for the near future.


Once I earn my degree, I plan to reside in my hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota and obtain a job at an agency in downtown Minneapolis. I want to pursue these goals because it is important to me that I be an example for my younger sister, future children and the younger generations of color to come. 


I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I believe in their mission and I always want to give back to those who have helped me. I think the work TLF is doing is important because diversity in the workplace is an ongoing issue that people still need to be aware of. In closing, I would like to thank my family for supporting me in everything I do, my friends for always standing by me, and the professors in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University for constantly pushing me to reach my fullest potential.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Gabrielle Alcala
My name is Gabrielle Alcala, and I am currently a rising senior student at Indiana University, where I am pursuing my degree in Marketing and Social/Digital Media with a minor in Advertising. I chose to study marketing because of its variety of touch points within a business including creating influential campaigns to drive awareness of a business. At IU, I am involved in the American Marketing Association, which has taught me about different industries and professional development. It’s fascinating to see great concepts form into effective campaigns. 

I first heard about TLF through LinkedIn and Hispanic scholar groups. I applied to the scholarship because of the foundation’s great representation in the marketing industry and dedication to supporting minority students. TLF’s mission is something I stand behind because of its responsibility of investing in diverse populations. With this scholarship, I will continue to pursue my business degree without additional financial hardships. 


After earning my degree, I hope to become a mentor for underclassmen minorities while continuing the discussion of a more diverse tomorrow. Now more than ever, Americans need unified guidance and support to lead them in a positive direction. In addition, I hope to work in a marketing associate related role and join a diverse company that values its employees and the community. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because of the mentorship opportunities, corporate relationships, and job shadowing/placement programs. TLF truly cares about providing minorities with meaningful opportunities to excel in their careers, which is something I love about the organization.  I would like to thank all the donors and company partners for their generosity and dedication to supporting TLF and its students. Their support has impacted generations of scholars before me and will continue to impact scholars in their future career paths.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Zachary Gradishar
My name is Zachary Gradishar and I am currently a third-year student at American University in Washington DC, where I am pursuing a degree in Public Relations & Strategic Communication (PRSC) as well as a minor in Marketing. I wanted to get my degree in PRSC because I have the ability to pursue careers in various fields.

I first heard about TLF through one of my PR professors at the end of the first semester of my sophomore year. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I liked TLF’s mission and thought it would be great to associate myself with such a wonderful organization. I believe in TLF’s mission because it grants students with opportunities and connections that serve as benefits in the long run. With this scholarship, I am now able to graduate college with a little less debt. 


Once I earn my degree, I hope to pursue a Master’s in Strategic Public Relations as well as a certificate in Media and Entertainment Management from the University of Southern California. I want to pursue these goals because I hope to one day work in the entertainment industry. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because being a minority has broadened my perspective on various issues and once I learned about the lack of diversity in the PR field, I thought I could help change that norm. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I can make connections while learning from those who are practicing in the field that I wish to pursue. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it enables minority students to get one step closer to achieving their dreams. I wanted to take a moment to thank both my professor and mentor Pallavi Kumar as well as TLF for giving me this opportunity as I value it dearly.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Sherry Chen
My name is Sherry Chen and I am currently a junior student at Baruch College, where I am pursuing my degree in marketing and a double minor in graphic design and interdisciplinary studies of New York City. I wanted to get my degree in marketing because it encompasses a combination of creativity-thinking, strategic analysis, and industrial research. It’s a challenging yet gratifying field because it pushes me to my highest potential from campaign proposals to content creation. 

I first heard about TLF through the Macaulay Honors career newsletter. I wanted to apply for the scholarship because it aligns perfectly with my career aspiration. I believe in TLF’s mission because I want to increase awareness about diversity and inclusion in my community and inspire other Asian Americans to pursue their careers in marketing. With this scholarship, I am now able to fund my academic expenses to study abroad in Singapore and attend various conferences. 


Once I earn my degree, I hope to continue to build my leadership and foster my commitment to marketing by telling compelling stories. I want to pursue these goals because I want to ensure that ethnic minorities have more opportunities to contribute to this field. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because it is essential to combat underrepresentation and have everyone’s voice be heard.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I want to give back to this community and provide resources to other students. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it changes the marketing landscape and inspires a new generation of marketers.


Once again, thank you so much for the organization's help and support. TLF has truly made an ever-lasting impact on my college journey and career path.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Mikayla Ford
My name is Mikayla Ford and I am a rising junior at Elon University. I am pursuing a degree in communication design because I have a passion for using creative thinking to solve problems. I love seeing ideas evolve from concepts and sketches to being placed in the real world. 

I first heard about TLF from a fellow Elon student. I decided to apply to the scholarship because I felt that the foundation’s mission aligned with my values regarding diversifying the advertising industry and supporting minorities in different industries. 


The LAGRANT Foundation is action-oriented and goal-focused that is why I strongly believe in its mission. The LAGRANT Foundation provides professional and financial support to students so that we can have the skills/tools we need to confidently enter the workforce. 


With this scholarship, I am now able to continue my pursuit of my bachelor’s degree while also having the opportunity to study abroad so that I may broaden my perspectives and become immersed in another culture.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to work as a creative strategist at an advertising agency and ultimately work as a design thinking consultant. I want to pursue these goals because I believe that human-centered approaches to strategizing and designing are essential for being innovative. Bringing diversity into advertising is important because advertising is worldwide and it needs to be sensitive to all races, ethnicities, and cultures.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because of the connections you make with the people who work with the foundation. There is not another foundation or organization like it. The LAGRANT Foundation really cares about the students and the people they work with.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Jordan Alarcon
My name is Jordan Alarcon and I am a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, currently pursuing a degree in Public Relations. I chose this degree because PR campaigns today are outlets to relate and speak to an audience, and now more than ever I want to be a part of that. 

I first heard about The LAGRANT Foundation through the Unigo website in 2018. At the time, I was looking to transfer to UT Austin. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I believe it is crucial to consciously represent the growing minority consumer. With this scholarship, I transferred to my dream school and am now closer to being a part of those spaces. 

Upon graduating, I aim to work in brand and corporate communications. I have always had a passion for community engagement and representation. I aspire to continue doing it. I want to work for a brand or company that takes chances and has conversations that some may avoid. By including people from all different backgrounds, you can execute these conversations in an efficient and effective manner. 

TLF taught me how to amplify my voice in this field. I want to stay involved with this organization because they gave me the tools that I didn’t have. The work TLF does is important because there is so much meaning to the work done within this field. Content can make people feel like they matter. I want to be a part of making every person seen and heard. 

I’d like to thank Kim Hunter and Christopher Juarez for continuing to stay in contact after receiving the 2019 scholarship, something I found very unique about this program and organization. I would truly like to thank you for all that you do for us.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Natu Abraham
My name is Natu Abraham, I believe that culture and experiences form the parameters of who we are. At seven years old, my family won a lottery-visa, presenting us with the opportunity to immigrate to America from Eritrea, and the media played a significant role in my adaptation to the American culture. Being a first-generation student, most of my life I was adjusting, adapting, and taking initiative in different environments, shaping my character in a way that is driven, resilient, and respectful.

I’m a rising senior studying marketing and information systems at the University of Washington. With this education, I am pursuing a career in technology and media/entertainment. Within these industries, media and tech will allow me to have an impact on audience targeting, brand, and people engagement, creating creative campaigns that align with my diversity initiatives.


I’m a leader on my campus as the president of the Association of Black Business Students as I’m developing and maintaining the Black community and diversity initiatives with the business school’s Dean, employers, and staff. 


Within my passion for diversity and inclusion in this industry, I believe there should be more effort and work to bring people from diverse communities that would be part of the workforce that takes place in the “behind the scenes” of the industry.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because of the established network and the funded opportunities it provides that I’m grateful for. I appreciate the impactful work TLF and Kim Hunter is doing for diverse leaders. TLF is my biggest tool laying the path towards these inspired career goals and leading diversity initiatives that change the media portrayal of minorities within those industries. 

I appreciate you, TLF.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Rhea Chawla
My name is Rhea Chawla and I am a junior at The Savannah College of Art & Design, where I am pursuing a degree in Fashion Marketing & Management.

As a two-time recipient of the TLF scholarship, I know firsthand how significant TLF’s contribution and networking opportunities are to students around the country. With this scholarship, I can utilize a significant portion of my time outside of school to focus on internships and volunteering in my community!


After graduation, I plan to work in Apparel Product Development and Marketing because taking something from concept to final product is what I enjoy. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because the industry strives to reach a global audience that consists of different cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles. Having a diverse group of employees means having multiple sets of ideas, solutions, and experiences. This will benefit not only employees but also the companies as they develop the understanding, vision, skills to adapt and emerge strong for the cultural transformations that we'll see in the coming years.


I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because it has been an invaluable steppingstone in preparing me for a career in my field and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful organization. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it provides an exceptional foundation and thorough understanding of working hand in hand and leading a diverse team. 


I would like to say thank to Mr. Kim Hunter, and the rest of the TLF team! No matter where life’s journey takes me, I know the experiences and connections I make through TLF will help me succeed for whatever lies ahead!

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Dage Girault Albert
My name is Dage Girault Albert and I am currently a senior at Lycoming College. I am pursuing a degree in Corporate Communications. I wanted to get my degree in Corporate Communications because I wanted to help companies better communicate with the public, and with stakeholders and shareholders.

I first heard about TLF through my college advisor. I wanted to apply to this scholarship because I knew it would introduce to professionals in the field that would help me get the proper start in the industry. I believe in TLF’s mission because it is important to have people from all backgrounds in this field. Doing so creates a work environment where you get multiple perspectives. With this scholarship, I will be better equipped to help pay for my final year in college.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to be the person in charge of all communication efforts for the company I work for. I want to pursue these goals because a lot of times, companies are not clear with their consumers and customers, which often lead to putting out products or statements that may be offensive. I want to prevent that from happening. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because when you work with a diverse team, you are allowing for multiple ideas and solutions to be created.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue being involved with TLF because I want future applicants to see that you can be a minority and succeed in this industry. I think the work TLF is doing is important because they are giving underrepresented populations a chance to put themselves out there in the field of advertising, public relations, and marketing.

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TLF 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient Payton Campbell
My name is Payton Campbell and I am from Houston, Texas. I am a graphic design major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and an entrepreneurship minor at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. I became a graphic design major because I want to help produce a more powerful visual representation of people of color in America. 

I first heard about TLF through the career development center at my school. I applied to the scholarship because I was drawn to the foundation’s mission of assisting high achieving students and media professionals in the industry through scholarships, internship and job placement, and career development workshops, and more. 


After earning my degree, I plan to work in brand management and help start-up companies build brands that are more visually inclusive, diverse, and accessible.  

Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because design can be powerfully used to help change the perception of minorities in society. Oftentimes, people of color are rarely given the proper resources or platform to share their own narrative, so I want to help ensure that they are accurately represented in the design industry. 


I plan to stay involved with TLF because I appreciate the work they do to provide access and opportunities to people of color in the communications industry. The foundation’s programming, wide network, and resources will definitely help to further me in my career. This scholarship will help fund my educational expenses as I enter into my senior year of undergrad. 


I thank my family, friends, and mentors for their continuous support and prayers throughout my academic journey. Their motivation and belief in my talents always push me to go farther and achieve more than I ever thought possible.

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Kweimeiley Nartey
My name is Kweimeiley Nartey and I am currently a graduate student at LIM College where I am pursuing my degree in Fashion Marketing. I wanted to pursue a degree in Fashion Marketing because I wanted to learn the business side of Fashion and educate myself on the history, theories, and marketing strategies. 

I first learned about TLF while searching for organizations that support the success of minorities. TLF helps minorities obtain resources and tools that are not commonly available by providing mentorship and professional development opportunities. I believe in the TLF mission because minorities don’t always have access to opportunities that others may have, and pipelines like this are game changers in changing the narrative of people feeling left out.  I am grateful for this scholarship, because I will have gained a network that will aid in helping me navigate my process.  

Once I earn my degree, I aspire to work as a marketer in the fashion or beauty space. I want to pursue these goals because I owe it to myself and I want to make my mother proud. I also want other young women to be inspired; I want to be a role model.  Bringing diversity into my field is important because in every workforce there should be respect, understanding, and appreciation for the differences in people. When different people are able to bring their ideas to the table, it makes the idea more inclusive and makes the idea stronger. 

Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because it is important that all of our voices are represented. 

Thank you Mr. Kim Hunter for creating an exceptional organization, empowered to help students succeed, the board of directors, and everyone else who helps aid in making TLF’s mission a success.

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Dimandja Utshudi
My name is Dimandja Utshudi and I am currently a Graduate student at The City College of New York, where I am pursuing my degree in Brand + Integrated Communication (BIC) of Professional Studies. A portfolio-driven master’s degree will provide a platform that will test my abilities and expertise to better understand the needs of marketing communication industries. 

I first heard about TLF through my Program Director, Nancy Tag. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because your organization has been advocating for the increase of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing, and public relations ethnic minorities in over a decade, and I share TLF’s vision of working towards eliminating this inequality. 

With this scholarship, I will be able to continue my professional pursuit to work in an industry that communicates with consumers of demographics. Increasing the number of ethnic minorities in these fields will give companies insight and skills to evolve alongside the massive culture shift we will see in the coming decades. 

Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because we are stewards of this world, and we have a calling on our lives to leave it better than how we found it. There is power in unity which will create opportunities for those who come after us and I think the work TLF is doing is important because it is accomplishing two things; eliminating the inequality within the marketing industry, and creating opportunities for disadvantaged minorities. 

Once I earn my degree, I hope to engage underrepresented youth in pursuing higher education, and career pathways in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields as the Project Manager of The Harlem Gallery of Science working in collaboration with The City College of New York. 

Lastly, thank you to the entire LAGRANT Committee for granting me this amazing opportunity. Let’s get to work!

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Zoe Pulley
My name is Zoë Pulley and I am graduate student and a Presidential Fellow at Rhode Island School of Design, where I am pursuing my MFA degree in Graphic Design. I wanted to get my degree in Graphic Design to produce work that not only creates representation for black and POC identity in the design space, but to also take a departure from the derivative depiction of our experience by conveying our great stories inspired by the unique narratives of ancestry.
 
I first heard about TLF through their various industry talks and programming and knew I wanted to apply to the scholarship since their mission aligns with my future career goals — to increase the number of minorities in predominantly white creative industries. I believe in TLF’s mission because I believe it is crucial to not only have us at the table in the design, advertising & marketing space, but to advocate to other black people through outreach and programming that they too can achieve such goals. With this scholarship, I am now able to access the materials and supplies necessary in order to research and create the work I feel is imperative to not only tell our stories, but to hopefully also create opportunities for other young, talented black people to do the same.  
 
Once I earn my degree, I hope to continue creating programming that creates accessibility for young black and POC people within the design space — this could be through programming within the educational realm or commercial industries. I want to pursue these goals because I strongly believe that as a driven black woman who has experiences working in a creative industry, it is our responsibility as black people to create access for more than just individual selves in these spaces. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because otherwise we will continue to face set-backs, micro-agressions and our voices will continue to be the minority and generally left unheard.
 
Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I hope the work I will be doing will still align with TLF’s mission and can be a sub sect programming opportunity for students pursuing degrees in design. I think the work TLF is doing is important because as I mentioned previously — a whole lot more of us need a seat at the table.
 
I would like to thank my incredible parents, Brett & Stacey, for their continued guidance and always believing in whatever it was I wanted to achieve. My younger sister, Blake, for inspiring me with her drive and no-nonsense attitude. And my grandmother, Sandra aka ‘Gran San’, an artist and creative force who has been the ongoing inspiration for me as designer.
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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Taylor Guidry
My name is Taylor Guidry and I am currently a first-year Master’s student at The University of Denver, where I am pursuing my degree in communication management. I am pursuing my degree in communication management because I want to help shape the art of advertising to be more representative of under-represented groups, specifically minorities.

I first heard about TLF through buzz around my school. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because I believe that my personal mission aligns with that of TLF. I believe in TLF’s mission because it is our duty as future advertisers or PR personnel to shape the way that advertising is being done. We have to take the bull by the horns and create the change that we want to see. With this scholarship, I am now able to pay for some of my Master’s degree.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to open a marketing and brand management consulting firm that specializes in educating brands on how to properly appeal to and be a voice for underrepresented groups. I want to pursue these goals because when I was younger I rarely saw people who looked like me and this caused an early identity crisis. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because daily consumption of one image further perpetuates the idea that there is only one reality of the “American family” and this simply is not the case.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I want to learn from those who came before me and help those who will follow me. I think the work TLF is doing is important because everyone needs a voice and who better to tell the story of minorities, than minorities? 


I want to thank my family and friends for being my support system and helping me get to where I am today.

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Ayush Kumar
My name is Ayush Kumar, and I am entering the last year of my Master’s in Branding + Integrated Communications at  The City College of New York. After studying journalism during my undergraduate years at Boston University and working at a PR agency in New York City, I wanted to build on my foundational marketing skills, and BIC was the perfect program for that. 

I first heard about The LAGARANT Foundation through Nancy Tag, the BIC Program Director, who is also my advisor for the Management/Planning track. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because it seemed like a great network to become a part of and learn from. I believe in TLF’s mission because marketing reflects the society we live in, and I want to help shape what that looks like by bringing underrepresented black and brown faces to the table. I was born in India, and am proud of being an immigrant in this country. With this scholarship, I am now able to meet and get career advice from experienced industry professionals, many of whom have broken down barriers to get to the position they are in.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to work in branding strategy, as my passion is helping businesses grow, stand for something bigger than just sales, and ultimately find their place in the market. Bringing diversity into marketing is important because any effective campaign is a collaboration between a team, and having a diverse team brings about many perspectives to dealing with any business challenge. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF to help other students who are interested in a marketing career. I think the work TLF is doing is important because the industry as a whole has been dominated too long by homogeneous teams that fail to speak for the audience they want to reach. 


I want to thank the wonderful BIC faculty and my peers in the class of 2021, who continue to inspire me every day. It is a blessing to be surrounded by so many hard-working professionals from different parts of the world, all of whom bring a unique set of skills to any project.

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Fredericka Davis
My name is Fredericka Davis and I am currently a graduate student at DePaul University where I am pursuing my degree in Public Relations and Advertising. I wanted to pursue this course of study to use my voice to promote and protect the image of people of color in all media formats. 

I first heard about TLF from the Graduate Program Advisors of DePaul University’s College of Communication. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because TLF provides an opportunity to connect with the next generation of decision makers and be mentored by industry professionals that are invested in securing and promoting positive imagery for people of color in advertising, marketing and public relations. I believe in TLF’s mission because it increases diversity and inclusion for people of color in these fields, which is critical in the world today. With this scholarship, I am now able to reduce expenses related to my coursework going into my final year of study. 

Once I earn my degree, I hope to partner what I’ve learned with my skillset to increase understanding across cultural lines. I want to pursue these goals because there’s a dire need for proper representation. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because it will help me create the world in which I want to live.

Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF as a mentor to pay this honor forward and nurture the advertising, marketing and public relations fields for colleagues and future game changers. I think the work TLF is doing is important because it is building a community with common goals for a greater representation for all. 

I would like to thank the following advisors and program directors from DePaul University: Ron Culp, Maria DeMoya and Karin Winters.

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Anthony Sanchez
My name is Anthony Marco Sanchez and I am currently a second-year graduate student at the University of Florida, where I am pursuing my degree in Digital Marketing Strategies.

 

I first heard about TLF through my friend, and fellow TLF alumni, Shiselle while at the University of Florida. I applied to TLF because I believe in TLF’s mission and the commitment of their Board of Directors to empowering, uplifting, and mentoring rising communication professionals of color. With this scholarship, I am now able to build a network of professionals who are invested in my personal and professional growth.

 

Once I earn my degree, I hope to use it to empower clients to own their digital experiences from start to finish to help improve lives. I intend to invest time in paying it forward to others like me by staying involved with TLF because I believe being the only is lonely; bringing diversity into my field of work is essential to building empathetic, consumer-centric experiences that authentically represent and empower communities of color.

 

Thank you to everyone on the TLF Board of Directors and to all donors to the foundation for your continuous commitment to increasing the number of ethnic minorities in the field of communications and for making this opportunity possible for me.

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Brionna Hunter
My name is Brionna Hunter and I am currently a rising second year student at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where I am pursuing my Master of Business Administration Degree. I wanted to get my MBA because I knew it would allow me to further my career by gaining access to new skills, networks, and opportunities.

I first heard about TLF through an advisor while I was in undergrad at Howard University. I wanted to apply to the scholarship because the I thought that my goals and experience aligned well with the organization’s mission. I believe in TLF’s mission because diverse representation throughout the marketing, advertising, and public relations spaces is lacking and much needed. With this scholarship, I am now able to cover some of the out of pocket expenses that come with being a full-time student again.


Once I earn my degree, I hope to pursue a marketing career in the technology or consulting industry. I want to pursue these goals because I hope to continue to learn and grow as a marketer in a challenging environment. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because companies and brands need to understand and value all perspectives when making business decisions.


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because it provides a great network that I hope to add value to as I develop in my professional career. I think the work TLF is doing is important because they are helping to solve a piece of the complex problem of inequality that unfortunately continues to permeate in almost every aspect of our society. 


I would like to thank The LAGRANT Foundation and all of its supporters for making this opportunity possible!

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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Daniel Brown
My name is Daniel Brown, and I am currently a first-year graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I am pursuing my masters’ degree in graphic design. I decided to pursue my degree in graphic design because I am passionate about using my creativity to create compelling visual narratives that resonate with people. 

I first heard about TLF after researching scholarships that support minorities pursuing a career in advertising. I decided to apply to the scholarship program because I felt TLF would help me grow and develop as a creative professional. As a minority, I support TLF’s mission of empowering marginalized voices in the advertising industry. With this scholarship, I can make progress towards my degree while learning how I can use my voice to influence positive change in the industry.


Once I earn my degree, I have plans to work at a creative advertising agency. I am interested in working in digital media and entertainment. With career aspirations to become a Creative Director, I am determined to use my creative talents and abilities to bring stories to life through new forms of media and digital communications.


We need more diverse voices and talent working at advertising agencies who influence how we tell stories to reach people. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because it allows designers, creators, and other communicators to engage with various perspectives. When we have different people in the room who come from diverse life experiences, I believe we can come up with novel solutions and start conversations. 


Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF to help support the next generation of creators of color. Thank you to everyone who has poured into my education and helped me continue striving towards my goals. 

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