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Congratulations to Jayla Berry and McKinley Lowery on becoming 2021 HBCU Scholars

Both of this year’s 2021 HBCU Scholars from Michigan are Midnight Golf Program alumni. Jayla Berry and McKinley Lowery, from the Class of 2018, are honored to be included in this White House Initiative.

Jayla and McKinley will join 86 undergraduate, graduate and professional students from 54 HBCUs in this year’s cohort. Students were selected for their academic and leadership accomplishments and civic engagement. They were nominated by their schools.

Jayla, a senior at Benedict College, was nominated by mentor and financial advisor, Dr. Vareva Harris. She was nominated because Dr. Harris knows how active she is on campus.

“I’m passionate and like to help others,” she said. “I am very involved and engaged with my school.”

She is honored to represent her school.

“I really look at it as like the school trusting me to be a representative of Benedict College,” she said. “They see the potential in me to shine and be a good leader.”

In addition to being an HBCU Scholar, Jayla, who is majoring in environmental engineering, is active on campus. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, and is on the Food Committee. She is also spearheading a recycling program at her school.

She credits Midnight Golf with helping her gain the confidence to try new opportunities.

“Midnight Golf has really taught me to put myself out there,” Jayla said. “MGP taught me to be very persistent and follow up with people to build relationships.”

For McKinley Lowery, it was an interview request from the Director of Student Activities, Tarrye Venableat Norfolk State University, that prompted him to apply to become an HBCU scholar.

McKinley, a senior majoring in business and finance, had heard of the scholars program through his networks, but didn’t know much about it. He was honored to be chosen, especially since he was nominated by leaders within his school.

“They’re so proud of all of my accomplishments, my variety of internship experiences, and involvement on campus,” he said of his school’s leadership. “They thought I would be a great representative.”

This year, McKinley holds many leadership roles at Norfolk State. He is President of the National Association of Black Accountants, a student ambassador, a member of the Honors College, and serves on the Royal Court as Mr. 1935. This summer, he wrapped up an internship with JP Morgan in New York.

As an HBCU Scholar he is looking forward to contributing on campus and serving as a representative of his school. McKinley is also looking forward to connecting with other HBCU Scholars, something he learned to value through his time in Midnight Golf.

“MGP did a great job of instilling in us that you have to one, step outside of your comfort zone and two, always look for the next opportunity or set yourself up for the next opportunity,” McKinley said.

As HBCU Scholars, Jayla and McKinley will attend the 2021 HBCU Week National Annual Conference in Washington, DC next week.

Learn more about the 2021 HBCU Scholars.

Midnight Golf prides itself on helping high school seniors find the right fit for their post-secondary education and, for many students, that includes introducing students to HBCUs. In the Class of 2021, 54 of the 182 students are attending HBCUs. In total, 272 MGP alumni are enrolled at HBCUs.