Ron Brown Scholar Program Names 2023 Scholarship Recipients

Fifty of more than 4,000 Applicants Join Ranks of Prestigious African-American Scholar Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     

May 09, 2023

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Michael A. Mallory, President & CEO

Vanessa M. Evans, Vice President

(434) 964-1588 phone

Charlottesville, VA (May 08, 2023) – The Ron Brown Scholar Program – the nation’s leading scholarship program for African-American youth announced its 2023 class of Scholars. The 50 winners, selected from more than 4,000 applicants, will receive mentoring, career counseling and $40,000 toward their college expenses. Ron Brown Scholars become innovators in fields as diverse as law, the arts, science and public service. 

Founded in 1996 by Anthony Pilaro and now celebrating more than 25 years, the Ron Brown Scholar Program (RBSP) was named in memory of the first African-American Secretary of Commerce. The Program aims to advance higher education and improve the lives of service-minded and intellectually gifted African Americans, and to accelerate their progress into impactful leadership roles and opportunities.   RBSP provides students with the resources and mentoring to thrive at the finest colleges and universities in the country. Each of the 50 new Scholars and an additional 300 semifinalists will join the Ron Brown – Ruth and Norman Rales Leaders Network, an initiative which focuses on career development, mentorship and matches talent with opportunity. 

“I am continually impressed by the thousands of students who apply to become Ron Brown Scholars,” said Michael Mallory, President & CEO of the Ron Brown Scholar Program. “This year’s group of Scholars is one of the strongest classes ever in terms of activism, and more than half are scheduled to graduate in the top one or two percent of their class.  These hard-working young people all bring unique backgrounds and personal experiences to the Program, but all share extraordinary achievements in academics and a profound commitment to using their education to benefit their communities and society as a whole. 

We also remain extremely grateful to Mr. Anthony Pilaro, our many donors and friends for their generosity, and salute the  Norman R. and Ruth Rales Foundation for their historic gift of $5M which allowed us to increase our cohort size three years ago.”

Ron Brown Scholars are selected on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential, social commitment and financial need. Some key highlights of the Program include:

  • To date, 634 Ron Brown Scholars named
  • More than 150,000 applications received since 1997
  • More than 60% of Ron Brown Scholars attend Ivy League universities
  • 99% graduation rate
  • 100% involved in extensive community service projects
  • 82% of Ron Brown Scholars have donated financially back to the Program, totaling over $1M

The 2023 Ron Brown Scholars are:

  • Isaac A. Abbey, Fayetteville, GA
  • Dana N. Ayebare, North Potomac, MD
  • Victoria T. Ayodele, Lithonia, GA
  • Davina L. Balemagna, Lancaster, CA
  • Eugenia S. Bamfo, Bronx, NY
  • Gabrielle M. Baptist, Cincinnati, OH 
  • Kishanti M. Barmoh, Richmond, VA
  • Landon T. Bishop, New Orleans, LA
  • Yassine Boukaissi, Southampton, NY
  • Tyren M. Boyd, Indianola, MS
  • Isaac L. Brown, Miami, FL 
  • Faith E. Buggs, Chicago, IL
  • Esther L. A. Clayton, Bountiful, UT
  • Alysia Davis, Durham, NC
  • Lauren U.C. Ejiaga, New Orleans, LA
  • Hazel C. Ekeke, Queens, NY
  • Isis E. Ginyard, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dawit Girma, Washington, DC
  • Damian O. Gold, Tarpon Springs, FL 
  • Ciera M. Green, Bloomfield Hills, MI 
  • Daijsa A. Green, Tampa, FL 
  • Jaden N. Hinton, South Easton, MA
  • Dakota C. Hocker, Bardstown, KY
  • Candace J. Howe, Neptune, NJ
  • Benjamin C. Jamal, Shaker Heights, OH 
  • Alaija S. Jones, Morrow, GA
  • Maxwell I. Julius, Arlington, VA
  • Robert Lane, Chicago, IL
  • Nhaomi Lartey, Lansdowne, PA
  • Aisha Makama, Niagara Falls ,NY
  • Toni R. Martin, Rialto, CA
  • Joseph Milfort , Sandy Springs, GA
  • Lara Mohamed, Arlington, VA
  • Sakhile D. Mthethwa, Orange, VA
  • Omosefe I. Noruwa, Staten Island, NY
  • Laurence B. Nunes, Queens Village, NY
  • Demetrius C. Profic, Cockeysville, MD
  • Frederic Ramirez-Melenciano, Hampton, VA
  • Richael Saka, Columbus, OH 
  • Abenezer M. Sefiw, Stone Mountain, GA
  • Johna Speller, Laurinburg, NC
  • David A. Stewart, Orlando, FL 
  • Harlem J. Taylor, Little Rock, AR
  • Henock G. Tilahun, Aurora, CO
  • Kayla Vallere, Marietta, GA
  • Imani D. Wade, Mascoutah, IL
  • Chloe M. Walker, Newport News, VA
  • Tristan G. Ward, New Haven, CT
  • Armon N. Williams, Columbia, SC
  • Ashton C. Williams, Frostburg, MD

About the Ron Brown Scholar Program

The Ron Brown Scholar Fund is a 501(c)3 public charity. Founded in 1996 by Anthony M. Pilaro, the initial benefactor, the Program is named for the late Secretary of Commerce and inspired by his dedication to public service and was established to advance the collective impact of extraordinary service–minded leaders.  The value of the scholarship is far more than the $40,000.00 awarded for college; in addition to these funds, each Scholar has the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities, regional meetings and conferences, and receives mentoring. Since the Program was founded in 1996, more than $25 million has been raised to support 584 students who have received generous scholarships to America’s finest colleges and universities. The Program supports more than 2,000 students annually through its three initiatives:  The Signature Scholarship, The Guided Pathway Support Program (GPS) and the Ron Brown – Ruth and Norman Rales Leaders Network.  

About The Norman R. & Ruth Rales Foundation 

The Norman R. and Ruth Rales Foundation is dedicated to supporting children and families facing hardship by creating opportunities for them to realize their life’s potential. The Foundation strives to advance the legacy of Norman and Ruth Rales, two individuals from modest means who built an extraordinary life together based upon the values of integrity, compassion, hard work and giving back to others. Norman Rales, raised in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in Harlem during the Great Depression, where he learned lessons about the value of community, striving, and resiliency, was honored as the 2010 recipient of the Ron Brown Scholar Program American Journey Award.
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