After attending a prestigious, predominately White private school, Ty’Quish Keyes yearned for a new cultural and educational experience. Keyes’ mother pushed him to excel in school and his community because she knew that college was the best way out of their crime-ridden North Philadelphia neighborhood, that held few opportunities for young, Black men.
In 2011, Keyes visited Morehouse College and found students and faculty that supported Black excellence and self-motivated, young Black men. It was a perfect fit for Keyes.
“I was visiting a whole bunch of schools and when I came to Morehouse, I realized that there was a lot I of things I didn’t know about African Americans, my culture and my history,” said Philadelphia teen. Keyes saw Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Chapel for the first time, learned about Malcolm X and about the sacrifices and the perseverance of the Freedom Riders; the richness and success of Blacks in American history, had been largely invisible in the curriculum at his high school. He was one of just a handful of Black students in his graduating class. “When I came to [Atlanta] it was shocking.”
Keyes earned enough scholarships to pay for his first fall semester at Morehouse College, but when his mother applied for a loan to help cover tuition and expenses for the spring semester of his freshmen year, she was denied. During the first weeks of the spring 2012 semester, Keyes scrambled to find scholarships and raise enough money to continue at Morehouse. He watched as some of his classmates in similar financial straits were forced to abandon their college dreams, and the North Philadelphia native wondered if he would be next.
“I was freaking out,” said Keyes, recalling those nerve-racking hours, weighing whether to study for tests or complete assignments for classes, unsure if he would make it to the next week.
Keyes learned about the Buick Scholarship Program through connections at Morehouse College and applied, thinking that he had nothing lose.
It was a decision that saved his Morehouse College dream and quite possibly his professional career. Keyes, now a junior with a dual major in applied physics and mechanical engineering and a minor in mathematics, won the scholarship and it helped to cover the cost for his sophomore and junior years at Morehouse.
Under the program, students are eligible to receive up to $25,000 per year to attend a four-year college. Every year the scholarships are awarded to 100 first-time freshman or existing college students and is renewable up to four years and one additional year for those entering a qualified five-year engineering program, according to Buick scholarship program’s website, BuickAchievers.com.
To qualify, applicants must also plan to pursue STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs or a select number of design or business-related courses of study.
College majors available for the Buick scholarship include: automotive technology, chemical engineering, computer engineering, computer information systems, mechanical engineering, automotive design, accounting economics, international business and business administration. The full list of eligible majors can be found at www.BuickAchievers.com.
Read more: BuickScholarships/NNPA
Source: Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent, BlackPressUsa, The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)