Rising Future Makers: 3 PVAMU Students Honored by AT&T

Last Updated on May 31, 2023

Three Prairie View A&M University students were recently announced as members of AT&T’s Dream in Black’s second class of 25 Rising Future Makers: Cyrai Young, Jocelynn “Poppy” Johnson and Justin Lamar Collins.

The Rising Future Makers program celebrates young, black “culture shapers, influencers, activists and entrepreneurs” making a difference in their communities and on their campuses. It also provides a scholarship, internship and networking opportunities to help these trail-blazing students advance their ambitions.

A Rising Future Forensic Pathologist

Cyrai Young

Freshman Cyrai Young is a proud member of PVAMU’s Honors Program and Texas Undergraduate Medical Academy. In addition to her affiliation with two respected organizations within her academic community, Cyrai volunteers at the Waller Pregnancy Care Center and the Houston Food Bank.

A chemistry major studying to become a forensic pathologist, Cyrai looks forward to eventually entering a field where fewer than 10 percent of the professionals are black.

“There are many ways to save lives…I plan to do my part by helping grieving families say goodbye to a loved one and get the closure they need to heal.”

Cyrai Young

Cyrai uses social media to share her journey as one of the Rising Future Makers and promote the program to other PVAMU students. Outside of her studies, she is passionate about art and activism.

“As a first-year student, I am impressed by Cyrai’s ambition, goal setting and pure talent as a science student who also enjoys creative pursuits…I look forward to seeing her explore all possibilities beyond her college degree.”

Quincy C. Moore, III, Director of PVAMU’s Honors Program

A Rising Future Businesswoman

Jocelynn "Poppy" Johnson

Upon finishing her undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University, Jocelynn “Poppy” Johnson targeted PVAMU as her top choice for pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration due to a desire to attend an HBCU, especially one where her sister thrived.

“AT&T Rising Future Makers is unique because you have an opportunity to interact with black people excelling in their fields who are mentoring, inspiring and rooting for you,” said Poppy, who learned about the Rising Future Makers program from an Instagram promotion featuring Ice T.

Poppy is working full-time as an admissions counselor at Baylor University. In addition to her graduate studies, Poppy juggles parenting a two-year-old son and operating a small online stationery business. She also created and currently co-hosts a podcast entitled “Girl, Lemme Tell You,” which focuses on authentically discussing life, relationships and sisterhood through the lens of black Christian women.

Jocelynn Poppy Johnson

“I thought, why not apply? I have been working steadily towards several goals related to parenting, business, my degree. . .Why not get involved with an organization that supports young black creatives looking for inspiration to reach farther.”

Jocelynn “Poppy” Johnson

A Rising Future Entrepreneur

Justin Lamar Collins

After transferring from Eastern Illinois University, sophomore Justin Lamar Collins dove into campus life. As a student in the PVAMU Honors College, Justin mentors younger students as a community assistant is active with the Gold Members Club, and is preparing to be a student coach for the upcoming football season.

Back home in Chicago, Justin helped launch a non-profit (Living Above Normal Everyday Standards, or LANES) as president of a street clothing brand that supports a mission to uplift urban youth and provide resources for inner city kids. In addition to clothing design, he is involved in diverse musical pursuits.

According to Justin, his role as one of the Rising Future Makers is a great fit for a budding entrepreneur, musician, and mass communications major.

“I look forward to using this platform to promote awareness at PVAMU and other HBCUs,” said Justin, who mentions presenting Bobby Brown an award at the Urban One Honors Awards as a highlight so far.

Dr. Moore agreed, saying, “Justin’s approach to school and being a Future Maker represents a model for innovation. He will be one to watch for what he is doing now and in the future.”

“This is the second class for the Rising Future Makers program, and the first time any Prairie View students were selected. For these young people to be included among the 25 students speaks volumes—to the caliber of their academics and their ambition and creativity. They are setting the bar for Prairie View A&M University.”

Quincy C. Moore, III, director of PVAMU’s Honors Program

Click here to view the latest Rising Future Makers class, including Young, Johnson and Collins.

Source: Prairie View A&M University Newsdesk

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