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Cognizant Foundation and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Announce Winners of Emerging Leaders Scholarship

Twenty students at TMCF member schools receive $10,000, which will help accelerate pathways to equitable opportunity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Cognizant Foundation and Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) announced the inaugural winners of the Cognizant Foundation Emerging Leaders Scholarship. Through this new scholarship, 20 outstanding students throughout the United States will have access to new financial support to help alleviate the financial burdens of higher education and help set them up to be prepared for the jobs of the future.

As technology evolves and continues to create new opportunities for many, individuals from historically excluded and underserved backgrounds often do not have equitable access to the education, social capital, or employment opportunities to pursue careers in tech or other in-demand fields—which limits economic and social mobility over time.

"Supporting students to achieve a higher education not only helps them succeed, but also has a positive impact on their family and community. This Cognizant Foundation scholarship will help students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) gain the education and experiences that can unlock opportunities and put them in position to inspire and build better lives and communities," said Dr. Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Winners received a $10,000 need-based scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic school year—and preference was given to students pursuing careers in technology and business. The scholarship criteria required students to be enrolled full-time as an undergraduate at one of the 47 TMCF member schools during the 2022-2023 academic school year.

"It is imperative that tech companies work to diversify the pipeline of talent coming into the field, and that starts before recruitment," said Shameka Young, vice president and global head of diversity and inclusion at Cognizant. "We are excited to support these 20 young people at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund's HBCU partner institutions and look forward to seeing them succeed in their education and professional pursuits."

A full list of scholarship winners can be found below:

  • DeShawna Williams, Delaware State University
  • Kevin Burton, Jr., Jackson State University
  • Jordan Montrell Harper, Langston University
  • Kendal Shuler, Langston University
  • Tiffini Suber, Morgan State University
  • Briana Alexis Kelly, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Geniya Joyce Davis, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Jordan Deron Wright, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Joselyn Forbes, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Kaylin Renee Parks, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Laia Garland, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Makenzie Hooks Harris, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Naya Lewis, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Alaurea Nicole Paige, Tennessee State University
  • Jayla Pates, Texas Southern University
  • Roberto Jones, Texas Southern University
  • Darren Raymond Hall, Tuskegee University
  • Evan Baldwin Gonzalez, Tuskegee University
  • Niderah Goldsborough, University of Maryland Eastern-Shore
  • Ryan Robert More, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Established in 1987, TMCF helps America's publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which educate 80% of the 300,000 HBCU students. TMCF provides access to higher education through scholarships and financial support, and prepares HBCU students to succeed in economically sustainable careers. These programs are particularly critical since over 75% of HBCU students are low-income, with 97% relying on financial aid – and over half are the first in their family to attend college.

TMCF's programs help HBCU students stay in school and graduate – resulting in generational economic transformation as 70% of HBCU graduates enter the middle class permanently. TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit:

About The Cognizant Foundation
The Cognizant Foundation works to inspire, educate and prepare people of all ages to succeed in the workforce of today and tomorrow. Since its founding in 2018, the foundation has awarded more than $60 million to organizations working to deliver industry-relevant education, technical skills training programs and critical research needed to modernize the ways we educate and employ our workforce. Learn more at

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