Building Goodwill: BioE Student Gives Away New Scholarship

Building Goodwill: BioE Student Gives Away New Scholarship

Building Goodwill: BioE Student Gives Away New Scholarship

Reginald Avery. Photo by John T. Consoli.
Reginald Avery. Photo by John T. Consoli.

The inaugural winner of a scholarship named for a slain civil rights activist knew just what to do with the money: Give it away.

The Black Male Initiative, or BMI, at the Nyumburu Cultural Center awarded the first Fred Hampton Scholarship to Reginald Avery, a senior majoring in bioengineering. The $1,000 award, established by an anonymous 2008 graduate of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and BMI member, honors the former Black Panther, who was killed in a 1969 police raid.

The scholarship goes to an undergraduate who shows leadership and vision and can be used for academic expenses, a specific activist project, or both.

Avery donated the money to nearby Greenbelt Elementary, where he has served as a mentor since he was a freshman. Each Monday he arrives there, Lego kits in tow, to teach children in the after-school program about designing, building and programming robots.

"This wasn't the type of scholarship that I felt should be spent on something personal," says Avery. "As an engineering student, it seemed fitting to share what I have learned with younger students interested in similar things."

Story by Tracey Themne, University of Maryland Communications. This article originally appeared in Terp, Winter 2012, p. 34. Reproduced with permission.

February 16, 2012


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