The 2012 Initiates of the Kappa Iota of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity created the Diamonds of Distinct Dedication (DODD) Scholarship to promote and encourage high academic achievement, leadership and service among high school students in the state of Mississippi.
Scholarship recipients must possess academic achievement, community involvement and school involvement.
The 2012 initiates completed their undergraduate studies at the University of Southern Mississippi while joining their fraternity. The initiates are Morris Bevily, Lyeneal Griffin, Wilton Jackson, Broddrick Ruffin, Joshua Dishmon and Trent Johnson.
To receive the award, students must be graduating seniors from a high school in the state of Mississippi. The students also must have maintained a 3.4 GPA on a 4.0 scale, enrolled in a two-year of four-year institution of higher learning in the year of the award and remained in good standing with the school.
In a state where education is often looked at in a negative light, Johnson said it is important that people know that Mississippi has the potential to produce great leaders in the world.
“Education in Mississippi is often labeled as mediocre by those who have no knowledge of the remarkable individuals who come from this state,” Johnson said. “This scholarship allows six USM graduates to create a spotlight and it provides a much needed push for up-and-coming students to one day create a platform of their own to prove that the state of Mississippi can produce future leaders in the world.”
Although he is a native of Concord, North Carolina, Johnson received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in health and human performance in May 2015.
Like Johnson, Ruffin not only feels that the scholarship shines a positive light on education in Mississippi, it helps students financially in a time where the price to attend college continues to rise.
“This scholarship gives people an opportunity to minimize the burden of trying to pay for college alone,” Ruffin said. “Grants and financial aid are getting harder to receive. This scholarship serves as a way to help others and to show that hard work does pay off.”
Ruffin received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in aerospace studies in May 2013.
Together, the six of them hope to make a lasting impact on students in the state of Mississippi.
“If we do not take the time to give back to our own, then how will we make a difference for the future,” Bevily said. “It is our goal to motivate and encourage students in Mississippi to be the future leaders of tomorrow.”
The scholarship committee will award four students with scholarships. The scholarship recipients will be announced by May 31st. For more information about the DODD Scholarship, email firstname.lastname@example.org.