Black Americans in the 2016 Class of Truman Scholars

Truman-Scholarship-GrantThe Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has announced the selection of the 2016 Truman Scholars. Each Truman Scholar is awarded up to $30,000 for graduate study. They also receive priority admission to several top-tier graduate schools, have career and graduate school counseling opportunities, and are fast-tracked for internships within the federal government.

Truman Scholars must be U.S. citizens and be in the top 25 percent of their college class. They must express a commitment to government service or the nonprofit sector. Since the establishment of the program in 1975, 3,077 students have been named Truman Scholars.

This year, 54 Truman scholars were selected from 775 candidates nominated by 305 colleges and universities. This year’s winners will assemble for a leadership development workshop at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, in late May.

Of this year’s 54 Truman Scholars, it appears that nine, or 16.7 percent, are Black Americans.

2016 Truman Fellows

Cecil Carey, Allyson Carpenter and JT Flowers

Cecil Carey is student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he is majoring in political science with a concentration in educational policy. A native of Maine, he is interning this summer with the Center for American Progress. He has also interned at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Allyson Carpenter is a junior at Howard University in Washington, D.C., studying political science and community development. At age 18, she was elected to serve as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the District of Columbia, making her the youngest elected official in the history of the nation’s capital.

Born and raised in the urban heart of Portland, Oregon, JT Flowers is a junior double majoring in global affairs and ethnicity, race and migration at Yale University. He is the founder and president of A Leg Even, a nonprofit organization geared towards facilitating the academic and professional success of lower-income college freshmen at Yale.


Bianca Guerrero, Natalie Jones and Deshawn McKinney

Bianca Guerrero is a Kluge Scholar and political science major at Columbia University in New York City. She has a deep interest in education access and reform. As an intern at City in the Community in East Harlem and then in Manchester, England, she used soccer programs to keep disadvantaged youth on track academically. Guerrero’s parents are both Dominican immigrants.

Natalie Jones is an English and sociology double major at Mississippi State University. She is a Presidential Endowed Scholar at her school and is a member of the Shackouls Honors College. Natalie is the founder of the Shackouls Honors College Diversity Initiative and is also a member of the university’s student government. Her post-graduate goals include receiving a juris doctorate and a master’s degree in public policy.

Deshawn McKinney is a third-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a degree in creative writing with a certificate in African-American studies. He currently sits on the board of directors for the United States Student Association, the country’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive national student-led organization. In addition, he sits on the Title IX Advisory Board at the university.


Briana Payton, Lia Petrose and Kali Tambree

Briana Payton, from metropolitan Detroit, is a junior at Princeton University in New Jersey. She is a sociology major with minors in African American studies, American studies, and Spanish language and culture. She hopes to earn a master’s degree in social service administration and pursue a career working with non-profits and NGOs that focus on youth empowerment and development.

Lia Petrose is a junior studying neuroscience, economics, and international and area studies with a focus on health economics and macro-level health policy at the University of Pittsburgh. She has conducted research in Malawi concerning the cost-effectiveness of health information management systems. After graduation, Petrose hopes to pursue a dual career in medicine and health policy.

Kali Tambree is a sociology major with concentrations in Africana studies and prison studies at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology. She directs the Vassar Prison Initiative, and is a member of the national Student Alliance for Prison Reform.


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