D.C. Honor Student Wins Scholarship

Alassane Traore, a senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C., has won a four –year scholarship, one of dozens of local students whose academic achievement and citizenship are being celebrated as they head toward graduation.

Traore, 17, was awarded the Benjamin Templeton scholarship by Hanover College in Hanover, Ind., The scholarship, which is valued at $140,000, honors students who have demonstrated significant interest in issues of diversity education, tolerance and social justice. According to the college’s website, the scholarship is named for its first Black student. Templeton, a free Black man who hailed from Chillicothe, Ohio, began his studies in 1832 and graduated five years later, in 1837, 10 years after the college was founded “and a full 25 years before President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation,” the website said. Templeton later led the free Black community in Philadelphia and served as the pastor of the Second African Presbyterian Church.

Traore learned about the scholarship when alumni of his high school who attended Hanover College spoke to the students. When deciding which college or university he wanted to attend, “the scholarship was a factor,” Traore said. But a visit to the campus sealed Hanover as his first choice.

“It was another like another home to me,” Traore told the {AFRO}. “It was a really good environment… Even if I didn’t get the scholarship, I would have still attended Hanover College.”

Traore said he was surprised to learn that he was awarded the scholarship. “It feels amazing,” he said. “When I first heard I won, it was like a dream. When you apply to something like [this], especially when it’s national, you don’t expect to win.”

Traore credited his mother, Adia, with inspiring him to excel.

“She grew up where education was a treasure,” he said. “She is a strong woman and because of her, I’m…pursuing my goals.”

He said he is not worried to leave home for college. “I know this is for a better and greater cause,” he said. “I’m overall excited.”

Traore said he will major in computer science, which he became interested in through video games.

He said he appreciates all the love and support he is receiving.

“Just being recognized gives me more motivation for the future,” he said.

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D.C. Honor Student Wins Scholarship


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