Scholar Spotlights

2021 Scholar Spotlight


Miss Jamya Graham

Jamya Graham, a 2019 and 2021 BWLC Foundation Scholar, is now a rising senior majoring in Communication with a minor in Urban Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). She intends to use her minor in urban planning to assist housing programs as they equipping residents with financial literacy skills and home ownership. Jamya started and currently serves as the President and Founder of the “Carolina Defender”, the first predominantly black student organization in a predominantly white space. Through the organization she leads Student forums focused on conversations based on their campus life experiences. Jamya and her team planned the 1st Annual Candle lighting, a celebration expressed through art, dance and poetry, created to recognize individuals who’ve contributed to the university. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Carolina Union, a decision making campaign focused on the “Saying Their Name Campaign.” We the BWLC Foundation are so very proud of Jamya and all of her accomplishments. We wish Jamya much success as graduation nears! Continue to DREAM BIG JAMYA! We will always be here to support you.

2020 Scholar Spotlight


Miss Zya Kinney

Miss Zya Kinney is a 2019 BWLC Scholarship Recipient. Zya attended James H Blake, HS in Maryland before being attending Hampton University. Zya had many accomplishments during High School but two of her biggest accomplishments were being named a Merit of Service student with over 260 hours earned and coordinating a “Self Care Day” event with members of the group that she served as a leader called,  Female Achieving and Maintaining Excellence “FAME”. She brought in sponsors from MaryKay and had a turnout of over 100 girls! What an accomplishment.

This year Zya will be entering her senior year at Hampton University with a major in Journalism. This is an exciting year for her as she just moved into her new apartment near the campus and started her internship at Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Outside of work, Zya keeps occupied by doing Podcast on students and college life during a pandemic and catching up on movies. Zya has written for ”The Hampton Script”, a college paper that discusses only a small fraction of amazing things her fellow Hamptonians do. She wants to be able to not only witness Hampton University’s accomplishments but to recognize other HBCU’s across the country through Journalism. 

The BWLC Scholarship Foundation wishes Zya nothing but the best in her future endeavors! We love you Zya!


2020 Scholar Spotlight


Miss Sydney Barrett

Miss Sydney Barrett has been a Foundation Scholar since 2017. She is a graduate of Fairport High School in Rochester, NY, and a Urban League Black Scholar. She will begin her senior year in the fall of 2020 at Xavier University in New Orleans. She is a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Sydney chose Xavier because of its diversity and the connection Xavier has with the University of Rochester (U of R) School of Medicine and Dentistry. Xavier is ranked the #3 HBCU academically in the country and graduates the highest number of minorities that go on to attend medical school. Because of the program between Xavier and the University of Rochester, Sydney was able to apply to medical school at U of R at the end of her sophomore year and has already been accepted. She will begin medical school in the fall of 2021.
Sydney has had a strong sense of community and giving back since her high school years. She tutored children at School #22 in Rochester while in high school and has continued to tutor young children while in college. Last summer, she also participated in an undergraduate research program in the Office of Health / Equity with the University of Michigan. In her spare time Sydney enjoys playing the cello and watching the NBA.

We congratulate Sydney on her successes and look forward to hearing more about her accomplishments as she pursues a career in medicine.

2019 Scholar Spotlight

Miss Jazmine C. Saunders

Miss Jazmine C. Saunders is a 2018 BWLC Scholar who graduated as Valedictorian from Greece Odyssey Academy in Rochester, NY. She has just completed her freshman year at the Eastman School of Music where she majors in Applied Music (performance) for Voice. Jazmine aspires to be an Operatic Soprano.

She has been invited to participate in the prestigious “Si Parla Si Canta” summer music program in Arona, Italy, where she will enrich her understanding of the Italian language, culture, repertoire and Bel Canto singing. Her time in Italy will culminate in at least three public performances in Italian Opera Halls.

Jazmine will be performing a Benefit Recital on May 26th at 5:00 pm at the Kanack School of Musical Artistry, located at 2077 S. Clinton Ave in Rochester, NY, where she will be rendering works from Bellini, Marcello, Lotti, Scarlatti, and HT Burleigh.

We are so very proud of Jazmine’s accomplishments thus far and anxiously await what is in store in her bright future.