On Tuesday, March 19, Oluwatobi “Tobi” Ojemakinde, a senior at the Louisiana School for Math Science and the Arts (LSMSA), received notice that she was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge.
“It feels amazing,” said Ojemakinde. “It’s a relief off my parents and myself.”
The President’s Alumni Scholars Award is granted to ten entering freshman who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievement during their high school career. Louisiana residents are awarded up to $33,000 a year, with an additional $2,000 study-abroad stipend and the chance to receive an extension of $1,550 a year if they choose to participate in the President’s Future Leaders in Research Program.
To be considered, students were invited to write an essay on how they would like to change the world using the skills they currently have and skills they plan to gain while attending college. Ojemakinde chose to discuss the HIV/AIDs epidemic.
“I talked about doing research in order to better communities,” expressed Ojemakinde. “I’m Nigerian-American, so I talked about how health-care isn’t readily available in Nigeria. I also discussed how rural areas of the south have little availability to accessible health-care. Doing research and getting more education about the subject of HIV and AIDs will allow for me to educate more people, raise awareness, clear the stigma around it and make them aware that there are ways to prevent it.”
Ojemakinde stated that she was heavily influenced by the HIV/AIDs Epidemic Special Project class offered this past January by Senior Lecturer of Mathematics Jennifer Mangum and Lecturer of Biology Dr. Jason Anderson. She aspires to major in biology and minor in Spanish in college, with an overall goal of going into pre-med with a focus on infectious diseases.
“The AIDs epidemic sort of gets swept under the rug,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know that it is still a huge problem that effects a lot of people all over the world. I’m from Shreveport, and just thinking about some of the conversations I had at my old school made me realize that a lot of people are un-informed about it. I would like to raise awareness to change that.”
Currently, Ojemakinde is president of LSMSA’s Red Cross group, treasurer of Eagles Wings, a member of the volleyball team, a member of the Future Scientists Program and a school ambassador. Her favorite class is Human Anatomy with Principal Lecturer of Biology Dr. Allison Landry.
LSMSA’s College Counseling Center has a staff dedicated to helping students find scholarship opportunities all across the nation. To take advantage of this opportunity, apply now for the 2019-2020 school year. The application is free and available at www.LSMSA.edu/apply.