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Covington Challenges Emerging Scholars to Not Accept Average

The 2019 Emerging Scholars

Wendell Covington Jr.Wendell Covington Jr., consultant and former CEO at Mathew-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, gave the keynote address at the 24th Annual Emerging Scholars Awards Banquet held recently at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley. 

The event honored Emerging Scholars from the Florissant Valley and Forest Park campuses. 

During his talk, Covington, who once served as the director of the Gateway to College program on campus, and who has more than 15 years of experience working with youth and at-risk populations, teased, “You done messed up now. You let us know you’re smart. You let us know that you have a future, and that we can depend on you to lead us into the new millennium and beyond.” 

He also gave students this piece of advice: “You cannot accept average. Average is your devil. Average is your paralysis of greatness.” 

During the highly-anticipated event, 12 students who started college struggling were recognized as Emerging Scholars for earning 3.5 grade-point averages and overcoming academic challenges. 

Khiryn Drawhorn will attend the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the spring and major in communications after she graduates from STLCC-Florissant Valley in the fall. Drawhorn said the program affirmed her efforts as a student. 

“Being part of Emerging Scholars means my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and that at this point in my school career, I’m doing something right,” Drawhorn said. 

The Emerging Scholars program was established in 1996 at STLCC-Florissant Valley as a way to recognize academic excellence and encourage students taking developmental courses. Since then, the program has been adopted districtwide. 

To be selected as an Emerging Scholar, students had to complete at least two or more developmental courses in English, math or reading. In addition, they had to complete 24 or more college-level credit hours at STLCC-Florissant Valley or Forest Park while maintaining a grade-point average of 3.5 or above. Students who met the criteria were invited by a committee to apply for the recognition. 

During the ceremony, students are named Emerging Scholars, receive an award and certificate from the College. Emerging Scholars also receive paid memberships into Phi Theta Kappa, the largest honor society in American higher education. In addition, scholarships are awarded to some recipients based on financial need and funding levels in the scholarship fund. 

The faculty or staff identified as having made the most significant impact on the students’ success are also named Mentors and receive certificates. 

A total of $850 was awarded to STLCC-Florissant Valley Emerging Scholars. Additionally, $1,050 was awarded to STLCC-Forest Park Emerging Scholars. 

The 2019 class of Emerging Scholars and Mentors (listed inside the parentheses) are: 

STLCC-Florissant Valley

Julie Beeman (Howard Rosenthal, professor, human services, and Victoria Aitken, adjunct faculty, sociology and anthropology), Khiryn Drawhorn (Tim Layton, associate professor, English, and Renee Thomas-Woods, associate professor, communications), La’Darah Dukes (Cierra Young, part-time employee, mathematics, and Sarah Burkhardt, adjunct faculty, mathematics), Maria Manahan (Rokhaya Ndao, professor, mathematics, and Donna Friedman, professor, chemistry), Callistus Nwamba (Janet Muehling, adjunct faculty, mathematics, and Linda Collins, associate professor, history), Bouchra Raji (Deanna Martin, assistant professor, nursing, and Maria Darris, instructor II, nursing) and Ebony Washington (Ivory Hill, academic advisor, and April Garrison, assistant professor, mathematics).

STLCC-Forest Park

Christopher Brooks (Tamala Turner, coordinator, student assistance program), Phyllis Cole (Jamie Bolar, senior project I, director of student support), Shymika DuPree (Tamala Turner, coordinator, student assistance program), Saiyora Nabieva (Keith Hulsey, professor, English as a Second Language, and Eva Fonseca, professor, English as a Second Language) and Antoinette Tischler (Bryan Landis, adjunct faculty, biological science). 

For more information about STLCC’s Emerging Scholars program or to make a donation, contact the STLCC Foundation at 314-539-5472.

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