Beyoncé announced the winners of The Formation Scholars Award Thursday, June 15, which was granted to women who are undergraduate and graduate students at select universities.
Berklee College of Music sophomore Sadiya Ramos, Parsons School of Design second-year student Avery Youngblood, Howard University graduate student Maya Rogers and Spelman College junior Bria Paige are the four recipients of the merit-based, full-ride scholarship.
Each student maintains a 3.5 GPA and they study dance, graphic design and language, music therapy and English, respectively. As part of the application process, the women submitted short essays about why Bey’s seminal album, “Lemonade,” inspired them.
Paige said she plans to merge her interests in English literature and Black feminism.
“‘Lemonade’ inspired my Mellon research proposal, ultimately fueling my desire to pursue doctoral studies centered on Black feminist thought and contribute to the evolvement of diverse scholarship within academia,” she said in a statement. “Experiencing Beyoncé blur the lines between the personal and political and influence culture worldwide, while championing Black women and our experience, empowers me to discover effective and culturally sound ways to see myself within the world and my academic future.”
The Formation scholarship was announced on April 24, the first anniversary of “Lemonade,” and a statement said it was meant to support women “who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.” The finalists and winners were chosen by committees from the applicable colleges and universities.
“I am tremendously humbled and honored to receive Beyoncé’s Formation Scholars Award on behalf of Boston Conservatory at Berklee,” Ramos said in a press release. “Beyoncé’s artistry and determination has inspired me as a dancer, and I plan to pay tribute and expound on her legacy at the Conservatory with this scholarship.”
Twitter users applauded the scholars for earning the award, which was gifted through Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD foundation.
This is my friend y'all!!!!!! I know her!!! And Beyoncé knows her now!!! So I know Beyoncé by default!! But that's not the point!!! https://t.co/ohaud1dw48
— Cyn. (@ohimfancyduh) June 15, 2017
OMG YES MAYA MUSIC THERAPY MAJOR COME THRUUUUUU REPRESENT FOR US YESSSSS https://t.co/0l7Sn7HHs2
— Mia B (@miajanai_) June 15, 2017
"Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper" 🎶📜📚 #FormationScholars https://t.co/kvCauvQGvv
— Suzanne van der Beek (@SuzannevdrBeek) June 15, 2017