Titus Ziegler, of Atlanta, Ga., is the winner of the Tom Joyner Foundation® “Full Ride Scholarship” that will cover full tuition, room and board (on-campus only) and books up to 10 semesters.
Tom Joyner, the Foundation’s chairman and founder, announced his scholarship today during the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” which airs in markets across the country and reaches more than eight million listeners every week. Ziegler was selected from hundreds of applicants for the scholarship. His many accomplishments include serving as commander of the elite Junior ROTC Color Guard and Drill Team and working as an after school tutor at Inman Middle School in Atlanta.
Ziegler plans to attend Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fla. because it has a strong biology and biological engineering program. The future trauma surgeon joined the National Guard in 11th grade, and signed up for a noncombat assignment. “My job is as a medical specialist so my job is not killing people, but to save them.”
As a tutor in his old middle school’s after school program, Ziegler realized that the kids were looking up to him. “That’s when I knew I had to be on my best behavior … I had to leave them with something good, show them how a high school student should act. I wanted to leave them with a good taste in their mouths about high school.”
Ziegler is the fourth Tom Joyner Foundation Full Ride Scholar. Previous winners include Cheyenne Boyce of Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, is set to graduate this year Phi Beta Kappa from Spelman College in Atlanta. Blaine Robertson is graduating from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a B.S. in mathematics, a B.A. in history with a minor in secondary education. The first winner, Britney Wilson, is in her second year at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University.
Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated radio show who is chairman and founder of the Tom Joyner Foundation, said he was impressed with Ziegler’s focus, drive and determination. “Titus is a very impressive young man,” Joyner said. “And he wants to become one of my frat brothers – Omega Psi Phi! What’s not to like about him?”
Cassandra Bolding, the professional school counselor at Grady High School, said in her recommendation, “His sheer determination and unrelenting desire to do great things in life will aid in helping him to achieve and even surpass his goals.” Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Major Kevin D. Stewart wrote, “He goes the extra mile to achieve success and has successfully demonstrated leadership abilities by taking charge in the absent of orders.”
To retain the scholarship, students had to meet the required academic standards each semester. Graduating high school seniors applied for the scholarship by going to BlackAmericaWeb.com.
To be eligible, students had to meet the following criteria: 1.) Be a United States citizen; 2.) Be a current high school senior attending school in the United States. Each applicant must complete high school in the spring of 2010; 3.) Have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 grade scale, excluding home school studies) and minimum SAT score of 1300 (math and verbal only) or ACT score of 28; 4.) Applicants had to apply and be accepted to an HBCU by July 1, 2010; 5.) Applicants must have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service and extracurricular activities.
Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has raised more than $65 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges. It has assisted more than 14,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs. To learn more about the Foundation, go to TomJoynerFoundation.org.