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Mount St. Mary’s University Third Century Scholars Program Continues to Make Positive Impact

Communications Staff

The Mount St. Mary’s University Third Century Scholars program has helped almost two dozen underrepresented, minority students with the opportunity to attend the Mount during the last decade.

third-century-scholars-program-2017-18.jpgThe program, which allows students to earn a college degree and subsequently return home to serve their communities, is currently funded through the generous support of Joseph Horning Jr., a Mount alumnus, class of 1953, and his wife, Lynne Horning.

(Pictured left to right: Fred Reynolds, Kiara Laurenzano, Janai Price, Naila Strong, Lesly Alvarez, Amara Jerome, Michael Abraha, Chris Hamilton, James Morris and Paula Whetsel-Ribeau.)

“As a Mount graduate and a native-born Washingtonian, I have always sought out opportunities where I can bring together my love for my alma mater, my love for my hometown and my lifetime commitment to helping African-Americans,” said Horning.

“We’re extremely grateful for the generosity and kindness that Mr. Horning has shown to our Third Century Scholars,” said Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “Through his vision and support, Mr. Horning has helped numerous students not only gain a college education, but develop the character and desire to help others after graduation.”

third-century-scholars-class-of-2021.jpgThis year, the Mount is proud to welcome Amara Jerome (center), James Morris (right) and Naila Strong (left), its newest Third Century Scholars, who represent the Class of 2021.

Morris graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School, a U.S. Government National Blue Ribbon School located in Hyattsville, Maryland, and is interested in studying psychology. Daniel McMahon, Ph.D., principal of DeMatha and a Mount St. Mary’s graduate, class of 1980, endorsed Morris and provided some insight on his own undergraduate experience. “The education I received at the Mount has been instrumental in helping me forge a great career which is important, but it also has helped me become the man I am,” said McMahon.

Jerome graduated from the School Without Walls in Washington, D.C., and along with Morris, was accepted into the university’s honors program. At the Mount, she's interested in studying criminal justice. Strong, a McKinley Technology High School graduate, is focused on health science and physical therapy for her undergraduate work.

Service is an important aspect of student life at the Mount. For the 2017-18 academic year, Mount scholars have partnered with the university’s Criminal Justice Association to mentor youth from the Frederick Police Department Police Activities League.

After graduation, Third Century Scholars attend graduate school and pursue a wide range of challenging and rewarding careers in fields ranging from consulting and finance to law and government, and science and medicine to public service.

One of those students, Melissa Sorto-Zepeda, C’17, recently graduated with a degree in psychology with a minor in art, and was also on the dean’s list. After graduation, Sorto-Zepeda is planning on spending the next year working in community service in Baltimore.

"The Third Century Scholars program has given me the chance to grow and understand what it means to be in a position of leadership,” said Sorto-Zepeda. “Through all of the service that we have done for others, it has inspired me to pursue a life of service to others."

These scholarships were also made possible because of the work of Mount St. Mary’s Associate Provost for Student Engagement & Success Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ed.D. in educational leadership, and Fred Reynolds, who serves in a dual role within the office of the provost and department of athletics.

About Third Century Scholars

The Third Century Scholars program annually recruits a small group of academically distinguished students who have overcome unusual adversity and/or are members of underrepresented groups from the Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. metro areas who would contribute to Mount campus diversity. Many scholars will be the first members of their families to attend college, and some of which will be invited to the honors program. Awards contribute to the cost of attendance and are renewable each year provided the recipient remains in good academic standing.

Communications Staff