Florida A&M University (FAMU) student Max Beauvoir was selected as a grand prize winner in Alltel Wireless’ Fifth Annual “Words of Wisdom” essay contest for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Beauvoir was one of 10 winners selected from more than 1,200 applicants to receive a $10,000 scholarship to the HBCU of his choice. Beauvoir traveled to Little Rock, Ark., for a luncheon in his honor at the Alltel Arena where he was presented his award by world-renowned poet Maya Angelou.
A native of Haiti and a fourth-year pharmacy student, Beauvoir’s essay was selected by local educators, business leaders and company employees based on his response to the following essay question, “The foundation has been laid. And as a people, we’ve shown what we can do when called upon for change. How are you being called to build upon this new spirit of change?”
In his essay, Beauvoir spoke about the government’s responsibility to ensure quality education for all citizens, regardless of socio-economic status. He writes, “A global investment in education, I believe, will propel our entire civilization towards a better future…The next Albert Einstein could very well be an unexposed mind in a remote corner of a third world country.”
When asked what was his initial reaction when he found he had won, Beauvoir was not lost for words.
“I was surprised and excited because I was selected out of 1,300 applicants,” said Beauvoir. “I have written about a lot of stuff when it comes to social issues, so it wasn’t new to me, but to have my work judged by a published author like Dr. Maya Angelou is very important to me. This scholarship is going to help me out a lot.”
“Each year, the ‘Words of Wisdom’ essay contest celebrates the achievements of African-American students from across the country,” said Regina Woziwodzki, director of multicultural marketing for the company. “We are proud to honor these 10 students for their commitment to education and we encourage them to continue to seek opportunities to evoke change in our country.”
While in Little Rock, the students also toured local historical landmarks including the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, Mosaic Templars Museum and Central High School, where nine African-American students led the way for school integration in the United States.