By PRINCESS B. WILLIAMS
Four students were recognized Thursday morning at the Tom Joyner Foundation Sky Show at Claflin University.
Each received the Hercules Scholarship for $1,500 paid directly to the university to help offset college expenses. The scholarship is named after radio personality Tom Joyner’s father, the late Hercules Joyner, who was a strong supporter of higher education.
The recipients are: Lorenzo Toland, a senior business administration major from Nesses; Jerame Smalls, a senior business management major from Charleston; Dalton Tresvant, a junior human performance and recreation major from Columbia, and Harold Smith, a freshman business management major from Atlanta.
“It’s truly a blessing to receive something like this,” Tresvant said.
“I really appreciate this. Thank you!” Harold Smith said when he arrived at the podium.
Claflin has been selected as the “School of the Month” by the Tom Joyner Foundation. During March, the university will be collaborating with the foundation to promote Claflin and raise at least $100,000 for the institution’s FOCUS 100 Student Fund.
Tom Joyner is an American radio icon and host of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show.
The Tom Joyner Foundation School of the Month program was created in 1998.
Each year, the foundation chooses 11 historically black colleges and universities which to partner. During the partnership, funds are raised for student scholarships and other necessities for the HBCU. Since 1998, it has raised more than $65 million to keep students enrolled at HBCUs.
Claflin 2011 alumnus and WLTX News 19 reporter Steven Dial hosted the event.
Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale presented more background information on the university’s FOCUS 100 Student Fund.
The fund was created in 2004 to assist students with financial emergencies, the cost of housing, books and tuition fees. The fund allows students to achieve their goals of graduating Claflin while removing the stress of financial burdens and hardships. FOCUS 100 has already contributed to students in need of emergency funding.
“Since the program was established, we’ve jumped from $50,000 to over $250,000,” Tisdale said. “We’re hoping that we’re able to double that.”
“I was able to come to Claflin, because others gave back. Take advantage of this opportunity to help our students. We are about producing visionary leaders. We want to make certain that everyone who desires an education will have the opportunity to receive one,” Tisdale said.