Claflin's Cooper, Heslop named White House Initiative HBCU All-Stars

Aug 24, 2015
Claflin University students Kimesha Cooper of Hemingway, S.C., and Kareem Heslop of Orangeburg are among 83 HBCU All-Stars being recognized by the White House Initiative on Historically Black College and Universities (WHIHBCUs) for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic engagement. Claflin leads with two of the six HBCU All-Stars attending institutions in South Carolina.

Headshots of the 2015 Claflin HBCU All Stars

“Being awarded this opportunity as an HBCU All Star is a blessing and one that I will not take for granted,” said Cooper, a senior majoring in politics and justice studies.  “I will represent my institution with Panther Pride, dignity, and honor. I look forward to a great year as an HBCU All-Star.”

 The All-Stars were selected from more than 450 students who submitted applications that included a transcript, resume, essay, and recommendation. Over the course of the year, the HBCU All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the WHIHBCUs by providing outreach and communication with their fellow students about the value of education and the role of the Initiative as a networking resource. Through social media and their relationships with community based organizations, the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.

 “Having been selected as an HBCU All-Star for the White House Initiative means that I now have an opportunity to directly influence and help with Claflin’s vision of creating visionary students,” said Heslop, a junior majoring in biotechnology.  “I know that there are some resources that will be available to me through this program.  This experience will give me a chance to help.”

The All-Stars will also participate in this year’s White House HBCU Week Conference in September as well as various national events, web chats with Toldson and other Initiative staff and professionals from a range of disciplines. The All-Stars will have exceptional opportunities to engage with other HBCU scholars and to showcase their individual and collective talent across the HBCU community. 

“The Obama Administration is committed to promoting excellence, innovation and sustainability across our nation’s HBCUs. This year’s class of All-Stars has distinguished itself as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and noble ambassadors of their respective institutions.” said Ivory A. Toldson, WHIHBCUs’ acting executive director. “We are confident these impressive students will help the White House Initiative on HBCUs meaningfully engage with students, showcase their talent and advance our agenda to advance academic excellence at HBCUs.”

For more information regarding the 2015 HBCU All-Star Student program and application contact: and follow @WHI_HBCUs on Twitter.

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