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NCCU Students Selected for Elite White House Initiative

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Deja Young
Temilade Aladeniyi
Published: Friday, August 19, 2016

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) has named two North Carolina Central University (NCCU) students HBCU All-Stars.

Deja Young and Temilade Aladeniyi were among 73 winners selected from an application pool of 300 students to become HBCU ambassadors for the White House.

The program, established in 2010 as part of President Obama’s Executive Order, rates applicants on academic achievement, leadership and civic engagement. To be considered as an HBCU All-Star, students must submit their college transcripts, résumés, produce an essay and gather letters of recommendation.

“Deja Young and Temilade Aladeniyi’s selection as members of the White House Initiative’s HBCU All-Star program is a great distinction and a well-deserved honor,” said NCCU Acting Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D. “Their determination for academic excellence and achievement is a great example of the many scholars North Carolina Central University produces.”

Young, a Lexington, N.C., native pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics secondary education and psychology, credits last year’s honoree, Tamina Kienka, for encouraging her to apply.

“I’m very excited to be an HBCU All-Star, I’ve been working hard and preparing for this moment,” said Young, who is also a member of the university’s honors program and Kappa Delta Pi, international education honor society.

Along with her academic achievements, Young is an undergraduate research assistant at NCCU’s Center for Translational Health Equality Research.

Aladeniyi, a sophomore biology student from Charlotte, considers it a great opportunity to represent North Carolina Central University among many other brilliant students from HBCUs around the country.

“The support and encouragement from NCCU’s faculty, staff and alumni has allowed me to excel in my major and co-curricular activities. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my academic success and this award without their support,” said Aladeniyi. “NCCU has embraced me and I’m so excited to represent NCCU as an White House HBCU All-Star.”

Aladeniyi, a native of Nigeria who has studied at NCCU since 2014, currently has a 4.0 grade point average. She has been involved with several student organizations, including the NCCU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team, and is the president of the Association of Students for a Better Africa.

She is also a member of NCCU’s chapter of GlobeMed, a student led non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen global health equality. She has also contributed greatly to the NCCU community through her work as an undergraduate research assistant.

“We’re looking forward to working with this new class of HBCU All Stars,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Education and Acting Executive Director White House Initiative on HBCUs Kim Hunter Reed. “Our goal is to provide a unique opportunity for these talented students that exposes them to critical national conversations and thought leaders. No doubt they will make their mark and represent their campuses well.”

Over the course of the next year, along with other HBCU All-Stars, Young and Aladeniyi will participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference in September, as well as take part in national events and engage via web chats with professionals from a range of disciplines.

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