Hailing from North Carolina and Georgia, these academically gifted students boast an overall grade point average of 4.25.
“The continued success of North Carolina Central University’s Cheatham-White Merit Scholars is a testament to the purpose of the program, which is to allow this group of scholars to pursue academic excellence in the arts and sciences relieved of the typical financial burden,” said Sharon Oliver, Ed.D., interim associate vice chancellor for Enrollment Management. “We have had the fortunate opportunity to witness students’ growth and development academically, as well as through their community service, leadership experiences, enrichment activities and networking opportunities.”
Now in its fourth year, the four-year-scholarship program was created with $3.2 million authorized by the North Carolina General Assembly for incoming students at NCCU and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The award covers tuition, room and board, student fees, books, a laptop computer, supplies and personal expenses, including four summer experiences that could include international studies. The scholarships are named for Henry P. Cheatham and George Henry White, both African Americans from North Carolina who served in Congress in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
NCCU’s first Cheatham-White scholar graduated in May 2020 after just two years on campus. Joshualan Parrish, who arrived at NCCU in the fall of 2018, is now a law student at Wake Forest University.
The recently selected 2021-2022 cohort of NCCU Cheatham-White Merit Scholars are:
- Monique Armelle Zulueta Dacanay, daughter of Manuel and Michelle Dacanay, is from Raleigh, N.C. A graduate of Leesville Road High School, Monique was the president and co-founder of Tri-M Music Honor Society, vice president of Health Occupations Students of America, and associate principal violinist of the Leesville Chamber Orchestra. She volunteers as a tutor for violin students and for UNC REX Hospital. She was recognized with both regional and national awards by the National Center for Women & Information Technology for her work in the STEM field. Monique plans to major in biomedical sciences.
- Taya Davis, daughter of Cornelius and Tonia Davis, is from Alpharetta, Ga. Taya graduated from Denmark High School, where she served as president of the Black Student Union Association; as Dane Director, assisting the counseling and administrative offices; and as a peer tutor. Additionally, she was an active member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society, where she accumulated over 150 service hours. Taya plans to major in biomedical sciences.
- Ezeji Nwanaji-Enwerem, son of Pamaji and Chioma Nwanaji-Enwerem, is from Concord, N.C. A graduate of Concord High School, Ezeji was a member of the men's soccer team and a leader of numerous service projects on campus. He served as a member of the City of Concord Youth Council for four years, where he chaired community events and participated in outreach activities such as health fairs and tutoring sessions. Ezeji plans to major in biology.
- Morgan Parham, daughter of James and Angela Parham, hails from Raleigh, N.C. Morgan graduated from Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, where she was captain of the varsity cheer team and student body president. She was also an active member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Southeast Raleigh High School Dance Program and National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Morgan plans to major in nursing.
- Auston Terrell Parker, son of Edward Parker and Valerie Parker, is a native of Cary N.C. Auston graduated from Panther Creek High School, where he was a member of the varsity baseball team. He is an active in his community, volunteering at a local food bank and the Miracle League of the Triangle serving individuals with special needs. Auston plans to major in physics and mechanical engineering.
- Sameen Qadri, daughter of Anila and Saleem Qadri, is from Durham, N.C. Sameen graduated from C.E Jordan High School, where she served as president of the school’s Habitat for Humanity chapter. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. Sameen also was active with ICNA Relief, a disaster relief organization, forming her own volunteer group. Sameen’s major is undecided.
- Haylei Reynolds, daughter of Keesha and Andre Reynolds, hails from Charlotte, N.C. Haylei graduated from Mallard Creek High School, where she participated in the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and the AP Capstone Program. She played for the varsity soccer team and volunteered with Center for Advancement. Haylei plans to major in political science.
- Taylor Rooks, daughter of Tosha and Tracey Rooks, calls High Point, N.C. home. Taylor graduated from Western Guilford High School, where she was a member of the National Honors Society and Beta Club. She is also founder and president of the Cone Cares organization, which provides support to teachers and other staff members of Cone Elementary School in Greensboro, N.C., through after-school volunteerism. Taylor plans to study biomedical sciences.
- Treylan Savage, son of Jeremy and Shayla Savage, is from High Point, N.C. Treylan is a graduate of Greensboro College Middle College, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and participated in the Bank of America Student Leader program. While in high school, he founded the T-shirt design company Archived Pieces. Additionally, he volunteers at Out of the Garden Food Pantry. Treylan plans to major in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship.
- Fredrick Sessoms, son of Fred and Veronica Sessoms, hails from Durham, N.C. Fredrick graduated from Research Triangle High School, where he was a lead solution composer of the District C Business Program, a student group working to solve real-world problems, and a project analyst for his high school’s Programming Club. Fredrick plans to major in computer science and business.