African American Leadership Award Scholarship

The African American Leadership Award Scholarship is for African American students who will be incoming freshmen at Utah State University. Amount varies based on available funds. The scholarship will be awarded each Spring for use in the next academic school year at Utah State University. 

Deadline for application: February 15th

Who Can Apply

The African American Leadership Award is for African American students who are graduating high school seniors, with preference given to students who are from the state of Utah. Applicants need to have demonstrated leadership in their high schools and in their communities and show special talent and potential for continued leadership.

Apply Now with USU General Scholarship Application

About Paul A. and Sylvia M. Jones

Paul A. Jones was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. He attended Utah State from 1981 to 1984 on a football scholarship and also participated in track and field. He earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communications and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Utah State. Of his time at Utah State he states, "USU was the best thing that could have happened to me. It took an inner-city kid who was ‘rough around the edges’ and helped develop him personally, spiritually and intellectually.” Paul also earned a doctorate in education and human resource studies with a concentration in educational leadership from Colorado State University. His professional career included time at Utah State as the school relations recruiter where he focused on diversity and recruitment of minority high school students. His career in higher education has been spent in Utah, Maryland, Colorado and Georgia. He joined Georgia College in 2002 and continued to demonstrate his capacity for leadership by taking on more responsibilities when needed, including his willingness to serve as interim president during an important transitional period. In November of 2015, he was named as the President of Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia. Paul has continued to serve in his community through several memberships and leadership positions including the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia. 

Sylvia M. Jones was born in San Antonio, Texas. Coming from a military family, she lived overseas for most of her teenage years. During the middle of her junior year of high school, her father was transferred to Salt Lake City, where she learned of Utah State University. She met Paul at USU and was involved in numerous activities. With support from the administration, they started the USU Voices of Praise Gospel Choir, one of her fondest memories as an Aggie. Sylvia earned a bachelor’s in economics in 1987 from Utah State and an MBA from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Sylvia’s career has been in the financial education industry. She worked on campuses in Colorado and Georgia as financial aid director, before taking a position with Wells Fargo Bank as an assistant vice president-account executive in the Education Financial Services. She is involved with many regional and state higher education organizations. Every year she spends many volunteer hours in her community conducting presentations at high schools, as well as working with several students and parents as they navigate the admissions and financial aid process, which can be daunting and overwhelming for many first generation families.