Dire Need Scholarship Fund
by LaDonna Hendrix
Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter, UAPB National Alumni Association Board of Directors-Central Region
The Dire Need Scholarship Fund was designed to help UAPB students who have a critical financial need. Students who have exhausted all means of financial aid, student loans and family support and do not have the capability of paying their outstanding college balance can apply for this scholarship. When students facing this dire need are assisted, it helps them to move forward academically. It offers necessary relief and encourages them to continue their education.
This originally started as The Lifeline Fund which was a joint 3-year fundraising effort of UAPB and the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association. The concept originated from three separate efforts/concerns to develop a pool of funds to help students who just did not have the means to get money to stay in school. Gralon Johnson, a graduate and 2008-2009 Student Government Association President, approached Dr. Margaret Martin-Hall, who was the Director of University Relations and Development at that time, and asked for help and guidance in developing and implementing a fundraising effort to benefit students in dire need. Dr. Martin-Hall then reached out to then National Alumni Association(NAA)” President Hannibal Bolton. Chapters set up Lifeline or Dire Need accounts to support students from their local area. That initiative was launched in 2009. Later alumni who were not affiliated with a chapter also wanted to donate to the NAA Dire Need Scholarship to assist students. Through these funds we have assisted hundreds if not thousands of students, complete enrollment for the semester, purchase that one book needed for their senior year, or pay off that final balance in order to be cleared to graduate!
In 2020, there was an End of Year Challenge to raise funds for the Dire Need Scholarship Fund, and alumni showed up and showed out!
In 2021, we had the Water Crisis. Alumni came through with monetary and other donations like food and water! Showed up and showed out!
In January 2023, President Tanesha Thompson gave the challenge to think UAPB Everyday… that’s 365 days that UAPB/AM&N should cross your mind. She made the call to donate any form of that whether it is $36.50, $365, or $3650. Again, alumni showed up and showed out all based on their love of “”Dear Mother, and their desire to pay it forward and help students fulfill that dream of walking across the stage to obtain their degree!
In August, President Thompson suggested everyone on the UAPB National Alumni Association Board donate $20 to the Dire Need Scholarship and reach out to 20 of their contacts to do the same. That spearheaded a 48-hour social media fundraising event, 20 for $20! … and what happened “alumni showed up and showed out!”
We hope you keep the Dire Need Scholarship Fund in mind when making donations to the alumni association. Remember, every dollar counts, and there is a graduating student who’s smiling proudly saying “an alumni ma,de this happen!”
Now remember, think UAPB and AM&N EVERYDAY. Our Students need you!
LaDonna Hendrix, Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter
UAPB National Alumni Association Board of Directors-Central Region