BCA scholarship spotlight: Commitment to campus
A common thread among all Black Colleagues Association (BCA) scholarship recipients is their commitment to the campus community. Mariah Moran, a 2016–2017 recipient of the Lewis and Mills Endowed Scholarship, is no exception.
Moran, a sophomore marketing major from Park Forest, is a resident assistant; an executive committee member of Illinois State’s National Association of Colored Women’s Club (NACWC); and a member of College Experience, ISU Leads, and Diversity Advocacy’s Mentoring, Academics, Scholarship, and Achievement Initiative (MASAI). Her aspirations include attending graduate school and becoming a marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company. These high aspirations are partly what have informed her involvement on campus. Business and leadership drive that involvement forward.
“Everything about NACWC screamed black excellence, and I was attracted to it. All these women were moving mountains,” she said. “One of the charter members served as my mentor, and I joined the organization. They are a group of leaders and made me want to be a part of it.”
Even her involvement in College Experience, which is a campus entertainment group, is partly motivated by her appreciation for business and leadership.
“I’m a part of College Experience for fun. We throw all the big parties and the biggest college fashion show in the state, In the Mix. I appreciate that College Experience handles everything like a business. The black community doesn’t get a big piece of the pie, and I appreciate how prepared College Experience members are when they go to secure funds for black events on campus.”
Moran learned the importance of securing funds for black students firsthand when many of her friends were unable to return to school because they could not afford the rising cost. She is relieved her BCA scholarships helped lighten the financial load. Freshman year, Moran received the 2015–2016 Vice President for Student Affairs Book Scholarship and has also been selected as a recipient for the Black Colleagues Association Scholarship for the 2017–2018 academic year. Her campus community involvement and willingness to lead helped in securing these scholarships as well.
“It’s been nothing but a blessing. To have someone believe in you and pour into you feels really good. They (BCA members) send Christmas cards and check in on us. I know I can lean on them for support.”
Moran will travel to Peru this summer to study international business and will begin an internship with Illinois State’s University Marketing and Communications in the fall.
“The more I visit other schools, I see how privileged we are,” she said of Illinois State. “The campus is beautiful, safe, and easy to get around. Getting a degree from ISU means something. I’m thankful for BCA and the opportunities they have given me, and I’m proud to be a Redbird.”