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BY [Katherine BRINKLEY-BROOMFIELD]

The Million-Dollar scholar

EMMANUEL BLAKE DAW$ON If academia had a National Signing Day similar to the NBA’s, Emmanuel Blake Dawson would have been the top draft pick. In spring 2016, the nation and media were abuzz about the high school senior whose academic prowess garnered him more than $1 million in scholarship offers. Graduating from high school with a 4.2 GPA and 28 on the ACT, Dawson’s academic caliber earned him full rides to three universities, as well as five-digit offers from eight other universities, a total scholarship offering of $1,002,836. He quickly became known as “The Million-Dollar Scholar.” He also received the Brown-Forman Summer Internship Scholarship, the Brown-Forman Youth Achievers Scholarship, the Humana Summer Internship Scholarship, the Humana Youth Achievers Scholarship,

the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, the Rowan Family Reunion Scholarship and the YMCA Youth Character Award Scholarship. “It was just really nice to make my granny proud,” Dawson said, reflecting on how it felt to receive so many scholarship offers. “She passed away before getting to see me receive all of these scholarships. But I always promised her, ‘I am going to graduate as valedictorian,’ which I did, and ‘I am going to graduate from college debt-free,’ which I will.” Fast-forward one year and the Louisville, Kentucky, native is spending spring 2017 on the campus of Florida A&M University— having turned down offers from Bellarmine, Butler, Concordia of Chicago, Eastern Kentucky, Fisk, Hampton, Kentucky, Louisville, Northern

Kentucky and Pittsburgh universities. He is thriving in FAMU’s School of Business and Industry (SBI), majoring in business administration. And if you ask him if he made the right choice, his answer without hesitation is “yes.” “When I came and toured FAMU, I felt the love. Everything about it felt like home. It didn’t matter who I approached on campus, they were always ready, warm and welcoming,” said Dawson, who is involved in several student organizations on campus, including the FAMU Kinship of Big Brother Little Brother Mentoring Program, the Honor Student Association and the Student Financial Organization. With so many offers to choose from, Dawson said, it was a call from an SBI recruiter that sealed the deal. O’Hara Hannah

called Dawson personally to tell him he’d been offered a full-ride scholarship to FAMU. “We talked for about an hour about all the great things SBI had to offer,” Dawson recalled. “It was then that I knew FAMU would be the right place for me to go. It was one of the best days ever.” During his freshman year, it was FAMU’s familyoriented environment that helped him navigate through a difficult health issue. He spent his first semester in and out of the hospital due to an enlarged heart. But with encouragement and support from his professors and friends in the SBI Living-Learning Community (LLC) at FAMU Village, he finished the semester with a 3.8 GPA, making the Dean’s List and growing to further appreciate his choice to become a Rattler.4

A&M MAGAZINE // SUMMER 2017 // 7

Profile for FAMU Communications

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...