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White House Initiative Taps JCSU Student Paige Davis as HBCU Scholar

By: Office of White house

Paige Davis ’23 is no stranger to scholastic excellence. The rising JCSU senior from New Jersey has a rich background in educational achievement.

Now she has something new to add to her list of accomplishments.

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Davis was named to the 9th cohort of HBCU Scholars.

“I’m very excited to be able to go to the White House, learn new things, and meet the administration,” she said. “I was shocked that I was the only one who made it from our school in particular, because I know there are really talented students at Johnson C. Smith University.”

Prior to attending JCSU, Davis was dual-enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Cato Middle College High School (associated with Central Piedmont Community College). She earned her high school diploma and an associate’s degree in Arts and transferred to JCSU as a second-semester sophomore in the Computer Science program.

Her strong leadership, civic engagement and academic commitment earned her a spot in this year’s HBCU Scholars program.

“The HBCU Scholars announced today have dedicated themselves to their learning and exemplify the talent that our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have nurtured for generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

Although more than 350 students from 56 HBCUs across the U.S. applied, only 86 made the cut, and Davis was one of them. She joins the 9th cohort of the program, which is a part of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Terik Tidwell, executive director of the Smith Tech-Innovation Center, sponsored Davis’ application, stating she was an ideal candidate for the program.

“We sponsor students who are standard bearers: intellectually curious, empathetic, collaborative, passionate and entrepreneurial,” he said. “Paige’s engagement inside and outside of the classroom made an impact. She is destined to become a transformational leader.” 

“Johnson C Smith University is proud to be represented by one of our brightest computer science/information systems majors, Paige Davis,” added Dr. Karen D. Morgan, senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “A high-achieving senior in our STEM program, Paige demonstrates our strategic goal of academic excellence in action. Opportunities like the HBCU Scholars Program complement JCSU’s commitment to producing highly educated global citizens like Paige who are able to go out into the world and lead the way to a brighter tomorrow.”

As a White House Scholar, Davis will serve as an ambassador for the program and JCSU throughout the 2022-23 academic year. During her ambassadorship, she will be offered training and opportunities to network with other scholars in her cohort.

Additionally, Davis will be invited to the 2022 HBCU Week National Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., in September. Sessions during this annual conference are designed to help the scholars grow professionally and create opportunities post-graduation for careers in business or with non-profit or federal agencies

“I’m very excited about the conference. This will be my first time going to Washington, D.C. and visiting the White House,” Davis said. “It’s a great opportunity to network and learn new things about our government and different careers within tech.”

Davis is set to graduate next year, and aspires to start her professional career in product management and will later pursue a graduate degree in Business.

For more information about the HBCU White House Scholar program, visit

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