The Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program has announced the 2021 scholarship winners. Among the honorees is 18-year-old Alora Young of Brentwood. Young won a $25,000 scholarship for her project “Walking Gentry Home.” She is one of only 20 students across the country to be recognized as a 2021 scholarship winner.
“Being a Davidson Fellow has been a personal aspiration of mine for many years and represents my dedication to the craft of literature,” Young said in a news release. “I hope one Black girl will read my project and see that she is a part of history, that she matters, and I hope she feels less alone.”
For her project, Young chronicled the lineage of her family in West Tennessee from the 1700s to the present day. Young interviewed all living relatives, recording much of their oral history, and searched through historical records for slave papers for further documentation. Young then used poetry to tell the stories of her ancestors and their slavery in Halls, Tennessee.
Young will attend Swarthmore College in the fall where she plans to study English. Young is the Youth Poet Laureate of the Southern United States and has been recognized for her work as a Presidential Scholar of the Arts, a two-time TEDx speaker, a scholastic gold medalist, a YoungArts winner in spoken word, a recipient of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, Spring Robinson literary prize, the Lin Arison excellence in writing award and the International Human Rights Day rising advocate award.
“The 2021 Davidson Fellows Scholarship recipients have risen to the challenges of a global pandemic to complete significant projects within their fields of study,” said Bob Davidson, founder of the Davidson Institute. “To be awarded this recognition, these students have shown immense skill and work ethic, and they should be commended as they continue their educational and research journeys while continuing to work to solve some of the world’s most vexing problems.”
The 2021 Davidson Fellows will be honored during a virtual ceremony in September.
The Davidson Fellows Scholarship program offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger who have completed significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature and music. The Davidson Fellows Scholarship has provided more than $8.6 million in scholarship funds to 386 students since its inception in 2001 and has been named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report. It is a program of the Davidson Institute, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Reno, Nevada, that supports profoundly gifted youth.