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Prairie View A&M college students awarded Farrakhan scholarship

By Jesse Muhammad -Staff Writer- | Last updated: Apr 8, 2012 - 11:50:04 AM

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HOUSTON ( - When the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was invited to speak at Prairie View A&M University back in November they offered him a $5,000 honorarium for his appearance.

To the surprise and joy of many, he turned it down and asked them to give it away as scholarships instead and recently his word was made bond.

Members of Students Participating in Transcendent Knowledge (S.P.I.T. Knowledge), the Nation of Islam Student Association, and campus administrators made up the committee that reviewed all applications.

The four students awarded the “Farrakhan S.P.I.T.’s Knowledge” scholarship in the amount of $1,250 each were Kacem Andalib, Sherventina Williams, Robert McClennon, and Osadeba Omokaro.

To be considered, applicants had to be an agriculture and human science major, possess a certain GPA, and was present among the 4,000-plus in attendance at the William “Billy” J. Nicks arena when Minister Farrakhan spoke on Nov. 9.

Additionally, they had to write a detailed essay on what was taken away from the lecture, what they plan to do with their degrees once obtained and why the scholarship is needed.

“I am so glad I was selected to receive the Farrakhan SPITs Knowledge scholarship. Who could have guessed that so much good was going to come out of that beautiful enlightening evening,” said Mr. Andalib, an agriculture economics major. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in renewable natural resources as well.

“Firstly, over an hour of knowledge spitting by one of my favorite personalities and secondly, a great demonstration of generosity through this motivating scholarship. I thank him for this wonderful opportunity,” said Mr. Andalib, whose entire family lives in Morocco.

Ms. Williams is a graduate student pursuing a master’s in agriculture. Her thesis paper will be focused on the effects of various packaging methods and the survival of microbes on meats.

“The graceful presence of Dr. Louis Farrakhan at Prairie View A&M University changed my life tremendously. He implored us to be productive and work hard for what we want,” said Ms. Williams. “It is an honor to be chosen as a recipient of this prestigious scholarship and his support has minimized my tuition fees tremendously. I look forward to the time that I can help others as he has helped me.”

Mr. Omokaro is the reigning Mr. PVAMU and studying agriculture with a focus on economics. He said Min. Farrakhan’s message that night renewed his passion for why he chose his major.

“I listened to him take notice to my major. These were words I was most excited to hear because to most agriculture is portrayed as a worthless major. I received joy that there was another advocate for my major,” said Mr. Omokaro. “I would like to thank Minister Farrakhan for the seed he sowed into my life on the road to academic achievement. I will use these funds and the message he left us with to reach new heights in all ways possible.”

Mr. McClennon, a sophomore in agriculture with a concentration on animal science, is determined to attend veterinarian school once he obtains his bachelor’s degree.  He says this scholarship was greatly needed.

“I am truly grateful for this. I thank him not only for making the Farrakhan SPITs Knowledge scholarship available to me and other students, but also for his preaching. His words truly hit home to me,” said Mr. McClennon.

S.P.I.T. Knowledge was launched in 2009 and is a non-traditional college lecture series program on campus offering a diverse genre of speakers to students every semester. Min. Farrakhan made a triumphant return to the HBCU in Prairie View, Texas for the first time since December 1988.

According to program coordinator Isis McCraw, that event was the largest and is still being discussed on campus. Also, this scholarship is unprecedented.

“This was our first lecturer to relinquish their fee to aid a student in need. To know that it wasn’t done for show but for good has set a standard for next upcoming guests and also shows that Minister Farrakhan is in a special place; a place where he is about doing what is needed, be it on a small or larger scale, to help. It was a blessing to the recipients and they also spoke highly of the message they received at the lecture,” said Mrs. McCraw.