The L. Ross Love Scholarship Fund assists African American students graduating from Cincinnati Public Schools who are enrolled in a four-year degree accredited university or college. The scholarship committee selects students who demonstrate leadership potential, initiative, passion and motivation. Each scholarship provides an annual, renewable award of $2,500 ($10,000 total for 4 years) and couples the recipients with mentors, who commit to mentoring the scholars for the duration of their college careers. Beyond funding, the intent is to create relationships and a network that better enable the students to successfully complete their college education.
This year's winners are Kameia Edwards, Michael Hunter, Christabel Hammond, and JuJuan.
The scholarship fund was established in memory of L. Ross Love, Jr., for his many contributions as a corporate executive, entrepreneur and community leader, including serving as chair of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s board of directors.
We sat down with recipient Antonio Wooten Jr. (2016) to talk about his experience with the program. Antonio attends Philadelphia University and is studying Industrial Design.
UWGC: What does it mean to you to be a previous recipient of the L. Ross Love Scholarship?
Wooten: Being a recipient of the L. Ross Love Scholarship means an opportunity to pursue higher education with less financial strain.
UWGC: How did this scholarship provide value for you as a young, black college student?
Wooten: This scholarship afforded me the opportunity to access spaces that I’d otherwise be counted out of. Knowing how many young, black college students graduate with an immense amount of debt places me in a position to graduate with greater financial freedom and access to upward mobility. Additionally, being represented in a field of predominantly white males allows me to function as an advocate in that space.
UWGC: What are you doing now in your collegiate career and what to you plan to do within the next 2 years?
Wooten: Right now I’m working on growing my business, Artists Need Lunch Money, an art & apparel focused company working to create opportunities for artists to get paid. I also juggle a couple freelance projects and work at BRICK Pop Up Shop in Walnuts Hills.
I’m also actively seeking job opportunities along the east coast after college and ways to continue growing my business. Within the next 2 years, I hope to be full time employed at a design consultancy as an Industrial Designer.
UWGC: What would you say to encourage local high school seniors to apply for this scholarship?
Wooten: Just do it, honestly. Any opportunity to lessen the financial strain of college is worth the short amount of time required to apply. Plus it’s free!! Free money!