Scholar: Kilani Davis
Hello my name is Kilani Davis and I am a freshman mechanical engineering major and a member of the FAMU Volleyball Team. I received the Life-Gets-Better Scholarship to attend FAMU as a scholar-athlete.
My parents sacrificed for years in order to send my brother and me to Trinity Preparatory School, a private college preparatory school. It would have been easy for them to send me to any public high school in our area when money got tight but they did all they could to scrounge together enough resources to keep in the private school system. Their sacrifice provided me with a great high school education. As a scholar-athlete, my days were filled with academic, social, and physical challenges. My course load at Trinity Prep was 90% Honors and AP courses with a concentration in mathematics and science courses. However, as the bell rang at 2:48 pm during the week my day was only half way over. After school, I participated in a number of competitive Varsity Sports. I strived to succeed in everything I did and dreamed of attending college and participating in collegiate athletics.
As my senior year approached, I explored a multitude of colleges: large public universities, small private schools, southern states, along with the north. I wanted a college that would offer academic challenges, possible internships and career opportunities, a family like social atmosphere/support system, and the chance to play college volleyball.
I was accepted to seven various colleges and universities:
- Trinity College in Hartford, CT., which offers an excellent liberal arts education with the option of earning an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
- Assumption College in Worcester, MA, offering a classic liberal arts education and strong business and professional programs.
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, one of the nation's earliest technological universities offering degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts.
- Mercer University in Macon, GA, offering rigorous programs that span the liberal arts including engineering, law and medicine.
- University of South Florida in Tampa, one of the nation's top public research universities.
- Florida State University in Tallahassee, with strength in the arts and humanities and recognized leadership in the sciences,
- Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, one of the Historically Black College and Universities offering strong liberal arts and science programs.
Most of these colleges offered substantial financial aid packages, six offered me the opportunity to play college volleyball, and all had accredited programs I was interested in for my major. However, one university stood out to me. I chose Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University for several reasons. First, Florida A&M offered me the ability to pursue an education in Mechanical Engineering. The FAMU/FSU College of Engineering is an outstanding program that rears successful engineers every year. FAMU is also located in the Capital of Florida, Tallahassee and therefore offers many internship possibilities right outside of campus. Second at FAMU, I could achieve my goal of playing college volleyball. Third, because of the generous awarding of the Life Gets Better Scholarship it made attending this University feasible for my family and me.
However, there is one benefit that Florida A&M offers me that none of my other choices could provide. FAMU offers me the unique opportunity to live and learn in an environment where surrounded by students that share so much in common. At an HBCU, students are encouraged to learn about our similarities and take pride in our culture instead of constantly being aware of our differences. Florida A&M is so booming with pride, culture, and family, everywhere I turn I am greeted with a friendly face. At FAMU I am surrounded by students just like me that are willing to help and reach out to others. The family-like atmosphere was so welcoming and supportive, that I could not help but make Florida A&M University my number one choice.
I also chose to apply to the Florida A&M Honors program and requested to live in the Honors community to surround myself with others focused on academic excellence. In preparation of my fall semester, I attended the FAMU Engineering Concepts Institute during the summer of 2010. The Engineering Concepts Institute helped me get a head start on the year and make connections with many important people in the Engineering Department. Now at Florida A&M I am an active member of STEM and the Honors program. Through these programs and kind teachers, I am already being offered many internships and research opportunities for the summer of 2010. With FAMU on my side, I believe I will achieve all my goals and aspirations.