NCR Alumni Leader Creates Scholarship and Gives Back
In 2011, Tyriq Simmons was a senior at Crossland High School in Prince George’s County, MD, when he was awarded one of two College Summit-NCR Darden Peer Leader of the Year Awards. Today, Tyriq is a student at Bowie State. He is still a leader among his peers and has not forgotten his College Summit roots. Tyriq rallied his fellow College Summit Alumni to establish a college scholarship for two Peer Leaders via the ManUp Scholarship Program. This is College Summit-National Capital Region’s first alumni sponsored award. Tyriq was an Alumni Leader during the 2012 Summer Workshops, and sat down for an interview.
Being the first male in his family to go to college, 2011 Peer Leader of the Year Tyriq Simmons has made sure that his experience is nothing less than successful and positive. When asked how his family reacted to his acceptance into Bowie State University, he honestly responded, “I didn’t receive any acknowledgement, and that’s ok. I am not in school for anyone but myself.”
It was this determination that motivated Tyriq to create his own scholarship, ManUp. When asked what inspired him to create the scholarship, he simply replied, “College Summit!” He felt that creating a scholarship for College Summit Peer Leaders was the best way to give back to a program that has given him so much. Tyriq and his committee awarded their scholarships based on applicants’ recommendations and personal statements, not just their grades. “GPAs don’t speak for the person’s character or life. I’m not giving excuses, but I think everyone deserves a chance.” During the NCR’s April 25, 2012 Annual Awards, two Peer Leaders were awarded the ManUp Scholarship by Tyriq.
“College Summit brought out the best in me. I am more interactive, more positive, and more optimistic.” He says the most valuable thing he learned from College Summit was self-advocacy. Never realizing its importance before, Tyriq now sees how he advocates for himself and doesn’t even notice until he got what he wanted. He came back to College Summit as an Alumni Leader because as a Peer Leader, he saw the energy of the Alumni Leaders and was inspired. “I needed College Summit when I was in high school. Without it, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today, so it gives me a warm heart to be able to give back.” Tyriq has high standards for himself, and forces himself to grow each day. At Bowie State University, he has taken the role as motivator to his peers, which has helped him in his own personal development.
“I just want College Summit to expand. Many people who need this opportunity can’t get it. Schools should be willing to invest in their students’ future, and I am willing to do anything to get the ball rolling.”
-Interviewed by NCR Alumna and Intern, Baja Poawui
Crossland High School Peer Leaders with MD Lt. Governor Anthony Brown
Don Cheadle College Summit Founding Spokesman
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