Meet a Few of the Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship Alumni
Paula Spruill

B.S., Industrial and Systems Engineering (Minor: Business), Virginia Tech 2006
Juris Doctor, Law, University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly known as Franklin Pierce Law Center), 2009

Ms. Spruill is a native Washingtonian and was a member of the Benjamin Banneker Academic High School Class of 2001. As the first Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship Fund (ASC) recipient, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering as well as a Business Minor from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, in May 2006. She continued her studies at the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly known as Franklin Pierce Law Center) in Concord, New Hampshire, earning a Juris Doctor degree in May 2009.
During her time at Virginia Tech, Ms. Spruill was:

  • The first African-American to be appointed as Chief Justice of the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Honor System.
  • Mentored first year female and African-American engineering students.
  • Actively involved with the National Society of Black Engineer’s Pre-College Initiative program for high school students in southwest Virginia.

While attending law school Ms. Spruill was:

  •  An active member in her local Black Law Students Association (BLSA) chapter and served on a committee dedicated to the retention of minority students at her law school.
  • During the 2008-2009 academic years, she served as the Northeast Black Law Students Association (NEBLSA) Regional Secretary and was awarded the honor of Most Outstanding NEBLSA Executive Board Member.

Since graduating from law school Ms. Spruill has worked for the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Duke University’s Duke Clinical Research Institute and MedStar Health’s MedStar Health Research Institute, Inc. At the present, she is a Grants and Contracts Manager for a multi-million dollar NIH/NIAID research contract at Emergent BioSolutions Inc.

April Harvey

B.S., Sports Medicine (Minor: Chemistry), Howard University 2009

Ms. Harvey is from Elyria, Ohio who graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Graduating Magna Cum Laude, with a 3.5 cumulative grade point average. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine, with a minor in Chemistry.
During her tenure, she was:

  • Vice President and President of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Secretary and Vice President of the Howard University Ohio Club
  • Howard University Alumni Association of Cleveland Fundraising Coordinator
  • Volunteer with Bethlehem Rebounders (whom fed homeless individuals within the D.C. community)
  • An Office Volunteer with American Diabetes Association
  • Community Service Chair of National Council of Negro Women-Howard University Section
  • Programs Volunteer Dinner Program for Homeless Women
  • Volunteer with the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Committee
  • 2009 inductee of the Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
  • Served as an intern for the Washington Wizards 2007-2008 season in the Community Relations Department

At Howard, she received the Nellie M. Quander Memorial Scholarship, Howard University Trustee Scholarship, and the Mary Rose Reeves Allen Endowed Scholarship.

Ms. Harvey currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia where she is an Assistant to Director of Promotions and Events at Andrews Entertainment District and volunteers as a Troop Leader for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the assistance of the Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship!

With me being a first generation college student, I had no idea of the expenses my family and I would incur during my matriculation. With fees ranging from enrollment to room and board and not to mention tuition alone, I was extremely worried about how I would fund my college career. I was informed of the Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship and applied immediately, and was honored to be one of the 2005 recipients. Not only was I able to assist in funding my college education, I excelled in all classes at the illustrious Howard University in Washington, D.C., where I graduated with a 3.6 GPA in 2009. I moved to Atlanta, G.A. in 2009, where I have been hard at work in the automobile industry. I began my career with Octagon Sports Marketing, working on the BMW account in 2010 as an Event Coordinator. I then transitioned to Enterprise Rent-A-Car,where I rose to the top as an Assistant Manager of one of the highest volume branches in Metro Atlanta. From there, I accepted a position with General Motors in their OnStar division as a Territory Manager.

I have been blessed to have had a success story, and owe a great deal to the Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship. It has been said that Education is the most powerful tool that you can use to change the world- and I believe wholeheartedly that this prominent scholarship had a great deal in sharpening that tool!

April Harvey

ASC Memorial Scholarship Fund Alumni

Ashley Benson

B.A., Communications, Johnson C. Smith University 2012

One of our ASC Memorial Scholarship recipients and an alumna of Johnson C. Smith University, Ms. Benson, has benefited greatly from the foundation. Since receiving the ASC Memorial Scholarship in 2008 and 2009, she was able to complete her undergraduate education, with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts. During her undergraduate career, the foundation has allowed her the means to appreciate charitable organizations and recognize the great things the foundation does for the community.

Ms. Benson earned Dean’s List, became a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, and is still a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. The collaborative impacts of these organizations, as well as the ASC Memorial Scholarship Fund, have deeply grounded Ashley in the greater good that such organizations put forth in the community.

Starting out her freshman year at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC in 2008, Ms. Benson had various accomplishments under her belt. Those accomplishments range from earning filmmaking awards with her high school, to earning filmmaking awards nationally. During high school, she earned an award for “Excellence in Filmmaking” in the field of “Historic Research” on her collaborative documentary We Will Not Fight: Draft Resistance in the Vietnam War. Ashley also received the 2007 Panasonic Kid Witness News Award for Best Documentary for the same film.

Since graduating in 2012, Ms. Benson resides in Charlotte, NC, and is a budding freelance artist.

“The ASC Memorial Scholarship Fund has absolutely paved the way for not only myself, but for countless other scholars. Without the support of the foundation, my undergraduate tenure would be incomplete. I am extremely grateful for all this foundation has done for myself, and countless others.”
Ashley Benson

ASC Alumni

K. Wallace

B.S., Chemistry, With Honors, Johnson C. Smith University, 2016

She has been accepted into George Washington University’s Master of Forensic Science program where she will obtain a degree in Forensic Chemistry attending fall, 2016.

  • Graduated with Honors from Johnson C. Smith University.
  • Accepted as a participant of a Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students at Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Granted the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Technology in Graz, Austria through Syracuse University’s International Research Experience for Undergraduates (iREU) program. There, she conducted research examining Kinetic Isotope Effects of E.Coli Nitrile Reductase.
  • Presented a poster presentation of her research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Seattle, Washington.
“The ASC Scholarship has helped me and my education tremendously.”
K. Wallace

Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship Fund Recipient

L. J. B. Pulliam

A.A., Computer Gaming & Simulation, Montgomery College 2010 B.A., Media Design and Animation, University of Baltimore-Shady Grove, Current

Mr. Pulliam received his Associate Degree in Computer Gaming & Simulation in May of 2010 from Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Currently he is enrolled at the University of Baltimore – Shady Grove seeking a Bachelor’s degree. He is majoring in Media Design and Animation. In tandem and in addition, he is an avid writer and aspiring author.
“ASC has been a constant support system and benefit in all of my academic endeavors, be they financial or mental. The foundation has been a blessing for me in aiding me in times of need and keeping me encouraged and motivated. I can truly say that without ASC, I may not have made it this far.”
Lawrence Pulliam

ASC Memorial Scholarship Fund Alumni

“During my college career at Virginia Union, I was able to discover who I was for myself no longer being who everyone else desired me to be. As a young child I was always taught the values and importance of an education. From nursery to the twelfth grade I attended great schools and received an awesome education. My grades were fair, but they weren’t the best I was considered an average student who received “OK” grades. My grades were enough just to get by to move me on to the next grade and be comfortable learning new material. In school, I only excelled in subjects that I enjoyed the most which were History and English. During my matriculation through grade school, I was always encouraged to do my very best, but I only did what I was told to do only to please God and my parents; I never really took education seriously for myself.

When I entered college little did I know my perspective of education would turn full circle. I entered college with the mindset to focus my studies in an easy major to hopefully speed right through with ease and not deal with the stress that I went through during my grade school years. In college I changed my major three times from Music to Mass Communications then finally Religious Studies which I really enjoy. It was when I entered the Religious Studies Department I would begin to have a heart for education. I was able to find myself through my studies and began to study and get good grades for myself and not because I knew I would get twenty dollars for every A or ten dollars for every B. Finally, I was learning for the benefit of myself encouraging myself to study and not because someone was standing over me making me do my work. As a result of all of this I faced my fears, overcame many obstacles, and began to accomplish more than I ever thought I could. Since being at Virginia Union I have had many accomplishments from my Freshmen year in 2010 to now as I’m entering my Senior year.

  • 2010 – Inducted into “Men of Excellence” working as Event Coordinator; Peer educator mentoring and helping students with their spirituality; 2010 – Virginia Union’s Royal Court Mr. Sophomore 2011-2012 – Mr. Sophomore; 2011 – Inducted into M.A.P.P (Men About Positive Purpose); Assistant Director of Virginia Unions Gospel Choir
  • 2012 – Began campus bible studies pairing up with different organizations on campus, helping them fill their spiritual capsules for the academic school year; Student Director for Universities Concert Choir (Eighty Voices under the Direction of Dr. Willis Barnett)
  • 2013 – Director of the Virginia Union Gospel Choir; Mr. Maroon and Steel for the 2013-2014 Academic School Year

On June 17, 2013 I received a letter in the mail from the President’s office congratulating me for a job well done during the 2012-2013 Academic School Year. I was awarded the VUU Scholars Scholarship Award for maintaining a 3.0 or higher grade point average.”

H. Jackson III - B.S., Religious Studies, Virginia Union University 2014

ASC Memorial Scholarship Alumni

“After being homeschooled by my mother for my whole life, I was accepted to many colleges and universities, including Howard University, the University of Virginia-Charlottesville, the University of Maryland-College Park, and Wake Forest University. I decided to attend Howard University on an academic scholarship and chose to major in Political Science and minor in Arabic Language. While homeschooled, I started a service project called Traveling Grace, which distributes duffel bags filled with sundry items to foster children in PG County.

Currently, I am continuing my studies at Howard University, where my concentration in Political Science is International Relations. This summer, I am also going on a research trip to Turkey and Greece. So far, I have really enjoyed my time at Howard. It has been wonderful to learn about so many different cultures and to be around such a rich African-American heritage that is unique to an HBCU. I really want to thank the Asia SiVon Cottom Scholarship Fund for your generosity.”

N. Burton -B.S., Political Science – International Relations (Minor-Arabic Language), Howard University, Expected 2016

ASC Scholarship Recipient

“As a graduate of Hampton University during my tenure, I was an active member in the Student Government Association (SGA), NAACP, NCNW, and the Psychology Club. I am currently participating in the federal Pathways program as an intern and was offered a full-time position post-graduation. I will be attending graduate school at Bowie State University seeking a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. My aspiration is to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology post master’s degree and work with a diverse population of people.”
Niya Lewis - B.A., Psychology, Hampton University 2013

ASC Memorial Scholarship Alumni

“During summer 2014, I completed an internship with the Family Services Foundation, a non-profit organization. I supervised deaf and hearing clients in group homes and taught sign language classes for their day program. This experience was very eye-opening because I was exposed to individuals with different mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. I was also able to improve my signing skills especially while working with a deafblind client at one of the group homes I helped supervise.

While attending Towson, I worked on campus as a Community Center Assistant and also held summer positions with Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Prince George’s County Fire & EMS Department Risk Management, and Kristina M. Ross & Associates, Inc. (Allstate Insurance).

I am proud to have been a volunteer at the Deaf Shalom Zone-Kitchen and Food Pantry of Christ Deaf Church, Food and Friends, and Restore Together Inc., and an assistant for Audio Ministry at Craig Memorial Community Church.

I am extremely grateful for the generous support received from the Armstrong High School Alumni Association, Benjamin & Suzanne Harris Scholarship, Craig Memorial Community Church, and Prince Georges County Federal Credit Union. But I am proud to be a recipient of a scholarship from the Asia S. Cottom Memorial Scholarship Fund as I take pride in excelling in the memory of Asia.”

India L. Minor - B.S., Deaf Studies (Human Services), Towson University 2014

ASC Memorial Scholarship Fund Alumni

T. Tanner

B.S., Psychology (Minor: Human Development), Howard University 2006 M.A., Teaching & Elementary Education, Trinity College 2011

Ms. Tanner is a 2002 graduate of Largo High School in Largo, MD. In the fall of 2002, she began her undergraduate studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in Psychology and minored in Human Development. While at Howard, she worked with Heads Up: A University Initiative, a tutoring program teaching literacy in area D.C. public schools. It was with this program that she realized that she wanted to be a literacy specialist working in urban public schools.

As a 2005 recipient of an ASC scholarship, she realizes it was helpful to attain her academic goals. With the help of the scholarship, she was able to focus on her studies without having to consider the financial struggle. She was also continuously motivated by fellow educators and members of the ASC foundation to not give up and continue to push forward as she attained her Masters and began teaching. In 2006, Ms. Tanner earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and in 2007 she earned her Master in Art degree in Teaching for elementary education from Trinity College in Washington, D.C.

In 2014, Ms. Tanner entered her fifth year as an elementary school teacher in the Washington, D.C .area. For four years, she taught second grade and will be teaching third grade science in the coming school year. As an educator, it is her goal to enlighten students to the power of education and to give them the tools to become free thinkers and for learning to become an infectious and lifelong mainstay within their lives.

M. Eldridge

B.S., Biology, Fisk University, Expected 2016

Ms. Eldridge is a biology/pre-med major working towards becoming a reconstructive plastic surgeon. She chose this profession, because she would love to help people, especially those who have gone through traumatic events like soldiers or other victims. Being able to help those feel good and comfortable with themselves through surgery is something that she would love to do. She would also like to help those who are also under privileged in the community and throughout the world, live a better life.

Ms. Eldridge’s freshman year at Fisk was wonderful. Upon completing her first year, she made many new friends as well as had many opportunities to serve the community, and strive academically. Although Biology was a challenge she really enjoyed the challenge and hoped to stay motivated and work even harder to do better in upcoming courses.

  • Ms. Eldridge was accepted into the Leadership Enrichment and Academic Development (LEAD) program in which she earned the emerging leader award.
  • She also is a member of the DC, Maryland, and Virginia Club, as well as the International/Caribbean Club.
  • During her sophomore year, she will be an orientation leader, welcoming the new Freshman class of 2017 on the campus, and guiding them and helping them along the way.
  • She will be joining the track and field team.


Jeremiah Harrington

A.A., Business Administration, Garrett College 2014
B.A, Accounting, Frostburg University, Expected 2016

Mr. Harrington is a 2011 graduate of Spingarn Senior High School who entered Garrett College in McHenry, Maryland in the fall of 2011. As a proud freshman, he was the first male in his entire family to attend college in which he and his family were very excited. He was proud to be going off to college and making his family proud. Mr. Harrington pursued a major in Business Management/Computer Technology because he loves math and becoming an accountant would be perfect for him. He also has a passion for computers. He finds them so interesting and fun to work with and he thinks becoming a computer technician would also be great.

Mr. Harrington enrolled at Frostburg State University and is majoring in Accounting. In May 2014, he graduated from Garrett College and earned an Associate in Arts degree in Business Administration with a 3.2 GPA. The Asia Cottom Memorial Scholarship helped in many ways. The background and sole foundation of the scholarship encourages him to be the best he is and never take life for granted because you never know how long you have it. Secondly it motivates him to do his best academically to continue to receive the help and support from the scholarship committee.

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