This week, the Jacksonville University Black Alumni Network (JUBA) awarded Madison Benavidez ’24 and Joi Taylor ’23 with the inaugural Black Alumni Network Scholarship, which supports students who identify with the mission and vision of JUBA: to trail blaze for minorities and underrepresented groups to ensure a collaborative and inclusive alumni network.
The scholarship was announced in February 2021, and was endowed during Dolphin Dash 2021. One or more students will be chosen to receive the scholarship every year.
“I am humbled to have worked on this inaugural scholarship opportunity as co-chair of the Scholarship Committee with Jayla (Shelton) Stallworth”, said Larry Billue, Jr. ’11. “The Black Alumni Network Executive Committee and our fellow alumni put forth so much hard work into making this possible and it feels good to see students impacted by our efforts. I look forward to the students’ continued success as they matriculate through the University and the world. It is our goal to foster positive experiences on campus for students of color and their allies through scholarship, opportunities for advancement, and fellowship.”
Taylor is an honors student majoring in finance and business analytics and serves as a peer advisor in the Davis College of Business & Technology. She’s part of the Zimmerman Scholars Program, a DCOB Dean’s Fellow and a member of the Black Student Union. This summer, she will intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
“I feel extremely honored and thankful to the JU Black Alumni Network for choosing me for this scholarship,” Taylor said.
Benavidez is a psychology major from Midland, Texas, and has landed on both the dean’s and president’s lists in her time at JU. She’s a member of the women’s rowing team, the Hispanic Latino Student Association and National Society of Leadership and Success. Following graduation, she plans to work toward earning a doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology.
“I am truly grateful for being chosen to represent this inaugural award,” Benavidez said. “Receiving this award has made me feel as if new opportunities have been opened for me to allow me to succeed.”