On April 24, to commemorate the anniversary of her masterpiece album Lemonade, Beyoncé announced the first Formation Scholars awards to be awarded to young women studying either African-American studies or creative art at four different arts schools and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College. Each school selected one winner per school by a committee, and students with GPAs over 3.5 submitted essays about how Lemonade inspired her in her work.


Yesterday, Beyoncé announced the four winners via her website. Three of the winners are focusing on artistic studies: Sadiya Ramos, a sophomore at Berklee College of Music whose focus is dance; Avery Youngblood, entering her second year at Parsons, who is studying graphic design; and Maya Rogers, a graduate student at Howard who is also a singer and songwriter. Meanwhile, Bria Paige, a rising junior at Spelman, is in an honors society, on the dean’s list, and serves as Secretary of Academic Affairs on her student government and is co-president of the English club.

Like Beyoncé did with Lemonade, these women are using their arts to make a real difference. Avery is finding ways that her design work can intersect with her undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Maya’s music has helped her recover from a brain injury she sustained four years ago.
-TeenVogue