February 27, 2019

UNCF and the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program Announce Inaugural HBCU Recipient  

Sydney Green, senior at Xavier University of Louisiana awarded a $10,000 scholarship 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 26, 2019)— UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program today announced that Sydney Green, a senior at UNCF-member institution Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program. The scholarship program, which was established by the Signore Family, recognizes and celebrates one of the most transformative figures in our nation’s history. It will be administered and managed by UNCF for a period of 20 years, through 2039. Given Green’s high academic achievement, commitment to community service and strong leadership skills, she will receive the $10,000 award.

“For 75 years, UNCF has helped award scholarships to students in need,” said Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Through invaluable partnerships such as the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Program, UNCF has become the largest scholarship provider for students of color.”

“With help from The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program, I will not have to spend most of my life paying back student loans,” said Green. “As a future teacher, I can focus on positively impacting the next generation, instead of stressing over the amount of debt I would owe after graduating.” Speaking of Douglass himself, Green stated: “His legacy inspires me in so many ways that I did not ever imagine. Frederick Douglass’ life up until the day he died was filled with purpose.”

Since enrolling in Xavier University, Green has been heavily involved in serving her community. Dedicating countless hours through programs hosted by the Center for Student Leadership and Service (CSLS), she has worked with children in both a classroom capacity and through Xavier’s community outreach center. “Sydney has the potential to be an excellent teacher-leader,” said Dr. Rachel Davis-Haley, Xavier University Professor in the Division of Education and Counseling. “Her dedication to improving education for all students and her willingness to create learning activities and environments where all students’ prior experiences are welcomed and valued are a few of her many strengths.” Last spring, Green was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award by Homework Clinic (HWC), a volunteer program that XULA offers weekly to K-8th grade students.

Green’s many achievements include induction into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society. A UNCF Walton K-12 Fellow, Green was honored at the 2018 UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball in New Orleans. Upon graduation, Green will join the countless number of historically black colleges and universities’ (HBCUs) students that contribute to the economic growth of their communities. 

“Xavier University is honored that our student, Sydney Green, was awarded this meritorious scholarship. The entire society benefits when we engage and unleash the genius and talent in our students’ minds. The continued collaboration and engagement of UNCF, our benevolent scholarship grantors and our educators is necessary to make higher education more attainable for students, and to impact transformative change towards a more just and humane society,” said Xavier University of Louisiana President Reynold Verret. 

A special presentation by Ms. Nettie Washington Douglass, the great-great granddaughter of Frederick Douglass and the great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington will take place during XULA’s annual Black History Month Convocation on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 12:15PM (EST) in XULA’s Convocation Center. Ms. Douglass is the Co-Founder & Chairwoman of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives ( The event is free and open to the public. 

“It’s an incredible honor and privilege for our family to celebrate the life of a true American hero,” said Tony Signore, founder and chairman of The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship. “It is with great reverence that we reflect upon the legacy of a great man and leader who had such a profound impact on our nation’s history. We also understand the importance and responsibility of supporting HBCU scholars who demonstrate their passion for education.”

For more information about this scholarship, visit UNCF’s website at: 

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