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Cheyney University's Desmond King Honored with Scholarship

February 20, 2014

For the second year in a row, Cheyney University senior Desmond King has receieved the K. Leroy Irvis Scholarship (Eastern) from the PA Black Conference on Higher Education for his academic record and leadership skills.

"I am blessed, grateful and honored," he admitted after hearing the news. "I screamed and hollered. I was overjoyed!" 

The 21-year-old does not take anything lightly when it comes to funding his education.  That is because he has had to overcome many obstacles ever since 2007 when, as a high school sophomore, he  watched helplessly as his mother was murdered.  That traumatic, devastating event could have made him bitter, angry and pessimistic, but it did not.

"I refused to let it destroy my personal dreams and aspirations," he says.  "Instead of discouraging me, it encouraged me to continue on and strive for excellence.  I grew spiritually and personally as a result and I decided to set goals and attain them one by one." 

The Philadelphia-native chose Cheyney because he wanted to go to one of the nation's HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) and Cheyney had a Call Me MISTER education program for young males.  But, when he got here, he discovered t he world of marketing and set his sights on business.  He also rolled up his sleeves, dove in head first and got very involved.

As the Founding Treasurer of The Collegiate 100 Black Men of America of Cheyney University, Corresponding Secretary for the Student Government Cooperative Association (SGCA), Inc., Governor of Social & Cultural Affairs, and Residental Advisor (RA), Desmond is one very busy student leader.  In addition, he serves as Mister Blue & White 2013-2014, and works hard to keep the Inspirational Hour Services going on campus.  He has also served as Freshman Class President, Executive Assistant to the President of SGCA, Inc., Executive Assistant to the Brotherhood & Sisterhood Organization, and been recognized for the National Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges Award.

"I'm keeping my eye on the prize," Desmond says matter-of-factly.  "And that is to reach my goal of graduating from Cheyney University.  I can't wait to walk across that stage in May.  I know my mother and my grandmom, whose raised me since I was 15, are extremely proud of my accomplishments.  My little brother is 15 now and he's an honor student, too, and we both know that we need to be determined and work hard."

For the past 2 summers, Desmond has worked as a paid intern at The Philadelphia Housing Authority as an Event intern and a Youth Empowerment intern, where a mentor encouraged him to countine his quest to inspire, motivate and empower the youth of today, tomorrow and the future.

Following graduation, Desmond hopes to work for PHA's Community Operations & Resident Development Department.  In the long term, though, he plans to get an M.Ed and ED.D in educational leadership and, hopefully, work in higher education as a Director of Admissions or Vice President for Student Affairs & Student Life at a Historically Black College & University.

Incidentally, Desmond will reportedly be the first student to graduate from CU having already paid his $1,000.00 life membership dues to the Cheyney University National Alumni Association (CUNAA).  "I am very proud of Desmond," says CU Director of Alumni Relations Greg Benjamin. "I remember when Desmond came in as a freshman. To see this young man thrive to reach his accomplishment of graduating does my heart good to see what hard work and dedication can do."