Student Spotlight: Kevontae Carter and Paolo Vazquez

Philander Smith College recognized two distinguished students last fall in the Winter issue of Philander Forward, Mr. Kevontae Carter and Miss Paolo Vazquez.

Philander Smith College is one of the black colleges supported by the Black College Fund which provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities.

Kevontae Carter is a man on a mission. He is on course to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Mathematics. With a rigorous 20-hour course load, the scholar maintains a high GPA while holding down an on-campus work-study job and serving as a tutor.

Last Fall, the junior from Little Rock, Arkansas, was named as a 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He is one of 63 HBCU students to receive this prestigious honor for the 2018-2019 Academic Year.

Kevontae is appreciative of the principles and teachings he has learned throughout his matriculation. "A Philander Man incorporates the Seven Timeless Human Values and the College's Mission Statement into his life's purpose. As the days of my Philander experience dwindle, I increasingly fold those ideals into how I conduct myself and go after my goals," he remarked.

With his sights set on dental school, Kevontae's ultimate plans are to first join an established dental group, eventually open his own private practice and one day invest in small businesses. Even with his career ambitions, he desires to help change the world for the better. "I would like to become involved in grassroots movements that help the conditions of the underserved—ranging from legislation and politics to direct service," the scholar said. "Additionally, it is important to provide services and goods for the community and be in a position to allot jobs for people in the community."

On the same note, Paola Vazquez is a star STEM student. She is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, where she graduated as valedictorian from John L. McClellan High School located in the city's southwest section. Now a sophomore at Philander Smith College, her major is Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science.

Active within the PSC Community of Scholars, Paolo serves sits on the Executive Board of the Honors Student Association in the seat of Public Relations Officer. She also serves as a member of the Pre- Alumni Council and the International Students Organization.

Paola works diligently as a Peer Tutor for College Algebra and College Math. She has been selected as one of thousands of students from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to attend the Operation Hub as part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival coming up in March 2019.

Once she completes her education at Philander Smith, this Philander Woman plans to pursue graduate school to study computer engineering. When she is not busy learning all she can about mathematics and coding, Paola occupies her time with her hobbies of painting and drawing.

Philander Forward magazine, Winter 2018 issue

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Black College Fund provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Black College Fund apportionment at 100 percent.