2016 MLK Scholarship finalists

2016 MLK scholarship inalists with BC President William P. Leahy, SJ
Boston College President William P. Leahy, S.J., with the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship finalists. L-R: Joi Dallas, Osamase Ekhator, Chiamaka Okorie (scholarship winner), Jessica Stephens and Jacquelyn Andalcio. (Photo by Frank Curran)
Campus & Community / Honors & Awards | February 23, 2016

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship is presented annually to a Boston College junior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service and involvement with the African American community and issues. The 2016 winner is Connell School of Nursing student Chiamaka Okorie. This year's finalists include:

Jacquelyn Andalcio
The Bronx, New York
Major in secondary education and English; minor in African and African Diaspora Studies
Andalcio has gained valuable leadership experience as president and chaplain of the Voices of Imani and as a group facilitator for Summer Quest. She also has served as vice president of Boston College United Front, and her service activities include feeding the homeless at the Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen in New York City. Andalcio has been inspired to become a teacher for students in black and Latino communities, modeling the importance of helping those in need, and helping students to see the possibilities of their future.

Joi Dallas
Philadelphia
Major in applied psychology and human development; minors in African and African Diaspora Studies and Faith, Peach, and Justice
The 2015 Timothy M. Padulsky Award winner for student leadership, Dallas has pursued a range of formational academic, social and service activities. During the summer following her freshman year, she worked as a teaching fellow for the Breakthrough Collaborative of Greater Boston, which provides academic enrichment for highly motivated, underserved students, and place them on a successful path to college. Her other activities include research fellow and peer mentor for the Experience, Reflect, Act course; Lynch School of Education Senate; mentor and tutor for Morgan Memorial Goodwill Afterschool Academy; and the women’s rugby football club. She hopes to pursue a career in counseling and mentoring in urban communities after completing a master’s degree in counseling.

Osamase Ekhator
Revere, Mass.
Major in English; minor in African and African Diaspora Studies
Ekhator, a Charles C. Ely Scholarship recipient, has worked as a volunteer since his freshman year as a video assistant for Revere TV, and helped the staff create a documentary for local television. He is currently a marketing and brand outreach assistant for the African and African Diaspora Studies Program, and a member and treasurer of Boston College’s all-male step team Sexual Chocolate – an activity he views as a means for bonding and dialogue about race and racial tension, as well as performance. Ekhator also is the co-founder and producer of the annual poetry event JUICE, which gives student poets a platform for discussions on race in America.

Jessica Stephens
Richfield, Minn.
Major in political science; participating in pre-law program
Stephens has had a longstanding interest and involvement with the arts, which she has continued at Boston College, as a member of the Voices of Imani gospel choir and the Phaymus hip-hop Dance Team; her involvement with Phaymus helped her gain confidence and develop leadership skills as assistant choreographer in a production of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide (When the Rainbow Is Enuf)” that took place in Robsham Theater. Stephens has volunteered as an ambassador for the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, and as an intern for the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture. After graduation she wants to become a civil rights lawyer as well as pursue a master’s degree in public policy.