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

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.

Xavier Univ. senior Sydney Green holding portrait of Frederick Douglass

Xavier Univ. senior Sydney Green, the scholarship’s first recipient.

Group standing with portrait of Frederick Douglass

From left: Tony Signore, Ms. Nettie Washington Douglass, Sydney Green

“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 took place during XULA’s annual Black History Month Convocation on Tuesday, Feb. 26, in XULA’s Convocation Center. Ms. Douglass is the Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI.org).

“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: UNCF.org/FrederickDouglass




About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


About Xavier University of Louisiana
Being America’s only historically Black and Catholic University is just the first of the distinctions that have set Xavier University of Louisiana apart for more than eight decades. Despite its relatively small size (3,300 students), Xavier is a nationally recognized leader in the STEM and the health sciences, producing more African American students who graduate from medical schools each year than any other university in the United States. Its College of Pharmacy is among the top producers of African American pharmacists.