“…But a Wonderful Thing to Invest In” Meet Your Dividend, Ashley Harrison

Meet Ashley Harrison. She’s a native of Dallas, the recipient of a UNCF scholarship, a college graduate, with a master’s degree to boot—and a UNCF dividend. What makes a college graduate a dividend? Keep reading and find out.

Almost everyone in UNCF Dallas’s service area—the DFW Metroplex, North Texas and Oklahoma—knows the basic facts about UNCF: the 37 member HBCUs, the 10,000 scholarships per year, and UNCF’s iconic motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”®

Who invests in UNCF? Everybody who attends UNCF Dallas’s annual Mayor’s Masked Ball. Everyone who texts UNCFDAL to 48421 to give $25 to UNCF. And all the people whose contributions, large and small, helped UNCF Dallas raise over $800,000 to support UNCF and its member HBCUs in Texas and around the country.

Every good investment yields a return. What return do UNCF’s investors—its contributors—get on their investment? The return includes the almost 4,000 Texas students who, thanks to UNCF financial support, attend one of UNCF’s 37 member HBCUs, including four in Texas: Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas College in Tyler and Wiley University in Marshall. And it includes the 10,000 scholarships UNCF awards each year, more than $600,000 in scholarships to Dallas-Fort Worth students and $10 million in awards to all Texas students—scholarships whose recipients have a graduation rate of 70%, almost twice the rate of all African American students and better than the rate for all students at all colleges.

Impressive numbers. But numbers can’t tell the whole story. To fully appreciate the return, you have to drill down to meet individual UNCF scholarship recipients, UNCF scholarship recipients like Dallas native Ashley Harrison, a high-performing high school student from a low-income family. Harrison’s mother worked in the building where UNCF Dallas had its office. Knowing that Harrison was a good student, UNCF Dallas Development Director Cortney Lewis Smith, a UNCF HBCU graduate herself, suggested applying for a UNCF scholarship. Harrison applied, and was awarded the UNCF Dallas ISD Scholarship, which is funded by contributions from Dallas ISD teachers and staff.

The rest is history: college graduation, a master’s degree in medical science from the Morehouse School of Medicine, and a bright future.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in,”® says UNCF. Ashley Harrison is our dividend.