Student Story: Brittany Elliott

"The UNCF Macy’s CESA General Awards scholarship was a great help in assisting me with books and lab materials for my courses."

“I am a graduate of Clark Atlanta University  [a UNCF-member institution] with a 3.7 GPA. I study hard and work diligently but worried about the financial aspect of being in school. As a biology major, I was taking many courses that assisted me in my pursuit of going to medical school. My senior year, I took higher level courses such as biochemistry, endocrinology, physics, invertebrate zoology, human physiology and cell biology laboratory.

“The UNCF Macy’s CESA General Awards scholarship was a great help in assisting me with books and lab materials for my courses. I was able to focus on my classes and studying for the MCAT. I am now able to begin my journey into the medical field.

Brittany Elliot, Macy’s CESA 2014-2015 recipient
Brittany Elliot, Macy’s CESA 2014-2015 recipient

“One of my most interesting accomplishments was my 2014 summer internship as research intern at Clemson University under the SURE Program (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience). I worked with glucose-detecting biosensors that can be implanted in the human body to detect glucose concentration. My responsibility in the lab was to try different techniques to improve the biosensors’ sensitivity and detection of glucose. In each technique, I chemically modified the biosensors with enzymes so that glucose had a chemical reaction at the surface of the sensor to produce a current that could be sent through the wire of the biosensor. Consequently, I had to discover which modification techniques worked the best by using machines that measure current so that I could use equations to calculate the amount of glucose being detected. I also conducted research in the biology department at Clark Atlanta University, for the RISE Program (Research Initiative and Scientific Enhancement). I worked with characterizing chemically modified carbon nanotubes.

“Finally, I established great relationships with my professors and outstanding work academically. My awards and honors include Clark Atlanta University’s Highest First-Year Honors 4.0 GPA Award, Fall 2011; Member of the Clark Atlanta University Chapter of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Spring 2013; Dean’s List, 2011-2014; GPA Above 3.0 Award, Fall 2011; Member of the Clark Atlanta University Kappa Theta Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, Spring 2014; and Member of the Clark Atlanta University Alpha Beta Chapter of the Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society, Spring 2014.

“It was an honor to receive this scholarship award as I finished my last semester at Clark Atlanta University and got a step closer towards graduation. Thank you, UNCF Atlanta for your help.”


The Campaign for Emergency Student Aid (CESA) is a unique UNCF scholarship program that provides “just-in-time” financial aid to HBCU students when personal emergencies become financial crises. Since 2009, nearly 12,000 CESA scholarships totaling more than $25 million (the average award is nearly $2,000) have helped students stay in college and complete their degrees. Your contribution to CESA will help ensure this important safety net is there to catch students when they are most vulnerable.

Donate to CESA today