The first winner of Beyoncé's Formation Scholars Award was announced yesterday, and we are absolutely living for the winner! Sadiya Ramos, a 19-year-old dance student from Berklee’s Boston Conservatory, has won the $25,000 prize to help fund her college career.
According to The Boston Globe, Ramos has been dancing since she was only six and performed with the Debbie Allen Dance Academy during the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in 2015. If that doesn’t scream success, then I don’t know what does.
Beyoncé announced her prestigious scholarship program in April, as a way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her Lemonade album. I mean, who wouldn’t want to celebrate their own success by helping others achieve their own? Clearly, Beyoncé knows how to honor her achievements and give back to other artists. If you’re just learning about this now, where have you been for the last two decades?
In total, four Formation Scholars will be announced. The Formation Scholars committee will review applicants from four different schools to help inspire young women studying creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies to pursue their college dreams. After all, artists need to be rewarded for their accomplishments, too.
Though it should be obvious that Ramos is more than an adept dancer, ELLE reports that she has danced on stage with Stevie Wonder, as well as at the White House. Seriously, if you still doubt Ramos’s dance skills, just check out this video. Now, I feel even worse about my "dancing" skills—or lack thereof.
While we’re all mad jealous of Ramos, we’re glad that such an accomplished young dancer won this incredible accolade. We aren’t the only ones that agree Ramos is deserving of this amazing opportunity. Cathy Young, executive director of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, told ELLE, “Sadiya’s energy and talent knows no limits, and I know she will continue to excel as a dancer and artist as a student, and in the future.” However, shortly after Ramos's was announced as the first scholarship winner, the names of the remaining Formation Scholars were released.
According to CNBC, the remaining Formation Scholars Award recipients are Avery Youngsblood, Maya Rogers and Bria Paige. While all of the scholarship winners are inspiring females who are devoted to their respective craft, Ramos, Youngsblood, Rogers and Paige are all focusing their studies on very different disciplines in college.
Youngsblood, who previously graduated from Stanford University with a dual degree in Linguistics and Comparative Studies, is continuing her education at Parsons School of Design to focus her academics on the social interaction in multicultural societies. Rogers is an experienced singer and songwriter, who is working on her graduate degree in Musical Therapy at Howard University. Paige is a student at Spelman College, who is earning her degree in English with a concentration on black feminist thought. Paige explained to CNBC that her research is often influenced by Beyoncé's work, which shows just how perfect she is for this scholarship.
Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell told CNBC just how important the Formation Scholars Award program is: "Beyoncé Knowles-Carter's support of women who are 'unafraid to think out of the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident,' is critical at a time when those qualities are required to address some of the world's most pressing challenges." It's no doubt that these women will change the world on day, and we can’t wait to hear about even more of their future triumphs. You go, girls!