Being an AP scholar pays off for six Birmingham students

UAB awards Advanced Placement scholarships to six Birmingham City school students.

The day after tornadoes ripped through Alabama, 17-year-old Tiffany Holloway of Birmingham got a ray of sunshine from the mailman.

L-R: Tiffany Holloway, Zachary White, Rachel Ejem, JaNaye Norman, UAB President Dr. Carol Z. Garrison. Download image.

“I received a package and noticed that it was kind of thick,” said the senior graduating from Ramsay High School on Wednesday. She opened it and read that her college tuition to the University of Alabama at Birmingham had been paid for four years.

“I started screaming and jumping up and down,” she said. Her family members gathered around, and when they heard they also began to scream and jump.

“I didn’t expect this at all,” she said. “I am so grateful.”

Holloway is a member of the first class of Birmingham City school students to receive awards and recognitions as part of UAB’s Advanced Placement (AP) Scholarship Program. AP courses are college-level classes offered to high-school students for college credit. UAB plans to award Birmingham seniors who excel in these courses with scholarships using income generated from an endowed fund made possible by an anonymous $4 million cash gift designated for scholarships for women and minorities.

“I am excited that you are coming,” Carol Z. Garrison, Ph.D., president of UAB, told Holloway and the other scholarship winners at a reception on Monday. “In the state of Alabama, there have not been many students taking advanced placement courses; you are the leaders and the pacesetters showing those coming after you what it means to succeed.”

The AP Achievement Award winners will receive a scholarship that guarantees that the cost of tuition and required fees will be met with gift aid for four years, supplementing any federal grants and/or UAB academic scholarships. Awardees of the Advanced Placement Recognition Award will receive a one-time $1,000 scholarship. To qualify, students who are, or have enrolled in, two or more AP courses must apply and be admitted to UAB by March 1 of their senior year for consideration.

“We've significantly increased the number of AP courses offered in our schools, and the number of students enrolled in them,” said Craig Witherspoon, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. “This increase represents our belief and expectation that our students are capable of achieving at high academic levels. UAB's focus on and support of advanced placement lets us know that we are on the right track in preparing our students to compete and succeed in a global society.”

Holloway was all smiles at Monday’s reception. She plans to major in biomedical engineering at UAB in the fall and ultimately work to create a bio-inspired material that can be used to save lives.

Other scholarship recipients include Brittany Calvin, Huffman High School, and Rachel Ejem, Ramsay High School, UAB Advanced Placement Recognition Award; and Ramsay High School students Tiffany Holloway, JaNaye Norman, Zachary White and DeMarcus Williams, UAB Advanced Placement Achievement Award.