When then high school senior Darius Bonner was planning his future, he toured the entire Atlanta University Center and also visited a couple of other universities to consider his options. But there was something about the faculty and staff at Clark Atlanta University that made the native of nearby McClean County, Georgia, feel as if he’d found his second home.
That feeling was reinforced at a men’s only conference held during freshman orientation week, where the leaders talked about the importance of earning a college degree, the struggles young African-American men face on the road to success, and how their CAU experience would make them better men.
“I knew I had to stay,” says Darius.
When he was about to return to campus for his sophomore year, however, Darius sought information about different scholarships he might qualify for to supplement the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant and a loan he’d taken out.
Time was running out, but Darius continued to diligently reach out to scholarship programs. Then, the Friday before school was to start, his prayers were answered in an email from the UNCF offering a $10,000 scholarship, which was followed by another $2,000 offer.
“The relief I felt was so strong and I was so excited when the scholarship notification came, I actually shouted,” Darius recalls. “I celebrated that whole day by walking around campus, praising God and the UNCF.”