News / Jarvis SGA president receives White House Initiative honor

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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De’Janae, Tookes, a senior at Jarvis Christian College, has been named a 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar, the White House Initiative’s highest student recognition.

Tookes, who serves as president of Jarvis’ Student Government Association, was among 63 students from 54 Historically Black Colleges and Universities recognized as Competitive Scholars.

“I am extremely humbled. I am honored that President (Lester) Newman nominated me. Sometimes small schools like Jarvis go unnoticed. This is not only an opportunity to represent Jarvis, but all small school,” said Tookes, a history major from Austell, GA.

Competitiveness scholars are recognized for successfully preparing to compete for top opportunities that improve long-term outcomes. Comprised of undergraduate, graduate and professional students, each was nominated and endorsed by their institution’s president. The selections were based on academic achievement, campus and civic involvement and entrepreneurial “go-getter” spirit.

“De’Janae epitomizes the spirit of the Competitiveness Scholar,” Newman said. “She is intelligent, open and honest. She is a great communicator and is committed to the many causes she supports, including initiatives and organizations at Jarvis Christian College and the student body she serves. De’Janae, a natural leader, currently serves as president of the Student Government Association. Nominating her to represent JCC in this capacity was an easy decision.”

Scholars will assemble September 16-18 during the 2018 National HBCU Week Conference, which is set for the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in the nation’s capital. Scholars will participate in workshops designed to enhance leadership, promote personal and professional development and explore areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the White House Initiative will provide outreach and engagement activities, as well as information and resources, that scholars may share will other students on their campus. They are expected to take advantage of the opportunities given, engage with one another and showcase individual and collective talents across the HBCU spectrum.

Competitiveness Scholars also will be given opportunities to highlight their contributions to institutions, ignite new passions and explore ideas critical to long-term development. Scholars will be on the evening of September 17 at the Initiative’s Excellence in Innovation and Competitiveness Awards.

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Jarvis Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500, or visit for questions about the accreditation of Jarvis Christian University. To view PDFs, you may download Adobe Reader here.