Xavier University junior Lydia Powell, 21, an occupational therapy major from Cleveland (44112) is the recipient of the 2008 Antonio Johnson Scholarship. The scholarship was announced at the 32nd annual Antonio Johnson Scholarship Banquet, held April 18 at the University, with a theme of “Essence of Excellence.” She will receive a full year of tuition, room and board and a book stipend.
Powell, the daughter of Lawrence and Alyene Powell of Cleveland is very involved on campus. She is the treasurer of the Black Student Association and a member of the Gospel Choir, Rho Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, and Xavier’s Peer Leadership Team. She works as a student assistant in the office of Student Life and Leadership. Powell attended Cornerstone Christian Academy and hopes to work as an occupational therapist with those with disabilities after graduation from Xavier.
“Being named as one of the most influential African Americans to ever attend this university is such an honor. I never do anything for the mere sake of being recognized, and receiving this award goes above and beyond what I have ever imagined.”
Leandria Thomas, a junior majoring in biology, was the runner-up for this year’s award. She is from Richmond Heights, OH (44143) and will receive a $10,000 scholarship from Macy’s Credit and Customer Services. She is a lab tutor and works in the biology department. In addition, she is a member of the Black Student Association, the Gospel Choir, Students Committed to Christ and the Ernest E. Just Society. Thomas wants to become an internist and work with Black and Latino populations.
The Antonio Johnson scholarship is given annually to an African-American junior demonstrating academic excellence, outstanding leadership, involvement and service. It covers one year’s tuition, including book stipend and room and board. It is given in memory of an African-American student who pioneered social change and justice at Xavier. Johnson, who died at age 22 while a Xavier student, organized activities for Black Awareness Month in February 1976, but died later that year. He was majoring in urban studies and was president of the Black Student Association.