The recipient of the 2013 Emma L. Cunningham Memorial Scholarship is Joseph Benjamin Graham from Garner Magnet High School. Joseph will be attending the University of North Carolina Greensboro the Fall of 2013 majoring in English. The Scholarship will be presented to him at the Awards Ceremony on May 13, 2013. Excerpts from Joseph’s essay:  “In the past few years, I have achieved more than I ever thought I could soley because I am self-motivated. I grew up believing that if I put my mind to it, I could achieve anything. Although that is cliche, it has shown through my achievements so far in my life.” We continue to do great things to assist students in need. Emma’s dream continues and will reach bigger heights for next year. 



University of North Carolina Greensboro
Major: English


Joseph receives his scholarship at the 2013 Garner Magnet High School Awards Ceremony. The award was presented by Wayne Cunningham, Executive Director for the Emma L. Cunningham Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Update on Joseph

I recently received a letter from the 2013 Emma L. Cunningham Memorial Scholarship recipient, Joseph Graham. I am always happy to hear updates from past awardees, and see how their academic career, as well as chosen career path beyond college, are progressing. I am pleased to share this update and hope that Joseph’s achievements encourage a new crop of applicants.

Here is an update, in Joseph’s own words: 

“I could not have written a better story to the (almost) first half of my college career. I have truly exceeded the expectations that I set for myself after leaving high school. As I reported last year, I became heavily involved in the Student Government Association and I must say that I’ve truly risen to the top. After being appointed last May to the Executive Cabinet as the Secretary of Community Affairs, our Vice President resigned and I ran uncontested for the position in September. Our President of SGA resigned this last month, and I am very proud to say that I am the youngest Black student to ever become the Student Body President at the University of North Carolina. I am also on the Search Committee for our next Chancellor, as a member representing all undergraduate students. I am still involved with the Club Tennis Team as the Vice President, and I am also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

It is definitely difficult to balance my academics with my extracurricular activities, but I have maintained a 3.59 GPA and plan to maintain it by the end of this semester. I am also in the beginning stages of applying to study abroad in Lyon, France for the Fall semester of 2015.

While there are a lot of roles I play on a day to day basis, I have not forgotten my identity and my strength as a student leader and someone who wants to inspire others to go into higher education and to strive for the best. I mean it when I say that I could not have written a better story for myself, but I know that it is with divine favor that I have gotten to the place where I am. I am stronger because of the opportunities I chose to take and did not crumble under adversity.

I am still growing and I don’t plan to stop pursuing higher achievements and my ultimate goal of becoming a journalist.

Thank you for the scholarship that you gave to me. You saw ambition in me before I saw it in myself. And for that, I am truly grateful.”

Thank you to Joseph for the update and congratulations on your student body president position! 

Help more students like Joseph.