Millennial SU Alum Team Up To Create SANKOFA Scholarship For High School Senior

Sam Ross, Ellen McKnight, and Dadrius Lanus all graduates of THE Southern University have teamed up to create the SANKOFA Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior planning to attend Southern University in the fall of 2018. The group announced the scholarship via social media this week. 

According to their release, “The Ross-McKnight-Lanus Sankofa Scholarship is designed to promote and support academic excellence and community involvement. This scholarship also seeks to inspire leadership, entrepreneurship, and good character. Furthermore, this scholarship highlights the importance of higher education as well as attending an HBCU.” 

The Rouge Collection reached out to the group about why they came together to create the scholarship and how it came about. Sam Ross a 2012 Mass Comm graduate of Southern University and owner of Sam Ross Designs a Baton Rouge based graphic design company said, “Doing a scholarship has been a goal and dream on mine for years. I finally made the time to make it happen. I contacted my girl Ellen and it was a no-brainer that she would participate. Then, she had an idea to include Dadruis, and then BOOM! Here we are.” 

Lanus a 2013 political science graduate, a 2017 graduate of the Southern University Law Center and soon to be fall 2018 policy and leadership Master of Education graduate said, “This scholarship is important because it allows us to plant the seeds need to help future generations grow and prosper within the North Baton Rouge community. This scholarship is designed to help ease the financial burden of college while providing an opportunity for students to enjoy the rich culture that Southern University has to offer. Southern University helped us navigate through the avenues of life and now we are paying it forward by promoting our students, community, and university.” 

Ellen McKnight of The Maxine Firm, a health and wellness firm based in Baton Rouge earned her BS  in  2013 in Human Nutrition & Food,  and earned her Master’s in the of Spring 2015  in Public Administration- Healthcare Concentration. McKnight said of creating the opportunity, “Energy is neither created or destroyed, it’s only transferred. The Sankofa Scholarship is transferring positivity energy by providing future Southern University students with new opportunities, experiences and a quality education. So many good things come out of Southern University and the Sankofa Scholarship aims to continue that legacy.”

The group released a video on social media Wednesday morning. McKnight in the video said, “Southern University is LIT. Do you hear what I’m saying? Absolutely, positively LIT.” We a The Rouge Collection think the Ross – McKnight – Lanus SANKOFA Scholarship is just that, LIT. Full details on how you or your graduating senior attending Southern University in the fall can apply. 



• Graduating high school senior or high school graduate of present calendar year
• High school cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above
• MUST be attending Southern University and A&M as a freshman in upcoming spring or fall semester 

Applicants MUST Provide: 

• Essay
• High school transcript
• Proof of acceptance into Southern University and A&M College 

Application Deadline: Friday, June 29, 2018, 5:00 PM Essay Items to be Addressed (Both): 

“Why is attending Southern University the right choice for me? Why does attending an HBCU matter?” 

Essay Guidelines: 

500 words; essay must not exceed two (2) pages. Essay should be double-spaced, 12 point, sans serif font (i.e., Arial, Calibri, or Helvetica). Please attach or upload as Microsoft Word or PDF document. Please save document as “RML Sankofa Essay – [First Name] [Last Name].” For example, “RML Sankofa Essay – Samuel Ross.” 

Scholarship recipient will be chosen in July and notified by way of email by August. The scholarship will be awarded at the beginning of the fall semester. The awardee must be enrolled at Southern University and A&M College and provide proof of enrollment. For any questions or concerns, please contact