Atlanta Student Somalia Gilliard Receives $50,000 PROPEL Scholarship for HBCU Education

Somalia Gilliard of Atlanta has been announced as the second recipient of a $50,000 PROPEL Student Impact Scholarship by Southern Company, PROPEL, Disney, and the HBCU Week Foundation.

This award is part of the $100,000 scholarship investment that the partners announced in October during the inaugural HBCU Week event at the Walt Disney World Resort.”

Somalia Gilliard, a senior at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Atlanta, is presently rated second in her class with a 3.9 GPA.

In addition to her academic pursuits, Gilliard is the president of the Student Government Association and a member of the National Honor Society, National Beta Club, dance theatre troop, and the varsity cross country and track and field teams.

Gilliard plans to study chemistry at Alabama State University or Florida A&M University, eventually earning an advanced degree in dermatology and developing an organic line of beauty products for women.

“I am blessed, thankful, and honored to receive this scholarship – it’s a dream come true,” said Gilliard. “The pressure of figuring out how to pay for college has been lifted off me and my family.”

The PROPEL Student Impact Scholarship will be paid in four equal annual installments to cover tuition and fees. Gilliard’s scholarship is the second of two provided by Southern Company in conjunction with PROPEL and its partners this year to rising HBCU students. The first recipient was Djahnel Reid of Orlando, Florida, recognized in October during the HBCU Week college fair.

“We are honored to collaborate with our partners and recognize Somalia as the second scholarship recipient,” said Mike Anderson, Senior Vice President of Georgia Power and President and CEO of Georgia Power Foundation and Southern Company Charitable Foundation. “Education is a vital component of success, and by alleviating affordability – one of the largest barriers to education – we are helping students achieve brighter futures.”

“We would like to extend our congratulations to Somalia on this accomplishment,” said Waymond Jackson, interim CEO of PROPEL. “It is our hope that support such as this will help elevate HBCU scholars and propel them forward in pursuit of their dreams.”

Southern Company is committed to advancing equity within the company and the communities it serves. One such commitment is the company’s partnership with PROPEL, which began in January 2020. Along with Apple, Southern Company became a founding partner of PROPEL and the PROPEL Center, a global technology and innovation hub that serves all 100+ HBCUs. As part of the partnership, the Southern Company Foundation provided a $25 million investment to elevate and amplify HBCU institutions and create new opportunities for students to become future leaders, innovators, and trailblazers.