LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - In conjunction with Black History Month, Alltel and Dr. Maya Angelou today announced the Words of Wisdom Scholarship Program, which asks students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) across the country, "What words of wisdom will you pass on to those who come after you?"
"Young people have a fresh perspective and can express their insights in ways the next generation will appreciate and respond to," said Regina Woziwodzki, director of multicultural marketing for Alltel. "We are proud to provide them with a forum through the Alltel Words of Wisdom Scholarship Program as well as the once-in-a-lifetime experience of meeting Dr. Maya Angelou."
Ten Grand Prize winners will receive a $4,000 scholarship to a participating HBCU institution of their choice and a trip to Little Rock to meet Dr. Angelou. Participants will be judged based on their ability to adhere to the theme as well as strike an emotional chord and exude passion through writing.
"I am pleased to be a part of a program that empowers young people to voice their opinions. Wisdom lives in all of us and the world will be wonderfully served if these students share what they have and know," said Dr. Angelou. "I am proud of this program and gladly support Alltel's commitment to African-American students across the country."
Alltel supports a number of annual sporting and multicultural events that make an impact within the African-American community, including: the HBCU Football Classics and several athletic departments at HBCU institutions; a Martin Luther King celebration in Cleveland and a MLK parade in Jackson, Miss., the largest in the United States; the Lynch Street Festival in Jackson, and the Jazz Series and Pride Awards in Charlotte, N.C.
An internationally respected poet, writer, civil rights activist and educator, Dr. Angelou has authored best-selling titles such as "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Gather Together in My Name," "The Heart of a Woman" and the collection of poems "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie," which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. The first black woman director in Hollywood, Dr. Angelou has written, produced, directed and starred in productions for stage, film and television.
Essay submission forms are available on-line or at any participating Alltel retail store. Contest rules and entry forms will be available beginning Jan. 27 at alltel.com/wordsofwisdom. Entries must be post-marked by March 3, 2006, and winners will be presented with their awards on March 28, 2006. Graduating high school seniors who will be attending HBCU institutions also are eligible to participate.
Alltel is a customer-focused communications company with more than 15 million customers in 36 states and nearly $10 billion in annual revenues.