N.C. A&T junior, Coley, a finalist for Truman Scholarship


EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 11, 2019) – A North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University student has been named a finalist for the 2019 Truman Scholarship, a prestigious and highly competitive national fellowship awarded each year to a college junior with plans to work in education, government, the nonprofit sector or another aspect of public service.

a and t student Kennedy Coley

Kinnidy Coley, an animal sciences student from Raleigh, is the university’s first finalist for the Truman Scholarship, which awards up to $30,000 for graduate study to students with an extensive public-service background, outstanding leadership potential, high academic achievement and a desire to pursue a career in public service.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation received 840 applications from 346 colleges and universities for this year’s awards. One scholarship is available to one student in each of the 50 states and U.S. territories. Last year, the foundation selected 59 students from 52 colleges and universities for awards.

Winners will be announced April 11.

In addition to the monetary award, Truman Scholars participate in leadership development activities and have special opportunities for internships, travel and employment with the federal government.

A member of the N.C. A&T Honors Program, Coley plans to pursue veterinary medicine in graduate school, with a career goal of working for the USDA to ensure food safety and biosecurity at home. Her long-range focus, after entering the public sector, is worldwide food security.

“Being a Truman Scholar Finalist is one of the greatest honors in my life,” Coley said. “In my pursuit of this scholarship, I talked about food security, an issue that motivates me towards my goals.

“I want to thank the University Honors Program, the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and especially the Department of Animal Science for their support. The numerous opportunities I have come across would not have happened without them.”

As an Emerging Leader intern at Land O’ Lakes in 2018, Coley traveled to Malawi and South Africa, learning about global food security and agricultural practices. In Cape Town, South Africa, she visited Leliebloem House, a facility for children in Cape Town, South Africa, which gets its supplies from surplus food collected from other agencies by volunteers. Coley says she began to see the ways that volunteerism and creative problem solving can reduce food waste and serve the public good. Upon returning to Washington, D.C., she visited senators from North Carolina, Minnesota and South Dakota to encourage international food aid.

During her freshman year, Coley joined the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association as an individual member and attended the group’s national conference in Raleigh. While there, she ran for, and won, a position on the national group’s executive board, and then encouraged N.C. A&T’s pre-vet club to register as a chapter. Coley then led a $2,000 fundraising campaign to enable the chapter to attend the next national conference, one of a few HBCUs to be represented.

Coley is also vice president and historian of the N.C. A&T Pre-Veterinary Medical Association; a food animal scholar at the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine; a member of Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS); and in 2018 was a guest speaker and delegate to the 2018 Chicago Council of Global Affairs Next Generation conference.

The Truman Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as a memorial to the 33rd president. The foundation has named more than 3,000 Truman Scholars since the first awards were given in 1977.