Four graduates awarded Frank Crump, Jr. Next Generation Scholarship for 2022

Published 4:35 pm Thursday, June 9, 2022

Marquasia Smith, Jannifer Banks, and Aron and Ashton Murphy are the 2022 recipients of the Frank Crump, Jr. Next Generation Scholarship.
Smith, a graduate of Vicksburg High School and class valedictorian, received the top award of $1,000. Smith plans to attend Mississippi State University, majoring in computer science to become a software engineer. She said her introduction to computers and technology as a potential career path was during a local college tour when she was 14 years old. In her sophomore year at VHS, Smith learned to code and create apps, games and websites. She also took advantage of free online coding sites to learn C++, JavaScript and Python.
Appreciative of all the support she has received, Smith said she is committed to making a difference for future generations.
“Most people tend to go on about their lives and forget about the place they called home, but I refuse to do that,” she said. “I want kids in the generations after me to know that no matter how successful you are, it is always great to give back to your community.”
Smith’s academic achievements earned her more than $500,000 in scholarships from universities and organizations nationwide.
Banks realized her love for math in elementary school.
“The timed multiplication tests were my favorite,” Banks said.
Studying robotics in middle school, the dual-credit engineering courses she completed and the GEMS (Gains in the Education of Math & Sciences) summer camp at ERDC influenced her career ambition to become an engineer and own an engineering firm. She is seeking a summer internship with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to gain more experience and knowledge in her chosen field.
Banks is a graduate of VHS and will attend Jackson State University, majoring in civil engineering.
Preceded by three generations of Alcornites, twin brothers Aron and Ashton Murphy were all but destined to attend Alcorn State University.
“We have been going to Alcorn all our lives, to programs, activities and sporting events. We volunteered as ball boys with the Alcorn Braves football equipment team since we were in the 6th grade,” Aron said.
For the Murphy brothers, Alcorn is family. Aron will major in criminal justice and wants to become a State Game Warden. Ashton said he plans to study exercise science. His career ambition is to become an exercise psychologist.
The Frank Crump, Jr. Next Generation Scholarship is named for educator and activist Frank Crump, Jr. Scholarships are awarded to students pursuing STEM-related studies and who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and service to the community. Award recipients commit to mentoring seniors in the next graduating class at their respective schools to help them navigate the college admissions process. Since 2014, the Frank Crump, Jr. Educational Foundation with support from donors has awarded 42 scholarships totaling $28,200.

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