N.C. A&T, Chobani Launch Chobani Aggie Scholars Program

By Lydian Bernhardt / 09/19/2022 College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

From left, Faith Jefferson, Kaylen Sexton, Melanie Howell and Destiny Knotts are the first Chobani Aggie Scholars, given to students majoring in food and nutritional science, agribusiness, and biological engineering.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and food company Chobani have announced a partnership that will produce sweet rewards for students majoring in food and nutritional science, agribusiness and biological engineering.

Chobani, maker of yogurt, oat milk, coffee creamers, and probiotic drinks, is providing $125,000 to the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES) to establish the Chobani Aggie Scholars Program, which will offer student scholarships, internships and potential post-graduate employment.

Melanie Howell and Kaylen Sexton, biological engineering majors; Faith Jefferson, an agribusiness and food industry management major; and Destiny Knotts, an agribusiness major, were selected for the 2022-23 year.

Each will receive $20,000, in addition to summer internships and a pathway to be considered for full-time employment after graduation. The students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

In addition, $45,000 will be set to establish a “student success fund” to offset students’ costs for travel, equipment, experiential learning activities and emergency student support.

“The Chobani program is such a dynamic opportunity for students,” said Antoine Alston, Ph.D., CAES associate dean of student affairs. “They will be in a position to apply for internships and employment with the country’s top-selling Greek yogurt maker. We are also excited about the scholarship funding, which will help greatly alleviate debt for our scholars."

According to Mike Avery, head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Chobani, establishing the scholarship is a way for Chobani to give back by supporting the academic lives and career development of students at the nation’s largest historically black university.

“In partnering with N.C. A&T, our goal is to develop a pipeline of talented candidates where students leverage their degrees in an impactful way,” Avery said. “We look forward to not only supporting an excellent education, but to welcoming a set of high-performing students into our organization that exhibit diversity of thought and experience.”

Howell said she saw the scholarship as an opportunity to focus on studies and campus involvement without financial worries.

“I am very grateful to be one of the first recipients of the Chobani Scholarship,” Howell said. “This opportunity provides me with financial stability so that I can focus on finishing my senior year strong. I look forward to exploring what Chobani has to offer in the near future.

For Jefferson, the scholarship is an opportunity to grow, academically and professionally.

“Receiving the Chobani Scholarship is more than a recognition of my achievements, it’s also an investment in my future,” she said. “I am truly grateful. I will never forget this.”


Media Contact Information: llbernhardt@ncat.edu

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