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Meet the Howard U. student who won a scholarship from Beyoncé

(Washington Post)
A few years ago, Maya Rogers was in a car crash in Michigan. She’s not quite sure what happened that day in February 2013, but basically, she was rear-ended and her car flipped into a ditch. When everything settled, she noticed the roof of the car was “completely smashed in” and she was leaning to one side, she said. Rogers suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“And the recovery process was super challenging,” she said. “But luckily, all of my therapists, they knew that I was a musician. So they incorporated music into all of my treatment plans.”
Rogers — a vocalist who also plays guitar, piano and flute — did recover, after undergoing therapy integrated with music. Now, Rogers is working toward a career in music therapy. And she’s getting some help in that pursuit. From Beyoncé.
Rogers, 36, is a recipient of the Formation Scholars award, a scholarship for women the megastar artist announced in April. Four winners were named last week, including Rogers, who is entering her second year at Howard and aiming to earn a postgraduate certificate.
“Having gone through something like a brain injury, and thankfully, being able to recover from that and help other people with music just seemed like the next logical thing,” said Rogers, who was born in Chicago, moved to Michigan as a child and has lived in Washington for a couple of years. “When I talk about it my eyes light up. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”
The scholarships were an effort to “encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident,” according to post on Beyoncé’s website. The site stated that the four scholarships, awarded for the upcoming academic year, were to “add to the celebration” of the first anniversary of “Lemonade,” which was released in 2016. “Formation” is a track on “Lemonade,” Beyoncé’s sixth album.
Rogers will receive a $25,000 scholarship, Howard said in a news release. The funds mean Rogers will be able to continue her studies, a future that wasn’t always so certain.
“I wasn’t really actually sure if I would be able to actually to come back to school,” she said. “And I had to just kind of put that down, like, leave it alone for a while. I had done everything that I knew how to do, apply for as many scholarships and financial aid as I could. I just wasn’t really seeing how it would be possible. Sometimes it’s not all up to us. You can do your best and be diligent and proactive and then you have to just let it go.”
The scholarships were awarded to women “pursuing studies in creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies,” according to Beyoncé’s website. Four schools were involved in the effort: Howard, in Northwest Washington; the Berklee College of Music in Boston; Parsons School of Design in New York; and Spelman College in Atlanta. Spelman and Howard are historically black schools.
Read more at  Washington Post

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