When Octavia Brown came to Saint Mary’s in 2011 as an FGI Scholar and an aspiring basketball player, the First Generation Initiative was in its second year and the women’s basketball team was coming back from a losing season. Four years later, she has accomplished a great deal in both programs.

In her junior year, Brown helped the Cardinals win their first regular-season MIAC championship since 1986 and a advance to the NCAA Division III regional tournament. As a Scholar, Octavia has excelled in her psychology major and plans to become a dentist.

At a recent fundraising event, Brown spoke to what the First Generation Initiative scholarship has meant for her: “If it was not for this scholarship, I would not be standing before you today as a strong African American young woman with goals and ambition. This scholarship gives me and other underrepresented students who are financially struggling a chance at making a name for ourselves. For me it has been a way out of no way.”

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