Lonnie Craig Jr.
Inaugural Kennard Scholar
What type of career have you pursued and want to achieve in the future?
I’m employed as a freelance independent contractor to my record label, Mean Records LLC.
How did receiving the Clyde Kennard scholarship impact you?
Receiving the Clyde Kennard scholarship impacted me in a major way. Around the time that I received the scholarship, I had a few academic issues that were occurring, which caused me to have doubt in my skills and abilities. It took me by surprise when I received an email about being selected. It gave me a major confidence boost along with all the assets that came with being a part of the Kennard Scholars program that ensured my success. The program exposed me to things I had not experienced before, especially the cultural field trips/events.
As a first-generation scholar of the program, I felt I was part of a legacy. I was part of a major movement in connection to my African American heritage not only in Hattiesburg, but in Mississippi and the U.S.
How do/did your academic pursuits or journey honor Kennard’s legacy?
The Kennard Scholars program is something that is really needed for minority students to experience. As a first-generation scholar of the program, I felt I was part of a legacy. I was part of a major movement in connection to my African American heritage not only in Hattiesburg, but in Mississippi and the United States. I felt I had a new sense of purpose to fulfill and achieve my goals in spite of the trials and errors that confronted me. I kept in mind my ancestors and all the martyrs such as Clyde Kennard, who fought so hard for us to have an equal education. I couldn’t let such an opportunity be wasted.