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Scholarship Profile: Huewayne A. Watson, '09

Posted: July 24, 2011

Huewayne A. Watson reveals his passion for learning when he talks about The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the book that awakened him to the possibilities education provides.

Malcolm X’s story helped Watson understand African American culture, which differs from the culture of Watson’s native country, Jamaica. What inspired him, however, was the legendary activist’s early childhood—marked by a murdered father and a mother who suffered trying to raise her children alone—and his eventual imprisonment, when he chose to make use of the prison’s library.

Watson, too, became an avid reader in high school, and his love of history led him to consider a career as a social studies teacher. However, at Buffalo State, he encountered professors and mentors who encouraged him to pursue a doctoral degree. As a McNair scholar, he prepared for graduate school through study and research.

“Books are my friends, my family,” Watson said. “My home is the library.”

He makes it a point to live simply. “When we lived in Jamaica,” he said, “I had two pairs of shoes: one for school, and a good one for family get-togethers. The rest of the time, I went barefoot.” It is no surprise that he is grateful for the financial support provided by the scholarships and awards he received. “It is very important to learn that if you work hard, your work is rewarded,” he said.

The Ross B. Kenzie Family Presidential Scholarship program is designed to enhance student diversity at the college by increasing the enrollment and support for academically talented minority students. The scholarship is awarded on academic merit.

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