|Ambe Sennon with his sisters Asiyah, 14 years old and Saidah, 8 years old.|
What is fondly known as the “Bison spirit” is what made Mamie Carroll Woodford become the namesake of this scholarship. She achieved the high goals she set for herself and remained diligent to her passion for higher education. Her dedication made her an asset to Howard University, Baltimore City and the Howard University Alumni Association. We see this same type of dedication in our 2014 recipient of the Mamie Carroll Woodford Scholarship, Ambe Sennon.
Determination, laser-beam focus and, as oxymoronic as it may sound, the ability to see the bigger picture were the qualities that made Ambe a stand-out. Although he will be a Freshman in Fall 2014, he already possesses the type of tenacity that we have seen throughout history amongst Howard University students. On paper, both Ambe and his mentors painted the portrait of a young man with the resilience of someone beyond his years. In conversation, it quickly becomes obvious that this is the core of Mr. Sennon’s being.
“Howard University does not support White Supremacy.” This is not the type of phrase that comes to mind when you think of a welcome banner, but that’s exactly what Ambe’s welcome banner read. Perhaps we should explain.
While in the 11th grade, Ambe watched the tragedy of Trayvon Martin unfold. Ambe, along with Baltimoreans from all walks of life, participated in the 300 Man March. The 300 Man March was one of the many rallies that took place nationwide calling for justice for Trayvon. Howard University caught Mr. Sennon’s eye when he saw a picture of Howard students protesting for the same cause, holding a banner that read: “Howard University does not support White Supremacy.”
“I needed to be there,” said Ambe.
His visit to the campus the following April confirmed that need.
“It felt so welcoming,” Ambe says as he reflects on the visit.
The campus is a big change from his Greenmount Avenue neighborhood. His peers deal with violence on the regular. As Ambe describes his neighborhood, the local news is on television in the background. It tells the story of a crime involving guys that are probably his same age. “It is time for a change,” He says.
Now that the destination was set, the journey began. For Ambe, applying for scholarships seemed harder than applying for admission. At one point he was applying for two scholarships a day. The Mamie C. Woodford scholarship was one he applied to after it was suggested by his school advisor. Ambe had applied to so many scholarships without so much as a thank-you-for-applying email in response. Little did he know, The Mamie C. Woodford Scholarship would be different.
“Wow! You never know what can happen,” was the thought that Ambe says came to his mind once he found out he won. The win has only added fuel to his fire. “Once I say something I have to prove to myself I can do it. I know in the long run it will really help me out so I don’t complain.”
Ambe also sites his mom and his two sisters as his motivation. He says his future success will be just as much for them as it will be for himself.
In the Fall, Ambe will be majoring in Marketing. After a summer job piqued his interest in the field, he plans to use that experience to excel in the School of Business. He is also looking forward to the diversity of Howard University. The backgrounds of the students that walk the campus of Howard will span even further than those that walked the hallways of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Ambe’s new alma mater. While on campus, he even hopes to get in touch with his Trinidadian culture.
Howard University is the perfect place to get better acquainted with the African diaspora. The Bison Spirit is demonstrated again in that desire to want to learn more. We hope Ambe finds all that he seeks. The Howard University Alumni Club of Baltimore is happy to have Ambe Sennon as our 2014 Mamie C. Woodford Scholarship recipient.