Tiqeece Brown is probably not your typical college student.
While most students have large gaps of time throughout the week to hang out with friends, Tiqeece uses his time management skills to be able to play college football, study for his upper-level classes and serve as a mentor to underclassman.
He not only just completes each task, but excels in them as senior at Winston-Salem State University.
"It gets really busy, but somehow it works," Brown, 21, said during a recent on-campus interview.
Dressed in a green shirt and tie, the honors student described the impact of a $5,000 scholarship Food Lion and Coke awarded to him for being a grand prize winner in its 2015 CIAA Essay contest.
"First of all, I just want to thank Food Lion and Coke for taking the time to show that you care by giving back to your community," Brown said. "Now I find myself leaning towards those brands when I need to purchase something. That is the least I can do to show my appreciation."
The scholarship helped Tiqeece to continue his studies at WSSU, where he is majoring in Political Science with a 3.7 G.P.A. He has been on the deans list at the university since attending. The funds also allowed him to purchase books for classes and focus more on school as opposed to juggling a part-time job like some other students.
It also allowed him to continue to excel at sports, where as a linebacker with the WSSU Football special teams, Tiqeece helped win the CIAA Football Championship just last fall.
It actually was football that introduced him to the essay contest existence. Last year after practice, his coach informed the team about the scholarship. The team then walked over to Hill Hall on the campus to learn more about it through a formal presentation.
"I knew that I was a great writer so I just thought on a whim that I would enter," Tiqeece said.
With the deadline only two days away he immediately started typing out his thoughts to answer the essay's question, “How has your CIAA school influenced your perspective on life or view of the world?”
It took him only 30 minutes. He then took it to the writing center to have them review it and "they really liked it." Weeks later, while watching a Netflix movie in his dorm room he got that email that would make him jump for joy.
"When I saw that the grand prize scholarship was $5,000, I thought I had just won the lottery," he said.
The student ran down the dorm hall excited before calling his mom in Shelby, N.C., to share the exciting news.
"It was just a good day!"
For further information: Benny L. Smith, APR: 704-310-4077; firstname.lastname@example.org