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Sierra Worden receives MLK Scholarship

Sierra Worden

Sierra Worden, a journalism senior, is the recipient of the 2024 West Virginia University Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. This award is given annually to an undergraduate student who has demonstrated an active interest and meaningful involvement in areas of human rights, civil rights, social justice and/or world peace, or other activities exemplary or reflective of the ideals and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Worden, who plans to graduate in May 2024, is the social media coordinator for both the WVU Black Student Union and HerCampus. She is also the communications coordinator for the WVU Student Government Association, Editor-in-Chief of Mirage Magazine and a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Below, Worden shares her thoughts on receiving the scholarship and furthering Dr. King’s mission.

Why did you feel you were a good candidate for the MLK Scholarship?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, an organization dedicated to developing leaders, promoting brotherhood, encouraging academic excellence and service, and promoting advocacy for minority communities. I am a member of APA’s partner sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, which is based on the principles of sisterhood, scholarship and service to ALL mankind. Being a part of this sorority that has the same ideals as Dr. King has allowed me to connect with other powerful Black women and promote and uplift Black voices. In AKA, we are constantly out registering people to vote, we have a CHIPP program that provides meal packs for children whose families cannot afford food and national AKA created the first Black-owned, women-led bank in the United States.

What does winning this scholarship mean to you?

Winning this scholarship means so much to me – I’m truly honored to be one of the recipients.

How will you further Dr. King's mission moving forward?

I believe in equity and equality, which is why volunteering is so important to me. I give back whenever I can. I believe that everyone deserves to be equal, and if there is a way that I can assist in that, I want to.

I also want to focus my career on advocacy work. I think that there are so many stories that are overlooked when it comes to people of color in the mass media. I want people to hear the stories, and I want to be the one to tell them.

How can others uphold the values of the MLK scholarship?

Find a cause and fight for it. Find something that you really care about and never stop talking about it. Make sure that people hear what you have to say.

Why did you pursue a degree through the WVU Reed College of Media?

I decided to pursue a degree through the WVU Reed College of Media, because I have always enjoyed writing, and I wanted a way to create an impact. I thought pursuing a career in journalism would be a great opportunity for me to do both of those things.

Are you currently interning or working? If so, where and what are your duties?

I am a communications intern for the West Virginia Department of Technology. I do a wide range of things, but one aspect that I focus on is creating their newsletter that goes out quarterly. I was also in a team effort to create communications plans for all of their different departments.

What are your career goals?

I want to pursue a career in social justice/advocacy. I think that it is important to give a voice to groups and communities that do not already have one.