Abril Hunter, a decorated Florida State University environmental science and policy student, has been named the 2022 Truman Fellow, among the nation’s most coveted undergraduate awards.
The merit-based Truman Scholarship awards up to $30,000 to undergraduate students who want financial support to attend graduate or professional school for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, or elsewhere in the world. public service.
Hunter, an FSU Presidential Scholar from Belleville, Illinois, last year received the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Fellowship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
After graduating in May 2023, she plans to attend graduate school to study urban and regional planning with a focus on social justice, climate resilience and urban development to work for the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“This university has helped me become a young student leader who is an agent of change across campus, and I’m impressed to say that I’m a 2022 Truman Scholar,” Hunter said. “I am forever grateful to this institution for the love it taught and instilled in me not only for leadership but also for public service.”
The Truman Fellowship, created by Congress in 1975 in honor of the 33rd President Harry S. Truman, carries the legacy of Truman’s dedication to public service.
Hunter is among 58 Truman Scholars chosen this year from a pool of 705 nominees from 275 colleges and universities. The scholarship recipients were chosen based on the academic success and leadership achievements of the finalists and their likelihood of becoming agents of change in the public service.
“The Truman Scholarship is the nation’s most prestigious scholarship for undergraduates interested in public service, and it’s hard to imagine anyone more deserving of this esteemed award than Abril Hunter,” the president said. of the FSU, Richard McCullough. “She is an exceptional student with a passion for leadership, research and public policy that will make a difference in people’s lives. We are so proud of his tremendous achievement.
The drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan inspired Hunter to take an interest in environmental racism and how politics affect minority communities. Since then, Hunter has presented research to the NAACP in Detroit on purifying lead-polluted water and studied the effectiveness of recycling messages in Florida cities and counties.
From 2020 to 2021, Hunter served as a senator for the FSU Student Government Association, where she passed a bill banning the use of activity and service fees in the purchase of plastic water bottles at single use, except in an emergency. She is currently the 74th President of the SGA Student Senate.
His proactive approach to combating environmental racism based on academic rigor and empathetic leadership won him his award last year from NOAA.
“When I entered this first year on campus as a Presidential Scholar and Honors Student, I only imagined my role on campus to be that of a student who excels in her academics to the best of her abilities,” she said. “However, I found my time at Florida State University to be full of leadership and service that helped me grow exponentially and propelled me to be the leader I am today.”
In awarding a Truman Scholarship, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation observed Hunter’s achievements and humanitarian work.
“The Truman Scholars have recognized Abril’s tireless efforts and incredible potential to effect societal change throughout her career, and it is a well-deserved honor for her and a great moment for our campus to celebrate one of us,” said Craig Filar. , Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Office of National Scholarships. “I couldn’t be happier with Abril’s selection as a Truman Scholar because she represents the characteristics of what makes our student body so amazing.”
As a Truman Scholar, Hunter will be required to work in public service for three of seven years following completion of a foundation-funded graduate program.
“I would not be here today at Florida State University to receive this honor without the support of my family, friends, faculty, staff, and the Office of National Scholarships,” she said.
For more information, visit https://onf.fsu.edu/.