A 19-year-old refugee from Burma received a $1,500 college scholarship Friday from the Alfonza W. Davis chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
Nae Mae spoke at an award ceremony Friday afternoon at the Bellevue Public Schools’ Welcome Center. The ceremonies, presided over by Bellevue residents Bob Rose, chairman of the Alfonza W. Davis chapter, and Robert Ingram, the chapter’s scholarship chair, delivered two scholarships for $1,500 and another for $500.
Mae said she was living in a refugee camp in Thailand when her parents, who fled persecution in their native Burma, were given a chance to emigrate to the United States of America under the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program.
A graduate of Central High School in Omaha, Mae said she intends to study biological systems engineering with a view to becoming a physician and a surgeon and one day serving Third World populations, perhaps, she said, in the Thai refugee camp where she once lived.
She received the $1,500 Hannibal M. Cox Scholarship, which is named for the famed Tuskegee fighter pilot who served the United States in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Brianna Miller, 18, received the Lonely Eagles Award, also in the amount of $1,500. It was the only award of the three that is conferred by the national Tuskegee organization
The 2019 graduate of Westside High School in Omaha plans to attend Tennessee State University where she will study elementary education and psychology. Miller, who could not attend the ceremonies, was represented by her grandmother, Terrie Miller.
The final award of $500 went to Madeleine Grimm, a 2019 graduate of Bellevue West High School who plans to pursue actuarial studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a view to becoming an actuary.
Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., a national organization, honors the memory of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American military pilots who fought in World War II.
They were trained, as were all black fighter and bomber pilots, at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Ala.