2021 Stamps Scholar

NCCA STEM Institute Student Ester Adewumi Earns Full-Ride Stamps Scholarship to Mercer University
Posted on 04/15/2021
Ester AdewumiEster Adewumi has one less thing to worry about. Her college education will now be fully funded as the Newton College & Career Academy (NCCA) and Alcovy High School student recently learned she earned a full-ride Stamps Scholarship to attend Mercer University in the fall. The Stamps Scholarship program will pay both full tuition and fees plus room and board, and also provide Ester with a free Apple iPad. In addition, the Stamps Scholar benefit includes up to a $16,000 enrichment stipend over four years to support study abroad, undergraduate research, unpaid internships, and conference fees and travel.

“When they told me I was a Stamps Scholar I screamed at the top of my lungs to my daddy,” said Adewumi. “My sister was in the kitchen and she just jolted. I ran upstairs and told my dad. I played celebration music and just started dancing.”

Adewumi was accepted to several high profile academic institutions, including the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Tech, and The University of Georgia, but admitted she had her heart set on attending Mercer after visiting the campus—she just didn’t know, financially, if it would be possible.

“Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I would go to college with just how expensive it really is, especially with Mercer being a private school,” she explained. “The tuition was just incredibly high and I spent a long time fasting and praying—for at least a month—to get this scholarship. I was like, ‘God, you need to pay the bill.’

She added, “I really want to do a lot with my life. I want to give back to others, I want to research, do scientific breakthroughs, and I just didn’t want that burden on my family. I just didn’t know how my mom and dad would pay so I really needed this scholarship for my post-secondary education and I’m so glad that God has blessed me with this scholarship.”

Adewumi has worked diligently to prepare herself for the rigors of college, taking numerous Advanced Placement classes as well as participating in dual enrollment through Georgia State University Perimeter College. Her plan is to major in biochemistry and molecular biology at Mercer.

“My goal is to use scientific research to impact the world,” she noted. “Mercer has this way of perfectly blending scientific research with community in the most harmonious way and I was so amazed by that because it’s always been on my heart to go out into the world and bless people and Mercer does that all the time. I knew that this is where I belonged.”

Mercer University is a selected partner institution of the prestigious Stamps Scholars Program, funded by the Strive Foundation. Each year, Mercer selects five members from the first-year class as the University’s incoming Stamps Scholars. These students are among the highest achieving applicants in the University’s entering class. Esther was one of those five students.

The Stamps Scholars Program emphasizes the students’ initiative, from engaging in philanthropic efforts worldwide to conducting research and demonstrating a passion for improving local communities. Mercer’s Stamps Scholars embody both academic achievement and effective leadership.

“Our design for the STEM Institute at Newton College and Career Academy is to fully immerse our STEM Associates in an environment that closely aligns with that of higher education institutions to better prepare them for success beyond their years here,” said Chad Walker, Principal of NCCA. “Ester is a role model for all the Associates that know her both in school and the community. Her performance while at the STEM Institute and NCCA has far exceeded our expectations and we feel very fortunate to have had her time, energy, and talent.”