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NEW ORLEANS — “I prayed on this. Waited. And the dream came true.”

Allana J. Barefield, a Xavier University of Louisiana senior mass communication major from Lynn, Massachusetts, is one of eight recipients of the Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Homecoming Scholars Award for the 2018-19 academic year, according to a news release from Xavier.

She was one of four recipients of $25,000 scholarships awarded to students from four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) –Xavier, Wilberforce, Tuskegee and Bethune-Cookman.

Barefield, who recently completed a summer Sports Journalism Institute internship as general assignment reporter for the sports desk at The Tampa Bay Times, is already an accomplished journalist, having previously served internships with The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The New Orleans Advocate, The Louisiville Courier Journal, and WDSU-TV in New Orleans.

The Homecoming Scholars Award Program, announced after Beyoncé’s first weekend Coachella performance, named four universities and extended the program to all qualifying students at the universities, regardless of gender.

The 2018-19 disciplines include literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science, engineering and more. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. partnered with BeyGOOD following Beyoncé’s second weekend Coachella performance, to add four more schools, including Fisk University, the alma mater of Beyoncé’s father, Mathew Knowles and Morehouse College.

All qualifying applicants submitted a 1,000-word essay about one African or African-American thought leader in their field who has inspired them to achieve their goals (educational, professional, and/or community-driven).

The essay included how they plan to contribute to history through their own life’s work. All finalists and the eight recipients were selected by committees from the colleges and universities.