Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild awards scholarships to KSU students

Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild awards scholarships to KSU students

Posted on September 15, 2022

Five Kentucky State University students received financial assistance this semester to help reduce the out-of-pocket expenses of their education. Kayla Bush, Anthony Jackson Jr., Farrad Lyle, Averie Stewart and Marcus Wilkerson were awarded a $1,000 one-time scholarship from the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild (KBBG).  

The Freddie Johnson Minority scholarship – which honors third-generation Buffalo Trace employee and Bourbon Hall of Fame inductee Freddie Johnson – is given each spring and fall semester to students majoring in hospitality, business, agriculture, chemical engineering, chemistry or the fermentation and distillation science certification program at Kentucky State University. Students must submit a 500-word essay as part of the application process.  

First-generation student Anthony Jackson Jr. has a personal connection to the bourbon industry. He learned about this scholarship opportunity through the Black Male Working Academy (BMWA). 

“My parents encouraged me to apply because my great great-grandfather was a master distiller in Louisville, Kentucky,” Jackson shared. “They thought it would be nice to write my essay about his legacy even though he was not African American.” 

Agribusiness major Marcus Wilkerson said receiving this scholarship erased any doubts about his decision to pursue a college degree.  

“This opportunity affirmed that I was on the right path of achieving all that is required to take care of my family and secure a legacy for my children to have years after I am gone,” Wilkerson added that “by receiving this scholarship, I was able to secure my enrollment at Kentucky State.” 

“Being chosen for this scholarship has helped me with gas and new school supplies like my laptop,” shared senior Kayla Bush. “I was extremely grateful for this opportunity.” 

KBBG was founded in 2017 to educate minority consumers about bourbon and the essential role people of color have played in the development of the Commonwealth’s signature industry.  

“The distilling industry created $9 billion for the Kentucky economy last year, but only 1 percent of people working in the industry in this state are Black,” said Robert Beatty, founder of the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild. “We hope this scholarship will play a role in changing that.” 

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