CANTON, Miss. – Bestselling author Angie Thomas on Thursday surprised a senior at a Mississippi high school with a full-ride scholarship for creative writing to the private university where Thomas earned her bachelor’s degree.
Thomas, currently on a new book tour, delivered the news via video. Students cheered as she congratulated Canton High School senior Ahniya Myers for winning the 2023 Angie Thomas Writers Scholarship.
“As I read Ahniya’s writing samples, I immediately fell in love with her craft,” said Thomas. “Her talent and skill blew me away, and I know that the creative writing program was created with a student like her in mind.”
The scholarship was named in honor of Thomas, a 2011 graduate of Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. It was created to help young aspiring writers who need extra support to make their dreams of authorship a reality, the university said in a news release.
“By giving Ahniya this scholarship, she can focus more on her studies and writing, which will allow her gift to thrive,” Thomas said. “It’s an honor to know that this scholarship could play a key role in the journey of yet another exceptional writer.”
Myers is the fourth student to win the scholarship, which covers tuition, room and board at the university for four years.
“Ahniya embodies both the spirit of the Angie Thomas Scholarship and the potential of an Angie Thomas Scholar," said Dr. Randall Smith, professor and chair of creative writing at the school. "The community of writers at Belhaven University is excited to welcome Ahniya to the BFA program, where we help one another master craft, find our purpose as writers, and reach our potential.”
Thomas is the author of New York Times bestselling young adult novels “Concrete Rose,” “On the Come Up,” “The Hate U Give,” and “Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy.”
“The Hate U Give” and “On the Come Up” were both developed into major motion pictures.