UCA alumnus selected as 2022-23 Obama Foundation Scholar

The Obama Foundation announced that DeKevious Wilson will be part of its fifth cohort of Obama Foundation Scholars. The program gives rising leaders the opportunity to take their work to the next level through an immersive experience that brings together academic, skills-based and hands-on learning. 

DeKevious Wilson

DeKevious Wilson

Wilson, who earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in African and African Studies from the University of Central Arkansas in 2011, is one of 30 emerging leaders from around the world who still study at either Columbia University or the University of Chicago for the 2022-23 academic year. 

“I am overwhelmed with joy and excitement that a little boy from West Helena, Arkansas could achieve and be selected for such an honor,” Wilson said. “It feels good, but it is a lot at the same time.” 

Wilson fell in love with the UCA campus as a high school student. He was a delegate for both Arkansas Boy’s State and Arkansas Governor’s School. At the time, both programs were held in Conway. 

“It was a beautiful campus and, and so many people I met talked about coming to UCA,” Wilson said. “It was a natural fit for me.” 

Wilson currently serves as regional manager for the South Side of Chicago’s Youth Guidance’s Becoming A Man (BAM), a program that encourages academic achievement and aims to reduce violence among boys and young men of color. Through his work, Wilson has co-created space for young men to learn, internalize, practice their social cognitive skills and expose them to life after high school, through both workforce and post-secondary development. He is pursuing his second master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. 

As an Obama scholar, Wilson will spend the academic year in a robust curriculum of leadership development, networking activities, mentorship and service activities. He is looking forward to meeting and collaborating with the other cohorts. 

The Obama Foundation Scholars program is designed to inspire, empower, and connect emerging leaders with the tools they need to make their efforts more effective and impactful across their global communities. Since its inception in 2018, the program has served 125 young leaders from 55 countries.