Lawrenz Ellman - Sanders
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Voorhees Student, Lawrenz Ellman-Sanders, Wins First Place in the USC TRIOS Ronald McNair Scholars Program

Denmark, SC – February 20, 2024 – Voorhees University proudly announces that junior Lawrenz Ellman-Sanders has clinched first place in the USC TRIOS Ronald McNair Scholars Program. Adding to his accolades, Ellman-Sanders has also been bestowed with the program’s coveted Extra Mile Award. Among a pool of numerous applicants, only 16 students were chosen from various institutions of higher learning across South Carolina, with a mere six selected to attend the prestigious National McNair Conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

Ellman-Sanders’ winning research topic, titled “Dear Mama: The Impact Single African American Women Have on their Sons’ Educational Attainment in South Carolina,” delved into the profound influence of single African American mothers on their sons’ pursuit of higher education. Drawing from personal experience as a driving force, Ellman-Sanders conducted a thorough literature review and case study for his project, earning him the top spot.

“Winning first place for me means the only difference between the dream and the reality is what I make of it. At one point in my life, I could’ve only dreamt of being selected for the program, conducting research in preparation for a doctorate, and getting 1st place…And to think that my dreams are now my realities makes me want to make any and every dream come into existence,” stated the 21-year-old junior Business Administration major and Student Government Association President.

The Ronald McNair post-baccalaureate achievement program aims to assist TRIO-eligible undergraduates in preparing for graduate education through engaging them in research and other scholarly activities. The Extra Mile Award is presented to the scholar who has gone above and beyond in conducting and supporting their research throughout the program.

About Voorhees University

Voorhees University, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897, is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Its mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Voorhees as a #1 best value, #3 in social mobility and #33 among regional colleges in the south in 2022-2023; and #26 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationally. Additional information about Voorhees University can be found at


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