Charlotte-area graduate receives HPU award

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Jun. 6—HIGH POINT — A recent graduate intending to become a school psychologist has been named the second recipient of a High Point University award for outstanding young women.

Aleah M. Hayes, a Class of 2022 graduate from Harrisburg, which is near Charlotte, was awarded the Strickland Trailblazer Award and $5,000 to aid in her transition after college, HPU announced. She has designated a portion of the award to Women in Motion, a charity organization based in High Point whose mission is to promote professional wellness, career success, leadership and financial independence for women in the Greater High Point community.

"The financial aspect of this award is an investment in furthering my development in the field of psychology as a woman of color and a way for me to invest in the local community's women advocacy organizations," Hayes said in a press release.

Hayes served as president of both the Student Volunteer Center and the Black Cultural Awareness Club and was a member of several honor societies. She also worked as a supplementary instructor for Social Ethics during the Spring 2021 semester. As president of the Student Volunteer Center, she organized a number of projects and volunteer campaigns.

The Strickland Trailblazer Award was established by Elizabeth Miller Strickland as a part of her $12 million gift to HPU in August 2020. Each year, the award is presented to a graduating female student who epitomizes the qualities of hard work, passion for service, perseverance and determination.

Candidates were nominated for the award by the university's deans and vice presidents. The Elizabeth Miller Strickland Women's Leadership Council selected nine finalists and the recipient. The other finalists were Julia R. Aliazzi of Gates Mills, Ohio; Emily G. Beck-Aden of Athens, Ohio; Bryn E. Hawbaker of Port Matilda, Pennsylvania; Alexis M. LaBelle of North Smithfield, Rhode Island; Jessica L. Marley of Eastchester, New York; Clara Primus of High Point; Courtney L. Smith of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Allison Tucker of Charleston, West Virginia; and Hailey N. Turner of Gastonia.