App State announces 4 recipients of its Dr. Willie C. Fleming Scholarship


Watson’s cheeks: Hello, my name is Cheeks Watson. My major is computer science, and I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Victoria Smith: My name is Victoria Smith. I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina, and my major is Cell/Molecular Biology.

Charles Johnson III: My name is Charles Johnson III and I’m from a small town called Parkton, North Carolina. My intended major is accounting.

RJ Johnson: Hi, my name is RJ Johnson and I’m from Franklinton, North Carolina. I am planning to major in exercise science. It’s my hobby that I play baseball, and I play baseball here at Appalachian State University and that means a lot to me because I’ve become part of two very special groups. On the baseball field, I am part of all 35 of my brothers, and with the Fleming Scholars, I become part of a very prestigious group with which I feel very connected.

Victoria Smith: In my spare time, I enjoy singing, playing guitar and also doing anything artistic. I also really enjoy driving in my car to various places through Boone, like Laurel Creek Falls, Thunder Hill Outlook, Raven Rocks and that kind of thing.

Watson’s cheeks: The location is perhaps one of the things I love the most about the Appalachian State. It is not too far from home; It’s about an hour and 30 minutes drive. So I can always get time to go see my family at home. Another thing is probably the weather. I like the air cooler now. This is probably early November and it’s just, almost like breathtaking with the leaves too. The other thing I love about Appalachian State is the football program. Just the feeling of being in the student section, just cheering on my fellow classmates, it’s a good experience and our football team is good too, that adds up. And maybe finally I’ll say campus atmosphere; Everyone on campus is very attractive. Everyone seems to want you to do well, including your academic advisors and teachers. So I would say this is a big part of my experience as well.

Charles Johnson III: The thing I enjoy most about App State is the small community of people who look like me – African Americans. The fact that I can’t look around the corner nor see a face like mine but know they’re there, handy, just waiting for me if I ever need them to help me, teach me, guide me along the right path in case I get lost – just knowing that this The small community of people, we create strength, more power than I can do on my own – very comforting in my mind.

RJ Johnson: At Appalachian State University, some of the things I feel I enjoy the most is that I feel really fit. It’s a great atmosphere and I love the culture. I just feel like I’ve made a lot of friends, and when I walk around campus I feel like I’m at home. The mountains are clearly a really cool place. The scenery is beautiful and I feel like Boone is just a really cool place to unleash your true self and be what you want to be. You know, no one will judge you and you can just be yourself.

Charles Johnson III: Being a Fleming Scholar for me means fighting – not just to fight for yourself but to fight for others around you. to have a voice. to call. To fight for your own idea. To overcome all odds, all favors, so that you can come and bring yourself to prove to those who thought that you would become nothing that you became a thing.

Victoria Smith: Having the opportunity to be a Fleming Scholar means everything to me – starting with the fact that I graduate without debt and start my life with financial freedom, while also connecting with other black scholars as well, but who are also like-minded and want to do great things that mean the world.

Watson’s cheeks: For me, being a researcher at Fleming means supporting my fellow scientists, academically, I guess you could say, just on a friendship level. Just having people you can trust and go to whenever you need help, whether it’s just about academics or just personal issues, you always have that strong group of people you feel comfortable around and want to do things with too. This is what it means to me.

RJ Johnson: To be a Fleming Scholar, I think this means that you have accomplished a lot in class, as far as academics go. It is a very prestigious group of African American or minority students who have spent time studying and being great students. But, apart from being great students, they are also great in their communities – they give back, help, and just be a great person in general. So I think that’s what it really means to be a Fleming scholar.

Victoria Smith: The biggest legacy I want to leave in the App State is the legacy of leadership, but also of being comfortable with your own skin and realizing that those around you may not agree with you or may not look like you, but you still have every right to be there and every right to belong to and be called this place home just like the next person.

Charles Johnson III: During my interview to become a Fleming researcher, a similar question was asked – why would I want to go to the App State? I’ve asked this question to myself many times, and I realized that I came to the App State because I thought the App State had such high expectations and that I was below the quota even in the App State that I want to get to the App State and eventually when I leave to be better in the App State . And this is the legacy I want to leave behind in my name, signature in anything related to my name should be a greatness.

RJ Johnson: The legacy I want to leave is to show, I think, to the younger generation that it is possible, especially for African Americans and minorities to make it and be something. Obviously, nowadays, you kind of see that people or minorities feel like they can’t be anything, and the way the media portrays… all the extra stuff that’s just kind of hype, I really want to show that it’s possible to be something. Anyone can do it and as long as you put your mind to it and work hard anything is possible.

Watson’s cheeks: The legacy I hope to leave after graduating from Appalachian State is to be remembered by people as a good and honest person who never accepted no rejection and always fought for what he believed in and made sure I did the right thing while I was here.

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