JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Jackson State University (JSU) student made history as she received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation Award.

Senior political science major Maisie Brown is the first JSU student to receive the award. Out of the 705 candidates nominated by 275 colleges and universities, she was one of three HBCU student finalists up for the award.

“It’s a very overwhelming feeling. I feel a lot of gratitude. I’m just really excited to not only expose people to what Jackson State is as an academic institution, but also so my classmates know that the opportunities are out there for us to continue thriving in our process, to continue being debt-free and so you connect with other leaders from across the country who have some of the same passion,” said Brown.

She said her most recent community work included delivering water to elderly and disabled people across Jackson and doing tornado relief work in the Delta.

“A lot of the scholarship is around simply creating the change that you want to see. It’s really just a lot of that. I don’t have a 4.0. The GPA is the least important part of your application. It’s really about who you are and what you do for the community,” she explained.

Truman scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate school. After graduation, Brown said she eventually wants to work in a transformative education program or in education policy.

“I do want to be a pioneer and a teacher and a learner in the education field,” she said.

JSU officials said Brown is the example of what students can do if given the opportunity.