Thedford wins Creme of Nature scholarship


Esaelynn Cameron

Celeste Thedford, a junior marketing major from Shreveport, Louisiana won a $2,500 scholarship through Creme of Nature

Khalil Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

When some students at Alabama State University hear the term ‘Creme of Nature’ they immediately think of hair products, however, there is one student who will hear those words and think about scholarships. Her name is Celeste Thedford, a junior marketing major from Shreveport, Louisiana, who was awarded the first-place scholarship prize of $2,500.

Alabama State University Office of Career Services Director Sabrina Crowder talked about the origin of the scholarship. 

“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s [TMCF] Innovation and Entrepreneurship [I&E] Division has teamed up with Creme of Nature and Revlon to develop the 2021 Legacy of Leadership Pitch Competition.  In order for students to be eligible, they had to be a second-semester freshman, sophomore, or junior for the 2021-22 academic year. They also had to have a minimum of a 2.7 GPA or higher,” Crowder said. “The focus majors for this scholarship were students majoring in biology, chemistry, business administration, marketing, law, information technology, computer science, engineering, finance and accounting.” 

When Thedford saw the email from Crowder, she thought it would be a great opportunity.

“I saw the opportunity for this scholarship in my email from Dr. Crowder,” Thedford said.  “I had previously heard of TMCF and thought that entering the competition would be a great opportunity for me to expand my business mindset.  A team of nine other students and I came together to get this project done. My role on the team was to gather information and create a graphic design, as well as a PowerPoint presentation to convince the committee as to why they should choose my group.  I was notified that my team won the scholarship over an email from Dr. Crowder. My team was elated. We were a group of hard-working, creative students that made it more enjoyable. We worked hard for three straight days to make sure everything in regard to presentation was top tier for our audience of executives. It was definitely an amazing experience.”

 Creme of Nature is a hair product company founded in 2010 by Teneya Gholston, popular amongst the African American community.

“TMCF selected 30 HBCU students (some from HBCUs and others from PWIs) tasked with solving case studies presented by our program partners,” Crowder said.  “Students gained experience in venture ideation, business model canvas, design thinking, pitching and entrepreneurship. Winning teams had the opportunity to win up to $30,000 in scholarships and prizes.” 

Thedford said the scholarship will allow her to continue her education after her undergraduate studies.

“After I graduate, my main goal is to potentially work in the sports clothing industry as a member of their marketing and design division,” she said.  “I’ve been a visual artist since I was eight, so presenting my designs on a larger scale would be the dream of a lifetime. I also plan on attending graduate school and receiving my master’s in graphic design.”