Hollins University fosters an environment where young women have the opportunity to become leaders, decision makers, and cultural shapers.
Last fall, Hollins announced a new scholarship that prioritizes lifting the burden of private college tuition for students with financial need. Designed for students living in the Roanoke Valley region, the Hollins Opportunity for Promise through Education (HOPE) scholarship program supports young women who wish to pursue a Hollins degree with zero tuition debt.
We are excited to introduce one of the first recipients of the HOPE scholarship program: Be Lalanne, a senior at Roanoke’s William Fleming High School. We sat down with Be to discuss the scholarship and what it means to her and her family.
Q: Tell us about yourself: where do you go to school, what do you do for fun?
On the weekends, I usually hang out with my friends or I like to stay home and play with my dog or be with myself sometimes. I spend most of my time at my job, Krispy Kreme. As for school activities, I got to try DECA and get involved with the Special Olympics, which was really fun.
Q: What are you thinking about studying at Hollins?
I plan on majoring in mathematics with specifics in computer science. Math is one of my favorite subjects, and I think I’m good at it. Once I understand the formula and the specifics of what’s going on, it clicks for me. Math is my strong point. I like technology in general, so it would be a good mix of majors.
I was taking French in high school, but I didn’t get the full experience because of the move to online classes during COVID. I want to minor in French because most of my family speaks the language. My family is Haitian, so most of them speak Creole or French, so I’d love to learn French. I want to study abroad in France, too. That’s something that I’m really interested in.
Q: What made you choose Hollins?
Hollins is really close to home. It was the first college I looked at because my guidance counselor suggested it. When I found out Hollins was an all-women’s college, that caught my eye because I thought that was super cool. I started looking into what Hollins was known for, the campus, the study abroad programs, and everything else; that’s what made me really like the school and want to study there.
Q: What made you decide to apply for the HOPE Scholarship?
I had gotten a lot of emails about the scholarship, but I didn’t think too much about them at first because I didn’t think I’d win. A lot of people apply and I thought the chances would be low. My mom and I were talking about how we were going to pay for college, like what loans to apply for. That’s when I mentioned the HOPE scholarship emails, and my mom encouraged me to apply and said what she always says: “You never know what could happen.”
Q: When you learned you got the scholarship, how did you feel?
It was such a big surprise. After I had applied for the scholarship, my mom and I went to visit the Hollins campus for the first time. After the tour was over, we sat down with Madeline in Admission and she asked me questions like, what other colleges am I looking at attending, am I planning on staying in the area, what am I interested in. I was answering her questions, but I mentioned that once I saw Hollins’ campus, met the people, and saw all that the university had to offer, I said, “This is where I want to be.” That’s when Madeline said, “I have something to tell you.” Then there was this long pause and I’m
thinking to myself, “Something happened. What’s happening?”, and she said, “You won the HOPE Scholarship!” I just sat there in shock and looked at my mom. My mom looked at Madeline and
said, “Are you serious?!”, and we just looked at each other and started crying. It was so heartwarming. To celebrate, we got some pizza and party confetti poppers, then we watched a movie!
Q: What does the HOPE scholarship mean to you and your family?
The scholarship means a lot to all of us. I am a first-generation college student, so I know this takes a lot of stress off me and my mom. Knowing I don’t have to work really hard after school and find a job that pays better for school is a relief. This scholarship really encourages me to go to college and learn. My mom is so happy and I’m hoping this will encourage my sister to go to college, too.
The Power of HOPE
After speaking with Be, there is no doubt she will flourish at Hollins. From mathematics and computer science, to French and studying abroad, Be will make her family proud as a first-generation college student.
If you are a young woman living in the greater Roanoke Valley and desire a college degree, but worry that the cost of tuition puts this dream out of reach, you have HOPE, the Hollins Opportunity for Promise through Education. Visit our HOPE program website to learn more about the requirements.