Jaevien Akinmola grew up helping his grandfather raise vegetables and fruit in rural South Carolina.

Farming was everywhere in his hometown of Manning. He could walk out his front door and into a farm field just down the road.

Today, Akinmola is studying Agribusiness at South Carolina State University. He has big plans to be a leader in agriculture well beyond the limits of Manning.

“I want to pursue my master’s degree as well as a juris doctorate degree and begin working with (USDA) to start off to mastering more of the policy side … to understand what can be done internationally as well as nationally within our own borders as far as agricultural work,” he said.

Akinmola is one of five students who recently received scholarships from National Crop Insurance Services.

The NCIS 1890 Scholarship Program is designed to help students at 1890 Land-Grant Universities complete their education and prepare for careers in agriculture. Land-grant institutions are historically black universities focused on agricultural and mechanical sciences.

Since starting the 1890 Scholarship Program 10 years ago, NCIS has helped fund schooling for more than two dozen students. Many are the first in their families to go to college. The program is part of a commitment within the crop insurance industry to increase the diversity in its workforce, reflecting the diversity of the farmers it serves.

“It’s meant a lot,” said Akinmola. “For one, it’s just meant that my hard work paid off and to be able to get this recognition on a national scale is very, very meaningful for to me. I’m just glad they see the work I’m doing and are willing to invest in me. It shows that I have support out there and I can even have a future with them hopefully.”

Watch Akinmola’s story here along with video stories about all of the 2020-22 NCIS 1890 Scholarship Program recipients.