Charlotte Hornets Foundation Announces First Two Recipients of Hornets Venom GT Scholarship

Scholarship Aims To Assist Students Focusing On STEM, Game Design, Esports Areas

April 28, 2020 – The Charlotte Hornets Foundation today announced Kyra Kuyvenhoven and Ajane Lawrence have been selected as the first recipients of the Hornets Venom GT Scholarship.  The scholarship, which is one of the first of its kind by an NBA team and its NBA 2K League affiliate, is designed to assist individuals seeking to attend college, trade school, or a similar education course to receive a degree or certification in the STEM, esports, game design, or gaming spaces.

“With Hornets Venom GT joining the NBA 2K League, we felt it was appropriate and important to celebrate the importance of the STEM, esports and gaming areas within our community,” said Charlotte Hornets Foundation Executive Director Betsy Mack.  “We are pleased to have the opportunity to help these two deserving high school seniors move on to college and begin their journeys toward careers about which they are passionate.”

A senior at William Amos Hough High School, Kyra Kuyvenhoven plans to attend North Carolina State University to study human biology, with the intention of continuing her education to become a physician’s assistant specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.  She was inspired by her grandmother, an 11-year survivor of ovarian cancer, to pursue the field of women’s health care.  Upon becoming a professional, Kyra aims to focus on advancements and future of the field through the use of technological enhancements and other new methodologies.

Kyra says her goal in becoming a physician’s assistant is to “give back to the community that surrounds me and that has given me a multitude of opportunities.”  She adds, “By providing excellent treatment, I believe I will be able to positively impact the women in my community that surround me and empower them in the process. I believe I will be able to empower and encourage young and older women alike to care for their bodies, which will allow them to have higher career options such as work in the STEM field.”

Kyra has a 3.958 GPA, ranking in the top 10% of her class at Hough.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Hispanic Honor Society, Modern Music Masters honor society and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society.  She has participated in the marching band for all four years and is active with the Husky Hawk Club, which tutors students at nearby J.V. Warsham Elementary School in math.

Ajane Lawrence is a senior at South Mecklenburg High School who also plans to attend North Carolina State to study art design, with a focus on game design.  His goal is to be a technical artist, applying visual effects to video games and animations.  He is drawn to this because of the intersection of art and technology, which are two of his passions. 

Ajane says, “I have always been interested in the graphics, planning and development of video games. It has always been cool for me to see concept art of a video game, seeing the process up until the final project is released! I also believe it would be interesting to control my art, and see it move across the screen, essentially bringing it to life.

In addition to his career goals, Ajane also wants to give back to those in need, noting, “I want to leave an impact on the world, so I plan to use my gift as a way of servicing and helping others. One idea I have is to provide technology and simulations to students and schools that cannot afford such, for example, using a Virtual Reality game to help students learn about space or other science concepts.”

At South Mecklenburg, Ajane is a member of the National Art Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society and Sabre Tech Club.  He is also an active participant with the Young Black Leadership Alliance, Habitat for Humanity and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

The charitable arm of Hornets Sports & Entertainment, the Charlotte Hornets Foundation is committed to inspiring a philanthropic culture and strengthening the region through intentional partnerships, charitable giving and social projects in the areas of education, hunger, military care and wellness.  The Charlotte Hornets Foundation encompasses the efforts of the entire organization, including the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA G League Greensboro Swarm and the NBA 2K League Hornets Venom GT.

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