AD+PR Student Transforms Tragedy into New Legacy Scholarship

Alexis Clemons honors her mother, Carla R. Clemons with undergraduate scholarship

By Alexis Clemons

Photo of Carla R. Clemons taken by a family friend.

Carla R. Clemons (my mother) was born and raised on the westside of Detroit. Upon graduation from Cooley High School, she started her own tax service business along with my grandmother, Florine Cosby. Cosby’s Income Tax started in the basement of their home; as the business grew, they moved into a larger building and became very popular. My mother was an entrepreneur that wanted to make a difference in our neighborhood. Not only was she a tax preparer, but she was also a travel agent, mortgage broker and had her very own ice cream parlor. She was well-known and respected in our neighborhood for her humanity, generosity and dedication to those she loved. Going into my sophomore year as an advertising management major, I lost my mother, Carla Clemons.

Losing a parent is by far one of the most emotional and tragic experiences humans can face. In your pivotal college years, it can be difficult to make sense of life without the proper guidance from your parents. The experience put me in a dark place I thought I would never get out of. The hardest part of this process was dealing with the fact that I will never get my best friend back. She was my everything, my go-to, my confidant, and so much more. Thankfully, the strength that she instilled in me daily keeps me going and instead of dwelling on the tragedy, I’m committed to maintaining her legacy.

With the help of CAS Senior Director of Development, Meredith Jagutis, the Carla R. Clemons Scholarship was created to honor my mom, and assist any students in CAS who have lost one or both of their parents or guardians.

The Carla R. Clemons Scholarship will be available for students to apply in the spring semester of 2020 and will be distributed fall semester of 2020. The scholarship will be given to one student for an award of between $500 and $1,000.

If you’re interested in applying, please contact me, Alexis Clemons, at clemon42@msu.edu