Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

Alumni Korah Pounds founds the Omega Defense Scholarship Foundation for minority students in Criminal Justice

Posted on April 5th, 2023 by lkdrewry

In light of Ole Miss Giving Day, the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies recognizes alumni Korah Pounds, who founded the Omega Defense Scholarship Foundation (ODSF). The ODSF will provide a $500 scholarship to a minority student majoring in criminal justice or related field each year. 

“After the financial hardships I faced as a student due to being financially supported by a single parent, it was one of my goals to start a scholarship for students in similar situations,” said Pounds. “There are many bright and ambitious students that make it to college; however, it could be the issues outside of college life that cause them to lose focus and miss out on that true college experience. In my particular situation, I remember working as a Rebel Patrol Campus Escort, a food service provider at Baptist Hospital, and a security guard all while trying to focus on school. If it were not for my mother’s unwavering support and sacrifice, I’m not sure if I would be in this position today.”

Pounds is a veteran law enforcement officer from Tupelo, MS. He majored in Political Science with emphasis in Criminal Justice from Ole Miss and went on to get his master’s degree in Criminology/Criminal Justice from University of Texas-Arlington. 

“As far as the criminal justice component, I grew up in a pretty rough area in my hometown,” said Pounds. “As a kid, I didn’t look at the police as the enemy. Honestly, I viewed them as the people that showed up to stop the bad things that were going on in the neighborhood. Thinking back on it, I viewed them as the people that allowed me to play outside for several summers due to their enforcement efforts. It still feels strange when people find out what I do compared to where I am from.”

Pounds wants to continue this scholarship for years to come, with his end goal being an endowment. He hopes to help future students avoid financial hardships while trying to focus on their studies as well as serving as a mentor and assisting with career development.

“As a veteran law enforcement officer, it is extremely important that all areas of the criminal justice system have a diverse workforce to better represent the world in which we live,” said Pounds. “I think we are now starting to notice the offset of the employment demographics as America begins to examine herself.”

The ODSF obtained 501c3 status 2021 and has had three recipients so far. For more information, visit their Facebook page, Omega Defense Scholarship Foundation.