UNCF sends 33 local scholars to college
By Joia Williamson, The St. Louis American
Incoming freshmen and returning college students in the St. Louis area attended the United Negro College Fund Reception last week to receive their scholarships. In total, 33 recipients were honored.
East St. Louis Senior High School graduate Daryl Williams received funds from UNCF to attend Jackson State. A church member notified him about scholarship opportunities, and John E. Armstrong, UNCF area development director, helped him too.
“It feels great, especially through hardships. I’m truly blessed,” Williams said.
Williams decided to attend an HBCU to be around other African-American students who have goals to become successful professionals.
“I wanted to be around positive African Americans like myself. That’ll be a good experience,” Williams said.
Williams offered advice to students still in high school.
“Do as many positive things in high school, because it will open doors in the long run,” Williams said.
“Apply early. College is not free. If you really want to go, apply for as much as you can. You can get a lot of financial help through scholarships.”
Three new organizations joined the St. Louis Chapter of the United Negro College Fund this year: scholarships were given in the name of the Ryan Howard Family Organization, St. Louis Initiative and the late Illinois state Rep. Wyvetter H. Young.
Young’s daughter, Margaret Hewitt, said her late mother worked so that “everyone who wanted to go to college can.”
St. Louis native and nationally known comedian Cedric The Entertainer spoke at the reception, encouraging the students that there were people behind them. Cedric also gave out Cedric “The Entertainer” Scholarships.
Clayton High School graduate Essence Carter received a scholarship from UNCF to attend Barry University in Miami.
“It makes you feel more comfortable when you’re leaving for school, because you know you’ll be helped along the way,” Carter said.
Carter found out about the scholarship through a website provided by Clayton High School that matched her with UNCF. Carter advised this year’s high school seniors to really look for scholarships.
“Keep looking, because there’s always one that you may not be quite sure about or just don’t know – that could be the one that helps you the most,” Carter said.
“Never give up. When you think you’ve done enough, do more.”
Through numerous scholarship providers, including UNCF, Timothy Harris will not be paying anything towards his education at Morehouse College. The Clyde C. Miller Career Academy graduate knew his family would be unable to pay for college, so he continued to apply for numerous scholarships.
“Stay focused on what your dream is. Don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of accomplishing that dream. Don’t let anyone hinder you,” Harris said.
Michael L. Lomax, president of UNCF, addressed the group via video.
Lomax said, “UNCF scholarships that are supported by your donations make the difference between students attending and staying in school, or not having the opportunity to attend at all.”
To donate to UNCF or apply for scholarships, visit www.uncf.org.
UNCF President Michael L. Lomax will be the keynote speaker at the St. Louis American Foundation’s 2010 Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship and Awards Banquet, to be held Sept. 17 at America’s Center.