Over 75 Regional High School Students Receive Scholarships At United Negro College Fund Event At Tinley Park Gala

South Suburban News

Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, superintendent of Matteson School District 162 and CEO of Southland College Prep Charter High School, poses with kidsPhoto byJT Taylor

Seventy-five high school seniors from 14 high schools in suburban Cook County and Kankakee County received scholarships on Wednesday as a result of successful joint fundraising efforts by a group of suburban school district superintendents and the United Negro College Fund.

In March, the Superintendents’ Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity (SCSDD) joined forces with the United Negro College Fund to raise money for students in their communities. The “Investing in Our Future” Scholarship Gala was held at the Tinley Park Convention Center and was sold out. The fundraising effort garnered more than $210,000—more than double the original goal of $100,000.

“Our collaboration with the United Negro College Fund means more money for more students,” said Dr. Sandra Thomas, vice president of the commission and chair of the scholarship committee. “That means more support for our students to fulfill their dreams.”

The commission gives scholarships to high school seniors from their member schools at the commission’s annual scholarship award dinner. In 20 years, the commission has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarships. But because of this year’s joint effort it is able to give twice as many scholarships.

More than 200 students applied for the Dr. Ron Edmonds Scholarship Award, according to the commission. The late Edmonds was an American educator, author and pioneer of effective school research in urban communities. He believed in the philosophy that all children can learn. The scholarship is for students of color or students who are economically challenged who are seeking a career or post-secondary education.

“We have nearly tripled the amount of scholarship dollars available to our deserving scholars,” said Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent of Rich Township High School District 227 and president of the Superintendents’ Commission. “This unprecedented generosity will have a significant impact on the educational opportunities for many students in the south suburbs.”

Fourteen students from Southland College Prep Charter High School in Richton Park received awards this year, more than double the number of students who usually receive the Edmonds scholarship any given year.

“The power of our individual districts coming together shows us what is possible,” said Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, Southland’s CEO and superintendent of Matteson School District 162. “We’re committed to making sure that our children not only get into college, but they have the financial means to stay in college.”

Hailey Love, 18, a Southland senior from Matteson who has been accepted into five Ivy League colleges, said as a first generation, low-income college student, the scholarship will help her pursue her passion and dreams in college.

“It is really meaningful to have a contribution from my community not just for myself but for my classmates,” Love said. “I can already anticipate that it will make an amazing impact in my college progression.”

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

Accurate, Honest and Local

Kankakee, IL

More from South Suburban News

Dolton, IL

Optus Bank Funds Multi-Million Dollar Project In Dolton, IL. They Stepped-Up When others would Not

Optus Bank of Columbia, SC, is committed to helping all people build wealth and improve their lives, regardless of their background or situation. They offer innovative ways to manage, move, save and borrow money for individuals and small businesses with the goal of ensuring that wealth building is not just for the wealthy. Unlike traditional financial institutions that seek to solely maximize the financial returns for their shareholders, they strive to balance the needs of all stakeholders their customers, communities, employees and shareholders. Now they are in Dolton, IL. Recently, they put their services to work to finance the Saint Patrick’s. It is the vision of Patrick and Tiffany Kamara. Announcing recently that the Optus Bank had financed the $3.2Mil. Saint Patrick’s project, they are working to take what started as vision into a reality. “When we bought the Dolton site, we just had a vision and a rough plan of what we wanted to do in this community, “said Tiffany Kamara. She and her husband Patrick took their savings and got renderings of the project completed. They knew that it was going to take several million dollars to bring a project like the Saint Patrick’s to Dolton. The Saint Patrick is a multi-story 5 star restaurant, banquet hall, Live music venue and roof top space, all to be located in Dolton. “When we started this, we spent our money and invested heavily in a vision. We had no idea where the money would come from, we just knew we wanted to bring something special to Dolton, “said Patick Kamara. “Why should people in Dolton have to go to other cities like Tinley Park, Orland or Chicago to enjoy fine dining?” He and Mrs. Kamara believe Dolton residents and those from surrounding areas should have the opportunities to have a great and safe recreation space that they can be proud of. They said, the both of them put faith in each other and the community and went searching for financing to get the project done. They went to the usual players in Dolton banking to finance the project, but no one would come up with a funding plan that the Kamaras could by into. “Banks were reluctant to finance a Dolton project and they were not shy about saying it, “they both shared.

Read full story
Dolton, IL

Tiffany Henyard Administrations under Fire For More Questionable Dealings in Dolton and Thornton Township

On the night that Tiffany Henyard was appointed to fill the seat formerly occupied by South Land political powerhouse Frank Zuccarelli as the Township Supervisor of Thornton Township, it was a shock to everyone in attendance. After being the last one of nine nominations, Thornton Township Trustee, Christopher Gonzalez nominated Tiffany Henyard. In a facebook video, it does not appear that the motion was seconded, but none-the-less, with nine minutes left to install a successor to Zuccarelli according to state statute, Henyard was approved by the board and sworn-in by the Thornton Township Clerk, Loretta C. Wells. It was a shocking development. Henyard was also serving as the youngest Mayor ever elected in Dolton and the first Black female Mayor as well. The same could now be said for Thornton Township. The event was historical but there were some tell-tale signs immediately that this historical moment might be the beginning of something less than wonderful. She vowed on that night to continue the work of Frank Zuccarelli in an interview with a reporter. Shortly thereafter, while the interview was going on, Deputy Supervisor, Joyce Washington joined the interview and hugged and congratulated Henyard. She was soon followed by Trustee Jerry Jones. They both demonstrated support for Henyard and shared their hopes. Jones said at the time that Henyard had the “potential to take this township to new heights”.

Read full story

Comments / 0