At our May 27, 2016 meeting at the Family Heritage House Museum, Manasota ASALH held its final meeting of the season and presented scholarships to 14 area graduating seniors. Ms. Khea Davis, Sarasota County’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017 delivered a motivational talk with the theme: “I can and I will because they did.” An article about Manasota ASALH’s 2016 Scholarship Awards presentation appeared in the Sunday Herald Tribune, May 29, 2016: “ASALH Awards 14 Scholarships.”
Recipients Pictured in article, Left to right
De Ándrea Mathis (in green), Elijah Bowers, Olivier Barolette, Anthony Moore, Frederick Chinwuba (father of Tiffany Chinwuba)
Kaci Newsome, Maebell Grabill (Aunt/Guardian of Geraldine Henderson), Anthony Salerno, Monica Gilley, Edonya Timmons
Note: The other four recipients did not attend because of test schedules at school.
To receive a scholarship from Manasota ASALH, African American students must be in their senior year in a school in Sarasota or Manatee counties, have earned a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average, and demonstrate leadership in their school and community. Scholarship applicants complete a written application and, if chosen to go to the next level, are interviewed by the Manasota ASALH Scholarship Committee. Selected awardees must provide documentation that indicates they are enrolled in a college of their choice in order for the scholarship funds to be released.
History of the Manasota ASALH Scholarship Program
The Branch awarded its first scholarship in 1998. Under the leadership of its first Chairperson – the late Dr. Shirley Ford – the Scholarship Committee selected a local thirteen-year old aspiring ballerina, D’Andrea-Joyelle Green. The scholarship award, which was made possible by membership and local organizations’ donations, provided much of the funds needed by this talented young lady to take advantage of an opportunity to study at the famed Alvin Ailey School of Dance. Ms. Green earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania and performed with several professional ballet companies. She now continues her passion for dance as a teacher, inspiring the next generation of dance artists.
In April of 2000, Manasota ASALH sponsored its first Scholarship Sports Classic at the Rosedale Country Club, with the purpose of raising funds for scholarship awards to local high school graduates. The event was dedicated to, and later named after, Randy Rankin – a retired educator and member who had died earlier that year. The Randy Rankin Scholarship Classic was later moved to the Palm Aire Country Club to accommodate the growing participation at the event. Since its inception in 2000, and including 2014 event results, the program has enabled Manasota ASALH to award over $250,000 in scholarships to local African American students entering their freshman year of college.
The 16th Annual Randy Rankin Classic was held Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Palm Aire Country Club. The Scholarship Classic was sponsored by the KBR Foundation, Beecher Carlson, Michael & Luci Koch, and City Furniture, Inc. The event was also supported by area businesses, members, and friends.