Submitted by Crystal Lewis Brown
The Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation and Delta Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., presented $22,500 in scholarships during a luncheon on May 21 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix.
The 10 scholarship recipients were graduating seniors, with one junior college student who is moving on to a major college or university. An additional award, for undergraduate excellence, was also presented to a member the sorority’s local undergraduate chapter, Zeta Alpha.
“When college dreams seem unreachable because of personal hardship, traditional scholarships may not apply,” said Dr. Eula Dean, chapter president. “The AKARAMA Scholarship Program aims to fill the gap by helping students who show academic achievement and strength through adversity to realize their college goals.”
The AKARAMA Scholarship Program has been providing scholarships for several decades. Funding for the scholarships come from the chapter’s annual signature Fashionetta fundraiser, which is held each December.
“We do believe education is the key to our future,” said Sharon McDonald, who co-chaired the event.
Dean challenged the scholarship recipients to take on a responsibility as they begin or continue their college careers.
“We want each one of you to stand tall and develop courage and perseverance in the face of adversity, and give back to your community as a responsibility,” she said. “You can make a lasting difference for the future of our community by starting today with a mindset that you will be held to be accountable, and it is our desire to help you succeed.”
McDonald also left the students with some advice.
“When you go off to college, work – work hard. But when it’s time to play – play. You can even date,” she said, drawing laughs from the audience. “That ensures you have a well-balanced experience.”
The Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation Scholarship awards range from $1,000 to $3,000, with applications accepted in the winter.
Applications for scholarships are accepted from young women who:
Are graduating high school seniors entering a four-year college or university OR are community college students transferring to a four-year college or university
Have a minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Sakilae J. White, Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona
- Kaitlyn E. Johnson, Hamilton High School
- Angela P. Esono, South Mountain High School
- Judge Jean Williams Memorial Scholar, Miss Jetaun M. Booker, Chandler High School
- Samariah Riggins, Mountain Pointe High School
- Alicia Jamison, Chaparral High School
- Malaya J. Dean, Sierra High School
- Keionna Barnes, Camelback High School
- Camryn Norwood-Pearson, Arizona School for the Arts
- Morisha Daniely, Phoenix Community College
Undergraduate Excellence Scholar:
- Vanessa Diggs, Arizona State University, Zeta Alpha chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.