Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
Donors make a difference. Last year, 11 Pensacola State College students were awarded either an African American Memorial Endowed Scholarship or a Dr. Garrett T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” Scholarship.
In 2022, that number has more than doubled. And it’s all because of generous donors.
On March 4, the scholarship winners will be recognized at a special ceremony in the Jean and Paul Amos Performance Studio at WSRE-TV.
The scholarships are usually awarded at an annual banquet, but for the second year the banquet has been canceled because of COVID-19. Due to COVID-19, the College launched a “100 for 100” campaign to make up funds that would normally be raised during the awards banquet, and that campaign continues this year. Volunteers set a goal for 100 people to donate $100 each – a $10,000 goal that was surpassed.
At the ceremony, scholarship recipients will have their photos taken with PSC President Ed Meadows, and the students will receive awards sponsored by Favor Flavor Seafood of Pensacola. Darrell Nelson, one of the restaurant owners, is a PSC alumnus.
The ceremony is not open to the general public. Afterward, there will be a taping of a one-hour “Pensacola State Today” episode that will honor the recipients and which will air later on WSRE.
“Pensacola State Today” is hosted by Dr. Rameca Leary, the College’s Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives.
“We’re excited because we more than doubled the number of students who received scholarships,” Leary said. “Our volunteers and our donors really stepped up.”
Last year, $15,865 was raised to fund this year’s scholarships, including $3,000 that was raised after “Pensacola State Today” featured an episode on the scholarships and the recipients.
This year, there are four recipients of the African American Memorial Endowed Scholarship and 21 recipients of the Garrett T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” Scholarship.
Wiggins was the president of the all-black Booker T. Washington Junior College when it merged with then-Pensacola Junior College in 1965. Wiggins then served as the PJC Director of Research until his retirement in 1969. The Dr. Garrett T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” Scholarship was established in 2005.
The African American Memorial Endowed Scholarship started more than 20 years ago to honor Dr. Ellen Lett, a beloved English instructor at Pensacola Junior College. A scholarship was created in her name, and later the scholarship vision was expanded, and the name changed, to pay tribute to deceased African American employees at the College.
The ceremony is presented by the PSC Black History/Multicultural Committee. Leary is the volunteer coordinator. Dr. Tonie Anderson-Steele is the chair of the Black History/Multicultural Committee. To donate to either scholarship fund, go to https://foundation.pensacolastate.edu/opportunities-to-support-psc/scholarships/.
The recipients of the African American Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Fall/Spring 2021-2022 are:
- Joey Avant
- Avery Johnson
- Shauna Stoute
- Shelby Witherspoon
The recipients of the Dr. Garrett T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” Scholarship are:
- Sharlene Blackmon
- Briana Chahine
- Ramonda Coles
- Kennethia Corpuz
- Janieya Ephriam
- Shantora Grant
- Marissa Greene
- Darrell Howard II
- Portia Keith
- Jasmine Lewis
- Dominque McWaine
- Amelia Nichols
- Gregory Posey
- Haley Pratt
- Jaisiah Rivera
- Alexandra Samuel
- Sandra Savage
- Shamekia Sigler
- Jessica Spencer
- Agatha Wilkes
- Rose Witherspoon
PHOTO: From last year’s ceremony presenting the African American Memorial Endowed Scholarship or Dr. Garrett T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” Scholarship. Front row, left to right: Lakisha Jones; Keyaundra Mobley; Paris Guy; Nevaeh Anderson-Polk; Lecia Bradley. Back row, left to right: Dr. Tonie Anderson-Steele; Daniel Haile; Xavier Sapp; Dr. Rameca Vincent Leary; Dr. Ed Meadows. This is a composite photo, created from individual photos of the participants without masks. All participants wore masks and were socially distanced during the event