YWCA Awards College Scholarships
At young ages, they have learned about overcoming challenges, about values and role models, and about setting and achieving goals. And, they are headed to college with the help of YWCA Mamie Earl Sells Scholarships. In all ten Greater Cincinnati female African American senior high school students were recognized for their academic achievements and qualities of leadership, extracurricular involvement and community service.
Meet the Top Scholarship Recipient
Sydney Mantell from North College Hill High School
From her vantage point as a high school senior, Sydney Mantell is now aware of the insecurities and challenges she faced as a child. Raised in a biracial family by a single mother and a father she met only a few times, she struggled with racial identification, acceptance and self-confidence. But today, she is the Head Student Mentor of Girls Creating Change at North College Hill High School. The student-run and academic organization helps forge supportive, sisterly bonds between high school girls, focused on improved self-esteem, better grades and fewer discipline problems. Buoyed by her own success on the ACT and SAT entrance tests, the Straight-A student also created the Not-So-Standard Standardized Test Prep to help classmates improve their scores. Sydney is also captain of the varsity volleyball team, captain and co-founder of the Varsity Academic Team, and member of the school’s Drama Department and its Student Leadership Team. At the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America at Princeton University, she studied biology, zoology and marine biology. Sydney plans to study biology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a goal of one day supporting international conservation efforts.
Sydney received a $3000 scholarship.
Meet the Runners-Up
Miracle Flowers from Western Hills High School
Miracle and her mom have been through a lot together. Miracle calls her mom her role model. She has watched her lift herself up and Miracle is determined to do that for herself. At a very young age, Miracle realized that education and hard work are the keys to her success. She is in both Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses (for college credit). She has a 4.5 GPA and is ranked 2nd in her class. She holds leadership positions at school and serves as a Student Ambassador for school events and also serves on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council representing Western Hills. Miracle works part time and is proud that she was able to purchase her own car and save for college tuition. She is well liked and respected by her peers and the school administration. Miracle has been accepted into the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious Design, Architecture, Art and Planning program where she will study Fashion.
Janiah Miller from Newport High School
Janiah knows about personal change and redemption. She embodies integrity and character. However, this is not always how she lived her life. Janiah got involved with some dangerous kids and she made some poor decisions. But Janiah owns those decisions, and she is determined to look forward and not regret the past. She will use past experiences to help fuel her drive to be a better person every day. Janiah is a student athlete, is Captain of the Cheerleading squad and President of the Student Council. She is an active member in Future Business Leaders of America and has placed in Public Speaking in their state conference. Janiah plans to attend Northern Kentucky University and study Political Science with a double minor in peace and social justice studies and pre-law. When asked about her plans for the future, she replied: “I want to create policies that will help the less fortunate and also close the gap on gender equality”.
Miracle and Janiah each received a $1000 scholarship.
Honorable Mentions each receiving a $250 Scholarship include Hemen Aklilu, Mother of Mercy High School, Leola Colvin, Clark Montessori High School, Precious Gary, Oyler High School, Danielle Udosen, Fairfield High School, Kayla Walker, Princeton High School, Felicia White, St. Ursula Academy, Tianna Woodford, Purcell Marian High School
About the YWCA Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship Fund:
Established in 1993, nearly 50 applications from over 20 schools are accepted each fall, and an independent panel of community leaders and educators makes the final decision on the scholarship recipients.
The scholarship serves as a memorial to Mamie Earl Sells, a dedicated community volunteer who gave her time, intellect, and enthusiasm to the YWCA. The scholarship upholds the vision and leadership she provided to the YWCA and its Career Women of Achievement program through enacting her philosophy that we must “lift as we climb” by acting as role models to the young women of today and tomorrow. The Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship is awarded each year in coordination with the YWCA Career Women of Achievement Luncheon. This year’s luncheon is Wednesday, May 11th, 2016.
About the YWCA:
The YWCA IS ON A MISSION to eliminate racism, empower women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. YWCA Greater Cincinnati has been serving the community since 1868. It serves more than 35,000 women and their families each year through programs in crisis intervention, health and wellness, education and training, youth services, and recognition and advocacy. For more information call the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati at (513) 241-7090 or visit www.ywcacincinnati.org.