Selma, Dallas County seniors compete for Rotary Club scholarships

Published 10:24 pm Monday, April 16, 2018

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Graduation is just around the corner, and high school seniors are preparing for life after. For most, college is their next step and offsetting the cost through scholarships is one of some students’ main focuses.

The Rotary Club of Selma hosted its annual scholarship oratorical Monday morning at the Church Street United Methodist Windham Hall.

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Rotary Club Scholarship Committee Chair and president-elect Jerria Martin said this  event is a special one for her and everything has come full circle.

“Here we are 12 years later and I’m chair of the scholarship competition committee,” she said. “It just meant a lot to me.”

This is Martin’s first year as the chair, and she was excited to bring new ideas to the program. As the students arrived, she asked them to learn at least four facts about each other and later present it during the program.

George Edwards sang a solo “The Impossible Dream,” and Martin felt it was a great addition to the program.

“That was something to set the mood, set the tone for the young people before they made their presentations,” she said.

Every Rotarian had a ballot to score the students on a scale of one to six, one being the lowest and six being the highest. The members were judging on presentation and overall message, but most importantly, they were looking for exceptional students that are service oriented as well.

“Rotary is about service to all mankind, service above self, so we wanted to see how these young people were serving in and out of the classroom,” she said.

One student was chosen from each of the six local city and county high schools to present a three to five minute presentation.

“We ask the senior counselor to choose one young person,” she said. “They all pick a student and send them here to compete.”

The presentations covered why they deserve the scholarship, how it would help them, their future plans and their service involvement. Faith in God and how it has helped them progress was also a reoccurring topic amongst the students.

“It really inspired me as a young minister to hear them, so many of them, talk about their faith in God because I know that that’s the key,” she said.

The presenters were Allen Mason Kendrick- Meadowview Christian School, Briana Newberry- Selma High School, Grace Anne Ivey-Morgan Academy, Sy’Queria Callens-Southside High School, Darren Reese-Ellwood Christian and Nia Brooks-Dallas County High.

“I think Selma’s future is bright,” Martin said. “If these young people keep half of the things that they said they were going to do then their future is bright.”