By Hazel Yates-Campbell – Twelve of Jacksonville’s highest ranking African-American students from Duval County Public Schools were awarded scholarships for academic excellence from Gamma Beta Boule’s 38th Annual High Potential Youth Recognition Awards Program. The scaled down program was hosted in the University of North Florida’s Andrew Robinson Theater and included parents, Boule’ members, joining students with university and Duval County Public Schools officials. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the 10th thru 12th graders with a GPA of 3.50 or above, joined via a live Zoom simulcast. All students were mailed congratulatory letters and certificates.
The top eleven highest ranking 12th grade students were awarded one-time academic scholarships. The students were: Victoria Sullivan, Stanton College Preparatory School, the Gamma Beta Boule Founders Scholarship for $3, 000; Yaa Bame, Paxon School for Advanced Studies, the Dr. Leon Haley, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, $2,500; Kayanne Pickett, Riverside High School, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, $2,000. Seven students received the Gamma Beta Boule Scholarship for $1,500 each. They were: Tolulope Ogunfuwa, Atlantic Coast High School; Rilencia Moore, Riverside High School; Kerrigan Brown, Atlantic Coast High School; Amari Blake, Samuel Wolfson High School; Karden Way, Paxon School for Advanced Studies; Carla Thompson, Sandalwood High School and Dariyn House, Paxon School for Advanced Studies. Other scholarships awarded were the Dr. Caroline Annette Cody Memorial Scholarship for $2,000 to Zharia Bowles, Riverside High School.
The program’s keynote speaker was Darryl Willie, Duval County School Board Chairman. Since its inception, the Gamma Beta Boulé Awards Program has honored over 620 African-American students in Jacksonville. And, through its partnerships have provided increased access to over one-million dollars in scholarship money for outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular community involvement. The program is a joint venture between Gamma Beta Boulé, Duval County Public Schools and the University of North Florida. This year’s scholarship chairman was fraternity member Attorney Reginald Luster.