Family, friends have invested a lot in Banks

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 17, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

One of the keys to success for Corey LeAndre’ Banks is to begin each day by reading his Bible and the &uot;Our Daily Bread&uot; pamphlet.

&uot;Starting out my day this way teaches me how to handle situations and helps me to test my endurance and how much I can bear in difficult situations,&uot; Banks said. &uot;The Bible is the word of God and passages and scripture from it teaches me about patience, humbleness, love and how to treat people.&uot;


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At 4 p.m. June 13 in the East End Baptist Church Education Center, about 80 friends and family members treated Banks to a congratulatory dinner. This was a big sendoff to a summer job, college in the fall and for an overall job well done.

Banks, 19, graduated from Lakeland High School on Monday night, and yesterday morning left to Streamside Camp and Conference Center in Stroudsburg, Pa. as a counselor. On Aug. 20, he will travel to Petersburg to enter Virginia State University, the school on the hill and the home of the Trojans. Close friends and family of Banks knew how he has worked hard to reach his goals and they expressed their feelings with accolades and other surprises that Banks later said were beyond belief.

Charlene Banks, Banks’ mother, recalled the day when he was born.

&uot;On April 23, 1985 at 9:23 p.m. and at 8 pounds, 8-1/2 ounces, Chorey LeAndre’ Banks was born. Dr. Isaac delivered him and wrote in my baby book that he was going to be a source of satisfaction to me,&uot; she said. &uot;Chorey, I love you so much and you will always be my baby. Just remember when I’m dead and gone, you and your sister will have to be a team and always look out for each other. But most of all, please continue to put God first.&uot;

Maddie Vann, who is deaconess emeritus at East End Baptist, witnessed how she knew Banks read the &uot;Our Daily Bread&uot; pamphlet and Bible every day because she also read them and asked him questions that he always knew the answers to.

&uot;This is sure proof that Corey starts out his day right by praising God,&uot; said Vann, who graduated cum laude from Virginia State College (University) in 1943.

Clarissa McAdoo was among those praising him, and said she heard that Banks didn’t want to get an account at the Bank of America.

&uot;I would appreciate it if you would open up an account at the Bank of America so that I can make a commitment of $100 a month to you for every month that you are in school,&uot; she said.

A past scoutmaster, Henry Richardson, caused laughter from the attendees telling them of a time five or six years ago when Banks went scouting with them.

&uot;All Corey wanted to do was have some beans. I watched you and I said ‘Gee whiz, what is this kid going to turn out to be?’ But you know what? Over the last two years I have witnessed you blossom into a wonderful, distinguished outstanding young man and I trust that what you have grown into the last two years you will carry from this day forward,&uot; said Richardson.

Carey Banks, Banks’ uncle from Trenton, N.J., presented him with the Edith Ricks Banks Scholarship for $500.

He named this after his late wife who died of cancer in 1980, and said he and his daughters usually present it to a student at their church in New Jersey. However, since Banks is graduating this year and is a member of the family, they decided to bring the donation to him.

&uot;You have a whole lot of people Corey who really have a lot of faith in you. You must think and make wise decisions; and if you think and act upon your decisions after praying over them and conversing with friends who you trust and who trust you, these can be characteristic of a good leader,&uot; said John Monroe.

Michael McBride commended Banks for making his teen son feel that it was all right to wear a tie. Earlene Banks, his grandmother, talked about him as a little boy of 4, always wanting to be helpful around the house.

Other family members and friends presented him with additional gifts and described Banks as being very inquisitive, dependable, grown up in spirit, and an inspirational person who will do well in life. Pamela Jones Watford, Banks godmother, commended Banks on the way that he has always kept his hair short and groomed and for not wearing the seat of his pants hanging between his knees to follow a trend.

She also praised Charlene for doing an awesome job with both her children.

Watford was probably speaking of the time when Corey started off slow in school, and Charlene asked his second-grade teacher to keep him back because she thought the most important thing was for him to learn all that he needed to in that grade instead of advancing to a higher level before he was ready. This paid off in the long run because he had been on honor roll at various times during his school years and maintained high marks his senior year.

During graduation and an honors program at school, Banks was presented with the following additional scholarships: The East End Baptist Church-$2,000; The Word, Pankey, Wyche-$2,000; The Samuel Percell & Pauline Cauthorne Morton-$250; The Dr. L.T. Reid, Margaret W. Reid- $1,000; The Young American Bowling Alliance-$335; The Booker T. Washington Alumni Assoc.-$500; The Derek L. Henry-$500; and The Edith Ricks Banks-$500.

Banks is a member of East End Baptist Church and its Audiovisual Department, Youth Usher Board, Vision Choir, Historical and Food Committees.

He is also the son of Charlene Banks and Erving Copeland, the grandson of Earlene Banks and the great-grandson of James C. Lee and has one sister, Charnele Banks, 14.