ESHS alumni give scholarships

Published 9:36 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In the building where they graduated high school — recently converted into a community recreation center — members of the East Suffolk High School Alumni Association presented a scholarship check on Tuesday to help a recent Suffolk graduate continue her education.

Katrina McNair, a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University, accepted the $500 check from association’s Scholarship Committee in a room next to what once was the principal’s office at one of the city’s formerly all-black high schools.

McNair, a graduate of King’s Fork High School, is a criminal justice major at VCU, where she earned a 3.8 GPA during her first semester. She is the last of four former Suffolk students to get scholarship money this year from the organization.

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The group gives money to deserving graduates from each of Suffolk’s three high schools and makes a separate award, the Heritage Scholarship, to a qualified graduate who is the child of a former East Suffolk High School student.

Also receiving the scholarships this year were VCU student Veldez Powell, a Lakeland High School graduate; and Georgia Tech University student Vernell A. Woods III, a Nansemond River graduate. Norfolk State University student Juan B. Lascano, a Nansemond River High School graduate, won the Heritage Scholarship this year.

“These young people are well-rounded participants in a multiplicity of school, church and community activities,” said the Rev. Linwood T. Daughtrey, a life member of the alumni association and chairman of the scholarship committee.

Daughtrey is joined on that committee by Mary S. Steverson and Costellar B. Ledbetter, both retired educators.

The scholarships have been awarded since 1999, when Melanie Craig, a Lakeland High School graduate, received the first one. She went on to graduate from Radford University, according to Daughtrey.

The awards, he said, are part of the organization’s “continued quest to mentor and support the youth in our community.”

The group has plans to increase both the level of funding for its scholarships and the number that are given each year. The 2009 scholarships will be for $750, Daughtrey said, and committee members hope to see as many as six awarded each year in the future.