Masons award AV students
Scholarships given to six Black students
LANCASTER, Calif. — Six outstanding graduating high school students of the Antelope Valley were awarded scholarships on Monday evening for their academic performance and to help with college needs.
The Joseph A. Meekins Masonic Lodge 103 participated in the Grand Lodge Prince Hall Memorial Education and Scholarship program in which students from across the state of California are chosen for a $1000 academic award.
Each year, one student is chosen from each district in the state to be selected for the statewide scholarship. While only one student can represent each district, the Masons of Lodge 103 decided to take the program a little further and award scholarships to students who did not get the chance to advance in the state-wide competition.
Shad’e King, Vannce Cunningham, Lissete Henderson, Thomas Turner, Lauren Green, and Shavannah Gray each received a scholarship totaling either $250 or $1000.
Henderson, 17, recently graduated from Desert High and will be attending Reedly College in Reedly, Calif. As an active student, she participated in basketball and track, the National Honors Society, the California Scholarship Federation, and ROTC.
Her biggest challenge in school was balancing all of her activities and schoolwork, but her sister, mother, and brother-in-law kept her motivated. She plans to play basketball while in school, but has not decided a career path.
“I don’t know what I want to do yet, but my sister thinks engineering will be good for me. I’m not really good with writing,” she laughed.
Gray, 17, graduated from Pete Knight High with honors. She transferred in from Mojave High where she said the curriculum was much simpler and the campus was much smaller. When she began classes at Knight, she initially had a difficult time adjusting and finding her own identity on campus, but she survived.
“I feel I owe my success to my family,” Gray commented. “Everyone always pushed me to the next level and provided a support system.”
Already in her second year of college, because she was concurrently enrolled at Antelope Valley College, Gray is ready to pursue her education in journalism.
The other recipients were not present to receive their checks, but the Masons and family members present were proud of the students.
Glen Campbell, the president of the lodge, said the money for the in-house scholarships came from membership dues and facility rentals.
“This is important because these are our kids and they need help,” Campbell commented. “You should see some of the things these kids write. They get very emotional in their essays, saying (college) would not happen without this opportunity.”
Applicants are required to submit an essay about what education means to them, a copy of their transcripts, a letter of recommendation, family income, and a photo. Campbell said the scholarship is not heavily based upon a student’s academic performance; instead it is based on need.
“We want people to know that we are serving our community here,” the president said. In addition to the annual scholarship program, each month the organization serves the homeless and raises money for other charitable events. This Saturday, the lodge is hosting a yard sale of used items and brand new men’s shoes for $25. Also on Fridays and Saturdays, karaoke and old school dancing get the weekend started.
For more information about these events and others, visit the lodge at 43843 N. Division St. in Lancaster.
Qualified applicants for the Shawn Carter Scholarship must be a high school senior, college student, and/or between the ages of 18-25, pursuing studies at a vocational or trade school.
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and complete the online application no later than May 31, 2013. (However, some sites say May 15.)
The Los Angeles Urban League is accepting applications for four $5,000 scholarships sponsored by Mattel, and the deadline to submit a packet is Monday March 25 at 5 p.m.
There are three open-ended scholarships of $5,000 each, and another one for the same amount specifically targeting students at Crenshaw High School.
Contact Nailah Lee for complete details at, 3450 Mount Vernon Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90008 or (323) 299-9660 ext. 2208.
If you wait until spring of your senior year in high school to begin applying for scholarships, or until you’ve been accepted at a college or university, you have missed half of the deadlines for these financial awards.
That’s the word from Mark Kantrowitz, creator of the websites FinAid and Fastweb.
There are two periods when most of the deadlines occur—fall and spring—said Kantrowitz, who advises students and their families to begin looking early for scholarships.
This week our Ultimate Transformation Moment switches reels a little, as I speak to our high school students and their parents—specifically high school juniors—about college preparation.
The junior year in high school is a very important time.
Students, you have the junior year and the first semester of their senior year left to review your transcript, before applying to colleges. Academically, once we enter the spring months, there are only two semesters remaining that will affect your transcripts and grade point average (GPA).
Jack and Jill of America Inc. is a non-profit organization that was founded by 20 African American mothers in Philadelphia in 1938. The purpose of the group was to encourage their children–especially those in racially isolated environments–to interact with each other and prepare to be leaders.