SIDNEY — The Black Achievers Scholarship Committee has announced the 2019 scholarship winners.
Merzades Jelks received the $1,100 James P. Humphrey Scholarship and Olivia White received the $1,000 Elder Claudie Johnson Scholarship during the student awards program at Sidney High School on May 16. These scholarships were named in honor of James P. Humphrey, Sidney’s first African-American mayor, and Elder Claudie Johnson, a charter member of the Black Achievers.
The Black Achievers also awarded $750 scholarships to Josiah Hudgins and Ratez Roberts, and Amaya Matlock received a $500 scholarship.
Kaila Sims, a Lehman Catholic High School student, received the $1,000 Elder Claudie Johnson Scholarship during the student awards ceremony at her school on May 8.
In addition to the scholarships awarded to graduating seniors, the Black Achievers also awarded educational grants for $450 each to collegians Sylvia Hudson and Brandi Johnson to help them continue their post-graduate educations.
The James P. Humphrey Sidney-Shelby County Black Achievers Scholarship Committee (BASC) was established on Jan. 29, 1987. It is independent and is not affiliated with any other local, state or national organization.
The BASC provides financial incentives to the African-American youth of Sidney-Shelby County to begin or continue their post high school education; assists students who might not otherwise be able to continue their education; recognizes and rewards those students who have demonstrated academic success; and honors the memory of James P. Humphrey and Elder Claudie Johnson.
In 2002, the BASC received the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award to recognize its “commitment to make a difference in the lives of those in our Black community.”
The BASC has also partnered with Edison State Community College and The Ohio State University at Lima to provide additional scholarship money to recipients who attend these colleges.
The original committee members included Dorothy Franklin, Virginia Thompson, James Daniel, the Rev. Claudie Johnson, Dale Locker, Ken Ruth, and James Humphrey. They were charged with the responsibility of administering a scholarship program established to honor the achievements of James P. Humphrey, Sidney’s first black mayor who served three terms from 1981 to 1987.
During the past year, the BASC received donations from individuals and businesses. Since 1987, the committee has awarded over $246,000 in scholarships to 172 Shelby County students.
Companies and individuals who wish to contribute to the Black Achievers Scholarship Fund may donate through the organization’s website at BlackAchieversScholarship.com or send their donations to: BASC, P. O. Box 214, Sidney, Ohio 45365.