Keynote speaker Courtney Hammell

Twenty organizations presented scholarships to college students on June 22 at the UNITY ceremony at First Church of God Christian Life Center, 1524 Simpson St. Most of the 58 recipients are rising freshmen, but a few are continuing their college education.

Judge William Jackson Jr. served as master of ceremonies. The keynote speaker was Courtney Hammell, a 2007 graduate of Evanston Township High School, a 2011 graduate of Miami University and a 2013 graduate (MAT) of Marian University.

“You will be tested,” Ms. Hammell told the students. “Remember who you are, and cherish your safety net,” she added. She offered advice to all the students: “You’ve got to take risks – realize that the obstacle is you. … With a good friend by your side, ‘impossible’ is nothing. … The relationships are really as important as the education you receive. Choose friends who will support you, push you and not bring you down.” Finally, she said, to everyone but repeated it for women, “Keep your tolerance for disrespect low.”

The scholarship recipients are Jasmine Abron, Deborah Adeoye, Taylor Avery, Jania Banks, Aary Boone, Faith Bradford, Jermya Buckley, Cark’Drail Cannon, McKayla Coleman, Jessica Cooper, Jasmine Crayton, Clayton Daniels, Naomi Daugherty, Yanika Davis, Jonathan Denose, Sabrina D’Haiti, Tyler Dixon, Jasmine Dobbs, Joshua Easington, Brandi Efiom, Haben Embaye, Nkosi Evans, Ashley Fox, Alexis Gill, Brittanie Giroux, Kobina Grant, Sakari Greenwell, Zenani Greenwell, Andrea Guy, Justin Hadley, Chance Henley, Dante Henley, Melody Hill, Selina Hilliard, Joshua Hopson, Christian Horn, Joshua Irving, Matthew Izenstark, Lorena Jasso, Alexis Johnson, Kaitlan Johnson, Bree Jones, Stephanee Kincade, Maia Moore, Spenser Moy, Camille Murry, Patrice Newsome, Tyra Poindexter, Lincy Pompilus, Jasmane Quinn, Chelsey Ransom, Nikko Ross, Ashley Smith, Da’Rell Watkins, Malcolm Weaver, Kurtis Williams and Sean Williams.

The following scholarships were awarded to the students: Weissbourd-Holmes Community Service, Springfield Missionary Baptist Church, Oliver A. Ruff Mentoring and Education, NAACP – Evanston-North Shore, Mt. Zion – Harold Bell, Lynn Brewer Robinson, Kappa Alpha Psi, Horace and Dorothy Johnson, Ivy Pearl Foundation (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.), Hill-Small, Evanston Bowling Senate, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, Distinctive Ladies of the North Shore, the Delta Foundation, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Evanston-North Shore Chapter, COE Moms COE Pops, Chessmen of the North Shore, Ione S. Brown Memorial and John Harmon Memorial.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...