(CHARLES COUNTY, MD) – Today, the Charles County Juneteenth Committee announced its inaugural Juneteenth Scholarship awardees – four local high school graduates are each the recipients of $1,000 scholarships to go toward their college expenses.
The announcement of the scholarship awardees follows the committee’s 3rd annual community-wide Juneteenth Celebration that was held on June 18, 2022, at the Shops of Waldorf Center in Waldorf, MD.
At the event, it was announced that the committee would open its scholarship application to college-bound students who are residents of Charles County. As part of the application, applicants had to write a short essay responding to the prompt, “What are the history books not teaching us? How does misinformation, or omission of information, harm the future?” Applicants were also required to submit their high school transcript, college letter of acceptance, and a statement detailing their financial needs.
“The Charles County Juneteenth Committee exists to commemorate our ancestors and bring awareness to our community. While we are grateful to witness the growth of the celebration and awareness of the Juneteenth holiday, our work isn’t done until everyone in our community knows the significance of Juneteenth to the African-American community,” reflects Abena Affum McAllister, one of Maryland’s 2022 Forty Leading Women Under 40 and also a member of the Charles County Juneteenth Committee.
“There is power in youth voice,” says Angelica Jackson, another member of the Charles County Juneteenth Committee and the Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix International Incorporated – the local education services nonprofit that designs K-12 education programs that are creative, relevant, and inspiring for Charles County youth. Ms. Jackosn continues, “Reading through our recipients’ essays invoked a sense of hope in the Charles County Juneteenth Committee members and displayed passion and conviction in each student’s desire to use their academic skillsets and their heritage to contribute to their college communities positively and beyond. We are proud of everyone who applied to our inaugural Juneteenth scholarship. We look forward to continuing to use a portion of the proceeds received during the annual Juneteenth celebration to sustain the scholarship program. Thank you to all of our sponsors, partners, and vendors who have made the Juneteenth Celebration and the Juneteenth Scholarship successful for our community.”
Since its inception, the Charles County Juneteenth Committee has brought together thousands of community members in celebration of the Juneteenth holiday through its annual public event consisting of a youth oratory competition, live music, vendors, food, and dance, all in support of local businesses and performers and commemoration of Juneteenth.
Organizations represented on the Charles County Juneteenth Committee include the Charles County Branch of the NAACP, Women of Action Charles County, Phoenix International Incorporated, Southern Marylanders for Racial Equality, Charles County Matters, Southern Maryland Youth Poet Laureate, and LB Innovations Collective.