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A Tribute To Women Of Color Honors Local Students

Judy Tacyn
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April 19, 2017

Four Northeast High School students and one Chesapeake High School student were among 39 teens from across Anne Arundel County recently honored as A Tribute to Women of Color scholarship winners, recognized for their academic accomplishments, community service and leadership potential. The 25th annual awards luncheon was held on Saturday, March 4.

Muhammad Butt, Mason Owens, Kai Samuels and Lucy Zhang of Northeast and Kayla Bates of Chesapeake High each received monetary scholarships with a minimum value of $500.

“This scholarship means a lot to me,” said Lucy Zhang. “It’s the first step to allowing me to further my education, working toward a future I can be happy with.” Zhang will attend Anne Arundel Community College this fall and study graphic design.

Northeast High School counselor Matthew Markowski said, “Lucy is a good student in our CAT North program. She has been very diligent in applying for scholarships.”

Added Zhang, “My parents are very hardworking and always inspire me to do better and go places in life.”

Mason Owens is an accomplished preacher who has been evangelising since he was a young teen. He is a CHS mentor and plans to attend Morgan State University, majoring in broadcast journalism. He expects to be a news anchor one day, while also continuing his study as a preacher.

“This scholarship is huge,” said Owens. “The money is very important and will go a long way in helping me achieve my goals. Me and my family really cannot thank Women of Color enough.”

Kai Samuels is in the CHS AVID program, and is a football and track and field standout scholar-athlete. Both teachers and students speak highly of Samuels, stating that he’s personable and genuine. He plans to attend either Towson University, or Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Kayla [Bates] is going to be a teacher, and I am so excited to think of all the lives she will positively influence and change,” said Cheryl Shiflett, Chesapeake High School counselor. “She is a leader and a positive role model at Chesapeake and this is recognized by both teachers and students.”

Markowski said he’s proud of all of the recognized students, noting that the application process for this scholarship is quite lengthy.

“The due date is December 1, which is an extremely busy time for high school seniors who are working very hard on their schoolwork and college applications,” said Markowski. “It is very impressive that the students can manage their time so well.”

Muhammad Butt was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

According to the scholarship application, “A Tribute to Women of Color emerged from the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County’s Racial Justice committee in 1992 as the vision of Margurite Askew Kirkland. It was her desire to recognize Anne Arundel County women of color for their outstanding community service and provide scholarships for young women of color who demonstrate potential as future leaders.”

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