Center announces Mazie Woodruff Scholarship

Center announces Mazie Woodruff Scholarship
March 02
06:30 2017



For five years, TerCraig Edwards, director of the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, and others kicked around the idea of a scholarship named for Mazie Woodruff. On Thursday, Feb. 23, it was announced.

At the Mazie S. Woodruff Center’s Black History Month program, Edwards presented Woodruff’s family with a certificate that announced the Mazie S. Woodruff Scholarship Fund before a large crowd.

“We decided to launch this scholarship because there are literacy gaps in Forsyth County and our hope and our aim is to close those gaps,” Edwards said.

He cited statistics from Forsyth Futures for the 2015-2016 school year that showed most or many kindergarten students, eighth-grade students and 11th grade students had problems reaching benchmarks in math, English, reading and writing.

The scholarship is designed to give one Forsyth Technical Community College student a $250 scholarship each semester after the first semester. One of the criteria for gaining the scholarship will be community service. Edwards is soliciting donations for the scholarship.

Many members of the Mazie Woodruff family attended the program, including three daughters and three sons and some of their families.

Mazie S. Woodruff (1922-1997) in 1976 became the first African-American to be elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, on which she served for 14 years. She was 74 years old when she died in 1997 while serving on the board. She was known as a person who fought for the black community.

Before the scholarship announcement was made, the Rev. Alvin Carlisle, president of the Winston-Salem Branch of the NAACP, spoke about bridging the generational gap and encouraged students to get involved in their communities.

Carlisle used slides to make points about some United States history to show segregation and racial hatred as well as unity, such as a slide with founders of the NAACP. The organization was founded by black and white, and young and old people.

Carlisle asked young people to show those in the older generation that things have changed.

“Help us to understand, help us to know, help us to think differently” from what they were taught.

“We need a new generation on the rise to help us see the world in a different way, to help us to see that we’re all in the same boat,” Carlisle said “We’re all under the same struggle. We are one United States of America. We are so much stronger together than we are apart. Help us to bridge the gap.”

He asked the students to challenge adults who think segregation and racial hatred are right.

He mentioned a line of thinking he grew up with: “If she can’t use your comb, don’t bring her home,” in reference to interracial dating.

He asked students to challenge that kind of thinking among their older relatives and tell them: “She can’t use my comb, but I’m gonna bring her home.”

Edwards said students who are enrolled in Quality Education Academy (QEA), which is up the street from the center, and Forsyth Tech under the Career Promise Program attended the event as well as other Forsyth Tech students.

Carlisle announced that the local NAACP will work to build a Youth Council starting with a meeting on Feb. 28 to bring young people back into the NAACP.

To contribute to the Scholarship fund, go to

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Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

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