Ministers’ Conference awards students $11,000 total

Ernie Pitt and Bishop Todd L. Fulton pose for a photo with Allyson Kristina Pannell, one of the scholarship winners, on Thursday, June 30.

Ministers’  Conference awards students $11,000 total
July 07
19:48 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Going to college and obtaining a degree is a dream many high school seniors have each year.  For some, the trouble is not getting into college; it’s paying for it.

The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) assisted 11 high school seniors in their quest for higher education last Thursday night at a service at St. John C.M.E. Church.  The MCWSV awarded each student a $1,000 scholarship to assist with the cost of attending the institution of higher learning of their choice.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Seed Fund Scholarship Award is given to students who apply and carry at least a 2.8 grade point average (GPA).  The winners are decided by the members of the conference, who have been doing so since 1984.  Since its inception, the conference has given out more than $150,000 in scholarships.

“Without the partnership of the Winston-Salem Chronicle and Mr. [Ernie] Pitt, we would not be able to do what we are doing,” said Bishop Todd L. Fulton, president of the Ministers’ Conference.

This year, The Chronicle and the Ministers’ Conference collaborated with The Chronicle’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast Forum  raising funds for the scholarships.

“The most important thing about these scholarships are the youth is our future, and by providing these scholarships you, are affording kids who would not have the opportunity to go to college otherwise,” Fulton said. “With the scholarships, they are able to go to college and Awards get the items they need, such as books and supplies.” He said that with the scholarships, they are able to obtain a good footing once they arrive on their respective campuses.

The service was filled with well wishes to the recent graduates along with singing from the St. John C.M.E. Praise & Worship Team.  The Rev. Omar L Dykes, pastor of St. John, delivered an inspirational message to the graduates letting them know they are the future.

“As we send these students forward to matriculate their baccalaureate degree, we are sending them out because they are chosen, but also they are chosen to come back and give to the community,” said Dykes.  “It’s wonderful, because I was an at-risk youth by having a low GPA, but I was able to obtain my college degree, so the blessing for me was that I saw myself in them.  It made me proud to see there are some still taking advantage of higher education.”

The students said they were very grateful for the scholarships provided by the conference.  The winners were: Alexander Henry Choyce, Allyson Kristina Pannell, Amber LaRoso Peppers, Andrew Denard Cuthrell, Chamberlain William Russell, Devin Terry Singleton, Jeremiah Terrell Gallant, Justin Stephon Walker, Kyndal Dionne Dodd, Nazjah Nicole McBride and Tatyanna Smith.

Scholarship award winner Andrew Denard Cuthrell said, “It’s a big accomplishment for me, graduating high school as a young black male.  It’s hard for us out here in society because people put labels on us before they meet us, so it’s definitely a big accomplishment.”

Joy Dodd, mother of Kyndal Dionne Dodd, said. “We are very proud that Kyndal received this scholarship.  It means a lot because her goal is to give back to the community and for the conference to honor her with a scholarship is great.”

Ernie Pitt, publisher emeritus and owner of The Chronicle, was one of the presenters of the scholarships. He pledged $5,000 toward next year’s scholarship fund. The MCWSV plans to double the amount of scholarship money disbursed next year.

MCWSV officials say they are very proud of the scholarship recipients.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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