Paisley Alumni Association serves students and the Boston Community

Taylor Mack receives the Napoleon Wilkes Scholarship

Paisley Alumni Association serves students and the Boston Community
June 07
09:28 2018

By Dothula Baron

The Paisley Alumni Association was formed in 1995 with the focus of implementing Big 4 Reunion events. This success led to the much broader focus of community leadership and maintaining the legacy of the African-American Big 4 schools in the city of Winston-Salem.

With their expanded emphasis on the improvement of neighborhoods, the alumni association broadened its efforts as well. Paisley became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to serving the John W. Paisley International Baccalaureate (I.B.) School and the Boston-Thurmond community.

Plans for the Alumni Association’s immediate future are for a Pancake Breakfast on June 23, from 8-noon at St. John C.M.E. Church on Crawford Place. The meal will be prepared by Ray Ledbetter, a dedicated alumnus. On July 14, a Fish Fry and Raffle will be held at St. Stephen’s Baptist Church. Tickets for each event are $7.

Paisley’s monthly meetings are held the third Tuesday in each month at 6 p.m. at the S.G. Atkins Community Development Center at 1922 S. Sprague St. in the Computer Technology Center. Dothula Baron is the president, and Wanda Reader is vice president.

A major project for the organization is to provide the Napoleon Wilkes Scholarship Fund, a $1,000 gift awarded to a former Paisley student now enrolled in the I.B program at Parkland. In 2017, the gift went to Vanessa Guerra, a current student at Appalachian State University. This year, the scholarship was given to Taylor Mack, who is also planning to attend Appalachian State.

The agency’s service not only to schools and students, but also to neighborhoods, has led to significant assistance given to other nonprofits, families, and individuals in need. This spring, the Community Service Committee, led by Delores McGregor, has branched out to provide volunteers to the Bethesda Center for the Homeless and Samaritan Ministries. On Friday, May 4, a group of alumni visited Bethesda to deliver three boxes of toiletries, paper products, sanitizer, wash clothes, and ready-to-eat meals, collected by its members, and on Monday, May 21, a group served lunch at Samaritan Ministries.

In addition, some alumni are volunteering on a regular basis to deliver food to clients of Meals on Wheels, and others have assisted in the school supplies store at Cook Literacy School. In November and December, under the leadership of Carolyn Hampton and the Spirit Committee, members purchased and delivered Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets to families with students at Boston area schools – Cook, Kimberly Park and Paisley.

This is in addition to its commitment to Paisley I.B. School. During the past year, the association has worked closely with the school to prepare for the new school’s construction to be completed in May 2019. The alumni played a significant role in the groundbreaking ceremony in September. They also helped architects and school system personnel with deciding on color schemes and are currently collaborating on planning a memory garden. In December, they participated in the International Festival. At the beginning of the school year, the Alumni Association traditionally provides lunch for the teachers and staff. The group helped Paisley with proctoring, during end-of-year testing, from May 30-June 2.

These projects have allowed Paisley Alumni to fulfill its mission of serving Paisley I.B. School and the Boston-Thurmond community.

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