Updated: Nov 11, 2022
Starting with the top left to right standing: Eric Jackson (College of William & Mary) Spencer Annor-Ampofo (Washington University-St. Louis) Eliana Bruck (Boston College) Lauren Dent (Spelman College) Jada Sheppard (North Carolina A&T University) Olivia Cherry (Hampton University) Katelynn Park (Brown University)
The bottom left to right sitting:
Maya Bentley (University of Miami) Rachel Schlueter (Northwestern University) Olivia Woodham (Howard University) Suzette Nicholson (Syracuse University) Ruhama Tesfa (Northwestern University)
Flanked by Bro. Marvin Chisholm (standing left) & Bro. W.J. Williams (standing right)
On May 21, 2022, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held its eighth annual Scholarship and Community Recognition Awards Ceremony breakfast. This year’s awards ceremony was an in-person event held at the Marriot Fairfax at Fair Oaks hotel. The event was underwritten by the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc.—a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Brother Willie J. Williams, Jr., Basileus of the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, and Brother Marvin Chisolm, Sr., Vice President of Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc., along with other chapter and foundation members greeted more than 90 attendees.
Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation awarded $30,900 to 16 scholars for the 2022 Scholarship and Community Recognition programs. The awards were presented in two groups of honorees and community recognitions: Students who applied to the Bernie L. Bates Foundation’s Memorial Scholarship Program (selected based on the scholarship committee’s selection criteria); and Community Recognition Award nominees (recent high school and college graduates nominated by the chapter and are approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors).
This year’s scholarship honorees included twelve Bernie L. Bates Memorial Scholarship Awardees ($30,000) and six Community Recognition Awardees ($900). Of special note, the top eight scholarship awards were given in the names of prominent Omega men whom devoted their lives to the service of their communities and set the example of a selfless servant.
Highlights of the event included individual dance performances from Psi Alpha Alpha Talent Hunt winners, Ms. Daneya Celestin and Ms. Kishara Bates, and an informative health literacy and awareness presentation from Brother Tony Bell representing the chapter’s Stronger 2 Initiative. The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Nardos King, Interim Chief Equity Officer for Fairfax County Public Schools. Dr. King offered motivating and inspiring words expressing the need for optimism in times of uncertainty and hardship. Her words deeply resonated with the audience and provided reflection on the Covid-19 pandemic’s recent impact on our lives.
Mr. Marc Shelton, Jr., last year’s top scholarship award recipient, provided an excellent motivational charge to the honorees of the event. Mr. Shelton is a 2021 graduate of Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Virginia and now a sophomore at the University of Miami (Florida) who is a musician majoring in Music Engineering Technology with a minor in Computer & Electrical Engineering. His powerful speech provided a glimpse into life as a new college student and urged honorees to pursue their interests and to tenaciously follow their dreams.
Over the past seventeen years, Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation have provided nearly $500,000 in support to the Fairfax County community through various programs and initiatives. Programs include, but are not limited to the Youth Aviation Program, Reading for Success Program, Gum Springs Community Center, New Hope Housing, Northern Virginia Urban League, Capital Area Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club and a myriad of other community support activities. Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation will continue its community support activities while fostering the cardinal principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift.