Updated: Aug 8
The Bernie L Bates 9th Annual Scholarship Awards and Community Recognition Ceremony occurred on May 20th, 2023, at the Fairfax Marriott at Fair Oaks. The event was a resounding success, filled with inspiring speeches, recognition of community members, and the presentation of scholarships worth $31,750. The event aimed to celebrate and support education while honoring the memory of Brother Bernie L. Bates, a prominent advocate for higher education.
The highlight of the morning's program was the presentation of scholarships and community recognition awards. Psi Alpha Alpha awarded $31,750 to 22 deserving students who demonstrated academic excellence, leadership skills, and a commitment to their communities. Thirteen scholarships were awarded to college-bound high school seniors ($30,000 in scholarships), and ten community recognition awards were given to recent high school and college graduates ($1,750 in awards); all were students who displayed exceptional potential and dedication in their pursuit of higher education.
Here's a short video recap of the ceremony:
The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Celeste McDaniels, wife of Basileus Myron McDaniels (both pictured left) a renowned expert in the field of education. Dr. McDaniels delivered an impactful speech on "Education: A Road to Success." Her address highlighted the transformative power of education and emphasized its crucial role in shaping the future of individuals and communities.
Mr. Raymond Paden, an esteemed guest from "Stronger2", gave a compelling three to five-minute presentation on a relevant topic that college students often face—anxiety. His insightful remarks shed light on many students' challenges during their academic journeys and provided valuable advice on managing anxiety effectively.
Additionally, the ceremony featured remarks from last year's first-place Bernie L. Bates Memorial Scholarship winner: Ms. Lauren C. Dent. This opportunity allowed the previous awardee to share her experiences and express gratitude for the support she received. It was an inspiring moment demonstrating the scholarship program's positive impact on students' lives.
Throughout the event, the audience was treated to musical performances by the second and third-place winners of the Talent Hunt competition. These talented individuals showcased their skills, captivating the attendees with their remarkable performances. The inclusion of music added an enjoyable and entertaining element to the program, further enhancing the overall experience for everyone present.
Brother Keith Wilson from DJ Kool Productions provided the music during the event. His contributions created an engaging and lively atmosphere, ensuring that all attendees had an enjoyable time. Brother Wilson's expertise in selecting and playing appropriate music for the occasion enhanced the overall ambiance of the scholarship event.
In conclusion, the Bernie L Bates 9th Annual Scholarship Awards and Community Recognition Ceremony was a tremendous success. The presentation of scholarships and awards, the keynote speech by Dr. Celeste McDaniels, the insightful remarks from Mr. Paden, the reflections of last year's scholar: Ms. Dent and the captivating musical performances all contributed to an inspiring and enjoyable event. The occasion celebrated education as a pathway to success while honoring the legacy of Brother Bernie L Bates. It was a memorable day that left a lasting impact on all those who attended.