Local group honors alumnus, gives scholarships

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Isle of Wight Training School/Westside High School Legacy Group Inc. each year gives scholarships to honor the legacy of an alumnus of either Isle of Wight Training School or Westside High School, a former educator, or a community leader who impacted its legacy in some way.

This year, the group honored the memory of James B. Brown Sr., who was a civic leader in local government, community activist, civil engineer and an unofficial college recruiter of local students for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). As a part of the application process, each applicant had to write a 250- to 500-word essay that listed their academic goals, as well as their life’s ambitions. They had to state their intention to enroll in a two- or four-year college or a vocational career training program.

Accordingly, the Isle of Wight Training School/Westside High School Legacy Group Inc. recently announced its 2021 scholarship recipients.

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Raven Towns, daughter of Lynelle Holloway, is one of the recipients from Smithfield High School. She will use her $1,000 award to help cover some of the costs to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. Her goal is to study developmental psychology to ultimately put it to use in the FBI or CIA as a behavioral analyst. In her essay, she stated, “Any amount awarded from this scholarship would be enough to get me started on the right path for my financial help. I know a higher education is the way for me to better myself, so that’s the greatest force driving me.” The Legacy Group hopes this award will assist in lessening some of the pressure.

The second recipient from Smithfield High is Nevaeh Sylvan. She is the daughter of Alicia Delk and will use her $1,000 scholarship to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she will major in engineering. After taking a class in engineering, she stated in her essay that “…I finally learned the true nature of engineering. Now I have found something so perfectly suited to a good deal of my creativity, intellect and aspirations … And I yearn to continue learning the skills involved and exploring the realm of possibilities it offers. Going to college gives me that chance in which I can pursue my passion and a successful life at the same time.”

Terrell Pittman is the third $1,000 scholarship recipient. He is from Windsor High School and is the son of Quashelia Pittman. Pittman will be attending the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and he ultimately plans to attend law school to become a civil rights attorney. In his essay he stated “…I see myself bringing justice to those who are treated unjustly, and through my success, use my platform to spread positivity. I see myself righting the wrongs of this world, and changing things that should have been eradicated generations ago.”

The Legacy Group is proud to live by its motto via these three recipients, and that is: “Gift and Education … Launch a Dream.”

The IWTS/WHS Legacy Group Inc. is a non-profit, charitable foundation that was established effective April 2, 2018. Funds have been raised via contributions from IWTS/WHS alumni, family members who attended and from Legacy members working during the annual Smithfield Events held at Windsor Castle. However, due to the cancellation of some of those events and the unknown status of future events, fundraising has become more challenging. All contributions, regardless of the amount, are greatly appreciated. The Legacy Group recently received another unsolicited contribution of $1,500 from Dolores Cherrington, of Portsmouth, on behalf of herself and her mother. Cherrington is a longtime friend of Edna Addison, secretary of the Reunion Committee and sister of the president of the Legacy Group.

The Legacy Group has awarded $9,000 in scholarships to nine graduates from local high schools since 2018. All funds contributed are used for scholarships and can be sent payable to IWTS/WHS Legacy Group Inc., P.O. Box 279, Carrollton, VA 23314. The Legacy Group has a Facebook page for more information.