Encumbrances brought on by the pandemic only motivated members of the Boule’ Foundation to pivot and find a way to enrich the experience of a few college-bound high school graduates. During this time Knox County schools were closed making it difficult to identify deserving student recipients to honor. Boule members sought help from Project GRAD Knoxville to identified five superlative graduating high school seniors from Austin-East Magnet and Fulton High Schools who plan to enter college this year.
After virus safety precautions were established a delayed presentation was set for September 2020. Haley Heritage Park in East Knoxville was the ideal venue for the occasion. It is an outdoor venue that allows for social distancing with a bonus inspiration from the presence of a majestic bronze statue of another scholar – Tennessee’s own, world-renowned author Alex Haley.
Five college-bound students in the presence of a proud family member were honored with $400 book scholarships for college. They were:
- Rachel Sagay, Austin-East High
- JeTori Howard, Fulton High School
- Amauri Adams, A-E
- Treyvon Foster, A-E
- Zayna Muhammad, A-E
The scholarships were for $400, but the wisdom imparted was priceless. The presenters bestowed nuggets of wisdom and offered themselves as consults to the students in the days and years to come on their journey.
The greatest mission of the Beta Theta Boule’ is our interaction with youth and helping them to be successful,” said Dennis Upton chapter president. They check on them and visit during breaks, and provide assistance as needed. The group also funds the $2,500 annual Zavion Dobson Scholarship according to Upton, and Covid caused a reduction in the $1,000 book scholarship.
Tanisha Baker, Project GRAD Program and Analytics Director was the College/Career Access team leader at Austin-East.