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The Washington Park/Rochelle Alumni Association handed out $30,000 in scholarships to 15 local high school graduates at its 29th annual Scholarship Awards Celebration at the Polk Museum of Art.
Members of the alumni association attended historically Black schools in Lakeland until the students from Rochelle High School were integrated into formerly all-white schools and Rochelle was eventually turned into the current Rochelle School of the Arts.
This year saw the return of a golf tournament and banquet following shutdowns in 2020 and 2021 for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The banquet speaker was Charlene Richardson-Brinson, a retired Polk County Public Schools educator and owner of Excelular Educational Consulting and an alumna of Rochelle High School, attending her junior year in Rochelle’s final year of operation in 1969. She integrated Kathleen High School the following year.
Alumni raise money each year for scholarships for deserving high school graduates. This year’s recipients are:
- Alyssa Barnum – George Jenkins High School. She will attend Florida A&M University to study nursing.
- Amya Anderson – Harrison School For the Arts. She will attend Florida State University to study pre-medicine.
- Alexis Borja – Lake Gibson High School. He will attend Florida Southern College to study finance.
- Jordan Bryant – Tenoroc High School. She will attend the University of Minnesota to study education.
- Deandrea Davis – Polk State Gateway to College High School. She will attend Florida A&M University to study pre-medicine.
- My-Angel Glover – Harrison School For The Arts. She will attend Palm Beach Atlantic University to study pre-law and vocal performance.
- Bianca Gutierrez – Lake Gibson High School. She will attend Polk State College to study occupational therapy.
- Kamari Henry – McKeel Academy of Technology. He will attend Warner University to study business administration.
- Kennedy Hughes – Polk State Gateway To College High School. She will attend Florida State University to study sports medicine.
- Yaseen Jenkins — Polk State Gateway To College High School. He will attend Polk State College to study computer science.
- Faith Johnson – Lakeland High School. She will attend Polk State College to study social sciences.
- Iderica Jones – Lake Gibson High School. She will attend Florida Southern College to study business and military science.
- Za’yanna McCoy – Lakeland High School. She will attend Polk State College to study business.
- Shakoya Patterson – Lakeland High School. She will attend Florida A & M University to study psychology.
- Nyjah Wooten – Kathleen Senior High School. He will attend Catawba College to study computer engineering.
They each received a $2,000 scholarship, which was renamed this year to the Joseph Garvin Scholarship Award to honor Garvin, who graduated from Rochelle in 1954 and eventually went to work for Publix, where he was employed for more than 30 years.
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