2018-2019 Scholarship Recipients

Honorable United States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson meets with some of the new 2018 scholarship recipients.

On Friday, July 20, 2018 Honorable United States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson, United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois and the Greater East St. Louis Community Fund handed out 34 scholarships to East St. Louis and Brooklyn residents to help pay for their college education and Jackie Joyner-Kersee gave students some key points on how to succeed in college.  “Don’t be late” was one of the points Mrs. Joyner-Kersee said students must achieve to succeed in college.

Students received scholarships ranging from $1,000 - $4,000 each year for four years.  The requirements are that students remain enrolled full-time in college and maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average or higher.

Wilkerson, an East St. Louis native, is the first African-American appointed to the bench in the Southern District of Illinois.  He earned a bachelor’s from Illinois State University in 1973, a master’s in education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1978 and graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law (cum laude) in 1991.

Since 2013, Judge Wilkerson has handed out scholarships each summer.  He reminds students that his courtroom is usually filled with unhappy people.  It is with great honor that we award these scholarships through the Greater East St. Louis Community Fund to scholars from my hometown.  He said to the graduates, “you have already done great things and what you will accomplish in the future will be even greater. Everyone has a dream, and whatever your dream, you can accomplish it.  This courtroom is usually filled with unhappy feelings. Today, there should be no unhappiness.  You have done well.

Pamela Coaxum, executive director commented:  “The Greater East St. Louis Scholarship Fund has helped finance college education for East St. Louis and Brooklyn students who attend college and universities across the country.  This year students have chosen colleges such as Fisk University, LeMoyne-Owen in Memphis, Spelman College in Atlanta, Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Illinois: Edwardsville, University of Illinois: Champaign/Urbana.

Na’Keithia N. Austin                                 Mississippi Valley State University

Gayla Bean                                                Western Illinois University

Zaria Braizer                                              LeMoyne-Owen

Naomi Brewster-McNeil                          LeMoyne-Owen

Brandy Brown                                            Howard University

Emmanuel T. Brown                                  University of Indianapolis

Jada Cooper                                              Lincoln University

Lake Crowell                                              University of Illinois: Chicago

Asia Dale                                                   University of Arkansas: Pine Bluff

Jha’Shaira L. Farmer                                 University of Arkansas: Pine Bluff

Amari Fennoy                                            Spelman College

Star-Retiece Gibson                                  University of Illinois: Champaign/Urbana

Tyrese Granger                                          Indiana State University

Symone Griffin                                           Alabama A&M University

Detric Henderson                                      Washington University: St. Louis

Arionna Hoffman                                       Indiana State University

Montez Holton                                           Fisk University

Debria Jackson                                         Clark Atlanta University

Marcia R. Jones                                        Jackson State University

Dre’Unna Loston                                       Southern Illinois University: Edwardsville

Kayla Loveless                                          Washington University: St. Louis

Kayla Lucas                                               Central State University

Seth Luster                                                Southern Illinois University: Edwardsville

Mark Miles                                                 Columbia College: Chicago

Heaven Mister                                           University of Arkansas: Pine Bluff

Jamine Owens                                           Southern Illinois University: Edwardsville

Kamojah D. Parran                                    Western Illinois University

Paris Patterson                                          University of Arkansas: Pine Bluff

Shaneka D. Roberson                                McMurray College

Rosie Searcy                                               SWIC

Karmine Sennies                                        Fisk University

Amyah B. Thornton                                    University of Arkansas: Pine Bluff

Praither R. Williams                                    Southern Illinois University: Edwardsville

Edgar Williams                                            Harris Stowe State University