By Marvel Gentry Harmon
Helen Lee Gentry Scholarship Fund is delighted to announce its Scholarship Recipients for the 2023-2024 Academic Year! These African-American Scholars have distinguished themselves academically, in the community and in their churches and will attend post-secondary institutions such as University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University, and Bowling Green State University.
Zachariah Davis is a Milford High School graduate with a weighted 4.36 GPA and plans to attend the University of Cincinnati studying Environmental Science. He will begin his UC career in the UC STEM Summer Bridge program in June. His goal is to graduate from college debt free. Zachariah has taken 12 AP/Honors courses, received the Academic High Honors Award 3 consecutive years for students receiving a 4.0 GPA, the Outstanding Student Award in Precalculus, and the Eagle All-Academic Team Award for Basketball for 2 yrs. He participates in the INROADS College Links Program, a college and career readiness program, plays basketball for his high school and AAU teams receiving the Sportsmanship Award 2 years, and in the University of Cincinnati Men of Color Summer Engineering Camp. Zach also volunteers as a Milford Youth Boys Basketball coach, supports the Athletic Boosters Craft Show and is employed part-time at the Cinemark Movie Theater as a Team Member. He is very active in The Supreme Council of The Hose of Jacob Church. He grew up in the church playing the drums and saxophone, participates in the Youth Organization serving as Treasurer and Secretary, weeklong Summer Camp for two summers, as well as preparing and selling refreshments after church and during convocation.
Tia Griggs graduated from Winton Woods High School with a weighted 4.28 GPA and is planning to attend The Ohio State University majoring in Marketing. She is highly recommended by her teachers as an outstanding student and student leader. She has earned an A in every course she has taken, including honors or AP courses all four years in English, Math, Science, History and Spanish. Tia has also earned 3.0 credits from the University of Charleston and .5 credits from Cincinnati State. Her extracurricular activities include National Honor Society Secretary for 2 years, Treasurer of Student Council, Tri-M National Honor Society (Music), Orchestra, Theater, and Acapella. She played on the soccer team since 2015; Varsity for four years. Tia has received many honors and achievements in the areas of music, academics, and leadership. She has been a nursing home volunteer at Good News Church of God in Christ and Harrison Pavilion since 2018. She tutors children with reading disabilities at Quinn Chapel. She also works with the Youth Creative Department, Pantry Ministry, and Praise and Worship leader at Good News Church of God in Christ.
Jaida Knighten is a Winton Woods High School graduate with a 3.88 weighted GPA and plans to attend Bowling Green State University studying Athletic Training Health Sciences. She remained on the A/B honor roll, took 10 honors courses and received an Honors Diploma. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. Jaida received glowing letters of recommendation from her teachers highlighting her strong work ethic, leadership skills and character. Her extracurricular activities include serving on the Student Council and as a Student Ambassador. She played soccer for 4 years (captain for 2 years), was voted MVP and played basketball for 4 years. She was the recipient of the Skyline Athlete of the Month and Charles Fredrick Sportsmanship Award. She also served as a student aid supporting the football team to prevent and rehab injuries for 2 years. She volunteers at the WWSC Head Start program and assists with distributing food and clothes to the needy. She serves as a Young Life Mentor, is a praise dancer, models positive behaviors and leads by example in her church and at school. Her faith was truly tested when her mother fell ill which only strengthened her relationship with God. Jaida strives to be a Christian leader in the community.
Kiylah Smoot is a Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy graduate with a 3.43 GPA including AP courses. She will attend University of Cincinnati and study Pre-Law. Kiylah received the National Service Ambassador Award for three years for performing more than 1000 service hours. She was the Student Body President and was a member of the Student Organized Service Board for the past 2 years overseeing 5 service groups and leading 4. She is a 4-years varsity basketball player (Captain 3 years / MVP 2 years) and was crowned Homecoming Queen 2 years. As a result of the Black Lives Matter protest, to advocate for people of color, she created Cultural Conversations to voice social issues in her school environment. She is the founder of Armleder Chapel Program, where she speaks to elementary students monthly during chapel. She volunteers at the Walnut Hills Garden, growing free food for the community. Kiylah is involved in Friday Food Fun providing healthy food kits to Walnut Hills residences, the Green Grounds initiative where she picks up trash to address the issues of littering, advocates for affordable housing at the Kemper Lane Apartments and canvasses door-to-door educating others on home equity and homelessness. In her church she founded a Girls Bible Study which meets weekly and has orchestrated food and clothes drives.
Please join the Helen Lee Gentry Scholarship Fund in congratulating this awesome, accomplished set of young scholars and community volunteers.
About Helen Lee Gentry Scholarship Fund
The Helen Lee Gentry Scholarship Fund recognizes and honors African-American students that live a Christian lifestyle, exemplify academic excellence, and contribute to our community. The Helen Lee Gentry Scholarship Fund is a non-profit corporation in memory of Helen Lee Gentry, who was an active member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Southern Baptist Church for many years. The Fund has awarded over $21,000 in college scholarships to very deserving students who attend prestigious colleges such as Tuskegee Institute, Duke University, Spelman College, The Ohio State University, Wellesley College, Bowling Green State University, Marquette University, University of Cincinnati, Anderson University, North Carolina AT&T and Wittenberg University.