By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, Ed.D.

Photo Credit: Sheila Mitchell

HOUSTON-Every year in May, Galilee Missionary Baptist Church (GMBC) recognizes their graduating seniors from high school and college. This year there were 10 high school graduates and five college graduates. This was the first time since the arrival of COVID-19 that the graduate recognition ceremony was taken place face-to-face.

Since 2010, GMBC has been awarding scholarships to their graduating high school seniors. Pastor Rev. Dr. Edwin A. Davis, and First Lady Dr. Charlotte J. Davis, truly believe that education is an important investment that will never return void. They also believe that it is equally important to continue investing in our youth and helping them advance so they can reach their fullest potential. First Lady Davis said, “Nelson Mandella said it best when he stated that education is the most powerful tool to change the world, and I believe that we have to invest in our children to communicate the importance of them obtaining an education.”

This year was no exception as GMBC awarded 10 scholarships totaling $61,000. This has been the highest amount that the church has given out since GMBC started awarding scholarships. The highest scholarship awarded was $10,000. Majority of the donations (90%) come directly from the church members.

To receive a scholarship, the graduating seniors must submit an application, be an active member of the congregation, and go through a screening process. The application is scored based on a rubric from the judges who do not see the names of the applicants. Whoever receives the highest points for their application will receive the highest scholarship.

The last couple of years have not been easy on the graduates as they have had to deal with many unforeseen challenges. Despite this, they pushed through, stayed dedicated and determined to complete their degree.

The college graduates consisted of; Erica Davis-Stribling who received her Master’s in Science Political Strategic Communications from Columbia University, Latesha Forch who graduated from Western Governors University with an MBA, Essance E. Harrison who graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Applied Sociology with a minor in Medical Humanities, Lauren Nelson who graduated from Sam Houston State University with her Bachelor’s in Psychology, and Franchessica Patterson who graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Management.

For the graduating high school seniors, Xavier Charles Anderson graduated from Davis High School and plans to attend Sam Houston State University. Alexia Fields graduated from Humble High School and plans to attend Lone Star College. Cody Jarrod Floyd graduated from Kingwood Park High School and plans to attend Oklahoma University. Kharys Sanaa Grice graduated from Klein High School and plans to attend Prairie View A&M University. Derron Henderson II graduated from North Shore High School. Eryn K. Murrell graduated from S.P. Waltrip High School and plans to attend The University of Texas at Arlington. Natalie Eshel Ross graduated from the High School for Law and Justice and plans to attend Houston Baptist University. Victoria Okopie graduated from Jersey Village High School and plans to attend Texas Southern University. Angel Tucker graduated from Blanson Career and Technical Education High School and plans to attend Lamar University, and Jaicee Webb graduated from Langham Creek High School and plans to attend Tulsa Welding School and Technology Center.

GMBC will continue to support their youth as they believe it is their duty to do so. Pastor Davis stated, “As pastor and as an educator, I am a firm believer that education unlocks many doors that are closed in our face. I believe in our students that if they want to go to school, I am going to continue to help them to achieve that goal.”

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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