Six high school seniors awarded scholarships

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Several young women received scholarships during a sponsored Families United Training Center banquet March 10.

Shykearia Daniels, Shecrista Harris, Mackenzie Fields, Claudazyia Yarborough, Tatyana Joiner and Fantasia Fells each received a $600 scholarship along with a brand new laptop computer thanks to generous sponsorships. 

The first-ever scholarship winner was Tia Bussey, who will be graduating from Auburn University this May. She spoke to the new scholarship winners, saying to not forget the guidance and support they received in the program because they will need it in college. She also shared how the mentoring program provided her foundational skills for success in college and hoped it does the same thing for the girls as they transition from high school to college.  

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Special guest speaker Karen Sullivan, a retired English teacher, shared words of encouragement and advice to the recipients about how to get far in life and how to be helpful to others. “Sincerely complimenting someone is as great a gift you could give to someone else,” she said. “It’s the little things that matter. The Lord said to be faithful to the little things — they can make all the difference in being a success or a failure.”

She also suggested that humans watch each other and glean information that way, whether others notice it or not. “People notice what you do, where you go, what you say, what you post and how you dress,” she said, reminding the recipients to behave the way they want to be perceived. “[People] notice if we have a habit of gossiping and how we treat others. Having a servant’s heart speaks volumes about yourself.” 

She also mentioned how reputations can suffer from what is posted on social media and they should take care to be responsible about themselves and what they say and do so they can be role models for others.

Falana McDaniel is the founder of Families United Training Center. She said that she planned for this first banquet to become an annual event. “In previous years, we have just honored the girls at a small reception,” she said. 

“On behalf of myself and the board of directors, we wish to express our deepest gratitude for [our sponsors’] support and generosity, without whom none of this would be a reality.”

McDaniel said the Rising STARS for Christ girls mentoring program started in 2014 as a program designed to help disadvantaged girls have the confidence and skills to be successful leaders. “Our desire is that each girl gains access to opportunities that cultivate their confidence,” she added.