Photos Courtesy of George “Pop” Lancaster
BY VALERIE B. WILLIAMS Contributor
ST. PETERSBURG — Annually the Gibbs High School Class of 1968, Incorporated host their Annual Scholarship Awards Program to present scholarships to deserving high school graduates who aspire to seek a higher education by attending an accredited college or vocational school.
This year the program was held last month at the Enoch Davis Recreation Center. Each recipient completed a scholarship application form that required the graduate to have maintained at least a 2.5 or higher grade point average, have received their college acceptance letter and have volunteered in the community.
The Class was honored to present scholarships to nine deserving high school seniors who have committed to seeking undergraduate degrees in varying fields, such as education, medicine and the performing arts.
Students were selected from local high schools: two from Gibbs High (Jelani Pitts, LeZaire Reese), Boca Ciega High (Kenan Ash), four from Lakewood High (Kenneth Goolsby, Reginald Harris Jr., Tamia Kennedy, Ariel Ward), St. Petersburg Collegiate (Destiny Harden) and St. Petersburg High (Rodtavia McCall).
Graduates received acceptance letters from the following universities: Florida A & M University, Florida Atlantic University, Clark Atlanta University, American Music & Drama University and St. Petersburg College.
Friends and family celebrated with the honorees along with the Gibbs Class of 1968 board of directors and members. During the program, each scholarship recipient received an award in the amount of $500. The recipients were encouraged to do their best in college and to become contributing members of society.
Program participants included the multi-talented award recipient Kenneth Goolsby who provided the musical prelude on the piano and then performed on his saxophone a soul stirring rendition of the song “He Didn’t Bring Me This Far To Leave Me.” Vocal sensation Le’Zaire Reese performed a gospel medley “To God Be The Glory” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” which garnished him a standing ovation.
Alvin Frazier, class chaplain, gave spiritual advice to the graduates and each one was given a copy of the poem “Myself” by Edgar Albert Guest and was recited by Barbara J. Stockton. The poem challenged the graduates to live a productive life that would make them proud of themselves.
A PowerPoint presentation given by Valerie B. Williams entitled “Bridging the Gap” highlighted reflections of The Class of 1968 from their days at Gibbs High in 1968 to the present. The presentation emphasized the importance of class unity, community service and the challenge to create their own legacy.
Class president and Mistress of Ceremonies Sylvia Wells-Moore provided the graduates with encouraging remarks before picture were taken and refreshments served.
Scholarship awards are funded by The Gibbs Class of 1968, Incorporated Holiday Extravaganza. Applications are accepted each spring for consideration. Over the past 37 years, the class has presented scholarship awards to high school graduates attending local schools. Scholarship awards are based on the senior’s grades, personal references and The Class of 1968 board of directors’ recommendation.
The Gibbs Class of 1968, Incorporated is a non-profit organization whose motto is “To whom much is given, much is required.”