NAACP announces second annual Morris Milton and Garnell Jenkins Scholarship Award opportunity

BY J.A. JONES, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – The NAACP St. Petersburg Branch is currently accepting applications for the second annual Morris Milton and Garnell Jenkins Scholarship. Named in honor of the former NAACP presidents, the scholarship provides two $1,500 awards to a male and female high school senior residing in south St. Pete.

“We are excited about the opportunity to make a dent in the furtherance of two of our community’s children’s college funds,” said NAACP President Maria L. Scruggs, noting that the cost of a college education is becoming more distant for many youths.

“Many find the financial resources they will get through loans and grant funding is not enough, considering one textbook can run as high as $300.”

The awards are offered to students accepted into a community college, technical school or a university who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must submit an essay on the “history of social justice in America” or on the “history of the NAACP in south St. Petersburg.”

Last year’s scholarship recipients were students Aldric Griffin and Alexis Peterson.

“We longed to identify and support our young people, support them and bring out the potential that lies within them,” noted NAACP executive board member Cassandra Jackson. “We felt that there was a need among our young scholars [and] with that in mind, we stepped out on faith, decided to embrace the challenge and not just talk the talk, but walk the walk with our dollars.”

Jackson stressed that while the applicants must present an oral presentation of their essay before a committee of educators and community members, it was designed to be a stress-free situation.

“We try to create a safe environment, a comfortable environment, a relaxing environment, so that these students may speak from their hearts and give their best,” assured Jackson.

She promises that they’re not there to intimidate the children or make them feel that they’re being pressured. The whole purpose of the exercise is to equip the youth with the skills needed to go out into the world and be successful.

She added that it’s essential to offer the students the opportunity to articulate their views.

“Because the NAACP is about people that have views…so we connect the dots by encouraging that in our young people as well.”

All applications must be received by midnight on May 24.  Presentation of the essays will be held on May 31. Interested students should contact Cassandra Jackson at (727) 385-1606, or email

To reach J.A. Jones, email

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