Jay-Z’s new 2018 scholarship program

Jay-Z’s new 2018 scholarship program

the Legacy Newspaper logo

The Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship provides financial support to high school students as well as undergraduate students entering college for the first time. The purpose of the scholarship is to help under-served students who may not be eligible for other scholarships.

Students who have either graduated from high school or earned their G.E.D. may apply. Minimum grade point average is 2.0. Students must have a strong desire to go to college and earn their degree. Students must also have a desire to give back to their communities.

Students up to age 25 may apply. The scholarship can be used for tuition, room and board, books, fees and other college-related expenses. All high school seniors, undergraduate students at two-year or four-year institutions and vocational or trade school students are eligible.The scholarship fund was established by Gloria Carter and and her son Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, to offer a unique opportunity to students who have been incarcerated or faced particular life challenges but still want to pursue higher education. The program gives them a chance that most other programs do not offer. The Carter Foundation is a firm believer in helping young people not only reach their career goals but also establish a secure future.

The deadline for this scholarship is on April 30th, and the award amount ranges from $1,500 – $2,500.

Delegate seeks to add more mental health counselors to public high schools

Delegate seeks to add more mental health counselors to public high schools

the Legacy Newspaper logoby Liza David

THE LEGACY NEWS – A Prince William County legislator is promoting a bill to add more mental health counselors in public high schools. 

The bill, HB 252, proposed by Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William, would that each student board employ one mental health counselor for every 250 high school students in the local school division.

Del. Elizabeth Guzman

In her district of Prince William County, Guzman said the average case load for a school counselor is between 450 and 500 students, but the counseling process involves more than just those students.

“When counselors help children, it’s not like they are serving one person,” Guzman said. “Many times we need to involve family members and friends as part of helping a person to become successful in life.”

Guzman said that if counselors have a smaller caseload, “they could help the parents to become a support system for the children.”

Guzman said being a mother of four children in the public school system gives her an inside perspective to the challenges public schools have faced throughout the years.

“Any time there was a school budget cut, the fields that were affected in the public education system were special education, school counselors, psychologists, [and] social workers,” Guzman said.

Guzman hopes to pass this bill with the help of her professional knowledge as a social worker. According to her campaign website, Guzman worked in the public sector for 10 years, most recently as the division chief for administrative services for the Center for Adult Services for the City of Alexandria. She also holds master’s in both public administration and social work.

On Jan. 10 Guzman’s bill was endorsed by both the Virginia Education Association and the Virginia Counselor Association. She said she also met with teachers and counselors before her campaign.

Becky Bowers-Lanier is the advocacy consultant for the VCA, and said, “our counselors are most supportive of her bill, [and] we will actively support it.”

Guzman’s bill requires high schools to meet the ratio of one counselor to every 250 students, but Bowers-Lanier said the VCA, “would love to have the ratio of one to 250 throughout K-12.”

“When these children are in high school they have to be ready to face real life,” Guzman said, “and if they don’t get the right support while they’re in school, there’s not a hopeful future for them.”

Bowers-Lanier said in 2016 the Virginia Board of Education proposed a revision of the standards of equality, “to tighten the ratio of counselors in K-12 to one to 250.” However, adding more counselors to high schools, “has a pretty high fiscal impact, and so it was not taken forward to the General Assembly last year.”

The VCA hopes to draw funds, “from the at-risk grant program to support the payment of the counselors,” Bowers-Lanier said.

Bowers-Lanier said at-risk funding is part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), so additional counselors would be paid for with federal funds. Bowers-Lanier said that ESSA applies to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, meaning they are considered high-risk and therefore in need of counselors.

How Stevie Wonder helped create Martin Luther King Day

How Stevie Wonder helped create Martin Luther King Day

the Legacy Newspaper logoTHE LEGACY NEWSPAPER — On the evening of April 4, 1968, teen music sensation Stevie Wonder was dozing off in the back of a car on his way home to Detroit from the Michigan School for the Blind, when the news crackled over the radio: Martin Luther King Jr. had just been assassinated in Memphis. His driver quickly turned off the radio and they drove on in silence and shock, tears streaming down Wonder’s face.

Five days later, Wonder flew to Atlanta for the slain civil rights hero’s funeral, as riots erupted in several cities, the country still reeling. He joined Harry Belafonte, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Eartha Kitt, Diana Ross and a long list of politicians and pastors who mourned King, prayed for a nation in which all men are created equal and vowed to continue the fight for freedom.

Wonder was still in shock—he remembered how, when he was five, he first heard about King as he listened to coverage of the Montgomery bus boycott on the radio. “I asked, ‘Why don’t they like colored people? What’s the difference?’ I still can’t see the difference.” As a young teenager, when Wonder was performing with the Motown Revue in Alabama, he experienced first-hand the evils of segregation—he remembers someone shooting at their tour bus, just missing the gas tank. When he was 15, Wonder finally met King, shaking his hand at a freedom rally in Chicago.

At the funeral, Wonder was joined by his local representative, young African-American Congressman John Conyers, who had just introduced a bill to honor King’s legacy by making his birthday a national holiday. Thus began an epic crusade, led by Wonder and some of the biggest names in music—from Bob Marley to Michael Jackson—to create Martin Luther King Day.

To overcome the resistance of conservative politicians, including President Reagan and many of his fellow citizens, Wonder put his career on hold, led rallies from coast to coast and galvanized millions of Americans with his passion and integrity.

But it took 15 years.

In the immediate wake of King’s death, the political establishment was more concerned with keeping things calm, tamping down unrest, and arresting rioters and activists. It was a violent year—that summer the Democratic convention in Chicago exploded in chaos and another inspiring leader, Robert F. Kennedy, was killed by an assassin. The country seemed on the verge of civil war.

Conyers’ bill languished in Congress for over a decade, through years of anti-war protests, Watergate and political corruption, stifled by inertia and malaise at the end of the 1970s. The dream was kept alive by labor unions, who viewed King as a working-class hero, with protests that slowly built up steam. At a General Motors plant in New York, a small group of auto workers refused to work on King’s birthday in 1969, and thousands of hospital workers in New York City went on strike until managers agreed to a paid holiday on the birthday. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, led a birthday rally that year in Atlanta, where she was joined by Conyers and union leaders. By 1973, some of the country’s largest unions, including the AFSCME and the United Autoworkers, made the paid holiday a regular demand in their contract negotiations.

Finally in 1979, President Jimmy Carter, who had been elected with the support of the unions, endorsed the bill to create the holiday. Carter made an emotional appearance at King’s old church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. But Congress refused to budge, led by conservative Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who denounced King as a lawbreaker who had been manipulated by Communists. The situation looked bleak.

By then, Wonder had matured from a young harmonica-playing sensation to a chart-topping music genius lauded for his complex rhythms and socially-conscious lyrics about racism, black liberation, love and unity. He had kept in touch with Coretta Scott King, regularly performing at rallies to push for the holiday. He told a cheering crowd in Atlanta in the summer of 1979, “If we cannot celebrate a man who died for love, then how can we say we believe in it? It is up to me and you.”