YLS gives two local students a book scholarship

(Canton, OH) June 19, 2018 – United Way of Greater Stark County’s Young Leaders Society (YLS) chose the first two recipients for their new book scholarship on Friday, July 20. Each student is eligible to receive a total of $4,000 ($1,000 per year) to offset the cost of books for college.

This new book scholarship initiative is part of the revised education strategic focus that YLS adopted earlier this year. This year’s application process was limited to schools that YLS has partnered with in the past year through mentoring efforts or Hoodies for the Holidays: Canton Harbor High School, CHOICES, Early College CAMP/CAST students and Get Connected students. The two scholarship recipients for this year are Jermaine Brack and Meleah Nelson.

Jermaine Brack is a 2018 graduate of Glen Oak High School and a participant of United Way of Greater Stark County’s Get Connected program. Get Connected helps local high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in Career Tech programs visit workplaces, learn about careers that align with their skills and interests, and build relationships with team members in companies or organizations. Jermaine was a foster child, and uses those struggles that he had to overcome life’s obstacles and push toward his dream of attending college. He is highly accomplished in speech and debate, using it as an outlet to share his experience in the foster system and to educate others. Jermaine will be a first-generation college student and will attend Biola University to major in Political Science. He plans to go onto law school and dreams of becoming a politician.

Meleah Nelson is a 2018 graduate of Timken Early College High School and a member of Timken Early College High School’s program CAMP. CAMP is designed to offer students a comprehensive business training and development program, and supports the Early College vision of “College Ready” and “Career Ready”. Meleah struggled at first in school before finding an environment in which she could thrive. She wants to be a good role model for her family and use her experience to be a representative for better education. Meleah was a participant in Stark County Teen Court, an adult-led, teen-driven program in which teen volunteers recommend sentences and act as jurors, bailiffs, defense attorneys and prosecutors with an adult serving as judge. She says she has been able to put herself in other’s shoes and show compassion; and that this where she has found her character and the person she wants to be – a psychiatrist that helps adolescents who have a shaky start in life.

“Given the rising costs of education, it’s exciting that YLS is able to support local students as they begin the next chapter of their lives,” Felicia Fullerton, YLS Steering Committee member. “We know that Jermaine and Meleah are destined for great things and YLS is honored to provide them with these book scholarships.”

About Young Leaders Society

United Way’s Young Leaders Society is a group of passionate young professionals who come together to educate, engage and inspire individuals across Greater Stark County. They harness their time and talents through mentorship, fundraising and volunteerism to activate education initiatives and build a better community. Education sets the foundation for the future, and it is the area where they believe they can make the greatest impact. As young leaders, their personal and professional success would not have been possible without support from mentors, teachers and advocates who helped them along the way. Now they’re paying it forward for the next generation. More information is available at www.uwstark.org/young-leaders-society.

About United Way of Greater Stark County

United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the Health, Education and Financial Stability of every person in every community. The agency collaborates, convenes, and partners to support programs and initiatives that break the cycle of poverty, promote a healthy community where children are successful from kindergarten through graduation to a career, and where families have the tools, skills, and support they need to become financially independent. We win by living United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Headquarters are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.