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NAACP Vicksburg Branch honors legacy with second annual Bettye Smith Brown Memorial Scholarship Reception



branch bettye smith scholarship
Scholarship recipients (left to right) Donald Taylor, Sha’Kyria Allen, Padre Gray, Jr., and Malachi Wright’s father pose with Mrs. Bettye Smith Brown’s daughters, Adrienne and Fayedra, and grandson, Harrison Clarke Dear, and members of the NAACP Vicksburg Branch (NAACP)
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NAACP Vicksburg Branch members in conjunction with Fayedra Brown-Dear and Adrienne Mosley (daughters of the late Mrs. Bettye Smith Brown) hosted the second annual Bettye Smith Brown Memorial Scholarship Reception on Saturday, July 1st, at the Vicksburg Business and Event Center, 2321 Washington Street. The date marked what would have been Mrs. Bettye Smith Brown’s 74th birthday.

Ms. Micayla Tatum, NAACP Vicksburg Branch Education Chair, served as MC of the program and was instrumental in coordinating all facets of the Scholarship Program. Five students received scholarships from three different scholarship programs offered through the NAACP Vicksburg Branch.

During the program, Mrs. Carolyn Horne Bradford, a college roommate of Mrs. Bettye Smith Brown and Godmother to Mrs. Brown’s two daughters, provided insight into Mrs. Brown’s commitment to educational excellence. Mrs. Brown’s grandson, 9-year-old Harrison Clarke Dear, spoke eloquently of positive, memorable moments shared with his grandmother. Two Bettye Smith Brown Memorial Scholarships were awarded in the amount of $10,725 each.

Sha’Kyria Allen, 2023 Valedictorian of Vicksburg High School, will attend Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, to major in pre-med in hopes of becoming an OB-GYN. Donald Taylor, a high school and junior college graduate of River City Early College, will attend Mississippi State University, where he plans to major in electrical engineering.

Fayedra and Adrienne commented, “Our family is honored to once again see the extension of Bettye Smith Brown’s legacy in furtherance of the education of Vicksburg students. It is a blessing to see students of this caliber continue [Mommy’s] tradition of excellence in higher education. The celebration of the recipients on [Mommy’s] birthday was indeed the icing on the cake!”

Mrs. Grace Hicks Brown, family, and friends established the $500 Tierre LeRoi Brown Memorial Book Scholarship in loving memory of Mrs. Brown’s son. Tierre was a staunch Alcornite and dedicated member of the NAACP Vicksburg Branch who had served as President of the NAACP Vicksburg Branch Youth Council.

Bettye Smith Brown Scholarship

(Front, left to right) Holding checks are recipients Donald Taylor, Sha’Kyria Allen, Padre Gray, Jr., and Malachi Wright’s father. Supporting the students (left to right), Terry Steed and Dr. Kevin Abraham (representing Omicron Rho Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.), J. R. Edwards (representing Eta Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.), Dr. Elmira Ratliff (representing Vicksburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.), Adrienne Mosley and Fayedra Brown-Dear (Betty Smith Brown’s daughters), Edna Steed (representing Mu Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.), Micayla Tatum
(NAACP Vicksburg Branch Education Chair), and Bobbie Bingham Morrow (NAACP Vicksburg Branch President). Not pictured are recipient Da’Marian Heard and Larry Tyrone (representing Kappa Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.). The Fraternities and Sororities listed are life members of the NAACP Vicksburg Branch.

The scholarship is awarded to a graduating Warren County Public High School senior who will be attending Alcorn State University and participating in band or sports. Padre Gray Jr., a graduate of Warren Central High School, will major in Business Administration and play football at Alcorn. Da’Marian Heard, a graduate of Vicksburg High School, will major in Business Administration and participate in Alcorn State University’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Band.

The John H. Young Memorial Scholarship was awarded by Gertrude Anderson Young in honor of her late husband, John H. Young. John was a graduate of and was employed as a computer scientist at Jackson State University. The $300 scholarship was awarded to Malachi Wright, who will major in Media at Jackson State University

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