More pomp and circumstance

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

Volusia County seniors rack up scholarship funds; ready to graduate next week

BY JAMES HARPER
DAYTONA TIMES

Thousands of Volusia County students will be graduating from area high schools next week. Finding enough funds to go on to college is an assignment high school seniors and their parents can’t afford to fail.

Rachel McKenzie gets a hug from Volusia County educator Rose Roland on Sunday at Greater Friendship Baptist Church after receiving a $1,000 scholarship. McKenzie, 17, graduates from Mainland Senior High with a high school diploma. She earned an AA degree at the same time from  Daytona State College.(PHOTO BY DANNY MOBLEY)

Rachel McKenzie gets a hug from Volusia County educator Rose Roland on Sunday at Greater Friendship Baptist Church after receiving a $1,000 scholarship. McKenzie, 17, graduates from Mainland Senior High with a high school diploma. She earned an AA degree at the same time from  Daytona State College.
(PHOTO BY DANNY MOBLEY)

Five seniors who attend Greater Friendship Baptist Church in Daytona Beach are among the many high school graduates who will be receiving scholarship money from local organizations and foundations to attend college.

On Sunday, the seniors at Greater Friendship each received at least a $1,000 scholarship to help them with their next phase in life. The money came through a fund named after Elisha J. Strapp, who died in 2009.

15-year ministry
Strapp, who was a Volusia County employee, started the scholarship ministry along with his wife, Sandra, in 1998.

“He served faithfully until the Lord called him for his reward in 2009.

Since then, I have had the great privilege of leading and working with so many talented members in this ministry,” Sandra Strapp said.

She said that since 2001, $39,350 in scholarships have been awarded to youth, college students and early childhood learning centers.

“This is our commemorative year – 15 years as a ministry. To our youth, you never know when God has a special blessing for you. Always keep Christ at the head,” Strapp stated.

Students and early learning centers received checks from the Elisha P. Strapp Scholarship Ministry. From left to right are Greater Friendship Pastor Dr. L. Ronald Durham; Sally Marshall standing in for Inspiration Child Care Center; Katina Nutt, Friendship Academy; Janice Medlock for daughter Jante’ Medlock; Carolyn Beckton for daughter Sta’Cha Beckton; Emmanuel McMillon; Marlene Brooks; Betty Powers, principal, Basilica School of St. Paul; Dontivaus King; Melvin Williams; Arrice Robinson; Rachel McKenzie; and Bryan Dandridge. Not shown, Ricky Hemphill.(PHOTOS BY DANNY MOBLEY)

Students and early learning centers received checks from the Elisha P. Strapp Scholarship Ministry. From left to right are Greater Friendship Pastor Dr. L. Ronald Durham; Sally Marshall standing in for Inspiration Child Care Center; Katina Nutt, Friendship Academy; Janice Medlock for daughter Jante’ Medlock; Carolyn Beckton for daughter Sta’Cha Beckton; Emmanuel McMillon; Marlene Brooks; Betty Powers, principal, Basilica School of St. Paul; Dontivaus King; Melvin Williams; Arrice Robinson; Rachel McKenzie; and Bryan Dandridge. Not shown, Ricky Hemphill.
(PHOTOS BY DANNY MOBLEY)

Diploma and degree
Rachel McKenzie was one of the scholarship recipients who will graduate next week. She will attend Spelman College in Atlanta as a junior because she completed her associate degree in a dual enrollment program. Rachel attended Mainland High School and Daytona State College at the same time.

Brenda McKenzie, Rachel’s mother, said many parents don’t know about the dual enrollment program.

Sandra Strapp founded the scholarship ministry with husband Elisha 15 years ago. He passed away in 2009. She presented $11,000 in scholarships to the college-bound students and others on Sunday.

Sandra Strapp founded the scholarship ministry with husband Elisha 15 years ago. He passed away in 2009. She presented $11,000 in scholarships to the college-bound students and others on Sunday.

McKenzie, who works at Daytona State College, said that since 2011 Rachel has been able to participate in the program because she had at least a 3.0 grade point average.

“I didn’t have to pay anything extra,” said single parent McKenzie, adding that Rachel took one class each semester at Mainland and the rest of her courses at Daytona State, which enabled her to earn her high school diploma and A.A. degree at the same time.

Rachel plans to major in biology and eventually become a doctor.

The student says what motivated her was that she saw so many girls her age getting pregnant, some having to drop out of school.

“I didn’t want to be that statistic,” said Rachel, who also gets financial and moral support from her father, the Rev. John McKenzie, a former pastor of Greater Friendship Baptist Church who now is senior pastor at St. James First Baptist Church in Key West.

‘Stay focused, finish well’
Other $1,000 scholarship winners included Marlene Brooks, Dontavius King, Arrice Robinson and Melvin Young.

Dr. L. Ronald Durham (far left) poses with Volusia County graduates who were recognized  at the church on Sunday. With Durham are Marlene Brooks, Seabreeze High School; the Rev. Lawrence Glover, Bethune-Cookman University; Arrice Robinson, Spruce Creek High; Emmanuel McMillon, Mainland High; Victoria Mobley, Seabreeze High; Melvin Williams, Mainland; Rachel McKenzie, Mainland; Dontavius King, Mainland; and Bryan Dandridge, Atlantic High; Not shown:Corey Blackmon, Daytona State College.

Dr. L. Ronald Durham (far left) poses with Volusia County graduates who were recognized  at the church on Sunday. With Durham are Marlene Brooks, Seabreeze High School; the Rev. Lawrence Glover, Bethune-Cookman University; Arrice Robinson, Spruce Creek High; Emmanuel McMillon, Mainland High; Victoria Mobley, Seabreeze High; Melvin Williams, Mainland; Rachel McKenzie, Mainland; Dontavius King, Mainland; and Bryan Dandridge, Atlantic High; Not shown:Corey Blackmon, Daytona State College.

Emmanuel McMillon was singled out and received a $1,500 scholarship for getting the highest percentage rating based on a competition that included answering questions, writing an essay and on grades.

McMillon also was known for his heavy involvement in church activities.

Quoting retired Volusia County educator, a longtime Friendship church member Willie Mae Church, Strapp told the grads at a program on Sunday to “stay focused and finish well. For me, I know if you do this, He will reward you openly.”

This year Strapp said the scholarship program was able to give away a total of $11,000.

Checks also went to three early childhood learning centers – Basilica School of St. Paul, $1,000; Friendship Academy, $1,000 and Inspiration Child Care Center, $500.

Three students already in college received $500 each. They are Sta’Cha Beckton, Ricky Hemhil and Jante’ Medlock.

Bryan Daniels was recognized for “youth participation’’ and received $500.

High school ceremonies
Graduation ceremonies for Volusia County students will be held for area high schools beginning May 30 and ending June 2.

Admission will be $3 per person. Parking will be $5 for ceremonies held at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center. Tickets will be presold at each of the high schools. Here is a list of the district’s graduation ceremonies and information relating to the graduating classes of 2013.

Atlantic High School
Graduation: Friday, May 31, 7:30 p.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 225

DeLand High School
Graduation: Sunday, June 2, 7:30 p.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 535
Senior Awards: Tuesday, May 28, 6:30 p.m., Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church

Deltona High School
Graduation: Friday, May 31, 4 p.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 325

Mainland High School
Graduation: Sunday, June 2, noon, Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 365
Senior Awards: Thursday, May 23, 6:30 p.m., Deltona High School Auditorium
Baccalaureate: Tuesday, May 21, 7 p.m., Deltona Alliance Church

New Smyrna Beach High School
Graduation: Sunday, June 2, 3:30 p.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 420
Senior Awards: Thursday, May 30, 6:30 p.m., New Smyrna Beach High School Auditorium
Baccalaureate: Tuesday, May 28, 7 p.m., First Baptist Church, Family Life Center

Pine Ridge High School
Graduation: Saturday, June 1, 1 p.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 375
Senior Awards: Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m., Pine Ridge High School Auditorium

Seabreeze High School
Graduation: Saturday, June 1, 4:30 p.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 380

Spruce Creek High School
Graduation: Saturday, June 1, 8 p.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 678
Senior Awards: Thursday, May 30, 7 p.m., First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach
Baccalaureate: Tuesday, May 28, 7 p.m., First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach

Taylor Middle-High School
Graduation: Thursday, May 30, 7 p.m., Edmunds Center, Stetson University
Approximate number of graduates: 124
Baccalaureate: Wednesday, May 29, 6:30 p.m., Taylor Middle-High School Auditorium

University High School
Graduation: Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m., Daytona Beach Ocean Center
Approximate number of graduates: 512

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>