MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation awards scholarships


For over 25 years, the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation has been making higher education more accessible by awarding scholarships to low-income students. Last week, it awarded nearly $50,000 to 46 students at a scholarship ceremony, bringing the total throughout the foundation’s history to more than $1.3 million.

All of the recipients participated in a lengthy application and interview process and were awarded scholarships based on their merit as successful students, athletes and community members.

The highest honor, the George M. Soper Student Athlete of the Year Award, was given to 10th grade student Taifa Kumalo. She was chosen for this award based on her excellent sportsmanship and her dedication to succeeding in the classroom and on the tennis court.

A full list of scholarship recipients follows.

George M. Soper Student Athlete of the Year Award: Taifa Kumalo, 10th grade, Andrew Jackson High School. This $5,000 award is given to the student athlete who best exemplifies the foundation’s ideals.

Zoe Gaudet Scholarship & Agassi Advantage Award: Mya Sudduth, 12th grade, Andrew Jackson High School. Graduating seniors who are serious about continuing their education receive a $5,000 scholarship and a laptop courtesy of the (Andre) Agassi Advantage Award.

Rick Murray “Don’t Quit” Scholarship: This $1,000 award was given to acknowledge students who have persevered through adversity. Recipients are: Jayden Critten, 7th grade, John E. Ford K-8 School; Alphonso Pascal, 7th grade, John E. Ford K-8 School; Kahmani Clark, 7th grade, Kirby Smith Middle School; Tre Bridgeman, 10th grade, Andrew Jackson High School; Sydney Foster, 9th grade, Jean Ribault High School; Neemah Owens, 7th grade, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

iMethods Meaningful Work Scholarship: This $2,000 award was given to students who participated in monthly work readiness and career preparation. Recipients are: Ny’Reon Shuman, 11th, Bishop Kenny High School; Deshai Bell, 11th, Robert E. Lee High School.

THE PLAYERS Championship Driven to Succeed Scholarship: Mikaila Shaw, 6th, Darnell Cookman Middle-High School. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates champion-level behavior throughout the year.

Sherry Murray Extra Mile Scholarship: Students who made an extra effort in academics, behavior and/or tennis received between $250 and $1,500 dollars. Six fifth-graders, five sixth-graders, seven seventh-graders, four eighth-graders, six ninth-graders, seven 10th-graders, three 11th-graders received the scholarship.