Congratulations 2016 Smith Scholars!

by | Apr 11, 2016 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Twenty-three (23) JAG graduates were selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship and, more importantly, they will be able to use the designation as having been vetted and recognized as a 2016 Smith Scholar.  This high honor should be included in the Smith Scholar’s resume or when applications request a listing of awards, scholarships, or recognitions.  Only 23 JAG graduates in the Class of 2016 will be able to use the Smith Scholar designation.  
The Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship Fund and the Smith Scholars Program were established by the JAG Board of Directors to recognize the extraordinary leadership and service of the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jobs for America’s Graduates, Inc., Kenneth M. Smith.  The number of scholarships to be awarded is dependent on the donations to the Ken Smith Scholarship Fund.  Funding for the KMS Scholarship Fund has come from JAG Board members as well as Western Union Foundation, Lillian Goldman Trust, Strategic Partnerships and CERI.  From 2009-2016, the Fund has awarded 113 scholarships for a total of $145,000.
2016 Kenneth M. Smith Application Packet Submissions
·108 JAG seniors submitted Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship Application Packets on February 15 which consisted of the following documents:
-Application Form
-Resume (2 Pages)
-Essay (2 Pages)
-High School Transcript
-Proof of College Application or Acceptance
-Three Reference Letters
-High Resolution Photo

·Applications were received from 24 JAG affiliated states:  AL (4); AR (15); AZ (7); CT (3); FL (1); GA (3); IA (5); IN (13); KS (3); KY (2); LA (5); ME (3); MN (4); MO (2); MS (12); MT (8); NH (2); NM (2); NV (4); OH (1); SC (2); TN (1); VA (1); WI (5).

·22 Males and 86 Females submitted application packets.

·The number one career field among the 108 applicants wasHealth.

2016 Review and Selection Process

·2016 proved to be one of the most difficult years to review the 108 application packets, assign points, then, make the decision as to which applicants moved forward to be among the Top 40 Applicants. 

·Two board members were responsible for reviewing the Top 40 Application Packets and selecting the Top 25 Applicants.  

·Two additional board members reviewed the Top 25 Application Packets and initially selected eighteen (18) Smith Scholars due to the budget limitation.  Due to the quality of this year’s applicants, five Honorary Scholars were identified although no funds were available to fund a scholarship. 

·The KMS Scholarship Fund Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs requested donations from JAG Board members to expand the number of Smith Scholars from 18 to 23.  On April 1 at the JAG National Board meeting in Jackson, Mississippi, five Board members stepped forth and funded the five additional $1,000 scholarships. 

·2016 Smith Scholars are receiving a letter of congratulations from JAG Governance Committee Chairman Larry Caruso with information to receive their $1,000 scholarship.  The letter will also outline responsibilities that Smith Scholars are expected to fulfill during their 2016-2017 collegiate enrollment.  This commitment is very important to maintain and expand the Smith Scholars Program.

·A workshop will be held at the 2016 National Training Seminar in Orlando for Specialists who are interested in supporting their students that apply for the honor of being recognized as a Smith Scholar as well as receiving the $1,000 scholarship.  A panel of Specialists that have been successful in supporting their students will be invited to participate in the workshop.

·The Kenneth M. Scholarship Fund appreciates the 108 applicants that submitted documentation for 2016.  Remember—JAG graduates that have not completed their postsecondary degree plans are eligible to apply for a KMS Scholarship as well as high school seniors that are planning to enroll in the fall following graduation. 

 The 2016 Smith Scholars are:

  • Saada Abdi, MN
  • Kaylee Brewster, MT
  • Jalen Bullock, IN
  • Austin Czichilski, IN
  • Chanc Daugherty, IN
  • Jakaysia Dozier, SC
  • Julia Gardner, AR
  • Brea Henderson, LA
  • Isabella Hendrickson, TN
  • Zakeya Herring, CT
  • Kyla Horn, KY
  • Lacey Howard, AR
  • Christen Johnson, LA
  • Tehya Long, GA
  • Alexis Neal, GA
  • Laura Schwab, KS
  • Candance Smith, LA
  • Veronica Smith, MT
  • Elijah Tribbett, IN
  • Alyssa Turner, LA
  • Austin Vardaman, MS
  • Emily Waller, KY
  • Taytum Widseth, MT


Photo above:

(L-R) Dr. Jim Koeninger, JAG-EVP; Mark Nichols, Governance Committee Co-Chair; Bettye Sims-Hawkins, Gentry HS, JAG Specialist; Austin Vardaman, 2016 Smith Scholar, Gentry HS, JAG-MS; JAG Board Chairman Phil Bryant; Cathy Olesen, Scholars Committee Chair; Larry Caruso, Governance Chair; Dr. Sharon Robinson, Scholars Committee Co-Chair (not pictured).  2016 Smith Scholar Austin Vardaman and Specialist were congratulated during the April 1 JAG National Board Meeting held in Jackson, MS by the JAG Board Chair and representatives of the JAG Board Governance and Scholars Committees that have provided oversight of the Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship Fund and selection process.