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Simone Project Announces 2010-2011 Scholarship Winner

The Nina Simone Project has announced David Russell as the 2010-2011 recipient of the Nina Simone scholarship. A resident of Monticello, AR, Russell is a recently-graduated Philosophy, Writing, and Honors Inter-disciplinary major of the University of Central Arkansas. Among his other academic achievements, Russell has been a scholar stipendiary in the prestigious Summer Institute for Diversity in Philosophy at Rutgers University.

Russell, commenting on his selection for the award, relayed the following. “I am proud tobe the recipient of the Nina Simone Scholarship. Ms. Simone’s legacy will make it possiblefor me, through that very talent itself, to further my own education in a graduate studies creative writing program.”

“Ironically,” Russell continued, “I remember the first time I encountered Nina Simone’s powerful lyricism, sung in her heavily soulful way. Little could I have known then that Simone would come to provide a means for me to further my formal education.”
The Nina Simone Project extends its congratulations to Russell, wishing him the very best in all endeavors. See www.ninasimoneproject.org for further NSP scholarshipinformation.

David Russell

Simone Project Announces 2009 Scholarship Winners

The Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project (NSP) Scholarship Committee, comprised of Drs. Gloria Underwood, Warren Carson, Joseph Fox, Crys Armbrust and Lynn Cecil Page, is pleased to announce that Erica Wilkins and Andrew Fletcher have been selected as the 2009 Nina Simone Scholarship recipients.  Awardees receive a $1,000 stipend.

Erica Wilkins, the daughter of Eric Wilkins and Joyce Miller, both of Landrum, SC, is a 2008 graduate of Landrum High School.  She is a rising sophomore at the University of South Carolina (Columbia) majoring in Accounting and Management Science.  She is also a USC Opportunity Scholar, who is deeply involved in numerous community service programs, notably the Ronald McDonald House and the Minority Assistance Peer Program. 

Regarding her selection as a Nina Simone Scholar, Wilkins said, “I would like to thank the Nina Simone Project [Scholarship] Committee for selecting me as a 2009 recipient.  Because of your generous contribution I will be able to continue my education at USC and ultimately reach my career goals.”

Fletcher, a longtime resident of Tryon, NC, presently living in Asheville, NC, is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina (Asheville) majoring in History.  He recently received his Associate of Arts from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.  Fletcher is a familiar presence in Tryon, with much volunteer experience at the Tryon Fine Arts Center and the Tryon Little Theatre.  Additionally, he is a classical, jazz and blues pianist.

“I am walking in Nina Simone’s footsteps,” Fletcher commented about his selection as a Nina Simone Scholar.  “Eunice Waymon left Tryon to attend the Allen School for Girls in Asheville, just as I left Tryon to attend college.  Ms. Waymon accomplished much because of the assistance provided her by the people of Tryon, and I feel that I too have much to accomplish, with assistance from the present community of Tryon through the Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Scholarship program.”

We congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients and wish them every success on their respective career paths.  For further information about the Nina Simone Scholarship program, see www.ninasimoneproject.org.

 


Erica Wilkins


Andrew Fletcher


Nina Simone Scholarship 2008 Winners Announced

The Nina Simone Project Scholarship Committee, comprised of Drs. Gloria Underwood, Warren Carson, Joseph Fox, Crys Armbrust and Lynn Cecil Page, is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been named as scholarship recipients.

2008 Nina Simone Senior Scholar

Jasmine Danielle Miller, a graduating senior at Polk County High School (PCHS), has been selected as the 2008 Nina Simone Senior Scholar.

Miss Miller, the daughter of LeRoy and Michelle Miller, will attend North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, NC this fall. She intends to major in Biology. Her ultimate goal is to become a pediatric cardiac surgeon.

Miller has participated in Health Explorers I & II at East Tennessee State University, has attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Washington, D.C., and has completed the North Carolina Renaissance Scholars and Project Uplift programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Further, she is a Converse Scholar.

In her freshman and sophomore years, Miller played junior varsity volleyball, and she has been a member of the women’s varsity track team for all four years of her high school career. Her school club activities include the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Chorus, and the Polk County High School News Team.

J. Alan Peoples—PCHS English & language arts teacher, head track coach and Mayor of Tryon—and Laura K. White—PCHS Foreign Languages Department Chair—served as Miller’s references. White’s letter describes Miller as an individual who is “willing to step out of her comfort zone for a good cause” and one who further “has the potential to be any college’s best asset.”

“On behalf of the Nina Simone Project, its Steering Committee and its Scholarship Committee,” Project Director Dr. Crys Armbrust comments, “we congratulate the 2008 Nina Simone scholarship recipients and wish them well in their respective educational endeavors.”

For further information about the activities of the Nina Simone Memorial Project, see the Project website www.ninasimoneproject.org.


Jasmine Miller


2008 Nina Simone Junior Scholar

Jessica (Jessi) LeeAnn Jeffords, presently a 9th grader at McCracken Junior High in Spartanburg District #7, has been selected as the 2008 Nina Simone Junior Scholar.

Miss Jeffords, the daughter of Lee and Ann Jeffords, is an honor roll student with broad musical background and experience. She has studied cello in the public school system for five years, is the principal cellist in her school’s orchestra and was selected in 2006 to perform in the South Carolina All State Orchestra. Additionally, she plays piano and sings.

Her most recent musical involvement is as female lead singer in the Youth Praise Band at Morningside Baptist Church, where she has been a member of the choir, theatre and hand bell ensembles since 1st grade.

Dr. Gloria W. Close, one of Jefford’s referees, strongly asserts that “Jessica is a unique student and model citizen…dedicated to academic pursuits as well as music. Her commitment to excellence is evident in everything she does [as is her] positive example to others.”



Jessi Jeffords

Simone Project Awards 2007 Senior Scholarship

The Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project is pleased to announce that Megan Elizabeth Miller has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the Nina Simone Senior Scholarship. The scholarship award carries a $1,000 stipend.

Miller, the daughter of Tryonite Brenda B. Miller and a 2003 graduate of Polk County High School, is a senior Classics major at UNC-Asheville. Her course of study includes a concentration in Greek and Latin and a minor in Anthropology. She has maintained a 3.9 cumulative GPA throughout her collegiate career.

Simone Project Director Dr. Crys Armbrust notes that Ms. Miller’s ‘academic credentials are already quite impressive for one who has not yet finished her undergraduate degree.’ She has presented her researches on paleography (the study of early writing) at both regional and national conferences, including UNC-Asheville’s ‘Symposium on Undergraduate Research’ and the ‘National Conference on Undergraduate Research’ (NCUR) in San Francisco.

Moreover, Miller holds the additional distinction of being the only undergraduate to be selected as a participant in “The Workshop on Latin Paleography and Critical Editing,” a five-week long program for international scholars sponsored by the Philosophy Department at Georgetown University. After graduation, Ms. Miller hopes to attend Oxford University to pursue advanced degrees.

The Simone Project sponsors two general scholarships each year. Scholarships are needs-based and open-disciplined, and applicants from across the globe are encouraged to apply. Awards may be used for both formalized academic study and ancillary cultural enrichment opportunities with an educational emphasis.


Megan Elizabeth Miller


Simone Project Awards 2007 Junior Scholarship

The Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project is pleased to announce that Toni Keyonna Wilkins is the 2007 recipient of the Nina Simone Junior Scholarship.

Wilkins is the daughter of Sylvia Elaine Wilkins of Tryon, NC and Joseph Thomas, Jr. of Mill Springs, NC. She is an eight grader at Polk County Middle School, where she is a member of the band (clarinet), the track team and a cheerleader.

Further, Toni has been a student at the Good Shepherd Home Work Center since her early elementary school days and an attendee at the Roseland Summer Enrichment Program. She will use a portion of her scholarship award to attend t he Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina at Lake Logan Episcopal Center’s “ Camp Henry” Summer Program .

Dr. Crys Armbrust, Executive Director of the Simone Project, notes with interest, too, that Toni is an active member of the Mass and Children’s Choir at St. Luke’s CME Church in Tryon, where young Eunice Waymon (a.k.a. Nina Simone) began her early musical career.

The Simone Project sponsors two general scholarships each year. Scholarships are needs-based and open-disciplined, and applicants from across the globe are encouraged to apply. Awards may be used for both formalized academic study and ancillary cultural enrichment opportunities with an educational emphasis.



Toni Keyonna Wilkins

EcoResin Donates $25,000 to Nina Simone Scholarship

The Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project announces today its first corporate donation to the Nina Simone Scholarship Fund. The Waymon-Simone Project received notification of the $25,000 gift last week from Darren D. Lynch and Collin Brown, III, co-owners of EcoResin. EcoResin, LLC is a plastics recycler and compounder firm with manufacturing facilities in Akron , Ohio , Randleman , NC and Forest City , NC , the company's corporate headquarters.

Dr. Crys Armbrust, executive director of the Waymon-Simone Project, details that “both Lynch and Brown were in attendance for the initial open forum in April 2006 at the Roseland Community Center to discuss the then proposed Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project. Following the discussion, they indicated their interest to participate in the Project's scholarship program.

"As North Carolina natives and individuals whose lives have been inspired by the work of Dr. Simone, we [at EcoResin] are honored to have the opportunity to support the Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project. Nina Simone was and is an extraordinary figure: rare and unique because she allowed her spirit to speak freely and passionately through her music about human rights, individual freedom and redemptive love. Hers was and is a powerfully unfettered stance and we simply wanted to contribute our part to sustain her voice and spirit in order to inspire others.”

That “spirit” is further summed up in a quote from Nina Simone herself. “I want to be remembered as a diva who never compromised in what she felt about racism and how the world should be, and who to the end of her days consistently stayed the same.” (“Legend-with-an-attitude.”  Interview by Brantley Bardin, published in DETAIL, January 1997.)

Lynch, born in Tryon, is a 1986 graduate of Polk Central High School ; Brown is a 1988 graduate of Millbrook High School in Raleigh , NC . Both have Bachelor's degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . Brown also has a MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania .

The Waymon-Simone Project hopes to raise $125,000 in order to endow the Nina Simone Scholarship Fund. EcoResin's gift brings us substantially closer to that goal, and the Project is gratified to have EcoResin as a corporate partner in our educational outreach efforts to make a. purposeful difference in the lives of others and in the betterment of our shared communities.