WYAA Student Scholarships

Ed Kowalski, 1982 & WYAA Board Member, presented 3 WYAA Scholarships to 3 WYHS 2019 seniors during the WYSH Senior Awards Ceremoy on Wednesday, May 22 @ the WYHS Auditorium. 

"Good evening, and congratulations to the Whitehall-Yearling High School Class of 2019. On behalf of the Whitehall-Yearling Alumni Association, it is an honor to be here tonight. 

The mission of the WYAA is to provide alumni with opportunities to maintain friendships, participate in alumni events, increase engagement with current students, and to support Whitehall City Schools and the City of Whitehall.

The WYAA, in partnership with the Whitehall Education Foundation, also grants scholarships to graduating seniors planning to continue their education in an accredited 2-year college program. With me tonight is Allie Bradley from Columbus State Community College, as well as the winner of the inaugural WYAA scholarship, 2018 graduate Cheyenne Waldeis. It is my privilege to announce that the WYAA will be granting to Cheyenne an additional $500 scholarship for her second year of studies at CSCC.

Allow me to introduce the finalists for the 2019 WYAA scholarship:

Kadiatou Amadou returned to the United States from living in Senegal, with no knowledge of English. She overcame this language barrier through hard work, perseverance, and dedication, all the while maintaining a near-perfect GPA. She plans to attend Columbus State Community College to study Nursing.

Demez Denson has experienced and overcome some personal adversity of his own, yet has kept a strong focus on his goals of maintaining good grades while helping to support his family. He plans to use his skills in art to pursue a degree in Graphic Design at Columbus State.

Gustavo Guijosa came to Whitehall from Chicago for his junior year, and he is one of only a handful of seniors who earned the Ohio Seal of Biliteracy (showing proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in both English and Spanish). He plans to study Cyber Security at Columbus State.

Originally, it was our intent to offer a $500 scholarship to the winner, and a $250 scholarship to the runner-up. However, thanks to the generosity of WYHS alums Michael Mazzi (Class of 1977), Scott Harrison (1978), and Anthony Jordan (2002), we are thrilled to announce that EACH of our three finalists will receive $500 towards their continued education!"

L - R:  Allie Bradley, CSCC representative; Cheyenne Waldeis, 2018; Ed Kowalski, 1982; Kadiatou Amadou, Demez Denson & Gustavo Guijosa.  

L - R:  Ed Kowalski, 1982; Joyce Hildenbrand Turnbull, 1969; Demez Denson, Kadiatou Amadou, Gustavo Guijosa.  Allie Bradley, CSCC representative.

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Michelle Hall Drennen, 1970, presented the Ernest & Luella Compton Memorial Scholarship @ the Senior Awards Ceremony.  This scholarship has been awarded since the 1980's; but Rams who graduated after 1973 didn't know Mrs. Compton, one of WYHS original teachers, guidance counselor & student council advisor.  Below is Michelle's wonderful speech about Mrs. Compton. 

"Good Evening.  I’m Michele (Hall) Drennen & I’m a proud graduate of Whitehall-Yearling High School, Class of 1970.  I’m here to present “The Ernest B and Luella E Compton Memorial Scholarship”.  This annual scholarship is given to outstanding Whitehall-Yearling senior scholars. 

Mrs. Compton was a Whitehall-Yearling Teacher, Guidance Counselor & Student Council advisor from 1957 - 1973.  Her influence was world-wide.  She established Whitehall-Yearling’s “Code of Ethics”.  She worked with the Student Council to adopt a Vietnamese child.  She also developed a drive to provide dictionaries for a school in Ethiopia.

I was fortunate to be a student @ Whitehall-Yearling when Mrs. Compton was our Student Council Advisor.  She had very strict rules about behavior, effort, accomplishment & striving for excellence.  Many Whitehall alumni remember that even though she was tough, she brought out the best in us.  

I grew up on Broadhurst Drive & came from a very dysfunctional family.  I spent a lot of time at school just to be away from my home & horrific life.  I am grateful for the impact Mrs. Compton had on my life because she encouraged me to join Student Council.  She selected me to be in our Student Council’s Flag Pageant @ the Juvenile Officer’s Conference in Chicago.  I think that honor may have saved my life by giving me hope. 

Mrs. Compton donated her entire estate to fund this memorial scholarship for future Whitehall-Yearling students.  Today, her light continues to shine on our 21stCentury Rams!    

I’m proud to introduce & award the 2019 Ernest B & Luella E Compton Memorial Scholarship of $1,600 to: Tajai Walters."  Tajai was recognized for several student awards, including perfect attendance! 

Michelle Hall Drennen & Tajai Walters, 2019 recipient of the "Ernest & Luella Compton Memorial Scholarship".  



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