Fifty-five years ago a committee at-large including Dr. Helen Faison was established on July 22, 1963. Each person was to raise at least $200 by Aug. 12, 1963. Marion Jordan, along with Florence Reizenstein and Rabbi Harold Silver, the founding president of NEED (Negro Education Emergency Drive) all set out in earnest, selling the idea to anyone who would listen. Since that time NEED has grown to provide scholarship assistance to a small group of high school students into a nationally-recognized college access program, sending over 31,000 deserving young people by providing nearly $35.4 million in grants. Annually, NEED awards over $1 million in scholarships and grants to local students.
On March 22, at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Hotel, NEED celebrated 55 years and 55 students who will receive grants and scholarships during the 2018-2019 school year. NEED president and CEO, Dr. Marcia M. Sturdivant, said, “for many of our students college seems like more of a dream than a reality due to social and financial barriers that exist. However with their ambition, our assistance and our funders’ support we can turn those dreams into a real opportunity for a brighter future.”
With Dr. Quintin Bullock, Community College of Allegheny County president as honorary dinner chair, Wrenna Watson as vice chair, NEED Board of Directors and KDKA’s Bob Allen as Master of Ceremonies, more than 600 guests enjoyed an inspiring evening that included the Sto-Rox High School Marching Band, the Hill District Dance Academy and a moving Keynote address from NEED Alumna Lashon Blackwell. The evening concluded with a check for $50,000 presented to NEED by Highmark. Mark Nyarko, Vice President of Operational Performance, presented the check. The funds will be dedicated to the annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Tour. The annual HBCU tour left the weekend following the dinner.
Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier