By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Back on Aug. 1, Helping Young People Excel (HYPE) held its sixth award ceremony and awarded 14 area high school graduates with a $500 Best Buy gift card to purchase their own laptop for their first year of college.
Normally before a graduating class heads off to college, HYPE holds an award banquet for the students to be recognized and presented their gifts. Then it is time for their next step on his or her educational journey. But the past two years, HYPE has done things virtually.
“We are so proud to let everyone know that to date, 85 high school graduates have been blessed with the technology that will help them succeed in their academic endeavors,” HYPE founder Ruthie Wilburn. “It was also a pleasure to have our friend Thomas Hayes on hand and we thank him for giving words of encouragement at the ceremony.
“To Pastor Darrell Scott and my Greenwood family, thank you for your support,” she added. “My dream of having a nonprofit started many years ago at Greenwood. Pastor John Smith, your partnership with HYPE has truly been a blessing. Pastor Adams, it has also been a blessing to have your support.”
HYPE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the support of local leaders like Millington’s Terry Roland and clergy started awarding prizes to local high school seniors in 2016.
In years past, a gala and award ceremony was held in Millington presenting the laptops to the winning students.
Helping Young People Excel has partnered with churches in the Arlington, Rosemark, Millington and Munford areas as a Community Outreach Scholarship Program. HYPE was created to award a new laptop to deserving students who are entering their first year of college. Laptops were chosen for the scholarship because they are a tangible asset that will assist each student in reaching their academic goals.
“Last but not least, Rev. Bailey and Gus Gipson have been supporting HYPE from the beginning and we are truly thankful for you both,” Wilburn said. “And Commissioner Mills, I can’t leave you out. HYPE thanks you all for your encouragement, financial support and prayers because you all have helped to make HYPE what it is today.”
HYPE would like to introduce you all to our 2021 graduates: Trinity Brown, Kayla Carter, Aniya Taylor, Tymechie Anthony II, Kameron Jennings, Tia Frazier, Matthew Brown, Jace Lockhart, Kiara Fleming, Reginald Wall, Justin Eugene, Cameron Mack, Shamaiya Lemons and McKenzie Johnson.
“Faceback family and friends say a prayer for these young people,” Wilburn added. “They are taking their first steps into a journey that will make them leaders in our communities.”
Donations to HYPE can be sent to: HYPE, PO Box 1477, Millington, TN 38083 or go to https://hypetn16.org
For more information about this year’s event call 901-438-5831.