Not even after Alicia Green connected with her roots, she disconnected from her hairstyle.
“Choice to reduce off my relaxed or permanently straightened hair and grow my natural-Afro textured hair,” the senior at De Anza High school graduation said.
Far at a new fad, Green said the dramatic change was linked with her studies within the African Diaspora, which offered her “a representation and representation of my true self.” It turned out a bold statement opposing the pressures young black women face inside the U.S. that you follow European standards.
“It is really not my own responsibility for making others at ease with my blackness,” Green decided.
The impressive teenager delivered these along with powerful remarks on Wednesday along at the 16th Annual Chevron Richmond Black History Awareness Celebration, where she was among four seniors to have college scholarships from Chevron.
The scholarships were awarded honoring Dr. William F. King, a distinguished Chevron employee of 27-plus years who retired in 2003 and became a mentor, community activist and educator.
Green, a top student, says her dedication to education, including an exam of her Jamaican and Nigerian roots, helped to make her eligible to sign up for top universities. Most importantly, she says, your journey has given her a chance to love herself.
“I have faith that I’ve got an increased measure of pride and confidence attributable to my cultures,” Green said. “Whenever i evaluate the idea that the majority of my ancestors needed to fight for the ideal to have an education, I must be certain that their efforts and struggles had not been useless.”
The three other winners in the Chevron Black History scholarships are equally impressive.
Leaje Morris, a senior at Making Waves Academy, could be the Chairperson within the Area of Richmond Youth Commission, a team of Richmond students who definitely are trying to end hunger and homelessness in Richmond. She actually is also captain from the varsity volleyball team, president of youth development in the Independent Community Church and founder and president on the Black Student Union at her school, among other considerations.
In college, Morris offers to continue her studies in African American Diaspora, by using a minor in Political Science.? After earning an undergraduate degree she hopes to attend law school at Harvard. The Chevron scholarship, Morris said, forwards her goal of “sooner or later having the capacity to help other students become successful equally all of you have helped me to.”
Ergin Calderon of Richmond High plays about the varsity football team, guides and mentors freshmen, is a member of robotics and electronic bike team and likewise hands out food for the homeless and poor at St. Marks Catholic Church.
Robert Ford of Middle College School is president on the leadership group at school, leads team bonding and drills to your U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps., is active in youth government and volunteers at Sojourner Food Bank.
As for Green, she’s got a 4.1 GPA while balancing her duties as the youth mentor, tutor, and group leader at Genders Unite, among other considerations.
Monica Sudduth, regional director in the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), spoke at Wednesday’s celebration regarding the incredible importance of helping minority students obtain quality, affordable school.
Sudduth said John D. Rockefeller helped raise initial funds for UNCF’s programs to aid students at historically black colleges, which she says graduate 20-percent of black students, including more graduates of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects than other schools combined. She expressed the necessity of handling companies such as Chevron to graduate blacks in STEM fields so they may be eligible for jobs of the future.
“Gaps in entry to education can be a confusing problem today,” Sudduth said. “Commemorate the effort of UNCF much tougher and support from Chevron that much more important.”