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HomeStudent Scholarships 2019


Iota Phi Foundation provides scholarships each school year to deserving African-American high school graduating seniors who demonstrates academic excellence. These scholarship are merit based and awarded during our Achievement Awards Dinner. Each of the scholarship recipients receive a plaque and $2,000 towards attending the college or university of their choice. Since 1984, over 180 young African-American men and women have received scholarships totaling more than $370,000.

Congratulation to our 2019 Scholarship Recipients
    Bios are sequenced to align with recipients left to right.Mr. Kenneth Minefield, scholarship chairman, is center.

2019 Scholarship Recipients

Cecil Price, III is a senior at Barack Obama Academy of International Studies. He has a 4.0 GPA and scored 1030 on his SAT. He currently serves as President of the student body and President of PPS African American Center for Advanced Studies. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Young Citizen Award 2019. He is a member of the National Honor Society and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Urban Academy. He plans on attending the University of Pennsylvania, Howard University, or the University of Pittsburgh to major in business or political science.

Carlyton James Matthews is a senior attending Tolatr Academy. He has a 4.0 GPA and scored 1170 on his SAT. He is currently taking classes at CCAC and has maintained a 3.9 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He plans on attending Penn State University, American University or the University of Pittsburgh and plans to major in Political Science or Philosophy. He wants to use his talents to give back to the community to inspire other young students to achieve their full potential.

Amaris Smith is a senior at West Mifflin High School. She has a 3.96 GPA and scored 1150 on her SAT. She is a member of the National Honor Society and holds the office of Secretary & Treasurer. She is the captain of the Cheerleader Squad and is a member of the indoor & outdoor track teams. She plans on attending Howard University to major in Political Science or Pre-Law and then attend law school.

Aliyah Holland is a senior at Perry Traditional Academy. She has a 3.59 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, ranked 3rd in her graduating class. She is currently working two part-time jobs and going to school. She is a captain on the school volleyball team and also a member of the ROTC program. She plans on attending the University of Pittsburgh or Indiana University of PA, majoring in nursing or psychology.


Caleb Nesbit is a senior at Barack Obama Academy. He has a 3.94 GPA and scored 1230 on his SAT. He is a trombonist & drum major for his high school marching band. He serves as the Vice President for his senior class and serves as the President of the Youth & Government Club. He also participates in the Journey to Medicine Mentorship Program for African American male students interested in the medical field. He plans on attending the University of Maryland or Howard University.

Karson Alexander Kennedy (not shown) is a senior at Central Catholic High School. He has a 3.95 GPA and scored 1210 on his SAT. He served as a group leader on his football team. He is a member of the Black Student Union, Culture Club, FBLA, and Dignity & Respect Club. He is a graduate of Black Male Leadership Development & Allegheny County Camp Cadet Program. He is a member of Mount Ararat Baptist Church and Investing NOW at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a 2019 Shayne Award Honoree for Leadership.


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2018 Scholarship Recipients

Makayla Washington
 is a senior at Seneca Valley Senior High School. She has a 3.8 GPA and scored 32 on her ACT.  Her passions include formal ballet and volunteering with numerous non-profit organizations.  Her academic and career aspirations are to pursue studies in the field of Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Neuroscience.  She’s not certain as to the specific focus within the medical and science fields related to Biomedical Engineering; however, she would like to become a medical scientist and researcher or possibly attend medical school. She is interested in attending University of Kentucky, Miami University of Ohio or William & Mary University.

Domenique Ross is a senior dance major at Pittsburgh Public Schools, Creative and Performing Arts High School (CAPA). She has a 3.88 GPA and scored 1080 on the SAT. She was inducted into the National Honor Society and National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Domenique has made exceptional contributions to her school community and her local community. She is the Vice President of Pittsburgh Public Schools, African American Center for Advance Studies. She is an active member with CAPA’s Black Student Union, University of Pittsburgh Investing Now Program, STEM and Female Empowerment Mission. She is a member of Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh. She plans to attend Howard University in the fall of 2019 and major in Dance with a minor in Physical Therapy.

Laela Lumsden is senior at Northgate High school. She has maintain 3.7 GPA and scored 1000 on SAT.  She also has a secondary set of studies at Beatty Technical School where she will graduate with a license in cosmetology. She has competed in Ballet, African Dance & Ballroom competitions. She was a finalist twice and an honorable mention in the Pittsburgh Public Theater Shakespeare Competition.  Laela was a competitor in the August Wilson Competition, where she was mentored by Bill Nunn and Denzel Washington.  She placed 2nd and went on to compete nationally in New York City.  Laela was also a first place winner in the local Poetry Out Loud contest.  Laela is a junior member of City Council in Avalon where she lives. She is interested in attending Point Park University, Bowie State University or Howard University and plans on majoring in Theater Arts.

Khari Smith is senior at Penn Hills High School. He maintain a 4.0 GPA and scored 1310 on the SAT. He was in the top 3% of his graduation class. He is a member of the National Honor Society. He was a contestant on Hometown High School Quiz and participate in varsity sports year round for 4 years. He is currently working as an intern at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center as Biology & Chemistry Lab Assistant. He is interested in attending University of Maryland, Drexel University or University of Pittsburgh and plans on majoring in Biomedical Engineering.


Marshall McArthur is a senior at Penn Hills Senior High School where he’s maintained a 4.0+ GPA and scored 1310 on SAT. He is the Valedictorian of his class, he is a member of National Honors Society, has been a member of the Basketball and Page-turners teams for the past 4 years. He has participate in math & computer competitions since the 10th grade. He volunteer’s at his church as a youth leader. He is interested in attending University of Pittsburgh, University of Penn, Boston University or Ohio University and plans on majoring in Computer Science.

Jayden Thomas is a senior at Uniontown Area High School. He has maintain 4.0 GPA throughout his 4 years of high school. He scored 1120 on his SAT. He is senior class President and is a three-time varsity track and field letterman. He is a member of the National Honor Society, PA Junior Academy of Science, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Student Council, and Student Forum. Jayden plans on attending Indiana University of PA where he will major in Marketing and be a member of the track and field.

 2017 Scholarship Recipients

 2016 Scholarship Recipients

Liza Wilson attends Oakland Catholic High School, where she has maintained Highest Honor Roll and participated in rowing since her freshman year. She is a co-founder of Oakland's Black Student Union, JOA Scholar and Student Ambassador . Liza is also a leadership council member of GirlGov, a program that educates young women about politics and intersectional feminism. Liza hopes to attend American University to study Culture, Language, Politics, or Global Economy.
Alexander Nichols, IV is a senior at Deer Lakes High School in Cheswick, PA. He is an Honor Student and a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. Alexander is also a member of the Varsity Basketball team. In his spare time, he tutors and participates in fundraising activities. Alexander plans to attend a four year university in the fall of 2017.
Jordan E. Scott is a senior at West Mifflin Area High School. He has maintained high honor roll status during his time in high school. He's on the golf and track teams, a School Board Representative, a member of the National Honors Society, Spanish and Creative Writing Clubs. Outside of school, he is the Vice President of the Teen Board of Directors for Educating Teens about HIV and AIDS and is a 2016 Urban League National Achievers Society inductee. He intends to pursue Electrical Engineering in college.
Caiden Cook attends Beaver Falls High School where he lettered in Football and basketball. He's a part of Beaver County Teen Leadership Program, Youth Ambassadors Program, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Black Lives Matters Club, National Honor Society, Gifted Program, and Varsity Club. He plans on attending a four year university and majoring in Biology, Chemistry,
or Biochemistry.
Chanel Curges attends CAPA High School. She is a music enthusiast with nine years' experience as a saxophonist. She also has grown a strong love for math and science from the Summer Engineering Experience Program. Chanel is a self-taught beautician who strives for positive image and women empowerment. Her commitment has afforded her opportunities like induction into the National Honors Society and special invitation to meet the First Family. She values strong work ethic and treating others with respect.

Year Name High School Desired Major College
2015 Tyler Coleman Winchester Thurston HS Engineering Stanford University
2015 Ronae Jones Capa High School Forensic Psychology Clark-Atlanta University
2015 Kareem Simpson Central Catholic HS Chemical Engineering Ohio State
2015 Madison Ware Ellis School Business Administration Duquesne University
2015 Taylor Williams Plum Boro HS Broadcast Journalism Syracuse University
2014 Rieko Copeland Capa High School International Relations
2014 Cierra Fontenot The Miss Porter Boarding School International Relations Columbia University
2014 Natalie Heywood Winchester Thurston HS Psychology University of Cinncinati
2014 Jade Reese Penn Hills High School Sports Journalism Youngstown State
2014 Todd Sekowski West Mifflin High School Business Alderson Broaddus University
2013 William Gadson McKeesport High School Gannon University
2013 Carly Heywood Winchester Thurston HS Fashion Design Parson School of New Design
2013 Micheal Harrell Baldwin High School Penn State
2013 Kendall Luton Quaker Valley Engineering North Carolina Chapel Hil
2013 Kristina Lewis Penn Hills High School Michain State
2012 Brittany McMillian Washington High School Seton Hill University
2012 Tristan Day Carrick High School Howard University
2012 Hassan Howze City Charter High School
2012 Melissa Privette Trinty Christian High School University of Pittsburgh
2012 Eric Scott Imani Christian Academy
2011 Dera Still McKeesport High School Chatam College
2011 Simone Coleman Shadyside Academy
2011 Jordan Edmunds Central Catholic High School
2011 Malik Simpson Central Catholic High School North Carolina Central University
2011 Gavin Sandidge Central Catholic High School North Carolina A&T
2010 Amber Kendrick Central Valley High School Robert Morris University
2010 LaRae Burress Capa High School Edinboro University
2010 Jordon Garth North Hills High School Georgia Institue of Technology
2010 Kufere Laing Central Catholic High School Temple University
2010 Ira Ritter 111 Central Catholic High School Slippery Rock University
2009 Alema Heywood Winchester Thurston HS Bowling Green University
2009 Naomi Ritter Capa High School Duquense University
2009 Shavon Anderson Gateway High School Howard University
2009 Kenneth Griffin Schenley High School Penn State
2009 Malik Johnson Central Catholic High School Engineering Robert Morris University
2008 Bianca Tyler Schenley High School Duke University
2008 Stephanie Pace Penn Hills High School Howard University
2008 Eric Dingess Sewickley Academy University of Pittsburgh
2008 Jamayah Sharif Penn Hills High School Cheyene University
2008 Bakari Thompson Northside Urban Pathways Califora University of PA
2007 Rhonda Dinkins Schenley High School Temple University
2007 Rayshawn Pritchard Oliver High School Robert Morris University
2007 Keith Clark Jr. Woodland Hills High School North Carolina A&T
2007 Isaiah Smith Capa High School Music Point Park
2007 Jamika Williams Oliver High School Penn State
2006 Alicia Bey Woodland Hills High School Slippery Rock University
2006 Crystal Daughtry City Charter High School Eastern University
2006 Teresa Green Career Connection Charter HS University of Pittsburgh
2006 James McNeil Schenley High School Penn State
2006 Cara Scott Boyce Middle College HS Fashion Art Institue of Pittsburgh