BY C.S. HOWARD
Seated (first row): John Francois, Bobby Davis, Sr., scholarship recipients Joshua Williams, Kaci Newsome, Christian Zanders and Thaddeus Johnson, and Ineda Edwards. Second row: Dr. Felecia Jett, Linda Byrd, Deborah Hutchinson, Mary Brown, Lionel Wooten, Leslie Harrell and
The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Teamsters National Black Caucus sponsored its third annual Scholarship Awards Program on Sunday, July 9th at St. Paul Baptist Church in Bradenton. Three $1,000.00 scholarships and five $500.00 scholarships were presented to graduating seniors.
The Teamsters National Black Caucus (TNBC) is an organization of black Teamster men and women, who are united by their special concerns for rights and conditions of workers. Working within the framework of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Constitution, the TNBC seeks to address pressing issues confronting black workers ranging from increased participation to outreach to the African-American community and other communities of color. The goal of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter is to serve and be a resource for the youth in the community. To date, approximately $60,000.00 has been presented to local students.
The scholarship awards program was supported by MOSAIC, a Pepsico employee resource group in Bradenton whose company is Tropicana. MOSAIC is a mentoring program that aims to help minority students become more college and career ready. Their mission is to support continued growth of Pepsico by making a positive impact on the careers of African American employees and the communities in which they conduct business . Scholarship were presented to some of the students in Mosaic Academy.
The keynote message was given by Rev. James Roberts who talked to the students about having a solid foundation. “Life is a process, so build your life on a solid foundation. Jesus is that foundation. Have a strong faith and trust in God, be honest; and live a holy life. All of these are important in building a strong foundation.” The challenge to graduates was given by Elder Jesse H. Smalley who encouraged the students with his life story and told them they could win even in unfavorable situations. “Despite how difficult your situation, there’s not much that you cannot overcome,” he said.
The Gulf Coast Chapter has been in existence for about 15 years. Its main fundraiser is their annual banquet in March. Local officers are Ineda Edwards, president; Bobby Davis, Sr., vice president, Velma Carr, recording secretary, Deborah Hutchinson, assistant secretary, and Larry Dupree, treasurer. Trustees are Debra Robinson, Anthony Harrell and Johnnie Sloan.