What began nearly seventy-eight years ago as a small group of African-American mothers in Philadelphia who brought their own children together for social and cultural activities, Jack & Jill of America Inc., has grown into a vibrant national organization positively impacting the lives of youth in more than 200 communities across the nation. The members of the Jacksonville Chapter of Jack & Jill, formed in 1968 and currently composed of sixty families, have taken their legacy of service seriously, awarding over $30,000 in scholarships to deserving local high school and college students seeking to major in pharmacy or STEM fields of study.
“Nurturing the development of our children into tomorrow’s leaders continues to be a key mission of Jack & Jill and is the impetus behind all that we do,” according to Patricia Sams, a human resource professional and President of Jack & Jill’s Jacksonville Chapter. “Several years ago we asked ourselves how we could make our programming more relevant and impactful to today’s youth. Fortunately, our membership is comprised of professional mothers who are, not only aware of the ever changing dynamics and needs in the business world, but also keenly attuned to the needs of children.”
The 21st century demand for skilled workers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as the arts (STEAM), has become closely linked to global competiveness and influenced the academic focus of students. Kimberly Brooks Hall, an engineer, former legacy member and former chair of the Jacksonville Chapter’s Scholarship Committee expresses concern that “not enough young people are being inspired about interest in STEM. Therefore, it is not surprising that statistics clearly support a lack of gender and ethnic diversity of students entering STEM educational programs; a development which consequently presents challenges later for minority and women college graduates seeking careers in the sciences.”
The Jacksonville Chapter is seeking high school student applicants from NE Florida (in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau or St Johns counties) interested in applying for the L.E.A.D. (Leaders Emerging As Dreamers) Scholarship. This is for those who seek to major more broadly in a STEM-related field of study. Scholarships ranging between $1,000-$1,500 will be awarded to students who meet the criteria and aim to positively impact the community.
Interested students may submit scholarship applications to the Jacksonville Chapter from January 23, 2017 to March 27, 2017. Additional information on the L.E.A.D. Scholarship (STEM) may be obtained by contacting the scholarship committee of the Jacksonville Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. (c/o Mrs. Tonya Pearson, chairperson @ firstname.lastname@example.org)
LEAD Scholarship Flyer
Lead Scholarship Application 2017