BEL ALTON, Md. —The Bel Alton High School Alumni Association (BAHSAA) proudly announces the scholarship recipients of its first annual scholarship program. Each recipient was awarded a $500 scholarship for the 2022 academic year.
The awardees are (1) Anayah West from Westlake High School/freshman at University of Maryland Eastern Shore; (2) Devin Little from North Point High School/freshman at Fayetteville State University; (3) Aliyah Thompson from Westlake High School/freshman at North Carolina A&T State University; and (4) Brionna Murray a sophomore at Coppin State University.
The scholarship program was established to honor BAHSAA’s founding members who saved the school from being demolished in the late 1980s, completed restoration of the building in 2008, and operated a community center at the site until 2015.
Matt Wills, Chair of the BAHSAA, said, “I am so proud of our founding members because, under the leadership of former Chair Joan V. Jones, they saved an important part of Black cultural history in Charles County.”
In an effort to preserve, promote and share that cultural history, each applicant had to write a short essay on the historical importance of Bel Alton High School. The school was built in 1938 for the ‘colored’ children of Charles County and closed in 1966 when County schools were integrated. The Bel Alton High School building is the only fully intact Historically Black High School building in Charles County.
Wills said, “We were very impressed with these young students and hope that our scholarships will help them to defray the cost of pursuing their educational goals. They all had good grades, a record of community service, and are registered voters. We wish them the best and hope that they and their families will help us to share the history of Bel Alton High School.”
Wills thanks the BAHSAA Scholarship Committee and everyone who donated to the scholarship program, to include, Selby’s Food Services, the Charles County NAACP, Thornton’s Funeral Home, and the Charles County Sheriff’s office.
The members of the 2022 BAHSAA Scholarship Committee are Joyce M. Brown, Joseph Johnson, Wanda Wills Woodland, Mary E. Whalen, and Matt Wills.