Black Crow Media announced and celebrated the winners of the 15th Annual Black History Scholarship Essay contest this afternoon, with the help of community partners such as the title sponsor, Cass Burch. Andreas Anderson, of Lanier County, was the overall winner and recipient of a $2,000 scholarship check. Maggie Tarpley, Valdosta High School, was the runner-up and received a scholarship of $1,150, and Ekshya Katawal, Lowndes High School, was the second runner-up, receiving $750.
This year’s topic asked high school seniors to read Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech “I have a Dream” and then analyze what parts of the dream they feel have come to fruition and what still needs to be realized. Meet the winners and then read their essays!
Andreas “Dre” Anderson
Dre Anderson is a senior at Lanier High School and is the first Lanier student to win in the 15 year history of the scholarship contest. Aside from concentrating on his classes, Dre is also involved in football, weight lifting and fishing. He has achieved Academic Honors all four years of High School, including the Highest Math GPA and Highest English GPA. He was inaugurated as a member of the first Leadership Lanier Youth
Class of 2020, as well as being named a three-time All Academic Scholar Athlete in Region 1-A Football and two-time Farm Bureau Defensive Player of the Week. He plans on attending the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY to major in veterinary science, with a plan to open his own veterinary office one day.
When asked his thoughts on analyzing Dr. King’s speech, he responded, “Analyzing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech reinforces the ideas that those changes Dr. King envisioned are still in progress since the presentation of his speech. Racism has become more subtle in nature, but yet still prevalent. We still have countless trials to face before we can come within an inch of what Dr. King imagined not only for minorities, but this nation as a whole.”
Mary Margaret “Maggie” Tarpley
Maggie Tarpley is a senior at Valdosta High School and juggles a full load of classes with activities including Varsity Sideline Cheer, Batgirl, Beta Club, Sigma Delta Theta sorority, Leadership Lowndes Youth, Synovus Bank Student Board, First United Methodist Church Shepherd and The Loft Contemporary Singer. Maggie is a Georgia Merit Scholar, in the VSU Honors College and is an Ayn Rand Essay Winner. She has been early accepted to the University of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, and Valdosta State University. She plans on majoring in psychology and pursuing a Doctorate in the field with the goal of becoming a school psychologist.
When asked her thoughts on analyzing Dr. King’s speech, she responded, “When we celebrate MLK day, we celebrate his “I Have a Dream” speech and all of his many contributions to equality in our country. This essay has allowed me to realize that although our country has certainly achieved some of MLK’s dreams, we have a long way to go, concerning social justice and systemic racism in many of our institutions.”
Ekshya Katawal is a senior at Lowndes High School. Her interests include Science Club, Science Olympiads, Health Occupations Students of America,drawing, painting and working at Chick-fil-A. Her honors over the last four years include being a Governors Honor Program alumnae and being a top ten student in her class. She has been accepted at the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, UNC Chapel Hill, the University of Florida and Georgia College with applications being considered at Vanderbilt, Emory, and Duke. She plans to major in biology and then pursue a career in medicine.
When asked her thoughts on analyzing Dr. King’s speech, she responded, “……..
Black Crow Media would also like to thank the following community partners for making the scholarship essay contest possible: Cass Burch, Crunch Fitness, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, Mr. B’s Marketplace, Peaceway CMS, Pepsi, Piggly Wiggly, Ella’s Top Corral, Wiregrass Technical College, Mediacom, Law’s Furniture, and Berrien Taxes & More.