The New York Alumni Kappa League held its annual Student of the Year Pageant on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 at Salem United Methodist Church in Harlem. Despite a fierce effort in advertising the pageant to high school seniors, only two students participated. That, however, didn’t stop the event from being a wonderful afternoon in which two of our brightest young scholars of today displayed their intellect and talents.
Amongst the audience were parents, members of New York Alumni, members of Harlem Children’s Zone and members from Salem United Methodist Church. Brother Sean Carswell served as the master of ceremonies for the 3rd year in a row and brothers Mike Hatcher, Julian Bobb and Jose Zenon served as the judges. Brother Andrew Johnson opened up the program with a musical selection and former NYA Polemarch Mark Skeete gave the welcome address, afterwards the contestants commenced with illustrating their talent.
JaVaughn Williams, a senior at Thurgood Marshall Academy located in Harlem, NY, was named the pageants winner, and took home the $1,000 scholarship provided by the New York Alumni Foundation. Since enrolling into Thurgood Marshall Academy, JaVaughn has maintained a 93.28 GPA. His favorite classes are Science, Math, History, and Mentoring in Medicine. JaVaughn aspires to attend Harvard, Yale or Emmanuel to pursue a career as a neurologist. His extra-curricular activities include; Football, for the Harlem Jets, National Honor Society and SGA.
Karamoko was named First Runner Up and took home the $500 scholarship provided by the New York Alumni Chapter. Karamoko is from the Ivey Coast of Africa and moved to New York January 2012. During his interview, Karamoko told an inspiring story if his transition from Africa to American. The biggest highlight was when he taught himself English in order to set himself up for success. Since enrolling in Harlem Children’s Zone, Karamoko has maintained a 90.31 GPA and has been involved in SGA, in which he visited Washington, DC for a conference and received an internship with a State Senator. His favorite class is History and aspires to pursue a career in Political Science.
Brother Russell Morgan, the pageant’s director, was very pleased with the overall outcome of the event. He expected there to be more contestants, but felt the two students that participated gave it their all. Guide Right Chairman, Brother Shamel Duncan gave remarks and stated, look to the left, now look to the right. The people, who needed to be here, are here with you today. Brother Duncan encouraged both contestants to share their experience with their peers. Brother Duncan also presented Brother Morgan with a certificate of Appreciation for his service and commitment as the Director of the Student of the Year Pageant as well as Brother Kareem Joshua for his role as the Assistant Director.