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United Way of West TN Announces the Dr. Barbara Jones Educational Empowerment for Young Women Scholarship Recipient

Rikkila Taylor from Stanton, TN has been selected as the recipient of the Dr. Barbara Jones Educational Empowerment for Young Women Scholarship. Last year, we partnered with Dr. Barbara Jones from the Weakley County Reconciliation Project to establish a scholarship for one African American female student seeking financial assistance to attend a four-year college or university. This $50,000 fund will take effect at the beginning of fall this year.

Taylor will be graduating from Haywood County High School with a 3.79 GPA and plans to attend Clark Atlanta University to study Biology. During her time in high school, she has been a member of the Basketball Cheer Team, as well as HOSA, DECA, Beta Club, and Prodigy; served as the Student Council President and Senior Class Vice President; and is Haywood County High School’s 2022 Football Homecoming Queen.

“I am so happy for Rikkila and what her future holds,” said Dr. Barbara Jones. “It was an honor to award this young, dedicated leader with this scholarship. May it serve her well as she furthers her education.”

Taylor enters college with several completed dual enrollment credit hours, which will assist her as she pursues a vocational career as a nurse practitioner or psychiatrist.

All scholarship applicants needed to reside in West TN and maintain a B average or above throughout high school. After completing the initial application, three academic/character references and a personal essay that includes a statement of financial need and college aspirations were also required. A five-member advisory committee comprised of community and WCRP members selected the recipient. United Way will annually distribute tuition payments to the recipient’s college or university of choice.

“Education is one of United Way of West TN’s key organizational pillars, so we are thrilled to assist Dr. Jones in this process of blessing such an outstanding young lady,” said Matt Marshall, United Way’s President/CEO. “We wish Rikkila all the best and are confident that she will excel in her studies and life overall.”

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