United Way West TN announces $50k scholarship for Haywood Co. student

JACKSON, Tenn. — United Way of West Tennessee announces Stanton’s Rikkila Taylor has been selected as the recipient of the Dr. Barbara Jones Educational Empowerment for Young Women Scholarship.

Rikkila Taylor and family with Dr. Barba Jones and United Way of West Tennessee President/CEO Matt Marshall – Courtesy: United Way of West Tennessee

A press release states in 2022, United Way of West Tennessee partnered with Dr. Jones from the Weakley County Reconciliation Project to establish the scholarship, which is for one African American female student seeking financial assistance to attend a four-year college or university. According to the release, the $50,000 fund will take effect at the beginning of Fall 2023.

“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 is expected to graduate from Haywood County High School with a 3.79 GPA, and plans to study biology at Clark Atlanta University. The release says during her time at Haywood County High, she’s been a member of the high school’s basketball cheer team, HOSA, DECA, Beta Club, and Prodigy. She was named the school’s 2022 Football Homecoming Queen, and also served as the Student Council President and Senior Class Vice President.

The release says Taylor has already completed several dual enrollment credit hours, which will assist her pursuit in a vocational career as a nurse practitioner or psychiatrist.

“Education is one of United Way of West Tennessee’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.”

Click here to learn more about the scholarship, or here for more information on United Way of West Tennessee.

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