Westside legacy group awards scholarships

Published 9:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2024

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The Isle of Wight Training School/Westside High School Legacy Group recently honored its 2024 scholarship recipients with a Scholarship Luncheon Program at Dock of the Bay II in Carrollton.

Each year this scholarship is given to one or more high school senior from Smithfield High School and/or Windsor High School to honor an alumnus of either the Isle of Wight Training School or Westside High School, former educator, or community leader who impacted its legacy in some way.  

This year the group honored the legacy of legendary football coach Phillip Smith III. Smith was Head Football coach at Westside High School from 1963 to 1968 where he set winning records that still stand today.  He was named Coach of the Year in 1965, 1967 and 1968.  The Westside Seahawks captured scores totaling more than 100 points on two occasions during his tenure.

As a part of the application process each applicant had to write a 250-500-word essay that listed their academic goals, as well as their life’s ambitions.  Proof of acceptance at a two- or four-year college or vocational career training program had to eventually be presented prior to receiving their scholarship check payable to their respective college/training program.

The five following recipients each received a $1,000 scholarship.

Chinazaekpere Agbasi, daughter of Obiora and Chinonyelum Agbasi,  attends Smithfield High  and will attend Old Dominion University this fall, where she will major in chemistry and pre-ded to eventually become a pediatrician.

Lailah Collins, also of Smithfield High, is the daughter of Lamont and Takelia Collins. She will attend North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, majoring in art with the goal of becoming an entrepreneur.

La’Desha Warren of Windsor High is the daughter of Earl and Lakitia Warren.  She will attend Norfolk State University to study biomedical science.

Keaera Kea-Towns, also of Windsor High, is the daughter of Christopher Towns Sr. and LaTisha Kea.  Kea-Towns will be attending  North Carolina A&T State University to major in mechanical engineering.

Destiny Robinson, also of Windsor High, is the daughter of Robert and Ellen Robinson. She plans to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., to major in biochemistry.

The IWTS/WHS Legacy Group Inc. is a nonprofit foundation that was established April 2, 2018.  It is a spinoff of the IWTS/WHS Reunion Committee.

It started as a subcommittee charged with looking into raising funds for scholarships in recognition of the legacy of segregated education in Isle of Wight County.  Funds have been raised via contributions from IWTS/Westside alumni, family members who attended, contributions made in lieu of flowers for deceased family members/friends and from Legacy members working during the various SmithfieldVA Events held at Windsor Castle Park.

The nonprofit has awarded $25,000 in scholarships to 25 graduates from Smithfield and Windsor high schools since its founding.

Contributions to next year’s scholarship fund can be made to IWTS/WHS Legacy Group Inc., P.O. Box 279, Carrollton, VA 23314. For more information, email iwts.whslegacy@gmail.com.