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Leading Ladies Luncheon a success

Leading Ladies

LEADING LADIES – The table sponsors from the Humboldt Leading Ladies Scholarship Luncheon gather around the four scholarship recepients while they hold their big checks (from left) Chelsea Wallick, Hannah Pankey, Jayanna Askew and Chandra McClinton. The young ladies left with additional funds after $2,125 extra dollars were donated during the event.

by ARIEL McRAE  |  Associate Editor

The sun was shining nearly as bright as four Humboldt Jr./Sr. High School ladies’ futures. Some of the most prominent women in Humboldt gathered in celebration of four students receiving well-deserved scholarships for their endeavors after graduation. The second Humboldt Leading Ladies Scholarship Luncheon was held at the HJSHS Thomas Ray Boykin Gymnasium last Thursday, April 13 from noon to 2 p.m.

The scholarships awarded during the program to the four young ladies were given with the intent to be used for whatever avenue the recipients decide to take into higher education after their impending May 2023 graduation.

Following a prepared lunch, the leading ladies in attendance turned their attention to Humboldt City Schools Superintendent Dr. Janice Epperson as she presented the facilitators, Marquita Patterson and Joan Smith, and passed the microphone to their capable hands as they directed the rest of the program.

Smith introduced the scholarship the four applicants, Jayanna Askew, Chandra McClinton, Chelsea Wallick and Hannah Pankey, to those gathered in support. Afterwards, she invited the speakers of the event one by one to impart some wisdom to the young women along their journey to becoming leading ladies themselves.

First to speak was Judy Fletcher. Fletcher and her husband, Gil, donated one of the scholarships in the amount of $500. She gave a speech on leadership and how to be a leader in life. Her scholarship went to Jayanna Askew.

Next was Kathleen Smith, a representative of the Crafty girls (ladies?), a Humboldt civic group. She was assigned the word perseverance to speak on during the event. In her speech, K. Smith delved into her own life and how she has had to persevere after the untimely passing of her beloved husband. She bravely told the young ladies that there was a time she did not see the need to continue on because she did not want to do this life on her own.

K. Smith said she has persevered with the help of friends and now, she was standing in front of them giving a speech when earlier she could not even leave

her house to go to the grocery store. She received a round of applause at the conclusion of her speech and facilitator, J. Smith told her the word she really touched on for the group was vulnerability.

Last in the line up for speeches was Donna Seymour, who was given the topic of character. Seymour stood in the middle of the floor and jokingly said she did not know she was going to present today so she searched Google for character descriptors. Everyone laughed and listened as she explained that character is ‘who you are’ and it defines your walk in the world.

After the speeches, the facilitators called the scholarship recipients up to the front one by one to receive their earnings via a large check in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000. The students stayed up front to address the crowd and inform them of their plans for after graduation. They will be

FACILITATORS – Joan Smith (left) and Marquita Patterson are two leading ladies of Humboldt that facilitated the Humboldt Leading Ladies Scholarship Luncheon. Smith is one of only nine commissioners on the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. Patterson currently serves as the first black city clerk of Humboldt. During the event, they introduced the speakers and the scholarship recipients as well as giving the purpose speech at the beginning of the event.

attending various colleges all with different goals for what they want their careers to be later on in life. The ladies were joined on stage by the table sponsors who funded the scholarships so they could congratulate them personally.

At the conclusion of the event, the leading ladies of Humboldt were not finished rewarding the girls for their achievements and more money was donated to their scholarship fund. Facilitator Patterson walked around the room from table to table gathering the additional funds. When the program finally concluded and everyone left with special memories, the money collected during the event was $2,125, which will be split among the scholarship recipients equally.

With the sun blaring and the students’ futures blazing with potential, the Humboldt Leading Ladies Scholarship Luncheon concluded another successful event. The luncheon will be taking a break year, but will be back in 2025 to bless more students with a bright path to success.

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