BBC Honors Local High Students, Awards Scholarships

The Benjamin Banneker Chapter recently presented two scholarship awards of $500 each to local students who are graduating high school and attending college in the fall.

GSA’s Benjamin Banneker Chapter has given scholarships to local students for over five years. This year, the chapter has a new scholarship because our treasurer Renita Townsend-Nowlin, a recent GSA retiree, made a substantial donation to be given out over a five-year period. The scholarship is named in honor of her beloved aunt, Thelma Patsy Nartey Clinton, who passed away last year.

The chapter also provided Achievement Awards and gift cards to two students at Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts (RWPCS). BBC has adopted the school and provides different contributions to the school whether in the form of volunteerism or monetary support.

A few weeks ago, several chapter members volunteered to critique students defending their senior papers, a graduation requirement. Helen Compton-Harris, RWPCS outreach, planning and development director and valedictorian Davon Harris attended the ceremony.

One of the scholarship recipients was Kamilah M. Coleman, a daughter of former BBC President Kevin M. Coleman, a management program analyst, and his wife Durriyah Coleman.

The other recipient was Kyndal B Harrison, a daughter of procurement analyst Kimberly Harrison and her husband Dennis who also works at GSA.

BIG National Executive Vice President Shirley Jones, Esq., was the keynote speaker. She discussed the history of Blacks in Government. Jones is managing associate general counsel, a Senior Executive Service (SES) member, at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Jones believes strongly in BIG’s mission. She’s served in a variety of leadership positions including Region XI Council President (2012-2015), National Legal Review Committee Chair (2009-2012), and GAO-USACE BIG Chapter President (2005-2008), amongst several other national, regional, and chapter positions.

Jones considers herself both an employee advocate and a career development trainer. In her advocacy role, she has twice had the opportunity to testify before Congress on diversity in the government’s SES and the impact of pay for performance on employee morale, in 2007 and 2008 respectively. From 2009-2012, while serving as BIG’s National Legal Review Committee Chair, Jones worked with rebuilding BIG’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Institute. In 2009, she developed recommendations and wrote the first EEO advocacy paper sent to Congress from BIG since the mid 1990s.


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