SCHOLARSHIP: Front row L-R: Tony Gray, Sterling Wilkins, Malek Sims, Brandon Owens, Michael Verner, Darryl Williams, Alan Noel, Johnathan Brown, and Caleb Farmer. Back Row L-R: James Breedlove, Foundation President; Melvin Jackson, Even Chairman; Zeta Rho Chapter Baileus, Tony Collins, Shcoarship Chairman, and Arthur Butler; Foundation Direcotr of Education.
The Zeta Rho Foundation of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, held its annual Salute and Scholarship Program Banquet on June 12, 2009, at the beautiful California African-American Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
The event marked the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Zeta Rho Salute and Scholarship Program. The Salute event recognizes individuals, who have distinguished themselves in outstanding professional and community service, and awards scholarships to high school seniors. Salute Awards were presented in four categories – Scholarship, Perseverance, Manhood, and Uplift. This year Zeta Rho awarded $30,000 in scholarships to 10 deserving Black male high school senior scholars and Perseverance Scholarships to previous scholarship recipients who are continuing their college education. A new scholarship, The President’s Scholarship, was added this year for a student that distinguishes themselves in community service, academic performance, and support to Zeta Rho Foundation Programs.
Foundation members and Omega brothers and their guests traditionally gather on a Saturday evening in June prior to Father’s Day to celebrate the anniversary of the Salute and Scholarship Program. The standing theme of the Salute and Scholarship program is “Uplift of the African-American Male Through Education”. This quest for excellence for the African-American male has been the clarion call of the Zeta Rho charitable community programs.
The Zeta Rho Salute Awards this year honored four outstanding community and national leaders. They included Matthew M. Johnson, managing partner of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, a premier entertainment law firm; H. Keith Moo-Young, Dean of California State Los Angeles College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology; Abdi Ahmed, Founder of NetServe Systems, Inc.; and Wesley Sholes, Healthcare Professional and Advocate.
Matthew M. Johnson, as the Managing Partner of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, has been instrumental in representing some very high-profile clients including such names as Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Eddie Murphy and Forrest Whitaker. On top of a full schedule securing high-profile deals, he is very active in community work. He is Vice President of the Challenger’s Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors.
H. Keith Moo-Young is Dean of California State Los Angeles College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, and serves on numerous national advisory boards and professional societies. Dr Moo-Young developed an engineering, science and technology career awareness program for minority students called the VESTED-MENTOR Academy, is a board member of the acclaimed STAR Academy, and currently serves as PI for the nationally renowned Cal State MESA Center.
Abdi Ahmed built a very successful information technology company, NetServe Systems. He also is an adjunct professor of Computer Science at Chapman University. He has received numerous professional awards and is involved in various community-based organizations including the 100 Black Men of Orange County.
Wesley Sholes has spent his adult life in professional activities on social policy matters with emphasis on health care for the indigent and underserved. This has continued to be his focus since his retirement. He serves on numerous community health-focused boards, including the National Organization of Black County Officials (NOBCO), California Prostate Cancer Coalition (CPCC), SHO Housing Corporation Homeless Agency, Intercultural Cancer Coalition, and the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network. Wes Sholes also is a 44-year member of the Zeta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
This year the annual Zeta Rho Fernald Rogers Alexander and Maxwell Scholarships were presented by James Breedlove, President of the Zeta Rho Foundation, as follows: Terry Gray attended Manual Arts High School and plans to attend University of California, Los Angeles.
Michael Verner, Jr attended St. Bernard High School and plans to attend Tuskegee University.
Darryl Williams, Jr. attended Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles and plans to attend St. Johns University.
Brenton Owens attended Mayfair High School and plans to attend California State University, Long Beach, majoring in Architectural Engineering.
Alan Noel, Jr. attended Notre Dame High School and plans to attend the University of Southern California majoring in Business.
Malek Sims attended St. Anthony High School and plans to attend Xavier University.
David Price attended Verbum Dei High School and plans to attend Georgetown University.
Sterling Wilkins attended Arnold O. Beckham High School and plans to attend Wake Forest University majoring in Political Science.
Caleb Farmer attended Crenshaw High School and plans to attend Pepperdine University with a goal of eventually becoming a doctor.
Jonathan Brown attended Damien High School and plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania with a goal of eventually becoming a doctor.
Additionally, the annual Perseverance Scholarship awards were presented to Cameron Hart and Edward Gabriel III, who were previous scholarship recipients who are continuing their college education.
Zeta Rho was pleased to also present the second annual Honda Motor Company Scholarship to Brandon Powell, who made special contributions to community service with attention to animal care. The Honda Motor Scholarship was presented by Anthony Piazza, Honda Vice President of Human Resources and Administration. Brandon is continuing his studies in Veterinarian Medicine at Tuskegee University.
This year a new President’s Scholarship was awarded to Ms Simone Stephens, who has distinguished herself in community service and who is an outstanding alumnus and supporter of the Zeta Rho E.E. Just Marine Science Program.
This Salute Committee was superbly led by Mel Jackson. Salute Committee members included James Breedlove, Tony Collins, Earl Jones, William Smith, Cliff Jones, Lou Beatty, Norman Ward, Milton Coleman, Les Powell, Charles Bray, Wayne Moore, Kenneth Handcox, and Charles Franklin.
The Salute and Scholarship Program is one of many community service activities of the Zeta Rho Foundation of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. These include The E.E. Just Marine Biology Program, which exposes minority junior high school students to the marine and environmental sciences each summer; the Inner City Youth Male Mentor Program, which currently reaches over 150 youth and includes Crenshaw High School, Willowbrook Junior High School, Colin Powell Middle School, Challengers Boys and Girls Club, and the Dangerfield Home for Urban Problems; Community Health Partnerships including Prostate Screening, AIDS Walk, Diabetes Walk and Fundraising; and other Community Uplift Works.
Zeta Rho Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public foundation. The foundation web site is at www.zetarhofoundation.org.