Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Stovall Foundation to hold Annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon
By Cherly Tillman Lee (Family Editor)
Published May 31, 2011

By Cheryl Tillman Lee
Family Editor

The Stovall Educational Uplift Foundation can be summed up in three words as being: informative entertaining and awesome. The foundation will hold its 13th Annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon on June 5th, at the Proud Bird Restaurant.

Eight deserving students will be awarded scholarships at this prestigious event. This year’s recipients include: Dr. Walter R. Allen, Mrs. Deborah Gayle, Mr. Donald L. Singleton, Esq., and Dr. Michelle Rainey Woods..

Dr. J. Michelle Rainey Woods is an effective and diligent educator who strives for academic excellence for all of her students. While working in the inner city, her main goal has always been for students to reach their full potential and not let excuses hinder their world of extreme possibilities. As a second-generation college graduate, she recalls the story of her mother who was questioned on why her family was wasting money on her education. Her mother attended college amidst criticism and the belief that all she needed to do was to get married and have children.

The advice of her father, however, was to never use race as a crutch or an excuse not to succeed.

With these two influences, it was inevitable that she would go to college at the University of California, San Diego, where she received her degree in Applied Mathematics. She continued her education and received a Masters in Education at Pepperdine University and most recently a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. She began her teaching career at El Sereno Junior High School, and later transferred to John Muir Middle School where she taught Mathematics and was the Student Government and Impact Advisor for 6 years. During her last year at John Muir, she advanced and became the Magnet Coordinator. In this administrative position, she supervised 6 teachers and 120 students. Her experience prepared her for the challenge of implementing the magnet program at Curtis Middle School with an enrollment of 120 students – the enrollment tripled over the next three years.

Along with maintaining high standards and academic rigor for her students, she continues to create innovative programs.

Dr. Walter R. Allen Professor in Higher Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also Distinguished Professor of Sociology and co-director of CHOICES, a longitudinal study of college attendance among African Americans and Latinos in California.

He is co-investigator for “Educational Diversity in U.S. Law Schools,” a study of race, ethnicity, teaching and learning in legal education.

Professor Allen’s research interests include higher education, race and ethnicity, family patterns and social inequality. He has been a consultant to courts, communities, business and government.

He is the proud father of two daughters and two sons and doting grandfather to seven grandchildren.

Donald L. Singleton, Esq.

The epitome of the enthusiastic and passionate teacher who is completely dedicated to his students, Donald Singleton is a treasure to the Los Angeles Unified School District and the community. Singleton, Esq., was born and raised in Compton, California, where he attended Caldwell Elementary, Enterprise union High School, and Compton High School, graduating in 1978.

Singleton received his Baccalaureate Degree in psychology from Pitzer College, Claremont, CA. in (1982), where he served on the office of Black Studenet Affairs Selection Committee and represented Pitzer College as a Student Governance Chair where he discussed politics with President Gerald Ford.

Donald is a member of many organizations, including Phi Alpha Delta (legal fraternity) and Mount Carmel Grand Lodge. He is an Ordained Minister and an accomplished vocalist who has enjoyed success on the gospel charts with “Battle Hymn (His Truth is Marching).”

Deborah Gayle

Deborah has always loved school and learning. As a student of Los Angeles Unified Schools, she never wanted to be absent because she didn’t want to miss anything new that might be taught.

She also loved to share her knowledge and as the oldest of eight children, she would gather her younger brothers and sisters around her and play school. She eventually found a sibling who was willing to cooperate with her playing teacher and at fourteen she taught her four-year sister to read.

Successfully teaching her sister to read was the first experience that convinced her that she wanted to be an educator. She has been an educator for more than thirty years and has had experiences from preschool to college and in private and public schools.

At preschool, she was an Assistant Director and assisted with managing the preschool and the after school program of school age and in a private elementary school she taught first grade.

Most of her experience has been spent as an educator in Los Angeles Unified School District.

Much of the success she has enjoyed in her career is the result of the love and support of her family. Deborah has been married for 35 years to her high school sweetheart.

Rev. Nirvana Reginald Gayle, minister of Guidance Church of Religious Science. They have been blessed with two incredible children Zaid and Irisna and two wonderful grandsons Amiri and Khalil.

Dr. Robert A. Stovall, founder and president invites the public to attend. For more information regarding Stoval Foundation, please call (323) 291-6916, or email @

Categories: News (Family)

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