September 24, 2020


Derrick is a Second-Year Biology Pre-Medicine Major with a Minor in Chemistry from the historic Montgomery, Alabama. He attends college at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana where he is an active member of the N.A.A.C.P., Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (M.A.P.S.) and serves as a 2020-2021 United Negro College Fund (U.N.C.F. ) Student Ambassador, and Residential Life Community Assistant for his esteemed institution. In Fall of 2019, Derrick was one of two freshmen selected to attend the Human Rights Campaign’s HBCU Leadership Summit: Leading In Truth in Washington, D.C. Derrick is a committed and spirited young man that cares deeply for the world and people around him. He amassed numerous awards and honors such as the Montgomery County Optimistic Student Leadership Award in his hometown, selected to serve as a University S.T.E.M. Academy Mentor, received the Alabama State University (Amazing Students Putting In Resilient Effort) A.S.P.I.R.E. Program Most Positive Award, and the recipient of the Inaugural Jamari T. Williams Act of Kindness Award, just to name a few. Education is Derrick’s utmost priority; he completed his freshman year with a stellar cumulative G.P.A. which has attained him a spot on the university Dean’s List. After undergraduate, Derrick plans to pursue medical school with hopes of becoming aboard-certified pediatrician. As a pediatrician, he wants to serve the underserved, underprivileged, and underrepresented in his hometown community. Derrick has a passion for learning, growing, and serving. To him, service is the very purpose of life and should be done ungrudgingly. We are proud to support him in his efforts for higher education!


                                                     MEET GARY L.

A 50-year-old non-traditional student who attends Middlesex Community College in Connecticut, majoring in Social Work, with the goal of attending UCONN next summer. Gary has experienced more that his share of troubles: poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, just to name a few. If anyone had the right to surrender, it is Gary…but in the face of huge odds has made the conscience decision to turn his life around. He realized that to better himself, he had to help others, to give rather than take. Since returning to school he has won a Presidential Bronze Award, a certificate of appreciation from the Connecticut Attorney General, has worked with U.S. Senators from Connecticut on the states homeless policy and brought a food bank truck to Middlesex for students to help them with food anxiety, and runs it in his spare time. His goal is to build a transition house facility to help those who are experiencing the same struggles he has gone through, to share his knowledge as to how troubled individuals can turn their life around. The attributes that Gary displays are what the CKMEF looks for in a recipient. The CKMEF is proud to present Gary with a financial award to contribute to the continuing costs of his pursuit of a higher education.

                         MEET MARSHA N.

Ms. Marsha N is: An educator of 23 years. Teacher of the year. A mentor. A state finalist for the Presidential Award in Science. Passionate about students learning. Enlighted. Creative and Innovative. Enthusiastic for student’s success. A committed lifelong learner. Her positive attitude, love of her students, technology and STEM has placed her on a quest of a Doctorate of Education at the American College of Education. Her desire to empower her students to become 21st  century learners through implementation of effective instructional strategies that increases academic rigor and ensure long term retention of that knowledge drives her passion to improve poverty stricken Title 1 schools to function at the same academic ability as students from larger, wealthier districts.The CKMEF is extremely proud to support Marsha N in the efforts to add another diploma to her impressive resume.


                                                                         MEET ORION R.


This 29 -year-old transgender graduate student majoring in Interdisciplinary Theater Studies at the University of Wisconsin has accomplished  during their time in college what most  don’t accomplish until well in to their 30’s.Graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors. Created the TransGenderTalks program. Robert Skloot Award for Research, Program in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison Purple and Old Gold Award for Meritorious Scholarship, University of Northern Iowa Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award, University of Northern Iowa Distinguished Scholars Award, University of Northern Iowa University of Northern Iowa Student Employee of the Year Nominee, 2018 & 2019 Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society. Scene D Theatre Project, Cedar Falls, IA, Co-Founder and Artistic Director (2018-present) UnityPoint Health Cedar Falls, IA LGBTQ Clinic — Steering & Advisory Committees (2017-present) Midwestern Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference (MBLGTACC) — Oversight Committee (2018-2019) University of Wisconsin–Madison Theatre & Drama Graduate Student Organization — Treasurer (2020-2021) Waterloo Community Playhouse — Volunteer Usher (2016-2019) As a Transgender individual Orion is an outspoken advocate for the T/G community. Not just though  word but through action. Orion created Scene D. an artistic theatre troop made up of LGBTQ+ individuals who might never get the chance to be involved in a production due to their age, gender, ability, size, or race; who might not otherwise  receive a chance to be “center stage”. Through Orion’s advocacy, others in  the T/G community may now  have the same hope and dreams. Orion’s goal is to see that the T/G community is not treated differently  than the rest of society. The CKMEF proudly awards  Orion a financial award in pursing their dream.


Kaitlyn B. is a 19-year-old go getter despite her handicap. In Kaitlyn’s freshman year in high school she became disabled. After multiple hospital stays Kaitlyn was diagnosed with Ehles Danlos Syndrome (EDS). As avalanches of symptoms consumed her and her health spiraled out of control, she found her true calling. The power of the written word. Through her writing she has become and advocate of EDS as well as many other issues that she may face her. In fact, it is her handicap that has made her think outside the box to be the problem solver she has become. Kaitlyn’s ability to overcome traumatic obstacles has placed her on a path to help others overcome their own difficulties through the power of the written word.Kaitlyn is currently taking on a double major in Human Rights and Hispanic study on a pre-law track at Columbia University NYC.Kaitlyn exhibits the talents that the CKMEF look for in any recipient, but Kaitlyn goes the extra mile by being eloquent as well as be thoughtful, insightful and empathetic toward others.

                                                                MEET BRIANA B.


These are just a few of the many attributes that have been used to describe Ms. B. Her clear-cut vision of who and what she desires to be accomplish and to become is what the CKMEF looks for in a candidate.A 20-year-old Sophomore, Briana has enrolled in the University of West Florida where she is studying to obtain her degree in Political Science.Briana has not had the advantages that other recipients of a CKMEF award may have had. From overcoming extreme adversity starting at a young age, Briana learned that she could only rely on herself to achieve what she wants from life. Working full-time while maintaining a GPA of 3.5 with a full class load to gain her degree all the while being a full time leader in the Air Force R.O.T.C Program,  CKMEF is  happy to help her fly high in achieving her dreams.


Ms. M. has experienced much upheaval in her life starting at young age. Some external. Some internal. Through all the up and downs of her life, it was her artistic talent that keep her on an even keel. After an unpleasant youth, some selfcare and introspection, Renee found her true self.  Upon entering the University of Arizona as an undergraduate working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Renee started to find clarity. With this clarity and guidance from her professors and other mentors, Renee was able to see her true potential resulting in a 3.81 GPA . Renee volunteers at several organizations i.e. the LGBTQ Resource Center, the Southern Arizona AIDS foundation, Filipino American Student Association. Her desire to give back, plus her strong belief in activism fulfills her need to help her community and society. Renee found a strong belief in activism through art. It is said that a picture tells a thousand words, and one picture can move many to action. Many individuals give back to society though one-to- one interaction; Renee has chosen to reach thousands through art. Renee has overcome so many issues with resolve, poise, determination. We believe that persevering through these traumas and holding on to her desire to give back to others, is what our Fund looks for in a recipient. We are pleased to award Renee a scholarship from CKMEF.


Detailed Oriented, Meticulous, Leader, Reliant, Motivator, Personable, Embodiment of Education, of Service, and of Employment; these are the earmarks of Lilith. They are also just a few of the accolades that were heard when her referral sources were interviewed by the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund Screening board. Common themes were the empathy she has shown for her friends and her fellow students, her willingness to help others who will one day be following in her footsteps and her consistently thinking about not just society today but the society of the future. Given the time investment required for an undergraduate in pre-med with a 3.68 GPA, at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, CKEMF was astounded by the myriad of extracurricular programs Lilith is involved with: Intern for after school programs for children, including Therapeutic Equestrian horsemanship, assistant SUNY SA Deputy Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and involvement with the Education Initiatives Committee of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges, to list only a few. Finding candidates like Lilith who demonstrate the drive and the desire to improve the lives of others are what CKMEF is all about. We are pleased to offer Lilith financial support as she strives to attain her degree in medicine.


Rachele shows us an example of what many of America’s college bound youth experience, when they head to college. A willingness to work hard at their education yet unsure of their future once they have graduated. Many college students start over and change their focus when their curriculum is not what they needed or wanted.  Rachele’s first attempt was at a non -traditional university that gave her an education but her did not prepare her for life after college. Being an artist, the LGBTQ Queer Rock Camp for Youth drew Rachele to help queer youth for several summers. She volunteered her time to help make an empowering and positive impact on queer youth. This effort and her need to give back to society led her to Americorps, Youth in Service program, which in turn led her to a local tribal school, working with native Indian youth and youth of color. To teach, one must have a bachelor’s degree. So, after 4 years of higher education, she has return to college to attain her bachelor’s degree.  Rachele is moving forward on her chosen path by attending Western Governor’s University and carrying a 3.67 GPA while continuing to work at with the local tribal school full time.

Rachele possess the willingness to help others and the drive to improve, so she may help those who are marginalized, underprivileged and disenfranchise. The CKMEF gladly give our financial support to Rachele.


Eco-activist, curious, deep thinker, social activist, educator, a steward of the earth. These are just a few of the qualities that describe Miranda  C. At the young age of 21, Miranda has thrown herself whole-heartedly into the pursuit of a college degree in psychology and animal studies, but she is not defined solely by love of animals.  Miranda, as a college senior at Eckerd College in Florida, is a deep thinker and therefore curious, often questioning the answers. Carrying an overall 4.0 GPA average has earned Miranda placement on the Dean’s List 4 years in a row (2016-2019). She is a lover of art, delves into philosophy, is a believer in social justice and equality for all…but most of all, is a steward of this planet and all the creatures that reside here. Education of her fellow man is her belief as to how we can heal this planet. Her desire to help this world and more importantly others, is what we at the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund look for in an award recipient. Through her volunteering and involvement in numerous college groups and organizations (Eckerd College Women’s Resource Center, FL Condensed Volunteer/Laboratory Intern, to name a few),  Miranda has given herself a well-rounded education ensuring her success not only after college but  in life as well. We are pleased to have Miranda C. as a recipient of a CKMEF award. We wish her good luck in her efforts and look forward to watching  her achieve great things.


Edith’s life is a shining example of the burning desire that has given strength to America. She was born in rural Mexico, an immigrant with a hardscrabble life, and from an early age wanting more from life.  She left her home, family and friends with the willingness to fight for the right to succeed. No matter how many times she fell, she got back up and kept moving toward her goal. Yet at the same time she maintained her desire to help those she loves and cares for as well as those creatures who do not have the ability to speak for themselves. To have suffered all the injustice, inequality, and the absence of basic needs that many of us take for granted, while always pulling herself up, dusting herself off and moving forward to her goals, are the qualities that led to her to become a CKEMF recipient. While enrolled as an undergraduate at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, Edith has stayed on course to ensure everything she does helps her progress to graduating with a degree in Biology and Communications. Yet still finds time to help those in need. Whether it is as an EMT on campus, a Resident Assistant, working in the financial aid office, tutoring and mentoring first year students or helping with a Holocaust Memorial. It is hard to believe that Edith find the time to study while maintaining a 3.48 GPA. The fortitude, determination and the drive to succeed, not just for a better life for herself, but a better life for her family, her community and our society, makes the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Fund excited to support Edith in her financial endeavors.


Responsibility was thrust upon Anna’s shoulders at a very young age. With a military mother deployed frequently in the field and a father who was there in body only, Anna had to care for, watch over and protect her siblings. She had innocence ripped from her at an early age. Raised in different lands and cultures around the world, Anna was given a perspective of the struggles of everyday living that most of us can scarcely imagine. With all this, she has persevered; realizing that only through a college education could she truly help herself and her siblings. Becoming a young mother expanded her view of the world. Now at 38 years of age, she has taken on the responsibility to improve this world for the next generation.
Because of her ability to overcome adversity and by moving toward a law degree in juvenile justice at the University of Arizona James E Rogers School of Law, she has shown her commitment to help society by giving back to military families.
At this time in her life, while carrying 17 units per semester, caring for husband and children, working a fulltime job, and receiving an EMT license/ Certificate in Applied Science, as well as being in the midst of attaining a master’s degree, Anna has found the time to oversees two charities that she has created:
One, Our Hearts for Children, provides hot meals for school age children to take home on non-school days.
The other is Operation Toothbrush for Homeless Veterans providing resources and information on mental  health care, personal care and housing for homeless Veterans.
Anna represents what the CKMEF seeks in all recipients. We are pleased to award Anna  a Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund scholarship.

September 26, 2019


Meet Morgan. The inaugural winner of the CAROLYN KELLY MEMORIAL EDUCATION FUND

A definite winner


The Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund is proud to announce its inaugural scholarship recipient is Morgan C. of Arizona. She was selected based on her academic accomplishments, her civic involvement, her goals, and her expansive extracurricular interests. An 18-year-old freshman, Morgan has enrolled at the University in the Southwest of the United States  where she will be majoring in both Astronomy and Geophysics, while minoring in math and physics. Morgan C. has received awards for participating in government at all levels, and has excelled at everything she has participated in, from a 4.0 GPA to sports (soccer, Captain of the varsity track team), as well as being involved as president of her high school social club and environmental club. With so much going on in Morgan’s life it is a surprise that she has time to play the drums, which she does for fun. We at the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund are proud to present Morgan with a scholarship that provides a significant contribution toward the costs of her higher education. We are excited to help her achieve her dreams as she soars to new heights.


Morgan letting off steam and having fun!

Morgan overcoming all hurdles to achieve her goals