Local law firm helps Dunbar graduates with ‘Making a Difference’ scholarship program

Dunbar students get scholarships. (Photo courtesy Crash Productions Inc.)

Making a difference can sometimes require a little help.

Which is what the Witherite Law Group and 1-800-TruckWreck did recently for 10 graduating seniors from Dunbar High School through the “Making a Difference” Scholarship. Each recipient was awarded a $2,500 scholarship, which can be renewed annually if the student maintains a 2.0 GPA and takes at least 12 credit hours.

The 10 recipients are De’Onny Alexander, Jerrod Braziel, Naiya Douglas Castillo, Anaya Flemons, Kori Hall, Leena’ea Hamilton, Abigail Madrid, Samaira Polk, Vashanti Smith and Merci Yohana.

“We want nothing more than to ensure that every student has the opportunity to pursue his/her goals, despite their circumstances,” said Amy Witherite, founder of Witherite Law Group and 1-800-TruckWreck. “It is quite the honor to support these students as they embark on the next step to achieving their goals.”

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The scholarship program was created in 2016, and in that time 71 scholarships have been awarded to Dunbar students for a total of $136,500. As students renew annually, there is an opportunity for an investment of more than $710,000 in the Dunbar High School community, the firm reported.

“Amy has had a huge impact on my life and I want people to know how great she is. The scholarship helped me tremendously to stay in school and pay for things like books that my mother and aunts couldn’t pay for,” said TCU student Sierra Powe. “As a first-generation college student in my family, Amy helped me to be a trailblazer for my family.”

Powe used last year’s scholarship to study in Korea for the summer.

“Not only do I feel more than prepared tackling my language course this year, but also expanding on the knowledge I learned at the museums and historic sites in Korea to aid in my studies of East Asia through my major,” she said. “This year, I am continuing my studies in East Asia and Korea by studying in Korea again thanks to my scholarship renewal.”

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Students submitted an application, transcripts and a personal essay. They were then interviewed by the Witherite leadership staff. Each recipient was chosen based on academic merit, financial need, and their excitement and determination to continue their education despite challenges and to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Flemons, who will use her scholarship to help her attend Prairie View A&M University, said, “I live in a single-parent household with a mother who works two jobs. She isn’t financially stable, especially to where she could just give me money for college while paying mortgage and essential bills. Without the Witherite scholarship and other grants, I wouldn’t be able to attend college.”

Dunbar Principal Justin Edwards said the scholarships help allow the students to solely focus on academics and the college experience.

“This scholarship helps relieve much of the financial burden many of our students’ families face when applying for college,” he said. “It provides them access to financial resources they otherwise may not have had without taking out student loans.”

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Witherite noted that most of the students who receive the scholarship are the first in their families to go to college.

“The scholarship program was created as an example of how we put people first at Witherite Law Group,” she said. “Our goal is to help them further their education and give them an opportunity to change their life.”