Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4157 - Matthew Killebrew - firstname.lastname@example.org
CCC Dr. J. Steven Blake scholarship recipients and recent graduates Walter Sykes (left) and Ashley Craig (right) will be continuing their education this fall at Alcorn State University.
CLARKSDALE — Scholarships and the generosity of others continues to play a huge part in the reality of many local students in realizing their dreams of attending college.
Two recent Coahoma Community College graduates, and the second beneficiaries of the Dr. J. Steven Blake scholarship, are perfect examples of how with a little help they can achieve greatness.
Now alumni, 2016 graduates Walter Sykes and Ashley Craig are using Blake’s scholarship springboard to continue their educations this fall at Alcorn State University. Both received full-tuition scholarships and $250 for books per semester throughout their two years at CCC.
Craig will be pursuing a degree in Biology & Sports Coaching Education. She was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and earned CCC’s highest academic honor for any athlete carrying a 3.5 GPA.
Sykes served as CCC’s 2016 Student Government Association President, and will be majoring in Music. He graduated with a 3.11 GPA.
Blake is the President of Blake Gastroenterology Associates, LLC in Philadelphia. Three years ago, he implemented a generous endowment to CCC with the goal of helping students achieve academic success while simultaneously paying it forward to the community that helped to launch his own collegiate career.
Blake is a 1989 graduate of Coahoma Agricultural High School who continued on to the University of Mississippi where he earned degrees in zoology and chemistry. He earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia (PA) College of Osteopathic Medicine with further study at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis.
The scholarships are divided into two categories: the Blake Scholar, in honor of Blake’s late parents Alfred and Irma Blake, and the President “McKinley” Martin Scholar, in honor of CCC’s former president who served from 1980 to 1992. Recipients were chosen based on a list of criteria including leadership demonstration, financial need and academic ability.
Blake said he hopes his kind gesture will motivate others to “pay it forward” as well.