An enchanting evening for outstanding students of J. P. Powell Middle

Published 9:00 am Friday, May 12, 2023

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During Wednesday night’s Enchanting Evening cotillion, students from the JP Powell Middle School STEAM Academy celebrated their academic achievements with a banquet.

Two students were awarded the 2022-2023 Outstanding Young Female and Outstanding Young Male for their participation, fundraising and hard work throughout the year.

The 2022-2023 Outstanding Young Female was Maurkenzia Brooks and the Outstanding Young Male was Antravious Boyd. 

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Brooks is a JP Powell varsity cheerleader, softball player, president of the honors society and government ambassador. She wants to attend Tuskegee University. 

Boyd is the president of the Outstanding Young Males. He wants to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Dr. Monica Wills Brown was the guest speaker during the event. Brown is an educator and researcher whose focus is on building culturally responsive learning opportunities and social justice advocacy. 

She has served as a secondary teacher in Greenville County School system and an executive director for Dekalb Preparatory Schools. 

“Education provides people with the knowledge and skills they need in life and that’s why we’re here today,” Brown said. “To commemorate what you young people have done all year long. It is not easy to strive high and aim for higher, but you are here doing just that.”

Chambers County School District STEAM Specialist Dr. Vickie Williams-Benson presented flowers to Founder Nancy Richardson to honor her for her service during the event. 

The Outstanding Young Males was established in 1994 in Bulloch County High School by Richardson. The national organization’s mission is to foster individuals with civic leadership qualities to address real-world issues, better themselves through brotherhood and unity and develop networking and career skills. 

“As of now, we have over at least 300 outstanding young males and females or in various areas in the United States,” Benson said. “We have recreated our bylaws so that we can do outreach across different school systems in the United States.”

In 2005, Richardson and Benson, her daughter, founded the Outstanding Young Females organization with the same mission and requirements. 

Admission into the Outstanding Young Males and Outstanding Young Females is open to students in grades six through 12. Applications must be submitted with three teacher recommendations.