If we are lucky in life, we sometimes encounter extraordinary people. Bill Miles, who was the NEA Foundation’s Director of Programs until April 2010, was such a person. In his memory, we created the Dr. William “Bill” Miles Young Scholars Memorial Scholarship and, in his honor, we are delighted to present five students with $1,000 to support their education.
Bill’s legacy was one of countless children and young adults whose life opportunities were transformed through his service as a teacher, a school administrator, and as a leader in educational philanthropy. For the last three years of Bill’s life, the NEA Foundation was honored to lay claim to his expertise and vision. Bill helped to guide our work to empower educators, schools, and districts in their quests to rethink and renew their work on behalf of all students.
We have launched the scholarship fund nearly one year after Bill’s passing to support students who have demonstrated excellence in their academic pursuits, talent, leadership, and a spirit of service to their communities. These students represent, in short, the promise of a bright tomorrow for our nation, and are a testament to the high quality teaching and professional commitment of our nation’s public school educators.
We see this promise in these students and we know that Bill would agree. So, on his behalf, and on behalf of the NEA Foundation Board of Directors and staff, we wish these students great personal and academic success.
Meet the five recipients:
Stella Fiorenzoli: New York, NY
Stella is a senior at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in New York, NY where she studies piano and cello along with Advanced Placement and traditional courses. She is a member of the DaVinci Scholars and the ARISTA National Honors Society. Stella has received awards from LaGuardia High for her achievements as a pianist and a composer. She currently has a 3.9 grade point average.
Outside of school, Stella is in the New York Youth Symphony Making Score Composition Program, where she won a competition to have one of her orchestral compositions performed by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. She is also a Teaching Artist Intern at the Bridge Program of the NY Philharmonic Education Department, where she spends one day per week instructing middle students on how to compose. Stella also attends Juilliard’s Pre-College as a music composition major. She has been accepted to: Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Barnard, and New England Conservatory. She plans to double major in music composition and either architecture or behavioral biology.
DeMeeshia Marshall: Columbus, OH
DeMeeshia is a freshman majoring in Voice Music Performance at Kentucky State University (KYSU) in Frankfort, KY. She is a member of KYSU’s Concert Choir and is involved with the Student Government Association. In early March DeMeeshia participated on an exciting, seven-city tour with her concert choir which included performances in Baltimore, MD; Columbus, OH; and New York City. DeMeeshia currently has a 3.2 grade point average and in her spare time tutors at the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
Moses S. Richards: Durham, NC
Moses is a senior at Hillside High School in Durham, NC and has a passion for advocating for the progression of African American males in the community and in education. He enjoys public speaking and has been invited to speak at a variety of events during his time in high school. Moses is currently the Vice President of the Student Government Association and is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Soccer Club and the French Club. He currently has a 4.2 grade point average.
Moses has been accepted to UNC Chapel Hill, Morehouse, and Wake Forest and is waiting to hear from Harvard and Duke. He plans to major in biology and minor in psychology. Upon finishing college Moses plans to attend medical school to study orthopedic surgery.
Brandon Thompson: Columbus, OH
Brandon is a senior at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus, OH and has a keen interest in theatre. Since Brandon’s sophomore year, he has helped produce several theatre productions, acted in numerous plays, built sets for three productions and has written and performed poetry. He is a member of the Black Box Theatre Company at his high school. As a sophomore Brandon received the “Most Outstanding 10th grade English student” award and as a junior he received the “Champion” award. Brandon is an honor roll student and currently has a 3.4 grade point average.
Brandon is very active in his community and has served over 160 hours of community service. As a member of the Ohio Youth Agenda organization, he had the opportunity to speak before government officials about his support of House Bill 318, involving the school budget. He is dedicated to giving back to society and staying involved in the community beyond high school and college. In the fall, Brandon will attend North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and major in Acting.
Brian Crawford: Milwaukee, WI
Brian is a senior at Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA) in Milwaukee, WI where he has studied voice and violin for the past 3 years. Singing encourages and empowers Brian and he has been a member of the MHSA Gospel Choir throughout high school. He also has a passion for theatre and played the star role of Mereb in his school’s production Aida. He is Vice President of his senior class and Vice President of the Gospel Choir. Brian is an honor roll student and a Rexnord scholar. He currently has a 3.1. grade point average.
Brian’s vocal talents have been recognized with awards such as: the gold medal at the state NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics in 2009; and first place his freshman and sophomore years at the Wisconsin Music Association competitions where he sang a solo tenor piece in French and Italian. Upon graduating from high school Brian will attend Roosevelt University in Chicago where he plans to major in vocal jazz performance and minor in business music.