2016 AAHFM Scholarship Recipients – Peoria

This year’s outstanding recipients for the Doug and Diane Oberhelman Scholarship are Drew Hubbard and Daelen Morris.

Drew Hubbard photo_v1-300Drew Hubbard is 17 years old and a senior at Richwoods High School. She is the daughter of Pastor Deveraux and Kristie Hubbard, and the sister of Dawson Hubbard and the late Deveraux Hubbard II. Drew is deeply involved in her community, as well as in her school. She has been on the Richwoods girls basketball team for 4 years, serving as captain her senior year, the cheerleading team for 2 years, also serving as captain her senior year, a member of the Spanish club for 2 years, serving as vice-president her senior year, and a member of Interact Club for 1 year. Drew has been president of the Delta G.E.M.S., a community service program for teen girls, for 2 years and spokesperson for the Deveraux Hubbard II Foundation for 2 years. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA at Richwoods and is a member of the National Honor Society, an Illinois State Scholar, and ranked number 1 in her class. Drew’s future plans are to attend Vanderbilt University and major in economics with a minor in finance. It is her ultimate goal to pursue a career in sports management.

Daelen Morris pic_v1-300Daelen W. Morris has done many different things and had many different interests in his time in District 150, from Woodrow Wilson primary school, to Washington Gifted Middle School, to Richwoods High School. At Richwoods, he’s played football for three years, ran track for three years, wrestled for one year, and swam for one year. Daelen has been a Class Representative in Richwoods student government for two years and a member of the International Baccalaureate program. He was selected for and attended Illinois Premier Boys State, a weeklong leadership conference for the top male students in the state, a member of the National Honor Society, and a 2016-2017 Illinois State Scholar. He’s also been a member of a student led volunteer group called Interact Club for two years. Through Interact Club, Student Council, I.B., and his own initiative he’s done volunteer work all over the community, from packaging food for the needy, to helping clean dishes at soup kitchens, to dressing up as an elf for a holiday party at a special needs school.

This year’s outstanding recipient for the Jamere Jackson Scholarship is Mariah McCarther.

 Mariah McCarther pic_v1-300Mariah N. McCarther has transformed from a small, shy little girl into a determined and passionate young woman. During Mariah’s educational career in District 150. She began her education at Kellar Primary School and later graduated to Washington Middle School. Once she began her high school career at Richwoods, she truly began to blossom. For instance, she has been an active member of the band for all four years. Mariah has been a member of the Honor Roll all four years as well. However, she didn’t become truly invested in her favorite activities until junior year. She joined the speech team yet again, joined the executive board of the Interact Club (volunteering organization) and took on more leadership positions. This year, she holds leadership positions in all 5 of the organizations in which she participates. Mariah is the President of the Interact Club; Student Council Vice President for the Senior Class; Drum Major of the Richwoods Band; treasurer for Best Buddies; and runs communications for the speech team. At the same time, she’s never let any of this overrule her academics, which come first. Mariah has been inducted into the National Honor Society and is a 2016-2017 Illinois State Scholar. She is also an active member of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program.

This year’s outstanding recipients for the African American Hall of Fame Scholarships are Sarah Jackson and Jonae McCloud.

Sarah Jackson pic_v1-300Sarah E. Jackson is a member of the Richwoods High school IB program. Some of her accomplishments are being a member of the school’s National Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. In addition to being focused on her academics, Sarah also enjoys other extracurricular activities. She is a 4 year member of the Richwoods High school soccer team, 3 year member of the cross country team serving as captain this year, and a 2 year member of the basketball team. She is also a member of Interact club, Spanish club, and winter running club. Sarah also serves in a leadership position in the Richwoods High school McJROTC program, serving as the operations officer.

Jonae McCloud pic_v1-300Jonae K. McCloud is a senior at Richwoods High School in the IB program. She is the daughter of Daniel and Jonelle McCloud. Jonae has a 3.2/4.0 GPA. She is a member of Key Club, Interact Club, French Club, Spirit Club, and has been a part of the girls’ basketball team for four years and a captain for two years. Outside of school, Jonae is involved in TSTM, Delta Gems, NSBE Jr. and volunteers with the American Red Cross, Peoria Park District, Higher Ground Christian Servant Leadership Camp and Stocking Stuffers. She is also a member of the Torch Bearers Honor Society. Jonae plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.

This year’s outstanding recipient for the African American Hall of Fame Scholarship sponsored by Erika K. Baird and Linda Scott is Kiara Arbuckle.

Kiara Arbuckle pic_v1-300Kiara C. Arbuckle – Kiara is a senior at Richwoods High School. She is the daughter of Tommy and Monica Arbuckle and has 4 sisters, Moriah, Olivia, Sylvia, and Victoria. Kiara is a born performer, she loves to sing and dance. She started dancing at the age of 6 with The Company dance company, later joining POMS in junior high and high school, and most recently, was a featured dancer in the Cornstock Theater’s production of “The Color Purple”. Her passion for singing comes from her grandmother, who lives in Houston, Texas, and will often perform with her, at different venues, during her visits.

Kiara has been involved in several extracurricular activities since she was in the sixth grade. She has been an active member of TSTM (Tomorrow’s Scientist Technicians and Managers) since 2009, in which she served as the president in 2011-2012. Past extracurricular activities include, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), 4-H Teens as Teachers, and Bradley University’s CREST program. Current extracurricular activities include, Youth Heritage Ensemble, Richwoods Gospel Choir, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Delta GEMS, and the Tri-County Peoria Urban League’s Project Ready. Kiara plans to attend Illinois Central College in the fall and later transfer to an HBCU to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

This year’s outstanding recipient for the Georgette S. Orr Scholarship is Deja Dennis.

deja dennis pict 1_v1-300Deja M. Dennis is a senior and honor role student at Peoria High School with a GPA of 3.8/4.0. She is the proud daughter of Creston L. Dennis and Teresa A. Brown. Deja is actively involved in both academic and extracurricular activities. She is a member of the Peoria High Speech Team, competing in the Poetry category. Although this was her first year, she consistently made it into finals. She was the Poetry Tournament Champion in the Metamora Speech Competition, and just this month, in the IHSA State Speech tournament as one of 19 finalists. This was the first time in 4 years that a Peoria High School student qualified for the State Speech tournament. One of Deja’s proudest accomplishments is being the co-founder of Peoria High’s first ever Poetry Slam Team which hosts Open Mic nights and annual poetry slam competitions. Deja plans to attend Xavier University in New Orleans, LA and pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and English Writing. Her lifetime goals are to work in television and/or entertainment news, be the owner of Spoken Word Cafés and be a successful screenwriter.