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Afro-American Fire Fighters Association of Peoria presents Scholarships at the Tri-County Urban League

On Monday, June 29, the Afro-American Fire Fighters Association presented two scholarships to students that have demonstrated exceptional academic success and community service in the City of Peoria. Students were evaluated by the utilization of nine categories consisting of work experience, leadership, honors and awards, extracurricular activities, educational and career aspirations, community service, biographical profile, letters of reference and their ACT composite score.

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Front: Cynthia Gilkesson, Rear: Phillip Maclin, James Gilkesson, Ronald Jones, and Herman Crayton

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Front: Crystal Ruffin with Scholarship winner Ciera Ruffin; Rear: Herman Crayton, Ronald Ruffin, Ronald Jones and Phillip Maclin

The Eddie Gaines scholarship in the amount of $750 was awarded to Synclaire Gilkesson who will be attending Hampton University majoring in journalism. In 1957, Eddie Gaines became the first African American to be employed by the Peoria Fire Department.

The Alvin Richards scholarship in the amount of $750 was awarded to Ciera Ruffin who will be attending Southern Illinois University majoring in nursing. Alvin Richards was a charter member and first Chapter President of the Afro American Fire Fighters Association formed in 1984.