Friday June 8, 2007

McIntosh Scholars Celebrate 20-year Legacy

After LaShea Smith Boyd was named the first W.S. McIntosh scholar in 1987, earning a full scholarship to the University of Dayton and a four-year paid internship with the city of Dayton, she felt a commitment to give something back.

"In addition to the financial investment, the sincere mentoring I received from my supervisors during my internship and faculty were tremendously motivating and encouraged me to want to excel and give back to the community," said Boyd, deputy director of deputy director of Dayton's department of recreation and youth service.

"I can't think of a better way to show my gratitude and to make a return on that investment than by serving the community and staying here to work for the city," she said.

Boyd and other McIntosh recipients will join community and University leaders this weekend to celebrate the program that has awarded more than $1.3 million to African-American students, honors the legacy of the slain civil rights leader and encourage Dayton area high school students to consider UD.

A public salute to McIntosh is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, at the Dayton Cultural and RTA Center, 40 S. Edwin Moses Blvd. An information session for potential McIntosh scholars will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 9 at Marianist Hall on the UD campus. Sponsored by UD's admission and diverse student population offices, McIntosh recipients will be on hand to talk with high school students about life at UD and to lead campus tours. The Saturday event is free and participants have a chance to win a $1,000 UD scholarship.

Each year, the University and the city award the W.S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership scholarship to a graduating African-American high school student who is a resident of Dayton. The goal of the program is to encourage local African-American students to attend UD and to stay in the area after graduation by supporting their education and helping them develop professional experience while in school.

The combination scholarship/internship is currently valued at $140,000 and includes tuition, fees, room and board, and a computer along with a four-year paid internship with the city. Twenty-one students have received the award; four recipients, including Dayton City Manager Rashad Young have gone on to work for the city.

"McIntosh scholars have excelled at the University and in their careers," said UD President Daniel J. Curran. "We are pleased to welcome them back to campus as we honor their achievements and the legacy of W.S. McIntosh and encourage other young people to follow in their footsteps."

Dayton Early College Academy graduate Alvin Wilkerson is the 2007 recipient. Wilkerson, who also earned an associate of science degree from Sinclair Community College, will study engineering at UD.

McIntosh, a noted Dayton area civil rights leader in the 1960s, was shot and killed while trying to prevent a robbery at a jewelry store in downtown Dayton on March 4, 1974. He led several nonviolent protests that fought to open employment in local businesses to minorities.

For more information on the program, contact Kathy McEuen Harmon at 937-229-4160, or LaShea Boyd at 937-333-1705.