For Immediate Release
March 18, 2011
Contact Information

Joyce R. Forchion
(305) 626-3624


- Actress Tasha Smith headlines gala where contributions were awarded to deserving students -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – MIAMI GARDENS, FL (MARCH 3, 2011) – Last month, the Black History Committee of Orange County Inc. awarded Florida Memorial University $5,000 in scholarship money for deserving students. The check was presented to Dr. Adriene B. Wright, the University’s new vice president for institutional advancement, during the committee’s 9th Annual Black History Month Celebration Gala held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Celebrating the theme “Inspiring Women to Greatness,” spirited actress Tasha Smith shared inspiring words of faith and motivation to captivated guests in attendance.

“Our committee is honored to be able to provide funds to students who have the academic ability but lack financial resources. We consider it a great honor to be in the lives of African-American students,” stated Vernard Batson, gala chair. “So much is written about the public education in our country, but we know that there are some great students that will succeed educationally if given the opportunity to do so,” he continued.

The Black History Committee of Orange County Inc. has provided over $150,000 in scholarships to Florida Memorial University, Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University, the University of Central Florida, and Valencia Community College. In order to be eligible, a student must be African-American, economically disadvantaged, and a graduate from an Orange County public high school with a 3.0 grade-point average. Florida Memorial students who have received the scholarship award include LaShonda Mills, Dimetri Byron, Joshia Perkins, Sherrice Cressor, and Olyvya Kelly.

To obtain information about Florida Memorial University’s Office of Institutional Advancement or to learn how you can contribute scholarship money to deserving students, please contact Dr. Adriene B. Wright at (305) 623-1443.

About Florida Memorial University:

Located in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida Memorial University is a private, historically Black institution offering 42 undergraduate degree programs and 4 graduate degree programs to a culturally diverse student body. Since its inception in 1879, the University has upheld a commitment to providing a solid foundation for thousands of young people and opening doors to educational opportunities that may have otherwise been closed to them. As South Florida’s only Historically Black College or University (HBCU), it is widely recognized for being the birthplace of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and the home of student Barrington Irving, Jr., the first pilot of African descent and youngest pilot ever to fly solo around the world. For more information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at (305) 626-3624 or visit