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Congratulations to BCM's 2017 Leola C. Rowan Heritage Award Finalists and our $250 Scholarship Recipient

In honor of the Rowan Family’s long term commitment to higher education the BCM Foundation is pleased to offer the Leola C. Rowan Heritage Award Scholarship.

Leola C. Rowan was born in Louisville, KY and graduated from Louisville Central Colored High School in 1915 and went on to graduate from Fisk University in Nashville, TN in 1919 as a Classroom Teacher.

From all accounts Ms. Rowan was everything that the perfect teacher should be and shared her love of education with not only her students but everyone she met. She valued formal education as a means for families and communities to achieve better, more productive and more agreeable lives given the harsh circumstances faced by Black families, in particular, during 1920s America.

Aunt Leola was our family’s higher education champion and now generations of college educated family offspring later we want to honor her commitment to our family and higher education in the amount of $250.00.

The young Leola’s story is important for all families to embrace because in a time when teachers could not be married or have children Ms. Rowan was summarily dismissed from the profession that was her true life’s calling after becoming pregnant as a single mother.

But for Aunt Leola this was not the end of teaching. She continued her quest to bring a better life for those around her through holding up the example of education as the pathway to a successful life.

Her courage to continue to believe in formal education in spite of it turning her life upside down has produced great successes throughout our family and has now come full circle 101 years later with the success of her Great-Great Nephew, Blake.     

Congratulations to the students who have been selected as finalists for the Best College Match 2017 Leola C. Rowan Heritage Award Scholarship. As a part of the application process, students were asked to write an essay about what the spirit of Leola C. Rowan meant to them. 

This year's recipient of the $250 scholarship is Makayla Shelby-Fields a 2017 graduate of Seneca High School. Shelby embodies the qualities of our Aunt Leola and in her essay says, "To whom much is given, much is required". She shares that, "If we are blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time and the like, it is expected that use these well to glorify God and benefit others". Shelby will attend the University of Louisville in the fall with a major in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice.

We thank the many students who applied, and we once again congratulate the finalists.

2017 Leola C. Rowan Heritage Award Finalists