The Cheltenham Area Branch of the NAACP winners of the 2017 NAACP Essay Competition held in April at the four individual high schools were Ms. Kennedy Clark, Cheltenham High School, Ms. Destini Bravo-Greene, Springfield Township High School, Ms. Yaminah Russell, Jenkintown High School, Ms. Zyanne Clay, Whitemarsh High School. Student Book Awardees were Ms. Shannon Nixon, Cheltenham High School and Mr. Gaston Quyntyn, Cheltenham School District.
Kennedy ClarkCheltenham High School, is an engaging, intelligent, motivated and well-rounded young woman. Her activities include: Student Council Executive Board (Charity and Blue and Gold Committee), Black Student Union – Recording Secretary, Cheerleading Stunt Captain, and Varsity Lacrosse. In addition to her school involvements, Kennedy works a part-time job at Target and manages to maintain a rigorous academic caseload. Due to her high GPA, Kennedy was inducted into Black Scholars, which acknowledges the high achievement and success of African American Students at Cheltenham High School. After high school graduation, Kennedy will attend West Chester University and major in Criminal Justice. Her future plans are to attend law school.

Destini Bravo-Greene, Springfield Township High School.was born North Philadelphia, moved often but finally landed in Springfield when she was 13 years old. She attended Springfield Township High School as a 9th grader and quickly engrossed her self into the Springfield culture. She joined various clubs such as the World Language Club, Academic Team, School Newspaper, and Girls Tennis. But the club that helped her find a place within the school was Voices Of Excellence (VOE). Through VOE she was able to meet and become a part of her favorite club the Spartan Steppers which helped her to get out of her shell. After graduating from Springfield Township High School, I plan to attend Temple University as an English teacher. My ultimate goal in the future is to become an English teacher in disadvantaged communities. .She want to be one of many that reached back and pave forward those communities.

Yaminah Russell, Jenkintown High School, born in Winston Salem, NC to Karen Russell and Gabriel Russell. My career goals in life have always changed and shifted, however, the one thing that I have always known is that I wanted to help people in whatever job I undertake. One day my dad took me with him when he fed the homeless in Downtown Winston Salem, where I am from. That was one of the best days of my life, seeing their appreciation and gratitude was amazing! I will continue to help people and give back to my community during my years in the college I attend. As of April 20, 2017, I have committed to Morgan State University majoring in Computer Science and will be graduating in 2021. Zyanne Clay-Hubbard, Whitemarsh High School. In my four years at Plymouth-Whitemarsh, I worked my way up to many leadership positions in multiple extracurricular activities, including captain of the Indoor Color Guard, Managing Editor of the school newspaper, and Vice President of the Latin Club. I’ve played the violin since I was in elementary school, and have been in orchestra and chamber ensemble throughout high school. I plan on attending Princeton University in the fall with an intended major of Computer Science, and minors in History and African-American Studies.


Shannon Nixon, Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, PAAt CHS I participated in many clubs such as Black Student Union, Newspaper club, girl’s tennis team and girl’s track and field team. This upcoming fall I will be attending West Chester University majoring in physical therapy, as well as being a member of the women’s tennis team. I have countless acts of community service throughout the years and had the pleasure of being one of the volunteers for senator Art Haywood. As a volunteer, I helped contribute to his campaign by making phone calls to the people of the Cheltenham community. I am also a member of a community service program Goodstein Junior Leaders for Philadelphia based kids. My family and I worship at FC Wesley Methodist Church in Philadelphia, PA. With God’s blessings, I look forward to a bright future. Thank you, NAACP, for this honorable scholarship. My family and I are very grateful. God bless. Quyntyn Gaston, started off his early education in the Cheltenham School District. Upon graduating he recognized where he started academically and behaviorally, and where he now stood as a new graduate and citizen of the working society. Upon reflecting on what and who brought him to this point in his life, he thought about how his friends, parents, and past teachers helped shape him. When thinking of a career, he recognized he enjoyed the life of service, and wanted to be just like the educators that helped steer him on to the right path. Now a senior, he attends Gwynedd Mercy University and studies Elementary Education, with a dual certification in Special Education. He works in the Cheltenham district as a Site Director of one of the elementary schools before and after care programs, volunteers in a community group run by Aldersgate that services youth within the age range of 13-18, and volunteers daily to assist students in 5th and 6th grade. He loves his work, the impact he has on students, and is looking forward to graduating to become fully immersed in a school as an educator.