It was a grand ceremony. It's what they're calling 'A Salute to Outstanding Minority Youth'. Young, outstanding minority students were recognized for their excellence in academics, extra curricular activities, and community service by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Delta Nu Zeta Chapter and members of the community.
"I am so impressed once again, not only with you gentlemen and ladies, but with the parents and the grandparents, families and friends, helped raise you to the people you are today," says Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry.
During the spotlight, Dr. Rosie Pridgen encouraged those recognized to continue to go above and beyond in their future endeavors.
"I will also be challenging them to use their talents, their gifts, to make sure they continue to excel and to also give back as they continue to excel. They have a responsibility to continue to provide service to their community," says Rosie Pridgen, with the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Learning experiences will also come along with that responsibility. Pridgen believes there are three main points for these young students to consider when heading out to new challenges.
"I think they can learn basically three things. I think they can learn, number one, from history. That in order to persevere, in order to have faith, they can excel in whatever the challenges are. They second thing they can learn is they have to keep going, regardless of what the challenges are, I'm going to encourage them to not quite. And the third thing I am going to challenge them is to always provide service," says Pridgen.
And because these students have provided service throughout their lives, there's no better time to recognize that than now. Randy Hodges, the Superintendent of Lauder dale County Schools, believes this scholarship ceremony is more than appropriate.
"That's so important that our students work as hard as they have and they accomplish an A and B average like our students here today. They've done very well in extra-curricular activities, they're showing leadership skills, but it's important for us to show them that we appreciate that," exclaims Randy Hodges, the Superintendent of Lauderdale County Schools.
So with song, recipients walked proudly across the stage to receive their scholarships.