56th NEED Annual Scholarship Dinner (Debbie’s Lifestyles Photos June 5)

NEED 2019 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT—Presented to Elayne Arrington by Marcia Sturdivant

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

On May 2, at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Hotel, the Negro Educational Emergency Drive (NEED) held their Annual Scholarship Dinner with the theme, “Opening Doors to Unlimited Destinations.” With Marcia Martin, Vice President of Gateway Health as Honorary Dinner Chair and Bob Allen, KDKA–TV as master of ceremonies, hundreds were welcomed to celebrate 56 years of NEED providing over 32,000 deserving students grants of nearly $36.4 million.

This year’s dinner celebrated 50 students that will be awarded grants during the 2019-2020 school year. Dr. Marcia Sturdivant, NEED President and CEO, said NEED has continued to pave the way for countless youth to grab hold of the “American Dream. Providing access to higher education and career pathways is what we do.”

NEED’s innovative programs such as Kalculating Kids, S.T.E.M., Workforce Diversity, and Mentoring Program, gives the students the foundation needed to help them qualify for scholarships. Dr. Sturdivant also thanked NEED’s numerous sponsors, board chair, TiAnda Blount (Mel Blount Youth Home) and Vice Chair, the Honorable Wrenna Watson.

Also, Dr. Elayne Arrington was honored with NEED’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. Arrington is known as Pittsburgh’s own “hidden figure” and is an American mathematician and engineer. She was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Engineering. Arrington became the 17th African American woman in the United States to earn a PhD in Mathematics.

The mission of NEED is to provide career and college access services which empower youth from the Pittsburgh region to aspire to, learn about, prepare for and complete higher education.


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