Keep Looking Forward – “Tackle Your Talent Scholarship Luncheon”

Marayah Davis
Tierney Pettway


ORLANDO – Kenard Lang Gives Back! “Kenard Lang is a native Floridian and a graduate of Maynard Evans High School and is the founder of the Kenard Lang Foundation. He furthered his education and athletic prowess at the University of Miami, (Florida). Kenard signed with the National Football League before his senior year. Kenard “has a love for children and education and hopes to be a voice in educating people with regards to taking preventative measures in the fight against cancer.”

On May 11, 2024, the Kenard Lang Foundation (KLF) presented its 20th annual scholarship luncheon. Over the years, the foundation has awarded $232,064.09 in student scholarships, and $197,435.25 in Community Service awards totaling $429.499.34. This philanthropy has been far-reaching. The foundation provides opportunities for students pursuing college/university enrollment and supports other humanitarian events.

“The Kenard Lang Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that desires to work together with other companies and organizations to make a true effort toward making a better tomorrow. The KLF has three divisions with each having a specific focus and direction. The three divisions are medical, education, and youth. The focus of the medical division is cancer while the direction of the community division is youth development. The third initiative with respect to tomorrow’s leaders, our youth, is to aid the underprivileged and to stress the importance of education.”

The KLF medical division has provided financial assistance to BASE CAMP Children’s Cancer Foundation for more years than Terri Jones Robbins, President and Founder can remember. However, she readily recalls the difference the KLF support means to the children and families she serves. BASE is an acronym for Believe, Achieve, Support, Educate which undergirds their core values as stated: “We Believe Every Child Deserves a Childhood. We Achieve the Impossible Every Day. We Support Patients & Families. We Educate So That You Can Help Us.” Terri says proudly “BASE Camp will be 40 years old next month and that her foundation has received financial support from KLF annually for at least 20 years. The awards received allow them discretionary funding where they can help not only the patient but also the patient’s siblings and other family members. BASE Camp serves children in the central Florida area who are being treated for carcinoma at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, Advent Health Children’s Hospital, and Nemours Children’s Hospital. The very first donation received from The Kenard Lang Foundation was $10,000. Terri’s philosophy is that “everyone in the sick child’s family is on the same bus just in different seats”. She likes to ensure that the entire family is served.  KLF’s donations allow that.

This year 12 young people were awarded $1000 each in scholarships to attend the college/university of choice. Three speakers at this year’s luncheon were past recipients, namely Natasha Lias, Esq., Kamryn Poole, a student at Tennessee State University, and Donovan Francois, a student at the University of Florida. The speakers encouraged the attendees and awardees to pursue their dreams and goals. Each speaker exhibited the capability to set goals, pursue them, and achieve them.  The students receiving scholarships were Marayah Davis, Olympia High School, to attend Alabama A &M University, Tashae Holden, Jones High School, to attend Florida International University, Anderson Dakota Jean-Louis, Lake Nona High School, to attend Florida A&M University, Jadyn Jessen, Trinity Prep, to attend University of Central Florida, Diego Mosqueda-Sandoval, Ocoee High School, to attend University of Florida, Matthew A. Nunn, Lake Nona High School, to attend North Carolina A &T State University,  Micah S. Nunn, Lake Nona High School, to attend Spelman College, Tierney Pettway, University High School, to attend Valencia College,  Andrew Phillips, II, Apopka High School, to attend Morehouse College, Shaunt’ai Robinson, Apopka High School to attend Florida A&M University, Kishen Sukhy, Ocoee High School to attend the University of Central Florida and Hope Woods, The First Academy to attend North Carolina A&T State University.

The Student Community Service Award was presented to Kirshen Sukhy. The Lillian B. Seays Award was presented to New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando and BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation received financial support in the amount of $500.00.

Marayah Davis, a member of The New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando has received, in addition to the KLF $1000 Scholarship, a Merit Scholarship from Alabama A&M University of $8700 per semester for four years. Marayah is the recipient of several other awards including the William C. Claiborne Scholarship, and The Delta Sigma Theta Eminence Scholarship.  Her parents, Erica Jones and Ricky Davis are so very proud of her and her accomplishments. Marayah plans to study International Business with a minor in Entrepreneurism. She wants to “own her own business and says she has since she was four years old”. At age four she had a “pretend restaurant and would charge her parents and other family members for pretend meals”. At age seven, she began making and selling jewelry as she emulated her auntie and Godmother. While excelling in high school, Marayah works two jobs in addition to owning an online clothing store that she started in 2022. In 2023, Marayah began “doing hair – mainly wigging styles” as she plans to own a Salon and Spa where she will rent booths to other hair, nail, and beauty stylists after she graduates college. She says she has “applied for other scholarships but has not heard back yet”. She is proud to have been a finalist placing 15th out of 125 candidates for the Travelers Insurance Scholarship.   Congratulations Marayah!

Congratulations to Tierney Pettway, who is also a member of New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando. Tierney, daughter of Lucille Pettway and Ronald Shaw, dual enrolled at Valencia College while she attended University High School.  Tierney graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 4.7 Grade Point Average (GPA). Tierney’s favorite classes were in biology. She also was a participant in the performing arts and a member of the cheerleading squad. Tierney was very active during high school and served on Junior and Senior Class Cabinets. As a Cabinet member, she wanted to help others stay in school. Although she likes science, her passion in life is to help others and she plans to major in psychology with a focus on mental illnesses as she realizes that there are many components and causes for mental illness. Tierney plans to become a clinical psychologist.

Each of the Scholarship recipients and award winners is to be applauded for their herculean determination and achievements during high school.  We congratulate you and ask that you Keep Looking Forward!