Twelve talented and ambitious scholarship recipients were honored at the Women In Focus Inc. “I Have A Dream” Scholarship Award Reception on April 17 at the Goodman Community Center.

“The Scholarship Reception is all about the joy and happiness that we experience as we hear their stories and help to shape their futures,” Women in Focus President Edith Hilliard tells Madison365. “I have been a member of WIF for 35 years and this reception touches my heart every single year.  To be a part of a group of women who volunteer their time, have the passion, love and support of these young people is truly a gift. Over that past 34 years we have been able to award 329 scholarships totaling 535,000 to students of color.”

The guest speaker for the event was Jordan Pope-Williams, a transitions specialist/advisor for Madison College and a 2012 Women In Focus Scholarship winner.

Students winning 2019 WIF Scholarships included Abdoulahi Bah, Andy Morales, Virginia Quach, Areli Salto-Cortes, Kayvion James-Ragland, Justice Parker, Jesse Jarreau, Ana Karen Zitlatl, Khailanii Slaton, Krystyn Jones, and Safaa Mohammed Saed.

“As president of Women In Focus Inc., it was our honor to present to twelve incredible young people financial assistance to help them into college,” Hilliard says. “I Have a Dream Ball is critical to raise the funds for these scholarships, and we appreciate the support of our sponsors and the Madison community. “

2019 Women In Focus Scholarship winners

Women In Focus, Inc. is a local non-profit dedicated to supporting the education of students of color. Each year, Women In Focus, Inc. (WIF) hosts a special celebration where they award scholarships to deserving college-bound students of color in the greater Madison community who have met educational criteria and have shown evidence of community service.

“We understand how important these scholarships are for our young people as many are first-generation college students,” Hilliard says. “We understand that all the hard work and dedication will pay off in the end.  It is always refreshing how these young people and their family know how important the scholarship is and the benefit of a college education. Our vision is a world in which dreams are fulfilled through a worldwide partnership where all barriers to education are erased for students of color.”

Scholarship winners become part of the Women in Focus Inc. family and recipients of the WIF scholarships have gone on to pursue diverse career paths including business, professional careers, music, medicine, dentistry and art. Scholarship money is raised at Women in Focus’s annual MLK I Have a Dream Ball

“We will be hosting the 34th annual ‘I Have a Dream Scholarship Ball’ honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Monona Terrace,” Hilliard says. “You can help even more young people fulfill their dream of college by coming out to support the Ball or sending a donation.”