Scholarships Support Diversity at YSU

The Shades of Blue Police Association leaders are raising money to send a student to the police academy. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Casey

By Kelcey Norris 

Youngstown State University students of diverse backgrounds can take advantage of scholarship opportunities offered by campus organizations as a way to celebrate and acknowledge students’ differences in the community. 

The YSU Foundation, Youngstown Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Shades of Blue Association of Youngstown are just a few of the agencies offering scholarships to help minority students succeed.

Each year the YSU Foundation provides over $8 million in scholarships. Barbara Brothers, a retired dean and administrator in education at YSU, recently endowed a scholarship to help currently enrolled Black YSU undergraduate students pursuing degrees in education who also attended Youngstown City Schools. 

Tiffanie Thomas, the endowment stewardship coordinator, said Brothers endorsed diversity and inclusion in the college for the past 40 years.

“It’s good to have someone that looks like you, that you can aspire to be and learn from [in education.] No one knows what it’s like to be a woman other than another woman,” Thomas said. “To have someone that looks like you — it does matter to support more African Americans in the field of education.” 

Students interested in applying for the scholarship can contact the YSU Foundation. 

For 100 years, the Youngstown Business and Professional Women’s Club awards a female student with the Dr. Anne McMahon Scholarship. Elizabeth Luso, a student teacher, received the scholarship in 1959 from the YBPW. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Davis

The Youngstown Business and Professional Women’s Club is offering a $1,000 scholarship to one full-time female student, renewable each school year. It’s called the Dr. Anne McMahon Scholarship. 

The organization celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020. Rebecca Davis, president of YBPW, said students eligible for the scholarship must submit the application alongside three letters of recommendation, a copy of their most recent transcript and complete an essay requirement. 

“A big part of our mission is to assist women with their education,” Davis said. “A lot of time at YBPW, we’re mentors to the scholarship recipients and members that come into the club.” 

Although the YBPW scholarship is associated with the YSU Foundation, applicants will need to fill out a separate form at www.ybpw.org, not the Foundation common application. Submissions must be completed by March 15. 

The Shades of Blue Association of Youngstown celebrates diversity represented in law enforcement. They’re raising funds to support a minority student over the age of 21 pursuing a career in law enforcement at either YSU or Trumbull Police Academy. 

Ronnie Casey Jr., deputy sheriff of Mahoning County, serves as president and is a founding member of the Shades of Blue Police Association. 

“There’s not a lot of minorities in law enforcement. What we wanted to do was establish a scholarship giving minorities the opportunity to get into the police academy. One of the main reasons why minorities don’t go into the police academy is the cost,” Casey said. 

Malik Mostella, parliamentarian and fellow founding member, said graduates of the police academy have bright futures. Mostella has worked at the Youngstown Police Department for the last 20 years.

“There are people out there who want to get into law enforcement and they just can’t afford it,” Mostella said. “We’re going to do our best to raise enough money to send one person to the police academy in the fall … A lot of judges and lawyers start out as police officers and work their way up.” 

They described the mission of their organization as an effort to change the community’s understanding and ideology of law enforcement. 

“In most communities, people learn more about the police from watching TV than actual police,” Mostella said.

They’re raising money for the scholarship by selling raffle tickets to win a $500 gift card to Giant Eagle. 

All of the proceeds from the $10 raffle ticket sales will go toward “providing the financial peace of mind” for a police academy minority student. The raffle drawing will be March 31. 

Students interested in applying can visit www.shadesofblueoh.com or email sbpascholar@gmail.com. Scholarship applications are due May 21.