RELEASE: Treasurer Summers Surprises Recipient of Black History Month Scholarship Award

Presents King College Prep Senior Makiah Lyons with $2,500PHOTO 1

Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers today surprised King College Prep senior Makiah Lyons, winner of the 2015 Black History Month Essay Contest, with a visit to her school and a check for $2,500. The 8th annual scholarship contest, sponsored by the Treasurer’s Office, was open to all CPS seniors. This year’s award was funded by BMO Harris Bank and had been increased to $2,500 – more than doubling last year’s award of $1,000. The $2,500 scholarship will be used to support Makiah’s first year of college.

This year’s essay question asked participants in 500 words to describe their college plans and also “choose an African American scientist, inventor, mathematician or astronaut and explain why he or she inspires and motivates you.” Makiah wrote about Garrett Morgan who has been lauded as one of the country’s most successful African American inventors, credited with the creation of the safety hood (a precedent to gas masks), and the traffic signal.

“It is an honor to award Makiah Lyons, winner of our 8th annual Black History Month scholarship contest,” Treasurer Summers said. “As a CPS alum, I know all too well how impactful financial resources can be in determining a student’s ability to go to college and ultimately graduate. For her inspiring essay about the connection between social justice and innovators like Garrett A. Morgan, Makiah now has $2,500 more to follow her dreams at Howard University. I thank BMO Harris Bank for their continued partnership and for generously increasing this year’s award for our deserving student.”

The scholarship contest was open to all CPS students in the class of 2015 who plan to enroll in an accredited two or four-year institution of higher education or educational institution in the fall. Students were to have a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 2.5 and 50 hours of community service.