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Bay Weekly: Concerned Black Women of Calvert Earn Helping People Award

Improving the Calvert County community one student at a time has earned Concerned Black Women of Calvert County the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award.

The annual award honors individuals and organizations in each Maryland county and Baltimore City exemplifying the former mayor, governor and comptroller’s lifelong commitment to service.

"Like Gov. Schaefer, the Concerned Black Women of Calvert County are committed to helping vulnerable communities and empowering others to lead productive lives,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who created the award to honor his predecessor in office.

The group’s signature outreach is scholarships in support of its mission: to build a better community for all, which includes addressing education, health and economic wellbeing to improving the quality of life for African American women and families. Membership is open to all who support their mission.

“For nearly 15 years we’ve readily answered the call to action,” says Pamela Cousins, president of Concerned Black Women of Calvert County. “Our 40 member-volunteers selflessly pour their time into the lives of women and their families.”

Awards and Scholarship Fundraiser Luncheon. In 11 years, they’ve raised more than $76,000, providing scholarships for 49 graduating high school seniors.

“Being a recipient of the scholarship not only provided me with financial support for my education, but it also is a reminder that I have people who are willing to support me in any way possible,” said Jalaysia Weems, one of the four scholarship winners in 2018.

Providing scholarship winners money is just the beginning; Concerned Women also mentor the students “throughout the college experience,” Cousins says.

Weems, studying at the University of Maryland Baltimore, appreciated that concern. “It’s encouraging to know that I will always have a community that will support me throughout the rest of my life,” she says.

Concerned Black Women continues to add programs to help others. It now administers the Calvert Local Scholarship Application. Graduating high school seniors competed for $82,000 in college scholarships provided by 49 local providers. This year, students are expected to compete for nearly $100,000.

“We only ask that our scholarship recipients give back to the students coming behind them,” Cousins said.

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