PORTSMOUTH – The Seacoast African American Cultural Center’s Juanita Bell Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to honor former New Hampshire state Rep. Juanita Bell.
Bell was an educator and member of the New Hampshire Legislature. She served three terms as state representative and served on the New Hampshire Children, Youth, and Juvenile Justice Committee, and the Recreation and Development and Environment and Agriculture Committees. She was an active and contributing member of both the state and Portsmouth communities until her passing in 2005.
The Juanita Bell Memorial Scholarship recognizes her spirit of working toward a greater good and supporting and creating a sense of community. The scholarship award is presented annually to Seacoast area high school seniors who are enrolling full-time at a four-year, two-year, or technical college.
The Seacoast African American Cultural Center scholarship committee and board members are pleased to announce two new scholarship recipients for the 2020-21 college year. SAACC selects one-to-two deserving students every year from the Seacoast area. This program has been ongoing for many years and every season, SAACC is amazed at the talent of the applicants.
This year, SAACC is proud to be awarding two scholarships, each worth $500, to Thethe Badibanga (Portsmouth Christian Academy) and Raye Neil (Exeter High School). Both have terrific stories to tell and bright futures, according to the announcement.
Badibanga is a young woman refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, works as a food services assistant at a local health care setting, and is actively involved in extra-curricular activities. She had three letters of support from her teachers and has impressive grades.
Neil is a local young woman, member of the National Honors Society and is interested in science, technology, and engineering. Her grades are impressive, and she wrote a passionate essay about growing up and experiencing racist discrimination in her local community, showing there's much work to be done.
SAACC announced it is proud and honored to be helping these two young people start their college careers. SAACC has been a member of the Seacoast community for 20 years supports the African American community in ventures such as the scholarship program.