Scholarships

In 2015, the Cincinnati NAACP branch established a scholarship program for African American students who are graduating from Cincinnati Public Schools. Through this program, we award scholarships to students who have shown leadership in their academic pursuits, personal lives, and community involvement.

The scholarship funds were named in honor of individuals who made significant contributions to advance the local branch.

  • Dr. Karla S. Irvine Leaders Scholarship Fund
  • Charles Ross Sr. Leaders Scholarship Fund
  • Juanita M. Adams Leaders Scholarship Fund
Eligibility and How the Scholarship Program Works

The scholarship selection process opens up in the spring of each year as long as funds are available. To be eligible, the student must be a current CPS senior and have a 2.5 GPA or above. They cannot be relatives of Cincinnati NAACP committee members or staff. We encourage all candidates that meet the eligibility requirements to apply!

Students must complete the application and include all required material. This includes an official transcript, two letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors, a one-page essay (single-spaced), and evidence of acceptance or full-time enrollment at a University.

The review committee will consider complete applications within a holistic framework that gives weight to the merit and need of each applicant. Scholarship awards are sent directly to the selected students’ universities once they are enrolled.

To apply for a scholarship from the NAACP, you can click on the link below, or request an application by emailing info@cincinnatinaacp.com.

Apply for a scholarship
Past Recipients

Raven Lyons
Adams Scholarship

Zuri Williams
Adams Scholarship

Kevin Kinebrew
Irvine Scholarship

Dasia Thornton
Irvine Scholarship

Faith Thomas
Ross Scholarship

Perri Wedlock
Ross Scholarship

Cincinnati NAACP Scholarship Namesakes

Juanita M. Adams

Ms. Adams was a Life Member of the NAACP. For six years, she served as First Vice President, and during 2011 she served as Interim President of the Cincinnati Branch. With a strong belief in the mission of the NAACP, she served on a number of committees and supported all fund-raising activities. In recognition of her service, the branch established the Juanita M. Adams Scholarship Fund (3872) in 2013 with the assistance of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Juanita M. Adams received her education in Cincinnati Public Schools, attending Dyer Elementary, Bloom Junior High, and finally graduating from the Old Woodward High School/Commercial Division. She also attended the University of Cincinnati and is a graduate of the United Way Project BluePrint Leadership Training Program. In 1949, when interviewed by a junior high school counselor about her selection for high school, she indicated that she wanted to attend “Commercial Vocational” which was located in Old Woodward High School.

The response from the counselor was that there were no jobs for blacks in the secretarial field and East Vocational would be a better choice where she could take sewing, cooking, and learn to operate power machines. Juanita responded by saying “Well, I will have to be the best that I can be, and just maybe there will be some jobs available when I finish”. From 1952 to 1953, while still in high school, she was considered one of the best in typing, shorthand, and secretarial subjects and was offered a co-op position at Lincoln Heights High School.

Determined to succeed, she traveled from her home in the West End on the General Electric Auto-Lite bus every morning at 6:00 A.M. to reach her destination. Upon graduating from high school in June of 1953, Juanita began a career and love affair with the City of Cincinnati Board of Health as a Junior Stenographer. She was the first African American to hold the position of secretary to the Department s Chief Clinic Physician. Under her leadership, Juanita created a number of “firsts” in transforming the way the Cincinnati Health Department conducted business in the area of health and community service through the utilization of interpersonal skills and technology.

She maintained a system of excellence, providing citizens with superb service and essential information on birth and death certification and statistics. Juanita retired in 1993, having attained the position of Registrar/Director of Vital Records-Statistics. She was the first African American to hold this position in the City of Cincinnati and the first in the State of Ohio in a registration district of over 400,000 residents. Juanita hardly became sedentary upon her retirement. She lived her life devoted to public service in a multiplicity of causes. As an advocate of self-help, she was always about creating opportunities for others. She employed young people from the various inner-city community summer and after-school programs, such as Citizens Committee on Youth and Neighborhood Youth Corps.

Her career experience and extensive volunteer work illustrated her ability to network locally and nationally, within both the corporate community and non-profit agency arena as well. Ms. Adams was always active, always getting involved, always striving to help others. She was the epitome of someone who gave of herself and her time to the larger community, with no other reward other than the satisfaction of knowing that she touched the lives of others. To Juanita, everyone was special.

Ms. Adams was a Life Member of the NAACP. For six years, she served as First Vice President, and during 2011 she served as Interim President of the Cincinnati Branch. She believed in the mission of the NAACP. She served on a number of committees and supported all fund-raising activities. In recognition of her service, the Juanita M. Adams Scholarship Fund (3872) was established in 2013 with the assistance of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Dr. Karla S. Irvine

Dr. Irvine was an active member of the NAACP and the Charter Committee of Cincinnati. She was a strong proponent of election reform and fair government. An outspoken and fearless advocate and a founding member of Fair Vote. Ms. Irvine was a fierce champion of proportional representation and electoral equality. She was active in the campaign to bring back proportional representation to Cincinnati in 2008. In addition to her dedication towards proportional representation, Ms. Irvine was a lifelong activist and a nationally recognized leader in the fair-housing movement. She had a zeal and tenacity for equality and improving the lives of others.