Sorority awards scholarships to graduates


Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Mu Omega Zeta Chapter awarded two high school seniors scholarships May 30.  The scholarship committee met recipients on the Fleur de Lis stage in downtown Natchitoches to present the awards. Recipients of this year’s scholarships are Morgan Swafford and Devon Sowell.

From left are Dorothy McGaskey, Co-Chairperson Sontonia Helaire,
scholarship recipient Morgan Swafford, Chapter President Yalaunda-
Toliver Taylor and Candance Grayson.

Morgan is the daughter of Phyllis Swafford. She is a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School.  During her high school years, she was in involved in various school activities such as Upward Bound, Dance Team, Track and Field and the Africian American History Club.  She has spent numerous hours volunteering in the community with Hand-Hand Memphis Fire Department, Youth Group Mentor at First Ministries and with Always A Doll.  In high school, she was awarded the Citizenship Award, National Honor society, A Honor Roll, Math Award, All-District Track and Field and Homecoming Court. She was voted “Most Likely to be Famous.” Swafford is employed at Super One.

“Through my young eyes. I’ve seen a lot, but I refuse to end up as a damaged good. I started getting involved in church, and became a mentor for the youth. My relationship with God became stronger,” said Swafford. “I know with God being the head of my life, anything was possible, but I had to work extra hard. Today I still, and will, forever hold dear to that commitment. My goal is to be successful, and show the younger generation from my community that ‘It’s not where you come from, it’s where you end up.’ Without a doubt, with a college degree and a will of determination, I’m going to succeed. The old but profound cliché, “never forget where you came from” is forever in my thoughts. I will always be one to give back to my community and hope to one day be an ambassador for the university I choose to attend. I know and believe that a good education will certainly make me more valuable in this society we live in. Although this journey may be long and hard, I realize remaining humble, teachable, self-respectful and self-motivated will indeed help me be successful.”

Swafford will attend Southern University where she will pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

From left are Co-Chairperson Sontonia
Helaire, scholarship recipient Devon Sowell,
Candance Grayson and Dorothy McGaskey.

Devon is the son of Senitra Mitchell and Derrick Sowell Sr. He is a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School. His high school years were filled with school activities. He played football, basketball, ran track and was a member of 4-H and FCA.  He was inducted into the National Honor Society and held a 3.7 GPA throughout high school.  He volunteered as a photographer for the New Birth Baptist Church Praise Team and the cleaning and sanitizing crew for church, cleaning and trash pick-up for City of Natchitoches. Derrick is employed at The City of Natchitoches Recreation Department Lawn Care.

“Education is one aspect I must maintain and stay on top of to follow the path I am going to take,” said Sowell. “I feel that a university and/or college will better prepare me for social, economic, and political challenges by giving me a sense of independence and place where I can become the man I have been driven to be. In the King James Version of the bible, Luke 12:48 states, ‘For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.’ This small passage in this verse tells me I will always have to strive for more, continue to be the best of the best, and achieve every goal I need to accomplish.”  He will pursue a degree in Business Administration at Southern University.

Mu Omega Zeta Chapter president Yalaunda Toliver-Taylor and the scholarship committee members, Kimberly Davis Smith, Co-Chairperson Candance Grayson, Sonja Hall, Sontonio Helaire, Co-Chairperson  Shalaya O’Neal and Dorothy McGaskey dedicated their time and dedication in selecting these students as recipients of the scholarship. Members of the sorority wish the recipients much success in their future endeavors.