What better way for a city to evolve, than to engage its young citizens? That’s where Rhodes’ Clarence Day Scholarship Program comes in. Each year, 10 high school students from Shelby County who have already demonstrated extraordinary dedication to their city are chosen to join the Rhodes community as Clarence Day Scholars.
Day Scholar Layla Jubrial-Jaber ’19 says, “We are all over Memphis doing philanthropic work, and we complement each other really well. If someone needs help with a project, all they have to do is ask, and we’re all on board.”
Each Day Scholar is given a $5,000 stipend to fund a special project of their choosing—otherwise known as their “Day Experience”—that will make a positive impact on Memphis. For Jubrial-Jaber, that impact will derive from her research of the Memphis public and private school systems. “I want to see what we can do to equalize the playing field for all students, and not just giving some students who happen to live in one area better opportunities educationally than students who don’t have a choice in where they live,” she says.
The Day Foundation was established in the 1960s by Memphis businessman and Rhodes alumnus Clarence Day, who passed away in 2009. In 2011, the Day Foundation Trustees created the Clarence Day Scholarship Program, which combines Day’s passion for encouraging young people to be the best they can be and for making Memphis a better place at an institution for which he deeply cared.
“The program gives me the freedom to pursue activities that interest me such as being activities coordinator for the Special Olympics of Greater Memphis Lynx Club,” says Day Scholar Mark Massey ’20.
Other Day Scholars have been involved in serving dinners to families of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patients and creating free ACT tutoring for students whose families couldn’t otherwise afford it, as well as working on social justice, health, entrepreneurial, and arts initiatives.
“The vision for the ‘Day Experience’ is to create pathways for students to explore how to connect what they study in class and what they are passionate about at Rhodes and in Memphis,” says Dr. John Bass, program director. New projects are in development and will be implemented over the next few months.
The 10 new Day Scholars are:
- Jesús Aviña, Ridgeway High School, Memphis, TN
- Chloe Christion, Arlington High School, Arlington, TN
- Ethan Ferguson, Lausanne Collegiate School, Memphis, TN
- Mariam Khayata, Pleasant View School, Memphis, TN
- Connor Lambert, St. George's Independent School, Collierville, TN
- Madeleine O’Toole, Saint Mary’s Episcopal School, Memphis, TN
- Andrew Rainer, Christian Brothers High School, Memphis, TN
- Alexis Robertson, Collierville High School, Collierville, TN
- Priya Tummalapalli, White Station High School, Memphis, TN
- Kymi Warren, The Soulsville Charter School, Memphis, TN
“One of the biggest things I’ve gotten to experience through the Clarence Day Scholarship is getting to meet so many people making a difference in Memphis and just making those connections in the community,” says Jubrial-Jaber.
By Meg Jerit ’20