Since its inception, the Neil Kelly Memorial Foundation has presented dozens of scholarships to outstanding young people from the North/ Northeast Portland community.
The Rotary Club of Albina and the North/Northeast Business Association — the co-sponsors and co-creators of the foundation — along with members of the community at large, have often asked whatever happened to some of the foundation's past scholarship recipients.
"The answers to the 'where are they now?' question almost always include remarkable records of achievement and accomplishment," said Carolyn Brown, president of the Rotary Club of Albina "We are especially proud of the past winners and look forward to honoring four more deserving young recipients this year."
The two organizations will again combine their efforts this month to stage the ninth annual Neil Kelly Memorial Scholarship luncheon to help raise funds to continue their joint support of the college scholarship program. The $l,000 college scholarships are named after Neil Kelly, the late community leader and residential/commercial remodeler, and are presented to high school seniors who demonstrate service to their school, family and community as well as strong academic skills.
The 2006 awards ceremony is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, at the Doubletree Lloyd Center, 1000 N.E. Multnomah St.
So, what did happen to some of those past winners?
One of them, Neal Brown, is a Portland Parks and Recreation coordinator at Peninsula Park, where he supervises a variety of sports programs, including basketball, soccer, football, baseball and other activities. A 2000 graduate of the University of Portland, Brown also worked at Self-Enhancement Inc. with more than 50 second- through fifth-grade youngsters.
Graduate school is in his future plans, Brown said.
Lilamarta Logue, a 2001 recipient, is on her way to her goal of becoming a physician. A graduate of the University of Washington, she soon will enter medical school. While at UW, she worked part time as a certified nurse assistant and at Harborview Medical Center as an auditor.
She plans to spend the summer in Peru before applying to medical schools and will use Chicago as her base of operation.
Johnny R. Gill, winner of a 2002 Kelly scholarship, will be a senior at Temple University in Philadelphia and is carrying a double major in theater and film. He has been active in the school's drama program, acting in Playboy of the West Indies, The Alchemist and an adaptation of the book A Lesson Before Dying.
He also works as a tutor for middle school students.
On his way to a career as a pharmacist is Gene Vang, a 2003 Kelly scholarship recipient. A senior-to-be at Oregon State University, he has been admitted to the school's graduate school of pharmacy. He has worked as a pharmacist assistant at Walgreen's drug store and at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.
Gene is active in the Hmong Club at OSU, helping introduce students on campus to the Hmong culture.
"We are understandably proud of these young citizens," said Joice Taylor, president of the North/Northeast Business Association. "We are confident they will continue to justify our confidence in their demonstrated ambition and vision."
For more information on the Neil Kelly Memorial Scholarship program or to provide funding assistance, call Margie Davidson, 503-287-6930 or e-mail email@example.com. Call Alicia Duncan, 503-335-9204, to make reservations for the May 12 award luncheon. Cost is $50.