WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- On Dec. 1, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., an international women's service organization, and the Zeta National Educational Foundation Inc. (ZNEF) announced that Janae Smith-Williams was awarded $125,000 as the recipient of its founder Pearl Anna Neal Centennial Scholarship.
Applications for ZNEF 2022 scholarships for high school seniors, college and graduate students will open Dec. 2, 2021 at https://z-nefscholarships.smapply.org.
Smith-Williams, a 2021 graduate of Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, DE was chosen from more than 5,000 graduating seniors across the U.S. Born deaf, she overcame a difficult childhood and myriad communication challenges while maintaining a 3.68 GPA as a student athlete on both the cross country and soccer teams. Additionally, she was a member of the National Honors Society and Howard Mock Trial Club, and a committed volunteer within the deaf community.
Currently, Smith-Williams is a psychology major at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and plans to become a youth mental health counselor. "With this scholarship, it is our hope that Ms. Smith-Williams will achieve her dream to shatter the stereotypical belief that deaf persons are inferior, and use her strength and resiliency to impact the lives of our youth," said Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, sorority president.
Through scholarships funded by its chapters, Zeta has given more than $4 million in the past five years to help students, like Smith-Williams, achieve their college dreams. "Janea's strength, perservance, commitment to community, and academic achievement exemplifies the spirit of Zeta's founders. I know she is destined for greatness and will certainly make ZNEF proud," said Dr. JacQueline Lawton, ZNEF chairperson.