Women in Action of Arcadia, Inc. donated $2,500 to Grambling University Foundation, completing a commitment to create “The Arcadia Women in Action, Inc. Endowed Student Scholarship.”
The group of women is a service organization geared to improving the community, not only in Arcadia but throughout Bienville Parish, located in northern Louisiana between Winn and Bossier parishes and including Gibsland, Bienville, Lucky and Saline.
“We decided a few years ago to do an endowment scholarship with Grambling State University because a lot of students were selecting the university,” said Mary Mason, the group’s treasurer. She said the group began donating in 2011 with $5000 donation.
According to the Louisiana Board of Regents, in 2012 there were 113 students from Bienville Parish. In 2011, the organization gave four students a total of more than $2,000 in scholarships to attend Grambling State: Markisha Hudson, Jerkisha Hudson, Rockesha Cotkerham and Amrissia Wortham.
“They were very helpful,” said Markisha Hudson, a junior criminal justice major. “I have a twin sister and we both attend Grambling. Having two children in college can be very expensive, the scholarship paid for our books.”
The Women in Action of Arcadia includes 13 women, including retired or still working professionals with social worker, Grambling State, military and other law enforcement careers. Many but not all of the women attended Grambling State and encouraged their children to follow.
Jeremy Mason, Mary Mason’s son, was a recipient of the Women in Action of Arcadia scholarship this year. He graduated from Arcadia High School in May.
Mary Mason hopes more Arcadian natives will apply for scholarships.
“A lot of students do not apply for the scholarship,” said Mason, a 1988 Grambling State alumnus from Arcadia. “It’s more than academics, but it is based on need and availability of funds.”
The Women in Action of Arcadia partake in multiple fundraising opportunities throughout the year. They host an annual golf scholarship classic in April at the Trails End Golf Course located in Arcadia. In November, they hosted the “Taste of Arcadia Women,” during which members cooked southern-styled foods for donations and sold tickets for their scholarship program.