This year, 25 high school seniors will receive a scholarship to attend college from the Rosa L. Parks Foundation, named in honor of the late civil rights icon and long-time Detroit resident.

The foundation was founded by The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools and is supported by the Butzel Long law firm. An article in the Detroit News highlights each recipient this year, and one of those grateful seniors is Kayla Brown, daughter of Ken Brown – who is the director of The Matrix Center on E. McNichols road. Kayla just graduated from Renaissance High School in Detroit, on W McNichols rd.

Kayla was one of hundreds of applicants for the scholarship. In order to be selected, each applicant was expected to have given back to their community as Rosa Parks did. In Kayla’s case, she had plenty of achievements to highlight, including: being a member of the National Honor Society, class secretary, vice president, and president, all-regional softball player, Detroit Public School League city champion of softball, and a youth volunteer at Matrix Human Services.

But to win, an essay was also required that highlighted their impact on the community. To quote from Kayla’s essay that won her the scholarship:

“Every summer since 2015, I have participated in a weekly program at The Matrix Center, a local recreation center, which provides wholesome meals and food to children and families in need. Once a week, members of the community who are in need of food, gather at our local recreation center and are served fresh, healthy food. Since I am unable to reach a vast amount of people in the country, I decided to start in my community.”

Whether it be nature or nurture, Kayla clearly inherited her father Ken’s giving and helpful nature, as Ken has been at the Matrix Center for 10 years and has served as the director for the last four, where he does outreach to different Mission Partners and offers services to the community, such as a food pantry, clothing closet, after school programming, senior programming, workforce development, and more.

Kayla now plans to go to North Carolina A&T State University to become an Orthopedic Surgeon someday.  

Interested in learning more about the scholarship recipients? The Detroit Free Press article has more!