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Our History

Creating bright futures since 2014

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The Scholars is a non-profit organization that started with Chiquita Burks, Rhonda Dolberry, 10 young ladies, a fashion show, and a dream. The fashion show served as an opportunity to teach the young ladies. Teaching them that you are more than the clothes you wear. They took this to the next level when the girls decide they wanted more: In


Chiquita Burks and Rhonda Dolberry started a series of workshops teaching the youth various life lessons that will be invaluable to them throughout life. The meeting place was 518 Wood Street, Texarkana, Arkansas. After several workshops, the leaders decided to give the group a name. They got the name when one of the young ladies, Channing Watson, blurted out “I got it, The Scholars!” Everyone was in agreement and we have not looked back since.  Based upon the leadership and guidance of qualified and caring mentors, from July 19, 2014 through April 18, 2015, The Scholars successfully completed a series of entrepreneurial workshops, based on the award winning book “Success for Teens”.


June 13, 2015 The Scholars produced and directed their first video shoot: “Boots for Walking”. The Scholars presented their first production June 20, 2015, “Keeping Our History Alive” at the TRAHC Building, a celebration of African and African American History that empowered and educated the community by telling African American story through jazz, poetry, music, dance, and fashion. The featured artist was Wale African Cultural Group of Dallas, Texas. December 5, 2015 The Scholars participated in the Debonaire-Pandora Holiday Fashion Revue and Books Collection, collecting over 200 books for elementary students. This was the beginning of a yearly partnership.


The Scholars decided to become a non-profit organization. The First Executive Board Meeting was March 21, 2016, eight people answered the call as Board Members: Chiquita Burks, Rhonda Dolberry, Shun Watson, Claude Moore, Dr. Tracie Calloway, Keith Cotton, Darla Moss, and Maxine Crittenden. Officers were elected as follows: Chiquita Burks- President, Rhonda Dolberry- Vice President, Secretary – Maxine Crittenden, Asst. Sec. – Shun Watson, Treasurer – Darla Moss, Financial Sec. – Dr. Tracie Calloway, Parliamentarian – Keith Cotton. March 26, 2016 – Book Project (Create A Book) Scholars wrote their first book “The Scholars”, their experience as a Scholar. April 4 2016, 7 Executive Board Members were added.  May 22, 2016 The Scholars became a 501(c) 3 organization.  June 17, 2016 The Scholars partnered with Texarkana College Black Student Association to present “Keeping Our History Alive” at Texarkana College Truman Arnold Center. The featured artist was Morgan Avery McCoy of Virginia. June – July 2016 The Scholars 1st year to attend Texarkana College Kid’s College. September 23-26, 2016 The Scholars first trip, The Scholars traveled to Washington D. C. for the grand opening of the Smithsonian Nat’l Museum of African American History of Culture. The Scholars toured The White House, The Capitol, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian Zoo, Arlington Cemetary, MLK monument and more.


January 29, 2017 The Scholars 1st African Drum rehearsal under the direction of Mr. Stelton Hill @ College Hill Elementary. March 4, 2017 – Charming Charlie Fundraiser March 25, 2017 – 1st “Meet The Scholars Induction Luncheon” @ Texas A&M, Texarkana. Scholars partnered with Texas A&M to induct the 1st 15 Scholars, they were presented with purple blazers and certificates. Guest speaker was Carlton Jones and Zak McCarty was the inspirational speaker. April 3, 2017 – Clothing drive for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. April 11, 2017 – The Scholars received a certificate from Leadership Texarkana as a Wilbur Smith Community Service nominee. May 2017 – The Scholars volunteered for the 1st Texarkana Museum Tinkerfest @ Discovery Place. The Scholars STEM project – taught other youth how to make Saber lights. June 10, 2017 3rd Annual “Keeping Our History Alive” – The Scholars first African drum performance. Featured artist – Baba Kwasi and the Ayubu Kings and Queens of Dallas, TX. June 17, 2017 – The Scholars were invited to perform at the Mosaic Templar Museum Juneteenth Festival in Little Rock, AR.  July 17, 2017- presented the Sam’s Community Giving Grant ($1000). June – July 2017 The Scholars attended Texarkana College Kid’s College. October 3, 2017 Scholars were approved by TASD to meet and have workshops at Andrew Hill’s building The June Little Center, 3512 Grand Ave, Texarkana, AR. October 15, 2017 – The Scholars volunteer as docents for the Fossils Exposed Exhibit at the Discovery Place. November 18, 2017 – Scholars 1st workshop at The June Little Center. November 20, 2017 – Scholars 1st Executive Board Meeting at The June Little Center. December 2, 2017 Scholars participate in the Annual Debonaire Pandora Fashion Revue and Book Collection. December 31, 2017 The Scholars 1st New Year’s Eve Fundraiser, “Light up the Night”.


February 3, 2018 Community Service- Lead Big Conference. February 24, 2018 The Scholars participated and won 1st Place at the Twin City Black History Youth Rally with an African Drum performance. February 28, 2018 The Scholars African Drum performance at Texas A&M Texarkana Black History Program. March 2018 The Scholars wrote and produced their first commercial for the Ronald McDonald House “Pay The Tab” – community service. April 7, 2018 Community Service @ The Girls Uninterrupted Conference @ North Heights Jr. High School. April 19, 2018 The Scholars traveled to Little Rock, AR to participate in the Ronald McDonald House “Pay the Tab” Pop Tab Pandemonium, won The Spirit Award, and collected 86lbs of tabs, also visited the Clinton Library, The Capitol, and The Ronald McDonald House. April 28, 2019 The Scholars partnered with Exposed for the Terry Rogers benefit Basketball game and Exposed Scholars Youth Leadership Conference and presented 4 scholarships to local Seniors. May 2018 Community Service at 2nd annual Tinkerfest June 9, 2018 The Scholars and Texarkana College Black Student Assc. changed the name of Keeping Our History Alive to Keeping History Alive. Presented Keeping History Alive, highlighting The Choctaw Nation and Bess Gamble as featured artist. June – July 2018 Scholars attended Texarkana Kid’s College, 8 Scholars learned to swim July 16-19, 2018 The Scholars traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, toured CNN, The Federal Reserve Museum, Georgia Capitol, and the MLK Museum, attended a workshop with Civil Rights Activist Annie Pearl Avery. The Scholars were invited to attend Bloody Sunday Celebration in Alabama the first weekend in March. July – August 2018 Community Service. Scholars volunteered for the Jamison Center of Kindness Summer program and The Discovery Place. July 2018 The Scholars toured Harvest Texarkana and donated 40 cases of water. July 2018 The Scholars performed at the Booker T. Washington School Alumni Association Reunion. October 27, 2018 The Scholars receive the “Special Achievement Award from the NAACP at the Freedom Fund Banquet. October 15, 2018 The Scholars – Community Service @ McDonalds on Stateline, collected change for the Ronald McDonald House “A Day of Change”. October 20, 2018 Community Service – Race for The Cure- Cheered-on the runners and walkers and passed out water. November 17, 2018 The Scholars 2nd Annual Meet The Scholars Induction luncheon, inducted 10 new Scholars and 3 S.O.A.R (Scholars on a Rise).


Organization “African Heritage Extravaganza” at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, AR. February 27, 2019 The Scholars performed African drum and dance at the Texarkana College Black History Program. March 1-3, 2019 The Scholars traveled to Selma, Alabama for the 54th Bloody Sunday Celebration, The Scholars performed African Drum and Dance, toured Civil Rights and Slavery Museums, attended church service and marched in the re-enactment Bloody Sunday March on Edmund Petus Bridge. April 5 and 6 The Scholars partnered with Exposed for the Terry Rogers benefit Basketball game and Exposed Scholars Youth Leadership Conference and presented 8 scholarships to local Seniors. May 11 2019 Community Service at 3rd annual Tinkerfest. May 23, 2019 The Scholars attended Tolesha Daniels, their first Scholar to graduate High School graduation at First Baptist Church. June 1, 2019 Community service at Faith, Love, and Hope clean-up day.  June 13, 2019 The Scholars attended the Miller County Farm Bureau Nature Camp. June 15, 2019 The Scholars traveled to Little Rock and performed at the Mosaic Templar Museum Juneteenth Celebration. June 29, 2019 The Scholars and Texarkana College Black Student Association “Keeping History Alive” highlighted Hispanic culture. Featured artist Baba Kwasi and the Ayubu Kings and Queens and the Hispanic Cultural Group. July 5 and 6, 2019 The Scholars attended Lonoke Baptist Church 1st PREP workshop.

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