“Have faith in God, have faith in yourself, and also have faith in your fellow man and you will succeed,” said Judge Earnestine H. Dorsey to graduating seniors during the 2010 Rosa Fort High School Commencement Ceremonies held at Battle Arena last Sunday, May 23.
Rosa Fort officials welcomed Tennessee’s second female African American judge and Memphis’s first (December 10, 1990) female African American City Judge as guest speaker, offering local students a glimpse of what can be achieved through dedication and the setting of fundamentally sound goals.
As a sophomore student at Melrose High School, Dorsey lead the student body from the school to support the sanitation workers’ strike and Dr. Martin Luther King in his march in Memphis during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. Dorsey and her sister were present at the Lorraine Motel on the day of King’s assassination, and those events motivated her to complete her education with honors and to attend an historically black college (Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University), where she graduated Cum Laude. Judge Dorsey went on to receive a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Memphis in 1984.
“People will tell you that you cannot do things, but do them anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow, but do good anyway. Give the world the best you’ve got and you will succeed…God bless you…I am sure you will make the faculty and staff at Rosa Fort and your family and friends here in Tunica proud, but do it for yourself,” she concluded to a round of applause.
The grandstands were filled as eighty local students stood before their faculty and School Board members to congratulate Valedictorian Derrick Martin, Jr. and Salutatorian Jerrica McCoy and to see a host of students offered musical, athletic and academic scholarships before receiving their diplomas.
Scholarship recipients include: (Music) MS Valley State, $30,000-Howard Edwards, Jr., Derrick Martin, Jr., Sheigra Davis, Danielle Watts, Patrick White, and $40,000 to Kennis Washington; University of Arkansas Commonwealth, $16,000-Telvin Johnson, $20,000-Danielle Watts and Patrick White, $24,000-Kennis Washington, $24,512-Derrick Martin, Jr. and Howard Edwards, Jr.; Jackson State University Dept. of Music Scholarships, $24,000-Howard Edwards, Jr., Telvin Johnson and Patrick White.
(Athletics) Ladies Basketball, Chandrika Pearson-Coahoma Community College-renewable full basketball scholarship; Football, Donald Hawkins and Byron Scott-Full football scholarships-Ittawamba CC; Adam Williams-Full renewable football scholarship-Coahoma CC; Northwest CC, full football scholarship-Donald Hawkins.
(Academics) Liberty University-$11,000-Kennis Washington, Valedictorian and Salutatorian Scholarships-$31,656-3yr renewable-Jerrica McCoy, Leadership Award-$850-Adriane Crawford, Presidential Award-$1100-Shanternera Williams; University of MS Valedictorian and Salutatorian Scholarships-$4000 renewable and full $75,000-Derrick Martin, Jr, Opportunity Tuition 4 yr renewable Scholarship-$23,933-DeAshley Rainey; and Delta State University-full 4yr $70,690-Derrick Martin, Jr.