Leadership McKinney Scholarships Announced
During the final event of McKinney's Black History Month celebration, the McKinney Area Democratic Club announced scholarships for the Chamber of Commerce Leadership McKinney educational program. With Black History Month's speaker Ambassador Ron Kirk in attendance, the organization revealed that they would be providing not just one but two scholarships for women or men of color who have been approved for the upcoming year's class. The scholarship was first awarded in 2022 and is designed to honor and celebrate the Black community by providing financial assistance for the Chamber's program for up-and-coming leaders in the McKinney community.
The scholarship is named in honor of Mrs. Ruby Gross Hines Babers, the grandmother of Ms. Tonya Babers Dangerfield, who is a member of the McKinney Area Democrats' Board of Directors and a realtor who is also a Chamber member. Born in Dallas in 1925 to teenage parents but raised by her grandmother, Mrs. Babers walked away from an abusive marriage with only her two children and a determination to succeed. She worked for wealthy, white families as a maid during the day, worked nights cleaning the Wilson Building in downtown Dallas, and checked groceries on Saturdays as a cashier – three jobs day after day and night after night! A fierce advocate for education and community involvement, Mrs. Babers ensured her children and grandchildren understood the value of education and that success would come with hard work.
Ms. Deidre Woodard, owner of Status Realty and the inaugural recipient of the Babers Scholarship, made the surprise announcement of the two scholarships. She stated, "I found the Chamber’s premier leadership training program to be an exceptional way to learn more about my community, meet an amazing cross-section of leaders, and establish friendships that I’m sure will last for years to come. I would like to encourage all eligible Leadership McKinney applicants to apply for these scholarships. Black History Month is the perfect time to remind ourselves that we belong in business spaces, at conference tables, in politics, and in leadership positions. The McKinney Area Democratic Club hopes these scholarships can help make that happen."
The McKinney Area Democratic Club will consider applicants who are women or men of color who have been approved for the upcoming year's class for Leadership McKinney. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the organization's Community Black History Month page.