Sankofa International, Inc., Announces Winner of the "Nellene Turner Settle Award For Excellence In the Face of Adversity"

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The winner of the first "Nellene Turner Settle Award for Excellence In the Face of Adversity" is Priscilla Obeng Kwakye, a sixteen year old who lives in Kumasi, Ghana. The Award recognizes a student, living in Ghana, who has overcome severe hardships and made tremendous sacrifices to successfully complete Junior Secondary School and pass the Government’s examination to be eligible for Secondary School (equivalent to high school in the USA). The winner receives a Secondary School Scholarship, all expenses paid. Priscilla competed against over one-hundred students by writing an essay that explained her hardships, sacrifices, and expectations for life based on the opportunity to further her education.

Mr. Ronald LaVell Settle, son of Nellene Turner Settle and Award sponsor, is a retired military officer with over twenty-two years service to the USA, and currently serves as President/CEO of FEDPRO, Inc., a defense logistics firm operating in the D.C., metropolitan area. In collaboration with Sankofa International (Sankofa), Mr. Settle established the Award to honor his mother, a woman who overcame many hardships and made tremendous sacrifices to receive her high school diploma.                                                                        

Mrs. Settle, born in Fairfax, Virginia in 1938, was forced to leave school to help with family expenses. She married at an early age and bore four children, later divorced, and then worked menial jobs to properly care for her children, often working three jobs each day. While facing awesome hardships as a single parent, through self sacrifice, she ensured that all her children graduated from high school, and all but one attended college. When her children were grown, Mrs. Settle fulfilled her lifelong dream of going back to high school and obtaining her diploma. Mrs. Settle died in April 1994. Her life-long desire to press on in the face of adversity and extreme hardship is the legacy for which she will always be remembered.

Sankofa’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of needy Africans, especially children, living in rural African villages. With continued oversight, Sankofa provides a consistent and organized foundation, along with the technical guidance and assistance needed so that problem areas can be addressed effectively at the grass roots level. Short to mid-term, the expected outcome is continued growth and development to help ease the everyday suffering of the people. Long-term, the expected outcome is the creation of communities and people who are self-sustaining.

Since its founding in 1994 by Mr. Richard C. Willis, Sankofa has not received any corporate/government sponsorship. Therefore, to establish and maintain programs, Sankofa founders along with a handful of supporters have covered the overwhelming majority of related expenses. The remainder has been covered by individual donations.

Sankofa has received national and international recognition. Fox T.V. news covered Sankofa’s annual fundraiser and aired portions of the program, CNN and Comcast aired a story on Sankofa, and the Prince George’s Journal in Maryland printed a front page article on Sankofa’s efforts. In Ghana, the Ghana News printed an article covering medical exams and scholarships and Sankofa officials have been interviewed on numerous Ghana radio stations. Finally, in recognition of Sankofa’s efforts, Sankofa officials were invited to the Palace of Otumfoo Osei Tutu II, the Supreme Ashanti Leader.

Sankofa is a 501©(3) public charity and is continually looking for both public and private financial support to continue this worth-while mission.

Richard C. Willis, Chief Executive Officer

Yaw Fobi Agyapong, Treasurer

Everett W. Hackney, Secretary

P.O. Box 27174

Washington, D.C. 20038

Telephone: (301) 627-8492

E-mail: e-mail protected from spam bots

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Richard C. Willis
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