Howard County Times
Howard County

Pearl Foundation scholarships go to local students [Ellicott City]

The Pearl Foundation Inc. awarded scholarships to eight local high school seniors recently at its 34th annual scholarship luncheon organized by Andrea Moore Evans, the foundation's fundraiser coordinator.

The foundation is the charitable affiliate of the Howard County Iota Lambda Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. AKA is the oldest African-American sorority, established in 1908 at Howard University.


Five of the eight scholarship recipients hail from Ellicott City high schools — Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman (Glenelg Country), Christina Angelique Gregory-Ferrer (Mt. Hebron), Destanee Annette Hamilton (Centennial), Tianhoa Gao (Howard) and Malarie Gamblin (Howard). Additional scholarship winners include Imani Simmons (Wilde Lake), Alyssa Sumpter (Glenelg) and Emmanuel Mones (Long Reach).

"These scholarships allow the sorority to recognize students and afford them the opportunity for academic growth," said scholarship chairperson Jackie Antoine.


This weekend, the Pearl Foundation will hold a fundraiser to support the 2015 scholarships —  "The Pearl Experience, All White Day Party," on Sunday, June 29, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the new Roger Carter Center in Ellicott City. For ticket information, go to then click the "What's New" tap.

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In 2012, Burleigh Manor Middle School formed the It's Academic after-school club coached by Sara Seifter, veteran Centennial High School It's Academic Team advisor and BMMS teacher Anne-Marie Lanz.  The BMMS club also benefits from CHS It's Academic students who serve as mentors to the team.

In only two years, the BMMS It's Academic Club has grown to over 25 members.  This month, four of those members — Jakob Boeye, William He, Adam Knox and Bryce Plunkett — qualified to compete in the recent National History Bee and National History Bee in Atlanta.

At the National History Bowl, over 670 qualifying students from 47 states, including Hawaii, competed in five preliminary rounds, where the top students progressed to the playoffs.  Boeye, He and Plunkett advanced to the first round of playoffs.  Then, Boeye won a chance to compete in the second round of playoffs.

At the National History Bowl, 50 teams were invited to compete in the event.  The BMMS team won 5 of 7 preliminary rounds and advanced to the first round of playoffs.

According to Adam Knox's mom, Jennifer Knox, after a grueling round of back and forth, the round ended in a loss, but the team took home a 12th place national ranking.

"We are so proud of the student's intellect, reflex and sportsmanship," Jennifer Knox said.

For more information about the BMMS It's Academic Club, contact coach Anne-Marie Lanz at