Central High senior awarded Elmore Bolling Initiative Scholarship

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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Central High School senior, Mariah Graham, has been awarded the 2024 Elmore Bolling Initiative Scholarship. She will attend Alabama A&M University in the fall.

“Mariah Graham represents the hope and potential that my father envisioned for future generations,” said Bolling’s daughter, Josephine Bolling McCall. “We are confident she will carry forward the torch of innovation and civic duty.”

She is the daughter of Michelle Graham. Her academic achievements and aspirations embody the values of education, entrepreneurship and citizenship, core principles of Elmore Bolling, a Lowndes County native who developed an integrated network of area businesses in the 1930s and 40s. 

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Bolling promoted economic opportunities and advocated for the region’s Black community during the Jim Crow era. Bolling was lynched in 1947 by white men who were jealous of his success. Despite eyewitnesses to the murder available to testify, no one was convicted or even indicted for the crime. 

McCall founded a nonprofit organization to carry on her father’s legacy in 2008. The Elmore Bolling Initiative (formerly Foundation) began awarding annual scholarships in 2014 and since then has provided over $12,000 in scholarships to graduates of Lowndes County Public Schools. Scholarship winners are awarded $1,000 towards their education and a Chromebook computer. Previous scholarship recipients have attended Alabama State University, Auburn University-Montgomery, Bishop State Community College, Trenholm State Community College, Tuskegee University, and University of West Alabama.

“Our mission extends beyond commemorating Mr. Bolling’s legacy,” said Dr. Regina Moorer, chair of The Elmore Bolling Initiative Scholarship Committee. ‘We aim to educate and empower, share the full history of Lowndes County, and support its citizens in creating a future where injustices are no more.”

For more information about The Elmore Bolling Initiative and the scholarship program, please visit https://bollinginitiative.org