A Greensboro foundation reaches back, lifts up and pays it forwardPeacemaker Staff Reports / December 30, 2021
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The COM7LETE Project Foundation, founded in 2018 by Greensboro resident Whitney Walls, recently held its annual scholarship gala at the Sedgefield Country Club ballroom in Greensboro. The purpose of the foundation, whose motto is to “Reach Back, Lift Up, and Pay It Forward,” is to “encourage and support students in continuing their education and commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives.” The foundation and its board did just that by awarding local high school seniors and college students’ scholarships to help further their academic studies.
“We do this through our financial investments of scholarships and grants to students and organizations that contribute to work of our mission. That helps students reach their highest potential and become the persons they are intended to be,” said founder Whitney Walls, who is also a graduate of James B. Dudley High School and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. In addition to giving back and uplifting the next generation of leaders in the community, Walls is the co-owner of the holistic salon, 3:16 Studio and Co. with business partner, Tia Hastye.
The COM7LETE Project Foundation annually awards the Tiffany LaRae Walls Academic Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 per recipient and the Michael Wayne Walls Charities and Organizations Grant in the amount of $1,500 per recipient. This year’s recipients of the Tiffany LaRae Walls Academic Scholarship were Trinity Matthews, a freshman at Spelman College and Tyler Toms, a junior at North Carolina A&T State University. Recipients of the Michael Wayne Walls charities and Organizations Grant were Tracie Baker with Dream Big Events, LLC. Terrance Tucker with The Tuck Project. LLC. Baker is a graduate of N.C. A&T State University and Tucker is a graduate of South Carolina State University.
Keynote speaker for the gala was Dr. Willie Deese, a distinguished alumnus and philanthropist of North Carolina A&T State University. He is a native of Davidson, N.C., who earned a B.S. in business administration from A&T in 1977 and an MBA from Western New England College in 1982. Deese led a 40-year career as a pharmaceutical executive and global president of manufacturing for Merck & Co. Inc. Deese was bestowed an honorary doctorate in business from N.C. A&T and was one of the first three recipients of the Chancellor’s Legacy Award in 2016. In February 2020, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University dedicated its School of Business the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics. He has served on the university’s Board of Trustees, including a term as chairman and he continues to serve his alma mater as chairperson of the Deese College’s Executive Advisory Council. He also serves as co-chair of the university’s most recent capital campaign, The Power of Do, which has raised more than 181.4 million for the university.
The Com7LETE Project Foundation has a dynamic slate of board members. They are Karla Munden, Nicole A. Hill, Bonita C. Mittman, Dr. Cathy D. Cornelius, Brianna “Ivie” Smith Bibbs and Angela Y. Young.Munden is a retired U.S. Navy Reservist and current Senior Vice President & Chief Audit Executive for Lincoln Financial Group. Nicole A. Hill is an electrical engineer and is Vice President at BANK OF AMERICA in Weehawken, N.J., where she leads tech transformation for 100+ teams in Global Markets Technology. Hill is also co-founder of Magnum Opus, a creative co-working studio for artists in New Jersey; and the co-owner of Antonio Martez LLC., a creative imagery production house and educational platform for photographers.
Bonita C. Mittman is a highly experienced professional with more than 15 years of combined cross-industry experience in Project Management, Information Technology and Consulting. Mittman is HCS Executive Director of Information Technology for UNC Health – N.C. A&T State University. She has worked in both Fortune 500 and small business organizations.
Dr. Cathy D. Cornelius is the retired Assistant Dean for Student Success in the College of Business and Economics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. As an experienced higher education administrator, Cornelius has been director of Student Services in the College of Business where she successfully enhanced corporate placement initiatives with Cargill, Caterpillar, GE, UBS, Ford, Cintas, Rockwell Collins, Wal Mart Sam’s Club, Bank of America and others. Other student services accomplishments include chairperson of the Academic Summer Bridge Program, co-chair of the Aggie Impact Scholars Summer Bridge Program and facilitation of BusinessWeek cover wrap for the college.
Brianna “Ivie” Smith Bibbs is a native of Greensboro and an alumna of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Bibbs has an extensive background in mental health. She is also a realtor, who is known for outstanding customer service, 24/7 availability, personal touches and she is a skilled navigator with her clients’ best interest at heart. Bibbs and her husband Anthony have their own private bartending company, Liquid Love, LLC., which specializes in signature drinks and bartending entertainment. She is known for telling others “Don’t stop until you get what you want. Push through and stay true to your heart and desires.”
Angela Y. Young has served in the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 28 years. She currently serves as the Director, Education and Training for the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence, whose mission it is to support and maintain the health, independence, and quality of life of Veterans with MS through clinical care, education, and research.
To be considered for a scholarship, high school seniors or enrolled college students must have a 2.8 GPA or higher and attend or prepare to attend a Historically Black College and or University. The foundation also “awards grants to charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations and businesses that encourage continued education and share a commitment to student excellence.”
The COM7LETE Project Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations made within the United States are tax-deductible. For more information, email: Whitney Walls: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: www.thecom7leteproject.org.