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Meet our Named Scholarship Honorees

Our Named Scholarships honor the hard work, dedication and faith of so many amazing pioneers that have positively impacted the Grady Young Foundation and the world. Each year's scholarship finalists continue to carry out the legacies of these unrivaled individuals and we pray that their honor lives on for many many years.

Grady Young

Grady Young was a lifetime residence of Hall County, Georgia. He was the husband of the late Eloise Mosley Young for over 59 years and father of six children (four daughters and two sons) whom he sacrificed his time and effort for them to get an education, as he only completed the 5th grade.


As a dedicated member of the Cross Plains Missionary Baptist Church for over 61 years, he was affectionately called “Deacon Grady Young”. He served in many capacities such as Church Treasurer, Superintendent of Sunday School, Chairman of Deacons, and Chairman of Trustees for many years. Being a devout deacon, he served as Layman President and Treasurer of the Congress of Christian Education for the Northwestern Baptist Association of Georgia.


His civic endeavors included: Hall County Board of Family and Children Services, Forest Hill Boys Club, Hall County Voters League and the defunct Southside Chamber of Commerce. He was a skilled carpenter, who retired from the Seaboard Coastline, and served as a community and political activist. He was an innovator, communicator, initiator, leader, spiritual advisor, and counselor.

Eloise Young

Lucy Mariah Eloise Mosley Young was born in Chattooga County, Georgia. She was the late wife of Grady Young for over 59 years. Being reared under the household of sincere family values and church commitment, her education was demanded to pursue excellence. Attending the Beulah Rucker Boarding School in Gainesville, Georgia, she learned the importance of education.


After finishing school, she taught school within the Hall County School system, married, and became the mother of six children (four daughters and two sons). She continued to manifest the need for education by making sure that each of her children had an opportunity to acquire an education. Therefore, she believed that every child should have an opportunity to a quality education. Four of her children and six siblings attended Savannah State University, most graduating with teaching degrees.


Lovingly remembered as “Miss Eloise”, everyone loved her cooking, gardening, and always knew “The Avon Lady” was on her way every Saturday morning to collect and deliver her wares.

Irene Johnson

Jessie Irene Estelle Young Johnson preceded her parents, Grady and Eloise Young, in death. She was born in Hall County, Georgia (Belmont) and was the mother of five children (two sons and three daughters). She was a very dedicated member of the Buford Community.


Her faith led her to become employed within the schools, community, and provided services to others through her skills as a beautician as modeled by Madame C.J. Walker and through culinary arts in the school cafeteria.


She served her community well as an activist with the Women in Action and assisted others in acquiring access to knowledge and opportunities within her community.


She was the family entertainer and built better relationships through communication, singing, cooking, laughter, social events, spiritual guidance, and other attributes. This brought about the first Mosley Grandchildren’s Reunion, and it has been going strong for more than 45 years.

Marie Young

Mollie Marie Young Johnson was born in Hall County, Georgia (Belmont) to the late Grady and Eloise Young. She was the mother of two sons. For the family, Marie was the Matriarch-in-Waiting. After the death of her sister, Irene Johnson, she helped provide the motherly love for Irene’s family. The bond of family commitment and love shined deep in her face and heart. She was the founder of the Dave and Lula Young Family Reunion that began in 1989 and continued as President until her death in January 2003.


Her dedication to community involvement, school, and church fostered a personality that won the likes of others. She served as data clerk for the Buford Elementary School before her retirement. She was an activist for Women in Action as well as politically astute.


She continued the model of Madam C. J. Walker as an owner and operator of her own Beauty Shop in the Buford Community.

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Gaynell Williams

Gaynell B. Young Williams was a lifetime resident of Hall County, Georgia. Her deeds and uncompromising commitment to her family, friends, and church served as an anchor for a life of longevity.


She was a beloved sister of the late Grady Young and at the blessed age of 93 years old was the proud mother of 15 children, and a host of six generations of grandchildren. Through these six generations, the legacy of Gaynell has flourished through the Grady Young Foundation, Inc. (GYF) by her daughter and son-in-law, Ann & Halloray Benjamin; her grandson, Jacob Cheeks; and her granddaughter, Gwenell Brown, all of whom are Board Directors of GYF. Gaynell B. Young Williams supported GYF since its inception in 2004 and was recognized as one of its “Living Legacies” each year. She was humble in spirit and upon the death of Grady and Eloise Young, she served as the surrogate mother of the Grady Young family, and her love, kindness, wisdom, and understanding will never be forgotten.


Her favorite scripture was Psalms 91:1: “He that dwelleth in the secret places of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. As a mother of Cross Plains Missionary Baptist Church, she served several years as Director of the Willing Workers, Primary Class Sunday School Teacher, Sunday School Treasurer, Director of the Youth Choir, President of the Usher Board, Mission, Deaconess and Mothers’ Board.

Marion "Paulette" Lott

Marion “Paulette” Lott was born February 28, 1951, to the late Johnny Bascom and Gladys Ruth Yarbrough Lott of Gainesville, Georgia. She was the first daughter of two born to this union, along with nine brothers. As legacy records it, Paulette was the granddaughter of Carl and Adele Yarbrough. Dave Young (father of Grady Young) and Carl Yarbrough were first cousins and were devout attendees with their families to the Tanner Young-Yarbrough Family Reunion each year. 


Paulette was such a delight to serve on the Board of Directors of the Grady Young Foundation, Inc. (GYF) for nearly two (2) years. Her devotion, sacrifice, energy, smile, and pride were joyous to see as she exercised her expertise in chairing Public Relations and her desire to serve on the Scholarship Committee. She often indicated her delight in being a part of a worthwhile cause for the students and communities of Gainesville/Hall County and other related areas.


As a mother of two (who preceded her in death) a son, Paul Rashad Singleton and daughter, Conyas Jamika Bryson, her love for the young, and people in general, was evident in each conversation she shared. Paulette was a 1969 graduate of E. E. Butler High School, Gainesville, Georgia, and received her Bachelor and Master’s degree from Brenau University. She attended the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Decatur, Georgia where she served on the Career Ministry. For over 30 years she was employed as a Data Analyst/Supervisor with Equifax, Inc. and retired in 2008.

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Gerald Kesler

Mr. Gerald Franklin Kesler, son of Mrs. Mary Lois Hale Kesler, was born January 5, 1953, in Gainesville, Georgia. He attended the public-school system, Fair Street Elementary School, E.E. Butler High School, and Gainesville High School. He graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Minor in Secondary Education in 1975; and was an Incorporator and Charter member of the Grady Young Foundation, Inc. (GYF) in February 2004; he served tirelessly with the Grady Young Foundation to establish Book and Memorial scholarships, which then served as a model for other families and organizations.

He contributed to the Foundation’s efforts to institute dynamic youth programs, while serving with the Boys &Girls Club of Hall County, to increase the Foundation’s resources and recognitions; and distinguished himself on the Grady Young Foundation Board of Directors as a compassionate educator with a mission to serve and to engage others. Mr. Gerald Franklin Kesler was a courageous champion of justice, with an unswerving faith in God, Family and Education.

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Sarah Sims

As an alumnus of Savannah State University and former scholar of GYF, Mrs. Sarah Sims has accomplished goals that reflect the following achievements: Honors civil engineering technology student, the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) All-Star for the White House Initiatives on HBCUs. She served as Student Government Association (SGA) President, as well as SGA Chief Justice.


She was a Dwight Eisenhower Scholar, Residence Hall Association President in 2015 and was the first Residence Hall Association Queen for Richard R. Wright Hall. During her tenure as Residence Hall Association President, the outstanding Clifford Hardwick Organization of the Year award was presented to this organization.


Mrs. Sims was also a member of the outstanding Wesleyan Gospel Choir (annual guest choir during the GYF Memorial Scholarship Weekend). She earned the SSU President’s Second Mile Award (awarded to a graduating senior for distinction in leadership and academic achievement) in 2018. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Knowing that the slogan of SSU is “You can get anywhere from here” . . . Mrs. Sims is now an engineer in transportation at Georgia Department of Transportation.

Jacob Wilmont

Mr. Jacob Wilmont is a native Gainesvillian who has dedicated more than 50 years of sacrificial service to the Citizens of Gainesville/Hall County, Georgia. Many have benefited from his coaching, mentorship, leadership, organizing, supervision, administration, and management. GYF thanks God for allowing us to be beneficiaries of his love, care, and development of young people.


As a token of our appreciation and love for him, in 2016 the GYF established the Jacob Wilmont Community Athletic Scholarship for the many services provided to our family, our churches, the recreation centers, and the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs through the years. His services have positively impacted all who have played or worked under his leadership. He has helped young men and women advance their economic livelihood in the Gainesville/Hall County communities.

Estelle Young-Jackson

Estelle Mosley Young-Jackson was an outstanding Educator. She retired from the Gainesville City School System after over 40 years of teaching. As a wife and mother, she always found an opportunity to inspire and educate those with whom she came in contact. She was a motivator, as she would give encouraging words to those aspiring to achieve their goals. As a Christian, her faith was built on scripture, and her favorite verses were from the First Psalm. 


Mrs. Young was the wife of Funeral Director Grover Young, and to this union, four sons (Emeritus, Alfred, Anthony, and Rickey) were born. After Grover Young’s death, she married Rev. L. A. Jackson. Mrs. Young, as most knew her in school, was the sister-in-law of Grady Young and sister of his wife Eloise Mosley Young. Therefore, she was double related to the Young/Mosley families. Her mark in the community was one that was left of direct involvement. She was always to the point, no beating around the bush when asked a question or entertaining young folks with wisdom.

Charles Young
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Chairman Charles G. Young served as President of the Student Body at Gainesville High School, President of the Freshman Class at Gainesville State College, President of the District of Columbia Alumni Chapter of Savannah State University National Alumni Association (SSUNAA), President of Blacks In Government-Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL), Agency Vice-President of AFGE-Local 12, Eastern Region Vice President of SSUNAA, President of SSUNAA, President/Chairman of SSU Foundation, Inc. , and President of SSUNAA-Class of 1976 Chapter, in addition to numerous other leadership positions throughout his work, community, educational, social and religious life.


He currently serves as President/Chairman of the Grady Young Foundation, Inc., and is establishing this scholarship award for students who exemplify serious leadership qualities.

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Willie B. Young

Willie B. Young established Young’s Funeral Home in Gainesville, Georgia in 1932. Mr. Young was an entrepreneur and community leader who created a family legacy from a “startup” small business model.

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John and Eunice Davis

Mr. John O. Davis and Mrs. Eunice C. Davis are natives of Brunswick, Georgia, and Thomson, Georgia, respectively, who spent most of their teaching careers in the Gainesville City Schools System. They dedicated more than 40 years of teaching and administration to the students and families of Gainesville- Hall County, Georgia.


Many have benefited from their teaching, directing the band, music, mentorship, leadership, organizing, supervision, administration, and management. GYF is grateful to God for allowing us to be beneficiaries of their love, care, and development of young people. As avid supporters of the Grady Young Foundation since its founding, and as a token of our appreciation and love for them, the GYF is establishing the John O. and Eunice C. Davis Scholarship, for the many services and support provided to the Grady Young Foundation through the years.


Their services have positively impacted all who were taught, played in the band, or worked under their leadership. They have helped thousands of young men and women advance their economic livelihood in the Gainesville-Hall County communities.

Dr. Virginia Morrison

Dr. Virginia Juanita Young Morrison is a native of Gainesville, GA and resides in Savannah, GA. She is the fourth and youngest daughter of the late Grady & Eloise Young. In appreciation of her children and grandchildren, she was gifted the announcement of this annual scholarship on her 70th birthday. She is a wife, mother of 3, grandmother of 4 and great-grandmother of one.


Her profession stems from a legacy of Educators. Serving as President/CEO of MBHM, Inc., and Facilitator of P.R.Y.M.E.² Multiple Sclerosis Self-help Group, advocating for the health and safety of the community of people with disabilities is another one of Dr. Morrison’s passions. As an Author, Professional Educator, Facilitator, Mentor, Servant of God and Community.

Elzonia Williams
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Samuel Williams
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