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Meet our Named Scholarship Sponsors

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 Mosley 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.
  • Jessie Irene Estelle Young 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. She modeled her work after Madame C.J. Walker. 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, and spiritual guidance. This brought about the first Mosley Grandchildren’s Reunion, and it has been going strong for more than 25 years.
  • Marie Young Johnson
    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.
  • Gaynell B. Young Williams
    Gaynell B. Young Williams was a lifetime resident of Hall County, Georgia. Her deeds and uncompromisingcommitment 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.Her favorite song was: “Pray for Me”; this led her to sing in the Senior Choir and travel with the Gainesville Gospel Singers. Her devotion and dedication to the service of the Lord were evident through the Sunday School Congress, the Northwestern Baptist Association, Youth for Christ Movement, and the State and Local Conventions. For many years, she also worked with Young’s Mortuary Funeral Home in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • 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. Aslegacy 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 served as secretary of the TYY Family Reunion for over 20 years as well as chaired several committees. 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. She often discussed how proud her parents and grandparentswould be and she wanted to keep her family involved with the Foundation. 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. Paulettewas a 1969 graduate of E. E. Butler High School, Gainesville, Georgia, and received her Bachelor and Masters 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. Aside from the TTY Family Reunion and the GYF, Paulette was very active with Creekside Homeowners Association, volunteered for the 2008 President Barack Obama’s Campaign, American Organ Donation Association, and many other organizations. On December 23, 2013, her siblings: Beleta Lott-Lockwood, Marvin, Randall, Johnny, Billy, Dwight, and DexterLott, agreed upon a scholarship be named in her memory as the Paulette Lott Memorial Scholarship.
  • Gerald Franklin 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.
  • Willie B. Young & Sons
    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.
  • Estelle Mosley Young-Jackson
    Mrs. 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. In 2016, one of Mrs. Young-Jackson’s mentees, Director Shirley Lipscomb (first African American Instructor at Lanier Technical School (now College), emphasized the impact Mrs. Young-Jackson had on her life and she appreciates her affection, nurturing, guidance, advice, and coaching. This impact gave her the desire to establish a Book Scholarship in her memory, namely the Estelle Mosley Young-Jackson Memorial Book Scholarship.
  • 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 ourfamily, 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.
  • 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 providedto 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.
  • Charles G. Young
    Chairman Charles G. Young is the Founder, President/Chairman and CEO of the Grady Young Foundation. Chairman 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.
  • Sarah J Sims
    As an alumnus of Savannah State University and former scholar of GYF, Ms. Sarah Dillard 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 (now an all-male dormitory). She wrote letters to SSU Administration to ensure furniture was placed inthe living-lounge areas of 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. Ms. Dillard 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” . . . Ms. Dillard is now an engineer in transportation at Georgia Department of Transportation. She is also an entrepreneur with one of the most popular online bakeries, Beloved’s Sweets.
  • Dr. Virginia Juanita Young Morrison
    Dr. Virginia Juanita Young Morrison is a native of Gainesville, GA and resides in Savannah, GA. She is the fourthand 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 by her children & grandchildren. She is a wife and mother of three, grandmother of four 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
    Ms. Elzonia Williams was a lifelong resident of Hall County. She was a single mother of eight beautiful children, eighteen grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and 5 great, great grandchildren, whom she loved dearly. She was preceded in death by two children. Ms. Williams was third born to Gaynell and Luther Williams. She was a lady with a quiet spirit and enjoyed family and friends. She worked thirty plus years at Jessie D. Jewel Poultry Company located in Gainesville, Ga (Poultry Capital of the World) and later retired from Johnson & Johnson Company. She worked 6 days a week to make sure that her family had a roof over their head and food on the table. After retiring, she became a caregiver, housekeeper and a nanny for others. Ms. Elzonia joined Cross Plain Baptist Church at an early age. She served faithfully as a choir member and on the kitchen committee. She enjoyed going to church, cooking, traveling, shopping and spending lots of family and friend time. Ms. Williams had open heart surgery in 2004 and was diagnosis with dementia in 2013. Once Ms. Williams was diagnosed, her children, grandchild, daughter/son-in -law took turns caring for her around the clock until God called her home March 12, 2021.
  • Samuel Eugene Williams
    Samuel (Sammy) Eugene Williams was born November 21, 1965, he was the fifth child to Elzonia Williams. As a young child he gave his life to Christ and was an active member at Cross Plains Baptist Church in Gainesville, Ga. He was very passionate and protective of his family and wanted to make a better life for his mother and siblings through his talents on the field. He knew the key for a better life was to become an outstanding student in the classroom and a powerhouse player on the field. Sammy became a talented student, varsity athlete at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Ga. Sammy loved to volunteer at the Hall County Boys Club where he would mentor the youth on the importance of being a great student. He loved the game of football; it allowed him to become one of the top recruits in the state of Georgia. He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1983. After high school his talent in football earned him a full four-year scholarship to Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. Not only did Sammy excel on the football field he also dominated in the track and field events where he set a school record in the men’s hurdles. Sammy was home for the summer in 1984, going into his sophomore year of college, when he lost his life while swimming with friends in Lake Lanier at the age of 19.
  • Dr. Jimmie C. Jackson
    Dr. Jimmie C. Jackson of Haynesville, GA, attended Savannah State College (University) and was named Ms. Senior in 1959. She majored in Mathematics and today continued to be infatuated with Math and problem solving. As a longtime educator, over the years she has presented many scholarships to students attending Savannah State University in honor of her parents and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She believes in teaching beyond the classroom through community service, cultural exposure, field trips, traveling, etc. She was encouraged by renowned Civil Rights Activist Rev. Jessie Jackson to be involved and get experience with various organizations. She taught and retired from the Washington, DC Public School System. She served as the Director of the Teacher Center Model (1978-1991) that she developed and where she taught Teachers to be and do their best in the classroom. In 2020, she was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame for her lifetime achievement in the field of education. Dr. Jackson is an Incorporator and serves o the Board of Directors of Grady Young Foundation. She has served as Past President of Savannah State National Alumni Association, Savannah State University Foundation, Past Northeastern Syntaktes of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She is very active in her community, church, and devoted to her family and friends.
  • Eloise Young Sheats
    Eloise Young Sheats was the oldest daughter of Dea. Lawton & Sis. Ella Mae Young. She was a native of Gainesville, GA and a faithful and devoted member of Cross Plains Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a dedicated member of the Senior Usher Board for most of her adult life. She was employed at Wrigley’s Gum Company for at least 20 years before retiring, and also did domestic work with a few prominent families of Gainesville. She was always hospitable and loved her family, young folk, and her community. Eloise passed on March 8, 2022.
  • Lawton & Ella Mae Young
    Lawton & Ella Mae Young were prominent residents of Gainesville/Hall County. They were longtime devoted members of the Cross Plains Missionary Baptist Church where he was a Deacon and she was a Deaconess and member of the Mother Board. She loved cooking, especially cakes. He was employed at Gainesville Midland Railroad alongside his son Bill Young and Grady Young for over 47 years before he retired. Ella Mae was a dedicated housewife, mother of 2 daughters and 6 sons and a domestic worker for a couple of prominent families in Gainesville. In the early years of parenting they lived in Belmont, GA not far from Cross Plains and owned their farm where Ella Mae was a field worker along with her family and picked cotton. For most of their lives they lived on Athens Highway and then Cooley Drive on the Southside of Gainesville. They enjoyed seeing success in young people. Lawton passed on January 20, 1983 and Ella Mae passed on August 2, 2000.
  • Rebekah T. Whelchel
    Rebekah Whelchel was reared in the Hickory Grove Community in Lumpkin County, GA. She served as First Lady at several churches alongside her husband (Rev. W. L. Whelchel) during his 45-year pastoral journey and their 72 years of marriage. She was a retired nurse, with Drs. Johnson and Valentine in Gainesville, GA. She was a public servant as a Special Needs Paraprofessional in the Gainesville City School System. As a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and caregiver, she was loved and respected by her community. She passed on August 6, 2020.
  • Rev. W. L. Whelchel
    Rev. W. L. Whelchel was a native of Lumpkin, County where there were no public schools for African Americans in his young days. Therefore, he attended the Hickory Grove Church School and his high school years at Beulah Rucker Industrial High School in Gainesville, GA where his family moved. He worked for the First National Bank of Gainesville for 32 years. He was the first African American Gospel Radio Phenomenon within the Northeast Georgia area, working with WDUN in Gainesville and WSGC of Elberton, GA with his renowned radio show “Hour of Sharing. In 1961, he received the Lord as his personal savior and in 1965 he accepted the call to Ministry. He benefited many in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME). Under his circuit leadership, he helped build and remodeled Rock Spring, Pleasant Home, and White Chapel CME churches. In 1971, a priceless experience for him happened; he traveled to Jerusalem, was baptized in the River of Jordan, just as Jesus Christ. In 1986 he was assigned as President Elder of the Elberton-Gainesville District and served for seven years. Always yearning for knowledge, in 2001-2002, he received a Certificate of Theology from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). He also served as a member of NAACP, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and Salvation Army Advisory Board. He was awarded the Ebony Eloquence Award by Fair Street Butler High School Reunion Committee and was honored to receive from Georgia State Senate, Resolution 809 for his 57 years of service to the ministry. He loved family, young people, and community. During his health challenging years, he held Bible Study at his home. He passed on July 6, 2020.
  • Rev. Laura C. Ashworth Young
    Rev. Laura A. Young was a native of Highpoint, NC.After moving to Washington, DC/Maryland area and becoming employed by the U. S. Department of State, she served 38 years before retiring.She was a devoted Christian, first serving at First Baptist Church of Marshall Heights with her husband, Charles G. Young and family.She later transferred her membership to World Mission Ministries where she was faithful for over 25 years.There she served as CD/Audio Consultant and Dispatcher and she loved it.In 2022, she completed her final requirements for serving God and the Body of Christ with the title of Reverend Minister.She loved family, being grandmother and planning special Family Fellowships, especially the Christmas Fellowship in Myrtle Beach, SC.She passed on September 15, 2022.
  • LaMichael Hendrix
    LaMichael was an active mentor in his community. He enjoyed theater, chorus, and musical groups. As a theater major and graduate of Valdosta State University, he was a huge advocate for youth and giving them a better opportunity in life through education. He was very active in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was devoted to his church. He passed on January 25, 2022.
  • Wilma Sherman Poole
    Mrs. Wilma Sherman Poole lived in Buford, GA with her husband of 38 years, Leonard Poole. Her first husband was Bobby Sherman who preceded her in death. She retired from Buford General Hospital serving fifteen years. She also served as a Paraprofessional with Gwinnett Public Schools, Head Start Program. As a member of Greater Mission Church in Buford, GA she served as a church administrator with the church’s food ministry and was a very active leader in the community. She loved serving people and as a mother of three sons, Leonard, Paul and Dennis Sherman and one daughter, Cassandra Sherman Grider, her scholarship will help a student who will impact the community in the field of healthcare or education.
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