Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship

The YWCA Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship Fund

Mamie Earl Sells was committed to young people, promoting programs that encouraged them to expand and improve their personal lives and career opportunities. This scholarship is dedicated to her memory, honoring her loyalty and service to the community through her volunteer work in the arts, education, racial justice programs and social services. Personally dedicated to the YWCA during the last decade of her life, Mamie played a leadership role in developing the Career Women of Achievement event and served as board member, vice president of membership and overall friend to the YWCA.

This scholarship award honors Mamie's philosophy that we must "lift as we climb," meaning that we must act as role models and mentors to the young women of today and tomorrow.

The YWCA Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship Fund was established in 1993 to provide financial assistance and support to an outstanding African-American female Greater Cincinnati high school senior entering a post-secondary institution. The scholarship is offered annually in conjunction with the YWCA Career Women of Achievement Luncheon. A committee evaluates and updates the scholarship application, assists in its distribution and promotion, and selects 10 finalists, who include two runners-up and one winner. Evaluation criteria include academic record, personal challenges and hardships, ACT and/or SAT scores, letters of recommendation, class rank, honors and awards, involvement in extra-curricular activities and community service, and employment history. Applicants are required to write two brief essays, one describing their greatest challenge and how it has affected them, and one explaining what Mamie Earl Sells' philosophy, "Lift as we climb," means to them.

The 2018 Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship is presented by The Kroger Co. The recipient will be honored at the 39th Annual Career Women of Achievement Luncheon on May 9, 2018.

For questions, email Sophia Gilligan Helms or call (513) 361-2127. 


Applications for the 2018 award are now being accepted. Download application.

Deadline is Friday, January 19, 2018.  




2017 Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship Fund Winner

Malika Muhammad

Malika Muhammad will not be deterred. Even though she was born with Sickle Cell Anemia, the high school senior still manages to maintain a 3.943 grade point average, work a part-time job and an internship, volunteer throughout the community and even make Homecoming Court. Armed with a cheerful disposition and a thirst for knowledge she gives 100% to everything she encounters.

Her academic studies have been challenged by frequent pain and fatigue, a high risk for stroke and at one point, monthly blood transfusions. While she is cautious about her physical activities and has missed a great deal of school, she will not allow her disease to stop her from reaching her goals. Step one is to earn a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Design with a minor in marketing. Once she becomes a graphic designer she plans to land a position as an art director for a major company.

Malika wrote on her application, “I can do anything I set my mind to, no matter what obstacles I face. As long as I persevere, use determination and stay courageous, there’s nothing I can’t do.”

Past Scholarship winners:

Year  Name  School Attended 
1993  Janee Olverson   Purcell Marian High School 
1994  Stephanie Johnson  Winton Woods High School 
1995  Angela Frazer  Purcell Marian High School 
1996  Jerrica DuBois  Mt. Healthy High School 
1997  KaNeeta Kimble  Walnut Hills High School 
1998  Ngozi Ndulue  St. Ursula Academy 
1999  Steffani Jemison  Ursuline Academy 
2000  Jessica Grieser  St. Ursula Academy 
2001  Tarani Merriweather  Sycamore High School 
2002  Whitni Cotton  Walnut Hills High School 
2003  Carrie Jones  Western Hills High School 
2004  Ashley Trotter  Walnut Hills High School 
2005  Kerri Martin  The Seven Hills School 
2006  Charmaine Webster  Reading Jr./Sr. High School 
2007  Sibongile Sithe  Summit Country Day School 
2008  Amber Henderson  Western Hills Design and Technology High School 
2009  Kimaya Hudgins   Princeton High School 
2010  Queshonda Bolling   Aiken College & Career High School 
2011  Jessica Donaldson   Walnut Hills High School 
2012  Whitney Hollingsworth  Western Hills University Engineering High School 
2013  Alexis Monroe  Walnut Hills High School 
2014  Jalese Stone  Newport High School 
2015 Lily-Michelle Arthur Norwood High School
2016Sydney MantellNorth College Hill High School

Celebrating 26 years of Scholarships! 

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