Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship

A- A A+

YWCA Greater Cincinnati Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship

Presented by
kroger logo

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 was established in 1993 to provide financial assistance and support to an outstanding Black 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 . 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 (optional), 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 application process for 2021 is now open.
Deadline is Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
Download application

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


The 2020 Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship, presented by Kroger, recipient was honored during the Career Women of Achievement Broadcast on June 18, 2020.


2020 Mamie Earl Sells Scholarship Winner

TGrantThalia Grant

DePaul Cristo Rey High School 

A senior at DePaul Cristo Rey High School, Thalia miraculously maintains a 3.9 GPA while juggling her academic pursuits, community service, an evening job at Panera and extensive care for her siblings. At school, she is known as an exceptional leader and student-athlete. Thalia is a member of the varsity track team and a cheerleader. Serving as Student Council President since 2016, she found time to establish the school’s first mock trial team and complete four years of a work study program that provides career readiness assistance to women in need. She volunteers at Matthew 25 Ministries, The Society of St. Vincent DePaul and Crayons 2 Computers.

The oldest of five children in a single parent household, Thalia demonstrated adaptability, determination and drive when her beloved grandfather and co-caregiver was killed in a hit and run accident while Christmas shopping for his five grandchildren. Thalia took on additional responsibilities for feeding, bathing and dressing her siblings while her mother works long shifts. She has been accepted by 25 universities and will soon make her decision.

Watch Thalia’s video! 



See where all of our Scholarship Winners attended High School and were accepted into College.