Local sisters each receive $50k scholarship from KC Scholars

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 8:29 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - For nearly 35 years, the nonprofit KC Scholars has been providing educational opportunities to students across the six-county Kansas City region.

Recently, the organization awarded each of three sisters from North Kansas City High School with a $50,000 scholarship. It’s just one of nearly 600 awards KC Scholars is giving out this year.

“Being able to get the opportunity to get this money and have them support us through it all is so amazing,” said recipient Syann Blake, who plans to become an attorney one day.

Her twin sisters, Rajanea and Arjanay, will pursue careers in the medical field.

The three juniors are enrolled in rigorous, advanced courses while playing multiple sports.

“You pull up their transcript to write the recommendation and you understand the variety of activities,” said Leon Douglas, North KC High School’s Assistant Principal/Head Football Coach. “You’re almost shocked because it’s so intense. So many demands are placed on them and they are excelling. They’re just not ‘doing it,’ they’re doing it at a very high level.”

“Like today, I have a track meet,” Rajanea Landers said. “That probably won’t be over until 8 or 9. I’ll then go home and study for a while and do some homework. I usually don’t go to bed until pretty late, like 12.”

For this family, education is paramount. It starts with matriarch and mother of nine Natalie Newton. She has also been awarded a scholarship to complete a degree at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC).

“For us, we’re just really grounded in education,” she said. “So, everything we do we’re trying to make sure we’re learning and applying ourselves with it.”

“She is my inspiration,” Arjanay Landers said. “She does a lot for us. I really look up to her.”

And, as if this huge celebration wasn’t enough for the girls, their mother is also rewarding them with a trip to Bora Bora!

In the last six years, KC Scholars has awarded more than 6,000 scholarship awards and has seen more than 150 scholars through to graduation.