The Founders’ Centennial Scholarship offers financial assistance to a female high school student to cover college/university level educational costs up to, and not to exceed, $125,000. The awardee must demonstrate a moderate to significant need for financial assistance in attaining her educational goals.
In honor of the five founding members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, the Centennial International President of Zeta Phi Beta will award a $125,000 scholarship each year to a new recipient, for five consecutive years beginning the sorority’s Centennial Anniversary year of 2020. The 2023 scholarship is named the Triumphant Founder Viola Tyler Goings Centennial Scholarship.
The 2023 scholarship award will be made to one deserving female high school senior to cover educational cost up to and not to exceed $125,000 total. The award is targeted to honor a female high school senior who exhibits personal integrity and excellence through academic achievement and community involvement, and the awardee must demonstrate a moderate to significant need for financial assistance in attaining her higher educational goals. The recipient may complete her undergraduate studies in the field of her choice at an accredited four-year college or university of her choice.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and the Zeta National Educational Foundation, Inc. will conduct an international search to find and award the most worthy recipient.
$125,000 to cover the cost of tuition and related expenses.
Applications and all related materials must be received using the ZNEF Application Portal by March 2, 2023, at 11:59 pm Eastern.
• Must be a female high school senior who qualifies for free or reduced fare lunch based
upon U.S. Federal guidelines.
• Must be graduating in May or June of the award year (2023) and enrolling as a full-time
student at an accredited college or university in the fall of the same year.
• Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
• Must demonstrate a moderate to significant financial need.
• Must demonstrate a commitment to community service and involvement.
Affiliation with any members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated or any of its auxiliary organizations is not a requirement.
** NOTE: Applicants do not have to receive free or reduced fare lunch, they simply need to meet the qualifications for it.
Janae Smith-Williams was awarded $125,000 as the recipient of its Triumphant Founder Pearl Anna Neal Centennial Scholarship. Janae, a 2021 graduate of Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, DE was chosen from more than 5000 graduating seniors across the U.S.
Born deaf, Ms. Smith-Williams overcame a difficult childhood and communication challenges while maintaining a 3.68 GPA as a student athlete on both the cross country and soccer teams. Additionally, she was a member of the National Honors Society and Howard Mock Trial Club, and a committed volunteer within the deaf community.
Currently, Janae Smith-Williams is a psychology major at Macalester College in Minnesota and plans to become a youth mental health counselor.
"With this scholarship, it is our hope that Ms. Smith-Williams will achieve her dream to shatter the stereotypical belief that deaf persons are inferior, and use her strength and resiliency to impact the lives of our youth," said Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated president.
Through scholarships funded by its chapters, Zeta has given more than $4 million in the past five years to help students, like Ms. Smith-Williams, achieve their college dreams. "Janea's strength, perservance, commitment to community, and academic achievement exemplifies the spirit of Zeta's founders. I know she is destined for greatness and will certainly make ZNEF proud," said Dr. JacQueline Lawton, ZNEF chairperson.