Two HALO Teens Awarded $18,000 Education Scholarship



KANSAS CITY, MO. – Local HALO youth Jameisha and Shelzaray received $18,000 from the competitive Kansas City Security Association Education Scholarship. With 80 applicants and 10 recipients, HALO youth have the opportunity to pursue higher education without worry.

The KCSA scholarship consists of first an essay about where they see themselves in five years, looking for youth with a goal and a plan to reach said goal. Next, KCSA review two letters of recommendation submitted by the youth. The HALO Center provided information about the scholarship, but Shelzaray and Jameisha took leadership in applying and writing their essays. The scholarship can be up to $18,000, $12,000 going to their school of choice and the remaining balance given based on grades per semester.

Shelzaray is 18-years-old and was introduced to the HALO Learning Center while living in a transitional living facility that specializes in helping homeless teens become self- sufficient. Since receiving her high school diploma in May, Shelzaray will start an Associates degree in pre-social work at Kansas City Kansas Community College in the Fall before pursing a Bachelors degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She hopes to work in the Foster Care System or a child therapy program. However, she is open to growth throughout school and is remaining open to different opportunities for her. Shelzaray is also working with the HALO Center to secure her own apartment with a roommate.

Jameisha has been a part of the HALO Learning Center since age 11 when she was matched with HALO Program Director Lacy Voight in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

“Jameisha has amazed me continuously in how disciplined and focused she is on creating a bright future for herself. Attending HALO workshops gave Jameshia the opportunity to explore areas of interest she may not have realized otherwise. She has learned sewing, design and was able to show off her creations on the runway at the HALO Center Fashion Design workshop and the annual Fashion Show,” says Voight. “Most recently, Jameshia has finished 3rd in her class at Hogan High School. She plans to attend Lincoln University this Fall, with interests in ROTC and aviation. She has been an amazing example of perseverance, showing great discipline in putting her education

as her first priority. I am so proud to know her and know she has an incredibly bright future ahead because of the mentorship help through HALO, Big Brothers Big Sisters and her own determination.”

Shelzaray and Jameisha were honored to attend the awards banquet. Also at the banquet was Tiana, one of HALO’s 2014 KCSA recipients. Since receiving the scholarship, Tiana was inducted into the academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa at her university for her high GPA. She also led a class group that raised awareness, funds and supplies for the HALO Learning Center. Other 2014 recipient, long-time HALO youth, Oscar, attends Penn Valley Community College and successfully graduated one of HALO’s partnering Transitional Living Programs and has maintained his own apartment since December 2014. The HALO Foundation is very proud of the youth’s accomplishments and excited about their bright futures.

If interested in interviewing Jameshia, Shelzeray, Lacy Voight or another HALO representative, please contact Nicole Gerken at 913.548.8875 or