NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will soon offer a new scholarship opportunity for residents of Columbia County, Georgia, thanks to Helen Young and her siblings.
The John and Adline Starks Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund, named in honor of Young’s parents, will provide financial assistance to a student from Columbia County who wishes to attend TSU.
Young, a graduate of the University of Georgia, said they chose to establish the scholarship at TSU because of positive experiences with the university.
“I have been fortunate over the last six or seven years to attend a number of the TSU scholarship galas. I’ve been able to attend some of the homecoming festivities, and actually been able to meet some of the folks who are graduates of Tennessee State, and I have been so impressed with knowing their dedication to TSU,” she said. “They have a sense of family, and they really have a caring, it-takes-a-village approach to their education of students at TSU.”
Although John and Adline Starks are not TSU alums, Young’s daughter, Georgeanna A. Young, earned a master’s of public health from the university in August. Helen said she witnessed first hand the “vested interest” Georgeanna’s professors played in her success.
“It was just overwhelming to see that kind of emphasis put on my child,” Helen said. “I think it’s just an incredible testament to the administration at Tennessee State University, as well as the alumni.”
Betsy Jackson Mosley, executive director of the TSU Foundation, said the endowed scholarship will be awarded to students beginning in 2021.
“Endowed scholarships like this one will help students for years to come. And then they also leave a legacy for family,” Jackson said. “It’s really good that particular families who have members to attend or deep connections to TSU are able to recognize their loved ones this way and know that it will always be here.”
Helen, who along with her sister Roberta integrated the Columbia County School System in the 1960s, said her parents would have been proud to be connected to the legacy of an institution like Tennessee State University.
“I know my parents would have never been able to get into the University of Georgia when they were of age to go to college because of the color of their skin,” she said. “The only options they would have had would have been a historically black university or some small community college, maybe.”
John Henry and Adline Beatrice Starks were born and reared in rural Edgefield County South Carolina. John served in the military during WWII and was a Baptist minister. Adline, a homemaker, was a devoted wife and mother who taught her children how to work hard and lead productive lives. Helen said her parents taught them to “speak up when they saw injustice and not back down in the face of adversity.”
Helen Young serves as the assistant vice president for shared services center operations at Parallon Business Solutions, a subsidiary of Hospital Corporation of America responsible for providing services in the areas of revenue cycle, group purchasing, supply chain, technology, workforce management, and consulting services.
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With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.