Every year for the past 35 years, Plano Community Forum (PCF) helps graduating minority students by providing scholarship opportunities to whatever college they attend. This year’s 14 winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship were announced at the end of May by the newly appointed PCF president Trish Patterson. A scholarship reception for the 2016 recipients from the three Plano senior high’s will be held June 5 at Harrington Library, and is open to the public. See a full list of the recipients, the college they will attend this fall and their major below.

Many variables contribute to the amount each scholarship totals, i.e., GPA, essays and the need for each scholarship. In 2015, PCF awarded nine students to the three Senior High Schools: four attended Plano West, three attended Plano East and two attended Plano Senior. An increase of five scholarship recipients from last year to 2016 shows the commitment PCF has in honoring the students who work hard, as well as organizational growth.

PCF president Trish Patterson.

A letter from Trish Patterson:

The Plano Community Forum’s (PCF) mission is to provide scholarship opportunities for graduating minority students in Plano and to promote cultural enrichment within the community.

This organization has done so many wonderful things in this community and being a part of this legacy is nothing short of amazing. PCF is a nonprofit that gives scholarships to minority students in Plano. It also recognizes some of Plano’s outstanding members in the community at its Annual Awards Gala (which is our biggest fundraiser).

Plano Community Forum is where the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration weekend started. 

Most of the members are those that have been with the organization since its inception and to think this group of Plano’s finest people selected me to be the President of the organization is simply a very humbling feeling. This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the PCF. I get the pleasure to serve this organization on this momentous milestone. 

During my tenure as president my main goal is to expand the membership and with doing that I hope to gain fresh and new ideas on ways that we can get the much needed information out to the students and to the schools regarding the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship. Having more hands on deck will allow us to really make this year one that will be talked about for years to come.

The 35th Annual Awards Gala is on October 15 at 6 p.m. at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, and will include the recognition of community members who exhibit outstanding work within our city, as well as a dinner, raffle prizes and a DJ. Tickets will be sold for $70/ticket.

Plano Community Forum 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Recipients:

Marian Bailey—Plano Senior / Austin College / Major: Kinesiology

Kristen Melancon—Plano East/ Ohio State University/ Major: Electrical Engineering

Amarachi Ngwakwe– Plano East / University of Texas at Austin / Major: International Relations & Global Studies

Andre Cyres – Plano East / Xavier University of Louisiana / Major: Pharmacy

Morgan Shelton – Plano Senior / Texas Tech University /Major: Management        

Jordan Davis –  Plano East / Texas Southern University/ Major: Pre-Pharmacy, Chemistry  

Matthew Dean – Plano West / University of Oklahoma / Major: Engineering       

Jalyn Hodge – Plano West / Xavier University of Louisiana / Major: Biology, Pre-Med

Devin Jackson – Plano East / Collin College/ Major: Business Management, Finance, Pre-Law

Sabur Woldu – Plano West / Collin College / Major: International Relationship & Political Science

Kristopher Easter – Plano East / Collin College / Major: Marine Biology

Bryan Gray – Plano Senior / Stephen F. Austin /Major: Clinical Psychology

Chimdera Nzelu—Plano East / University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) / Major: Nursing

Ivuoma Arisa — Plano East / Belmont University (Nashville, TN)/ Major: Pre-Law


When: Saturday, October 15, 6 p.m.

Where: Gleneagles Country Club, 5401 W. Park Blvd, Plano, TX 75093

Cost: $70 each, purchase tickets at planocf.com (website to come soon)

Colbea Smith

Colbea Smith is a young professional who grew up in Plano and loves the community she will always consider “home”. She is a proud alumna of Texas State University – Go Bobcats! – who spent most...