Art gifts

Pontiac United Announces Winners of Black History and Creative Art Essay Contest – The Oakland Press

Pontiac United and its sponsors presented prizes to the winners of the Pontiac United Black History Essay and Creative Arts Competition on March 8 during the Pontiac City Council meeting.

Pontiac United Black History Contest Awards Ceremony (Photo courtesy of Natalie Broda)

Pontiac United and its sponsors, Oakland Forward and Kaino Phillips and the Ascend Foundation presented winners with $100 gift cards and certificates.

Pageant winner Haley Grace Henderson, (photo courtesy of Natalie Broda)

The students were also honored at a dinner with Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel on March 4 at the Red Lobster.

Winner of the Drake Scott contest, (photo courtesy of Natalie Broda)

The contest, “Pontiac United Black History Contest. Beyond Martin and Rosa,” was designed to encourage young people to learn about other black leaders in history, in addition to Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. .

The contest was open to Pontiac residents in grades 3-12, and the winners were announced on February 28.

Winner of the Alexander Rodriquez competition, (photo courtesy of Natalie Broda)

School officials, principals and teachers from several schools attended the awards presentation at the Pontiac City Council meeting, along with pastors and community members.

Pontiac United offers a Youth in Government program for students in grades 9-12 who are interested in social justice, local, state, and federal government. The organization also offers a dance class given by Jayla Jefferson, a professionally trained dancer, on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. The programs are free. Pontiac United is an organization aimed at uniting the community. For more information, visit

Tashaun Alexander contest winner, (photo courtesy of Natalie Broda)
Contest winner Caley Gracey, (photo courtesy of Natalie Broda)

Pontiac United dance class during the awards show (Photo courtesy of Natalie Broda)

Winners of the Pontiac United Black History Contest. Beyond Martin and Rosa:

• Jania Gracey, Grade 3, Elementary Graham Essay on Thomas Gracey

• Tashaun Alexander, 5th year, Pontiac Academy of Arts and Technologies Essay Granville T. Wood

• Newton Chair, Grade 5, Trial Graham Elementary Lorna Simon

• Hailey Grace Henderson, Grade 5, Scotch Elementary easy Alvin Ailey

• Drake Scott, 5th grade, Rochester Christian School essay Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

• Na’Riyah Joya Phelps, Grade 6, Paintings of Iconic Black Leaders

• Jayla Chappell, 7th grade, Oakland County Academy of Media and Technology Ida B. Wells Essay

• Caley Gracey, Grade 8, Graham Elementary/Shiloh Baptist Mahalia Jackson Church Trial

• Vincent Garcia, Grade 9, Pontiac Alexander Price School District ITA Trial

• Luxurious Lofton, Pontiac Academy of Arts and Technologies, written poem

• Alexander Rodriquez, Grade 9, ITA from Pontiac School District Essay Kerrie Holly

• Antonio Marcus, Grade 9, Pontiac Thurgood Marshall ITA School District Trial

• Demetriana Payne, 10th grade, Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac Phenomenal black leaders poem

• Tiasia Watkins, Grade 12, Pontiac Academy of Arts and Technology Essay Dorothy Vaughn

— Submitted by Traciee Hirsch of Pontiac United