Nineteen Aiken County Public Schools' students recently received 2020-21 Martha Schofield Scholarships totaling nearly $25,000.

Each student received an award of $1,267.50. The recipients are as follows: Ashley Aaron, T'Meira Brown, T'Mya Brown, Cameron Glover, Zion Glover, Joshua Gordon, Talia Gordon, Taylor Gordon, Wes Guyton, Wesley Guyton, MaKayla Harris, Tiatra Hill, Aiyana Holland, Kamora Johnson, Jasmine Kitchings, Michael Parrish, Jabez Roberson, Akira Salley and Caleb Smith.

The Martha Schofield Fund was created by minutes of the Board of the Schofield Normal and Industrial School on Sept. 20, 1952, in memory of the founder of the school who, as a young Philadelphia Quaker, came to Aiken in 1868 with a concern for the education of black children, according to a news release.

Through persistence and fundraising ability, a flourishing institution known as Schofield Normal and Industrial School evolved and was operated as both a boarding and a day school for black children, according to the release.

After 82 years of operation, however, financing such a school “via” contributions became increasingly unrealistic, according to the release. The funds for the memorial trust represented the school endowment of about $80,000, which had remained under the control of the Schofield Board after school operations were terminated in 1950 when the school’s building and property were transferred to the Aiken County Board of Education for operation as a public school.

On Sept. 20, 1952, a resolution also was adopted by the Schofield Board placing the memorial fund with Trustees of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (PYM) as trustee. The resolutions provided that the income of the fund be used to assist in the education for one or more black boys and girls of character and ability.

The awards were to be awarded to students from the Schofield High School, or if not sufficient qualified applicants from that school, applicants from other high schools in Aiken County could be approved. The trust was established on an irrevocable basis.

Friends Fiduciary, as successor to Trustees of PYM, is the current trust for this fund and oversees the work of the Martha Schofield Distribution Committee, which operates out of Aiken. The committee reviews college scholarship requests each spring from students who have attended the Aiken County Public Schools.

​Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.