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Regions Bank Announces 2016 Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest Winners

Awarding 32 Students Scholarships in Honor of Black History Month

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Regions Bank today announced the 32 winners of its 2016 Regions Riding Forward® Scholarship Essay Contest.

The Regions Riding Forward® Scholarship Essay Contest is part of Regions Bank’s annual Black History Month celebration. The contest awards scholarships to qualified high school and college students based on the submission of an original essay about an inspirational African-American of the applicant’s choosing.

“At Regions, we are thrilled to not only recognize the achievements of this year’s winners, but also to honor the great African-American men and women who inspire them,” said Michele Elrod, head of Regions Corporate Marketing. “This year marks the fifth year of the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship, and 2016 was the essay contest’s most competitive year yet. Regions received more than 9,500 submissions from talented students. We wish them all continued success in their collegiate journeys and look forward to seeing all that they will accomplish.”

Eligible high school seniors were able to apply for a $5,000 scholarship, while eligible college freshmen, sophomores and juniors were able to apply for a $3,500 scholarship. Through the life of the Regions Riding Forward program, Regions has awarded more than $630,000 toward student education.

In each of the states with Regions branches, Regions awarded a college scholarship to one high school student and to one college student. Contest winners, and their hometowns and schools, are:

High School

  •  Gregory Baucom- Soddy Daisy, Tenn. (will attend The University of Tennessee)
  • Samantha Clymer- Mayfield, Ky. (will attend The University of Tennessee- Martin)
  • Kaley Dedner- Belle Vista, Ark. (will attend The University of Central Arkansas)
  • Sasha Doster- Columbia, S.C. (will attend College of Charleston)
  • Kaylie King- Magnolia, Texas (will attend The University of Texas at Austin)
  • Jela Lewter- Kannapolis, N.C. (will attend American University)
  • Gino Liardo- Jacksonville, Fla. (will attend The New School)
  • Liam McDermott- Gowrie, Iowa (will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Bernardo Moreira- Ashburn, Va. (will attend University of North Carolina School of the Arts)
  • Jaylon Neely- Olive Branch, Miss. (will attend University of Tennessee: Memphis)
  • Alex Panchot- St. Louis, Mo. (will attend Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Andrew Paul- Savannah, Ga. (will attend Emory University)
  • Kylla Pinnock- Auburn, Ala. (will attend Tuskegee University)
  • Cameron Simmon- Baton Rouge, La. (will attend University of Colorado at Boulder)
  • Hannah von Werder- West Lafayette, Ind. (will attend Bentley University)
  • Olivia Walter- Dixon, Ill. (will attend University of Dubuque)


  • Eniola Adamson- Baton Rouge, La. (attends Louisiana State University- Baton Rouge)
  • Sarah Blankenship- Wilmore, Ky. (attends Ashbury College)
  • Ginger Buxeda- Asheville, N.C. (attends University of North Carolina at Asheville)
  • Joshua Byrne- Davenport, Iowa (attends Iowa State University)
  • Ceilidh Cayenne- Covington, Ga. (attends Georgia State University)
  • Joshua Chapman- Chicago, Ill. (attends University of Missouri-Columbia)
  • Dalton Crowell- Tupelo, Miss. (attends Itawamba Community College)
  • Kathryn Davit- Panama City, Fla. (attends Mississippi State University)
  • Marissa Forbes- Burlington, N.C. (attends Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Amie Jean- Missouri City, Texas (attends The University of Texas at Austin)
  • Anaiya Lowe- North Little Rock, Ark. (attends Arkansas State University)
  • Kenisha Malcolm- Worchester, Mass. (attends Oakwood University)
  • Gabrielle Morris- Soddy Daisy, Tenn. (attends The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)
  • Alyssa Ruble- Indianapolis, Ind. (attends Indiana University- Purdue University)
  • Kourtney Smith- Taylors, S.C. (attends North Carolina A&T State University)
  • Chelsea Tate- St. Louis, Mo. (attends Alabama State University)

In addition to the scholarship program, Regions is continuing to offer a unique online learning module about African-American history, “306: African-American History™,” in select high schools in markets served by the company. The online module was developed by EverFi, a leading education technology company focused on teaching, assessing, badging, and certifying students in critical skills.

For more information on the 2016 Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest (including complete eligibility and essay requirements and Official Rules), and to see the award winning essays, visit