The cause of racial justice and equity in Concord is currently being furthered by the Cornerstone Initiative Innovation in the granting of scholarships to deserving local students.
Launched in January 2021, the Cornerstone Initiative Scholarship is given to candidates who have demonstrated interest in, experience in or commitment to racial justice, equity, or working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations.
Last year’s inaugural recipient was Kalise Wynter. While at CCHS, Kalise was a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council, the Cultural Competence Committee and volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club. She founded and led the CCHS Black Student Union, determined to create something at CCHS that would last after she left.
Kalise just completed her freshman year at Howard University and said in a news release, “I would not have been able to accomplish even half the opportunities set before me without the scholarship. The (scholarship) allowed me to participate in two internships, make meaningful relationships in my industry, and finally be a part of and immerse myself in Howard’s senate, and student association.”
This year, the scholarship was awarded to Elicia Benavides, a 2022 graduate of CCHS who plans to attend Suffolk University in the fall,majoring in environmental studies and global law.
The Cornerstone Initiative was founded by Mary Johnson in honor of her late husband, Franklin Johnson. In addition to the scholarship, Cornerstone has offered grants for specific community needs, from a skate park, teen mental health services, local police officer training, to fields and playground projects.