Sister Jerome’s Mission, a program of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, and the program’s advisory committee, named a scholarship in honor of Clarence R. ‘Sonny’ Smith Jr. and his wife, Rose Marie, during a dinner celebration Sunday evening, Oct. 9, acknowledging the couple’s long-time support of Sister Jerome and her ministries.
The event was held at the Maronite Center. Some 150 persons attended.
Sister Jerome was unable to attend, as she is recuperating from a broken hip suffered two weeks ago.
The Clarence R. and Rose Marie Smith Scholarship will be presented each year to an outstanding student or students taking part in Sister Jerome’s Mission College Program.
Sister Jerome’s Mission College program breaks the cycle of generational poverty by helping students from low-income families to succeed in college. In addition to pairing students with knowledgeable mentors who guide them through the higher education experience, Sister Jerome’s Mission College program also provides financial assistance for essentials such as food, clothing and transportation. This makes it possible for students to get to class, focus on their studies, earn good grades and graduate well-prepared for jobs that enable them to support themselves and their families.
Clarence Smith, formerly of Raupp Ave., and former Mahoning County Republican Party chairman, is a long-time friend and supporter of Sister Jerome and her ministries and serves on the advisory committee of Sister Jerome’s Mission.
A successful businessman, Smith led Diamond Steel Construction Co., a company founded by his father more than 85 years ago, established Compco Industries, Compco Land Co. and has been instrumental in the start-ups of several other area businesses. Smith’s success enables him to support many philanthropic organizations and causes.
Providing a solid education to the region’s young people has been and remains at the heart of many of those activities, including Sister Jerome’s Mission College program.
The first recipient of the Clarence R. and Rose Marie Smith Scholarship, Ramone A. Elkins, is a graduate of Youngstown’s East High School. He earned an associate’s degree in general studies from Erie Community College/North, in Buffalo, N.Y. and is attending Walsh University in North Canton on an athletic scholarship. He expects to graduate in 2017 with a degree in physical education. His long-term goal is to continue his education and eventually work as a physical therapist.
(PICTURED) THE FIRST CLARENCE AND ROSE MARIE SMITH SCHOLARSHIP, in support of Sister Jerome’s Mission, was awarded to Ramone Elkins during ceremonies held Sunday at the Maronite Center. Pictured, from left, Maraline Kubiak, of Sister Jerome’s Mission; Elkins, Clarence Smith Jr. and Rose Marie Smith.