The Milwaukee Community Journal, Wisconsin’s oldest and largest African-American newspaper, hosted its annual event to benefit the Journal’s minority scholarship program—the Dr. Terence N. Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund. Truscenialyn was asked to deliver the speech on behalf of all of the scholarship recipients as a past recipient and a Beacon of Light award winner. The Beacon of Light award is given to individuals who truly serve as role models in their success and generosity in giving back to their community.
Truscenialyn spoke about growing up in north Milwaukee, her family’s commitment to education and how the scholarship enabled her to pursue her career in law. She spoke highly of Perkins Coie and, in particular, the important pro bono work the firm has encouraged and supported. In addition to her Madison and Chicago colleagues, partners Autumn Nero, Michelle Umberger and associate Jeffrey Walker, Truscenialyn was joined by many of her family members and friends. Perkins Coie sponsored a $2,000 student scholarship, in honor of Truscenialyn’s accomplishments.
The Dr. Terence N. Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund is committed to identifying and supporting scholarship awards to students who excel and to continue that support throughout their college and graduate years. The untimely death of Dr. Terence N. Thomas, a first-year Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident at Hurley Hospital of Flint, Michigan in February 1991, led the Thomas family to create an endowment for other minority students. Unlike many scholarships, the Dr. Terence N. Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund identifies top-notch students who go to college, continue to get superb grades, and graduate. They have gone on for post-graduate study and return to Milwaukee to become community thought leaders. The initial funds were augmented with a $25,000 pledge by Speech, Dr. Thomas’ brother, and leader of the hip-hop group Arrested Development. To date the scholarship fund has awarded $700,000 to a total of 83 students, well over $8,000 per student.