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Terra Brantley Foundation 2020 Scholarship Recipient Looks To Future In Education

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The Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne
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From left, Terra Brantley, Exaviona Roddy, and Joe Jordan

The Terra Brantley Foundation announced last year that Exaviona Roddy has been awarded the 2020 Smart Girls Scholarship. 

The organization was founded in 2019 by Terra Brantley, WANE15 TV news anchor, and it awards $15,000 annually to a female member of the The Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne towards a college or university education. 

 

The foundation means much more to Brantley than just helping others. It is a way of paying it forward. During her time at Ohio University, she sat out a semester to help her mother pay bills on her house by working as a hostess at a restaurant. But as Brantley tells it, a $1500 tip from a stranger turned her life back around. That tip gave her the opportunity to return to college.

 

“Now once I got back to school, scholarship money started rolling in and even though I had missed a semester after giving my mom money and sitting out, I was still able to graduate within a four year period as if I had never missed a beat,” Brantley said.

 

In the time that’s followed, Brantley has become recognized by many as a successful news anchor in northeast Indiana.

 

“And through it all, I promised myself that if I ever got into a position to help out someone else, I would, because a stranger helped me out,” she said.

 

Terra Brantley’s relationship with The Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne started many years ago. The club is a non-profit organization that provides structured afterschool programs to help teach academic success, good character, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles to its students. 

 

CEO and President of the Boys and Girls Clubs Joe Jordan said the partnership is not only about providing money to a deserving student, but also to give young women an outstanding role model, like Brantley. 

 

“She's always been an integral part of what we do here at the club anyway, so formalizing this scholarship was very easy for me and her,” Jordan said.

 

Since starting her foundation, Terra Brantley has partnered with the Boys and Girls club as well as Sweetwater Sound, Parkview Health, Summit City Chevrolet, Heffner Foundation, Local 213, Indiana Tech, and LiUNA! to provide the $15,000 Smart Girls Scholarship to a member of the Smart Girl program, who will graduate from high school and pursue a degree from a college or university in Indiana.

 

“A lot of our young ladies are brilliant, and sometimes can’t afford you know, to go to college, and so she saw that need, and so she took action, and here we are.” Jordan said.

 

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Credit The Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne
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Exaviona Roddy

The main focus of the Foundation’s board of directors is to choose a young woman who is working to empower local youth. Scholarship winner Exaviona Roddy is a senior at South Side High school. Brantley praised Roddy’s example. 

 

“She is a servant leader who is really dedicated to helping others. She has overcome a number of challenges in her life," Brantley said.

 

After joining the boys and Girls clubs in 2019, Roddy immediately excelled in the smart girls program, and became a junior staff member. She is planning to attend Ball State University or IUPUI to study elementary education, and has dreams to open her own school one day. 

 

“They did present me with a lot of opportunities, That was my first job, the Boys and Girls Club," Roddy said. "They helped me find what I wanted to do as far as my career, and they have been a big support to me and my family so I thank them for that, and I thank Terra as well for the scholarship.”

 

In the coming years, Brantley hopes to expand the fund to become a full ride scholarship, and is also hoping to create a similar scholarship for young men participating in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne.