First Independence Bank’s announced the winners of the 7th Annual Rhonda Pugh Memorial Essay Contest

First Independence Bank presented its 7th annual Rhonda Pugh Memorial Essay Contest. Rhonda Pugh was a longtime First Independence Bank vice president of treasury management for many years prior to her death. For the seventh year in a row, First Independence Bank has partnered with the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to provide Detroit students (both high school and middle school) scholarship opportunities towards costs for higher education.  

More than $6 thousand dollars has been awarded to middle and high school student essay contest winners. Kenneth Kelly, chairman & CEO, First Independence Bank addressed the audience of DPS award recipients, parents, teachers and principals with a message of education and financial literacy.  

Celeste Northern, daughter of late Rhonda Pugh addressed the audience with reflections of her late mother.  

The Pugh Sisters



The 2019 high school scholarship winners, middle school award winners and honorable mention recipients are: 


High School Scholarships 

1st Place  Kelsey Gee  Martin Luther King Jr., Sr. High School 
2nd Place  Shawntae Thompson  Osborn High School 
3rd Place  Kyrah Kimbro  Renaissance High School 


High School Honorable Mentions 

Taylor Moore  Cass Technical High School 
Tori Shines  Detroit International Academy for Young Women 
Dorean Hardy  Fredrick Douglass Academy for Young Men 
Imani Ziyad  Martin Luther King Jr., Sr. High School 
Classie Hubert  Renaissance High School 
Aniya Durham  Renaissance High School 


Students receiving award

Middle School Awards 

1st Place  Nahida Sultana  Davison Elementary-Middle School 
2nd Place  Ason Jones  Brewer Academy 
3rd Place  Ashleigh Odunsi  Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy 


Middle School Honorable Mentions 

  Jessica Owens  Brewer Academy 
Johnathan Kimbrough  Brewer Academy   
  Mariah Hunter  Carstens Academy of Aquatic Science 
  Tyler Myers  Carstens Academy of Aquatic Science 
  Miranda Nedd  Carstens Academy of Aquatic Science 
  Milan Smith  Twain School for Scholars 



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