SCHENECTADY — Janiiya Hart and Radica Singh were recently honored as the second Lillie S. Cross Foundation Scholarship Award winners at Schenectady High School's year-ending awards ceremony.
The scholarship is the brainchild of former Mont Pleasant basketball player Randy Cross who with his sister Lillian Cross Green created the Lillie S. Cross Foundation following his 2016 induction into the Schenectady City School District Athletic Hall of Fame.
Lillie Cross raised her three children, including the late James Cross, in a single-parent household in Schenectady's Mont Pleasant section, and often worked several jobs to make ends met. Part of the scholarship criteria is to be a youngster from a single-parent household. Grades and extra-curricular activities are among the other criteria.
The foundation's board of directors initially established a policy that one scholarship in the amount of $6,000 would be awarded to a Schenectady High School senior with an interest in continuing their education. Randy Cross said after seeing the number of qualified applicants in the first year of the program, the board amended its policy to also give an additional scholarship award in the amount of $1,000 to a second-place finisher.
Hart was the first-place winner with a cumulative 3.76 grade-point average, and will be attending Colgate University. Singh was the second place winner with a 3.48 cumulative grade-point average, and will be attending Hartwick College. Both seniors received a commemorative plaque, and another plaque with the first-place recipient's name is on permanent display at the high school.