WARREN - Shauntiaonia Johnson plans to study to become a nurse when she begins at Youngstown State University in the fall because, the teen says, she wants ''to be part of the cure.''
Jordyn Austin intends to become a speech pathologist, a career she's going to pursue later this year at Kent State University, and Ariana Davis says when she arrives at the University of Cincinnati in the fall, she's intending to enroll in the school's pre-med program.
All three teens' entry into college got a boost Sunday when they were given scholarships by the CURRENT Scholarship Fund during intermission of the Warren City-Wide Youth Choir's annual summer concert at the Warren Community Amphitheatre.
Johnson, 18, a graduate of Warren G. Harding High School, received a $1,000 scholarship; Jordyn Austin, 18, who just graduated from Howland High School, received a $750 scholarship; and Ariana Davis, 17, another WGH graduate, received a $250 scholarship.
They were among seven of the nine seniors who participate in the choir to apply.
''It was really shocking to me,'' said Johnson. ''I'm really thankful, blessed.''
Tribune Chronicle photos / Ron Selak Jr.
Todd Johnson, pastor at Agape Assembly Church in Warren, left, directs the Warren City-Wide Youth Choir Sunday during a concert at the Warren Community Amphitheatre. Right, Destiney Manningham, performs a solo.
Todd Johnson, pastor at Agape Assembly Church in Warren and one of CURRENT's founding members, said the group wanted to ''do more than sing a song and dance, we can give back to our young people.'' The scholarship, provides a ''tangible benefit'' to the youth.
''We wanted to take the power of gospel music and the church and put that into a work that would help the young people with educational expenses and encourage them in that area,'' Todd Johnson said.
The teens, who all have been participating in the youth choir since its beginning in 2011, said they would be spending their scholarships on tuition and books.
The other scholarship applicants, Jeremy Walker, Syndra Johnson, Darian Rucker and Brijiun Johnson, all WGH graduates, received a gift card.
Money raised at the concert, in its third year this year, and through the rest of the year is used to provide the scholarships. Last year, one $1,000 scholarship was awarded. The choir's other main concert is held around Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The high-energy concert featured the choir, which had about 80 participants from 5-years to 35-years-old plus; a four-piece horn section and six-piece band. The fundraising goal for next year is $5,000; a large part of which has already been raised, Todd Johnson said.
Connie Jones and Zoe Dotson, both of Warren, enjoyed the show from their seats at the top of the amphitheater.
''It's awesome, just watching the young kids praise God,'' Dotson said.
''And doing something positive,'' Jones said.