Memphis local, Lazarius Alexander, has been chosen as the recipient of this year’s Montesi Scholarship, valued at $2,500, for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. Alexander, a Germantown High School graduate, will attend Mississippi State University this fall.
Part of the National English Honors Society, the National Honors Society, the Science National Honor Society and the National Beta Club, Alexander served as a Parliamentarian of the HOSA Club, a Data Representative for the True Blue mentorship program and second Vice President of the Kappa Leadership League.
Not only did Alexander participate in many academic programs, but he also worked and volunteered in his community. Alexander completed an internship at Mid-South Ear, Nose, and Throat, and has volunteered for his local animal shelter, for Memphis CARES, for the VolunTEEN program at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“I was so excited to learn that I was chosen to receive the Montesi Scholarship, “ Alexander said. “It will certainly help with tuition and other school expenses. And I’m really happy to know that GKBM offered this scholarship. It feels good knowing that Mr. Montesi wants to help our Memphis community by offering scholarships.”
Created by partner Michael Montesi, the Montesi Scholarship is aimed at helping Tennessee undergraduate students finance their education.
“I created this scholarship because I want to help make a difference in my community,” said Michael Montesi. “Lazarius has a fantastic service record in the Memphis community and that’s part of why we selected him for this scholarship. We wish Lazarius much success in pursuing his education and hope our scholarships helps ease some of the financial burden of higher education.”
Alexander’s winning essay is below:
As slow as a snail trying to win a race, the traffic light turned from a bright red to green
in the distance as my friend viewed his phone with a sense of urgency. Surprised to see the text only read “Hey”, he still felt the need to respond. Paying more attention to his phone than the road ahead, his constant lack of attention to his surroundings always gave us the possibility of landing deeper in a pool of danger than normal.
With other cars lurking closely behind, any sudden wrong moves could possibly lead to a fatal car crash that could change someone’s life forever. Being in a car that was moving but not being driven, we rolled closer and closer to the intersection while my friend continued to answer his text messages from various senders. In complete disbelief, I was appalled by my friend’s lack of safety and lack of concern for everyone around him, so I told him how unsafe he was making me feel.
Due to his selfishness, he continued to check his phone venturing off from his text messages to Twitter. As we became closer to the intersection, the light turned yellow. YELLOW. Yellow meaning SLOW down or come to a STOP, but my friend did not slow down or attempt to stop. He sped up in attempt to run the light. Before we finally reached the bolded line where one would stop, the light turned to red. Within seconds of my friend’s attempt to run the light.
I felt my neck vigorously jerk as my seat belt prevented me from flying outside of the vehicle. As if the world moved in slow motion, I simultaneously watch my friend’s cellular phone fly against the windshield and the glass of the windshield shattering right before me. After overcoming the shock, I realized he had hit someone turning left across the intersection while going miles over the speed limit in attempt to run the light. I’d realized that he ran a camera light so now he has a ticket. I’d realized the danger of a phone and anyone driving.
Both hurting but not wounded, we got out to check on the people we hit. Everyone in the other car—a single mom and her children–was okay but it would seem that both cars were now totaled. Therefore, within seconds, my friend put others in harm, himself in harm, and accumulated a magnitude of cost when the text could have originally waited. Anything that was not driving could have WAITED. If he waited, he could have avoided the many events that just happened. So simply wait…and do NOT text and drive.
Congratulations to Lazarius on his outstanding achievement