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The NAACP Newburgh/Highland Falls Community Service Icon Scholarship was started to honor the accomplishments of three African American women: Sadie Tallie, Roxy Royal, and Lillian Howard.

Sadie Tallie Roxy Royal Lillian Howard

These women dedicated their lives to making their community, and surrounding communities, better for everyone. These three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to deserving seniors who attend Newburgh Free Academy and/or James I. O’Neill High School, will be attending college or a trade school in the fall of 2024, and have shown a commitment to continuing the work of social justice to better their communities.

Completed applications are due by Sunday, May 26, 2024 at 5:00pm.

Qualifications for the NAACP Newburgh/Highland Falls Community Service Icon Scholarship:                   

  • Be a member of the NAACP. If you are not a member of the NAACP, join today (There are some student scholarships available to cover the membership fee)

  • Be Black or African American

  • Be a graduating high school senior, with a GPA of 2.5+ (75% or above)

  • Submit two letters of recommendation from a High School Counselor,   Educational or Community Organization Leader

  • Submit a letter of acceptance on official letterhead from an accredited college, university, or trade school (a clear copy of the letter is acceptable)

  • Submit Official High school transcript

  • Submit a 300-word Essay on a need(s) in your community and how you plan to give back to meet the needs(s) while in college or trade school and beyond to make a difference

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From sharecropping to social work: spirituality, social justice, community and education are just a few core values that Roxie Willa Dean Monk Royal embodied. As the sole child of the Karoh Jane Williams and Charlie Davis Monk, she was born on June 21, 1930, in Roseboro North Carolina. No stranger to the cotton and tobacco fields of the South nor the apple orchards of the North, she began migrating to the Hudson Valley at the tender age of seven years old.

Marrying her passions to serve on both medical and social fronts, Mother Royal took to the community scene relentlessly, serving as a community organizer and a human services professional. After becoming the first Black Chairwoman of the Parent Teachers Association in Newburgh, N.Y., Mother Royal, a passionate writer, became a member of the Board of The Times Herald-Record and wrote several articles for the Newburgh Black Press. Determined to advocate for her community, Mother Royal took on several political roles. She served as the Chairperson of both the Orange County Democratic Committee as well as the City of Newburgh’s Democratic Committee. Additionally, Mother Royal was a committed member of the NAACP serving as the: Church Committee Chairperson, First and Second Vice President, Political Action Chairperson, and even become a member of the NAACP’s “One Hundred Club” for obtaining 100 memberships within a year.

Although much of Mother Royal’s community activism was in service of the Lord and without any monetary compensation, she was chosen to become the Community Organizer of the Governor’s Demonstration Anti-Drug Project in Newburgh, in a time when the beautiful City of Newburgh was know as “crack alley". Whether she was leading anti-drug marches throughout the “roughest” streets in Newburgh, or coordinating such events as the Newburgh Run/Walk Against Drugs, Mother Royal was eager to roll up her sleeves and share the treasure that is hidden within her, the Holy Spirit. Since migrating to Newburgh, NY, and after a brief search, Mother Royal found her church home at the small storefront church on Colden St. called Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ Disciples of Christ, where she had been a dedicated member for over 60 years.

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Born in Clinton, NC July 2, 1934. Sadie A. Raynor was the middle child of Roosevelt and Elvira Royal Raynor. She graduated from Sampson County Training School (an all-Black school) in 1950.

Mrs. Tallie’s family was well known in her part of town. The teachers and principals were her cousins or Aunts. She lived on the side of town where Black Doctors and Lawyers lived. Her mother didn’t work but her father was a Plaster Maker Worker. Sadie says “we were Daddy’s girls to the town and to the school.” Her grandmother was from the Boone Family and her Dad was one of the Raynor’s from Newton Grove North Carolina.

Sadie says that in the community she grew up in, “everyone who was five years older than you was like your mother or father; they could correct you on the spot.” She married a young man name Walter Williams Jr., and together they had six children. They moved to Beacon NY in 1951.

In Beacon Sadie joined Springfield Baptist Church where Mother Mattie Cooper was the Pastor. At Springfield, she was the first Church Secretary, a Sunday School Teacher and a member of the Senior Choir.

Sadie recalls the Hudson River separated Beacon & Newburgh, but she would go shopping in Newburgh and would ride over on ‘The Ferry’. After about five years in Beacon, she moved to Newburgh where her first apartment was located at 68 Montgomery Street.

Sadie was always active everywhere she lived. Mrs. Eva Taylor, a Republican was the one who introduced her to the political world. Sadie says “I worked with her, yet I never did vote or register as a republican.” By this time Sadie had four children; Nicky, Drusilla, Morris, and Dwight who were all attending Montgomery Street School. This is where she became involved in the PTA and served as the President for several years. She also served as PTA President of Grand Street School, North Junior High, and Newburgh Free Academy. She worked at a pocketbook factory called Dubette Bags, as a sewing machine operator. While there, Mrs. Helen Potter, a Shop Steward, encouraged her to go back to school which she did and attended Mt. St. Mary’s College, Orange County Community College, Vassar College, Newburgh Bible Institute and Community Bible Institute. From a young age Sadie has always been interested in the plight of “her people” and became an active member of the NAACP. As an NAACP member she attended the Million Man March and the Million Woman March and recalls organizing The Empowered Women of Hope. She worked very closely with the Hudson Valley Theatre and was a founding member of the Black Commonwealth of Newburgh. In 1968 she founded the Coalition For Peoples Rights (CPR), a multi-human service organization. By this time Sadie had two more children, Walter and Dennis.

In 1956 the Mt. Carmel Church of Christ Disciples of Christ was founded under the leadership of Bishop George W. Johnson. Bishop Johnson was one who was interested in history and the works of the blacks, especially the youth, so he made sure that the stories and plight of blacks were a part of the teaching to the youth of Mt. Carmel Church. In 1957, Sister Lilliam Harris and Sadie were given permission to organize a committee that would ensure one week in February was fully a part of the teaching. This concept went over so great that they later organized a committee known as the Black History Committee which is still operating today.

Sadie and Walter Jr., divorce in early 1960 but In 1967 she remarries a very handsome soldier named Willie “June” Tallie and together they have once child, a daughter who they name Patrina Carolyn Tallie. Now the immediate family has grown to seven children however Sadie and June claim seven others to include Sarah, Nancy, David, Leah, Dimp, Junie, Lance, Faika, Anika, and Shenika.

Mother Tallie as she is now affectionally called, says she is “thankful for her children and their dedication to social justice.” She believes there is always a need to never give up because the struggle continues and the fight to make sure the history of African Americans are heard still needs to be won!

Mrs. Tallie has more than 50 years of hands-on support in her community. She has volunteered for the Democratic Party, the PTA, WON (Women of Newburgh) and is one of the founders of the Coalition for People’s Rights, the Annual Black parade, President of The Black History Committee of Hudson Valley, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee, the Orange County Dr. member of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission; member of The Empowered Women of Hope and founder of the Religious Awareness Cultural Exploration (RACE) Summer Camp Program. Her latest endeavor, in which she embarked on at age 81, is President of the Home Mission Convention, an outreach organization servicing the northeast region.

Mrs. Tallie states…"I enjoy every bit of the wear and tear, just prayerful that I am making a difference in the lives of God’s people."

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