Merced County Times Newspaper
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Ebony Socialites contribute to local success in education


The Ebony Socialites of Atwater have been contributing to the successful education of the African American youth in the Atwater community since 1971.

The group of women dedicated to providing academic growth to young people is quickly coming up on its 50th year as an organization and an outreach for students who might need financial assistance with their education or even just a helping hand.

Fannie Mitchell, founder of the Ebony Socialites, noticed the lack of financial scholarships assessable to tAfrican American youth. She was quickly driven to create an organization that would highlight the cause she so strongly believed in.

“Our mission has always been to help African American students further their education by providing them with scholarships, opportunities for academic growth, and a space to advance their general welfare,” said Eula Toca, current president of the Ebony Socialites.

In the beginning, 16 to 17 women of African American descent would meet at Mitchell’s house and discuss ways in which they could reach out and provide resources to the young Atwater residents they believed were being neglected. Most of these women were current or former educators with a passion and drive for educational advancement and investment.

“These women came from all walks of life,” Toca recalled. “Some where church members, friends, some even joined because they were members of the education system here in the area.”

Motivated by a shared interest to not only help, but also inspire the youths to continue their education, the socialites created scholarships that local high school students could apply for.

“We are investing in our future,” Toca explained. “We are a very education driven organization-and not just for African American students-but for all young people. We really want the youth to know how to go out and get an education while deciding what field they want to get into.”

Aside from providing scholarships to high school students, the now 15 Ebony Socialites have continually made generous donations to several charitable causes in and outside of the Atwater community. The American Heart Association, Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, are just a couple charitable organizations the Socialites hold to heart.

“If any youth program in the area reaches out and asks for donations, we try our best to donate,” Toca said, explaining that the advancement of education in our community begins with how we take care of our youth.

Atwater is the one and only home of the Ebony Socialites, although members have come and gone from neighboring districts.

“The Atwater community has always been so generous to us. It’s good to give back,” Toca concluded.

For more information on the Ebony Socialites you can reach out to them by mail at P.O. Box 414 Atwater, CA 95301.

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