thaca President Mary Kane (left) and Millie Clarke-Maynard (right) stand with Trinity Odom-Reed (center), who received the James L. Gibbs Memorial Scholarship at the Ithaca High School Senior Award Ceremony.Trinity Odom-Reed, a 2023 graduate of Ithaca High School, has received the James L. Gibbs Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Rotary Club of Ithaca.
Odom-Reed, who was selected from among six finalists, will attend Hampton University in Virginia and major in political science and minor in music this fall. The $1,500 scholarship honors the legacy of former Rotary President James L. Gibbs, the first director of the Southside Community Center who worked to expand job opportunities for Black residents in Ithaca in the mid-20th century.
“This scholarship really aligns with my values and what I want to do in my future,” said Odom-Reed, who grew up on Ithaca’s Southside. She said her goals are “taking care of those who need it and helping the black community, no matter where it is.”At Ithaca High School, Odom-Reed was the president of Ithaca’s Rising, Inspiring, Succeeding and Excelling (I-RISE), a club that works to change the way students of color are treated at the school. She was also a member of the Superintendent Advisory Council, the Bella Voce Choir, the Choir Leadership Team and volunteered as a tutor at the Village at Ithaca. “The reason she was chosen is her commitment was very hands-on and very authentic,” said Millie Clarke-Maynard, a Rotarian who co-chaired the James L. Gibbs Memorial Scholarship Committee. “She was very well respected at Ithaca High School in terms of speaking up for students’ needs and she was very concerned about things going on beyond the Ithaca schools.”
Clarke-Maynard said that Odom-Reed, like Gibbs, embodies the qualities that the Ithaca Rotary Club promotes — service above self. That philosophy guides the Rotary Club in its service projects, she said, from raising money for school bomb shelters in Ukraine to cleaning up highways in Tompkins County.
Former Ithaca Rotary Club President Mary Kane presented the scholarship to Odom-Reed at the Ithaca High School Senior Award Ceremony in June.
The James L. Gibbs Memorial Scholarship was created in 1984 to recognize students who are dedicated to human relations and interracial understanding. Consideration is also given to the applicant’s initiative, academic achievement and leadership in community and school activities.