ronda-and-dad1A portion of proceeds from the OhioMBE Awards benefits the
Frank. W. Watson Scholarship.


Frank W. Watson was a lifelong advocate for education and minority business.  OhioMBE Publisher Ronda Watson Barber is honoring her late father by establishing The Frank W. Watson Scholarship.

Frank founded one of Central Ohio’s first college access programs in the 1970’s, Tomorrow’s Education Now.  The non-profit Model Cities program assisted  hundreds of Columbus City School students with completing financial aid forms The program also took them on college visits.

In the 1980’s he founded the Central Ohio Minority Business Association to assist minority contractors develop and grow.  Frank  worked tirelessly and was instrumental is developing the state’s Minority Business Assistance Programs and the legislation has established  Ohio’s present purchasing goals.

The scholarship will be awarded to a Columbus East High School student who is participating in either basketball or track& field. An additional scholarship is awarded to another talented high school student.  The scholarship will be used for post-secondary education.

Donations to The Frank W. Watson Scholarship can be made at any Park National Bank or mail to Park National Bank – 800 S. 30th Street – Heath, OH

Other ways to donate:

Donate while you shop with Kroger Rewards at http://bit.ly/2maJa4t  Our rewards number is 24581.

If you shop Amazon, consider Smile.Amazon.com.  Select the Ohio Business Development Center as your charity.  Thanks for the consideration and helping a student grow.

The Frank W. Watson Scholarship is administered by the Ohio Business Development Center

2016 Honorees:

2016 Scholar:  Asa Burke
Asa Burke is a 2016 graduate and class valedictorian from Columbus East High school. He was also the student district ambassador for Columbus City Schools and a member of TRIO Upward Bound. He participated in three varsity sports: football, wrestling, and track and field.

He is continuing his education at The Ohio State University and furthering his talents in varsity track and field on an athletic scholarship.
“Education is important to me because it creates opportunities for myself that my ancestors were not always able to have. I acknowledged that in history, African Americans sacrificed almost everything to have an education, so I feel it is my responsibility to get an education and use it to better myself and my community,” he said.

He is the son of Monique Phillips.

2016 Scholar:  Tylar Willis

Tylar Willis is a sophomore majoring in Graphic Design at Ohio University.  She graduated from Pickerington North High School.  She was a volleyball referee for Pickerington Youth Athletic Association.  She was a member of the Girls’ Basketball and Track teams.

Tylar participated in the Business Professionals of America.  She placed first in the regional for Global Marketing team and fifth in the State for Global Marketing.

“Furthering my education is important because I would like to have a positive impact in my community and continue to be a productive member of society,” she said.

2017 Honorees:

2017 Scholar:  KaRayl Flemister

KaRayl Flemister, is a sophomore attending Winston Salem State University, studying Exercise Science with a minor in Sports Medicine.  Her ultimate goal is to become a Physical Therapist with a focus on helping children.  KaRayl was inspired to study Physical Therapy when she had to take physical therapy in high school due to a back injury.  Her therapists were very helpful and she instantly developed an interest in the field.  She currently holds a 3.4 GPA and is a member of the Residence Housing Association (RHA) serving as the Vice President of Finance.  KaRayl looks forward to completing her studies and applying her skills toward a career focusing on helping children recover from sports injuries.  KaRayl enjoys fitness activities and often plays with an adult volleyball club. She attended Reynoldsburg High School eSTEM Academy/  Her  parents are Toski and Lewis Flemister.

2017 Scholar:  Ayana Lewis

Senior at East High School & Columbus Downtown High School (Criminal Justice Law Enforcement program)  GPA: 3.69

Activities: East High School Track; Vice President of the National Technical Honors Society; Youth Mentor

“Education is the key of success. Lack of knowledge disables people from making beneficial decisions that will cause a positive stance in life”

She is the daughter of Kyaunna Cardwell and Jamie Bailey.

2017 Scholar:  Jenelysc Martinez

Senior at Eastmoor Academy & Columbus Downtown High Schoo (Information Technology program) GPA: 3.966

Activities: Tennis, Swim Team, Mock Trial, Student Council, Robotics Club, and National Technical Honor Society.

Why I want to go to college:  It is important for me to go to college because it will be the time when I am able to pursue academics to my full potential.  I want to learn as much as possible so I can bring that knowledge to other as it was once brought to me. I want to inspire young girls so they can see the same beauty I see in mathematics and sciences.  My dream is to learn and impact the world, but to achieve this goal, it is fundamental that I go to college.