Stivers School for the Arts senior Eryk Charlton, who aspires to become a lawyer and a community leader in Dayton, has been awarded the prestigious W.S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership Award that provides full tuition, room and board to the University of Dayton and a four-year paid internship with the city of Dayton.
The scholarship honors W.S. McIntosh, a civil rights leader in Dayton in the 1960s. McIntosh led one of the first major civil rights protests in Dayton, organized community groups and was executive director of the Dayton chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. He was shot and killed while trying to prevent a robbery at a downtown jewelry store March 4, 1974.
The McIntosh award is presented in his memory annually to a graduating African-American high school student residing in Montgomery County. Recipients must be committed to the ideals of social justice and demonstrate potential for community leadership.
The goal of the program, established in 1987 by professor Pat Palermo and City of Dayton human resources analyst Mike Herrlein, is to encourage local students to attend UD and stay in the area after graduation by supporting their education and helping them develop professional experience while in school.
Charlton told the scholarship selection committee, “McIntosh was a courageous hero that stood for equality, and I want to follow in his footsteps.”
A student-athlete, pianist and member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Math Society, Charlton also has been involved in the community as a volunteer, including following the Memorial Day 2019 tornados that also displaced his family; an intern with the city’s Human Services Planning and Development Department; and a participant in the Al Ka Pals Youth Community Service Organization, Dayton Young Black Professionals and other groups. Charlton also writes a blog, Charlton Initiative, on issues of identity and racism.
“He is a ‘roll up the sleeves’ type of person who always puts service before self,” said Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Gerald Parker, whom Charlton has shadowed after the pair met at the city’s annual MLK memorial walk.