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Recognizing Future Leaders

Stivers School for the Arts senior Maya Smith-Custer is the recipient of the 30th annual W.S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership Award, which includes a full scholarship to the University of Dayton and a four-year paid internship with the city of Dayton.

Maya“Maya impressed the McIntosh review committee with her poise, community service, civic-mindedness, scholastic achievements and love for the city and University of Dayton,” said Kathleen Henderson, director of college access, success and transitions.

The McIntosh scholarship is presented to a graduating African-American high school student in Montgomery County. Recipients must be committed to the ideals of social justice and demonstrate potential for community leadership.

The award 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 jewelry store in downtown Dayton March 4, 1974.

The goal of the program 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. The combination scholarship and internship includes tuition, room and board for four years, along with a four-year paid internship with the city.

Smith-Custer will enroll in the University in the fall and plans to major in international studies.

Her teachers and mentors describe her as an intelligent, caring and compassionate athlete, scholar and leader. She is currently captain of the Stivers golf team, a varsity rower, a member of National Honor Society and an award-winning creative writer. She volunteers with her church and has organized a change collection drive for the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, as well as a Christmas gift collection drive for foster children through the Wright Patterson Prairies Youth Center. She’s also a past recipient of the Exceptional Young Citizen Award presented to her by United States Congresswoman Joyce Beatty.

For information on the McIntosh scholarship, contact Kathleen Henderson at or 937-229-3774.


News and Communications Staff