Charles E. Howard Memorial Scholarship
Charles E. Howard Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship to provide educational assistance to African-American males who wish to pursue a vocational or technical career.

Please note: This scholarship closes June 1, 2023.

History of the Fund

This scholarship was started by Dr. Mario Ray to honor his late father-in-law, Charles E. Howard. Charles's day job was a flooring specialist. He installed and cleaned carpets and floors. He was self-employed his entire adult life, except for the four years he served in the United States Navy. Although he did attend Tennessee State University for a time, he knew early on that a college career was not his path. He returned home to Millington, TN, and began his flooring and carpet business.

In all aspects of his life, Charles never knew a stranger. He was successful because he worked hard and was a people person. Charles had the type of personality and infectious smile that would disarm even the most timid person. By the end of any encounter, a person would feel like he had known Charles his whole life. Charles used that personality to attract and employ others like himself. He taught his employees life skills and offered them an alternate career path where they could still be successful.

When Dr. Mario married his wife, the daughter of Charles, Teresa, Charles began to treat Mario like the son he never had. Charles helped to support their young family as they started to build their life together, whether that meant providing a few dollars here or there or even a few nights babysitting. Charles was always there when they needed him.

Charles was kind, generous, happy, and full of life. He worked hard to provide his family with opportunities, but worked just as hard to give those around him a chance to be successful.

With this scholarship, Mario and his family hope that young, African-American men will have the opportunity to pursue a vocational or technical career path to honor the legacy of Charles.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must:

  • be an African-American male between the ages of 16 and 21;
  • be enrolled as a high school senior or have obtained a GED or diploma from Shelby County Schools;
  • be accepted by and plan to attend an accredited vocational or technical school;
  • demonstrate financial need; and
  • submit the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis scholarship application form and required attachments.

A complete application includes:

  • completed Community Foundation of Greater Memphis scholarship application form;
  • a personal statement outlining education or career goals;
  • two current letters of recommendation, one from a teacher or counselor and one from a person other than a family member who is familiar with your skills and abilities, or two from people other than family members who are familiar with your skills abilities;
  • copy of your Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Aid Report (SAR) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) information, OR your College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile, if applicable.


This scholarship may be awarded to more than one student each year. The amount available for this scholarship in 2023 is $1,400.

To Apply for the Charles E. Howard Memorial Scholarship click here.